MILWAUKEE, WI — Last month, Milwaukee Tool hosted its annual New Product Symposium (NPS) for media, select contractors and social media influencers to introduce new products, talk technology and discuss the future of the company. From the very first NPS, Milwaukee has gone from 200+ people in its R&D headquarters to more than 1,500 today, and is quickly running out of space. Nonetheless, with double-digit growth over that past 10+ years, there is a palpable excitement throughout the company. “We are seeing 100 new products this year, experiencing another year of unbelievable growth, introducing more new products than any of our competitors in this space, and delivering the message that we are a solutions company,” said Steve Richman, president, Milwaukee Tool.
Milwaukee’s commitment to the trades, and its company-wide goal to provide innovative solutions to the end user, is commendable. For example, it has been stressed that you won’t see their logo on cars during NASCAR races or on outfield walls at professional baseball parks. “Our focus clearly is the trades. How do we develop products, how do we understand what the user does and how do we leverage the technology? We want to combine those points to deliver disruptive innovation by investing in people,” said Richman.
“Disruptive innovation,” is a term that ties into the company’s overall philosophy. The term, coined by Harvard business professor, Clayton Christiansen, stems from his idea that a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors.
The message is clear: Milwaukee Tool wants to be known as a solutions provider first and foremost. “This is not about products, this is about solutions, and how we make the job safer and more productive every day,” said Richman. As a result, Milwaukee’s new tool lineup includes and increased emphasis on user safety, which includes equipment such as hard hats, safety glasses, safety vests, respirators, hearing protection and headlamps. “How do we partner users to be able to deliver solutions that drive productivity and safety on the job?” asks Richman.
And while Milwaukee has some big plans and major announcements tucked away for the end of the year, let’s get back to those 100 new tools. During the NPS event—held at a former retail department store warehouse nearby—Milwaukee employees were ready for the “onslaught” of coverage from the more than 100 attendees. The new tools stretched from the utility, carpentry, electrical, and, of course, “You are seeing the depth of Milwaukee Tool’s commitment to the plumbing and mechanical contractor,” said Alex Boll, senior product manager for Milwaukee Tool.
Here are some of the tool highlights from this year’s #NPS19 event:
• M18 FUEL Pipe Threader w/One-Key—Harnessing the power, performance and run-time delivered by M18 FUEL technology, the M18 FUEL Pipe Threader w/ONE-KEY delivers unprecedented control for the user. The threader features AUTOSTOP technology, which senses severe kickback and automatically shuts the tool off, as well as a dedicated support arm to hold the tool stationary during threading, and an integrated die head lock that enables side-grip thread starts.
“The introduction of the first cordless pipe threader is a monumental achievement for the M18 System and a huge step forward in productivity for tradesmen,” said Boll. “Through our advanced M18 FUEL cordless technology, we’re able to deliver a cordless pipe threader that not only surpasses the speed of corded but does so while being lighter than the leading corded solution and offering unmatched control, simplifying the entire experience from start to finish.” The threader will be available on the market in July of 2019.
PACKOUT Modular Storage System—The extremely popular PACKOUT Modular Storage System has some added wrinkles. The new M18TM Radio + Charger w/PACKOUT compatibility delivers the quality sound quality and functionality. A 10-speaker system provides users with 360° sound with the loudest volume and deepest bass that the jobsite has heard. Full compatibility with the PACKOUT system assures that users can easily transport their tools and audio on and off the jobsite. This new radio/charger accepts and charges all M18TM batteries and stores mobile devices. Available November 2019
PACKOUT Dolly—Constructed with impact resistant polymer, the PACKOUT Dolly provides users with a convenient way to transport their tools and equipment throughout the jobsite. Its smooth roll wheels allow the Dolly to easily roll with a heavy load up to 250 lbs, while a QUICKSTOP Loading Lever enables users to hold the Dolly in place when loading and unloading. Available July 2019
• IPS XL Rings & PEX Jaw Expansion—The 2-1/2”–4” IPS XL Ring Kit fits directly in the M18TM FORCE LOGIC Long Throw Press Tools and gives it the ability to press Viega MegaPress XL Fittings without the use of cumbersome tool extensions, while vastly expanding the range of applications the tool can accomplish. “With the addition of these jaws mechanical contractors can now make controlled, flameless connections on 2-1/2”– 4” Schedule 10 to Schedule 40 Black Iron Pipe with the very same tool they use for pressing copper, PEX, and stainless-steel. We’ve just reset the standard for productivity in large steel pipe installation,” said Boll.
• M18 FUEL Sewer Sectional Machine w/Cable Drive—Expanding the offering within the drain cleaning category, Milwaukee launches the M18 FUEL Sewer Sectional Machine w/ CABLE DRIVE. The tool’s CABLE DRIVE technology provides the first Automatic Feed and Retract solution within sectional machines designed to reduce user strain when pulling back the cable from the pipe. The power to clear roots at 200 ft. with a cordless solution provides users the power they need to clear tough clogs with easy set up and transport allowing users to work with less hassles. Available on the market in November 2019.
• M18 and M12 Super Charger— The new offering charges up to 4x faster—or 40% less charge time—than Milwaukee’s standard chargers, as well as the best combination of charge time and pack life. It’s pretty simple, “the longer tools run, the more they need charging,” said Babacar Diop, product manager for Milwaukee Tool.
The charger leverages Milwaukee’s REDLINK Intelligence to optimize the charge rate based on the battery type and temperature—high performance down to 0 F, and with the High Output HD 12.0 reaching full performance capability at temps as low as -20 F, according to Diop. This all culminates in all HIGH OUTPUT batteries charging in one hour or less, which is pretty significant for today’s jobsite. Available July 2019
• M18 FUEL SUPER HAWG—Milwaukee Tool delivers the industry’s first right-angle drill with the power to fully replace corded. Designed from the ground-up with an upgraded POWERSTATE Brushless Motor and optimized REDLINK PLUS electronics, the new M18 FUEL SUPER HAWG has the power to drill 6-1/4” holes through 6” beam at corded speed, as well as the run-time to complete single home rough-ins. Available July 2019