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Height Stability is Key to a Height Adjustable Workstation.

In a previous blog post, we discussed various criteria to consider when selecting a height adjustable workstation as an ergonomic solution. A key criterion when evaluating height adjustable workstations is its ability to maintain a level tabletop at a fixed and stable height.

Workstation users rely on the height remaining “locked-in.” For example, someone packing a heavy object could be injured if the tabletop unexpectedly lost level or height. A stable height is also particularly crucial in applications where potentially dangerous materials are involved. A Workplace customer handling nuclear isotopes stated, “We cannot afford to lose height position and stability.”

The design of the height adjustment mechanism plays a major role in assuring tabletop stability. There are two basic lift technologies for workstations used in laboratories or on the factory floor: pump driven lift and mechanical lift.

Pump Lift Systems

Pump lift systems employ hydraulic fluid within a cylinder mounted on each leg to move the worksurface up or down. A central pump and fluid reservoir connect to each leg cylinder via flexible tubing to a pump driven by a hand crank or electric motor.

Hydraulic systems are popular as they have a relatively high load-bearing capacity and are often less expensive than motor-driven mechanical lift systems.

However, pump-driven hydraulic lift workstations have downsides:

  • Stable leg position depends on a fixed volume of incompressible hydraulic fluid remaining in each cylinder. Leakage anywhere in the hydraulic system may cause one or more cylinders to lose height or cause an uneven tabletop.
  • As hydraulic units age, the hydraulic fluid, pump, hoses, cylinders, and seals will require repair and/or replacement.
  • Due to the risk of potential fluid leakage, hydraulic units are less suitable for environments such as labs and clean rooms.
  • Large pump and hoses make a hydraulic system less configurable and more difficult to tailor to specific customer size and shape requirements.

Mechanical Screw Lift Systems

Mechanical height adjustment workstations use a motor and gear-driven lead screw design. Height changes only when a motor rotates the lead screws. To achieve precise height level and stability, the lift design must guarantee all leg heights remain identical when the system is raising, lowering, and when the motor is off.

An integrated mechanical lead screw design offers significant benefits:

  • The lead screw/ fixed nut design ensures height stability when motor power is off.
  • Slow and smooth travel allows precise height selection.
  • The entire drive mechanism is protected within the frame and legs, making it ideal for lab and clean room environments.
  • Little if any maintenance is required even in harsh environments.

Direct Drive® Height Adjustable Workstations 

Direct Drive® mechanical diagram

The Direct Drive Mechanical Lift Design

The Direct Drive workstation meets all these mechanical lift advantages.

The Direct Drive Leg design consists of two lead screw-driven legs connected mechanically to a drive motor, ensuring height will always be in sync. A central motor controller maintains synchronism among Leg Sections—ensuring a stable and always-level worksurface.

The Leg design also provides extensive configuration flexibility with a wide variety of available workstation lengths and depths as well as inline and corner configurations with the addition of a third Leg. The fully enclosed design also allows easy addition of accessories such as shelving, storage, drawers, and computer-related accessories.

While Direct Drive workstations are ideal in any environment, its integrated design makes it especially suitable for lab and clean room environments.

Direct Drive is a proven design. User experience with hundreds of installed Direct Drive workstations shows them to be extremely reliable—particularly in high-use environments such as manufacturing and labs.

What To Do Now

Height stability is just one of many benefits of the Workplace Direct Drive Height Adjustable Workstation.

For more detailed information about how Workplace’s height adjustable products will address your specific requirements contact Workplace. We’ll get back to you within one business day. Or, call a Workplace Design Specialist at 1-800-258-9700.