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#Industry News

4B solves chain conveyor problems at major US rice mill

4B Bolt 'N' Go chain saves on repairs & maintenance. Hot work permits no longer required for chain repairs!

A major rice mill from southern Arkansas with an annual capacity of over 420,000 tonnes operates with multiple flat bottom chain conveyors. The conveyors, some as long as 240 feet, were running with steel-bushed chain, welded steel backer flights and UHMW paddles. Tramp material would sometimes get into the conveyor, obstructing the movement of the chain and damaging paddles. Broken paddles carried downstream would damage other pieces of equipment. The chain was difficult to dismantle for paddle repair and the reshaping of steel backer flights inside the conveyor required a hot work permit, which meant extended downtime and production loss.

4B engineers were called in to inspect the mill's equipment and propose solutions. Following an onsite product demonstration, the mill decided to replace the steel-bushed chain and welded flights with 4B Bolt-N-Go chain and bolt-on paddles. Bolt-N-Go chain employs nylon paddles directly bolted onto the chain links, so no welded steel backer flights are required. The paddles were manufactured using coloured nylon to make them detectable by the plant’s colour sorter. The chain’s unique bolted construction allows the paddles to be quickly and easily replaced while the chain is in tension.

A single bolt secures the paddles to the chain, making installation simple and up to 3 times faster than traditional welded steel. Also, Bolt-N-Go nylon paddles are flexible enough to bend past obstructions and return to shape - unlike steel paddles that bend and need replacement. Another advantage is that the nylon can be trimmed to suit conveyor widths, reducing spare inventory.


• Hot work permits no longer required for chain repairs

• Eliminated the risk of broken steel backer flights

• Reduction in downtime

• Reduction in planned maintenance

• More energy efficient - thanks to lower weight of the nylon paddles

• Improved manual handling

• Health and safety compliance

rice mill


  • Hunslet Rd, Leeds, UK
  • 4B Group