Sonobonds Ultrasonic Bonding Technology Played a Significant Role in Gulf Oil Cleanup
Sonobonds ultrasonic bonding technology was essential to the production of many of the oil-absorbing booms successfully used to clean up the 2010 Gulf oil spill, according to Melissa Alleman, vice president of Sonobond Ultrasonics. For several years now, weve worked closely with Supply Pro, Inc. of Houston, Texas, and their ProBoom brand of absorbent booms. They are a leading provider of products for safely removing hazardous materials and for protecting workers during cleanups. Supply Pro, Inc. relies on our equipment for fast, dependable ultrasonic bonding of the materials in their ProSorbents line of oil-absorbing pads, booms, and pillows. In fact, Supply Pro provided 40% of the booms used by BP during the spill. So we are pleased to say that Sonobonds ultrasonic machinery had a significant part in assembling the products so essential to cleaning up this disaster, as well as other hazardous incidents, she said.
I thought all ultrasonic equipment suppliers were pretty much the same. Then I began talking with Sonobond. I came to realize that Melissa Alleman, their vice president, was committed to taking a team approach to problem solving. She and her associates considered themselves to be more than just vendors. They were willing to work with us to find solutions to the various issues we faced. I like this way of doing business because Ive learned you need to have the backing of your suppliers to get the job done right. So we set to work finding ways their ultrasonic bonding equipment could be an asset to us. As a result of our many conversations with Melissa, we are now using several SM86 SeamMaster High Profile Ultrasonic Bonders and V20 Machine Builders Modules. This equipment has become essential to the fast, dependable assembly of important parts of our top-quality ProSorbents product line, Mr. Barron said.
During Supply Pros production process, flat sheets of spunbond polypropylene material are folded over and run through the Sonobond bonders for sealing. They are then stuffed with highly absorbent polypropylene fill. The seals created by the ultrasonic bonders are as strong as the parent material. This is important because, by the time the product is disposed of, it may weigh eight or ten times more than its original weight as a result of the materials absorbed. Once the socks are sealed and filled, they are placed into tough, pliable, polyester outer netting that is resistant to snags and debris. The booms created through this process can absorb and retain oils and oil-based liquids, such as lubricants, fuels, and cleaning agents. Supply Pro uses this same ultrasonic bonding technology to produce its absorbent pillows.
Mr. Barron went on to say: Integrating the SM86 SeamMaster equipment into our production process was accomplished easily. We use these stand-alone machines on different assembly lines. They give us a strong, reliable bond without a brittle edge. This is superior to what we can get through standard sewing, heat-sealing, or induction heating. Sonobond machines are fast, reliable, and cost-effective.
The SeamMaster combines several labor-intensive operations into one pass that saves time, labor, and money. It provides quick, reliable sealing, sewing, and trimming without thread, glue, or other consumables. Manufacturers no longer need to concern themselves about needle and thread breakage, thread color changeover, or thread unraveling. Seams bonded by this machine are so perfectly fused and sealed that they can be used to help comply with OSHAs regulations for barrier seams.
Sonobonds SeamMaster has numerous specialized uses in the textile, apparel, and engineered-fabrics industries. A variety of interchangeable pattern rollers are available for seaming, hemming, and embossing. A special fixture is available for producing pleated filters. Like other Sonobond machines, this equipment can be operated easily with only minimal training.
SMS (Spunbond/Meltblown/Spunbond) pads, rolls, and drum toppers are designed to have the strength and sorption capabilities to handle the most demanding industrial applications. SMS pads and rolls must be of lint-free construction for use around sensitive equipment and in clean rooms. Although the exact methodology used by Supply Pro is proprietary, Sonobonds V20 Machine Builders Modules ultrasonically bond meltblown polypropylene between two layers of high tensile strength, non-linting, spunbond polypropylene. This takes just seconds and the resulting bond is strong and reliable. The same technology is used to make the companys diamond-patterned, dimpled products.
Prior to incorporating the Machine Builders Modules into their assembly process, Supply Pro used induction-heated rollers. According to Phil Barron, the Sonobond system is much better. Sonobond V20 units give us tighter controls on heat displacement and on consistency. They assure greater reliability of product and production, he said.
There are several significant reasons that Sonobond ultrasonic bonding technology is such a big asset to us. For one thing, it is very cost-effective especially in the way it makes the production process faster and easier. The longer the equipment keeps running, the less costly it is for our company. You wouldnt believe the difficulties we had when we were still using heaters. Those problems were more than a person would imagine. Now downtime is virtually not an issue. In addition, the quality of the bond is excellent, and we have strong technical support from Sonobond whenever we need it. The whole experience of incorporating their ultrasonic bonding machines into our manufacturing process has been very positive in every respect. They have allowed us to take better control of our line of booms, socks, pads, and pillows and to have more control over our own destiny, Mr. Barron said.
Sonobond works closely with customers to make installation of its ultrasonic bonding equipment as seamless as possible. The company is fully dedicated to providing excellent customer service and exceptional technical support before, during, and after their equipment is installed.
In summarizing his relationship with Sonobond, Supply Pros Phil Barron said, I would rate my overall experience a strong 10! Ive been very happy with all aspects of Sonobond, from the equipment we purchased to the customer service weve received. As I said earlier, they are team players. They do the research and hard work required to help us come up with solutions that enable us to achieve our goals. Sonobond has beenand continues to bevery professional in its approach.