Lift tables are critical tools on the factory floor because their core function is to improve the safety and efficiency of daily operations. From the basics, such as moving pallets of product through a warehouse to more elaborate jobs like feeding material into a processing line, wherever there’s repetitive or physically demanding work a lift table could probably serve a role. Fortunately, there’s a wide range of off-the-shelf solutions available on the market to solve common applications. However, if nothing out there seems like the right fit, you may need to consider a custom lift table solution.
Here are a few things to consider if you’re considering a custom-built lift table:
How will it be used?
This is the first and most important factor to fully consider before you devise a solution. Think about where the lift table will be operated and how it fits into your workflows. Will you be using the lift occasionally, or will it be used continuously through an average workday? If it will be used often, you’ll want to consider a more durable, high-cycle design that uses heavy-duty building materials. How will your employees be using it? That may determine whether you’ll want a lift table that’s pedal operated, manual, or electric. Finally, think about what the table will need to do in a typical cycle. Will it lift, tilt and rotate? Will it perform the same cycle each time, or will the design need to accommodate more options? The range of motion/operations will help designers determine the range of custom controls you might need.
In addition, consider how much weight the lift table will need to handle. Often, custom solutions are required if the load is particularly heavy or unevenly distributed. All of these considerations will impact the technical parameters of your custom-built lift table.
Where will it be used?
The environment where the lift table will be utilized is another important consideration that will inform the materials that are used to design the lift table. The most obvious is whether it’ll be stationed indoors or outdoors. Will it always have access to power? That could determine whether a battery-powered/manual option or electric option is suitable. If your lift table will be exposed to extreme temperatures or harsh chemicals, it may require stainless steel hardware or special protection to extend the life of the lift table. Lift tables can also be designed with oil hydraulics, for example, if they are being used in cleanrooms or in food processing applications.
Are there special safety considerations or other unique circumstances?
Finally, custom-built solutions are often needed in specialized work environments. For example, air-powered, oil-free options are often considered in food processing operations. If it needs to be decontaminated often, that’ll also inform the materials used in construction. But in addition to these factors, there is a range of options to ensure user safety as well. Non-skid platforms help keep payloads, or workers, secure and free from shifting. Bellows can be installed to prevent clothing and fingers from getting into the table’s mechanics. Toe guards and edge sensors can also provide another layer of safety. You may also want to consider additional structural reinforcement, especially if workers will be standing on top or below it.
Again, while the range of considerations is vast, they can all be incorporated into the right design, whether that’s manual, electric, battery, or air-powered lift tables with capacities from 500 to 10,000 pounds.
Let Lange Lift Design a Custom-Built Lift Table for You
If an off-the-shelf solution isn’t the right fit for you, the engineering experts at Lange Lift can set you up with a custom-built lift table, or even modify an existing product. And don’t let the challenges of the application dissuade you, Lange Lift takes a “sky’s the limit approach” to tailor a solution for you. Whether it’s a round top, ball transfer, roller conveyor, UHMW/rubber cover, tilting decks, powered rotation, or tooling slots, Lange Lift engineers will work with you from concept to production. They use the latest in 3D CAD design technology to bring your design to life so you can preview the product before it’s on the job site.
Lange Lift has over 80 years of experience in custom-built lift table design and production. They are a trusted manufacturer for lift-based material handling needs from small fabrication shops to the U.S. military, defense contractors, aerospace manufacturers, and all industries in between. Contact us today for any questions you may have about our lift table services.