Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Literal Links in the Supply Chain Can be Crucial

Plastic Additions to Fork Lift Truck Components Can Prevent Downtime
Shipping News Feature

UK – Once again it’s time to mention one of the smallest and most innocuous components in the maintenance of ensuring freight is handled without interruption and one which, quite literally, forms a link in the supply chain. Down time on materials handling equipment is the bane of any professional distribution manager, any company moving goods is loathe these days to over-equip a warehouse and the loss of a forklift truck, even for a few hours, can be a major setback.

Of late companies such as Linde and Jungheinrich, and to a lesser extent, Komatsu, Still and Toyota, have tended to incorporate plastic ‘flights’ and ‘guide’ attachments to their equipment’s lifting chains. These are intended to hold hydraulic hoses and reduce the type of mast cylinder damage that often results from ‘metal on metal’ friction and is a common cause of truck downtime.

To ensure the correct replacements are easily obtained supplier FB Chain has now introduced fifteen different model types within its plastic guide leaf chain range and the company stresses the importance of specifying the correct version when the time comes to replace a worn or defective forklift chain. Martyn Green, FB Chain’s After Market Manager, explains:

"Some chains are common across a number of machines but others might look the same but have subtle yet very significant differences."

To ensure that clients always specify the right chain, FB has an extensive database which lists the chain type that’s right for a specific forklift model. As with all lifting chain supplied by FB Chain, leaf chains with plastic flights are offered with a fully traceable batch test certificate number which not only allows full after-sales traceability but also confirms the safe working load of the chain.

Photo: Different types of plastic additions are clearly visible on these FB Chain samples