Reduced fatigue, fewer injuries and improved productivity are among the benefits of wearing the Tigerhood Futura XXL welding helmet, Honeywell product manager Katie Twist-Rowlinson explains in an interview with New Equipment Digest.
NED: What led Apex Tool to develop this particular helmet?
KTR: As welding helmets with wide-view auto-darkening filters (ADFs) have become popular, there has emerged a clear market need for a wide-view helmet with top-quality optics.
Our research and feedback from customers indicated that existing wide-view ADFs had some limitations in terms of shade consistency and clarity, which presented challenges to welders, particularly when welding at odd angles, overhead or for long periods of time. We listened to the requests of our loyal customers and are pleased to bring them this exciting new solution.
NED: How is this product different from similar tools currently being offered?
KTR: This is the first ADF available in a wide-view format with a perfect DIN rating of 1/1/1/1. The DIN rating measures various criteria related to optical quality and is measured on a scale of 1 to 3 (1 being perfect, 3 being poor).
The Tigerhood Futura XXL also incorporates Fibre-Metal’s Angular Dependency Compensation (ADC) technology, which eliminates haze and shade distortion often found in other, lesser-quality filters. ADC ensures a clear, distortion-free view at any angle and results in greater productivity and high-quality welds.
NED: Any key problems that arose during the development process?
KTR: From our voice-of-customer research, we recognized that our end users were looking to be able to easily and quickly replace the cover plate of their helmets. To address that need, we designed a patented adapter to hold the wide-view ADF in our popular Tigerhood Futura helmet shell.
We wanted the adapter to be user-friendly and to utilize a standard 4- by 5-inch cover plate, so that our end users could quickly and easily replace the cover plate as needed.
The design and development of this adapter was challenging. We spent a lot of time to make sure it was a perfect fit.
NED: Did cost factors affect the final design of this product?
KTR: Cost is always an important factor when developing a new product. The team was challenged to keep product costs in line while meeting our standards for delivering the best quality, performance, and ease of use for the end user.
Ultimately, the product design came together to satisfy all these requirements.
NED: Who do you view as the primary users of this tool and how will they benefit?
KTR: Our target audience is full-time welders looking for the best-quality, heavy-duty welding helmet to help them perform their job at the very best of their ability.
Welding all day can be extremely challenging. Having a comfortable, balanced welding helmet like the Tigerhood Futura along with a superior-quality ADF helps reduce fatigue and injuries while improving productivity.
NED: Care to add any other interesting sidelights?
KTR: Frequently, welding helmets must be worn with a hardhat. To address that need, the Tigerhood Futura XXL is available not only with the standard Fibre-Metal 3-C free-floating headgear, but also with our patented Speedy Loop or Quick Lok hardhat attachment systems.