Americon manufactures custom consoles for dispatch centers and most calltaker environments. They can be ordered with many options. Since no two people are alike and budgets may vary, we offer a number of sit/stand solutions. As we go through these options, we will make comments on the pros and cons that will hopefully help you determine which one is best suited for your needs. Note that we have both mechanical and motorized sit/stand systems.
The lever lift option is the simplest and the least expensive. It is a spring-loaded lifting system that can take the user from sit to stand literally in a second or two. All you have to do is lift on the lever and position the top exactly where you want it. We calibrate the system's tension based on the weight of the worksurface plus the components that will be on it. Since the user is only adjusting the height of the keyboard platform, we recommend articulating monitor arms or a motorized monitor tree like the one shown above to go with this system. The downside of this option is that it limits the depth of the useable space. Though minimal when you have manual control, it does create the potential for pinch points when a movable component is next to one this is stationary. It should be noted that pinch points are a reality for all split-level worksurface options whether motorized or not. Unlike our competitors who design the keyboard platformm with a minimal depth, our solution is to make the depth much deeper than the rear monitor surface to maximize the working area.
The motorized worksurface option utilizes the same base as the split-level but uses a simple momentary rocker switch to go from sit to stand. The advantage of this system is that it doesn’t limit the usable depth of the worksurface. We use a motorized lifting system with only two motor so the chance of system failure is reduced significantly. The system is much less vulnerable to uneven weight distribution which is a problem with all multi-motor systems. An advantage is that since the whole surface changes height, the monitors, keyboards, slatwalls, etc. all remain relational whether in the sit or stand position. Cable management is simpler and the cost of the system is significantly less in comparison to the split-level motorized system. The only downside is when placing stationary sections next to the movable worksurface, there are pinch points. Many years of research shows that operators begin their shifts by setting up shop for their individual needs. If the tools are wrong, the job gets extremely difficult and the environment can become untenable. Leg room is extremely important, so we have developed a workstation that doesn't have metal legs like the typical table systems.
The full lift system offers some unique features - We favor it because there are some indigenous benefits to a workstation that doesn't have a split in the worksurface. This approach eliminates the pinch point dangers that are inherent where movable surfaces meet or cross. Moving the whole console also maintains the same relationship between the operator and his tools throughout the transition from sit to stand. Stored CPUs and other integrated peripherals move up and down with the console, so the movement of cables has been virtually eliminated. A major plus is the cost which is about the same as our motorized worksurface lift.
The CPUs are stored in the main base cavity. We mount computers on racks attached to the inside of inspection doors. When the door is closed, the CPU faces sideways to maximize leg space. When the door is opened, the CPU faces forward for access to the drives and cables. The console has both front & rear access doors so large numbers of CPUs can be stored without the need for extra storage cabinets.
Pinch Points - Inherent to the split-level are dangerous pinch points where the two surfaces meet. Another pinch point is where the worksurface lands on the stationary support cabinetry. Papers, pens, wires and fingers are commonly crunched when the operator is busy focusing on day to day operation.
Working Depth - The split level design limits the amount of usable worksurface. The operator works an 8-10 hour shift sitting and standing at a worksurface that is approximately 14" deep. Try spreading out a chart or opening a binder and laying it on the desk. This is counterproductive to normal workflow productivity. In any other environment, this would be considered cruel and unusual punishment. Are we to believe that this is the best they could come up with?
The idea that we would trade away all of that useable space just doesn't make good ergonomic sense. Some say that the split-level approach is just a mechanism for creating a vertical market.