Sitting down with Southco and their Lift-A- SYST Series
January 23, 2017 | 4:36 pm CST

Getting the inside information on the Lift-A- SYST with one of Southco's own

I wanted to learn a little bit more about Southco's Lift-A- SYST series, so I’m sitting down today to speak with Lou Mintzer, Southco's Business Development Manager for CounterBalance Solutions.
Ethan Abramson - Hey Lou, thanks for taking the time to speak with me. First, can you give an overview of what Lift-A- SYST does and what applications it would be used in?
Lou Mintzer –The Lift-A- SYST series was born out of the need for pass-through applications, mainly in hospitality environments. The rising popularity of granite and quartz made them prevalent choices in bar designs, but these materials were so heavy, that creating an access point meant leaving an open
space or making one continuous counter that staff would have to duck underneath for access. When a door weighs over 100 lbs, a typical hinge is not strong enough to hold it. The Lift-A- SYST series is designed specifically to offset the weight of heavy pass-through countertops and doors, assisting the opening and closing of the lift gate by neutralizing the full weight of the application.
EA - Sounds like it can be used in a lot of places and over quite a few industries. What is your favorite project you have seen Lift-A- SYST used in?
LM – Our typical Lift-A- SYST application is a hospitality setting, like a bar in a taproom, or counter in a fast food restaurant or kiosk. Because the product fits the functional needs and aesthetics that designers gravitate towards in today’s modern designs, you might see it in an upscale bar or even in residential applications where there isn’t space for traditional furniture. One of my favorite applications was for a studio apartment in New York City, where there wasn’t much space for a dining room table. When not in use, the table was mounted flush with the wall, and the Lift-A- SYST allowed it to be lowered when needed by the family of four, who could easily push the table back up when they were finished using it. To hide it from view, they had the underside of the table painted to look like a landscape, with the legs of the table acting as a frame. They were very creative.
EA – Let’s get into the technical side, can you share with us some of the Lift-A- SYST stats; how big is it, how much it can lift, what is the max counter size it works with, etc.
LM – We offer two Lift-A- SYST products: the 20 Series and 30 Series. The 20 series is approximately 36 inches, from hinge point to open side. The 20 Series is mounted under the hinge point and provides about 45 lbs of lift, and typically used with applications using MDF, plywood, plastic laminate and corian materials. The 30 Series is the same length and is installed in the same manner as the 20 Series, but is designed for heavy duty materials and can accommodate up to 125 lbs (e.g., granite combined with substrate) and replaces the existing hinge mechanism. It is important to note the flexibility of both products, in that the weight limit can be adjusted as needed depending on the installation. For example, the weight limit expands if length is shortened, and reduces it the length is increased. Two key considerations when specifying the Lift-A- SYST Series is gross weight of the panel and length of the panel.
EA - Once installed in the field, what is the average lifetime operation of a Lift-A- SYST?
LM – Our products are tested to 100K cycles for the lifetime of most applications.
EA -That pretty impressive. Thanks for the answers Lou, appreciate your time. What’s the best place for someone to find even more info on Lift-A- SYST?
LM – Please visit us at

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About the author
Ethan Abramson

Ethan is the Owner and Head Designer of Ethan Abramson, a New York based furniture company. Established in 2008, the company was founded on the principles of building American made, environmentally conscious handcrafted furniture. You can see Ethan's furniture at and on Instagram @ethan_abramson_furniture