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Smart Power Tools: Benefits and Use Cases

Smart Power Tools: Benefits and Use Cases

01 Feb 2024

The inception of connected power tools marked the initial stride towards intelligent power tools. These advanced tool systems not only furnish manufacturers, construction firms, and Do-it-Yourself (DIY) enthusiasts with valuable data about their power tools but also offer varying levels of automation, such as smart drilling/torque settings. Despite the nascent stage of the smart power tool market, its growth in the forthcoming years appears promising, primarily driven by the practical application of tool data.

In this context, smart tools encompass the following categories:

  • Drills
  • Saws
  • Grinders
  • Oscillating and rotary tools
  • Compressors and accessories
  • Sanders

Condition-Based Monitoring and Preventative Maintenance

Similar to how food companies monitor product condition during transit, users of smart tools can now monitor the health of their equipment. State-of-the-art smart power tools equipped with condition-based monitoring technologies allow users to stay vigilant about the well-being of their tools. When signs of potential failure emerge, users receive alerts through an app-based dashboard. Some solutions go further by detecting deterioration based on the tool used for specific tasks. This proactive approach enables users to trace back to the power tool in question, addressing issues before they escalate. Regular performance reviews not only enhance work efficiency but also extend the overall lifetime of the power tool.

Asset Tracking with Smart Tools

To counter theft and tool misplacement, smart tools incorporate tracking technologies. Tools come either manufactured with built-in connectivity or equipped with a connectivity tag. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi serve as primary connectivity technologies for average worksites, offering insights into tool locations and aiding project planning. However, for high-value assets, especially those prone to leaving the worksite, cellular networks like Long Term Evolution (LTE) and 5G provide more robust tracking capabilities.

Quality Assurance Controls

Intelligent power tool systems streamline the critical process of Quality Assurance (QA) in manufacturing and construction. App-based software solutions enable firms to track assigned tasks, facilitating the identification of performance shortcomings and operational bottlenecks. In industries where QA is paramount for end-user safety, understanding the root cause of poor quality, be it a tool or a specific process like torque setting, becomes crucial.

Tool Safety

Cordless smart power tools are gaining traction as a safety measure, addressing the inherent risks associated with traditional wired tools. The transition to wireless tools reduces the risk of tripping in work environments, promoting workplace safety. Although wireless power tools require long-lasting batteries to ensure task completion without interruptions, advancements in battery technology are expected to widen the market for cordless tools, particularly in larger industrial use cases.

It's All about Tool Visibility

The evolving landscape of the power tool market emphasizes the demand for smarter solutions from consumers, manufacturers, and construction companies. Broader visibility into workflows provides end users with insights into significant workflow improvements.