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Chain and Flight System Cuts Downtime, Maintenance Costs for CHS

March 31, 2008

The Bolt ’n’ Go chain and flight system is an assembly method for drop forged and round link conveyor chain systems. The link and flight assembly is made easier by attaching the flight to the chain link using a standard bolt and nut, with a high case hardness and high tensile hollow pin. Traditional chain systems have used pins and circlips. The problem with that type of system is that during any maintenance repairs on the chain, the whole chain would have to be lifted out of the conveyor to conduct repairs. This results in large downtime in production and high maintenance costs.

Repairs with the Bolt ‘n’ Go system, such as to change flights or pins, can be done inside the conveyor, without even taking the tension out of the chain. Instead of welded flights, bolt on flights are used and can be easily changed without any fuss.

Another problem with traditional systems using pins and circlips, is that circlips can come off in some circumstances, causing the chain to become disconnected, and again downtime. With the bolt n go system, the pins, chain and flights are secured using a secured lock nut, which securely holds the system together in a consistent manner, but also facilitating easy and safe removal when required.

One of the first installations to use this system was at CHS, Superior, WI. The facility handles several commodities that include wheat and soybeans at the rate of around 70 million bushels per year. They have several drag conveyors that use drop forged chain, with the traditional pin and circlip assembly. While this has proved a reliable assemble method for them, it has proved time consuming when changing out bent or broken chain flights.

Bill Hoffer, Head of Maintenance, said of the system, “We installed 4B’s new Bolt ‘n’ Go chain, and I am pleased with the results. The Bolt ‘n’ Go chain is very easy and fast to install and maintain, as you eliminate the need to separate the chain each time while installing a new flight. Also there is no need to slacken of the chain or re-tension while changing flights. This alone will save untold hours on the routine maintenance of these conveyors. The Bolt ‘n’ Go system has been in service for well over 12 months, is running great, with no problems.”

For more information on the Bolt ‘n’ Go, visit www.go4b.com.