by Karen D. Hickey
DEWALT is well known for its tough, field-tested tools. But the tool company is now also a technology company, providing products that span the full construction process, even in the design office.
In August 2017, during the 2017 DEWALT Experience: Tough in the South in Nashville, Tenn., DEWALT introduced two new software platforms to support its anchoring line, and showcased its digital solutions for jobsite connectivity and asset management.
DEWALT Design Assist
To help designers specify the correct anchors and solve structural and engineering problems before construction begins, the company has launched DEWALT Design Assist (DDA), a structural design software that incorporates its full concrete anchoring product line.
This free software includes the latest building codes, and allows complete customization of base plates and anchor properties. A full release will occur by the end of 2017.
HangerWorks Version 2.0
Version 2.0 of DEWALT’s HangerWorks plug-in for Autodesk Revit was also introduced. The software automates the placement of hangers and seismic bracing for MEP systems in conjunction with relevant codes. This saves significant modeling time and enables pre-fabrication prior to arriving on the jobsite. Load calculations can be performed directly in the software, and a bill of materials can also be generated in the software. HangerWorks Version 2.0 is available for immediate download at http://anchors.dewalt.com.
The Mini-Undercut+™ Anchor
DEWALT has added a new anchor to its DEWALT Engineered by Powers line, called the Mini-Undercut+. This internally threaded, self-undercutting anchor solves the dilemma of how to anchor to post-tension slabs in very shallow-drilled holes. When the Mini-Undercut+ anchor is properly installed, it provides consistent behavior at shallow embedments as low as 3/4 inch.
The Connected Jobsite
Earlier this year, DEWALT announced its launch of a fully connected system for jobsite connectivity (Masonry Design, July/August 2017, p. 9).
Sharing data — BIM models, photos and videos — between devices and locations is increasingly necessary for contractors. Yet until now, limited WiFi options existed.
DEWALT has created a patented WiFi mesh technology with rugged access points to enable contractors to share data and keep schedules and products moving. Each access point is tough enough to withstand the dirty, dusty conditions of the jobsite; simple to deploy and manage; and adaptable to a changing environment (e.g., walls going up). A four-step process makes it easy to connect, and the system is designed to auto-recalibrate and auto-self-heal.
The Tool Connect™ asset management system, originally launched in 2015 incorporating Bluetooth® technology, now encompasses an Inventory Manager web portal, an updated mobile app, and connected products. Users can track the last-seen location of paired assets as well as assign tools and equipment to different jobsites. The same data is also stored online in a secure web portal. The system makes it easy to check in and check out tools, thereby eliminating wasted time usually spent looking for them.
For assets without integrated Bluetooth capability, users can still connect using the Tool Connect Tag or the 20V MAX* Connector. The Tag can be attached to just about any item on the jobsite for tracking purposes. An integrated blue LED lights up when a Tag is selected in the Tool Connect app, making it easy to find an individual asset. The Tag can also be easily hidden if desired.
The 20V MAX* Connector permanently attaches directly between the battery and tool and can disable itself when it’s out of range. A rechargeable internal coin cell battery charges when a 20V MAX* battery is inserted. Similar to the Tag, the Connector 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.
These are just a few of the many products and technologies introduced during the 2017 DEWALT Experience: Tough in the South. Visit www.dewalt.com to learn more about DEWALT’s entire offering of power tools, anchors, hand tools, accessories and technology.