Proven Performance

You Get What You Pay For - Why Inexpensive Chain Will Cost You More

Chain Compare

When looking to purchase roller chain, it's tempting to consider the many low priced options. But making a decision based on purchase price alone can actually cost you more in the long run. Instead of focusing on short term cost savings, focus on the total cost of ownership - or all of the expenses that will be incurred. Total cost of ownership analysis is an ideal tool for ensuring that short term savings don't turn into long term expenses.

A total cost of ownership analysis starts with a look at two different types of expenses, the first of which are operational or direct costs. Operational costs include product cost plus additional parts and any labour required for installation. For example:

Chain Compare Price table

Based on the cost of these two chain options, it would seem that $150 could be saved by purchasing the lower priced chain.

What isn't being taken into account though are the additional expenses that are incurred over the life of the chain. These additional costs are opportunity, or downtime costs, which by comparison, can quickly make any difference in purchase price seem insignificant.

To help illustrate opportunity cost, the chart below details the performance levels of two products, a #50 chain from an Asian manufacturer and a #50 Diamond series chain. Both products were tested under the same operating conditions with supervision by an independent third party. The results indicate the number of hours the roller chain ran until it reached an elongation point of 0.096 inches or 0.002 inches per pitch.

ANSI #50 Accelerated Wear Test Results

ANSI Accelerated Wear Test Results

In this instance, the roller chain from an Asian manufacturer ran for 120 hours while the Diamond series chain ran for 384 hours. From this, we can calculate that it would take three chains to meet the equivalent run time of one Diamond series chain as shown in the illustration below:

Productivity Versus Downtime

In addition to an increase in direct costs from having to purchase three roller chains to meet the performance level of a single Diamond series chain, there are also three instances of downtime. Downtime costs vary significantly by industry and can range from several hours up to several weeks at a loss of production dollars that can be anywhere from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. As an example, a large global baker was experiencing downtime costs of $1,050/hour with three hours required to resume production. The addition of opportunity cost to this assessment reveals the following:

Chain Compare Price table

What appeared initially to be a cost savings of $150 in actuality would end up costing an additional $4,180. With a total cost of ownership analysis, the affects of even a small purchase on profitability are much easier to see.

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ASME / ANSI Roller Chain

Diamond Series

Diamond Chain's extensive ASME / ANSI product assortment provides industry leading wear life and is available in a variety of base materials, finishes, and lubrications.

Attachement Roller Chain

Infinity Series

Available in ANSI 25 through 240 and ISO 05B through 032B. Includes single and multi-strand, heavy series, and solutions for specialized applications.

Oil and Gas Chain

Sapphire Series

Includes ANSI 25 through 160 and ISO 05B through 048B single and multi-strand, and select maintenance-free, and attachment solutions.