Most if not all revolutionary inventions arise from identifying a problem and seeking a solution. Our founder, Henry Hapman, invented the tubular drag conveyor in 1945 when he recognized the need for a conveyor that could effectively move material from one point to another when the distance between the two was not a clear, straight path.
Since then, the tubular drag conveyor has become the preferred material handling system for many manufacturers who process bulk materials in their operations. This equipment’s ability to convey around bends and across planes is just one of its appealing qualities. Others include energy efficiency, dust-tight operation and the gentle handling of material with minimal particle degradation.
All of these attributes should make a tubular drag conveyor a no-brainer for every bulk material handling application, right? Not necessarily. For starters, specific customers have specific conveying needs, and tubular drag conveyors don’t always fit the bill. That’s why we also offer flexible screw conveyors, vacuum conveyors and en-masse drag conveyors.
But in some operations, there is a one prevailing reason why a Hapman tubular drag conveyor is the last choice—even when it would be the most effective solution:
The initial purchase price is the primary concern.
Our chain-type tubular drag conveyors are a premium solution. The notion that they are more robustly built than their cable-driven cousins is a relatively easy concept for potential users to understand. Still, some manufacturers choose cable because it is the most affordable option at the outset. Unfortunately, those initial savings disappear quickly when costs related to inefficient energy usage, durability issues and downtime inevitably start adding up.
Once a customer realizes that a chain-driven tubular drag conveyor is a better option, there is another choice to consider: round-link chain or engineered chain? At Hapman, we offer both types of chain, but we believe there are 5 reasons to avoid round-link chains in tubular drag conveyors. Again, when a customer chooses to go the round-link route, the decision is almost always dictated by the initial purchase price. Working with an equipment provider that doesn’t offer the engineered-chain option can be another factor that leads a customer down the round-link road.
Only Hapman employs three engineered chain styles including rivetless, seal-pin and uni-seal. These additional chain options give us the ability to custom engineer our tubular drag conveyors for a wider array of applications. They also offer superb reliability in demanding industrial environments and any situation where uptime is critical.
We understand why some customers choose the most inexpensive option when equipping their facility with a tubular drag conveyor. Budgets may be tight, options may be limited and the big picture may take a back seat to short-term savings. However, over the long haul, a tubular drag conveyor with an engineered chain offers lower energy consumption, less wear and fewer maintenance headaches compared to other available options.
When the lowest possible overall cost of owning a tubular drag conveyor is more important than the lowest possible initial cost, Hapman has the best solution. Request a quote today or contact a product specialist to learn more about the evaluation points we use to determine the total cost of ownership of different types of conveying equipment.