Pneumatic lifts are a type of material handling equipment used in many industries to raise, lower, and position heavy objects, thereby reducing worker strain, fatigue and injuries. Unlike hydraulic lifts, which use water pressure, pneumatic lifts utilize air pressure via a vacuum mechanism. This vacuum creates, inside a tube or cylinder, an environment with low pressure at one end of the tube and high pressure at the other, by distributing compressed air from a high-pressure tank called a receiver. The lift descends as the air pressure is reduced. Pneumatic lifts have many applications; they are used in manufacturing, assembly, maintenance and repair operations, amongst others.
Pneumatic lifts may consist of a holding tank for compressed air, a tube or cylinder in which the compressed air is distributed, and a surface or table on to which objects are loaded. Some contain airbags under the table to support and cushion heavy loads. Many such lifts have scissor-like metal legs, which expand to reach high elevations and retract when lowering. Lift and tilt tables can both raise/lower objects as well as angle them for easy access, enabling workers to easily perform maintenance, assembly, manufacturing and repair tasks, as well as reach tools and components such as dies, motor parts, etc. Rotators are a type of pneumatic lift table that can not only lift the load, but also spin it to face the desired location, to reduce bending, straining, reaching and walking. Standard lift and rotator tables have a capacity of 1,000-4,000 pounds; heavy-duty lift and rotator tables can handle 2,000-8,000 pounds.
Anywhere in a shop, factory, warehouse or other facility where compressed shop air is available, pneumatic lifts can position work close to workers so that they do not have to stoop, stretch, bend or walk to reach things. Some lifts have manually operated foot pumps for use when compressed air is unavailable. Pneumatic lifts are versatile in that they can be mounted on workbenches, on stands or directly on the floor. Many lifts and lift tables are mobile, mounted on casters with wheels and brakes. Custom manufacturers can fabricate these useful material handling tools to meet virtually any specific requirements.