The next big thing

Aug. 8, 2023
The results are in. See which tools and equipment made the cut this year and received a 2023 Innovation Award.

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It’s undeniable that the auto industry is in a constant state of change. As vehicle technology continues advancing, the tools and equipment necessary for fixing and maintaining that technology must evolve as well. However, when it comes to new tools and equipment hitting the market, does evolution always mean innovation? What does it take for a tool to truly stand out?

In this month’s Big-Time Boxes article, Autobahn Performance’s diagnostician Mario Rojas shares some of the many tools he houses in his updated tool storage setup. From hand tools to scan tools and so much more, Rojas has expanded his storage space to ensure his investments (aka his tools) are safe from dirt, grime, and the potential of being stepped on so long as they’re tucked away in his diagnostic cart, toolbox, or one of his cabinets.

Though content with his setup for the time being, as any technician knows it’s rather easy to grow out of your toolbox. Especially when new tools and equipment are required to do some jobs. Although new tools aren’t always necessary, sometimes it’s for the sake of convenience such as an updated version of an old tool that gets the work done in half the time, and sometimes it’s purely a want such as that new color of a hand tool line that you just have to own.

It’s easy to see how technician’s tool collections have had to grow in more recent years. Between the boom of ADAS technology and electric vehicles becoming more and more popular – technicians and shops alike have had to adapt. This is why each year PTEN honors the newest, most innovative products in the industry with its Innovation Awards.

We’re always on the lookout for the next “big thing” and how it can help you save time, be more efficient, and/or make more money. The products we’re showcasing were hand-picked by a panel of judges out of over 100 submissions as 26 of the best new products to enter the industry in the past year.

Each product was judged on the following criteria:

  • Time savings
  • Simplifying a task
  • Unique/new approach
  • Improving a current tool
  • Ease of use

 While we’ll have full product descriptions for you to peruse in this issue, we’ll also be presenting the Innovation Awards in person at the Automotive Aftermarket Expo (AAPEX) in Las Vegas at the PTEN booth in November, so if you wanted to chat with any of these award-winning companies about their products, our Innovation Awards ceremony could be the place to do just that.

If you do attend the show, be sure to stop by the PTEN booth and say hello. While you’re at it, let us know what tools and equipment have been “game changers” for you and your shop this year. And if you won’t be in Vegas, shoot us an email. We’d love to hear from you.

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