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Chain vs. Cable: Which is More Cost-Effective for Tubular Drag Conveyors?

Chain vs. Cable: Which is More Cost-Effective for Tubular Drag Conveyors?

When it comes to choosing the right conveyor system for your production facility, there are a lot of factors to consider. 

One critical decision to make is whether to use a chain or cable conveyor for your tubular drag conveyor system. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but ultimately, the goal is to find the most cost-effective and efficient solution for your business. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore the key considerations to keep in mind when deciding between a chain or cable tube drag conveyor (also known as a tube disc conveyor).

We’ll dive into factors like capacity, layout challenges, durability and maintenance, line changeover, energy consumption, and more, so you can make an informed decision that aligns with your production goals and budget.

Capacity and Efficiency

When choosing a drag conveyor for your business, there are several factors to consider, such as volume and weight of materials, speed, inclines, and capacity. Both chain and cable drag conveyors have their unique advantages and disadvantages. 

Chain conveyors are better suited for heavier and larger materials, and they can handle high volumes of product at fast speeds. They also have a longer lifespan but require more maintenance. They may also not be suitable for delicate or fragile products that require gentle handling or lower speed. 

On the other hand, cable drag conveyors are more energy-efficient, require minimal maintenance, and offer greater precision and control over the conveyed product. They are ideal for smaller or lighter products and can accommodate inclines and turns with ease.  

In fact, cable drag conveyors have the capacity to move a maximum of 36,200 kg of products per hour while maintaining a low speed and virtually eliminating product degradation. Nevertheless, they can be designed to operate at a range of speeds, from slow and gentle conveying for fragile or delicate products to high-speed conveying for heavier or more robust products. 

Layout Obstacles

When it comes to optimizing space in a production facility, the choice between a chain or cable drag conveyor can play a significant role. In cases where there are layout challenges and limited space, chain disc conveyors are often the less favorable option than cablevey disc conveyors due to their rigid structure and fixed configuration. 

Unlike cablevey disc conveyors that are flexible and can be easily routed around obstacles, chain disc conveyors require a more straightforward path with fewer turns. This means that their layout may be limited to a more linear or L-shaped configuration, which can be challenging for facilities with complex layouts or limited space.

Additionally, cablevey disk conveyors offer the added benefit of being modular and scalable, meaning they can be easily expanded or adjusted as needed. They are also able to fit under almost any ceiling height due to their low profile design. 

This makes them an excellent option for companies that operate in older buildings or smaller facilities, allowing them to make the most of what they have without sacrificing money, efficiency, or safety.

Durability and Maintenance
When comparing chain drag conveyors and cable drag conveyors, durability and maintenance are important factors to consider. While both types of conveyors should be made with durable materials and designed for accessibility, cable drag conveyors have an edge in terms of maintenance.

As mentioned, chain disc conveyors require more maintenance particularly with adjusting chain tension and replacing the sprockets. The chain’s displacement or damage due to wear and tear can lead to potential issues such as jumping off the sprocket or even breaking, resulting in considerable downtime and expensive repair costs. 

Due to their simpler design and flexible components, cablevey disk conveyors are easier to clean and maintain than chain drag conveyors. Cable drag conveyors are constructed with fewer components, reducing the likelihood of component failure and minimizing the need for frequent repairs. Additionally, their flexible belting and easy-to-remove components make cleaning and maintenance a breeze.

This means that cable drag conveyors require less downtime for maintenance and repairs, which can ultimately lead to increased productivity and cost savings for your facility. 

Line Changeovers

In today’s fast-paced business environment, companies are under increasing pressure to reduce downtime and maximize productivity. This is especially true when it comes to line changeovers in food processing facilities where food safety and material breakage is of utmost importance. 

Traditional conveyor systems, such as chain drag conveyors, can be time-consuming and labor-intensive to disassemble and clean, leading to potential spoilage, lost production time, and increased costs. 

However, cable drag conveyors offer a more cost-effective and efficient solution. With their flexible design and easy-to-remove components, cable drag conveyors can be quickly disassembled and cleaned, minimizing downtime and reducing the risk of product contamination. 

Energy Consumption
Tubular cable conveyors have significant advantages over chain conveyors in terms of energy efficiency. The weight of chains makes them heavier and requires more energy to operate than cable systems. 

In fact, tubular chain conveyors often require larger motors and more power than their cable counterparts. While this may seem like a small difference, the long-term cost savings of using a cable conveyor can be significant. 

When choosing a conveyor system, it’s important to consider not just the initial cost, but also the ongoing expenses like power bills, maintenance costs, and compliance with safety regulations. In this regard, cable drag conveyors are a better option due to their lower energy consumption and overall cost-effectiveness.


In conclusion, choosing the right conveyor system for your production facility is crucial for optimizing space, increasing productivity, and reducing costs. 

When deciding between a chain or cable drag conveyor, it’s essential to consider factors such as capacity, layout obstacles, durability and maintenance, line changeovers, and energy consumption. 

While both chain and cable drag conveyors have their advantages and disadvantages, cable drag conveyors are often the more cost-effective and efficient solution due to their flexible design, low energy consumption, and minimal maintenance requirements. 

Ultimately, by carefully weighing these factors, you can choose the best tubular drag conveyor system that aligns with your production goals and budget.

If you are looking for the next conveyor for your food processing facilities, you may want to consider tubular cable and disc systems. Contact us at Cablevey to learn more about how we can help you choose the best type of tubular conveyor system for your plant.

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