Digital transformation and the IoT (Internet of Things) are poised to grow in a big way. Zion Market Research, for example, predicts digital transformation will grow 19.2% between 2016 and 2021. Perhaps one of the biggest areas for the construction industry to become connected and the adoption of the IoT is at the jobsite.

For the past several months, I have had the opportunity to travel to a number of shows. As part of my intensive travels, I was invited to be a guest with a group of reporters to attend Hilti’s Innovation Day and see a number of tools up close. During this event, Hilti made several big announcements and current initiatives now in the works that will change the construction industry in the months ahead.

While most of the other construction writers and bloggers are doing their reviews of some of these new tools such as the SR 6-A22 reciprocating saw, or the BX 3 O2 ME cordless nailer, and many others, there were other announcements that caught my eye that just might continue to change the connected tool space.

One of the big trends in construction is managing and tracking all of your tools and the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Admin.) mandate, which I detailed in a blog in-depth late last year.

Let’s start with the Hilti’s AI T380 ON!TRACK Smart Tag which sends a message by connecting tools and devices in a range to up 100 feet. Perhaps even better is that contractors can track any equipment with a tag in their tool box and it doesn’t even have to be a Hilti brand as long as it has been tagged.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention all of these tools are tagged via a Bluetooth connection to the Hilti Connect app. I really like that Hilti is working hard to help construction professionals keep tabs on all their assets.

The traditional tool makers are making dramatic moves into the connected world space as of late by helping contractors track their tools and equipment at any given time and Hilti is no exception. But what I like that Hilti is doing is that it is adding to its On!Track in an effort to help contractors become more efficient by tracking tools and equipment with a simple swipe of a mobile device. Scanning bar codes, location, ownership, and reminders, contractors will be able to quickly track any tool and as I mentioned even the competitors. Hilti is providing cloud implementation and support. Can you imagine not losing a tool again?

Hilti is a company that continues to prove it has what it takes to be one of the top tool providers serving the construction industry with it roots dating back to the 1940s when Martin Hilti acquired a patent for his invention of fastening technology. At the beginning of the 1950s, hand-drive tools and actuated nail guns were launched.

In 2002, Hilti says it globally standardized businesses processes and data, which many observers just might say set the stage for the company’s vision for today as an all-around tech visionary that the company is proving to be in a rapidly changing global world. Which leads us to today, through its innovation center and more, now this same company produces and designs hardware, and offers software and services to power a highly connected construction industry.

Hilti also is a company that thinks globally, and acts locally, all in an effort of building a better future. The company’s culture is founded on four key ideas—teamwork, integrity, courage, and commitment.

What’s more as noted earlier, Hilti has tools to meet the OSHA mandate. For instance, the cordless Vacuum VC 75-1-A22 is OSHA Silica Table 1 compliant, and has a manual filter cleaning capability and a HEPA filter. It also features eco and max mode to extend runtime.

Another example of innovation from this company that I have seen up close and personal many times is the Hilti Tool Connect app. This allows construction professionals to identify tools and even schedule a tool for repair. As we all know, apps provide big value for workers on the jobsite to improve productivity—and it doesn’t get much better than having detailed information about a tool and its service history. I asked a lot of questions about the features surrounding the PLC 400, which is a rugged field tablet with jobsite layout and measuring task capabilities including 2D/3D and BIM (building information modeling) drawings workflow.

It’s obvious to anyone paying attention that Hilti has a clear commitment to innovation, as I experienced firsthand at this event. In summary, Hilti is taking steps to invest in the modernization abroad, in its headquarters in Schaan, Liechtenstein, Germany. The dismantling of the high-bay warehouse and vacant workshops next to the main administration building is clearing the way for the new Central Office Building, which will have 250 workplaces. The project, which will be completed by 2022, will expand its headquarters and is a testament to its commitment to continuing innovation in the future.

I would say the best is yet to come, which is good news for the construction industry. With the growth of digital transformation and the Internet of Things, construction workers can have the information where and when they need it.

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Peggy Smedley
Peggy Smedleyeditorial director