Lift tables are designed for use in many applications, one of the most demanding is a high cycle or simply put, a high use application. The more cycles a lift table receives the faster it will show signs of wear, requiring either increased maintenance or ultimately replacement. Although there are no hard fast rules of what defines a high cycle application it’s important to keep in mind that most lift tables are designed for 8 full load cycles per hour, based on a single 8 hour shift 5 days a week. Should your application involve more than 8 full cycles per hour or more than an 8 hour work day or more than a 5 day work week there are steps to take to assure prolonged operation, however these are not the only prerequisites for identifying a high cycle application. One example of a common high cycle application involves indexing, best described as incrementally raising a lift table as product is being removed or lowering a lift table as product is being loaded. In other words the lift table is in constant use in short lift/lower movements. In this application it’s advisable to use a continuous running power unit; this eliminates the power unit being turned on-off on a regular prolonged basis. The continuous running power unit is specifically designed to be turned on at the beginning of the shift; it’s then left running during the complete shift and only requires activating the hydraulic valving to control the lift table operation. This system eliminates the premature wear associated with a standard power unit start/stop operation. Another example of a high cycle application is a full lift/lower cycle that happens more than 8 times per hour, more than one shift per day or more than a 5 day work week. Again the power unit is continuous running and is often equipped with an over-sized reservoir and an oil cooler to lower the hydraulic system operating temperature. In addition to the upgraded power unit the standard lift table upper and lower scissor leg rollers are replaced by precision cam followers and the standard pivot point bushings are replaced by spherical bearings. These bearings assure precise scissor leg alignment throughout the high cycle operation. Regular, scheduled lubrication is prerequisite to keep the equipment working at its best. A central lubrication system located on one end of the lift table platform assures that even the most difficult points to access receive regular lubrication. All in all there are proven steps to discuss with your supplier and to specify to ensure that your lift tables will perform in an extended high cycle application.

Mike Earle