2022 Technology Awards Winners

As technology advances, so do the tools and products that use it. The 2022 Pro Tool Innovation Awards saw some really amazing products and solutions that help track tools, guide products, and manage inventories.

We can’t recall a time when technology was so widespread and used by businesses to optimize performance and increase productivity. Our continuing question remains: How far can technology take tools and the businesses that use them?

In addition to productivity, advancements in tool-centric technologies also continue to shape jobsite safety and security. The solutions below represent the winning technology products selected from a wide array of 2022 Pro Tool Innovation Awards entries.

WINNER – General


What they said:

Even experienced professionals need clear instructions for new processes and jobs they don’t do often. A new generation of workers wants training delivered to them where they’re most comfortable and competent: on a mobile device. Now, pros & technicians can complete any job correctly, quickly, and safely — the first time — with BILT Intelligent Instructions for product assembly, installation, maintenance, and repair. They’re delivered via the BILT app, a free download from the App Store or Google Play.

BILT provides official 3D interactive animated instructions for thousands of products from hundreds of brands. Beginning with a product overview, BILT highlights the essentials of each job–in time and manpower–as well as the tools required and parts included. The 3D animations are voice and text guided. BILT directs each task step by step, but unlike video, users can manipulate the 3D images on a touchscreen to tap on a part for more information, zoom in for clarity, and rotate the animations 360 degrees for just the right view. BILT allows users to advance at their own pace, skip ahead or backward, and instantly replay a step.

BILT is available around the clock and around the globe in ten languages, for training and use in the field. Once instructions are downloaded, no internet connection is necessary. Hundreds of instruction sets can be downloaded to a single mobile device, minimizing the need for handbooks and manuals. BILT also provides companies the option to protect their instructions with secure access keys.

Instructions and warning labels can be updated in near real-time, so workers always have the most accurate information before starting a job.

BILT enables upskilling on the go and reduces time on tasks, return trips to fix mistakes, and calls to customer support. Manufacturers receive data and technician feedback to fuel continuous improvement of products and processes.

Professionals and manufacturers alike benefit from BILT’s modern training solution.

What we say:

Searching YouTube for installation help is a popular way to go, but the results are hit or miss and it’s not interactive. BILT is building out a library of interactive help for both pros and DIYers in a way that can guide you step-by-step through tasks as you go. Plus, the instructions, warning labels, and more can be updated, unlike Uncle Billy’s YouTube video from five years ago. Best of all, the app is absolutely free to use.

Price: Free

For more information, click here.

WINNER – Networking & Connectivity

Fluke Networks FiberLert Live Fiber Detector

What they said:

Fluke Networks FiberLert Live Fiber Detector is a pocket-sized tester that detects invisible near-infrared (850 – 1625 nm) wavelengths used in fiber optic communications. When placed in front of an active fiber optic port or patch cord, the tester emits a continuous light and optional tone. Unlike more complex testers, the FiberLert requires no setup or interpretation of measurement readings on the part of the user.

FiberLert removes the guesswork by clearly indicating where the signal is present and where it is not. This allows users to quickly pinpoint and remedy the cause of the problem, such as a failed transceiver or failed patch cord. FiberLert supports single-mode, multimode, UPC/APC patch cords and ports and can test without contacting the port or patch cord, reducing the risk of contamination or damage.

FiberLert’s LightBeat feature flashes the LED, indicating a powered-on condition and good battery. A timer shuts the tester off after five minutes of inactivity to extend battery life. Rugged design includes a convenient pocket clip and is backed by a two-year warranty.

What we say:

With fiber optic networking growing in popularity, diagnosing issues is a natural maintenance task that comes with it. Simplifying the process, Fluke Networking’s FiberLert works as easily as a non-contact voltage tester. Designed specifically to detect live fiber optic wavelengths, a light and tone indicate live fiber. It’s small, easy-to-use, and sure to be a must-have diagnostic tool in every network tech’s bag.

Price: $130.00

For more information, click here.

WINNER – Robotics

Canvas Drywall Finishing System

What they said:

Drywall finishing creates significant risks: slippery floors, working at height, airborne fine particulates, and strenuous repetitive motions.

Fall Reduction: In the traditional drywall finishing process, all seams from floor to ceiling are mudded and sanded, which can lead to work on mobile scissor lifts, ladders, or rolling scaffolds — all of which have fall risks. Falls continue to be the #1 construction industry injury, according to OSHA. Canvas’s drywall finishing tool — featuring a sprayer/sander system, lift station, and vacuum sanding — mitigates the riskiest aspects of drywall work. With the Canvas tool, which can telescope to 17 feet high, skilled workers are protected from falls by letting the tool do the “high work.”

Repetitive Motion Reduction: Additionally, the Canvas robotic arm, when outfitted with a sanding head and vacuum system, eliminates the repetitive sanding motion normally placed on workers. Today, one in four finishers will experience a repetitive motion injury at least once during their career. These injuries, which result from awkward body positions and performing the same task over and over, often result in lost time from work and/or surgery. The Canvas tool eliminates multiple passes of finishing, instead completing work with a single sprayed coat of mud and a single sanding pass while producing exceptional quality.

Dust-Inhalation Reduction: Drywall finishing is notoriously dirty. After sanding drywall for multiple hours in the day, workers will often be covered in a fine layer of dust, which can cause significant respiratory problems. The Canvas tool eliminates 99.9% of the dust generated by traditional finishing methods. When in sanding mode, the system’s mechanical arm is outfitted with a sanding head that is connected to a vacuum system, capturing essentially all of the dust and protecting workers from inhaling dangerous particulate.

A Solution to the Labor Shortage: According to a recent report put out by the Association of General Contractors, 89% of contractors cannot find enough skilled workers. Of that group, 72% say they cannot find workers with the necessary skill level to complete the work. With Canvas, workers mix skilled manual work with operating a new tool. The machine does not replace workers; rather, it supplements a contractor’s workforce. By reducing the trade’s injury hazards, the Canvas machine protects workers from harms that can put them out of work for extended periods of time, or even prematurely shorten their careers. Additionally, the machine is controlled by a tablet (much like a gaming controller), appealing to a younger generation and to those that are differently-abled.

Increased Productivity: Canvas has seven Innovation Partners: DPR Construction, Swinerton, Webcor (self-perform general contractors); and Daley’s Drywall & Taping, Nevell Group Inc., California Drywall, KHS&S (drywall subcontractors). The company has trained its Innovation Partners’ drywall finishers, who now are operating the systems on job sites throughout California. The Canvas system has been used on more than 50 projects, all with zero injuries. Additionally, the tool is helping contractors reduce the steps of drywall finishing from seven to three (spray/dry/sand); greatly increasing productivity metrics.

What we say:

As worker shortages continue in the construction industry, automation and robotics are filling the gap. Canvas’ Drywall Finishing System is one example that does far more than just doing the job. It’s more efficient, taking a Level 5 finishing job from an average of 7 days all the way down to just 2 days. Plus, it eliminates inhalation, fall, and repetitive motion risks that humans are subject to when they’re working. As more construction firms look for ways to keep moving forward, solutions such as the ones Canvas is developing are leading the way.

Price: Contact Canvas for pricing

For more information, click here.


WINNER – Tool Inventory Software & Apps


What they said:

The TOOL CONNECT System is designed to seamlessly manage jobsite inventory to optimize productivity. The TOOL CONNECT Chip helps integrate tools and storage that are not Bluetooth-enabled into the TOOL CONNECT System. The easily installable Chip is a small, lightweight Bluetooth beacon add-on that can be installed in the designated pocket of Chip-Ready products. Installing the Chip adds convenient tracking capabilities that are compatible with TOOL CONNECT Site Manager, a software designed to enhance overall workflow by managing and tracking inventory for total jobsite visibility.

What we say:

DeWalt’s Tool Connect has been around for several years and it’s really hitting its stride. New power tool models are now coming to Tool Connect-ready. Instead of adding a bulky attachment between the tool and battery, an optional chip has a dedicated installation point already built into the tool. For users that don’t want or need the tracking and inventory management benefits, you don’t have to pay for the additional hardware. For those that do, the chip is a very affordable $14.99 to add.

Price: $14.99 

For more information, click here.

WINNER – Tool Security Software & Apps

Milwaukee Tool ONE-KEY Bluetooth Tool & Equipment Tag 48-21-2301

What they said:

Milwaukee Tool continues to innovate in connected technology with the new ONE-KEY Bluetooth Tracking Tag, the most complete Bluetooth tool and equipment tracker on the market. Backed by ONE-KEY, the industry’s largest tracking network, users can easily attach the Tag anywhere, add it to their digital inventory and track what matters most from a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Once activated, the One-Key app will not only keep track of the tracker’s last known location but will also have a 30-day history of everywhere it has been seen by anyone in the ONE-KEY tracking community. For added clarity, an accelerometer provides information on the last time that equipment was used as well. The owner can easily identify their equipment even if it cannot be visibly seen, with the industry’s first built-in speaker to ring their tag and locate it within 50 feet.

What we say:

Milwaukee is taking the concept of its original One-Key Tag and making it more effective with several improvements. It still has the ability to attach to all kinds of equipment, powered or not. As One-Key users help everyone by updating the location data when it comes in range, the Tag saves a 30-day location history. A built-in accelerometer lets you know if the equipment or tool has been used. Finally, Milwaukee added a speaker, letting the Tag give you an audio signal to identify it when you get within range.

Price: $29.99

For more information, click here.