A workbench is a work table with special devices commonly used in industry and trade . Thus, for example, in many carpentry tools (also workbench mentioned) in common the built-in devices for clamping (clamping jaws) of articles (wood, metal, ...) as well as a large working area. A vice is mounted on the front of the locksmith's workbench . Another example are workbenches for goldsmiths , watchmakers or model making , which are clamped on or to a work table and offer holding devices, magnifying glasses, etc.
The term workbench in the sense of "at the workbench (standing, working)" is often used as a synonym or metaphor for manual / manual work in general and as a contrast to working at a desk , for example .
The metaphorical expression " extended workbench " is originally used for industrial manufacturing companies (or even entire economies) that do not conduct their own research and development , but only offer contract manufacturing of products that have been developed by other companies (or in other economies). This phenomenon was particularly noticeable at the beginning of economic globalization in the late 1980s and early 1990s , when inexpensive manufacturing companies in Eastern Europe and East Asia offered themselves as manufacturing facilities. At least initially, the low wage level in these countries played a role. Today, however, research and development departments are increasingly being relocated to these countries, so that the effect of the "extended workbench" is slowly disappearing. In the meantime, the term extended workbench is also generally used for sub-suppliers who perform standard activities or preparatory work for the actual supplier, who can thus adapt more flexibly to fluctuating capacity requirements.
Old workbench in the Glentleiten open-air museum