Lift table types and their advantages and disadvantages

Four drive concepts have prevailed in the lift table market in the past two decades. Each of these concepts has individual advantages and disadvantages, which will be examined in more detail in the course of this series of articles.

Here you will find a brief overview of the various arguments for and against a certain type of lift table. We recommend visiting the relevant pages on hydraulic lift tables, belt-drive scissor lift tables, lift tables with push-pull chains and spindle lift tables for a more in-depth review.

Hydraulic lift tables

A hydraulic lift table uses a combination of electric motor, hydraulic pump and hydraulic cylinders as the drive. The pump is driven by the electric motor, which supplies oil to the hydraulic cylinders. The lifting and lowering movement of the scissor lift table in turn is generated by the extension and retraction movement of the cylinders.

Advantages Disadvantages
Inexpensive Special oil required in the food sector
Less wear Low positioning accuracy
Discretionary placement of the drive unit Heating of the hydraulic oil
Simple and reliable overload protection Temperature of hydraulic oil too low
One power unit for different forms of movement Noise emission
Power only required during lifting Compression and rebound of the lift table
Retrospective reduction of the lifting times Filtering of the hydraulic oil
Risk of leaks
Advantages and disadvantages of hydraulic lift tables

To the article on Hydraulic lift tables

Belt-drive scissor lift tables

In this type of lift table, the up and down movement is generated using belts. The belts are connected on one side to a shaft flange-mounted on the gear unit and on the other side to a lift carriage.
The lift carriage is moved by rolling the belts on and off the shaft. The lift carriage in turn influences the scissor position. 

Advantages Disadvantages
No hydraulic oil necessary Uneven load on the belts
Placement of the drive outside the lift table Limited use at higher temperatures
Shock-absorbing and vibration-damping power transmission Sensitive to external influences
Lifelong belt re-tensioning
Energy requirement for lifting and lowering
Advantages and disadvantages of belt-drive scissor lift tables

To the article on Belt-drive scissor lift tables

Lift tables with push-pull chains

In this type of lift table the push-pull chain acts directly on the platform to be lifted. The platform is raised when the chain is extended, whereas the platform is lowered when the push-pull chain is retracted.
In this type of lift table, the scissors are used only for lateral guidance.

Advantages Disadvantages
Relieving the load on the scissors Point load transfer
No hydraulic oil necessary High overall height
High positioning/holding accuracy Levering out of the scissors
Advantages and disadvantages of lift tables with push-pull chains

Spindle lift tables

In a lift table with a spindle drive, the support nut is located on one of the two scissor halves, while the counterpart is mounted on the other scissor half. Similar to a screw-nut combination, the nut moves in relation to the threaded rod when the latter is turned.

Advantages Disadvantages
No hydraulic oil necessary High energy requirement
High positioning/holding accuracy High overall height
Higher wear
Energy requirement for lifting and lowering
High process quality requirements
Advantages and disadvantages of spindle lift tables

To the article on Spindle lift tables