DEWALT has announced updates to Tool Connect, a system originally launched in 2015 that used Bluetooth technology to manage batteries on the jobsite. Now, Tool Connect features a three-part inventory management solution that encompasses the Tool Connect Inventory Manager web portal, the updated Tool Connect mobile app and connected products.
On average, professionals spend about one full workday a week looking for or waiting for tools on the jobsite, according to the company. DEWALT also says that professionals estimate that thousands of dollars are lost every year due to poor inventory management. As a result, an inventory management system that can track tools and jobsite assets is critical.
Inventory Manager System
The Tool Connect system from DEWALT works by pairing connected tools, equipment and materials with the Tool Connect app. The same data also is stored online, accessed by logging into the web portal with a DEWALT.com registration, username and password. This allows the user to track the last seen location of paired assets as well as manage and assign tools and equipment to different jobsites. The system also streamlines tracking, check-in and check-out processes of tools thereby eliminating wasted time spent searching for such tools. This helps to save costs and increase productivity as well as efficiency.
Connecting tools, equipment and materials is key to this inventory management system. Connecting can be done in four ways – via new and existing Tool Connect tools, the new Tool Connect Tag, the new 20V MAX Tool Connect Connector and existing Tool Connect batteries. Existing connected products are the Stackable Corded/Cordless LED Area Light with Tool Connect & Built-in Charger (DCL070) and the 20V MAX 2.0 Amp (DCB203BT) and 5.0 Amp (DCB205BT) lithium-ion batteries with integrated Bluetooth capability. New connected tools include the 20V MAX XR Tool Connect Compact Hammerdrill (DCD797), 20V MAX XR Tool Connect Compact Drill/Driver (DCD792), 20V MAX XR Tool Connect Impact Driver (DCF888) and the 20V MAX XR Tool Connect 3-Speed Hammerdrill (DCD997).
In addition, the DEWALT Bluetooth Enabled 100 Foot Laser Distance Measure TLM99S (DW099S) is a recent addition to Tool Connect products that allows users to store measurements, mark-up photos and save them on the Tool Connect app. Other functions include calculating area and volume, as well as performing simple addition and subtraction.
For assets that don’t have integrated Bluetooth capability, users can still connect by using the Tool Connect Tag (DCE041) or the 20V MAX Connector (DCE040). The Tag, which features more than three years of integrated battery life, can be attached to large equipment, pallets of material and ladders in a variety of ways. Whether glued, screwed or riveted to an asset, the Tag keeps track of any item on the jobsite. Rated IP68, the Tag is dust-proof, water-resistant, and can withstand tough jobsite conditions. In addition, the Tag makes the connection process easy with a simple push of a large button, eliminating the need to disassemble the unit to connect. Not only is it easy to hide the small Tag on tools and equipment, it’s also easy to locate one particular Tag. With its integrated blue LEDs that light up when that Tag is selected in the Tool Connect app, the company says finding an individual asset is easy.
For DEWALT tools that aren’t already connected, the 20V MAX Connector permanently attaches directly between the battery and tool. In addition to its permanent connection, the Connector can disable itself when it’s out of range, providing a layer of security. At only 4.1oz, the Connector features a rechargeable internal coin cell battery that charges when a 20V MAX battery is inserted. Similar to the Tag, the Connector also features an easily accessible pair button as well as blue LEDs that light up to indicate that it is paired or identified. Most of the more than 100 products in the 20V MAX System can now be connected to the Tool Connect system. With the tools, Tag, Connector and batteries, anything on the jobsite can become part of the Tool Connect system.
The company says benefits of the Tool Connect system are far-reaching. One advantage is that the tools can be set to become disabled when they’re out of range, which helps to deter theft. It also solves for common time management issues and helps make jobsite reporting convenient and accurate. This system is designed for jobsite productivity and efficiency and to save owners, tool crib managers and general contractors money due to lost or misplaced jobsite assets. In addition, the app is a secure, closed system so unauthorized accounts cannot see the whereabouts of assets. New connected tools, Tags, and Connectors will be available starting in summer 2017. Also coming in summer 2017, users will be able to access the Tool Connect Inventory Manager web portal by logging into the website with a DEWALT.com registration, username and password, and by downloading the updated, free Tool Connect app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.