‘Zero gravity’ tool carrier for aerial platforms
By Murray Pollok15 November 2022
Italian company Marea srl has developed a pneumatic ‘zero gravity’ device to make it easy for workers to use heavy power tools from the deck of a scissor lift.
The ’Gravity Joe’ device comprises a universal mounting system with pneumatically powered arms to hold tools weighing up to 20 kg. It gives users the ability to effortlessly operate a tool – as if without gravity - in three axes and with 360 degree rotation.
Marea is a sister company to Lombardy-based rental business Meta Rent and part of ME.TA. Group. ME.TA. is a specialist in construction equipment parts. Another member of the group is lighting tower manufacturer Luxtower.
Elisa Taini, Sales director for Gravity Joe and also Sales and Marketing Director of Luxtower, told IRN at Bauma that the product was a joint project with her father; “It came from our rental experience. The rental price for platforms is low – there is a long return on investment – so we have to add value.”
Taini said the device will make it easy for all types of operator, young and old, to operate heavy tools safely in a platform; “Operators are human, and if there is no operator there will be no work done. It will help older operators be more productive.”
The company said the product could be used for drilling, sanding, grinding, cutting and fixing work in applications such as tunnels, shipyards, metal finishing and building maintenance.
Gravity Joe costs in the range of €5000 to €10,000 and weighs 60 kg, although a smaller version is available weighing 35 kg. It requires a pneumatic pressure of between 4 and 6 bar to operate.
The system has already been successfully used in Meta’s own rental fleet for the past 18 months, said Taini.
Her father started the construction equipment business in 1977 as a JCB dealer, and quickly developed the rental company Meta, which now operates from four locations: the head office west of Piacenza in Lombardy, plus two locations in Liguria and one in Modena. ME.TA. is no longer a JCB dealer.
Elisa Taini joined the family business selling JCB machines in 2006 and in 2013 launched Luxtower.
“The difference between Luxtower and other OEMs”, said Taini, “is that we have rental experience. Our experience brings good value to the lighting tower project. Our own rental company was the first customer for Luxtower.”