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KOBO prover chain from BI for bakery ovens and provers

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Leading supplier Bearings International (BI) offers KOBO prover chain for specific applications such as bakery ovens and provers. In South Africa, standard prover chain is a 100 mm pitch chain with custom-dimensioned rollers and inner hollow pin diameter. BI can customise its prover chains, however, as with a recent project in Botswana where a bakery had to be supplied with prover chain catering for a different pitch.

The food and beverage industry has particular requirements in terms of health and safety. These specifications are set by means of industry standards, with the main focus on hygiene and legal requirements. This is especially important given the recent outbreaks of listeriosis and swine flu.

It is for this reason that BI offers state-of-the-art solutions from KOBO, such as maintenance-free, acid-resistant or stainless steel chains, National Product Manager Chain and Drives Frikkie Ras explains. KOBO specifically supplies chain products and technology for the bakery, meat, vegetable, and grain-processing industries, as well as for beverage producers.

“Many OEMs and end users rely on our KOBO chain technology,” Ras comments. “For example, industrial bakeries such as pizza and bread manufacturers, KOBO manufactures made-to-order solutions for a range of applications – from tunnel ovens to proofing cabinets or pre-baking ovens.”

KOBO conducts research and development in conjunction with OEMs and end users in order to be able to develop innovative designs such as special carbon components with an extended lifetime that are also maintenance-free. Another advantage is that, here, the rollers are mounted outside the chain. Thus they can be replaced with minimum downtime, reducing maintenance time and production loss.

The secret to the high quality of the KOBO range is the combination of quality metals and heat treatment to optimise the strength and wear resistance of the chain in operation. Its prover chain design includes an anti-twist safeguard in the plates and on the pin and bush arrangement to ensure no turning in the plates for maximum efficiency.

The heat treatment is specific to the temperature and humidity requirements of the application, as well as the consistency of tolerances between the working parts, so as to ensure smooth running and correct alignment between parallel running chains.

With the bakery industry, in particular, under pressure to increase production volume as demand increases due to population growth, KOBO has also designed higher-capacity chains based on a range of alternate materials and heat treatment processes, thereby nearly doubling the chain capacity.

“There is 125 years’ design and manufacturing experience backing up the KOBO legacy. In addition, BI also has extensive knowledge of local sectors and their specific requirements, which means we are able to offer fully customised solutions,” Ras highlights. He concludes that the advent of a plethora of smaller players in the bakery industry is creating new growth opportunities for BI to continue to supply and service this burgeoning sector.


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