Having a lift that goes up and down is one thing. BraunAbility have set out to reinvent the wheelchair lift to match the premium experience of modern vehicles, the BraunAbility Q-Series was their answer.
Their new lifts combine reliability and robustness which has been synonymous with BraunAbility for many years and together with a smart design, BraunAbility have been able to excel their lift above all others in three key dimensions: a quiet ride, structural rigidity and an aesthetically pleasing design.
As most of you know, a stowed wheelchair lift in the back of a minibus/van can rattle and clank quite a lot to the point where it could possibly become a distraction. BraunAbility enlisted Professor Mark French, acoustics expert at Purdue University in Indiana to tackle this issue and to once and for all silence the lift. According to BraunAbility, the lift is so quiet that the noise is in fact indistinguishable from the noise of an empty van.
The second dimension which the BraunAbility Q-Series aimed to improve was the rigidity of the platform which is a major factor in the user experience. To improve the rigidness of BraunAbility’s lift the three G’s; Grade, Gauge and Geometry were all brought into the equation.
Grade – The usual material choice for cutting weight is aluminium but is prone to fatigue cracking over any long duration of time which causes rigidity problems. Knowing this, BraunAbility went for the safe and secure option of high-strength steel.
Gauge – By adding surface area around the bearings, BraunAbility have managed to minimise point loads. As for the hinge pins, the strap reaches out from the centre of the pin to gain leverage against rotational forces.
Geometry – The shape of the structure can make a big difference. A good geometry will be more material efficient and provide better structural stability. By moving away from the industry standard geometry in the lower parallel arms, they have greatly increased the rigidity of the platform, supposedly 300% more rigid than any other lift tested.
Unwin have said “These lifts are so rigid, we dare say they’re the only lifts designed to have an attendant riding in the outer corner of the platform together with the wheelchair user.”
New features have been introduced into the new BraunAbility Q-Series Lift as well such as the LED lights, the new design integrates them along the side rail and they’re hidden, yet they give full visibility to the platform and the user to operate the device. Another little feature which has been introduced on to the control is the LED light, which wraps around the device as a white strip.
Take a look at the rest of the video series by BraunAbility for a more detailed look at Braun’s Q-Series Lift.