Tools: From Design to Development
To say advancements in technology have had a powerful and positive effect on the hand and power tool industry is to make an obvious statement.
Manufacturers and distributors understand the importance of leveraging technology to achieve their business goals, and as the relevant technology continues to evolve, industrial firms are becoming more adept at utilizing it.
“We are now dealing with a tech-driven marketplace, and it is important to embrace it to effectively reach our markets,” says Corey Talbot, Vice President of Marketing and Development for Hyde Tools, manufacturer of surface preparation tools.
“It has changed almost every aspect of how we inform and sell to our markets,” Talbot adds.
It all starts with reaching the target markets, and technological advancements have afforded providers easier access to customers and feedback. Online resources such as SurveyMonkey make product feasibility research easier than ever before.
“It does give us a much earlier read on receptivity to our concepts and design,” says Talbot.
Technology-driven vehicles such as QR codes, blogs, and online ads are among other ways companies are leveraging technology to reach customers. Hyde Tools embraces these methods and uses them in concert with more traditional means of testing and research.
“There is a lot to be said for the traditional method of putting products in the field for testing,” says Talbot. “Some feedback can only come through face-to-face interaction with the men and women who are using our tools on the jobsite.”
Design For Manufacturability
Customers always want durable and cost-effective tools, which has led companies like Hyde to embrace technological advances to meet those demands. For Hyde, a strong focus on technology has enabled Design for Manufacturability (DFM), the discipline of identifying the optimal method of producing the tool to allow for it to be made available at an affordable price – and an affordable price means quite a bit in these lean economic times. It has also led to shorter product cycles and faster market penetration, allowing companies to meet demand for their new products quickly and effectively.
Andy Mandell, Marketing Manager for Dynabrade, a designer and manufacturer of portable abrasive power tools, agrees that technology has allowed for companies to achieve their product development initiatives in a number of ways.
“Technology plays a huge part in allowing us to design a high quality tools that will be able to take the kind of punishment needed in today’s manufacturing environment,” says Mandell. “We also stock replacement parts and have a very extensive repair program which allows us to keep customers’ tools in tip-top shape, reducing downtime, increasing production, and increasing profit.”
Furthermore, new and improved software design programs and testing devices have improved Dynabrade’s process.
“Technology plays a huge part in allowing us to design a high quality tool that will be able to take the kind of punishment needed in today’s manufacturing environment,” adds Mandell.
Dynabrade has utilized the latest technological advancements to improve its products in a several ways. For example, technological advancements have allowed Dynabrade to create vacuum tools that are capable of reducing more dust in the workplace, as well as improve vibration in their tools to make them run more smoothly, improve insulation to reduce cold air transmission caused by running air tools, and reduce noise in a variety of their products.
Even so, Mandell believes the continued evolution of technology means the best is yet to come for Dynabrade and its customers.
“As a matter of fact, I feel it’s only going to get better as we go forward,” he says. “The key is manufacturing high quality American-made tools, with excellent customer service and high quality parts and accessories to keep our customers moving forward.”