Hertfordshire-based FB Chain Ltd has announced the launch of a new brand of leaf chain specifically designed for the type of heavy-capacity forklift trucks, reach stackers and container handlers used in and around ports, harbours and other freight terminals.
SEB SuperEndurance chain – which controls a truck’s essential hydraulic mast functions – has been developed to ensure the highest levels of truck uptime while minimising the requirement for routine chain maintenance.
"The initial costs and ongoing maintenance charges associated with leaf chains used on large pieces of materials handling equipment are high," says Peter Church, managing director of FB Chain.
"Chains are time consuming to inspect and maintain and often require specialist lifting equipment to deal with them. Of more significance, however, is the cost incurred when a large piece of equipment is ‘out of service’ because its chain has failed.
"If, for example, the leaf chain malfunctions on a container handler, reach stacker or forklift, the equipment is out of action until the chain is repaired or replaced and the resultant downtime is costly and disruptive."
FB Chain’s new SEB SuperEndurance chain has a number of unique features which combine to offer financial, environmental and throughput efficiency benefits.
For instance, the chain has solid seamless bushes pressed in to two inner links. In simple terms, this bush design allows better contact between the chain’s plates and pins, which increases the chain’s resistance to wear significantly.
Chain wear is further reduced by the incorporation of a synthetic O-ring which provides a seal between the plate and the pin and retains lubricant in the part of the chain where it is most needed. This means the chain requires less lubrication – which cuts operating costs – and reduces the amount of oil which is washed off during routine cleaning.
"Many chain oils cannot handle the high internal loads experienced in chains fitted to container handling trucks," explains Peter Church.
He continues: "This is especially true when trucks are fitted with spreader units that result in the chain being constantly under load even when the truck is not lifting. The O-ring and bush construction of SEB SuperEndurance chain reduces bearing pressure and retains oil in the right place – which extends the chain’s life significantly."
In addition, to reduce the impact of salt and humidity, SEB chain is treated with a zinc flake coating which offers six times greater corrosion protection than traditional untreated chain.
"The extended life of SEB chain significantly reduces fleet operating costs for any port-based application. The chain’s design not only means that users buy less chain, it also ensures that materials handling equipment spends less time ‘out of service’," says Peter Church.
All the major dimensions, breaking loads and working loads of SEB SuperEndurance chain are compatible with the standard chain types used by all leading materials handling equipment manufacturers and suppliers.