Technology

3 modern tools every electrician needs for efficiency & safety

Even if it may not seem that way from day to day, it’s just a fact that the business and industrial world is in the middle of an incredible period of change.  And the primary reason for that is obvious: technology.

What began with the steam engine, moved on to electricity and then into computing, has now sped into the next phase: the dramatic and complete digital transformation of industry.  When most people hear the word ‘digital’, they think of computers – but it’s much, much more than that.  The good news is that, for the most affected industries such as the world of electricians, there is a major upside: sensationally boosted productivity and efficiency, which has always been the Holy Grail of making more money.  Evolving – and revolutionising – electricians’ technological toolboxes means streamlining operations, improving quality, uncovering opportunities, minimising risks, slashing downtime and waste, and best of all?  Saving lives.

The futuristic electricians’ tools and technologies you need to be taking notice of?  Let’s start with these 3:

1. Contactless voltage detectors

There’s no grand prize for concluding that electrical shocks remain the number 1 risk for every electrician, no matter their proficiency.  So perhaps the most surprising thing is that the simplest tool is the true life-saver: a voltage detector.  The beauty of the modern tool we’re talking about today, however, is that it can detect that dangerous voltage without ever making physical contact with whatever potential voltage source that risks giving you a shock.  Simply hold it close enough and it will sound its unmissable alarms long before the risk of a jolt is anywhere near a reality.

2. Clamp meters

Speaking of amazing non-contact electricians’ tools, think about this: how do you test and measure current?  If you answered that the only way is by powering down and then breaking into the circuit in question to use a multimeter or ammeter, you’re only part right – because there is now most definitely another way.  The most distinctive feature of the clamp meter is the pincer-like jaws (or clamp) at the top, enabling the user to get an accurate current reading from any conductor without doing any powering down – or even making contact!  Just pull the trigger to open the claw, clamp it around the conductor, and get that crucial reading.  Time, the need for special expertise, and lives – all saved.

3. Electricians’ wearables

In this era of Fitbit-style wearables and smart watches, it was only a matter of time before similar technology – with specific features just for the electrician – hit those job sites in a big way.  Especially for professionals who work on big sites, bosses are increasingly asking them to wear trackers that work with sensors and apps, offering key insights into how tasks are being done in the real world – with all the efficiency and accident minimisation-data then flowing into the system.  There are products that track workers’ locations with real-time data, which is proving invaluable for falls, shock incidents and other common accidents.  From sensors able to be located in a simple badge send off alerts to warn of proximity or movement hazards, to wearable exoskeletons to minimise fall or crushing-incidents or simply take strain off joints and far beyond, the sky really is the limit.

But it doesn’t end there.  The list of time, complexity and life-saving devices like clamp meters is growing by the day, electrical insulation tools and materials are getting ever more protective, and the dawn of the 5G era is opening up a whole new universe of internet-connected equipment and tools that may blow our minds but be de rigueur for the next generations.  Could your electrical profession or work as an electrician benefit?  The answer is undoubtedly yes – the only thing left is to start browsing the perpetually revolutionary market.

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