While I was helping my daughter move into her college dorm room this weekend, my son checked out my trusty red metal toolbox. As he plowed through my tools of a former trade, he mumbled something about how most of my stuff was from the last century. My son, now that he's been going around the Midwest repairing concrete, has become quite a toolmonger. He closed my toolbox and went to his truck to retrieve his own.
So let me ask you this question: When was the last time you took the time to check your employees' tool-boxes? I'm not suggesting that you are searching for anything illegal. I'm referring to the type of tools your workers use to complete the tasks you've assigned. Investing in new tools may offer your greatest return on investment.
Recently, I had a chance to attend tool launches at DEWALT and Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp. I was amazed that tool manufacturers continue to invest in innovation despite these economic times. Let me offer you just two of the new tools you should consider for your employees' toolboxes.
DEWALT has just launched a full line of Wearable Backing Flap Discs. According to Brad Nohr, the line's product manager, “By using a stronger cloth with a better grain and resin formula, the welder gains up to 175% more surface area than other disks.” Greater surface wear area means fewer stoppages for disk changes, and greater productivity.
By adjusting the design of the grit in the disk, DEWALT's engineers claim that these flap disks have the removal rate of conventional grinding wheels. During my brief hands-on test, I verified this claim.
Another hip tool you should try is the 2446-21XC M12 Cordless Grease Gun introduced this spring by Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp. The grease gun delivers more than 8000 psi max operating pressure for heavy-duty applications and dispenses up to seven grease cartridges per battery charge, with its high-capacity lithium ion battery.
Plants often have hundreds of fittings which require regular greasing. I think this unit will help get the job done faster. “We designed the 2446-21XC to deliver the highest max operating pressure in its class, and to accomplish the toughest service task efficiently,” said Paul Fry, director of cordless tools for Milwaukee.
When I tested the grease gun, it was lightweight and easy to carry. The ergonomic handle design added comfort for prolonged use, and the onboard hose storage and shoulder strap loop provided greater convenience and less mess. I wished I'd had this when I was sent to grease the head pulley at the top of the McCook plant, especially in winter.
Read more at Rick Yelton's blog.