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Chain Wearing Prematurely – Concrete Manufacturing Case Study

THE CHALLENGE

A leading concrete products manufacturer produces concrete blocks at a rate of approximately 1,667 blocks per hour. Because profitability turns not only on quality, but also on continuity of operations, the company relies on dependable equipment.

The environment in the manufacturing space contains a high concentration of dirt and concrete grit, because of this, the chain the company was using on their tile stacker and pallet delivery machines were elongating and they were experiencing chain wearing prematurely. This led the company to search for “a quality chain that is dependable and has excellent wear life.”

THE CHOICES

The Plant Manager for this Concrete Products Division evaluated several chain choices ranging from inexpensive economy chain to high performance Diamond series roller chain, which has an industry reputation for delivering best-in-class dependability and wear life.

To determine which product offered the best overall value, the manager first began by quantifying the costs associated with each instance of a chain replacement:

  • The company produces approximately 1,667 blocks per hour. At a retail value of $1.79 per block, the downtime costs from production equal $2,985 per hour.
  • Labor costs to replace the chain equals twelve man hours at $120/hour for a total expense of $1,440.
  • Total potential downtime expense for each instance of chain replacement was then $4,425.
  • Given the high costs associated with downtime for chain replacement, it was determined that purchasing the best quality chain would prove the best value to the company in the long run.

THE SOLUTION

Looking at potential product options, the company compared Diamond Chain’s Diamond series ANSI 80 and 100 riveted roller chains versus the less expensive mid tier brand that they were using. From Diamond Chain’s ROI calculator, the Diamond series showed that they could expect a minimum increase of 50% in wear life over their current roller chain.

THE RESULTS

The results from switching to Diamond series roller chain has been an increase in machinery uptime of over the projected 50% significantly decreasing downtime and labor costs. This company saved over $6,500 the first year after the switch and is estimated to save up to $33,000 over five years.

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