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Tubular Drag Chain Conveyor Vs. Cable Conveyor: An Honest Comparison

One of the most predominant perceived alternatives to the original tubular drag chain conveyor is the cable conveyor. And while it is a perceived alternative, chain-type tubular drag conveyors and cable conveyors cannot rightly be considered for the same applications. They are different calibers of equipment altogether.

While cable conveyors are generally low-torque, high-speed operating, chain-type tubular drags are the opposite; high-torque, low speed operating. This not only enables them to start and stop while fully loaded but makes them more energy efficient and durable to abrasion. Cable conveyors are constructed of light gauge tubing that is joined together using compression fittings. Meanwhile, chain-type tubular drags are constructed of schedule 40 pipe that is joined together using heavy plate flanges.

There are also notable differences between operating conditions when moving difficult material. Chain systems are ideal for this as the strong, steady pull resulting from the torque and speed of chain-drive systems moves heavy, wet material.

When comparing cable versus tubular drag chain conveyors, most tend to look at the purchase price as their sole factor. While the purchase price of cable conveyors are much lower than tubular drag chain conveyors, when the total cost of ownership is taken into account, there is often no price advantage held by the cable conveying system. Some of these total cost of ownership evaluation points are:

  • Purchase/Price
  • Energy/Utility Cost
  • Installation Costs
  • Service and Training/ Operating Labor
  • Cost/Availability of Spare Parts
  • Ease of Maintenance
  • Quality/Rework/Unexpected Downtime
  • Cleaning/Sanitation

Chain vs. Cable Comparison for Tubular Drag Conveyors | Hapman.com

To download the full chart comparison of the tubular drag chain conveyor versus cable, click here.