On Oct. 31, Milwaukee Tool announced its newest cordless line, the MX FUEL Equipment System. Plumbing & Mechanical Chief Editor Nicole Krawcke had the chance to preview the new tool line back in June during Milwaukee Tool’s New Product Symposium. PM sat down with Andrew Plowman, vice president of product management for Milwaukee Tool to get some more insight on the six new products being introduced.
PM: Why has Milwaukee Tool decided to add the MX FUEL lineup to its product offerings?
AP: Ever since Milwaukee first introduced the ability to utilize lithium-ion technology in power tools, a revolution has taken place on jobsites worldwide. The capabilities of cordless technology have been pushed to new limits, providing new solutions that challenge existing perceptions of what can be powered by cordless technology. However, while power tools have received considerable benefits from cordless technology, the same cannot be as readily said about light equipment.
Exposure to emissions, vibration and noise continues to create prevalent health concerns for professionals in the construction trades. The MX FUEL Equipment System is the output of years of tireless research and investment in new technology, ground-up development of new batteries, motors and electronics — all simultaneously developed under one roof. Designed to take on the very same gas and AC equipment that the professional trades have depended on for years, this system eliminates the emissions, and reduces the overall noise, vibration and frustrations of gas maintenance that have been deemed acceptable on jobsites for decades — and additionally eliminates tripping breakers, voltage drops and trip hazards.
PM: How long has Milwaukee Tool been working on this new line? What was the process for it?
AP: Like everything that Milwaukee does, we started in the field, with users, learning their applications and environments. We spent more than 10,000 hours with users on thousands of jobsites globally and found considerable safety and productivity challenges with some product categories — like gas-powered and AC equipment — due to very limited innovation. From gas headaches to design features that were causing stress on users’ bodies over time, it was clear that today’s equipment wasn’t delivering on user needs.
In order to achieve this level of cordless capability, we needed to simultaneously drive ground-up development of all three cordless technologies at once. The MX FUEL system has:
- The largest and most powerful POWERSTATE Brushless Motor Milwaukee has delivered to-date;
- A new realm of REDLINK PLUS electronics design to achieve and manage extremely high power levels for long application durations; and
- MX FUEL REDLITHIUM battery packs that utilize the best cells, electronics, and pack construction to support equipment of this size and capability.
Much like our M18 System, which will continue to deliver power tool solutions for contractors, each of the solutions on the MX FUEL System are all tied together on a single, compatible platform that will grow with additional solutions over the years to come.
PM: What are the advantages of Milwaukee Tool’s MX FUEL system compared to the traditional gas and power cord tools?
AP: The continued investments in cordless technology, as seen in MX FUEL, are now unlocking capabilities in product categories that were once never thought of as viable cordless options. The ability for cordless technology to now eliminate the emissions, noise, vibration, gas maintenance and overall safety risks associated with current gas and corded light equipment will undoubtedly have a profound ongoing impact on the safety and productivity of contractors.
PM: Are there any limitations to the new MX FUEL system?
AP: Yes, there is larger equipment out of reach for MX FUEL technology today, but this is just the beginning for MX FUEL. Our M18 system has been completely compatible for 10-plus years, and still today, we keep pushing the limits on what it can do. Just last year, we doubled the capability of M18. We have built enormous capabilities into the MX FUEL infrastructure, and will continue to push this technology forward in a big way. At Milwaukee, we view limitations as a temporary problem.
PM: How does this new product lineup help contractors in the field?
AP: After analyzing the most prevalent pain points, we chose six product focuses for the initial launch of MX FUEL. Each of these products represent applications that have historically been challenging experiences for users due to stagnant equipment innovation and are the first battery-powered solutions of their kind. Let’s look at how each is going to help plumbing contractors in the field:
The MX FUEL 14” Cut-Off Saw delivers the best 14-inch cut-off saw experience by providing true 14-inch cut capacity, the fastest cuts from start to finish and no gas headaches. No emissions, less vibration, and quiet operation allows users to work safer and be more productive.
The MX FUEL Breaker delivers a faster, safer and easier concrete demolition experience. This is the most productive breaker, providing the lowest vibration, lightest weight and breaks over 2 tons per charge.
The MX FUEL Handheld Core Drill allows users the ability to core with more confidence through maximum control and enhanced safety with a patented clutch and AUTOSTOP Technology. It delivers the power to core up to 6-inch holes in reinforced concrete.
The MX FUEL CARRY-ON 3600W/1800W Power Supply features a compact size, quiet operation and no emissions provide efficient, accessible power anywhere.
MX FUEL ROCKET Tower Light/Charger is the most portable 10-foot light for both indoor and outdoor use, providing up to 27,000 lumens of task and area lighting, withstanding the harshest jobsite environments.
Lastly, the MX FUEL Sewer Drum Machine w/ POWERTREDZ simplifies sewer calls and allows for one-person transportation in and out of a service van and up and down stairs. It has the power to clear out roots up to 200 feet, while providing the best protection against the mess with an enclosed drum.
PM: Anything else you would like to add?
AP: For professional users, safety and productivity are the keys to success. The ability to find solutions that will keep up with the breadth and depth of work they need to do is imperative. The Milwaukee Cordless MX FUEL, M18, and M12 Systems complement each other to provide the right blend of power, performance and run-time for the job at hand.