Tom Hammel 2017-10-03 02:03:50
FROM CHALK LINES TO LASERS, EASE OF USE AND ACCURACY RULE While some measuring tools are intuitive, advanced instruments like lasers have had a long uphill slog to gain user acceptance. Today’s laser tools continue to improve user interfaces to become ever easier to use. Manual tools are adding user convenience features as well. This year’s annual survey looks at how 10 leaders are changing the rules of measurement. MILWAUKEE TOOL “Milwaukee tape measures have come to be known for their extraordinary durability and longest life in the industry,” says Brandon Miller, group marketing manager. “As a result of our user-focused research and the success of our tape measure line, we’ve now set the bar even higher by enhancing key features on these new tapes to deliver an even better experience for the professional tradesman.” These new premium tape measures are more compact and ergonomic, providing a better fit in the user’s hand. An improved finger-stop mechanism protects users’ fingers during retraction while maximizing stability during layout applications. A more compact magnetic hook will allow users to get into smaller spaces for measurements. For added functionality, the tape measures also include an improved wire-form belt clip optimized for bag or belt storage and reduced pocket tearing. “Just like all Milwaukee tapes, these tape measures continue to deliver longer life than other industry-leading tape measures because of proprietary Nylon Bond Blade Protection, and a five-point reinforced frame for drop protection,” Miller adds. “Together these features make Milwaukee tape measures the most durable tape measures in the industry. Dual-sided printing with blueprint scale on the bottom side provides added functionality while working overhead and with blueprints.” So far, the Magnetic Tape Measure with Finger Stop line includes four models in lengths of 16, 25, 30 and 35 feet as well as two metric options. All are backed by Milwaukee’s limited lifetime warranty. CALCULATED INDUSTRIES Improving laser technology continues to transform the construction industry. Add Bluetooth technology into the equation for low-cost laser dimension measuring and you might just impact the way of building in light construction. Calculated Industries’ Laser Dimension Master 165-BT could be that catalyst. Since the advent of tape measures in 1868, few advancements in measuring technology have made measuring easier, quicker and more accurate than the Laser Dimension Master 165-BT. By combining the precision of laser measuring with the convenience of Bluetooth wireless communication technology, the LDM 165-BT can take accurate measurements that are sent to your smart phone, tablet or laptop. “Coupling the convenience of Bluetooth with the accuracy of a laser in this LDM is a game changer,” says Steve Kennedy, president of Calculated Industries. “It allows a single person to measure up to 165 feet, upload the measurements to a phone and then send it to a team member within a few seconds to keep a project moving forward with instant accuracy.” The LDM 165-BT is equipped to measure length, calculate area, determine indirect height and compute volume within 1/16 of an inch in accuracy. It has onboard memory to store its last 50 measurements. Then users are able to upload individual measurements or entire projects to a wireless device. They can then connect photos in the tool’s app with the measurement for reference and then e-mail the project. Calculated Industries is one of the country’s leading manufacturers of specialty calculators, apps, digital measuring tools, and precision hand tools for industry and personal use. DEWALT “Stanley Black & Decker is an innovative leader in hand tools, re-engineering products from the inside out and delivering a total job site solution,” begins Bill Campana, group product manager. “Our DEWALT XP Tape Measure, launched during 2016 STAFDA, is now in the market and user feedback on our toughest tape ever has been positive.” Reengineered from the inside out and built around Dual-Core Technology — a patented spring system that utilizes two retracting springs in an impact-resistant, heavy-duty case — the DEWALT XP Tape Measure is a compact, professional-duty ergonomic tape with a case designed for a better fit in the user’s hand. Using the new 35-foot model DEWALT XP tape measure, builders and contractors alike will benefit from DEWALT’s toughest blade yet, which features 13 feet of straighter, truer blade standout and a tougher hook connection, reinforced to reduce breakage near the hook. “Countless iterations and field testing are part of our design process, which enables us to deliver tools that are innovative, ergonomic and built to withstand the rigors of the job site,” Campana adds. In lasers, three new DEWALT Laser Distance Measurers (LDM) support a broad range of leveling and layout applications with 30- to 100-foot working ranges. The model DW099E DEWALT Bluetooth Enabled 100-Foot LDM uses Bluetooth to store measurements, mark up photos and save them on the DEWALT Tool Connect app. The DW065E 65-Foot LDM is a cost-effective, compact solution with a backlit high-contrast LCD display for visibility. It supports quick measuring for area and volume for applications including painting and flooring estimates. The DW030PL 30-Foot Pocket LDM is DEWALT’s first LDM with a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery. One-button operation takes quick and easy measurements with an accuracy within 1/4-inch at 30 feet. KESON “At Keson we see two trends influencing the design and application of measuring tools,” observes Jude Nosek, marketing director. “First, end users demand more products ‘Made in the USA’, but at the same time are reluctant to pay a higher price. The second trend is a greater demand for products (or variations) that cater to end users’ precise needs and the willingness to pay more for that product. Our conclusion: Build products that meet the needs of a market and you can most likely justify the cost of making them in America. Keson has done just that, manufacturing marking chalk and its new chalk line reels in Aurora, Illinois.” The vast majority (75 percent) of chalk line reels on the market have the same kind of string that leaves a line of about 1mm, or as thick as the edge of a dime. Keson and others sell thousands of these chalk line reels a year. However, Keson has listened to the demands of the marketplace for a variation on the “same old.” A concrete mason guiding a wet saw along a line of chalk eight feet in front of him prefers the model G100, which leaves a much thicker 2.5mm line. Conversely, to insure precision, an installer of a herringbone floor uses Keson’s K3XPRO, which leaves a thinner 0.75mm line. “To compete in today’s marketplace, a company has to build quality products that meet the precise needs of the end user. It’s great when those products can also be built in the USA.” LUFKIN Lufkin is a premier measuring products brand from Apex Tool Group, one of the world’s largest hand tool manufacturers. Since 1869, Lufkin has provided precise measurement tools, introducing the first steel measuring tape in the U.S. in 1890 and pioneering the retractable tape measure in the 1940s. Today, Lufkin tapes, rules and measuring wheels are sold around the world. “Measuring tools are an integral part of the construction process,” says Brendan Walsh, senior product manager. “So it’s critically important to provide users with tools that are durable, comfortable to use and perform their functions brilliantly. At Lufkin, we routinely observe how measuring products are used on the job site and in the workplace in order to develop innovative designs that answer the constantly changing needs of professional users.” The new Lufkin Black Widow tape measure is an excellent example of this kind of innovation. Many tapes are uncomfortable to use simply because of their bulk. In contrast, the Black Widow has a case designed to be substantially more compact than comparable tapes. Even with 10 feet of standout, the extremely compact case makes it easy to hold and carry. But the big story is its unique blade — matte black, nylon-coated, and printed on both sides with high-contrast green markings for improved legibility in varied light conditions. The blade has vertical marks on the back for faster, more convenient measuring and the nylon blade coating reduces glare and extends blade life. A 360-degree end hook grips objects from all sides. The case is wrapped in a thermoplastic rubber over-mold for increased impact resistance and has an integrated tether point for added safety when working at height. MAKITA The newest addition to Makita’s growing line of measurement solutions is the 12V max CXT Self-Leveling Multi-Line Green Laser. The SK209GDZ is a highly precise, highly visible and durable laser for leveling, aligning, plumbing and squaring. The green beam laser technology provides increased visibility in bright environments. Additionally, Makita will be introducing a Laser Detector (TK0LDG301F), Wall Mount Bracket (TK000ET03F), Compact Tripod (TK0LM1001F) and High-Elevation Tripod (TK0LM5030F). “For contractors seeking one instrument for all laser needs within a 50-foot distance range requirement, the Makita Self-Leveling Combination Cross-Line/Point Laser (SK103PZ) is the solution,” advises David Fernandez, product manager, commercial products. “It provides sharp vertical/horizontal reference lines and five points for level, align, plumb and square measurements.” Makita also offers a Self-Leveling Horizontal/Vertical Cross-Line Laser (SK104Z) with a line visibility range of up to 50 feet and a laser line fan length that spans well past the 90-degree point position to provide a 180-degree horizontal line and 120 vertical line for full reference line coverage. “Both the SK103PZ and SK104Z multi-directional lasers have a line accuracy of +/- 1/8-inch error rate at 30 feet for horizontal and vertical lines,” he adds. “Both also feature full oversized rubber over-mold and a pendulum lock that protects the laser diode during storage and allows for sloped applications.” Makita also offers two Laser Distance Measurers with a range of 164 feet (LD050P) and 262 feet (LD080P). The LD050P has an accuracy of +/-5/64 inch with seven measurement functions: Distance, Area, Volume, Permanent, Min/Max, Add/Subtract & Pythagoras (2 point), Pythagoras (3 point). The longer-range LD080P has an accuracy of +/- 1/16 inch, with nine measurement functions: all the function of the LD050P plus Stake-Out and Pythagoras (partial height). Both instruments have an industry-standard Type 635nm/ Class II laser with up to 5,000 measurements of run time. BOSCH “The interface with the user is what’s driving technology and product development in the laser distance measurement space,” begins Brandon Eble, product manager, Robert Bosch Tool Corporation. “At Bosch, our focus is on making the user experience easy and seamless, so we’re optimizing full-color screen technology, adding Bluetooth communication capabilities and adding technologies that allow users to access and manipulate information on various devices.” One example of the Bosch move toward greater data transfer function is the MeasureOn app, which allows users to get a clear digital overview of all project details — including floor plans, measurements, photos and notes. These features are all viewable with a smart phone or tablet in one app. The free app is available at the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store and it works with the company’s BLAZE GLM 50 C laser measure and the Bosch GLM 100 C device. “In addition, we’re working to push the size of our products to a smaller footprint, but maintain capability to compute length, area, volume, and indirect measurements that deliver metrics based on minimal user data entry. The Bosch GLM 50 C even includes a built-in inclinometer, which measures angles and orients content when the screen is flipped to complete some applications.” Bosch laser measures offer a handy pocket-sized design that makes them easy to use anywhere. The squared shape ensures that the unit can measure in any direction from a flat surface. All of this technology speaks to ease of use regardless of the job at hand. STABILA “Aggressive salespeople plus decision makers — these are the assets that unlock the incremental dollars within the professional measuring and layout category,” begins Rich Morse, product marketing manager, Stabila. “Identify your most aggressive outside sales person and match them with a reputable manufacturer’s sales person that will effectively demonstrate and close a decision maker within several minutes. “Properly planned calls can result in multiple tools being sold to every crew. Professionals roll with a two-fisted product approach. The decision maker is engaged with two relevant products. One product is the best solution for the specific application. The second product delivers application versatility.” Professional quality levels plus helpful innovation — put the new Type 80T extendable levels in the hands of progressive professionals who will benefit from carrying less equipment and always having the proper size levels such as contractors that install doors, windows or millwork. The Type 80T delivers confidence and confidence fuels speed. 80Ts are affordable premium levels with over 35 percent earned margins. Two models are offered: 25 to 41 inches and 36 to 59 inches. Cases are also available. “Premium lasers pay-off over the long run — engage, commit and invest in the new LAX300G green beam pouch laser with a street price of at least $350 and the new rotators that breach $1,350,” Morse continues. “Separate yourself by performing side-by-side demonstrations of versatility and usability. The new application-based industrial designs and performance for the dollar are right in the strike zone for aggressive sales people. Premium outdoor rotators with fun-to-demonstrate dual slope, motion activated controls and digital receivers are rolling out over the next 120 days. These premium rotating lasers are tough, fully serviceable and made in Germany. “Our mission is to continue to manufacture the most trusted tools in the industry, matched with a renowned after-sales service program. This allows you to sell with confidence. Confidence fuels speed.” TRIMBLE SPECTRA PRECISION Trimble’s Spectra Precision brand has been producing green beam rotating lasers since the introduction of the HV301G in 2009. Currently, the HV302G green beam is designed for use in larger commercial construction. The green beam QML800G layout system is also preferred by drywall contractors worldwide. Science tells us that green laser beams are up to four times more visible to the human eye than the traditional red laser beams and green lasers are easier to see at longer distances and in bright ambient lighting. “The challenge to incorporating green beams into smaller, compact pointer and crossline lasers is overcoming some inherent inefficiency characteristics including power consumption, stability, operating temperature, reliability and cost,” says Tom Cammel, product manager. “Our new line of green beam pointers, crossline lasers and combination tools, the LP51G, LT20G, LT52G and LT58G, all overcome any inefficiency and incorporate the latest technology and superior brightness of the green beams.” As with all Spectra Precision portable laser tools, the new lasers boast a three-foot (1 meter) drop specification and a minimum IP54 environmental rating, making it plenty rugged to survive the rigors of the professional job site. They are backed by a hassle-free over-the-counter three-year warranty that professionals prefer. “Each laser also includes a magnetic mounting bracket increasing versatility and ease of setup. Spectra Precision is focused on laser manufacturing only, is the leader in laser innovation and your best partner for laser tools.” TOPCON Topcon Positioning Group provides the advantages and know-how to be at the forefront of technological innovation — to increase productivity and profitability — for growing infrastructure needs. “Positioned at ‘The Intersection of Infrastructure and Technology,’ a conceptual crossroads, Topcon solutions create greater efficiencies and accuracies to meet the demands of today and tomorrow,” says Scot Floyd, senior manager, Distribution Development for Topcon. Precision measurement solutions such as the LN-100 Layout Navigator offer flexibility for operators with an entry-level solution for diverse 3D layout applications, without the expense of a total station. Whether for traditional construction, complex landscape layout or quickly checking existing stakeout locations on a project — the LN-100 allows an operator to use the simplicity of a self-leveling laser and combine it with a reliable 3D layout technology to increase productivity on a job site. “By blending its self-leveling laser and robotic total station technologies, Topcon created a new way to perform construction and BIM layout,” Floyd explains. “Simply position and turn on the layout navigator to self-level and connect, automatically. Control the LN-100 with either the full-capability MAGNET Field data collection software or with MAGNET Construct, the no-cost Android app.” The LN-100 offers a single-operator solution for precise 3D layout, easy one-button self-leveling setup, wireless license free communication and out-of-the-box usage with the no-cost MAGNET Construct app on any Android device.
Published by Direct Business Media. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://pubs.royle.com/article/Lasers%2C+Tapes+%26+Measurement/2899542/442444/article.html.