Posted at 16-Jul-2020

When is it time to go beyond standard?

Paul Skade
By Gordon Smith
Product Manager, Open Drives, ERIKS UK & Ireland

I have over 30 years' experience of working in the Power Transmission industry prior to joining ERIKS, both in manufacturing and distribution.

Over thi...

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It’s safe to say that no two working environments are the same. And it’s the varying demands of industry that dictate how our applications need to perform. On many occasions, standard products are more than suitable, but there are certain instances where standard isn’t quite enough if you’re aiming to deliver maximum efficiency.


So, the question is, when is it time to go beyond standard? The answer is simple. When reliability and performance are at risk.

In the case of chains, standard chains have the capacity to deliver the required level of performance to ensure cost-effective and reliable operation. However, sometimes a standard chain just won’t cut it in harsher environments or against stricter production guidelines.

Selecting a chain that cannot cater with the demands of its application is a dangerous game, and encourages reduced wear, shorter lifecycles and unscheduled maintenance, which will inevitably lead to elevated costs.

Therefore, choosing a chain that has been designed to meet the specific challenges it faces is a failsafe way to guarantee higher levels of efficiency and productivity, reduced maintenance and keep costs to a minimum.

Here, we outline three common problems that are easily overcome by simply selecting a solution chain rather than one designed for conventional operating conditions.

Dirt and exposure reduce wear-resistance

Most standard chains aren’t designed to withstand regular exposure to dirt and debris, never mind continuously. So, it goes without saying that this has detrimental effects to the health of your chain, and expected lifecycles will be significantly reduced. But in many cases, this is unavoidable. Take the construction industry for example.


Opting for a solution chain, such as the Renold Sovereign, will assist in overcoming these issues. Developed for abrasive environments where dirt and dust ingress are commonplace, Renold Sovereign offers up to four times longer wear life, reduces pin wear and is suitable to withstand high-speed and heavy load applications.

It’s also able to provide enhanced abrasion resistance thanks to its special surface treatment and pins that are optimised for hardness, making it ideal for situations where maintenance is particularly challenging.

Lack of lubrication

This is a tricky one. A catch-22 you might say.

In many environments, regular lubrication is required in order to optimise the wear cycle of most standard chains. But this is a problem in industries such as food and beverage or pharmaceutical, where lubricating causes fear of contamination. So, what do you do? Risk contamination or let your chains wear out.

Well, a lubrication-free, dry-touch solution, such as the Renold Syno Chain, eliminates both issues and will keep your production line in operation for the longest time possible.

Designed utilising unique Renold technology, the Syno Chain has set the benchmark for chain performance with little or no lubrication. These chains feature an innovative bush that releases lubricant onto the friction surfaces only when the chain is in operation. As soon as the chain stops, the lubricant remains within the confines of the chain, eliminating contamination risks.

Too much cleaning is corrosive

Corrosion damages the surface of a chain, therefore compromising its integrity and reliability, leading to repeated failures and downtime. It becomes a vicious cycle.


Standard chains aren’t usually designed to be used in environments where exposure to water is a regular occurrence. These include food, beverage and pharmaceutical where thorough washdowns are paramount, or outdoor environments where the natural elements are out of human control.

The issue is easy to overcome by installing a chain that has a been surface treated. The Renold Hydro-Service is a prime example.

Delivering superior corrosion resistance which lasts up to 30 times longer than standard carbon steel, each component is individually treated prior to assembly to ensure optimal resistance to unwanted corrosion, extending service life.


Looking into these three common issues, there are multiple considerations that need to be addressed when choosing the right chain for your application. Renold has created a product selection guide, available via, that will help you make the right decision and improve the efficiency of your chain.

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