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Goldmedal to the Speedglas SL Welding Shield

DULLES, VIRGINIA, USA (July 18, 2008)—The Speedglas SL welding shield from 3M has won a coveted 2008 Gold award from one of the world’s most prestigious design competitions: the International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA), presented by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and sponsored by BusinessWeek magazine.

The Speedglas SL (Super Light) shield is believed to be the world’s lightest auto-darkening welding filter and shield. Using a new type of construction, the designers reduced material usage by 20% and total weight by 25% compared to the traditional manufacturing process.

The SL shield’s low weight reduces the potential of welder neck strain. The light weight also means users do not have to tighten the headband as much, further increasing their wearing comfort. The headband itself has a unique pattern for improved breathability and better conformity to the welder’s head.

“The Speedglas SL shield has a perfect balance between user-centered design, material innovation and an exciting armour-like form,” said Sudhir Bhatia, IDEA juror and partner at the company Mosaic.

Another IDEA juror, Andrew Valentine, from Virginia Polytechnic University, said, "With its lightweight construction, easy adjustability features and attentiveness to user needs, the SL shield brings a bold, modern design to an industry often overlooked.”

The Speedglas welding safety brand has a long heritage of design based on observing and addressing the challenges faced everyday by welders. Product engineers systematically survey welders, welding supervisors, safety engineers, insurance underwriters, and specialists in industrial design and safety. Each product is the result of years of welder interviews, product engineer brainstorming, prototype development, third-party safety lab testing, and field testing.

This “networked listening,” user-centric approach produces breakthrough product innovations, including the only welding shield with exhaust vents (Speedglas 9000 and 9100 series), the patented Speedglas SideWindows option that expands the welder's field of vision, and a combination auto-darkening welding and face shield that provides a clear, protected view under all lighting conditions (Speedglas FlexView).

In addition to its massive commercial and end-user success, the designs of Speedglas welding shields have been regularly recognized by the leading international design competitions over the years, including the Red Dot Award (two awards), the iF Industrie Forum Design Hannover (three awards), Plant Engineering’s Product of the Year (two awards), Excellent Swedish Design (two awards), and now the IDSA’s Gold IDEA award.

For an in-depth analysis of the 2008 IDEA winners, which include Apple’s iPhone and One Laptop Per Child XO Computer, see the July 18th issue of BusinessWeek or the IDSA Web site, www.idsa.org.

About 3M

3M offers a wider variety of welding personal protective equipment than any other company. Its range of products includes Speedglas™ Auto-Darkening Welding Shields and Adflo™ Powered Air Respiratory Protection equipment, as well as 3M’s full spectrum of health and safety products.

For more technical and for more product information, please visit the Speedglas SL Welding Shield.

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 Speedglas™ SL Welding Shield

Speedglas™ SL Welding Shield