Red Dot Award for Shimadzu's high design quality


The measurement and analysis instrument expert has been awarded the Red Dot Award for its IRSpirit FTIR spectrophotometer and AIM-9000 infrared microscope. The award is dedicated to good design, covering an attractive product as well as outstanding functionality

Celebrating more than 50 years in Europe, Shimadzu has been awarded the Red Dot Award for its IRSpirit and AIM-9000 systems. The IRSpirit FTIR spectrophotometer series combines the smallest footprint with exceptional ease of use and functionality. The AIM-9000 infrared microscope is an automatic failure analysis instrument with a new microsample analysis concept. Commenting on the award, Jürgen Kwass, General Manager of Shimadzu Europa said: “Shimadzu as a world-wide leader in analytical instrumentation sees in this acknowledgement recognition of its Excellence in Science market approach and product design qualities.”

The Red Dot Design Award is an international product and communication design prize, awarded by the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen, Germany. There are prize categories for product design, design agencies and design concepts. A panel of experts awards the internationally recognised seal of quality to products that win them over with their design.

IRSpirit and AIM-9000 systems

Shimadzu’s AIM-9000 infrared microscope – Winner of the Red Dot Award 2018

With the AIM-9000, Shimadzu provides an analysis systems for all users so that micro analysis can be performed quickly and easily. The new system targets industries such as electricals and electronics, machinery and transportation, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, petroleum and chemicals. It offers automation of all necessary steps involved in failure analysis and micro sample evaluation; observation, definition of measurement spots and measurement, as well as identification.

Acquiring high-quality data, the IRSpirit series is marketed primarily to pharmaceutical, chemical and food industries, and academic institutions. It is used for applications such as identifying or quantifying substances contained in samples or predicting their chemical structure. The dedicated IRPilot programme with 23 application-specific workflows supports analysis. The systems provide the same sample compartment width as Shimadzu’s standard model while being only one third of its size. They are the world's smallest (footprint) and lightest FTIR systems capable of using either Shimadzu’s accessories or optional products from other manufacturers.

Evaluation platform for good design

The Red Dot Award: Product Design has roots dating back as far as 1955 and determines the best products created each year. True to the motto “In search of good design and innovation”, a jury comprising of roughly 40 members assessed the products individually based on the original. Strict judging criteria including levels of innovation, functionality, formal quality, ergonomics and durability provide a frame of reference which the jurors then complement with their own expertise.

Three different distinctions are awarded, the Best of the Best is reserved for the best products in a category, while the Red Dot is the distinction for high design quality. An Honourable Mention is awarded for a particularly well-executed aspect of design work.

“I want to congratulate the award winners sincerely on their wonderful success in the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2018”, said Professor Dr Peter Zec, founder and CEO of the Red Dot Award. “Success in the competition is proof of the good design quality of the products and once again shows that companies are on the right path. When I speak about good design, I am referring to more than just an attractive product. All of the products are characterised by outstanding functionality. This demonstrates that the designers have understood their clients and their needs”.

Celebration to honour the laureates

The winners were celebrated at the Red Dot Gala on 9 July 2018 at Essen’s opera house, the Aalto-Theater. The award-winning innovations are featured in the world’s largest exhibition of contemporary design in the Red Dot Design Museum, Gelsenkirchener Strasse 181, Essen, Germany.

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