How to determine the correct table top chain speed through a machine.


The correct speed of the chain should be machine pitch + 10%. Machine pitch refers to the product spacing in the machine. On a rotary machine, an easy way of determining pitch is to measure product path diameter, multiply by pi to get circumference , and then divide by the number of heads:

    1. 60" pitch diameter x pi = 188.5"
    2. 188.5" / 48 heads = 3.93" pitch

Another way to get the pitch is to measure an infeed or discharge star pitch diameter, multiply by pi to get circumference, and divide by the number of pockets:

    1. 13" pitch diameter x pi = 40.8"
    2. 40.8" / 6 pockets = 6.8" pitch

On an inline machine, measure product spacing at discharge end of the timing screw to determine the machine pitch.

After determining the pitch of the machine you can determine the correct chain speed with the following formula:

    1. chain speed (ft./min.) = Bottles/min. x Machine Pitch (inches) x 1ft./12 inches x 1.1

The reason for the 1.1 multiplier is to run the chain 10% faster than the machine timing screw. This keeps the bottle pushed to the discharge end of the timing screw pocket.

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