Automotive manufacturers put incredible emphasis on the paint finish of their new vehicles. Not only is immaculate paintwork essential for that ‘showroom appearance’, it is also a vital element in the long term environmental protection of the body panels

Therefore paint shop plant and equipment must be of the highest calibre, and even the drive chains must be of a quality that ensures smooth operations and reliable long term performance in harsh working conditions.

Chain and associated ancillary products are used throughout many major automotive plants, in just about every section of the production and assembly process. Many plant engineers have opted for Tsubaki chain because of its reputation for smooth operation and reliability over time. In fact Tsubaki chains and accessories have a track record of many years’ standing in automotive production that embraces most of the major manufacturers.

In the paint shop for example, the first stage of the coating section involves vehicle bodies being hung from a chain conveyor and passed through a tank of primer coating. Tsubaki supplies a range of conveyor chains suitable for this, including large size chain and ancillary equipment designed for carrying different vehicle types and models. These chains are very durable and highly efficient to ensure smooth, accurate, slip-free conveyance.

The bodies are then transferred to a cart and delivered to a second coating station, where a robot spray paints them with an intermediate grey coat which ensures they are smooth and ready for the top coat. (The grey coat also prevents the top coat from fading over time.)
The carts are each driven by a small gear motor, such as the Hypoid motor made by Tsubaki. These are available with either a solid or a hollow output shaft and in a wide range of reduction ratios. The robots have multi-axis movements so are highly dexterous and therefore need support and guidance for their power cables. This duty can be entrusted to Tsubaki plastic Cableveyors, which come in an extensive array of sizes and shapes and are used in all sorts of specialized equipment, including multi-axis robots. They are made from a flame resistant certified material for peace-of-mind use in areas that require inflammability.

The top coat is sprayed on by special coating robots and reciprocating machines, whose combined motion ensures the body panels each have a beautiful, even finish. The reciprocating coating machines typically use drive chains such as lube-free Tsubaki Lambda chain, which has special oil impregnated bushes and is available in a wide range of sizes. Lambda is highly resistant to seizing and is not susceptible to excessive wear and therefore trouble-free, reliable and long lasting, even in raised temperature environments.
All Tsubaki drive chain, including roller chain, heavy duty ‘Super Chain’ and leaf chain, is made from quality materials using advanced manufacturing techniques which minimise chain wear and elongation. Thus they have a long working life, a key requirement for the automotive sector, where plant stoppages (planned or unplanned) for maintenance are to be avoided at all costs.