And the winner is...3M™ Speedglas™ 9100 welding shield
The International Forum Design has announced that its illustrious iF Product Design Award goes to the new 3M™ Speedglas™ 9100 welding shield. The acclaimed award—coming from one of the world’s oldest, most highly-regarded design competitions—acknowledges that the new auto-darkening shield radically changes the welder’s ergonomic experience, improving shield stability, balance and comfort.
Collaborating with Western and Chinese medical experts, the designers of the Speedglas 9100’s head suspension specifically avoided vulnerable nerves, arteries and acupressure points—areas traditionally pinched by conventional headbands. The proprietary suspension system has boogie/twin pads on the front of the headband that self-adjust to match the user’s forehead. Two crown straps gently saddle the top of the head, increasing shield stability and distributing its light weight over a much larger area.
In addition, there are many more shield adjustment possibilities, permitting users to precisely match the suspension to their head’s unique shape. Plus welders can control how far the shield and its filter is from their face. Extremely stable and firm on the head, the resulting “tailored” fit means welders do not have to over-tighten the headband—as is commonly done by users of traditional shields as they struggle to keep their headgear on while working in unusual positions.
Speedglas designers also lowered the shield’s center of gravity to be just above the user’s ears. This makes the shield’s design even more stable in both the up and down positions, as well as reducing the leveraged strain on the welder’s neck.
Additional innovations include the new 9100 auto-darkening welding filters with a proprietary “comfort mode” to help reduce eye fatigue caused by rapidly-repeated changes to light levels when tack welding. The filters also have a greatly expanded selection of user-selectable settings and functions, allowing welders to comfortably perform an enormous array of welding processes: grinding, gas welding/cutting, microplasma, low-amp TIG and virtually every other type of arc welding process. Welders can select from three different 9100 filter models, including the extra-large Speedglas 9100XX, which is 30% larger than any other Speedglas filter.
Moreover, the design of the new Speedglas 9100 shield is now wider and deeper, providing greater coverage of ears, neck and the sides of the head. Further design improvements have increased the shield’s proprietary “breathability,” more efficiently directing exhaled air out of the shield to reduce fogging, stale air, and heat and moisture build-up.
“Welders have told us that the Speedglas 9100 shield has literally changed the way they experience welding,” says Staffan Johansson, Marketing Manager for 3M welding portfolio. “In particular, we have done everything in our design power to optimise the most basic welder experience: how the shield feels as you wear it. It is very gratifying to have our efforts acknowledged by both enthusiastic welders and the iF Design Awards.”
To create the Speedglas 9100 shield, 3M once again collaborated with top-ranking international design firm Ergonomidesign, who specializes in user-centric solutions based on systematic research.
For more information about the Speedglas 9100 Welding Shield, please go to our products index page.
Speedglas™ 9100 Welding Shield