12 Powerful Reasons to Buy an American Made ESD Workbench (In Pictures)

Comparison of an American Made BenchPro™ ESD Workbench vs. The Imported Replica:

The next eight photos show the condition of the bench parts and ESD laminate worksurface after they were received and removed from the packages. In previous orders of similar benches, not only did the items arrive damaged, but the replacement parts were also damaged upon arrival.

1. Small and Medium-Sized Scrape and Dents On Edge of Top and A Long Scratch in the Paint

2. Real ESD Laminate Does not Bend. It Snaps.

A small chip and a bent-out piece of laminate. This is a soft laminate from China which will stain easily.

3. Another Long Edge with an Impact.

4. This is Another Damaged Corner.

5. Inadequate Packaging and Thin Paint

6. High Risk Freight and Difficult Return Items

The parallel lines indicate points where friction between the box and painted metal initiated abrasion. The box did not rub through the paint, but for mildly abrasive surfaces like cardboard, the thin coating highlights the limited durability of Chinese made workbenches. Also visible in this image is a dent, while overall the workbench had three other small dents and three pieces of bent tubing.

7. Inability to Determine Accountability of Defects

An impact on the end of the open tube during shipping forced it to bend against the other tube. It isn’t clear what ripped the tube in the corner. You can also see some “box rub” down on the side of the leg.

8. Scrap Welding, Inferior Welds, Bent Seams:

In previous orders and comparisons, BenchPro™ had never witnessed a weld seam in the center of a steel commercial workbench frame, ever. Apparently, they welded two scraps together.

9. Poor ESD Workbench Compliance, Minimal Chemical Resistance, Non Washable, and ABS Plastic Instead of Authentic ESD Laminate

Initially, the conductivity of this static control top was well within nationally accepted standards when measured from the top, the sides, and the bottom. The design also provided conductivity from the top to the frame, but did not include wrist strap jack receptors, grounding wires or grounding lugs.

After two tests at BenchPro’s commercial ESD test lab, technicians made conclusions about whether the top would maintain its dissipative qualities.

A. Continuity between the top and the frame was lost by washing the underside of the top.

B. The surface resistance of the top, while still remaining within nationally accepted standards, became approximately four times less dissipative after being washed and dried twice with Windex on successive days.

C. Further tests found that the competitors laminate did not have a conductive carbon layer. It used a plasticizer to maintain conductivity. Washing removes plasticizer oils. This system to make materials dissipative depends on the plasticizer coming to the surface to achieve a proper level of dissipation. Over time, the oils depleted, leaving the plastic no longer dissipative.

D. It was determined that the competitors covered work surface tops are not covered in plastic laminates, as high-quality commercial workstation surfaces are. The word laminate represents a product which is made up of sheets laminated together under pressure and high temperature. The Chinese workbench surface appears to be ABS plastic which is an extruded thermoplastic. ABS plastic melts at a much lower temperature, wears poorly and stains easily.

10. Extended Assembly Time, Exposed Bolts, Non-Welded Frames:

A. There are three tubes with holes in them in the foreground. Those are 3 of the adjustable legs. BenchPro adjustable legs are ready to use, and installed inside the legs before shipment.

B. There are some drawer brackets in the background. BenchPro workbenches arrive with benchtop accessories and laminates already installed with precision welds.

C. To assemble these, and most other brand benches, you must assemble all these parts together to make a frame, then assemble the frame to the top with wood screws. BenchPro assembles the frame by welding, then assembles it to the top.The long thin wood screws in the middle are for attaching the frame to the correct position under the top. Our frame comes all welded and attached to the top.

D. Concealed BenchPro leg and top assembly bolts reduce the risk of personal injury, while the competitor’s bolts reside outside of the frame.

E. There are four glides on the left side of the picture. Bench pro glides are already installed in the legs.

The competitors workbench requires 78 nuts, bolts, fasteners, and washers for a simple bench with a drawer.

11. Threading Defects, Install Time, Inconsistent Fabrication:

These two photos show two of the four adjustable leg inserts with their bolts screwed in slightly. If you look closely, some of the bolts are so crooked that they will not easily pass through the holes.

These bolts are intended to pass through the outer leg, through the side of the inner leg and fasten on the far side of the inner leg. BenchPro bolts arrive installed for time savings and instant application once arriving on a commercial site.

It appears that poor machining may hinder the screw passthrough without straightening the internal fasteners.

12. Single ESD Workbench in 5-6 Shipments.

Legs here, a top there, drawers in another box, and another box with all the long pieces. The shipments came in over a span of 5-6 days, as the components arrived from their various warehouses. For shipping, receiving, and putaway this is a logistics nightmare.

Fragile items require thoughtful packaging, especially when traveling across the world. Remember to employ safe packaging or otherwise seek an alternative shipping method.

Related Posts

Share this Article:

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on reddit
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print
Mitch Walleser

Mitch Walleser

Mitch works with manufacturing engineers and product specialists to examine new technology and products. His background includes 3D printing, electronics and cleanroom manufacturing. Stay up to date with new insights on automated production solutions by following on Twitter. @Go_to_PAC
Search Posts
PAC on Twitter
Follow me on Twitter
Hours & Contact Information
Production Automation
Shop Online:
Toll Free: (888) 903-0333
Office Hours: 8 a.m - 5 p.m. CST