News Briefs / People In The News May 2023

May 2, 2023

Milton Industries Acquires Steck Manufacturing

CHICAGO – Milton Industries announces its acquisition of Steck Manufacturing Company, a developer and manufacturer of car-opening tools for the automotive aftermarket. For more than 50 years, Steck, based in Dayton, Ohio, has provided specialty tools to automotive repair, body shop, heavy-duty truck, lockout and towing markets across the globe.

This is Milton's fifth vehicle aftermarket-related acquisition. Among the company’s recent acquisitions are ProMAXX Tool, LTI Tools/Casey Tool (Lock Technologies), National-Spencer (ZEELINE), and GHMeiser (AccuGage).

“This expands Milton’s reach into Steck’s automotive and truck specialty tool offerings and market space,” said Greg Carlson, CEO of Milton Industries. “We will use our design, manufacturing and marketing expertise to broaden both brands’ market share. Our newly combined teams, knowledge, and distribution channels will be a catalyst for continued growth.”

“The folks at Milton have been great,” said Chris Brill, president of Steck Manufacturing Company. “We share the same values and work ethic. We value our employees, our customers and the integrity of the product. So, I couldn't have asked for a better company to work with.“

The acquisition will expand our product line into new industries and get our tools into the hands of more customers, and our employees are joining a much larger company, so they get the benefits and security that come along with a company of more than 200 employees, as opposed to a company of 13 employees, Brill added.

Z-Wave Alliance 2023 Ecosystem Report

BEAVERTON, Ore.—The Z-Wave Alliance, the standards development organization dedicated to advancing the smart home and Z-Wave technology, released its fourth-annual Z-Wave Ecosystem Report providing an in-depth look at growth and challenges for the smart home market globally.

Building on the Alliance’s exploration of the U.S. market in the 2022 Ecosystem Report, the report examines key growth points in the U.S. and comparative data from the UK, France, and Germany. The report takes a deep dive into the importance of interoperability, impacts on purchasing behaviors, and assesses primary barriers to smart home device adoption.

Key insights from the report include:

The market is healthy and eager to grow, with the U.S. leading global smart home adoption and impressive year-over-year growth in the UK, France, and Germany. 

Z-Wave Owners across all four countries are generally more satisfied with their security systems and are more likely to purchase additional smart home devices in the next six months. Highest interest was indicated for sensor kits, especially for electrical and fire safety, and water usage.

Interoperability with products already owned is a top requirement for future purchases across all three EU countries as well as the U.S. market. The importance of interoperability increases exponentially as more devices are owned. In the U.S. alone, 54% of device owners consider interoperability an important consideration in their next purchase.

The new end-user expectation is basic smart home technology in any new home. Over half of smart home device owners, and expected movers, in the U.S., UK and Germany would like their next home to have at least basic smart home technology, for which they would pay extra. 

DIY vs Pro Installation: A strong pattern has emerged suggesting growing consumer confidence for investing in smart home products. However, the report reveals ample opportunities for the professional channel to enable direct-to-consumer sales of add-on devices.

“The 2023 Z-Wave Ecosystem Report provides a much-needed referendum on interoperability,” said Z-Wave Alliance Executive Director Mitch Klein. “The findings in the report arrive at a critical moment in the maturity of the smart home to offer insights across the category, globally. The report follows in the stead of exciting Z-Wave news including surpassing 4,100 certified devices, the first Z-Wave Long Range products, new board members, as well as the completion of the Z-Wave Source Code Project. The details within the 2023 report are instrumental in helping guide business decisions as we navigate what could be the most exciting year of smart home market growth thus far.” 

The complete Z-Wave 2023 Ecosystem report is available for download. Z-Wave Alliance members also have exclusive access to the full 145-page research report via their member portal. The complete proprietary data report is available to purchase by non-members or, is included in any new or renewal memberships. Contact the Z-Wave Alliance at [email protected] with questions on membership. 

The Z-Wave Alliance is a standards development organization dedicated to developing and advancing Z-Wave technology as an open and internationally recognized ITU standard (G.9959) for smart home and IoT solutions.

Download the report at


Tips for Effective Key Management 

While we live in a digital age, physical keys are still one of an organization’s most valuable assets and should be protected accordingly. The sad truth is that many organizations fail to manage physical keys securely.

Your process for managing keys needs consideration, as keys can control access to buildings, equipment, vehicles, controlled substances, and more. In addition to controlling acceKss, effective key management can help manage people, processes and safety.

Key management is the process of putting rules in place to keep track of an organization’s physical keys. It allows you to ensure that only authorized users access your keys. It is more than simple security, it can also be used to ensure critical processes are followed. Benefits include:

  • Increase efficiency – the time spent looking for keys is money wasted and can be exceedingly frustrating for staff. By reducing the time employees spend locating keys, you increase their productivity levels.
  • Lower costs – losing a master key set can be a significant cost, just ask the team at the Chicago O’Hare Airport. In 2019, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that a master key set cost a “five-figure” sum to replace. Avoid these costs by controlling usage.
  • Improve safety – keeping staff and visitors safe is essential. The ability to account for and restrict access to keys and equipment helps to maintain a safe environment. By ensuring sensitive keys don’t get into the wrong hands, your business can better enforce safety requirements.
  • Reduce risk – any time a key is misplaced, lost, or stolen, the secure area, equipment, or vehicle the key grants access to is put at risk. By tracking and auditing keys in real-time, you can mitigate these risks.
  • Build trust – if a customer gives you a key and you lose it, you lose their trust. Once a business loses the trust of its customers, it can be very hard to win it back. However, good procedures increase customer confidence and if implemented in the right way could be a business differentiator.

Many businesses rely on time-consuming manual processes such as having a logbook with one staff member controlling a key box or locked desk drawer. This may seem a simple place to start your key management journey, but it soon becomes complicated.

The problem with these traditional methods is that they are inefficient and unreliable, which makes tracing keys an almost impossible task.

A better way to organize and manage keys is by using an electronic key cabinet with these essential features:

  • Access control – grants users access via a range of identification methods, including security token, biometrics, or even pin.
  • Inventory management – creates an audit trail every time a key is removed or returned, providing complete control and oversight of key usage.
  • User management – controls not only who has access to the cabinet, but also manages who can access which keys.
  • Reporting – management reports that allow administrators to view all activity on the system, such as failed access attempts and faults logged.
  • Tamper alarm – some sort of alarm is essential should someone try to brute force the cabinet open or extract a key to which they do not have permission to access.
  • Battery backup – backup power supplies are essential in the event of power failure.

Key management doesn’t just benefit one single department or sector. Whether running a hotel, tech giant, hospital or retail operation, the priority is to secure, manage and audit the organization’s keys easily and effectively.

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GREENVILLE, SC – Amid global expansion, the security technology manufacturer Paxton has announced the appointment of Steve Taylor to their leadership team, as the company’s new chief technical officer. In his new role,  Taylor will be responsible for leading Paxton’s engineering department, driving further innovation, and heading up the company's modern product design.

Adam Stroud, Paxton’s CEO, said: "As a technology company, the products that we design ultimately define us. Our engineering department is the source of all that flows from Paxton. The appointment of Steve Taylor as CTO will build upon the department's ability to design world-class products by utilizing the best technologies to create innovative security solutions that our customers want."

Taylor brings with him a wealth of experience in technology and engineering from the renewable energy sector. He has previously held leadership positions at Statkraft, Solarcentury, and Future Electronics.

Taylor expressed his enthusiasm in joining Paxton, saying, "I'm thrilled to be part of a company that is at the forefront of innovation in the security technology industry. I look forward to working with our talented engineers to continue the Paxton legacy of creating innovative security solutions that make a real difference in the world."

Paxton has formally appointed Erin Fujioka, Keith West and Zachery Shatto as new area sales managers to expand Paxton’s world-class customer service, bringing leading security technology to more regions. This coincides with a rise in demand for their products and security systems across the country. Their goal is to streamline the sales process while providing additional support for customers.

Having served as Paxton’s regional sales managers, it was a natural progression for these individuals to move into the area sales manager role.

Jonathan Lach, Paxton’s vice president of sales, said: “I am very proud of Erin, Keith, and Zach, for their continued exceptional performance. They bring a high level of experience to Paxton and our customers.”

Erin Fujioka began her journey with Paxton in 2018. She will be supporting her new team and Paxton installers in the West Coast and North-Central U.S. regions moving forward. She said: “This change represents Paxton’s growth and investment in the This updated sales team structure increases our ability to best support our team and customers.”

Keith West has been with Paxton for nearly six years and will be now working on projects in the northeast. He said: "It is a very exciting time at Paxton Inc. and this promotion is just an indicator of Paxton’s ongoing commitment to the US market. I am looking forward to being a part of what I know will be a very successful journey."

Zachery Shatto is responsible for the mid-Southeast, Southeast, and south-central U.S. He said: “For me, it’s a new opportunity to expand on my skills and help shape positive change in the security industry. I love being a part of this team.”