Lincoln Electric's Virtual Reality Welding System Wins International Innovation Award

International Institute of Welding Recognizes VRTEX® 360 as an Innovative Software Solution

Cleveland, Ohio - The VRTEX® 360, Lincoln Electric's pioneering virtual reality welding system, has been recognized by the International Institute of Welding (IIW) with its 2011 Heinz Sossenheimer Award. This accolade is conferred every two years in recognition of innovative software solutions making a decisive contribution to improving the long-term quality and/or safety of applications in the fields of joining, cutting or coating. The awards ceremony is scheduled for June 2011 in Chennai, India.

Sponsored by the German Delegation to the IIW, the award honors the late Dr.-Ing. e.h. Heinz Sossenheimer, former Director of the DVS (German Welding Society) and long-time stalwart of the IIW. The prize, first introduced in 2001, is open to modeling and simulation software covering any aspect of joining and allied processes. It recognizes that which has significantly contributed to the improvement of both the quality and safety of joining, cutting or surfacing operations.

"In today's global economy, an educated, high-tech workforce is required to help companies stay competitive. The education of these employees has been enhanced with the introduction of virtual training," says George Blankenship, President, Lincoln Electric North America. "Studies are already pointing to faster certification and higher scores for students exposed to virtual training. This is combined with the benefits it offers to a company's bottom line of reduced electric and raw material costs."

"We're honored to be recognized by the IIW and privileged to have an outstanding team in our Automation Division who created a system that is helping attract new students, already familiar with virtual environments, to a career in welding," Blankenship adds.

The VRTEX 360, initially presented at the Essen Fair in Germany in September 2009 and officially launched at FABTECH in Chicago in November 2009, is a virtual reality arc welding training system. This educational tool is designed to allow students to practice their welding technique in a simulated environment. It promotes the efficient transfer of welding skills to the actual welding training booth while reducing material waste associated with traditional welding training. The combination of realistic welding puddle simulation and arc welding sound tied to the welder's movement provides a realistic and exciting, hands-on training experience.

The Lincoln Electric Automation Division provides complete welding automation and cutting solutions. The Lincoln Electric Company, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of arc welding products, robotic arc welding systems, fume control systems and plasma and oxyfuel cutting equipment. The company holds a leading global position in the brazing and soldering alloys market.

For more information on the VRTEX 360, please contact: The Lincoln Electric Company - Automation Division at 22221 St. Clair Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44117-2522, via phone at (888) 935-3878 or e-mail at For more information, visit

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