The System Marathon drag chain equipment now available from M Buttkereit Ltd can accommodate overall horizontal travel distances in excess of 200 metres. It features an upper running track installed for the full horizontal operating distance of the installation, combined with a lower parking track covering just 50% of the full length. The drag chain can operate at speeds up to 5 m/sec and runs on multiple support roller sets engaging with the running tracks, eliminating all chain-on-chain contacts or sliding movements, so effectively reducing the friction wear and driving power requirements by 90% compared with conventional sliding drag chain mechanisms.
Typical applications include washing/cleaning stations for railway rolling stock, food industry and horticultural layouts in poly tunnels and greenhouses, together with mobile crane fitments within container handling locations. General industrial applications also occur for milling machines, fast cycling presses, welding machines and steelworks where conditions of high-temperatures and dusty environments apply. Working conditions of variable ambient (5 – 45°C) and high humidity (80 – 100%) can also be accommodated by this highly adaptable equipment.
The system power supply and accompanying cables are terminated at the lower track level, at the horizontal midpoint of the complete installation. The length of drag chain mechanism required is highly economical as it is only 50% of the full installation travel distance, plus a sufficient chain length to cover the curvature of the mechanism occurring in transfers from the upper (running) to the lower (parking) tracks. The full chain length of roller sets provide support on both sides of the chain, eliminating bending or oscillations of the drag chain mechanism, while also ensuring minimum rolling resistance during traverse movements and eliminating chain-on-chain sliding friction. The rollers are running in the smooth sided troughs of the running-track, providing not-only low friction movement but also effectively guiding the chain movement from the upper to lower track running and vice-versa. The minimising of abrasion wear, stress, high flexing and excess loading together with high starting torques are also combined with appreciable reductions in the system operating noises.