Milwaukee Tool grows with more employees, new products

Milwaukee Tool has been pushing innovation in its newest product development and that focus is producing positive results for the company.

“Our focus is on the game-changing, disruptive performance of the product,” said Christian Coulis, director of marketing. “Our goal is to be the number one power tool manufacturer in the world.”

Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp., the Brookfield-based subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd., will celebrate its 90th anniversary in 2014.

2013 has been an important year for the business in several ways. The company began the year by committing $6 million to expand its research and development center at its headquarters in Brookfield.

Job growth at the Brookfield corporate office has seen a significant increase in this time, as 147 new employees have been added since the beginning of 2011, bringing the total number of people employed at the headquarters up to 450. The company is also looking to add another 128 employees as expansion continues.

Milwaukee Tool has experienced significant revenue growth in recent years, said brand marketing manager, Kharli Tyler, including double-digit year over year growth in 2013.

This financial growth has then been reinvested back into improving the company’s more high-tech products and on raising the bar on its advanced engineering. The goal is to make products run more efficiently with greater power for longer periods of time.

And product development has indeed expanded. This year alone, more than 60 new products have been released.

“We’re doing things that simply couldn’t be done before,” said Coulis.

One example of this is how Milwaukee Tool is improving its cordless products. The company is working to bring the performance of its cordless products up to the same level as its corded products, which means big things for the people who use these tools day in and day out on jobsites.

“We’re changing the way they do their job,” said Tyler.

The latest in a long list of new products released in recent years are new and improved models in the FUEL line, Milwaukee Tool’s premium products. There are 14 of these products at the 12-volt level (M12) and 36 at the 18-volt level (M18).

Four new products in the M18 FUEL line, including the SAWZALL reciprocating saw, High Torque Impact Wrenches, Circular Saw, and Grinder – will be released in October. These four are standouts among more than 25 new cordless products set to be released this fall.

For the M18 FUEL tools, said Coulis, it’s “all about power and power delivery.”

Some of the standout features of these new products include increased run-times, faster cutting, longer tool life, more torque, greater motor life, and best-in-market power, said Tyler, who added that the ability to make these improvements to cordless products are setting the company apart from its competition.

Advances in the FUEL line have been driven by focusing on three aspects of the product’s technology – motor, software, and batteries. Although certain “bells and whistles” like LED lights and hooks have also been added to these products, said Coulis, the real improvements made have come on the technical side.

Batteries, for example, have been improved so that the high-tech FUEL battery packs – called the REDLITHIUM XC4.0 Battery Pack – are compatible with the hundreds of other Milwaukee Tool products. This cuts costs for consumers who don’t have to purchase a different expensive battery for each tool, said Coulis.

Other Milwaukee Tool-exclusive innovations for this product line include the POWERSTATE Brushless Motor and the REDLINK PLUS Intelligence Hardware and Software. The sizes of many of these products have also been reduced without compromising any of the developments made in increasing the power of the tools.

“Those of us at Milwaukee Tool believe our clear path out of the lingering (economic) gridlock is through innovation,” wrote Milwaukee Tool president Steven P. Richman in the August issue of trade publication Maintenance Technology. “The key to the continued growth of our industry lies in consistency of delivering value and productivity to end-users through innovative products that save time and money.”

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