MILWAUKEE, Wis. — As part of its “disruptive innovation” emphasis of recent years, Milwaukee Tool pledges to bring out “more new products faster” than any competitor.

That’s why it annually invites trade press from the six disciplines it focuses on — plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians, builders, remodelers, and maintenance personnel — for a day-long rollout of the latest power tools and accessories.

This year’s event drew 77 media members from seven countries. President Steve Richman said the new product rollout was designed to “outpace competitors” while at the same time “outperforming and outthinking.” He said this has resulted in a 35 percent growth in the business over the previous year.

Here is a sampling of some of the latest products that have applications for the HVACR sector.

• Jackets: For technicians on rooftops in cold weather climates the company showed an expanded line of M12™ heated gear with the introduction of new warming features, accessories, and jacket colors. A new fleece inner liner and heating elements are now in the chest and upper back, and lower pockets that are controlled independently of the core heating elements, with the latter added to provide extra warmth to the hands. Each heating element is composed of sewn in carbon fiber heating zones that can be set to high, medium, or low with a touch of a button on the lapel. An upgraded battery holder now includes a battery fuel gauge and a USB port for charging portable electronic devices. The M12™ Red Lithium™ battery delivers up to six hours of continuous heat on a single battery charge, the company said.

Related to that, the company also introduced the Heated Jacket 12v DC plug adapter which utilizes a 7-foot coil cord for cord routing throughout a vehicle.

• Copper Press Tool: For copper and steel pipe press connections, the company introduced the ForceLogic™ press tool line. Featuring a one-handed, in-line design, the new press tool allows for navigating around installed pipes.

Utilizing Redlink™ electronics, the tools monitor the force output and visually indicate both a secure connection and when the tool needs calibration, the company said. “In today’s turbulent market, mechanical contractors must look to time and cost saving solutions to deliver significant productivity and profitability enhancements,” said Corey Dickert, senior product manager. “The new ForceLogic™ Press Tools take that mentality to the next level.”

• Caulk and Adhesive Gun: The company introduced the M12™ cordless caulk and adhesive gun. Said David Lincoln, product manager, “The M12™ caulk and adhesive gun is a lightweight, compact, and affordable solution that allows users to eliminate the excessive fatigue they experience by using repetitive manual tools all day. This new tool is optimized for use with common construction sealants and adhesives.”

• Thermal Imager: The 160x120 thermal imager is for preventative maintenance and troubleshooting applications. It features 160 by 120 pixel, high resolution thermal images, a visual camera for standard pictures, and a wide temperature range.

“Designed from the ground up with the professional tradesman in mind, this tool is fast, versatile, and easy to use,” said Jon Morrow, director of marketing, test and measurement. “Users are able to capture a thermal and visual image on every trigger pull and toggle between the two with the push of a button. With a five-button interface and a no blur, no-wait display that updates the screen image 60 times a second, this tool is easy to use and delivers professional quality.”

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Publication date: 7/30/2012