University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Press Release

Snap-on Inc. rolls out an ergonomic industrial wrench developed at UWM

The public ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m. at the company’s headquarters, 2801 80th St., Kenosha.

By - Jun 9th, 2015 09:18 am

MILWAUKEE — Toolmaker Snap-on Inc. is introducing a new product – an industrial wrench designed to reduce shoulder injuries – in a ceremony to be held at the company’s Kenosha headquarters on Wednesday, June 10. Created by engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the tool’s ergonomic features were inspired by the need to reduce the number and severity of injuries sustained by meter technicians in the gas industry.

The public ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m. at the company’s headquarters, 2801 80th St., Kenosha.

“The future of work in critical industries like public utilities depends upon innovation that brings more safety and greater productivity to the worksite,” said Andy Ginger, president of Snap-on Industrial. “Snap-on is exceptionally proud to introduce this completely new gas meter service solution in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.”

“Public-private research partnerships such as this are not only vitally important to our regional and state economies – they are transformational,” said Mark A. Mone, UWM chancellor. “Together, Snap-on Inc. and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee are positively impacting thousands of lives.”

Gas meter technicians currently use adjustable pipe wrenches, which can slip when a lot of force is applied, causing injuries that often require surgery. Nearly 30 percent of injuries in the gas utility industry come from changing meters. The new tool has a longer handle, designed to work with several interchangeable heads, so that technicians don’t have to carry the added the weight of multiple specialty wrenches in their tool bags.

UWM faculty members Naira Campbell-Kyureghyan and Benjamin Church, and former graduate student Patrick Dix made and tested the wrench with the input from UWM’s Consortium for Advanced Research in Gas Industries (CARGI), an organization of member companies in the gas industry. CARGI, formed by Campbell-Kyureghyan in 2010, is dedicated to improving safety and productivity for its private-sector and utility members.

Snap-on entered into a license agreement with the UWM Research Foundation in October 2013 to commercialize the gas meter wrench.

About Snap-on Incorporated: Snap-on Incorporated is a leading global innovator, manufacturer and marketer of tools, equipment, diagnostics, repair information and systems solutions for professional users performing critical tasks. Products and services include hand and power tools, tool storage, diagnostics software, information and management systems, shop equipment and other solutions for vehicle dealerships and repair centers, as well as for customers in industries, including aviation and aerospace, agriculture, construction, government and military, mining, natural resources, power generation and technical education. Snap-on also derives income from various financing programs to facilitate the sales of its products. Products and services are sold through the company’s franchisee, company-direct, distributor and internet channels. Founded in 1920, Snap-on is a  $3.3 billion, S&P 500 company headquartered in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

About UWM: As Wisconsin’s premier public urban institution, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee enjoys a growing national reputation for excellence in research, teaching and community engagement. On an operating budget of $680 million, it educates approximately 30,000 students and is an engine of innovation for Southeastern Wisconsin. The 104-acre main campus and satellite sites are located in the economic and cultural heart of the state. The university’s recent expansion includes new academic and research facilities and the creation of the only School of Freshwater Sciences in the United States and the Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health.

About the College of Engineering & Applied Science: The College of Engineering & Applied Science is expanding the boundaries of knowledge and changing the world. We educate the next generation of engineers in a full spectrum of graduate and ABET accredited undergraduate programs. With strong industry partners and global reach, our research has broad impact fueling discovery, innovation and economic growth. The college has 2,000 students, with 400 at graduate levels. 


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