Chain Failure Fatigue – Grape Sorter Case Study
An original equipment manufacturer (OEM) was experiencing premature chain failure on its trunk shaker mechanism used to harvest fruit. The shaking motion was produced using a drive system powered by a competitor’s ANSI 60-2 roller chains with slip-fit center plate construction, generating 350-400 vibrations per minute. These vibrations and relatively high loads were absorbed by the competitor’s roller chains, contributing to link plate fatigue and premature chain failure.
To address the chain fatigue caused by the pulsation, Diamond recommended ANSI 60T-2 riveted roller chain with press-fit center plate construction. Unlike slip-fit plates which can accelerate fatigue failures due to flexibility, press-fit plates provide rigid support at each tension point.
Following the switch to press-fit construction, the manufacturer saw a significant increase in uptime—two to three times that of the competitor’s slip-fit style chain. In the first year, this amounted to a savings of approximately $10,000 per line.