Music coming out of the welding fume extraction hood: KEMPERbeats – did I hear that correctly, Mr. Kemper?
Music coming out of the welding fume extraction hood? What kind of welder needs that? In an interview with arbeitsschutz-schweissen.de, Björn Kemper clarifies what is behind KEMPERbeats – the reasons for the development and the expected effects.
Mr. Kemper, you’re said to have been on the road as DJ Björntable-Rocker in your home province of Münsterland. Is that why the music is coming out of the welding fume extraction hood from KEMPER?
(laughs) I would say: at least in part. If we, at KEMPER, didn’t have a certain penchant for creativity and unconventional ways, we certainly wouldn’t be able to get developments such as KEMPERbeats off the ground – we think outside the box. We’re aware that, as human beings, we have our own preferences – and that includes our personal taste in music. Because we are close to the industry, we know what’s important for welders. Welding is not only work, but a vocation. Also, personal music is certainly conducive to self-realisation. So why not play your own music at work? We are committed to making the work of welders as pleasant as possible – not only in terms of air quality. But I am certainly not so presumptuous to assume that everyone wants to hear the music of DJ Björntable-Rocker. We leave the choice of music to the welders themselves, of course.
KEMPERbeats is part of our new extraction hood. Our established extraction hood with its black/orange, flange-shaped design is still leading the way on the market. 20 years after we introduced the revolutionary design to the market, we have now developed a completely new hood. It looks similar at first glance, as the basic shape of that time still sets the standard in the market today. On closer inspection, our new extraction hood has completely new features. For example, we have made it much larger. Thanks to the special design, we already have higher extraction rates than conventional solutions such as funnel-shaped extraction hoods – in some cases, by up to 40 percent. Thanks to the larger design and further optimisations, we are now able to achieve a 30 percent higher extraction capacity and cover a larger area at the welding seam. This means that, compared to the previous KEMPER hood, welders have to reposition 20 percent less. It can be positioned just as easily as the smaller hood and also reliably holds any conceivable position. And, on top of that, there is now KEMPERbeats.
So, what exactly is it?
It is an accessory – a special handle with integrated Bluetooth loudspeaker. This let’s us combine practicality with pleasure for welders. KEMPERbeats is a solution to design the workplace of the future according to personal preferences.
“Welders come to work in the morning, make themselves a cup of coffee, go to their own workplace, start welding, only then do they notice that the extraction system is not yet running. With KEMPERbeats, we want to ensure that the priorities are finally reversed.” Björn Kemper
How can we imagine the music from the welding fume extraction hood at the workplace?
Welders come to work in the morning, make themselves a cup of coffee, go to their own workplace, start welding, only then do they notice that the extraction system is not yet running. With KEMPERbeats, we want to ensure that the priorities are finally reversed. In future, the welder will first switch on the extraction system, connect his terminal, start the first song and only then does the work begin. This ensures optimum protection right from the start. And that welders listen to music during work is common practice anyway.
I can already hear some bosses saying: What are you talking about?!
Yes, that is certainly possible. I can appease the critics. During development, we paid special attention to the following: The loudspeakers are designed in such a way that employees at surrounding workplaces are not disturbed. During the presentation of KEMPERbeats, another boss even told me that he welcomed the solution because, in this way, he was able to convince his employees not to use dangerous headphones. By the way, operation is very easy, even with work gloves. But there are even more reasons for KEMPERbeats.
And these are?
For future generations of welders, it will be even more important to work in a pleasant working environment. Topics such as clean working environments play an important role here. We are already ensuring this today with effective extraction technology. Companies should prepare themselves for this today to make their business safe for the future. KEMPERbeats does even more than that. It lets employers send a further signal to their employees: Hey, we are taking care of you, and your interests are important to us. This is a solid argument for employee recruitment and retention.
Are there any other reasons?
Yes, definitely. What lies behind the connection between the pleasant and the practical is the following. Countless studies suggest that: Employees in relaxed work environments are more productive. In this respect, KEMPERbeats is an absolute must for employers. And there are even benefits in the practical implementation of occupational health and safety measures.
Together with extraction arms, extraction hoods are the most sold product in the field of welding fume extraction for the implementation of effective occupational health and safety – worldwide. Although the systems are highly efficient, they have one disadvantage compared to torch extraction, for example. Welding fume extraction by means of an extraction hood does not follow automatically. Welders must manually relocate the hoods in order to position the extraction directly at the point of origin of the hazardous substances. (For information on how welders position the extraction hood correctly, read here.) If welders do not position the extraction hood correctly, the welding fumes are not extracted correctly and spread through the production area. Then even the best filter technology won’t help in the end. We thought long and hard about how to deal with such an important product.
What was the result?
During development, we once again realised that there must be a sensitisation along with the needs of welders to reposition the extraction hood. So if welders want to hear their music while welding, they have to move the extraction hood along with them. Hearing music properly is closely linked to the welding seam here. And the welding fume extraction then runs in parallel and ensures a clean working environment. At the end of the day, KEMPERbeats provides a high extraction rate – this is the ultimate goal of welding fume extraction. Therefore, KEMPERbeats is not just for fun – our solution has a serious background for the health and satisfaction of our employees.
So, in the future, it won’t just be: Welding helmet on and welding equipment switched on, but also music on! Finally, your personal music recommendation for the modern welder…
(laughs) …that’s quite simple: “Safe and Sound” by “Capital Cities”. The title alone is exactly what KEMPERbeats stands for: Safe and sound. The title should therefore be in the playlist of every confident welder 😉
We’ll listen right in while we’re welding…
(Spotify app: https://open.spotify.com/track/2Oj5BXOY01EDuJhVYNlEoq
Spotify web version: https://open.spotify.com/album/5iXfZywYLQWeUjoLr3Oy5J).
Mr. Kemper, thank you for the interview.