RotaLube for paper and pulp

Conveyor chain lubrication for the paper and pulp industry

Our RotaLube engineers have designed and integrated automated chain lubrication systems for paper and tissue manufacturers around the world. We understand how keeping chains running efficiently and industrial chain oils away from the products conveyed is essential to productivity, quality, and profitability. This has led us to develop a unique solution that ensures effective lubrication at all times for greater uptime, lower maintenance requirements and minimised contamination.

Which types of equipment in the paper and pulp industry use conveyor chain?

Conveyor chain is used in a wide variety of applications for paper and tissue manufacturing.

  • Pulp processing: Conveyor chains are used in the pulp preparation stage of paper production to transport and process raw materials, such as wood chips or recycled paper.
  • Drying: During the papermaking process, roller chains are commonly used to transport the paper web through dryers and ovens.
  • Calendering: Conveyor chains move the paper web through various processes in a calendering machine to improve its surface properties.
  • Rewinding: Rewinders use conveyor chains to handle the movement of jumbo rolls into smaller, consumer-sized rolls.
  • Sheet cutting: Conveyor chains are used in sheet cutters that cut large paper rolls into individual sheets or smaller roll sizes.
  • Tissue converting: Tissue converters use conveyor chains to move the larger parent paper rolls through the cutting, folding, and packaging processes into finished tissue products, including toilet paper, paper towels, and facial tissues.
  • Embossing: Conveyor chains may be found in embossing machines used to add patterns and textures to tissue products, such as toilet roll.
  • Packaging: Packaging machines use conveyor chains to transport finished tissue rolls through the packaging process, including wrapping, sealing, and labelling.

It is essential that the conveyor chain in these machines is kept properly lubricated at all times.

Why is it necessary to lubricate conveyor chain in paper and tissue making machines?

Lubricating conveyor chains in paper and tissue making machines is essential for several reasons:

  • Wear protection: Conveyor chains are subjected to continuous movement and high loads in paper and tissue making machines. Lubrication reduces the friction at the chain’s pivot points, minimising wear and extending its service life. Reduced friction also results in smoother chain operation, leading to less stress on the machinery and improved efficiency.
  • Corrosion prevention: The papermaking process involves water and moisture, which can lead to rust and corrosion on the conveyor chain if left unprotected. Lubricants act as a barrier, inhibiting the penetration of moisture and protecting the chain from corrosion.
  • Improved performance: Well-lubricated conveyor chains ensure smooth and consistent movement of paper and tissue products throughout the production process. This results in less downtime due to chain-related issues and improved overall equipment performance.
  • Energy efficiency: Proper lubrication reduces friction, which in turn reduces energy consumption. A well-lubricated conveyor chain requires less power to operate, contributing to energy efficiency and cost savings.
  • Noise reduction: Lubricated chains operate more quietly compared to dry or poorly lubricated chains. This can lead to a quieter and more comfortable working environment for machine operators.

What is the best method for lubricating paper production conveyor chains?

Traditionally, conveyor chains in the paper and pulp industry have been lubricated manually or using automated brush, spit, or drip feed systems. These lubrication methods have their limitations, however. Because they apply lubricant indiscriminately to the outside of the chain, they cannot guarantee that the oil will penetrate the chain links, where it is needed to reduce friction and, therefore, wear. Excess oil on the chain surface may lead to contamination of the paper and pulp if it comes into contact with or drips onto the product conveyed. It can also attract dust and other particles that mix with the lubricant into a sticky substance, increasing resistance in the mechanism, corroding the chain and other components, and can also contaminating products.

The best lubrication method in paper production applications is one that is targeted to the chain links and continues to work reliably irrespective of conveyor speed or temperature or chain elongation due to wear. It should also avoid oil dripping where it is not needed and can cause a build-up or product contamination. The RotaLube system meets these criteria by using a sprocket-shaped applicator that engages with the chain as it moves, delivering precise amounts of oil directly to the chain links. This also reduces the volume of lubricant consumed overall, keeping it away from the materials or products conveyed.

What is the best lubricant for paper production conveyor chains?

When it comes to selecting the ideal chain lubricant for your warehouse conveyor, there are crucial factors to consider, such as your operational environment, maintenance practices, and the type of items being conveyed. At RotaLube, our expertise lies in the application of lubricants to conveyor chains, rather than manufacturing lubricants themselves. So through valuable partnerships with esteemed industry leaders like Interflon, Fuchs, Klüber, and Castrol, we offer a comprehensive conveyor lubrication system.

We take a tailored approach to meet your unique requirements, crafting a bespoke RotaLube system that seamlessly integrates with your setup. Working in collaboration with our lubricant partners, we will also identify the most suitable lubricant for your specific needs on your behalf.

But our commitment goes beyond that. We go the extra mile by offering a convenient subscription service for replacement lubricants. This not only saves you time and money but also ensures that your conveyor chain receives proper care, leading to uninterrupted operations and peak performance.

Schedule a free consultation to discuss how RotaLube can help increase uptime and efficiency, while reducing product contamination on your paper production conveyor.