Snap-on introduces ergonomic industrial wrench developed at UWM

Kenosha toolmaker Snap-on Inc. introduced a new product – an industrial wrench designed to reduce shoulder injuries – in a ceremony held last week at the company’s headquarters. Created by engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the tool’s ergonomic features were inspired by the need to reduce the number and severity of injuries sustained by meter technicians in the gas industry.

“The future of work in critical industries like public utilities depends upon innovation that brings more safety and greater productivity to the worksite,” said Andy Ginger, president of Snap-on Industrial. “Snap-on is exceptionally proud to introduce this completely new gas meter service solution in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.”

“Public-private research partnerships such as this are not only vitally important to our regional and state economies – they are transformational,” said UWM chancellor Mark Mone. “Together, Snap-on Inc. and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee are positively impacting thousands of lives.”

Gas meter technicians currently use adjustable pipe wrenches, which can slip when a lot of force is applied, causing injuries that often require surgery. Nearly 30 percent of injuries in the gas utility industry come from changing meters. The new tool has a longer handle, designed to work with several interchangeable heads, so that technicians do not have to carry the added weight of multiple specialty wrenches in their tool bags.

UWM faculty members Naira Campbell-Kyureghyan and Benjamin Church and former graduate student Patrick Dix made and tested the wrench with input from UWM’s Consortium for Advanced Research in Gas Industries (CARGI), an organization of member companies in the gas industry. CARGI, formed by Campbell-Kyureghyan in 2010, is dedicated to improving safety and productivity for its private-sector and utility members.

Snap-on entered into a license agreement with the UWM Research Foundation in October 2013 to commercialize the gas meter wrench.

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

No posts to display