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RotaLube automated chain lubrication for ovens

Bakery Ovens and Dryers

At RotaLube, we have installed countless automated chain lubrication systems for bakery ovens and dryers used in the production of bread, bagels, tortillas, pitta bread, pizza dough and other baked goods. This wide experience has brought us face-to-face with the challenges of food processing today and enabled us to develop a unique solution to ensure oven chain lubrication is not one of them.

What are the main challenges of oven chain lubrication?

Continuous operation

There is no good time to stop an oven chain conveyor to apply lubricant manually – and no time at all to deal with breakdowns caused by improper lubrication. Conveyor uptime is vital to production output and profitability in food manufacturing and processing facilities. The best method of oven chain lubrication is one that involves as little disruption to operations and input from technicians as possible.

Extreme temperatures

In the extreme heat and moisture of a commercial oven, you can expect some loss of component hardness and wear life from your conveyor chain, as well as a greater risk of corrosion and oxidation. This makes effective lubrication even more important to protect the oven chain pins and bushings from premature failure and the food products from potential rust contamination.

The trouble is getting your food-grade lubricant to stick to the hot oven chains. Most category H1 food-safe lubricants will melt in the high temperature of the oven. Whether you opt for a liquid lubricant or a solid lubricant suspended in a liquid carrier, you can expect a high degree of evaporation. This has implications for the frequency and method of application, as you’ll want to avoid leaving the chain exposed to wear or facing a build-up of goo that can also contaminate your food products.

Food contamination

Food safety is paramount. If poor lubrication leaves your oven chain open to corrosion and oxidation, there is a risk of contaminating your products with rust. You also need to consider the risk of contamination from the lubricant itself, if it is applied too liberally or indiscriminately or if you get a build-up of residue after the liquid has evaporated. Applying precise amounts of lubricant at the optimum frequency to the pivot points of the chain only will minimise the risk of contaminating food products.

What is the best method for lubricating oven chains?

RotaLube has been designed specifically to provide a reliable solution to the challenges of oven chain lubrication.

Automated system

As a continuous, automated system, RotaLube does not interrupt the operation of bakery oven and dryers conveyor, maintaining uptime and production output.

Measured amounts

Unlike automated brush, drip-feed or spit systems, however, RotaLube can avoid high lubricant consumption while compensating for evaporation by reliably applying measured amounts at optimum intervals.

Targeted application

Moreover, the RotaLube system applies lubricant directly to the pins and bushes of the chain – and nowhere else – avoiding waste and build-up that can lead to food product contamination.

RotaLube keeps oven chains optimally lubricated no matter the size of the chain or the speed or temperature at which it is operating.

What is the best lubricant for oven chains?

Complete lubricant and application solution

The best lubricant for your bakery oven chain will depend on your individual operating environment and maintenance regime. At RotaLube, we are experts in applying lubricant to oven chains, which is why we have partnered with global leaders in the development of chain lubricants Interflon, Fuchs, Klüber and Castrol to provide a complete oven chain lubrication solution.

Lubricant delivery and servicing on subscription

Once we have assessed your needs, we will tailor a RotaLube system to fit and liaise with our lubricant partners to ensure the optimum lubricant choice for you. After we have installed the RotaLube system, we can then deliver maintenance services and replacement lubricant on subscription, saving you time and money and giving you peace of mind that your oven chains are being well looked after.

Case study

RotaLube installed an automatic lubrication system to lubricate two 7” pitch chains on a spooner oven, operating 24/7 at a maximum temperature of 265°C/482°F.

Connected to a pump system, the RotaLube applicators, shaped like sprockets, engage with the chains as they move, reliably applying the lubricant directly to the pivot points at the same intervals, no matter the running speed or degree of chain stretch.

The quick ROI (return on investment) meant the system paid for itself within the first year. Since then it has also:

  • reduced lubricant consumption
  • kept the amps to a minimum and at a constant
  • increased the service life of the chains
  • improved safety
  • increased uptime

RotaLube is now the preferred oven chain lubrication method for this customer, as well as many other end-users and OEMs in the food manufacturing and food processing industry.

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