Motion Control & Drives

‘Match & Tag’ chains service

March 2022 Motion Control & Drives

Modern machinery often requires chains of precisely the same length to be used in pairs or other multiples. For these applications, BMG specialists recommend Tsubaki ‘Match & Tag’ chains, which guarantee a maximum chain length difference of 0,50 mm, regardless of the total chain length. Advanced Tsubaki chain length measurement technology ensures smooth, accurate and reliable machine actuation.

“When chains are required to run in parallel for conveyance purposes, it is critical that these chains have a minimal difference in length. If non-matched chains are used, the consequences can be challenging, with errors, twisting and slippage occurring during operation. These problems occur because the chain length has not been checked link by link,” explains Gavin Kirstein, business unit manager, power transmission division, BMG. “Difficulties are exacerbated as chains wear and deteriorate with use and although re-tensioning chains does provide temporary improvement, repeated re-tensioning reduces chain life considerably. This results in lower productivity, unnecessary downtime, premature component replacement and consequent expenses.

Although industry standards relating to the manufacture of chain components set a tolerance for the accuracy of their length, regulations do not cover the assembly of components into complete chains. This means there is a possibility that a significant error will accumulate, if a chain length includes several links that are only just within tolerance. Some manufacturers address this by sorting their components into two or three classes of accuracy, but the possibility of accumulated errors remains.

“To alleviate these problems, Tsubaki pre-stretched chains are supplied by BMG in matched-length pairs that are tagged for easy identification and accurate installation,” Kirstein adds. “Our ‘Match & Tag’ service guarantees that paired chains are the same length to within a tolerance of 0,50 mm, by measuring and matching each individual component of the chain. For high accuracy, Tsubaki sets tight tolerances on the physical dimensions of each chain part.

“After assembly of a complete chain length, the ‘Match & Tag’ process begins by accurately checking the length. Subsequently, the chain lengths are matched and tagged together into pairs, or larger groups if required. As a result, these chains offer higher productivity, smoother operation, a cleaner manufacturing environment, minimal downtime and extended service life.”

BMG’s Tsubaki ‘Match & Tag’ service is available for chains that comprise BS single-pitch sizes RS08B to RS32B, ANSI single-pitch sizes RS40 to RS100 (including the heavy-duty series) and ANSI double-pitch sizes RF2040 to RF2100 (R-roller, S-roller, HP). Typical applications for ‘Match & Tag’ chains include packaging machines and for lifting functions, for example in accumulator towers used in the steel industry and carpet manufacturing.

In a recent project, BMG was approached by a supplier of milk and dairy products to solve the problem of cartons falling during packaging and thereby contaminating filling machines. Specialists identified the cause as chains with special attachments that were not running synchronously. After the installation of two strands of Tsubaki RS2008B-SS-ATK ‘Match & Tag’ chain, these machines are now running smoothly, with no disruptions or downtime.

BMG’s national branch network offers a technical advisory service on correct chain selection – a critical factor in any power transmission system. For specific applications, chains with special materials, coatings and lubrications are available nationally and to meet exact requirements, chains are supplied in any lengths.

For more information contact Gavin Kirstein, BMG, +27 11 620 7547,,


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