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Plastic energy chains replace steel chains
Kronopol in Zary, Poland (part of the Krono-group in Switzerland), is one of the largest producers of particleboards and derived timber products in the world. It is the only company where all three types of derived timber product boards (particle boards OSB and MDF) are produced on one site. The annual board production is 1.3 million m2 and is exported to more than 40 countries.
1200 people work on the plant of around 55 ha. The factory's Siempelkamp wood working machines had been first equipped with steel energy chains for management of moving cables and hoses. "But these energy chains only lasted for 6 months' and I always had to replace them after that," says Grzegorz Szer, foreman of the Kronopol electro department. Finally, plastic energy chains from Igus were used to replace the heavy steel chains. "In spite of the harsh operating environment and continual use, the plastic energy chains have already lasted for 24 months without a single failure. For us this now means four times higher service life," explains Grzegorz Szer, who keeps a record of the service life of the plant equipment.
The machines are equipped with plastic energy chains of the Igus E4/4 system series 5050. These energy chains are especially suited for high fill weights over long travels and in very dirty or humid environments. The side parts of the energy chain are connected through a patented "tongue and groove" joint. This dramatically increases its stability both in tensile and shear directions, important when high lateral accelerations or torsion act on the chain. Igus delivered E4/4 5050 series with an extra middle link. Due to the high cable loads Kronopol could even extend the self-supporting length of the energy chain if required.
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