Terry Smith is on hand to witness the latest instalment of a European adventure, which Milwaukee hopes will see it go from a relative pawn to an all-conquering king of the power tool castle.
They call Prague the “City of a Hundred Spires” and merchants and wholesalers from across Europe and the Middle East needed little encouragement to journey to a city so steeped in historical culture for the latest Milwaukee conference. If prospect of beer-that’s-actually-cheaper-than-water wasn’t enough, European Vice President of Marketing and Key Accounts, Jason Chiswell promised the assembled delegates the biggest and best of the six conferences to date. From the word go, with the spectacular introductory light show in the foyer of the upmarket hotel, to the realistically staged demonstration sets, the event did not disappoint.
The principal objective of the conference is to put the increasingly extensive Milwaukee range of both power and hand tools through their paces in the sort of typical situations tradesmen ﬁnd themselves every day of their working lives. To this end, the emphasis over the past ﬁve years has been the on-going introduction of signiﬁcantly more powerful battery options, with the M18 range now extending to more than 80 different cordless tool options. This is complemented by in excess of 60 tools in the latest M12 ranges, with every Fuel tool incorporating the well proven Compact Power state brushless motors and the Redlink Plus management software to get more power, longer run times and enhanced tool life.
“The principal objective of the conference is to put the increasingly extensive Milwaukee range of both power and hand tools through their paces in the sort of typical situations tradesmen ﬁnd themselves every day of their working lives.”
Pushing these boundaries even further, this year the company conﬁrmed the introduction of the new High Demand 9.0ah battery, which promises to deliver fade-free performance under the most extreme jobsite conditions, and will double the output of the current 5.0ah pack. It is the powerhouse behind what the company is claiming to be the world’s ﬁrst Cordless 18v 5kg SDS Max Rotary Hammer, which is designed to deliver AC performance on the existing M18 platform at an optimised power to weight ratio vs higher voltages. Demand is expected to be high but those wishing to get their hands on one will have to wait a little longer until the UK launch in September.
At the same time, the industry’s ﬁrst cloud-based networking platform for smart power tools was revealed under the One-Key banner. As Oliver Learch, Vice-President of Product Management explained: “Using your smartphone, the One-Key App allows the user to unlock the door to the inside working of our cordless fuel tools providing unprecedented levels of control and access to important performance criteria. For the ﬁrst time there is the ability to customise tools beyond the manufacturer’s settings to meet speciﬁc needs and to set up to the tool to repeat its output consistently in order to improve productivity, safety and efficiency.
As well as the signiﬁcantly enhanced cordless power platform, the delegates heard that the company is continuing to expand its range of specialist hand tools, deliberately avoiding the ‘me too’ route with emphasis on tools meeting the very peculiar needs of plumbers, electricians and carpenters with new crimpers and cutters, a powerful knockout tool, Trueview on site lighting, and enhanced ranges of step drill Bits and Shockwave accessories. This spring also sees the introduction of a Premium M12 Heated Gear range of jackets.
Attending the conference is always an eye opener, of course, but you clearly don’t need to have been in Prague to have good reason to ‘Czech’ out Milwaukee on a regular basis throughout 2016!