Ultrasonic welding technology pioneer Sonics & Materials Inc. introduced an all-digital pneumatic SmartSystem ultrasonic welder with a color touch-screen control interface. A SmartSystem consists of a bench-top SmartPress and a SmartControl power supply.
As displayed at NPE2012, held April 1-5 in Orlando, the 20-kilohertz system grew out of the firm's 2010 development work on a smart controller for metal-welding systems. That technology went into the commercial market in mid-2011.
The company expects to begin initial deliveries of the SmartSystem for plastics in October with the medical market as a key target, said Mark Caldwell, national sales manager.
Sonics & Materials will make the system available in 40-, 20- and 15-kilohertz versions.
Caldwell estimates the system will sell for about $1,000 more than standard Sonics & Materials welders with traditional two-line-display keypads and non-pneumatic technology.
Independently, “we can increase the hold pressure and time control after the ultrasonic weld cycle is complete,” Caldwell said. Earlier systems lack that feature.
The microprocessor-driven system offers easily set up welding parameters, has a graph trace of time, distance and power elements, and does not use pneumatic valves or flow controls.
The SmartSystem panel has an improved viewing angle and menu language choices, initially for English, Spanish and Chinese.
The power supply is available at power levels of 400-4,500 watts depending on system frequency and configuration.
Sonics & Materials of Newtown, Conn., employs about 70 in a 45,000-square-foot facility. Robert Soloff, the company's founder and CEO, discovered the process of welding rigid plastics with ultrasonic technology while working in a laboratory in 1963 and was awarded a patent on the method in 1965.
Soloff established Sonics & Materials in 1969 and has obtained 11 more patents on his inventions.
Sonics & Materials withholds financial information, but Soloff said about 60 percent of sales for its plastics welding equipment line come from U.S. customers.