Glass containers and bottles are used in nearly every field of our lives, and the demand for these essential products is set to grow. The global market, valued at 51.4 million euros in 2017, is expected to reach 65.7million by 2023. To keep up with this demand, manufacturers face a number of challenges such as how to maintain high efficiency and optimise production speeds while reducing the environmental impact of operation?
To optimise production, manufacturing processes need to run as smoothly as possible and getting chain selection right is crucial to ensuring efficient operations. Here we look at stainless steel inverted tooth chains and outline three benefits they bring to glass manufacturers.
Optimal thermal conductivity
Unsurprisingly, manufacturing glass containers and bottles is a delicate process. While on the production lines, the fragile products are constantly at risk not only from any malfunction in the operation of the container belt, but also ambient causes such as changes in temperature. That’s why optimising the thermal conduction properties is critical for success. While being perfect for many other applications, standard steel chains are only moderately suited for use in glass manufacturing. The difference in the interface temperature between the burning hot glass landing on the conveyor and the steel chain operating it is often very high, and this can quickly result in glass micro-cracking and the product being spoiled. Specific Stainless steel selected by Renold Tooth Chain, on the other hand, has a lower thermal conductivity compared to standard steel and other stainless steels on the market, which makes it ideal for such applications and helps manufacturers minimise waste and maintain high levels of productivity.
Minimal temperature and friction losses
Due to the high-temperature production process, energy consumption accounts for a significant portion of the production costs in glass manufacturing. This gives manufacturers a natural incentive to reduce energy consumption across all areas of production. In several cases the stainless steel chains do not longer require pre-heating, often conducted by gas burners, which could be completely stopped or reduced by at least 50% offering considerable savings to the glass plants.
In addition, for the continuously operating production lines at high speeds, the inverted tooth chains are ideal for the application. Every component is designed to minimise energy loss: the chain engages with the sprocket with minimal impact, and the 2-part rolling pivot joint features nearly zero friction loss. This enables the chain to reach efficiencies of up to 99 per cent.
There are significant differences between tooth chains from different manufacturers, which can affect their suitability for glass production applications. As the products are red hot and fragile, malfunction in any of the components of the chain can result in breakage and compromise operation. Renold stainless steel inverted tooth chain reduces this risk by using laser-welded axle pivots in the hardened steel side plates. The smooth and robust contact surfaces on both sides of the chain enable a gap-free transition between the chain and the in-feeding points while avoiding the risk of collision with the guiding rails and eliminating the risk of pin breakage.