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"120 Volt AC/DC" power tools: Metabo's powerful new direct current machinesSafe working, even under extreme conditions
For 120 volts DC: Metabo's new "AC/DC" line of tools / Complete user safety: three angle grinders, an upright grinder as well as a drill and a jigsaw / Reliable power supplies from capable partners / Successful trial run at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg
Nürtingen, April 2008. Shipyards, oil rigs, tunnels and container manufacturing sites are tough places to work: poor ventilation, close quarters and conductive metal walls make for a "highly charged" environment. These conditions are not only challenging for workers, but also require machines with special protective features – including hand-operated power tools such as angle grinders or drills. One way to offer adequate protection is to design them for 120 volt DC operation. This reduces the risk of electric shock and complies effectively with statutory operator safety requirements.
Metabo has now found a powerful solution for this issue: its "AC/DC" line of products. The Nürtingen-based manufacturer is confident that it can tap into a large new market since its offering is ideal for mining, shipbuilding and container, boiler and pipeline manufacturing. Moreover, its new offering is not just a single product, as is so often the case, but rather the world's first complete range of 120 volt machines that support both alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC).
Designed mainly for metalworking, the product range consists of three angle grinders, an upright grinder, a drill and a jig-saw. The six models offer the same level of performance and proven quality as their counterparts from the standard 230 volt AC product line, noted Metabo. However, the new products also share several key features of their own, including a specially designed engine, special shut-off carbon brushes and an AC/DC toggle switch. Other attractive features include an extra-long, industrial-strength 12 meter cable with a special 120 volt DC plug.
Power is supplied by transformers or internal switch-mode power supplies, like those provided by KLSA. They convert alternating current into the 120 volt direct current required by the tools. The Wittlich-based manufacturer is partnering with Metabo and providing a wide range of designs to match the various models of tools.
The new product range can also connect directly to 120 volt DC power systems. This is an ideal solution at any workplace that frequently runs numerous machines simultaneously. One prime example: Meyer Werft. The world-class shipbuilder, whose teams are at work around the clock, sent Metabo the inquiry that ultimately led to the development of the "AC/DC" line of tools. "Meyer Werft was the best location imaginable for field testing," said Mareike Voelker, full of praise for the joint project with the Papenburg-based company. And, as the Metabo product manager reported, all the machines passed the grueling trial run "with flying colors".