An industrial workbench can come in a variety of designs and functions. Choosing the best one for your facility can prove difficult, considering how many options you have available to you.
While a standard workbench can meet the needs of many different types of lab and workplace settings, especially when customized, there are other types available that are designed with a specific function or purpose in mind.
Below we’ll take a closer look at what makes standard workbenches so versatile, as well as five other types of industrial style workbenches to consider.
1. Standard Workbenches
Standard workbenches are versatile and can be used in many different industrial and laboratory settings. They are typically your all-inclusive workbench that can be used in a variety of environments.
Yet while standard workbenches can be used in a variety of settings, they can be customized to make them more individualized or one of a kind. Whether it’s the length, depth or height, standard workbenches can be designed to fit your work area and the needs of your employees.
Some of the additional ways standard workbenches can be customized include:
- Weight load capacity
- The size of its legs and how they are welded
- The countertops used on the workbench
- The number of drawers and their configuration
- Options like shelving and storage cabinets
- Organizational tools like articulating monitor arms, keyboard trays, CPU holders, pegboards and bin rails or panels
- Paint color
Standard workbenches are available from a variety of manufacturers, but can also typically be purchased online from wholesale distributors. While it may be tempting to purchase an industrial style workbench from a wholesale supplier, you’ll likely lose the option to customize in the process.
Industrial furniture wholesale prices may seem appealing from a budget standpoint, especially if you need to purchase several standard workbenches. However, this can come with additional risks, including additional shipping and handling costs if coming from overseas and a lack of quality customer service.
2. Production Workbenches
While standard workbenches are conducive to several environments, production workbenches are designed to promote efficiency and productivity in manufacturing, laboratory or material handling environments.
The best production workbenches are versatile, customizable and ergonomically-friendly. They should also be able to meet a company’s growing needs through the addition of accessories and modules.
Basic units typically come as either single-sided or double-sided, while more customized production workbenches can feature qualities like electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection. ESD laboratory furniture protects a lab or manufacturing space from static electricity, which can damage products.
Like standard workbenches, production workbenches can be customized in a variety of ways, from the addition of shelving and cabinets to lighting, work surfaces and swivel casters for easy movement.
3. Cantilever Workbenches
Cantilever workbenches feature a design that includes a formed steel rear panel and front beam. This design strengthens the structural integrity of the workbench and is ideal for environments that require a heavy duty workbench.
For example, at Workstation Industries, our cantilever workbenches support 600 pounds evenly distributed. It features a formed heavy duty steel leg panel with a 2” by 2” 16-gauge steel tubular upper and lower frame.
Cantilever workbenches can be fitted with an electrical or hand crank hydraulic lift, as well as customized for length, depth and accessories that include lighting options, electrical access and storage space.
4. Material Handling Workbenches
For material handling companies, organization and productivity are key. Material handling workbenches are designed to promote efficiency for shipping stations and packing tables.
They can come in a variety of heights, depths and lengths, and include different features designed to maximize productivity, including:
- Back and side splashes to prevent parts from rolling off the work surface
- Casters to allow movement of the workstation
- Swing arms for flat screens
- Optional rear and side panels to enclose the counter bench
- Grommet holes to route data and power cabling
- Storage, organizational and lighting accessories
An ADA section can be added to any counter assembly as well.
5. IT Workbenches
Information technology spending is projected to hit $3.8 trillion in 2021, a 4% growth over 2020, according to Gartner. IT workbenches help to meet the needs of that growing information technology infrastructure.
IT workbenches can be customized to suit the individual needs of manufacturers and IT workplaces. The addition of accessories and modules can accommodate growth, while features like ESD protection and countertop choice help meet the requirements of a clean room.
Like other workbenches, IT workbenches allow the opportunity for customization with features that include foot rests, swing arms, storage, lighting and electrical options, hydraulic lifts and other add-ons.
6. Hydraulic Adjustable Workbenches
Finally, hydraulic adjustable workbenches are becoming more popular in today’s manufacturing and lab environments because they promote ergonomic health among employees … something that can have a positive impact not only on workers but the business itself.
Ergonomics focuses on preventing injuries and promoting the well being of workers. When incorporated into workplace design, embracing ergonomics means customizing a workspace to fit the workers using it. Overall, ergonomics aims to promote more efficiency and productivity while reducing the discomfort of employees.
In the case of a workbench, sitting for long periods of time is unnatural for the body. Flexing your back, twisting at the waist or bending over from your chair can also create awkward and potentially harmful positions. These types of injuries can lead to workers compensation claims that can impact your bottom line and workplace productivity.
Hydraulic adjustable workbenches allow workers to choose whether they want to sit down or stand up, as well as allow workers to adjust the height of the workbench based on their own height. Some workbenches feature a manual hand crank to raise and lower the work surface, while others include a hydraulic feature that offers an easy way to make this adjustment.
Depending on the hydraulic workbench you choose, it may have a different weight load capacity from another. Typically they feature a weight capacity that can support between 500 and 1,000 pounds.
An Important Factor In Your Choice
Choosing which type of industrial metal workbench that is right for your environment can be challenging, especially considering there are many different options available to you. Often which workbench you choose boils down to budget, current needs and future needs.
However, there’s one key factor to keep in mind when making your choice - the manufacturer itself.
We discussed above the importance of working with a manufacturer that offers customization options, but there are a few other qualities of a top company to look for as well:
- Product quality (American-made laboratory furniture)
- Customer service from the moment you contact the company
- Manufacturing lead time and shipping
- Excellent reviews and referrals from other companies like yours
- Availability of replacement parts should maintenance be required
- Flexibility of the product should your needs change
You can read more about the qualities that top manufacturers have in our article, 6 Things To Look For When Evaluating Lab Casework Manufacturers, to ensure you get a quality product and customer service in the timeframe you require.