The most important part of an electric chain hoist is the chain itself. Always use OEM chains as they are specifically made for the matching hoist load sprocket. Electric hoist chains are case hardened meaning that only the very outer part of the chain is hardened. Once the hardened outer layer is worn, the softer core is exposed and wears away much quicker than one would imagine. It is therefore imperative that daily operators are made aware of their responsibility to ensure that the machinery they are operating is safe to use.
Lubrication is another necessity owing to the aforementioned case hardening and will increase the life of your chain. Improper lubrication is the chief cause of chain wear and this factor must be given due attention on a daily basis. A damaged chain can cause a real chain reaction (pun intended) that results in damaged sprockets and chain guides, costing you not only a chain replacement but lengthy downtime as well, as most chain hoists require the entire unit to be stripped in order to replace sprockets and other internals.
A good hoist supplier will include an amount of spare lubrication with your hoist and advise on the best lubrication going forward.
Also look out for more obvious signs that your chain is not in good condition, such as nicks or gouges and disfigurement.
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