A visit with Milwaukee tools

A few weeks ago, I and many other folks who keep a close eye on tools, attended a daylong event at Milwaukee Tools HQ (in Milwaukee, WI, of course). We were treated to presentations related to Milwaukee’s Fuel line of tools and batteries; HVAC, plumbing, electrical and mechanical tools; diagnostic and imaging tools; and hand tools. There was also a fantastic tour through the inner sanctum of Milwaukee’s R&D and testing facilities, including an in-depth look at their rapid prototyping division. This area is where imagination and innovation take physical form, and where science fiction becomes reality! Imagine being able to “print” a 3-D solid object instantly from a drawing using a laser and a plastic block, or being able to put that same digital drawing into a 5-axis CNC machine and have a completed, solid metal part in no time. These guys do that (and much more).

To round out the day there was a Q&A period in which we were able to get information on everything from technology to marketing to distribution right from the source.

Apart from tool talk, the one message that predominated the event was Milwaukee’s commitment to innovation. They are not interested in simply re-branding or re-labelling existing tools and technology to increase their product line. Every tool we saw, from power tools to diagnostics to hand tools and accessories, has a fresh design incorporating practical features that were not only unique, but also well researched and incorporated specifically to meet the needs of their users. I didn’t see any laser-guided jigsaws.

More on the trip to come.

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