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The 105th anniversary of the “Sette Campanili” Cross Country race falls in 2019 and ZMC, together with other sponsors, contributes to keeping this ancient and prestigious sporting tradition alive.

The first edition of the competition dates back to 1914 and after more than a century the foot race continues to wind along the same 16-kilometer ring that touches the squares of 7 towns in the province of Varese: Cavaria (where ZMC is located), Premezzo, Santo Stefano, Oggiona, Jerago, Orago and Cajello. The route, in addition to the seven bell towers from which takes its name, touches various points of interest in the area, among which the two stairways made famous by the illustrated covers of some magazines stand out. In the past, the Cross Country of the “Sette Campanili” had national relevance, to the point of assigning the Italian Cross Country title on some occasions and of hosting internationally renowned athletes among the participants. In 1926 the popular weekly “La Domenica del Corriere” dedicated the cover to “Sette Campanili” and it was the famous illustrator Achille Beltrame who immortalized in one of his drawings the rise of the athletes along the stairs leading to the Church of Orago.

Nowadays the race remains an indispensable stop for the numerous Cross Country fans and every year it attracts various top-level athletes, a crowd of amateur runners and a large audience along the way.

Chains for bottle washing systems

Through a long and fruitful collaboration with the sector’s customers ZMC has developed a complete and reliable range of chains used in the systems dedicated to the washing of bottles and more generally of glass containers.

Most of the applications concern the food industry and in particular the beverage sector (beer, soft drinks etc.) but the same concepts are also used in the pharmaceutical field. In the design and construction of these chains the main theme is to guarantee durability and reliability in heavy operating conditions due to both the environment and the increasingly high productivity required in the sector.

The chains work immersed in baths with added detergents that can contribute to the oxidation of the chain, lubrication is not allowed and in addition the recycled bottles put in circulation various abrasive residues due to both the dirt that is collected inside them and the decomposition of the labels.

In these chains, constructional strength is sought in every detail right from the design phase. The experience of ZMC in the choice of the steels used and in their heat treatment is also crucial.

In this case, two typical chains of the sector are highlighted, one with a welded attachment and the other with a bent attachment. In the second case, the photo shows the version with protruding screws used for fixing the crossbar that transports the bottles loaded into special cells.

For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us

Chains with copper plated pins

The copper plating of the pins is historically a typical and recognizable feature of various ZMC chains.

The galvanic copper coating is performed on the pins of our chains for precise technical reasons that involve both the quality of the product and safety at work.

The riveting operation concludes the assembly of the chains, it provides a plastic deformation of the head of the pins to ensure the mechanical resistance in the presence of axial thrusts.

To obtain an effective riveting it is necessary that the pins are not excessively hard, the same characteristic is important to prevent metal splinters from detaching and being projected in the surrounding area while the component is undergoing deformation.

The resistance to wear of the chain, however, would require exactly the opposite, that is a pin with the highest possible surface hardness.

The copper plating intervenes precisely to find a solution to these two opposite requirements. The pins are completely coated with copper, afterwards they are ground on the cylindrical and the coating remains only on the heads. During the heat treatment process, copper inhibits the spread of carbon in the metal matrix of the steel, so that the areas covered with copper do not harden. At the end of the process the copper-plated pins of ZMC have both the ideal characteristics: high hardness of the cylindrical part, such as to guarantee the best performance of resistance to wear, and a soft head, easy and safe to rivet.

A further advantage guaranteed by copper plating is the protection against oxidation that the galvanic coating guarantees to the pin head, including the area of press fit with the plate.

For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us

Low maintenance chains with sealings

The need to reduce or completely cancel the maintenance of the chains is addressed by ZMC with different solutions based on the working conditions and requirements of the specific sectors.

In several cases the most effective way to reduce maintenance costs is to load the starting chain with an adequate amount of grease and to confine the lubricating product in the areas where it must perform its function. This objective is achieved by means of a system based on special sealings. In this way, the lubricating characteristics of the grease are exploited to the full, avoiding contamination by external agents and unnecessary dispersion towards other parts of the system.

This solution has been successfully adopted in various applications. Here we present a case that belongs to the mining industry. This is a cranked link chain belonging to the category of so-called “Rotary chains” used to keep large drums in a rotary motion. Often chains of this type work in harsh conditions, at high speed and in the presence of highly abrasive agents.

The solution developed by ZMC allows to keep the chain lubricated for long periods of time, making less frequent the relubrication intervals and sometimes eliminating completely the need to introduce new grease for the entire life of the chain.

For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us

Pre-tensioning and measure

On request, ZMC provides individually pre-tensioned and measured chains with an specially designed tool that uses laser technology and the application of a controlled tensile force.

The first stage, called pre-tensioning, provides for the application to the chain of a tension equal to 30% of the nominal breaking load. The pre-tensioning allows initial chain tension adjustment for the running in of the chain.

The actual measurement is then performed by reducing tension to 2% of the breaking load, as required by ISO 1977 standard.

For each test a label is printed and secured to the chain. The following details are reported on the label:

  • The measured length
  •  The type of the chain and of the test, and a letter which can be traced back to the tolerance class in which that particular strand of chain falls. Given that the tolerance of length on the conveyor chains is always more than the nominal length, it is divided into intervals of 1mm width. This means that all the chains with a length between the nominal value and 1 mm more will show the letter A on the label, those from 1mm to 2mm longer will report the letter B, and so on. This system is meant to facilitate, during assembly on the system, the pairing of chains with similar lengths.