WEST CHESTER, Pennsylvania, March 12, 2015 –The need for protective apparel – assembled reliably and quickly by Sonobond’s ultrasonic rotary sewing machines – has never been more urgent. That was the message from manufacturers recently attending the Expo Produccion, in Mexico City and the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show, in Las Vegas.
“Because of our ultrasonic technology and the design of our rotary sewing machines, we can provide life-saving product features and even help boost production,” says Sonobond Vice President Melissa Alleman. “For manufacturers challenged with producing the hundreds of personal protective equipment (PPE) suits required daily by healthcare workers in clinics and countries where the Ebola virus persists, or for those tasked with assembling ballistic vests and PPE equipment to safeguard military, police and other personnel, the capabilities of our equipment are absolutely essential.”
Creating an Ultrasonic Bond
Sonobond’s SeamMaster® Ultrasonic Sewing Machine was originally developed in 1991 to meet tough OSHA regulatory requirements for barrier seams in medical garments and disposable items. Instead of needles, thread, glues or other adhesives, Sonobond’s equipment uses a patented rotary system, coupled with high-frequency vibrations, to bond synthetic or blended materials containing up to 40 percent natural fibers.
Resembling a traditional sewing machine, the SeamMaster ultrasonic sewing machine channels the ultrasonic vibrations between a horn and rotating wheel, producing a localized heat buildup which causes the synthetic fibers to soften and fuse. This creates a strong molecular bond that’s impervious to moisture. Explains Alleman, “the resulting barrier seams are sealed, secure, ultra-reliable and soft-to-the-touch without the safety issues caused by stitch holes, glue gaps, fraying or unraveling.”
Technology to Speed Production
Since it bonds and trims in one step, the SeamMaster ultrasonic sewing machine is up to four times faster than conventional sewing machines and 10 times faster than adhesive methods. Additional measures required by traditional assembly methods to ensure barrier seams are thereby eliminated, enabling some manufacturers to boost output by more than 25 percent.
In addition to PPE suits, this sealing capability makes Sonobond’s ultrasonic sewing machines ideal for assembling medical protective apparel that meets AAMI standards for fluid protection. This includes surgical gowns, facemasks, caps and booties, as well as disposable healthcare products, such as mattress covers, lint-free wound dressings and medical wipes.
Achieving Life-Saving Specifications
Sonobond’s ultrasonic rotary sewing machines also help manufacturers of body armor achieve National Institute of Justice (NIJ) standards that have become increasingly stringent as law enforcement, military personnel, secret Service agents, emergency responders, CIA and IRS employees don protective gear to ensure their safety. In fact, more than 35 ballistic vest manufacturers now use Sonobond machines to satisfy NIJ wet-conditioning standards requiring body armor to be waterproof, even after submersion for 30 minutes.
“Bulletproof materials contained in ballistic vests lose their life-saving effectiveness when exposed to water, so it’s imperative that the seams in the inner nylon shell are perfectly fused,” explains Alleman. Once again, the ultrasonic technology utilized by Sonobond’s ultrasonic sewing machines reduces any risk of damage to the interior contents, ensuring personal safety.
Quick Adaptation and Incorporation into Existing Assembly Process
Since SeamMaster® Ultrasonic Sewing Machines are similar to conventional sewing machines, operators require only minimal training.
The High Profile model is currently the most popular in the series because of its large pattern wheel, high clearance, and ability to accommodate bulky materials and hand-guided operations with tight tolerances and curves. Additionally, the machines are available as modular units that can be integrated into production lines and custom equipment.
Free Ultrasonic Bonding Viability Test
To ensure that our equipment satisfies your requirements, Sonobond offers a free, no-obligation Ultrasonic Bonding Viability Test to produce sample assemblies with your own nonwoven or synthetic fabrics. We also provide service and technical support before, during and after installation, ensuring that our equipment is properly incorporated into your production process.
Leading the Industry
A pioneer in ultrasonic technology, Sonobond holds more than 150 patents, including the first for ultrasonic metal welding, awarded in 1960, when the company was known as Aeroprojects. In the ensuing 55 years, Sonobond has established and maintained a well-earned reputation for innovative and quality-engineered products. Today, the company manufactures a complete line of ultrasonic welding and bonding equipment used by leading firms in the electrical, automotive, appliance, HVAC, solar, aerospace, filtration, medical, body armor and apparel industries.