If you haven’t done this yet, you may think that choosing or buying the right lab bench is an easy task — all you need is a workstation that is comfortable and efficient enough to accommodate the workflow of your employees while still practical enough to fit your budget.
However, some upfront work is needed to make sure that you get the right workbench for your lab and you need to consider several variables in order to do so.
In order to ensure the productivity and proper functionality of your workplace, you need to outfit your laboratory with quality furniture. There are so many options in the market today that it can be quite overwhelming to narrow down your choices.
Some of the things you need to consider include the type of frame you need, the durability of the bench’s surface, and the overall mobility.
What You Need to Look For in a Laboratory Workbench
Desk size, storage space, material, and types of racks — these are only some of the factors involved in selecting the right workbench for your laboratory. Overall, you should also remember these considerations when shopping for your lab furniture:
1. Longevity and Stability
Great stability after installation should be a priority regardless of the kind of laboratory workbench you are planning to buy.
Laboratory and industrial workplaces bear the brunt of projects that require high precision levels. Therefore, you need a bench that will accommodate this with no problem.
This means you have to choose a bench that is steady and will not shake at the slightest provocation. Also, when it comes to durability, the design and quality of the material are big factors for workbenches and other laboratory furniture.
If multiple people are going to be using that workbench, it’s more practical to get one with adjustable height. A fixed height lab bench is only good if there’s only one person who will be using it for a long period of time.
Otherwise, you have to anticipate the need for other employees to adjust it according to their ergonomic preferences and the overall flexibility in handling different types of workflows.
Just like the adjustability factor, having a stationary workbench is only worth buying if it will be used for a specific type of task in which the bench doesn’t have to be moved around.
But the way workflows go, there is often a need for moving different types of equipment that are not to be limited by space limitations. This becomes especially handy when it comes to making presentations.
In this case, it’s wiser to get workbenches with handles and wheels so you can move them around when the need arises.
Ergonomics play a huge factor, as it is both a safety and productivity requirement. Here’s an interesting fact, a 30.5-inch work surface height will accommodate 99.5% of all male and 99.9% of all female workers when they are sitting down when it comes to minimizing stress and strain. For standing, you need to consider the type of work to be performed to determine the optimal work surface height.
According to the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Environmental Health, Safety, and Risk Management, workbench height should be above elbow height for precision work and below elbow height for light work. For heavy work, a bench should be 4 to 6 inches below elbow height.
This is why adjustable benches are more effective if there will be different shifts of employees that will be using the laboratory because they only need to adjust bench height via a slide leg, a crank, or a motor drive.
4. Compatibility With Accessories
Laboratory work entails using lots of accessories and to get the most out of your workbench, it should be able to accommodate the tools you need for different types of projects.
There are ready-made benches that can do so, but consider having them custom-made if you need special specifications to be able to get the workbench that you need and a reliable laboratory furniture supplier can help you get the right benches for your needs.
Your bench does not have to be used for its surface only — it can be used for storage purposes as well. Choose workbenches that have the type of surface that you need plus storage options that can hold your stationery, tools, packing materials, and other items.
This not only gives you easier access to your stuff but also has multiple uses for that bench. There are benches with overhead shelving, built-in storage, or any other storage arrangements.
The kind of lighting you have or need is a primary factor for the effectiveness of your workspace. You need to observe the following:
- Does each workstation need separate lighting?
- Does the laboratory have an unflattering light color
- Are the lights enough or do you need to add more?
If you decide to have separate lights for each workbench, are you best served by a swing arm that can be easily moved or overhead fluorescent lighting?
Perhaps you also need an accessory that can control the light and lessen the glare. Decide exactly what you need so your workbenches will be outfitted properly.
7. Electrical Requirements
If you’re planning to use loads of electrical tools on your bench, consider getting one that has a convenient source of power. You need to consider the applications — are you planning to use a computer with accompanying equipment on each bench? Are you planning to use a data beam? Will you need compressed air for your tasks? If yes, where will the air come from?
Other things to think about are:
- How many outlets (with corresponding power) do you need per station?
- Where do you want the outlets?
Perhaps you will need a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) as protection against severe shock and electrocution. You also have to figure out cord management, in which you may need cable trays.
Choose the Right Lab Furniture Today
If this is your first time buying workbenches for your laboratory, it’s advisable to seek help and let an expert assist you with your choices.
Lab Tech Supply Co is a reliable source for custom lab workbenches and other laboratory equipment. You get quality customer service, fast turnaround time, and efficient installation.
Call us and we’ll send a team to your location so we can properly assess what you need.