Makita’s XGT 40-volt Max range is redefining power-tool safety and performance, and has the mining industry’s endorsement to prove the company is a big-time player in an ever-advancing sector.
Using battery power tools as a substitute for alternating current (AC) tools provides major safety assurances on mine sites, removing the workplace hazards associated with electrical leads.
Corded tools present trip hazards, entanglement risks as well as the potential for electric shocks.
Makita’s XGT 40-volt Max range provides a proven alternative to AC power tools, exemplified by its TW001GZ ¾” Drive Impact Wrench and GA013GZ 125-millimetre Angle Grinder.
The Japanese power-tool innovator is built on the back of its core philosophy of “Listen, Act & Deliver.” It’s the company’s progressive approach to development that’s seen it develop products for all settings.
“Makita’s focus is on innovation and fit-for-purpose tooling, so they are an industrial-grade tool, they’re designed for harsh environments,” Makita Australia industrial business development manager Andrew Shaw says.
“The company’s vision and objective is to provide a battery-powered, cord-free, hose-free, petrol-free solution for all areas of industry because that’s the future.”
Safety is not just an obligation in Makita’s tool range, it’s a selling point, and something which underpins the company’s process from factory to site.
“Makita is designing and producing these tools with the vision of replacing existing products in the industry where there’s air-hose hazards, electrical-lead hazards, petrol hazards, with a product that’s an effective direct replacement,” Shaw says.
“The company incorporates a lot of unique or extra features into the manufacturing process to make the tools suitable for that kind of climate and now with this new XGT range, which stands for ‘next-generation technology’, with its 40-volt system, it provides a genuine solution for heavy-industrial applications.”
The compact and ergonomic design of Makita’s TW001GZ Drive Impact Wrench is an important safety attribute, while its four-speed selection reduces unnecessary reactive force on the user. Its rubber joint suppression also limits vibration to the battery and battery terminal, as well as the user.
The wrench’s auto-stop feature is another essential aspect, giving the user greater control of the tool.
“One of the big safety benefits of the wrench is the forward and reverse auto-stop features,” Makita Australia product coordinator Michael Princic says.
“In forward, it will remove the ability for the tool to overtighten a certain nut or bolt. If you overtighten, it can cause failure or undue stress to the equipment, so it eliminates that.”
A tool is arguably at its most dangerous when working in reverse – something Makita recognises with its TW001GZ Drive Impact Wrench.
“In reverse, at full power, full speed, it’s pulling that nut or bolt straight out and it could cause the nut to fall,” Princic says.
“If you’re working at a height which is a safety issue, or if that piece of equipment, whatever you’re unfastening, is under tension or load, it could allow it to spring out or fall off as well.
“So, with the auto-stop feature, the wrench just backs it out in a controlled manner allowing it to stay in place without coming all the way out.”
Princic says Makita was the first company to market the forward and reverse auto-stop function, while the rubber joint suppression feature of the TW001GZ Drive Impact Wrench is also unique to the company.
Angle grinders are dangerous tools when not used correctly and while mining companies seek to remove all instances of injury at their operations, it is inevitable that some hiccups will occur.
Known for its safety attributes, Makita’s GA013GZ 125-millimetre Angle Grinder is a proven player in harsh environments.
The product’s Active Feedback Sensing Technology (AFT) predicts imminent kickback and shuts the tool down any time there’s a sudden drop in wheel speed, while the electric brake rapidly slows wheel rotation upon release of the trigger.
The GA013GZ also has an anti-restart function which prevents the tool from unexpectedly starting if the battery is inserted while the trigger is depressed, and its two-stage safety paddle switch prevents the tool from being locked on for periods of time.
Makita has helped several mining organisations get the best out of their power tools while staying safe at the same time.
One of these is Paste Services International (PSI), a mining and energy services company responsible for surface and underground piping systems and engineering design.
PSI manages engineering EPC, piping systems, paste infrastructure, pump and power systems, while coordinating its projects end-to-end.
When PSI chose Makita, the company had previously been engaging with a separate power-tool manufacturer.
“Matt Bennetto (PSI managing director) has a long, successful history in mining and resources, and he came previously from another business where they were heavily integrated into mine sites activities for a lot of shutdown services,” Shaw says.
“Then when he went off to start PSI on his own, he was looking at tooling solutions and he deferred initially to the brand he was previously using. However, through one of our dealers, they suggested (to Bennetto) that Makita might be something to look at.
“So, he came down, we had a discussion, we reviewed the safety features, the ergonomics, the backup support, the benefit of the Makita brand and, based on everything that we presented him, he said, ‘this is the brand we’re going to move forward with’.”
According to Bennetto, Makita’s tools have all the applications to be an asset in the mining sector and energy space.
“PSI selected Makita as its tool brand of choice due to the superior ergonomics and innovative safety features that are incorporated into many of its products,” Bennetto says.
“Makita is clearly committed to providing practical and versatile tooling solutions that are relevant to our industry and we are confident that they are the right brand to partner with as we grow our business.”
Makita’s XGT range is proven in its safety, has the endorsement to show its mining expertise, while its 40-volt capability enhances the product even further from a performance standpoint.
This article appears in the November issue of Safe To Work.