Table Lift Components
What is a Table Lift?
Table lifts, or tables that can be automatically adjusted, are frames or columns that allow you to adjust the height of your table, lowering or raising it based on your preferences and needs. They are designed with flexibility and convenience in mind, giving users smooth height adjustment options for a variety of workstations. For instance, a production line employee can pack products in a crate or a box, keeping to an ergonomically appropriate working height without the need for ineffective lifting and turning. An office worker who suffers back problems can rotate between standing and sitting at their desk throughout the day to loosen their muscles. Besides its primary function of improving the lifting work efficiency, a lifting table also provides extra safety due to its high-load capacity and anti-collision feature, helping to minimize injuries and product damage that may happen in the workplace.
Key Features & Benefits of a Table Lift
It seems apparent that automating equipment is advantageous for all, especially when it comes to lifting and positioning heavy loads and improving work environments. Thanks to technological advancements, the use of table lifts has become more widespread and in turn, their benefits more obvious. Table lifts are predominantly utilized to minimize accidents, provide further convenience, and enhance productivity. Their key advantages include:
Significant Vertical Range
An adjustable table frame can be placed on any surface, with the most conventional position for the table lift being directly on the floor. Through the 3-stage dual-motor design, the frames can reach quite significant heights to cater for all users. If some extra height is required, additional legs can be affixed to the table to enable a higher lifting range. Alternatively, if the required lowered height needs to be level with the floor, the lift can be installed below floor level, being raised, and adjusted as required.
Smooth and Reliable Height Adjustment
The table can smoothly reach any height within its range with just the press of a button. Movement is seamless and produces low noise. Further to this, it can maintain this height even if a power failure occurs.
The platform of a lifting table or column is quite stable, differing this lifting device from alternatives such as hoists, cranes, or other height manipulators. The design of a table lifter allows it to reliably keep objects securely on its surface, which dramatically reduces the chances of any drop-offs or any suspended loads to swing and cause injury (which is what may happen when using cranes).
The platform can be equipped with a wide range of additional fixtures, starting from quite regular barriers and gates, and finishing with more unconventional tilt-tops, turn-tables, or conveyors. If used for highly specialized purposes, the platforms can feature tops provided with clamps or other special work components.
There are portable and semi-portable lifting tables on wheels or casters. Such models are often called lift carts and allow you to transport your table lift with ease.
In some more advanced models, the desired height positions of the table can be programmed and incorporated into handling systems. The device can ‘memorize’ predetermined heights and reach them when ordered on the remote control.
Low Maintenance & Long Life
Being reliable, durable, and sturdy in nature, adjustable table lifts are designed to withstand considerable loads over long years of heavy-duty service and require minimum maintenance. This is reflected in the 96-month (8-year) warranty for ActuatorZone table lifts.
Improved Working Conditions & Productivity
Table lifts help workers who rely on their physical activity when working, avoiding fatigue, low productivity, and injuries. If certain lifting is repetitive and continuous, injuries are imminent – from back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome to pinched fingers or even fractured bones. Table lifts eliminate these issues and risks, allowing the tabletop to come to them.
Table Lift Sets
Table Lifting Mechanisms
Table lifts are conventionally classified according to the type of mechanism applied to perform the raising of the table. Below is a list of the types of mechanisms applied to table lifts:
- Scissor-lift table. This is by far the most widespread variety. Table supports are extended when the power source collapses the base of a pantograph.
- Screw. As the screw rotates, the table moves along its length.
- Rack and pinion. The pinion provides the track along which the rack rotation propels the table.
- Chain and sprocket. A vertically oriented chain drive is used to rotate a sprocket moving the table upwards.
- Articulated. Alongside the expected vertical movement, this type also offers some horizontal shift. It is attained through the use of linear actuators which extend jointed arms.
- Telescoping. Here, linear actuators are set in the hollow cavity of a larger cylinder.
Parts of a Table Lift
Despite differing mechanisms and purposes, all table lifts possess identical structures that consists of five principal elements:
The Platform (aka Deck)
This is the top of the table lift where items that have to be raised are placed. The size of it depends on the requirements of the client, so there are no standard dimensions indicated. What remains stable, however, is the correlation between the size of the platform and the length (and width) of the legs and the base. The rule of thumb is that the deck cannot be smaller than the dimensions of the other two elements of the unit. Therefore, the platform may be higher and wider than the scissors and the base. Typically, the deck is ¼ inch steel. This is adjustable – if it is expected to operate in hostile environments, it can be manufactured with stainless steel also.
Being the foundation of the table lift, the base must be sturdy, solid, and rigid. Furnishing the base of the lift table with rollers allows movement of the legs along the tracks fastened at the bottom, thus raising, or lowering the deck. As is the case with the platform, the base sizes may vary depending on the type and capacity of the deck. Most types are designed to be placed on the floor however, the base can also be placed in a pit or provided with casters. As mentioned, lift tables on wheels can be easily transported and moved if required.
Located between the base and the deck, the motorized legs are what lift tables to their desired height through a steady, vertical movement. The legs may differ with based on their type, with some versions built with scissor legs and others with synchronized legs or columns. The 3-stage design in ActuatorZone frame legs are what give the desks their adjustability and range of motion.
The Control Unit
This unit is operated by pushing buttons, or, sometimes, through a foot pedal. It is the device responsible for activating the raising and adjusting of the table lift height.
The Power Source
This is one of the most important aspects of lifting tables. It is responsible for providing power to the whole system and enables the movement of the table lift. Without this, the table would not be adjustable and instead remain at the last previous set height.
Table lift manufacturers may provide some safety features which are likely to prevent or greatly reduce injuries for those who operate the device. These include:
These lock the table in case of an emergency or malfunction when the extension process is underway.
A special underlying device that is designed to be pressure-sensitive interrupts the downward movement of the deck in the case some object (like a limb or a finger) prevents the table from compressing.
An anti-collision feature is crucial for adjustable frames to ensure any obstruction immediately halts movement.
Lifting Column Sets
Types of Power Sources
Generally, while operating a lifting table, power is only needed to elevate it. Lowering it is attained through the application of a slow-release mechanism or a purge valve. All lifting tables can be broadly divided into manual and automatic, depending on the type of power source utilized in them.
To handle a manual lift table, its operator uses mechanical devices and tools such as crank, racket, screw, or pump. There are two ways to operate them – manually with a hand, or by pedaling with a foot. These two power sources work well for comparatively small tables, where table leg lifts do not have to carry extremely heavyweights, for instance with industrially used lifting devices. However, heavy-duty jobs necessitate a more potent power source.
In most table lifts, electric motors are used to elevate the platform. Such table lifts are powered by regular AC or DC motors to set things in motion. These vary depending on the essential purpose and required range of application of an actuator.
Thus, 12v DC motors are used most commonly in the mass market. Their 24v counterparts, in turn, are more suitable for heavy-duty applications where more force and pressure are required to be handled. AC motors used in linear actuators are typically 220-240 VAC 1-phase motors, 220-240/380-415VAC 3-phase motors (50/60Hz), or 24VDC motors. These induction-based alternatives best fit heavy manufactures where large objects are required to be managed remotely without the need for utter preciseness of motion at that.
It is worth noting that the use of electric-powered actuators in automated furniture such as electric lift tables is superior to their actuator alternatives of hydraulic and pneumatic by many parameters. With electric linear actuators, you get a smooth, clean, and accurate motion to control something as light and mobile as a regular tabletop.
How a Table Lift Works
An electric table lift is pretty simple in terms of its essential operating principles. in its core, lies a linear actuator. A regular actuator consists of a DC/AC motor(s), a bunch of gears, and a lead screw that is based on a driving nut.
A lead screw is an immobile part in itself that is only optimized for consecutive linear motion and requires an energy input to operate. Thus, the above-mentioned DC or AC motor creates the rotational power (motion), which a linear actuator converts into linear motion output. The driving nut pushes the main rod shaft, making extract and retract as instructed by the user.
This extraction and retraction of the linear actuator is where the movement of a table lift stems from. With a synchronized system, each leg of the frame motions upwards and downwards through the activation of this linear motion via remote control.
Remotes & Accessories
Applications of Table Lifts
Table lifts are easily tailored to be used in accomplishing a range of jobs (mostly industrially or workplace-related).
Typically, industrial uses comprise of pallet handling, docking processes, vehicle loading, and positioning of those who perform specialized assignments. Lifting tables can also reposition work to be more accessible for workers. Combined with conveyor systems, they may help with load positioning as well.
Socially related functions of table lifts include facilitating access opportunities for mobility-impaired people, such as wheelchair lifts for vehicles or adjusting the height of the frame to suit their requirements.
Home & Office Applications
Initially industry-based, table lifts have now also started to appear in our homes. They can be seen in furniture automation and have also made their way into kitchens and studies. In kitchens, table lifts operated by manual control elevate food processing machines, as well as soft drink crates, microwave ovens, and other necessities. Upper wall cabinets can also be furnished with the lifting system for ease of access. Home offices also utilize table lifts for an adjustable workstation, allowing the user to sit or stand depending on their preference.
Table Lift Hand Remotes
How to Choose the Right Table Lift?
Hard as it may seem to navigate among the numerous market options, choosing a lifting table is not that complicated. Before beginning, you should answer some basic questions:
What will the table frame be lifting?
Being aware of the nature of the products that will be moved is crucial for selecting the right table lift. The footprint of the prospective loads will tell you the required parameters of the lift platform, such as if you will need a standard or oversized frame. The expected maximum weight will help to select the adequate capacity of the device, and it is also important to be conscious of whether the weight is going to be distributed evenly across the platform surface. In case a significant load is put on the sides (or the end) of the deck, handling it would become rather awkward.
The nature of the objects to be lifted is also important. Will it be a one-piece load, or will it consist of multiple items? Will the products require special equipment while being handled (like a stainless-steel base or explosion-proof motors)? Will there be people working on the platform (which will call for additional safety fixtures such as handrails)?
Answers to these questions will substantially narrow your choice of table lifts.
How will the lift be used?
The intended purpose of the table lift is something that needs to be seriously factored in when purchasing. The way the table is going to be loaded (via a forklift or through floor level loading) determines the need for a ground entry table or a pit-mounted table. Hard to reach destinations may require external mounting, and prospective pit installation (with the precise dimensions of the pit) will have to be taken into consideration while determining the size of the table lift. In case the lift is to stop precisely at certain heights, a photo eye or a limit switch will become a must-have for it. The kind of movement needed is also significant as if rotation is required, the table lift must be equipped with a turntable. A special point should be made if the lift is going to be engaged in a freezer since the power system should contain a special hydraulic fluid. If a conveyor is to be put atop the table lift, it will require a no drift/no coast package to line it up with entry and exit conveyors. Also make sure you know what power supply you will be using (110 or 220 VAC input), and if the lift should be portable.
What safety features are essential?
Additional safety options offered by manufacturers include bellows skirting, toe guards, detents, anti-skid finish on the platform (for greasy and oily working conditions), sound alarms, or flashing lights when the table is moving, anti-collision features and many others. Whether you require any or all of these additional safety features is something that needs to be considered at purchase.
Be it a small electric lift table in your kitchen or a sturdy lift that loads boxes with furniture in a large warehouse, table lifts are increasingly becoming our most valuable assistants in various surroundings – from industrial to domestic. Whether they reduce physical strain, enhance the productivity of work, or just add extra comfort and convenience to our home, they are operating to optimize our spaces, improve our work environment and provide another automated alternative to manual labor.