More than 40 years ago the first prototype was built by Dr. Ake Hornell in 1976. The Auto-darkening Welding helmet was introduced to the market in the early 1980s and the company Hornell Elektrooptik/International grew rapidly to become the world market leader, with the trade name Speedglas being well known by welders around the world.
Aketek Industries is a new company founded by Dr. Hornell with the mission to introduce its Auto-Darkening Welding Helmets and related products to the global market. By using the previous experience and some new developments Aketek has succeeded to introduce the PRO-X range of products and is currently introducing the newly developed Aketek VIEW range which also consists of the respiratory protection system Aketek AIR.
All products have been designed with the welder's needs in focus. They are economical, easy to use and high-performance products. That makes it one of the safest and most reliable brands of auto-darkening welding helmet available. Aketek is aiming at becoming one of the world’s leading brands of personal protective equipment for welders.
The Bevan Braithwaite Award is made in recognition of the recipient' s enterprise to the benefit of welding and joining.
Dr. Hörnell (left) receiving the Bevan Braithwaite Award
Dr. Åke Hörnell invented the auto-darkening filter and pioneered the use of the LCD-technique commercially.
Dr. Hörnell recognized that modern arc welding is demanding precision work in which high-quality results are required in spite of a tough environment that subjects the welder to ultraviolet and infra-red radiation. Dr. Hörnell's innovative auto-darkening filter turns dark instantly when the arc is struck so that the welder can always see the workpiece during the entire job without having to raise and lower the visor.
Dr. Hörnell appreciated that safety equipment that is complicated to use or difficult to wear or has a less attractive design often tends to be unused despite its good function. His modern functional design was an essential part of the product development. The Hörnell auto-darkening helmet has enabled a considerably improved working environment for the welder and increased profitability for the employer.
1976 he demonstrated the first welding helmet with an LCD-glass, which he had patented. Since the Speedglas helmet was introduced, more than one and a half million units have been sold worldwide and it has become a symbol for a good working environment. 1996 Åke Hörnell was appointed Honorary Dr by the Chalmers University of Technology for his achievements.