A canny lifting cushion for Holmatro

A canny lifting cushion for Holmatro

Lifting air cushions help emergency workers to free trapped people. Together with Spark and the manufacturer, Holmatro made its lifting cushions safer and above all more practical. Teamwork, an innovative spirit, and an efficient approach guided the design.


Holmatro decided to give its line of lifting air cushions an upgrade. A team of specialists from Holmatro, the rubber manufacturer, and Spark got to work. Spark project leader Anke Kempen: “This was ideal. On one side of the table were Holmatro with all their input and experience; on the other was the producer, who could say exactly what was possible and what was not. Then you can switch faster and come up with innovations.”

An eye for detail

And boy did the innovations come! To start with, the maximum pressure was raised by 50% so that emergency workers can now do more work with smaller, lighter cushions. The valve was put in a new place, reducing the chance of damage to hoses. In addition, the cushions were given a more solid profile, to make them easier to stack and reflective surfaces to make them more visible. Plastic slider pads on the back make it easier to place the cushions, while labels on all sides give essential information such as lifting capacity. The integrated carrying handles also state the lifting capacity, so that emergency workers can quickly grab the right cushion. Each and every considered detail can be decisive when every second counts.

Length is width

Alongside cooperation and creativity, pragmatism was also crucial to the design. Kempen explains that with a nice example: “The length of the label on the cushion tells the emergency workers how far they can inflate that type of cushion. The length is the maximum width. You don’t know if it will ever be necessary, but it could save a life. That was the angle.”

Spark not only tackled the functional but also the graphic design. The old lifting cushion was blue with yellow and was not really recognizable as being from Holmatro. The new cushion has a contemporary design and strengthens Holmatro’s house style. Kempen: “We are really happy with it. Holmatro is too, they have told us. Rightly so.” 


Product demonstration: lifting bags