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Introduction to lifting platforms with different functions

ITC Power is committed to providing our customers with high-quality lifting platforms where they can choose the best products.

So how much do you know about lifting platforms? The websites of different elevator manufacturers provide a large number of different elevator variants. However, only six different types of lifts are used in about 90% of applications. We would like to introduce them to you in this article.

Up to twelve different types of platform advertisements can be placed on the websites of different platform manufacturers. This is to ensure that the correct type of lifting platform can be used to meet the requirements of each customer.

However, from the customer’s point of view, this should not be an added value. Lack of customer experience in this subject area only makes it more difficult to choose the right foundation.

In addition, the busy pace of today’s work world often does not allow enough time to concentrate on all disciplines.

Lifting platform

Classic lifting tables don’t really need special explanation. In its simplest configuration, the lifting platform consists of a base, scissors, and platform and is used only for lifting loads.

Despite its simplicity, this versatile hand can be used in almost all applications. Different suppliers produce workload limits (WLLs) from 500 kg to over 40,000 kg lifts. You can even find specially designed lifting platforms that allow payloads to approach 100 tons.

The function of a simple hydraulic standard lifting table can be increased by various lifting table accessories available. Almost all manufacturers can provide rotary platforms, tilting devices and drum conveyors for lifting platforms. Manufacturers specializing in specially designed lifting platforms can also customize load handling equipment. For example, a classic lifting table can be converted to a lifting table, a mobile lifting table or a loading lifting table.

The robust and simple design makes the classic lifting platform the ideal base for other types of lifting platform.

Flat elevator

Flat or low-pitch lifting platforms are one of the most well-known types of lifting platforms. It is used whenever a particularly low overall height is required or required.

Platforms for flat elevators are usually designed to be U-shaped or E-shaped so that they can also be loaded without a ramp. In addition, lower overall heights usually do not require pits. This is particularly interesting when the lifting platform is later installed in the building as it represents a considerable necessary acquisition cost.

In recent years, pallet loading station has become its main application field. No pits also allow retrospective modification or reorganization of the conveyor line, which increases the versatility of the internal material flow. At the pallet loading station, the load is transferred by the drum conveyor on the platform.

Aerial Work Platform

Even those outside the industry should be familiar with high-altitude work platforms. Use when lifting people up.

Examples of its use include maintenance, installation and inspection work carried out at high altitudes. Compared with the classic workbench, the aerial workbench can be operated by the control unit on the platform. This greatly speeds up work at high altitudes, as there is no need to climb all the way up and down. In addition, in most cases, tools and materials can be carried on a work platform.

Car jacks and elevators

All lifting platforms used to lift the car are included under the car jack. However, a range of platform types that have little in common except for loads fall into this category.

Probably the best known type of car jack can be found in a car repair shop. Column lifts are usually used as bases and scissors are rarely used. This type is only used to facilitate inspection, assembly and repair of vehicles.

However, some car dealers still use car jacks to display and sell cars.

Conversely, car lifts are used to move vehicles between different floors.

Some manufacturers also offer very interesting car jack configurations. In these cases, jacks are used as underground elevator garages. This makes it possible, for example, to park the vehicle underground and on top of it another vehicle. In this way, you can kill two birds with one stone: make the best use of the available space and provide more anti-theft protection.

Column elevator

Lifting masts are used in pillar lifts to perform lifting movements. A major advantage over a scissors-type lifting platform is that the size and effective stroke of the platform can be changed independently of each other.

In addition, there are almost no limitations to the design of the platform geometry. For example, a U-shaped or E-shaped platform similar to a flat lifting platform can be envisaged, and thus can be loaded with a tray without pits or ramps.

Cargo Lift

When goods need to be transported at multiple levels, ladders are always used. Standard pillar lifts are often used as the basis of lifting structures because they allow for large, effective strokes with ease.

However, the lifting regulations provide for many additional safety functions compared to standard pillar lifts. These include, for example, enclosures and complex safety devices.

In addition to the classic cargo elevators, we also offer underground elevators. They are always used when loads are lowered underground.

They also have four drive concepts. Four drive concepts have prevailed in the elevator market over the past two decades. Each of these concepts has its own strengths and weaknesses, which will be studied in more detail during this series of articles.

Hydraulic lifting platform

The hydraulic lifting platform is driven by a combination of an electric motor, a hydraulic pump and a hydraulic cylinder. The pump is driven by an electric motor which supplies oil to the hydraulic cylinder. The lifting motion of the scissors-type lifting platform is generated by the telescopic movement of the cylinder in turn.

It has the advantage of being inexpensive, Less wear, Discretionary placement of the drive unit, simple and reliable overload protection, and only requires power during lifting.

Disadvantages are special oils required by the food industry, low positioning accuracy, heating of hydraulic oils, high noise, compression and rebound of lifting tables, and risk of leakage.

Shear-type lifting platform for belt drive

In this type of lifting platform, the up and down movement is generated by using belts. One side of the belt is connected to the shaft flange on the gear unit and the other side to the lifting compartment.

The lifting bracket moves by rolling the belt on and off the shaft. Lifting the frame in turn affects the position of the scissors. –

The advantage of this is that no hydraulic fluid is required and the driver can be positioned outside the lifting table.

The disadvantage is uneven load on the belt, limited use at higher temperatures, sensitive to external influences, and high energy requirements for lifting and lowering.

Lifting table with push-zipper

In this type of lifting platform, the push-zip is directly applied to the platform to be lifted. The platform rises when the chain extends and lowers when the push-zip chain retracts.

In this type of lifting platform, scissors are used only for lateral guidance.

Its advantage is Relieving the load on the scissors, no need for hydraulic fluid, High positioning/holding accuracy.

The disadvantage is point load transfer, high overall height, Levering out of the scissors.

Spindle elevator

In a lifting table with spindle drive, the support nut is located on one of the two scissors halves, while the corresponding nut is installed on the other scissors half. Similar to the screw-nut combination, the nut moves relative to the threaded rod when the threaded rod rotates.

The advantage is no need for hydraulic fluid and high positioning/holding accuracy.

Disadvantages are high energy requirements, high overall height, higher wear, increased and decreased energy requirements, and high process quality requirements.

In fact, it also has some alternatives.

Trays, forklifts, cranes, lifting platforms and palletizers are probably the most likely equipment encountered by manufacturing and trading companies. For this reason, we selected these five machines to compare.

First, we will focus on the general arguments in support of and against scissors-type lifts. Then there is a brief comparison with the alternatives.

Advantages of elevating tables

Simple design

If the working conditions of the lifting platform are not very special, a simple design is sufficient. In the simplest case, it consists of only one platform, scissors and a base. Retaining the design on basic and general components has several advantages. Hydraulic scissors lifting platforms, for example, are often considered a very inexpensive and low maintenance means of transport.

Simple operation

Standard lifting platforms with basic equipment can only be lifted. Therefore, control and operation are relatively simple. There is almost no risk of operator errors, even when extended by rotating and/or tilting platforms, as operating elements are usually intuitively and correctly understood. The short time required for the necessary instructions on how to use it can be seen as another benefit of easy operation.

In the case of complex sequences, control systems can also (partially) be automated to completely eliminate the risk of operational errors and further rationalize the delivery process.

Any load

Most elevator manufacturers use modular systems to produce scissors. Usually only elevator platforms can meet the needs and requirements of customers. This means that basically all required platform geometry and load handling equipment can be produced. An example is a lifting table, often with a drum conveyor.

In addition, the supporting structure can be relatively easily reinforced so that even heavy objects can be lifted without problems. Special lifting platforms, for example, can lift up to 100 tons.

Functional Extension

The functional range of a simple lifting platform can be easily extended by additional rotating and tilting platforms. In addition to these upper structures, mobile lifting platforms on rails or wheels are part of the standard range for almost every manufacturer.

Some manufacturers also have extensive experience in special lifting platforms. These suppliers meet the requirements and requirements of almost all customers.

Disadvantages of elevating tables


By equipping the lifting platform with a landing gear, the lifting platform becomes a mobile and flexible aid. However, there is no lifting platform on the market that provides forklift flexibility.

Driven Capability

If the lifting platform needs to be loaded with a tray, it must be ensured that the platform can be driven. This is achieved by special platform geometry, pits or ramps.

If site conditions do not permit the use of lifting platforms level with the floor or floor, it is unfortunate that a special platform geometry cannot be used to allow it to continue driving. The only remaining solutions are pits and drive wedges.

The disadvantage of the pit is that the lifting platform can only be relocated at a higher cost: the old pit must be removed and a new one constructed. As a result, floor-embedded lifting platforms reduce the flexibility of internal production.

The alternative to the pit is the ramp plate. These are commonly used for pillar lifts. However, ramps take up valuable space.

Alternatives to elevating platforms

Pallet truck

Tray trucks can be found in almost every company. They are inexpensive and flexible and therefore essential for production and handling of goods.

However, their availability is limited to medium to low loads that can be accommodated on European pallets. The actual weight and speed that can be transported depends on the physical strength and strength of the respective employee. In addition, a good lobby floor is a prerequisite for easy operation. Tray trucks usually cannot overcome height differences, so a fixed lifting platform is a useful supplement.


Bridge cranes and gantry cranes are known for their easy positioning and high driving speeds. They can also handle heavy objects.

Their disadvantage is that they are very inflexible. They always require guides or similar guidance systems, especially for heavy loads. This guidance system limits the place of use and the crane can only be relocated at great effort and expense. And acquisition costs are high.


Forklift trucks travel faster than lifting platforms. As a result, valuable working time can be saved over long distances. Forklift trucks are also very flexible. It can be used wherever needed. In addition, the function of forklift trucks can be easily extended with special accessories.

However, high acquisition costs and negligible maintenance costs are drawbacks. It also has a lower carrying capacity than the space required for the conveyor. The maximum possible payload is also low compared to a lifting platform. This is due to the arrangement of the support structure. Since it cannot be placed under a load, the forklift itself must have a corresponding high self-weight to avoid the risk of tipping.

In addition, it is difficult to have a holistic view of the forklift work area, especially for inexperienced drivers, so that they often collide with loads or vehicles against doors and walls.

When you want to know more about the lifting platform, please contact our ITC POWER friends and we will do our best to select the best product for you and be responsible for its quality.

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