Jeff Bopp, director of the Sheyenne Valley Area Career and Technology Center, is thrilled with the donation of 10 new state-of-the-art welding helmets from the John Deere Seeding Co.
The program received a total of 10 auto darkening Speedglass 3M welding helmets.
Bopp said the helmets feature a lens that is totally clear but the instant an arc is struck the lens turns dark to prevent a welding flash and likewise the lens instantly becomes clear as soon as the welding arc stops.
“It’s the latest and greatest thing out there – they (John Deere) are using it at their facility,” Bopp said.
He said the helmets “do a great job” protecting students’ eyes from the intense glare of a welding arc.
At present welding students at the center use “old school technology” welding helmets, where students must shake their heads just before making a weld to lower the eye shield lens. Bopp said after students lower the lens, they can’t see anything until the lens is raised again.
Bopp said along with the Speedglass helmets, John Deere also donated a welding helmet and air pack unit. This helmet has all the same features as those mentioned above but in addition it has a battery powered air supply and filtration system. This unit features an air pump that filters the air and supplies it through a hose into the welding helmet to assure that the welder is not breathing any welding fumes or smoke.
Bopp said center students are well protected from gas and fumes in classes with a good ventilation system, so the second helmet is not needed in class. “We got only one as a demonstration unit” so that students know how to use the helmet after entering the workforce.
Bopp said John Deere decided to donate the helmets after center students toured the business facilities. “The dropped them off the Thursday before Christmas. We’ve had a chance to try them on and take them out of the box,” Bopp said.
Bopp said John Deere has allowed students to tour the business facilities in the past, “but this is the first time we’re received a donation from them.” John Deere “would be very interested in hiring the kids to be welders at the facility. We have new people at John Deere along with a major expansion. It’s a good partnership.”