Category Archive: Uncategorized

Optimizing Lubrication Maintenance for Overrunning Clutches

Tsubaki PBUS Clutch


Overrunning clutches, also known as freewheel clutches, are a critical component of many power transmission systems. In overrunning applications, the clutch transmits torque in one direction to a connected gear, sprocket, pulley, or driven shaft.

Ongoing lubrication maintenance is one of the most difficult challenges with overrunning clutches, which are often used in heavy duty applications such as manufacturing, agriculture, and mining.

To ensure a long, effective running life for a clutch, it needs to have regular lubrication maintenance—some applications may even require maintenance multiple times a month. However, it might not be easy to stop production and assign personnel to conduct the maintenance. Also, the clutch might be hard to reach, which could cause longer downtimes.

These challenges to regular lubrication maintenance might make it more likely that the clutch maintenance schedule isn’t met, and the clutch performance falters as a result. That could bring about more downtime in the long term, as the clutch fails earlier and more often than expected.


A Solution to Lubrication Maintenance Challenges

If you are looking for a solution to optimize your clutch maintenance practices, Tsubaki’s PBUS Series Cam Clutches offer several advantages:

  • Easy installation: Tsubaki’s PBUS Series Cam Clutch has a specially designed spiro-lock and ships pre-packed with synthetic grease lubrication to simplify the installation process.
  • Longer maintenance cycle: The synthetic grease lubrication used in the PBUS Series Cam Clutch has a significantly longer maintenance cycle than similar clutches using oil lubrication, with most applications only requiring lubrication maintenance twice a year.
  • Increased cost savings: The combination of the spiro-lock and grease lubrication minimizes the risk of lubricant leaks, offers a long service life, and maximizes the maintenance cycle to reduce costs associated with lubrication maintenance.
  • Versatile applications: The PBUS allows for easy mounting of gears, pulleys, and sprockets, making it a versatile solution for many applications.
    Several Options in Cam Clutch Design

Innovative designs and features incorporated into our cam clutch products assure efficient and dependable operation in the harshest environments. Our cams are made with a special alloy steel to provide extended wear, increased fatigue life, and greater torque holding capacity. The races are made of high quality alloy steel with high surface hardness and core toughness, and are precision ground to provide excellent concentricity and accurate cam rotation.

Tsubaki offers a wide selection of clutches designed to fit a variety of application needs, including internal and external backstops as well as overrunning and indexing clutches.

For more information on Tsubaki’s PBUS Series Cam Clutch, click here or contact us today to request specific information from our team.


A Smarter Approach to Identifying Sprocket Wear

Tsubaki Smart Tooth Sprocket

Over time, the sprocket tooth profile area gets worn down by the chain roller. The reduction in the sprocket tooth profile area can result in poor fit and alignment, accelerating chain wear. This can eventually lead to tension loss, slippage, a jumped chain, and costly downtime.

“Worn parts that are not replaced correctly in a timely manner will cause a ‘chain-reaction’ resulting in ancillary damage to connected components, increased labor, higher maintenance costs, more unscheduled down time, and potentially an inferior manufactured product,” says Derek Glugosh, Tsubaki Sprocket Product Manager.

A jumped chain could be a sign your sprockets need to be replaced. You might be tempted to remedy this situation by simply shortening the number of links in the chain to prevent the chain from coming off. But this is a temporary fix that increases the load on the bearings and accelerates chain wear. The worn sprocket will continue to damage the chain and associated equipment until it is replaced.

If you’re not sure whether your sprockets need to be replaced, here are a few signs that might indicate a problem:

  • Loose or wobbly sprockets on the drive shaft, which might be caused by a worn bore, key, or shaft.
  • Wear on one side of the sprocket plate, which usually indicates misalignment.
  • Wear on the working faces of the sprocket teeth, which could be a sign of inadequate lubrication. Watch for scratches, galls, grooves, or visible changes in the tooth shape, such as hooked or shark fin shapes.

Tsubaki’s Smart Tooth® Sprockets allow users to easily identify signs of wear and schedule drive system maintenance before critical failure occurs. Strategically placed wear indicator pins provide a visual indication that a sprocket is either still within the allowable wear tolerance, or that it needs to be replaced.

“When you factor in the cost of replacing other critical drive system components, or the event of non-scheduled downtime, implementing Tsubaki Wear Indicator sprockets makes sense,” says Glugosh. “By using a sprocket with strategically placed wear indicator pins on the thrust faces of the tooth, the maintenance technician has a visual warning of excessive wear. It allows for the scheduling of maintenance rather than run-to-failure.”

Tsubaki specializes in designing and manufacturing high-quality sprockets for a variety of applications and offers additional troubleshooting and on-site services to avoid problems such as misalignment, excessive wear, noise, and more.

To learn more about Smart Tooth Sprockets, download the brochure or contact us today.

Guide to Indexing, Overrunning and Backstopping Clutches


Tsubaki Cam Clutches

Mechanical clutches are a vital component of many power transmission systems where you need to apply torque in one direction of rotation. Recent innovations in clutch design and technology are making these products even more reliable and efficient.

The clutch commonly used today provides enhanced protection against backlash and rollover, as well as consistent performance in harsh environments.

While all clutches use the same basic principles of operation, there are a variety of options designed to meet specific application requirements. The three most common types of clutch applications are:

1. Backstopping

In backstop applications, clutches allow the drive shaft to rotate freely in one direction. As soon as torque is reversed, the clutch automatically engages with a fixed frame to prevent any movement in the opposite direction. Backstop clutches are used as a safety measure to prevent reverse movement of incline conveyors, bucket elevators, or pump systems. They not only help protect critical equipment from damage, they also help ensure worker safety.

2. Overrunning

In many overrunning applications, clutches spin freely the majority of the time, occasionally being called upon to engage and drive. A common application for overrunning clutches is a two-speed drive, where two motors with different output speeds are connected to a single driven shaft through one-way clutches. When the primary motor drives the machine at a low speed, the clutch engages. When the secondary electric motor drives the machine, the clutch overruns, switching from low speed to high speed.

3. Indexing

In an indexing application, reciprocating (or back and forth) motion is transferred into only one-direction of motion. Usually, a crank mechanism applies the reciprocating motion to the clutch. The clutch drives in the forward stroke and overruns (spins freely) on the return stroke. Indexing clutches are often used for applications involving material feeders. The clutch makes it possible to drive the feeder forward at a variable speed and to start and stop at set intervals.


Cam Clutch Solutions from Tsubaki

Tsubaki offers a wide selection of clutches designed to fit a variety of application needs, including internal and external backstops as well as overrunning and indexing clutches.

Innovative designs and features incorporated into our cam clutch products assure efficient and dependable operation in the harshest environments. Our cams are made with a special alloy steel to provide extended wear, increased fatigue life, and greater torque holding capacity. The races are made of high quality alloy steel with high surface hardness and core toughness, and are precision ground to provide excellent concentricity and accurate cam rotation.

For more information on our cam clutch product offerings and specifications, download the Cam Clutch Catalog or contact us today.


Non-Rollover Backstops Offer Enhanced Safety

Tsubaki Chain and backstops

Backstopping clutches, also called holdbacks or backstops, are used as a safety measure to prevent reverse movement of incline conveyors, bucket elevators or pump systems. They not only help protect critical equipment from damage, but they also ensure worker safety.

In backstop applications, backstops allow the drive shaft to rotate freely in one direction. As soon as torque is reversed, however, the clutch automatically locks into place to prevent any movement in the opposite direction. This ensures that machinery – like a conveyor belt carrying heavy bulk materials – does not roll backward.

However, not all backstops offer the same safety and reliability. Even if a backstop has been selected appropriately for an application, unanticipated high-torque loads can cause it to fail, resulting in a rollover. Costly damage, personal injury, and/or downtime may occur if a backstop does not fulfill its backstopping function.

For high-torque applications, it is important to have a robust and reliable backstop solution. New innovations in backstop technology make it possible to prevent rollover and ensure maximum protection for your equipment and employees.

Non-Rollover Backstops

Advanced engineering of the shape and size of the cam element can help enhance backstopping ability. Tsubaki’s BS-F series backstop uses a custom engineered cam design that has a larger profile and higher torque rating than other leading competitors. Even if an unexpectedly large reverse torque occurs, the cams will not roll over, preventing a conveyor from reversing.

Tsubaki BS-F Backstop

The BS-F offers several other enhancements to extend wear life and improve performance. To reduce friction between components, the BS-F utilizes synthetic grease lubrication in a labyrinth-sealed design. This lowers the amount of required maintenance, by removing the need to monitor oil levels, refill the backstop, or measure the amount of moisture in the lubricant. The grease in a BS-F only requires yearly changing for most applications. The labyrinth seal design also prevents dust and other contaminants from getting into the clutch assembly, minimizing wear and ensuring a lower operating temperature.

Optimizing Cable Carrier Performance in Gliding Applications

Kabelschlepp Guide Channels


Cable carrier systems are a critical part of your operations. When installing cable carriers for long travel distances, innovative solutions are needed to ensure proper support, alignment, and system function.

When a cable carrier exceeds its unsupported length, the upper run of the cable carrier is designed to glide on top of the lower run. Guide channels are an essential component for these types of installations. They prevent the upper run from slipping off the lower run, ensuring that the system runs quietly and experiences minimal wear. For vertical applications, such as elevators or storage and retrieval systems, a vertical guide channel provides optimal lateral support.

Guide channels can be mounted to the ground, or off the ground onto a supporting structure. Standard designs are available in zinc plated steel, aluminum and stainless steel. Depending on your application needs, additional styles and customizations are available:


  • Modular systems – Modular systems, like the Tsubaki®- KabelSchlepp® Alu Guide System and Steel Guide System, allow for quick and easy installation. Open construction prevents the accumulation of dirt and debris, ensuring reliable operations.
  • Enclosed systems Covered guide channels protect the cable carrier system against environmental factors, including coarse dirt, falling parts, snow, or ice. Maintenance-friendly covers can be easily opened for inspection, and the modular design allows for quick and easy installation.
  • Vertical systems – Vertical applications, such as elevators, crane lifts, and fast-moving storage and retrieval systems, require vertical guide channels. Tsubaki-KabelSchlepp offers a complete ready-to-install system for vertical hanging applications, including driver, cables, and strain reliefs, for easy installation.

As a global leader in the manufacturing of power transmission and motion control products, Tsubaki-KabelSchlepp is committed to helping customers optimize performance and reliability for their operations. Our extensive range of accessories for a variety of different applications turn cable carriers into complete cable carrier systems. In addition to guide channels and support trays, we also offer application-specific products, such as support rollers and custom drive arms.

From design to installation, Tsubaki-KabelSchlepp engineering and service teams offer unparalleled support that you can rely on. Learn more about our full selection of materials and customized cable carrier solutions, or contact us today for assistance choosing one that meets your requirements.

Drum Sprockets Extend Wear Life for Industrial Drag Chain Conveyors


Drum sprockets
The right sprocket assembly allows conveyor systems to run smoothly without damaging equipment. If your sprockets are showing signs of wear – including chipped or broken teeth – it could be a sign that you need a more robust sprocket solution.

Industrial drag chain conveyors, such as those used in the paper and pulp, sawmill and metal recycling industries, often require a special type of sprocket engineered for heavy loads – the drum sprocket.

Drum sprockets have thick teeth, plates and hubs designed to support drag chains carrying heavy bulk materials. Common applications for drum sprockets include:

  • Drag conveyers that carry logs to a debarker
  • Waste conveyers that transport bark, edging and trimmings out of the plant
  • Woodchip or sawdust conveyers that carry materials through pulp and paper mills
  • Metal recycling conveyers that transfer large scrap metal (such as crushed cars) to shredders

An important feature of the drum sprocket is its wide surface area, which helps reduce contact pressure between the sprocket and the chain. The result? Extended chain wear life.


Customized to meet your needs

A plate style drum sprocket

A-Plate Style

Full-Face Style Drum Sprocket

Full-Face Style

Tsubaki’s Drum Sprockets are available in multiple styles, including full face, A-plate and traction wheels, to meet a variety of application requirements.

The full-face style offers the most surface area, which makes it the standard choice for most industrial applications. Tsubaki also offers a variety of hub styles, including finished bores, bushed-style and keyless locking.


To reduce installation time and costs associated with downtime, drum sprockets can come fully assembled with a shaft, sprockets, and pillow block bearings already configured for quick and easy mounting.

Pillow Block Bearing OrangePillow Block Bearing

Tsubaki Shaft AssembliesShaft Assemblies

Tsubaki WeldsSuperior Welds

Tsubaki’s quality of manufacturing is what sets us apart from the competition and routed from a rich history of experience. All of Tsubaki’s drum sprockets are manufactured from top-grade, heat treated steel to withstand heavy shock loading, resist abrasion, and provide long service life. Thickness minimums of each component start at ½” and go as high as 1.5” dependent on application and overall width of the drum. Tsubaki has the ability to source a variety of plate, rolled cans and pipe thicknesses based on the customer’s needs or application. Only metal which can maintain proper welds and stresses of application torque are utilized in manufacturing and will never include inferior spot or one-sided tooth welds. To learn more about Tsubaki drum sprocket assemblies and select the right configurations for your facility, contact us today.

WORKHORSE® Chain Offers Dependable Strength and Reliability for Bucket Elevators

Tsubaki Workhorse Series Chain

In cement, mining, fertilizer and industrial aggregate applications, chain bucket elevators are used to transport bulk materials vertically. Demanding environments like these often challenge system reliability and require unique, innovative chain solutions. Balancing adequate strength with features that effectively defend against corrosion and abrasion can often be a challenge but is certainly feasible and should be proactively sought to enhance the reliable and predictable nature of an elevator’s operation.

For hassle-free, efficient operation, make sure your bucket elevator chain is designed with these qualities in mind:

1. Fatigue Strength: Bucket elevators are fatigue machines that subject a chain to continuous loading and unloading cycles. High-impact, heavy-duty applications of this nature call for materials of superior strength and outstanding toughness, assembled utilizing high interference press fits. Alloy and/or premium grade carbon steels are typically utilized for the chain as they offer the highest level of stability and durability.

2. Wear Resistance: Bulk industrial aggregates like finish cement and limestone are highly abrasive. Over time, the infiltration of aggressive small particles within a chain’s bearing area can cause the chain to wear and elongate, which eventually will impact the overall efficiency and reliability of the system, driving up maintenance costs and increasing the chance of an unplanned outage. Strategically deployed heat treatment methods, surface coatings and/or seals can help protect chain bushings and pins from destructive debris.

3. Corrosion Resistance: Often times elevators must transport caustic materials such as coal, synthetic gypsum or fly ash. In cases where aggressive corrosion is likely or present, heat treatable martensitic stainless steels are typically utilized for the chain pins and/or bushings. In addition, seals and/or surface treatments such as zinc galvanization may be strategically utilized.

Tsubaki Workhorse Engineering Class Chain

Tsubaki WORKHORSE Chain

Tsubaki’s WORKHORSE chain was engineered to be the industrial “workhorse” of the elevator chain segment. It was specifically designed to resist the abrasive and demanding forces of aggregate elevators. Manufactured with premium, high strength and heat-treated steels, Tsubaki’s WORKHORSE Series carries premier strength ratings and demonstrates superior wear resistance, even in harsh environments. The 5000 Series was developed to resist abrasion in single and dual strand centrifugal systems, while the 4000 Series is applicable to dual strand continuous discharge systems. The Pony Series is utilized mainly in mid-size elevator applications.

Tsubaki Workhorse Elevator Chains

High interference press fits deliver substantial fatigue resistance and market leading stability. Premium upgrades include stainless and/or plated pins and bushings, as well as various types of joint seals to help protect against abrasive and corrosive contaminants. Tsubaki’s patented SJ3™- Sealed Joint Technology and its proprietary Titan®XL – Wear Resistant Surface Treatment are common upgrades for the WORKHORSE Series chains. Both technologies have thoroughly proven to extend chain life in the most demanding applications.

Workhorse on Smart Tooth Sprockets

Tsubaki also offers a diverse portfolio of cast, fabricated and polymeric buckets, including standard and customized designs to fit virtually any OEM system. To ensure simple and fast installation, Tsubaki can deliver pre-assembled buckets and chain. This also helps ensure that all assembly components properly fit together before arriving onsite.  Matching WORKHORSE sprockets and BS-F Series Backstops are also available to accompany WORKHORSE chain assemblies.


To learn more about Tsubaki’s WORKHORSE chain, download the brochure. If you would like to have one of our field service engineers review your application in detail, please reach out to schedule a complimentary site visit.

Keyless POWER-LOCK® Ensures More Durable Drive Shaft Connections

keyway set up


Keyed joints are popular solutions for connecting drive shafts to additional machine components, such as gears, pulleys, and sprockets. Although keyed joints are often seen as the industry standard, they have several limitations in high-torque applications.

Understanding these limitations can help engineers identify more effective solutions for their drive shaft connections.


How keyed joints work

In a keyed connection, the “key” is a rectangular steel piece that fits snugly into carved notches, called “keyways,” on the drive shaft and the hub of a sprocket, gear or pulley. The key effectively locks the two pieces together and allows the drive shaft to transmit power and rotation to the other machine components.

Common problems with keyed systems include fretting and corrosion caused by the metal-to-metal contact between the key and the keyway. If a key fits too loosely within the keyway, backlash – or short periods of lost motion – can occur while starting, stopping or transmitting power during normal operation. If the key fits too snugly within the keyway, it might become difficult to remove over time, complicating future repair or maintenance. Trying to correct these issues by adjusting the fit of the keyway is tedious and can be expensive.

keyway setup problems


Keyways also create an additional stress point in the power transmission assembly, which reduces shaft strength and the ability to transmit torque. This is why keyed systems are not ideal for shock or impact loads, where high torque is applied in sudden, short bursts.


Alternatives to keyed joints

Other popular drive shaft connection systems include interference fits, also known as press fits. In an interference fit, the drive shaft and hub are connected by two tight fitting parts that are held together by friction once pushed together. The connection can also be welded together for added stability. Interference fits also have limitations, however, because they prevent operators from being able to easily remove the shaft from the hub for maintenance or replacement.



keyless locking devicekeyless locking device


A keyless POWER-LOCK® system can solve many of these engineering and maintenance challenges. Tsubaki offers a keyless POWER-LOCK device which relies on concentric surface pressure to affix gears, sprockets, and other drive components to a shaft.

Benefits of a keyless POWER-LOCK system

The keyless POWER-LOCK connection is durable and not affected by torsional load reversal or impact, which can damage keys and keyway connections. The Tsubaki POWER-LOCK can also support axial loads, where force is applied through the axis of the shaft-hub connection. Typical applications with these forces include indexing tables and bevel gears.


The POWER-LOCK is also easy to install – simply slide the device into position and tighten the bolts per the instruction manual. The components can be disassembled just as easily, with most models capable of being disassembled and reinstalled 10 times, so maintenance or replacement of worn parts is simpler and faster than it is with other connection methods.

Tsubaki Power-Lock

You can also eliminate the need for time-consuming machining of keys and keyways with POWER-LOCK. No metal needs to be removed from the shaft to install the POWER-LOCK, so the strength of the shaft can be kept at its original diameter. This is especially important for hollow-shaft applications and long, heavy shaft applications.

To learn more about the Tsubaki Keyless POWER-LOCK system, click here, or contact us today to request specific information from our team.


Shock Relay Manages Electrical Line Surges to Prevent Damage

Shock Relay Overload Protection Device

An unexpected electrical surge or an obstruction on your production line can put unnecessary strain on motors and other drive components, resulting in equipment failure and unscheduled downtime. While shocks and jams are common, and sometimes unavoidable, having the proper overload protection device can help you save on expensive maintenance and repairs.

With the Tsubaki® Electronic Shock Relay, you can detect problems on your production line before they result in costly equipment damage. The system monitors for an increase or decrease in line amperage, and, in the event of a surge, automatically shuts down the line to prevent damage to critical equipment.


How Electronic Shock Relay Works

The Shock Relay device is easy to set up, allowing you to get equipment up and running again in no time. The system requires three set-points, or overload parameters, to be established at installation. The first set-point, the amperage limit, determines the maximum amperage that is desired for the motor. The second point, the shock time, determines how long the system can continue operation if amperage exceeds the first set-point before it trips. The last point, the start time, determines how long to allow the motor to pull amperage above the amperage limit during startup.

If an overload is detected, the Shock Relay will shut down the line by sending a shutdown signal to the motor contactor and display an alarm on the Shock Relay. This allows you to safely remove the obstruction from the production line or investigate the cause of the electrical surge. Once the issue has been corrected, you can reset the system automatically or manually at the touch of a button.

shock relays

Getting Started with Tsubaki Shock Relay

Shock Relays generally work with any voltage AC motor – single or three-phase – and are commonly used in applications involving conveyors or bucket elevators, like those used in the material handling or food processing industries. Shock Relays can also be used with pumps, filters, and other equipment found in water treatment or chemical plants, as well as tapping machines and drill presses relied on by the machine tool industry.

Each Shock Relay device can protect equipment that is up to 1,000 feet away, but it is best practice to have one Shock Relay monitor per motor. Shock Relays are solid state electronics with no wear components and are designed to retain set point accuracy to ensure safe, reliable and efficient operations day after day.

In addition to its Electronic Shock Relay devices, Tsubaki also offers a line of mechanical shock guards for harsh environments where dust, humidity and high temperatures create additional challenges for electronic devices.

Whatever your application needs may be, Tsubaki has the solution you need to safeguard your power equipment and eliminate unscheduled downtime.

To learn more about Electronic Shock Relay, click here or contact us today to request specific information from our team.

Tsubaki KabelSchlepp PROTUM® Office Series Enables Smart Cable Management


KabelSchlepp Protum

Cable management is an important consideration for any space that will house technology equipment or systems—including servers, computers, monitors, and more. Control rooms and data centers for powerplants, utility companies, emergency dispatch centers, and other industries providing essential services all need effective cable management solutions to ensure efficient and uninterrupted operation.If cables are not properly organized, they can get tangled and become difficult for a technician to conduct maintenance, troubleshoot and repair. They can also take up valuable desk space and are not visually appealing.  The Tsubaki® Kabelschlepp® PROTUM® Office Series offers a space-saving cable management solution for these environments. The small, light cable carriers can be easily installed at workstations and in control rooms to keep cables organized and protected.


Layout allows for proper spacing between cables

With an inner width of 50 mm and the ability to install cables along both sides of the center element, PROTUM Office allows for complete separation of data and power cables. Ensuring the proper separation is important because power cables can create an electromagnetic interference that will slow the speed of data transmission if the two cables are positioned too closely together.

Easy installation saves time

Installing PROTUM Office is quick and easy – simply press the cables into the tracks. PROTUM Office also offers a high degree of customization in terms of how it is positioned to the workstation. End connectors can be fixed underneath table tops or cable ducts, to rectangular or round table legs, or to the floor.


Sleek design blends in with office environments


KabelSchlepp Protum Office Cable Carrier

Tucking away electrical cables also helps keep workspaces clear and organized. With a sleek, linkless design, PROTUM Office blends right into the office environment. Available in a variety of color combinations, including silver, black, and white, PROTUM Office can also be customized to match many desk designs.

In addition to PROTUM Office, Tsubaki KabelSchlepp offers several other customized cable carrier solutions for standard applications. Our specialists are available to support customers from the planning and design stage to the onsite installation of the complete system.

To learn more about PROTUM Office, download the brochure, or contact us today to request more information from our team.