Last month, Milwaukee invited the media to see what the company's engineers have been working on to bring the newest innovations in tool design to the market. Housed inside an old building next to the historic Pabst Brewery, the company set up several extensive work stations where the newest Milwaukee tools and accessories were tested out. The company tackled many of the most common challenges customers face, and while some of the innovations may seem simple, they've made a big difference in the company's tool and accessory lineups. Here's a glimpse at some of those innovations.
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1. 2C Pro Markers
If you've ever reached for a permanent marker on a messy job site in your shop in order to mark a piece of plywood or other material, you've likely found that any dust or dirt on the work surface can make it hard to write down a clear spec. The new 2PC Pro Markers from Milwaukee can write on about any surface in extremely messy situations, as seen here on a dusty concrete block. The marker cuts through the dust and leaves a clear mark on a variety of materials such as metals, wood, concrete, plastic and more.
2. Easy access
The new 2PC Pro Markers can also be easily clipped to a hat, clipboard or shirt pocket for easy access in messy situations. Product to launch Dec. 2013.
3. iPad access
Farmers are increasingly carrying an iPad with them as they move about the farm for a variety of tasks, but many of those jobs require wearing work gloves. Milwaukee developed a solution called the Stylus Marker, which has a special tip that acts like a finger on an iPad surface so the user doesn't have to remove their work gloves to navigate through apps. The company said it noticed workers would cut the tips off their gloves in order to use an iPad on a job site, so the Stylus Marker provided a solution to ruined gloves. It also holds the 2PC marker on the opposite end for writing and iPad usage in one tool. Product to launch Dec. 2013.
4. Durable screwdriver
The new Demo Drivers with steel caps feature a steel shank that goes all the way through the length of the screwdriver, making it extra durable. A steel cap is them mushroomed onto the end. Milwaukee employees placed the screwdriver in a vice grip and hammered away at the steel cap, which simply left some marks from the hammering, while the competitors' screwdriver caps flew off right away with a swing of the hammer. The Demo Drivers were launched in May 2013.
5. Magnetic tape measure
The new magnetic tape measure from Milwaukee features double magnets on the end, which allow the end of the tape to easily grasp onto metal rods.
6. Safety feature
What's one of the most common mishaps when letting the tape on a tape measure slide rapidly back into the base? You probably guessed it: The metal tape snaps the user's fingers. Milwaukee came up with a simple but very effective solution by adding a protective bar that the base of the tape hits before it can snap the user's fingers. The full line of Magnetic Tape Measures will launch by Feb. 2014.
7. Shockwave Expand
The new Shockwave Expand kit offers new options to its existing bit program with new extended length magnetic bit holders and insert nut drivers to do more jobs with fewer pieces. While traditional systems are focused on just insert screwdriving bits, Expand goes further with the launch of five insert style nut drivers.
8. Fewer pieces, more jobs
The Shockwave Expand kit is shown here to display how many job the simple 26-piece system can handle compared to competitors' products which require carrying around hundreds of pieces.
9. 30 degree knuckle
The 30 degree pivoting bit holder is included in the Shockwave Expand kit, which allows for getting into very tight spaces.
Shockwave Expand kit launches July 2013.
10. Battery charging mess
With Milwaukee focusing heavily on its battery powered tool lines, a solution for battery charging was also an important focus. Here, the company shows what a mess it can be to charge multiple batteries on one power source.
11. Charging solution
The solution they came up with is its M18 Six Pack Sequential Battery Charger, which charges up to six batteries on one terminal. The charger features a light system which indicates when each battery is charged or waiting to be charged. It sequentially charges the batteries as they are placed on the charger. Launched Jan. 2013.
12. M18 LED Flood Light
The new M18 LED Flood Light emits bright light in dark work spaces and conserves energy compared to traditional halogen work lights. The octagon shaped sides allow for rotating the light on a flat surface to shine the light in just the right direction. The octagonal sides made of PVC material also provide protection, as the Milwaukee specialists demonstrated by chucking the light across the room onto a cement floor. The light bounced along its octagonal sides with no damage to the tool at all. The light can also be hung and mounted in a variety of locations. Product to launch Sept. 2013.
13. Less heat
LED lighting emits far less heat than halogen lights due to this chamber housed underneath the lights, which captures and eliminates any heat produced by the lights. Halogen work lights can emit hundreds of degrees of heat, which can become dangerous and uncomfortable when in close proximity to the light. Product to launch Oct. 2013.
14. M12 LED Stick Light
The smaller M12 LED Stick Light offers an option for light needs in tighter spaces. The stick light offers brighter, longer lasting light than a traditional flashlight and the LED technology conserves energy.
15. Multiple uses
The M12 LED Stick Light can be hung and placed in a variety of positions. A magnetic piece on the back allows for it to also be attached to metal shelving or other metal surfaces. Product launch in May 2013.
16. Womens heated jackets
<a href="http://farmindustrynews.com/shopoffice/2012-gift-guide-farmer-your-list" target="_blank">Since we first reported on Milwaukee's cordless heated jackets</a>, the company has expanded the line with several new color options, styles and functions. The company says they launched women's sizing of the heated jacket after many of their male customers reported their spouses stealing the jacket to keep for themselves.
A camouflage version of the heated jacket was also introduced with hunting enthusiasts in mind, along with an optional heated pouch for hand warming. The pouch allows a hunter to not have to wear gloves while hunting in the cold.
18. Heated hoodie
Also brand new was the heated hoodie for a comfortable, casual ensemble when working out in the cold.
19. Battery pack
The heated jackets are powered by a small battery that slips into the pocket. The heat is controlled by small buttons located on the chest of the jacket.
20. Milwaukee Fuel line expansion
Milwaukee showed off its expansion of their battery-powered tools in its Fuel line, which was launched last year. Here, a product specialist demonstrates the Sawzall Reciprocating Saw which can saw through a variety of materials from wood to metal pipes.
21. Circular saw
The M18 Fuel battery-powered Circular Saw cut easily through plywood and delivered more power than its competitors when pressure was applied to the tool.
22. Fuel line innovations
The M18 Fuel High Torch Impact Wrench features three Milwaukee exclusive innovations in its Fuel line - the Powerstate Brushless Motor, Redlithium Battery Pack and Redlink Plus Intelligence Hardware and Software. All three allow for better power, run time and durability.
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