Top quality products gain momentum
Hardware consumers are choosing quality over quantity when it comes to industrial and trade tools, with many suppliers seeing a spike in sales for those products that are built to outlast its competitors rather than be a cheaper option for consumers.
Topcon’s National Business Development Manager for Height & Alignment, Paul Sass, recently reiterated the importance of producing a quality product, particularly with the recent launch of its Topcon LS-100D and aLine ML360 lasers.
“Topcon’s point of difference lies in the quality, accuracy and reliability of its instruments. As a global leader in positioning and geospatial technology, Topcon has more than 40 years’ history of innovation and has developed a multitude of highly sophisticated solutions with laser technology at its core,” Mr Sass said.
“One example of this is Topcon’s Millimetre GPS+ machine control, which uses ultra fine laser technology in conjunction with GPS to automatically control the blade of a grader within +/-3mm to grade. Topcon’s range of construction and grade lasers are trusted in the industry for delivering accurate results and withstanding the harshest environments and toughest job sites day after day, year after year,” he said.
Mr Sass said that while competition remains fierce in the industry, there are a lot of poor quality products flooding the market that remain at a low standard.
“Now that laser levelling is widely adopted as standard across the construction industry and building trades, there is a lot more competition, and there is a particular influx of poor quality products that are not properly tested or calibrated. Many major tool brands have branched into laser levels and because they have a good reputation for other products, consumers trust that the lasers will be of a similar calibre, which is not always the case,” Mr Sass said.
“Power tool companies often do not have the product knowledge or experience in laser levelling technology to match application requirements with the right instrument for the specific trades here in Australia,” he said.
Another point of difference for Topcon is its ability to support its customer with repair and servicing nationally.
“As a supplier to the trade, Position Partners’ point of difference is in our ability to support our resellers and end users with local calibration, repair and servicing in branches located in every state and territory of Australia. Every instrument we sell is tested and calibrated in Australia to ensure it meets our high standards before being sent to resellers,” Mr Sass said.
Topcon has continued to launch quality products also designed with several unique features, including a new addition to its compact digital laser sensor, the LS-100D.
“The new LS-100D laser receiver not only delivers exceptional range and precision, but it also has numeric read-out to grade that shows exactly how far the user is from their level,” he said.
Topcon has also just released its new aLine ML 360 laser, which is designed specifically for interiors as well as exteriors. It was designed specifically to offer four vertical, four horizontal and plumb point laser beams for accurate layout in both internal and external construction tasks.
“For interior building trades, PLS and aLine laser ranges offer excellent value for money and accuracy, with a wide selection of tools for every layout, site prep and measurement applications,” Mr Sass said.
OX Group launches over 40 new products
OX Group also reported 2016 to be a positive year for the company after achieving national double digit growth with major industrial tool outlets.
According to OX Group’s Sales and Marketing Asia Pacific General Manager, Rodney Harry, the last 12 months have been particularly exciting for the industrial tool market.
“Whilst the hardware industry has been in turmoil with the closure of Masters and the merger of Mitre 10 and HTH, the industrial market has been able to strengthen its positon in the market. Companies like OX Group have captured new sales with this increased activity in construction, new buildings and new housing developments from Queensland to South Australia. The Western Australian market, however, has been heavily hit by the mining downturn. Despite this, OX products seem to have held its ground with year on year sales growth in the state,” Mr Harry said.
In the past 12 months OX Group, has introduced many high-quality hand tools and a new style of porcelain tile cutting diamond blades, with the successful launch of over 40 new products throughout 2016.
“The majority of these lines were introduced to enhance our depth within selected product ranges and provide support for our customers who are looking for great a range of quality tools from one supplier. Before launching the new products, OX Group worked closely with our customer base to identify gaps in our range, in addition to extensive research with trade end users who required innovative or robust working hand tools that were not readily available,” Mr Harry said.
“Approximately 10 new products per quarter were launched following extensive market testing and trials to ensure the products were up to the standard our trade market expected. Just some of the success stories for the year included the OX tote bag and the eight metre tape measure with unique OX horns and a magnetic hook for easy use. Five new concreting tools (edger’s and groovers) were also introduced with huge success in the landscape and industrial concreting yards,” he said.
Mr Harry said OX Group’s cyan blue tools continue to be recognised as tough, dynamic and dependable across the globe.
“As a manufacturer, we sell only to merchants, providing them with excellent hands on service, innovative merchandising solutions and a very powerful brand,” he said.
Mr Harry said the hand tool market remains extremely competitive, with the category now having over 10 premium suppliers in selected hand tool categories.
OX Group’s product range covers 16 product categories from concreting, site tools and accessories to brick laying and safety equipment. OX Group has 18 offices in 10 countries around the globe.
Other major players in the Australian hand tool market are amongst the largest companies in the world. However it seems the striking branding of OX Group’s products allow its products to continually stand out in a competitive market, he said.
“The standout cyan blue presence of OX products in stores certainly gains the attention of the end users. This brand colour is continually gaining market recognition by the serious industrial end user, with tradies continually asking for the blue tools in store. OX Group provides retailers with very effective display stands to enhance the presence of the cyan blue, whilst also ensuring stock is displayed in a co-ordinated plan-o-gram set up across each of the 16 categories,” he said.
“It is for these reasons that our sales have remained particularly strong throughout the eastern seaboard. The OX Group has also found it has regular requests from retailers asking our sales team to visit their stores and set up the proper plan-o-gram hand tool display units. In most instances the store sales increase up to 10-fold once its new display is set up.”
“Diamond Creek Hire in Victoria is a perfect example of this. The store had added a new range and the OX cyan blue display stands in September 2016. The store instantly created a new customer base of industrial end users that have not visited the store before. Sales from the stand have been extraordinary and exceeded their expectations considerably,” Mr Harry said.
Topcon releases compact digital sensor
Topcon Positioning Group recently announced the release of the latest addition to its line of compact digital laser sensors — the LS-100D. The sensor digitally displays the offset value to on-grade, which is designed to ensure elevation and vertical alignment control easier and faster for any application.
“With on-grade resolution between 0.5 millimetres and 10 millimetres, plus a 90 millimetre reception height, the LS-100D is a high precision sensor that will meet the demands of even the toughest jobs. The LS-100D features an extra-wide beam capture sensor that also rejects annoying interference from strobe light exposures,” said Topcon’s Director of Construction Product Management, Kris Maas.
“The large and bright LCD displays (front and back) feature nine channels of grade information and digitally display the distance to on-grade. By pressing the hold button, the display is locked so the user can conveniently read the results,” Mr Maas said.
The sensor offers three coloured LEDs and a magnet mount for vertical operation, which is useful for steel erection or operator grade-checking while excavating. Alert icons appear on the LCD if the accompanying Topcon rotating laser instrument is disturbed (HI alert) or when the laser battery is low.
Topcon’s new LS-100D will be available as a standalone accessory for Australian customers, or as a package option with the Topcon RL-H4C, Topcon RL-SV2S or Topcon RL-200 series construction laser levels.
For more information visit: www.topconlaser.com.au or call 1300 96 LASER.
Driving force behind Airco’s ProGas Range
The Airco ProGas Range provides a variety of fastening solutions ideally suited to job sites where carrying around a compressor is not an option
Cordless tools are ideal for on-site work where there are no electrical outlets or areas that are simply too difficult to access with a compressor, and the Airco ProGas range, launching in February 2017, will provide fastening solutions perfectly suited to these situations.
The range removes the hassle of carrying extra equipment, such as compressors and hoses, around the job site, and because the actuation mechanism is powered by gas, the products are more powerful than battery-only counterparts.
There are five different models available in the ProGas range including: the framing nailer, which is suited for 50-90mm framing nails; the DA Bradder, for 32-64mm DA brads; the Angled C Bradder, for 32-64mm C brads; the Straight C Bradder, also for 32-64mm C brads; and the C1 Bradder, for 15-50mm C1 brads.
All of the ProGas tools come standard with a tool-free, easy-clear nose that eliminates the difficulty that can sometimes accompany clearing of jams. They are all fitted with adjustable depth-of-drive settings to ensure precision nailing and protective nose coverings to minimise marring to the work surface, leaving users with a perfect, professional finish. They are also fitted with a reversible belt hook to suit all users and the framing nailer is compatible with the Airco ProCell gas packs.
Although there is a multitude of benefits to using cordless tools, frequent complaints usually include having to charge the battery, which can affect the amount of downtime that is experienced on the job.
Airco’s ProGas tools, however, are all bundled with an additional 6 Volt, 1.3 Amp Hour battery to ensure that users always have one spare. Each of these batteries is capable of 4500 shots per charge and each fuel cell is capable of 1000 shots.
The Airco ProGas Range will be available from all leading distributers.
For more information visit: www.aircofasteners.com.au
Fiskars strikes first blow into hardware category
Did you know that 66 per cent of building professionals experience hammer-related injuries? Shock and vibration is a serious problem and until now, users have not seen real innovation to combat the jarring impact of the traditional hammer.
It is for this reason that Fiskars recently launched the IsoCore™ Shock Control System range, featuring a patented technology that captures the kinetic energy and vibration of every strike, reducing the impact felt by the user up to four times versus a traditional hammer.
The range features two claw hammers, one framing hammer, a club hammer, a sledge hammer, a maul and a mattock, all endowed with the industry’s best vibration control system.
The claw hammers are ideal to easily remove and pull out nails, allowing for more precision work, while the framing hammers are longer and are designed to be used for longer periods of time. The longer shafts also allows for more swing and thus efficiency, making it the perfect tool for both professional framers or the serious weekend DIY enthusiast.
Each hammer head is fitted with magnetic technology that holds the first nail in place, and eradicates the age old problem of whacking fingers on the first hit.
The club, sledge and maul have similar technology, using the IsoCore™ design to reduce the vibration that comes from the shock of the strike in the joints. A common problem amongst users of heavy duty demolition hammers is that inaccurate strikes weaken the shaft, so Fiskars has reinforced the demolition head with an overstrike protection to strengthen the shaft.
In addition to this, Fiskars have added a sloped head to push debris away from the user and towards the sides after each hit.
Because of these design features, the sledge hammer in particular, generates five times more power for unparalleled demolition on each strike.
The patented IsoCore™ Shock Control System reduces vibration by four times in the framing and claw hammers and two times for the rest of the range. Over time, if that vibration is not nullified it can cause serious joint and ligament damage to the user.
Knowing this, Fiskars new technology protects the user from risk of injury, whilst also creating a hammer that is top of the market in functionality and design.
For added safety due to heavy use, each hammer is fitted with a retention bolt that ensures the head will not separate from the body.
Amongst traditional hammers, it is expected that after some usage the hammer head will separate from the body, which is a dangerous moment for carpenters and builders alike.
Fiskars trademark ergonomic design features on all these products, and optimizes comfort for user. With two out of three building professionals experiencing hammer-related injuries, wrist or elbow pain or numbness from vibration in their lifetime, it is crucial to use a tool that substantially reduces the risk of those injuries. And the only way to combat this is with an ergonomic design that absorbs shock.
COLT introduces new generators
For over 40 years, COLT has provided trade-quality, workhorse compressors to Australian trade professionals, and in that time, the COLT name has become synonymous with power and reliability.
With an aim to address further needs of the trade market, COLT will launch two generators in February that are ideal for powering its compressors, which have become staples of the Australian trade industry.
The worksite-ready, petrol-powered generators are fitted with a double-pole protective breaker, automatic voltage regulator, a voltmeter, heavy-duty wheels, and will automatically shut off if the oil levels drop too low.
The smaller model of the two, the COLTPG3.8, is capable of producing 3200 starting watts (2800 watts running). The 4-stroke COLT P7 commercial-grade motor produces seven horse power and 208cc. It is also fitted with IP54 rated outlets, IP66 rated RCD, and has a 15 litre long-range fuel tank capable of running for 11 hours at 50 per cent load on a single tank of petrol.
For those in the market for something a bit larger, the COLTPG7.8 can put out 6500 starting watts (6000 running) and has a 4-stroke COLT P15 commercial-grade motor that produces 15HP and 420cc. This model is fitted with IP66 rated outlets, IP66 rated RCD, and a 25 litre long-range fuel tank capable of running for 9.5 hours at 50 per cent load per tank of petrol.
The generators perfectly complement the power and reliability of the COLT range of compressors.
For more information visit: www.aircofasteners.com.au.
New aLine 360-degree laser ideal interiors and exteriors
Topcon’s new aLine ML360 laser offers four vertical, four horizontal and plumb point laser beams for accurate layout in both internal and external construction tasks.
aLine measuring tools have the ability to accelerate aligning and levelling jobs for the building trades with clear, crisp reference lines and a range of cutting-edge features that also offer excellent value for money.
Made of durable aluminium metal housing to ensure it is tough enough to withstand the demands of Australian construction sites, the aLine’s new ML360 model also delivers fully automatic, 360-degree levelling.
Ideal for interior fit-outs and renovations, wall/floor tiling and electrical layout, the ML360 can be used in the largest of spaces with highly visible beams up to 20 metres. The included laser receiver enables an even longer range to 30 metres for exterior layout, site set-out and concreting applications.
Position Partners Business Development Manager for Height and Alignment products, Paul Sass said users will love the modern look and durable metal housing of the aLine ML360.
“With the latest features and the versatility to work in all horizontal and vertical layout tasks, it is the only laser you need on site,” he said.
With a 360-degree rotating base and easy-to-read marked graduation, the ML360 is intuitive and user friendly. In addition to the laser and receiver, the kit also includes two magnetic ceiling targets, a wall bracket, a tripod adapter plate, rechargeable batteries and AC charger, a carry case and instruction manual. All aLine measurement tools are backed by a two-year warranty and nationwide service, repairs and calibration at centres in every State and Territory of Australia.
For more information visit: www.alinelaser.com.au.