New Tool Technology R&D Delights

New materials, technology and innovation is constantly allowing for improvement in the efficiency of how we work. Our tools get smarter, tougher, and more durable. In turn, this means the tool performs better for the end user.

R&D constantly focuses on monitoring the market by identifying and experimenting with potential innovations. With the end user in mind, these new innovations use new technologies to bring customers new offerings and new ways of working.

“A tool manufacturer’s goal is to create a product that makes the job easier.”

Steve Ratkovich – Klein Tools Inc

Emerging technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, and virtual and augmented reality contribute to R&D heavily, acting as a vehicle for innovation.

In the trades industry, product innovation and technology work in conjunction. Nowadays, affordable technology (big or small) is widely available which makes it easier for many enterprises to experiment and build new concepts in different ways.

A good example is how building a prototype has become much more affordable and available than ever before, with the emergence of advanced software and 3D printing. This whole process is focused on improving our tools and making the working experience better for the end user.

So far, new innovations and adaptations have made some popular hand tools more ergonomic, power tools become cordless, and some tools much smaller, lighter and more compact.

After designing and manufacturing tools since 1857, Steve Ratkovich (manager of training and special projects for Klein Tools Inc) has very accurately said that “A tool manufacturer’s goal is to create a product that makes the job easier.”

Today, there are many large companies, such as DeWalt, Greenlee, and Milwaukee that are using the power of technology to form new ideas and make their products much more efficient. They take into consideration how you hold a tool and its overall functionality. Focusing on the efficiency and tool life; they aim to build new products that help the end user get their work done faster, smarter and more efficiently.

Classic examples of brands looking for enhanced performance from their products

Top Hand Tool Manufacturer Dewalt gets the same impact from a 14oz hammer than a 24 full size framing hammer. The firm have experimented with many different materials and designs but decided on steel for durability and a longer life. The new design also features a magnetic nail starter for easy, one-handed nail placement with a vibration absorbing grip to improve the user’s comfort.

The Lufkin L1125B tape measure is one of the toughest measuring tapes in the industry. It has the ability to survive a 100-foot drop onto solid concrete, and boast a 14-foot standout, a diamond coated end hook, two-sided blade with vertical markings on the back. This high-performance tool also offers enhanced visibility in any lighting conditions with clear green marking on the black blade. It’s thanks to the growing trend of drones that R&D departments are able to improve their products to test impact resilience, which can turn out to be very beneficial to the end user and on-site.

There are many other innovations being sought by TOOL R&D as the ability to bring more compact and capable tools to market that are able to match the performance of other lines in both terms of build quality and cost.

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