Rolling right along

April 1, 2009
As technology changes and advances, some components and equipment inevitably fall by the wayside, often replaced by shiny new designs that are better,

As technology changes and advances, some components and equipment inevitably fall by the wayside, often replaced by shiny new designs that are better, smaller, and cheaper. Yet some products withstand the test of time, staying relatively unchanged with only minor refinements. Such is the case with the technology displayed in this handsome Roller Chain Drives advertisement from our April 1959 issue. We contacted Browning Manufacturing Co. to find out if these chain drives are still in production. Indeed they are. Browning is now part of Emerson Power Transmission, Florence, Ky., a division of Emerson Industrial Automation, St. Louis, Mo. Mark Heller, sprocket product specialist, gives us an update:

Does Browning still manufacture roller chain drives and do they still employ an interchangeable bushing system?

Yes. Our bushing system is essentially unchanged. In fact, many of our competitors have attempted to copy the Browning split-taper bushing system. Even so, although the design has been copied, we're the only manufacturer confident enough to offer a lifetime guarantee on our Split Taper bushings when they're used with our sprockets.

Also, just as it states in the 1959 advertisement, our sprockets are still available in more than 20,000 size and bore combinations in single, double, and triple configurations.

Has the technology for roller chain drives changed substantially over the past 50 years?

Standard roller chains have remained largely unchanged over the years, but there have been significant advancements in corrosion-resistant materials for washdown and other demanding applications. That said, although the sprocket technology remains basically the same, we believe that we are the only manufacturer to offer premium features on standard products.

For example, all of our shaft-ready sprockets with less than 30 teeth are hardened as standard with no additional charge or wait. All of our finished bore and split taper sprockets are keyed on centerline of tooth for timing applications and again, there's no additional charge or waiting involved. All Browning sprockets are designed for use with either regular or heavy chain and are engineered to minimize chain wear and maximize chain drive life. Finally, we offer a “twice the life guarantee” on our hardened tooth sprockets, because our testing shows that hardened tooth sprockets last at least two times as long as the unhardened versions.

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