On the Move - News

  • Tsubaki Advantage

    Zip chain actuator special features

    Zip chain is comprised of two strands of special chains that zips together into a single column that enables push and pull function over long strokes. The unzipped chains can be compactly housed for space savings compared to the conventional pneumatic and hydraulic cylinders.

    Special Features:

    1. Compact size—It can be installed in tighter spaces than other linear actuators; small space is required during retracted state; custom housing can be ordered for specific space considerations.

    2. High Speed Capability—with a maximum speed of 1000mm/sec, the zip chain actuator operates much quicker than screw jacks and hydraulic/pneumatic cylinders.

    3. Free Mounting Directions

    4. Multi-point stopping—The zip chain actuator can be stopped at multiple arbitrary positions with high precision.

    5. Eco-friendly& highly efficient—Comparison  of annual CO2 emissions and annual power consumption:

  • Cost Savings

    Providing Solutions to Common Actuator Problems in Today’s Industry – Part 1

    Stacking/Unstacking Applications

    Product Shipping Lines – Stacking Equipment

    The Issues:

    The Use of Hydraulic Cylinders meant that in-flowing products were handled one at a time, bottom to top, by lifters that were installed by digging pits. The extra space required for the pits infringes on over all space requirements, thus limiting the amount of lifters per area and making maintenance difficult to conduct. This proves very difficult to mitigate the amount of oil leakages per unit – a common factor with such applications.

    These Hydraulic Cylinders are also slow in movement and cannot be sped up resulting in an inability to move more volume (product) despite the need for higher production capacity demands.

    The Solution:

    Zip Chain actuators (ZCA) can function at various speeds, allowing for the needs of increased production to be met.

    These actuators are not only able to handle more, but they do so with less. ZCA have a coiled construction – this means that upon retraction, the chain coils in a one-way directed flow, ensuring the chain is properly kept and guided back to its ‘rest’ position. These units are extremely compact.

    The massive benefit to this – no more pits are required! This makes the very minimal maintenance required easy to uphold, as well as ensuring a clean and environmentally friendly environment as there are no hydraulic materials such as oil.

    Automation of Manual Stacking Work

    The Issues:

    The most glaring issue with manual loading; Manpower. This method of work not only puts strain on the employee and involve health risks as production requirement increases, but it is also inefficient as the load being transferred relies solely on the limits of the employees lifting ability.

    The Solution:

    Zip Chain Actuators (ZCA) can replace the manpower required for lifting and loading, thus eliminating the need for health and safety concerns for employees.

    These actuators are also developed and engineered so that the ability to work with high precision multi-point stopping has become possible. This means the conveyor will now be able to work with and deliver products with height matching capabilities.

    Again, the ZCA are compact which allows for more products that can be stacked at a time – increase in production runs and time efficiency.

  • Tech Time

    Common Methods of Use

    1. Overhead Lift

    • Can be installed in small spaces or mounted to roof/ceiling mounted rail
    • Reduces cycle time of conveyance with increased speed capability
    • Used in electronic manufacturing facilities (Phones, various other devices, etc.)


    2. Product Tray De-palletizer

    • Increased tray capacity with lower retracted height of ZCA
    • Mounted closer to floor without need to dig for retraction of piston type actuators
    • Highly accurate with multi-point stopping
    • Speed can be controlled depending on cycle requirement

    3. Furnace Door Operating Mechanism

    • Small footprint without protrusion from equipment
    • Increased speed capability ensures improved temperature control inside of furnace
    • Reduced noise compared to pneumatic cylinder and no oil mist (hydraulic)

    4. Heavy Load Workpiece Lift

    • Synchronized operation using multiple ZCA’s for greater thrust allowance when used in parallel arrangement
    • Single motor, compact design with use of dual-shaft model gearmotor/reducer


    5. High Lift Equipment

    • Two units used in a series of arrangements for increased stoke length
    • Increased speed allows for faster cycle times
    • Significantly reduced height in retracted state

    6. Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGV)

    • Used to transfer between conveyors of different heights
    • Lift unit can be accommodated to fit compactly inside of AGV
    • Multi-point stopping ensures versatility between different conveyor heights

    7. Container Sorting Equipment

    • Enables horizontal push and pull as well as lifting mechanism
    • Eliminates protruding parts
    • Precise multi-point position enables horizontal transfer


    8. Work Lift & Transfer Equipment

    • Enables extended strokes in lifting applications without space above
    • Can be used in parallel/synchronized arrangement to increase load allowance

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Tsubaki Advantage

Cost Savings

Tech Talk