Horn Resurfacing Frequency

This chart is based on real life industrual processing examples. Horns are separated by frequency by their vertical position.

This chart shows how many weeks horns can last before they need to be refurbished.

The technical experts at Aurizon Ultrasonics have invested many years and millions of dollars in rotary ultrasonic research and development—including advanced acoustic tool (sonotrode) modeling, fabrication and analysis. In our rotary bonders, the sonotrode (horn) delivers the ultrasonic motion radially around the disc circumference to the material being processed.

Examples of several of Aurizon's horns.

Aurizon has a tremendous variety of horns; a select few shown above.

Some of that research and development has paid off in the understanding of what can be done from a design standpoint to extend the life of the horn. We have designed the pattern placement on many of our anvils so that they evenly distribute wear across the width of the horn. We also offer bonders with independent drives that optimize the speed relationship between the horn and anvil, which can maximize the duty cycle of the horn.

How long will a horn last?
Horn life is based on the application and the materials being bonded, which can vary greatly. It is important to know what to expect in regards to the service life of the horn in a bonder so that you can determine its return on investment and create a maintenance schedule that minimizes production delay.

How will I know when the horn needs resurfacing?
Substantial wear does not always affect the performance of the horn. A horn that looks abused can still function, so rather than err on the side of resurfacing too soon, you should make sure that it actually needs to be done before going forward. Our experienced team can help you define your evaluation protocol so that you can determine when a horn needs to be resurfaced. In addition, we will work with you to develop a maintenance plan to take care of this valuable asset.

What factors influence horn wear?
The three main factors that impact horn life are metallurgy, material type and the environment in which the horn is operating.

  • Metallurgy—Aurizon has its titanium source material manufactured to a specific proprietary recipe. Over the years, we have developed a manufacturing process that minimizes variability in our horns. Likewise, depending on your application, we may suggest a steel horn, which has a very long lifespan in certain situations.
  • Material type–The materials being processed unquestionably affect the life of the horn. Not surprisingly, heavy and/or bulky materials positively influence horn life by creating a buffer between the horn and anvil that minimizes wear; resulting in longer horn life. Meanwhile, thinner material does not allow the same protection and may have the opposite effect on the life of the horn.
  • Operating environment—The environment in which the horn is operating can range from benign to very aggressive based on application needs, directly influencing wear life of the horn.

What is Aurizon’s process for resurfacing a horn?
Most horns can be resurfaced several times. Aurizon can provide this service for you or, if you would prefer, our technical specialists can train your people to develop the in-house capability to refurbish your horn.

Questions?
Contact us here or send an email to info@aurizonultrasonics.com.

Basic Components of a Rotary Ultrasonic System

Posted on by Kristine

This gallery contains 5 photos.

  Aurizon’s rotary ultrasonic bonding machines are composed of several basic components and sub-components.  (Actual system components may differ depending on the application it was designed for.)   Stack Assembly The stack assembly consists of a converter, drive booster and a rotary ultrasonic horn (sonotrode) along with its vibration isolation/mounting flange.  All of these components […]

Replacing Heat or Glue-Based Processes with Rotary Ultrasonic Technology in an Industrial Application

When the decision has been made to change an industrial process, it was likely driven by a particular factor such as:

  • Safety
  • Desire for improved economics
  • Legislation change
  • Improved material performance
  • Competitive pressure from other businesses
  • Machine upgrade
  • Improving operations
  • Reduced machine delay frequency
  • Reduced delay duration

Ultrasonic technology can provide multiple positive returns, such as material and energy savings, sustainability benefits and increased process speeds.  However, there are several things you should think about when considering making the switch from using adhesive or heat sealing processes to using ultrasonic technology.

Why should you consider using ultrasonic technology in an established process?

Ultrasonic technology has several benefits that can affect future production including improved overall production line efficiency, less down time, lowered process waste, more effective bonding through varying thicknesses or layers and the possibility of faster process speeds.

For packaging applications, ultrasonic technology can offer a reduction in materials due to narrower seals and smaller fin sizes and the ability to seal through residual product.

In hygiene applications, ultrasonics enables the use of lighter weight materials (which are often lower cost), improved fabric performance, elimination of adhesive and adhesive delivery systems.

All applications report that their experience includes reduced machine maintenance which includes less down time and higher productivity.  In addition, those who have replaced heat sealing processes experience reduced energy consumption with low wattage ultrasonic processes.  This can result in a substantial savings in production costs and reduction of utility costs.

Will ultrasonic technology bond your materials?

Ultrasonic bonding is generated by molecular friction within material placed between an acoustical device (horn) and an anvil (energy guide). The horn is tuned to a specific frequency, which excites the molecules, resulting in the temperature within the material rising, flowing together and creating a bond.  Ultrasonic technology works well with thermoplastic films and nonwoven materials.  Each material has different physical properties, which may necessitate some experimentation before answering the question of feasibility.  For that reason, Aurizon Ultrasonics has pilot facilities set up to provide initial testing that can help you determine if rotary ultrasonic technology can add value to your application.

Which ultrasonic process design is most suitable for your process?

Once you have decided that ultrasonic technology is right for your application, you will need to choose between a rotary ultrasonic system and a stationary or blade ultrasonic system.  There are some applications that will have an obvious solution, but most of the time, you will have to consider both avenues to understand which route will be most beneficial. See Choosing a Rotary or Blade System for your Application for more information.

Is retrofit possible or will this change necessitate the design of a new process?

Evaluation of the suitability of your chosen process should begin with a current operating cost diagram and an estimation of the value of the existing system as is.  This base value can then be compared to the estimated cost of any new process alternatives.  Simulation modeling can give you an idea of future operating costs.  Each process will offer its own benefits and limitations that need to be examined as well.

The appeal of designing a new process is that the new system can take into consideration all parameters that will affect the ultrasonic processing such as speed, amplitude of vibration, static contact pressure and the design can optimize these factors.  This can be cost-prohibitive, in which case a retrofit may be more fitting.

The appeal of retrofitting your machine is that the existing system will remain in place and there will be less disruption in implementing the change.  That being said, if there are other problematic variables in the process, they should be addressed with the change.  Even with the retrofit option, the design of a new process brings with it many more decisions to be made.

While Aurizon Ultrasonics has extensive experience retrofitting machines into existing processes, because of the custom nature of each individual application, the methodology will be different with each situation.  Aurizon’s technical experts can consult with you to help determine the magnitude of the effort ahead; and after purchase of a machine, support you through each stage of implementation.

What is the return on investment (ROI)?

Making the switch to ultrasonic technology will require some amount of capital investment.  Both the investment amount and the ROI will vary according to your circumstances; however, our experience shows that most customers see one hundred percent ROI within 6-18 months.

The Aurizon team has conceived and developed their high-powered rotary ultrasonic technology over the course of 30 years and is vastly experienced with process development, process integration, training, service and support of ultrasonic systems in commercial production environments.  We are committed to listening to you and working with you to find a viable alternative that addresses your particular challenges.  Contact us to discuss your application, materials and how we can help assess the capability of our technology in relation to your requirements.

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Comparing Rotary Ultrasonic to Stationary or Blade Technologies

Ultrasonic technology is offering new potential across various industries including cutting, bonding, sealing, embossing, elastic entrapment and countless other custom applications. Manufacturers are employing ultrasonic technology to bond various types of materials together without using adhesives or heat sealing. Ultrasonic processes are particularly effective on nonwoven laminates and other plastic films. Making the switch to ultrasonic technology can provide increased productivity and sustainability, reduced operating costs and enable new capabilities in your industrial applications.

Once you have made the decision to apply this technology to your application, you will need to choose between a rotary ultrasonic system and a stationary or blade ultrasonic system. There are some applications that will have an obvious solution, but most of the time, you will have to consider both avenues to understand which route will be most beneficial.

 

Rotary Ultrasonic and Stationary or Blade Sealing System Comparison

Rotary ultrasonic technology can offer a number of valuable advantages to your industrial processes.

 

The following are some variables to consider when looking at your options for taking advantage of this leading technology.

 

What kind of process are you running?

Rotary systems work well in both intermittent and continuous processes while the blade systems are more suitable for intermittent systems. Rotary horns also provide higher continuous power delivery and more uniform horn amplitude.  More power means faster, more consistent sealing and more uniformity delivers higher, more consistent and efficient seal performance.

 

Are you having mechanical problems with your current process?

Sometimes with stationary or blade systems, there is danger of component failure due to metal contact. The rotational action in rotary systems deflects the force response rather than sending a shock wave directly back into the converter, causing less vibration and greatly reducing the risk of failure. Not only does this feature allow for faster process speeds and greater consistency than stationary systems can offer, it also means less downtime, higher productivity and lower repair cost.

 

What kind of material are you working with?

One of the key advantages of the rotary horn is the ability to achieve very high amplitudes and operate in contact with other surfaces (patterned steel anvils) without catastrophic failure of the horn or converter—as mentioned above.  This characteristic is especially valuable for the processing of extremely thin materials since the horn and anvil is able to operate in contact mode and generate the forces required for high speed bonding of lightweight materials.

 

Do you have varying thicknesses in the seal zone?

All types of ultrasonic technology can offer improved process speeds, the ability to seal through residual product and the ability to bond through varying thicknesses and layers.  However, the rolling contact from a rotary horn enables better sealing over varying material thicknesses like seams and gussets because of the inertia possessed by the system.  This can directly lead to less product failures, less waste and more effective seals.

 

How wide is your cross-directional bond or seal?

width of cross directional bond in a rotary ultrasonic system

The orange line shows the potential width of the cross directional bond in a blade system as compared to a rotary system.

Another thought-provoking comparison of these technologies is that of potential cross-directional bond width. In a stationary or blade system, the seal width is limited by the width of the horn blade, but in a rotary system, the horn can travel across the web and is only limited by the design of the process configuration.

 

Would you like to test your materials?

Rotary ultrasonic technology has been custom engineered, developed and implemented on hundreds of bonding, sealing and converting applications.  Aurizon Ultrasonics works with customers around the world to deliver rotary ultrasonic solutions that address your particular process.  Our patented technology provides a solid foundation for delivering cutting-edge products and processes. We will strive to gain a thorough understanding of your needs and consider key parameters such as horn metallurgy, acoustic design, component fabrication and system engineering.

Contact us with your ideas or challenges and we will determine if we can develop a customized solution to meet your requirements.

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Aurizon Ultrasonics Exhibits at Expo Pack in Mexico City

Posted on by Kristine

IMG_1364 (4)

Aurizon Ultrasonics is at Booth #2008 at Expo Pack in Mexico City from May 17th-20th. With more than 30 years of experience in research and manufacturing of high-power ultrasonic technology, our team is committed to partnering with our customers in a way that delivers cutting-edge products and processes. Our patented technology provides a solid foundation delivering never-before-seen impact, and our spirit of innovation and dedication to technology development will continue to guide us as we develop new solutions to meet the needs of our customers. Come talk with us!

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Visit Aurizon Ultrasonics at IDEA 2016 – Booth #1217!

Posted on by Kristine

IDEA ad

Stop by booth #1217 at IDEA 2016 from May 3-5 and learn about Aurizon Ultrasonics’ breakthrough technology for elastic attachment with NO GLUE! Our Adhesive Free Elastic Entrapment solution is an environmentally friendly process that eliminates adhesives and allows for the use of lighter weight materials. This innovative method using rotary ultrasonic technology will change the paradigm in consumer product converting because of the many advantages it provides. See you at the show!

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Innovation Week at GDM Open House in Italy

Posted on by Kristine

Aurizon display GDM Innovation week

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3/30/2016 – 4/6/2016 Aurizon Ultrasonics exhibited at GDM’s Innovation Week. GDM provides new technological and process solutions to the hygiene disposable industry. Aurizon displayed their new Adhesive Free Elastic Entrapment solution in conjunction with GDM’s OptionZero, enabling diaper manufacturers to ultrasonically bond elastic to nonwoven material without using glue.

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High Power Ultrasonic Technology for Bonding Substrates with Applications in Disposable Hygiene Products and Flexible Packaging

Greg Benrud - Aurizon Ultrasonics PresidentGreg Benrud
President

Aurizon Ultrasonics, LLC
www.aurizonultrasonics.com

Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – November 30, 2015

CEOCFO: Mr. Benrud, what is Aurizon Ultrasonics?
Mr. Benrud: Aurizon Ultrasonics is manufacturer of equipment utilizing high-power ultrasonic energy to perform a variety of industrial processes. Aurizon’s origins can be traced back to the 1980’s inside the research and development area of Kimberly-Clark Corporation. It was spun out as a separate company about six and a half years ago. Our industry applications are, as you might expect from our background within Kimberly-Clark, high speed converting applications in disposable hygiene products, such as baby diapers, child training pants, and adult incontinent products. However, sealing of flexible films used in packaging of food, pharmaceuticals and other products is a growing area for us.

CEOCFO: Why is ultrasonics a better way? What are you replacing?
Mr. Benrud: In the disposable hygiene market we are many times replacing adhesives. One of our newest offerings to the industry is what we call ultrasonic elastic entrapment. In every baby diaper or adult incontinent product, there are stretchable leg cuffs and/or waist bands. Today these structures are typically constructed by gluing stretch elastic strands between two layers of lightweight nonwovens. There is a lot of cost and complexity with that process. In packaging, ultrasonics is typically replacing heat. Potential benefits including fewer seal failures, faster production line speed, improved up-time and reduced risk of damaging the product.

CEOCFO: What happens with the Ultrasonics process?
Mr. Benrud: The technology uses high frequency sound waves or vibration to bond, seal or cut materials like nonwovens or films. In simple terms, our device consists of rotary ultrasonic horn vibrating somewhere between twenty thousand and forty thousand times per second and a rotary anvil or tooling which typically includes a pattern. The two components form an in-running nip through which the materials pass. The rapid compressing and releasing of the materials cause them to heat from within, melt and form a bond or separate. It is a very, very clean process.

CEOCFO: Does it become just another step in the assembly line?
Mr. Benrud: Exactly. And there are several applications on a diaper where this might be used. Ultrasonics can be used to construct components such as ears, cuffs or panels and also be used to bond each of these components chassis of the diaper. In packaging, applications include the longitudinal seal on products wrapped in either vertical (e.g. produce) and horizontal (e.g. snack bars) configurations and the top seal on pouches. We work with machine builders serving both the disposable hygiene and packaging industries to get our equipment included in their machine designs.

CEOCFO: Would you tell us about the cost factor for the manufacturer?
Mr. Benrud: That is an interesting area for us because we have to focus our sales efforts on customers that value Total Cost of Ownership or TCO. In a company our size we wear many hats. I’m President, but also CFO and handle sales duties for one large account. I developed what we call our “Cost in Use” model that our sales team can utilize with their customers to quantify the value proposition related to implementing our ultrasonic technology. Our equipment may be higher capital cost than, say adhesive application equipment or heat for packaging applications. However, ultrasonics often enables ongoing cost reductions that provide a good payback on the higher upfront investment.

CEOCFO: Does the cost to the end user of the product matter? Is there a difference for them at the other end?
Mr. Benrud: Ultrasonics can provide improvements to product attributes that consumers of disposable hygiene products care about. These include fit, feel and discretion. We are finding that ultrasonically entrapping elastic strands results in less tension when extended which should lead to few red marks on the skin. Use of adhesives in a disposable hygiene product can also cause the nonwoven to become hard and brittle which is not as soft against the skin. The other attribute that you do not often think about is that adhesives can make the product noisy. This is especially a concern with adult incontinence products where the big trend is towards more and more discretion. Product are getting thinner, users want them softer and to fit better so that they are less noticeable. Ultrasonic bonding is a technology that can enable some of those features and benefits.

CEOCFO: Is the industry aware? Are there people that should know about Aurizon aware? Where are you on the radar screen in general?
Mr. Benrud: We are relatively new but, I would say, becoming well known in the disposable hygiene industry. We recently returned from the Hygenix conference in St. Petersburg, FL where we presented our elastic entrapment technology. The capability was very well received and we have received several new orders as a result. All the major hygiene machine builders know who we are, at least in North America and Europe. Currently we are twenty-five people, all US-based but are in the process of establishing representation in Europe.

CEOCFO: You said that the product was well received at the recent hygiene conference. What did you learn that perhaps you had not thought about?
Mr. Benrud: An industry thought leader offered an insight to a benefit we hadn’t really considered previously. He indicated that disposable hygiene makers based in geographic areas where temperatures get very hot can experience bond failures during transportation. Temperatures inside trucks and other cargo containers can reach points at which the chemical bond created with an adhesive fails resulting in a product defect. Ultrasonics creates a mechanical bond that is able to withstand these high temperatures.

CEOCFO: You have been talking about Hygienix, but I do see on your site several other additional applications. Are those in progress? Where are you with the other packaging and specialty converting and medical disposables?
Mr. Benrud: We recently separated medical disposables from hygiene to give that industry more focus. Potential applications in this area include perimeter bonding of face masks and sterile wrap. Packaging is a relatively new market for us. We saw this industry as a natural fit for ultrasonics and as a way to grow and diversify. We redesigned our offering to meet the market requirements and innovative packaging machine builders and end users have begun adopting ultrasonic sealing for its benefits versus conventional heat sealing.

CEOCFO: Aurizon was recognized on the Inc. 5000 list for the second consecutive year, which indicates that business is good. Would you please tell us about the recent agreement with INVISTA?
Mr. Benrud: That is another highlight! I had mentioned our capability to ultrasonically attach elastic strands to nonwovens and films. We started this development about a year ago by obtaining an exclusive license to a patent held by CERA France that covered the process. Our initial focus, which is now commercially available, was to develop a robust capability to ultrasonically entrap elastic fibers as they currently exist. Our joint development agreement with INVISTA, a leading supplier of elastic fiber, is focused on developing novel stretch fibers optimized for ultrasonic attachment and new ultrasonic equipment in order to provide an even more effective solution.

CEOCFO: Why is Aurizon Ultrasonics noteworthy?
Mr. Benrud: Our engineers invented rotary ultrasonics as an improvement to the conventional ultrasonics offered by our competitors. Many of them have developed rotary options, but our design is proprietary and the focus of all we do. A key differentiator for Aurizon is what we call “Experience Better.” This refers to how we work with potential customers to deliver an ultrasonic solution that addresses their product or process issue. We are not just selling equipment from a catalog; we offer solutions. The process typically starts with a customer coming to us with a problem or opportunity and they are wondering if ultrasonics can help. We listen to ensure understanding then draw on our extensive experience and know-how to determine whether an ultrasonic solution is both technically and financially feasible. We are able and willing to develop a customized solution to meet a customer’s requirements and have in-house capability to validate the hypothesis using the customer’s materials.

“A key differentiator for Aurizon is what we call ‘Experience Better.’ This refers to how we work with potential customers to deliver an ultrasonic solution that addresses their product or process issue. We are not just selling equipment from a catalog; we offer solutions.” – Greg Benrud

Aurizon Ultrasonics, LLC
www.aurizonultrasonics.com

Greg Benrud
920-750-5082
greg.benrud@aurizonultrasonics.com

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Aurizon Ultrasonics and INVISTA announce joint development

Aurizon Ultrasonics and INVISTA announce joint development of bonding equipment and stretch fibers for the construction of stretch laminates

 

KIMBERLY, Wis. (Sept. 17, 2015) – Aurizon Ultrasonics – a leading supplier of ultrasonic processing equipment to the hygiene industry – and INVISTA – one of the world’s largest integrated producers of polymers and fibers, and owner of the LYCRA HyFit® brand sold into the hygiene industry – have announced they are cooperating on a new joint development project.

 

This project will focus on the collective development of novel ultrasonic bonding equipment and novel stretch fibers for the construction of stretch laminates, without the use of hot melt elastic attachment adhesives. The desired outcome of this collaboration is a step-change advancement allowing hygiene producers to improve product fit and comfort without the cost and complexity of glue.

 

“We are thrilled to join efforts with INVISTA, the market leader in stretch fibers, to further advance next generation stretch materials for the hygiene market,” said Greg Benrud, Aurizon president. ”Our current technology to ultrasonically secure elastics in nonwovens without the need for adhesives can enable lower material costs, increased operational efficiency and improved product comfort and performance. We believe this collaboration will provide an opportunity to leverage the strengths of both companies and accelerate further development of exciting new materials and processes for our customers.”

“INVISTA is excited to explore the combination of Aurizon’s cutting edge capabilities in ultrasonic bonding with our market leading research and development team that has delivered continuous innovations to our LYCRA HyFit® fiber offering,” said Scott Blackadar, INVISTA global vice president. “We believe that step change innovations in diaper design and cost reduction will result from this joint effort. We look forward to collaborating with Aurizon and discovering the potential synergy between our new fiber innovations and Aurizon’s high speed rotary ultrasonic bonding technology.”

 

 

About Aurizon Ultrasonics

Aurizon Ultrasonics was created in 2009; however, its research team has been developing and expanding ultrasonic technology for more than 30 years with its origins in Kimberly-Clark Corporation. Aurizon’s expertise and patented technology make it a leader in high-power, high-speed ultrasonic processing and provide a solid foundation for creating customized solutions to meet the needs of the hygiene industry. By partnering with each customer and working together to develop a comprehensive, customized solution for their manufacturing challenges, Aurizon invites companies to “experience better” by increasing their productivity, reducing their costs and improving their outcomes. Aurizon is an INDA member and has been named one of Inc. magazine’s 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in America in each of the last two years.

 

About INVISTA

INVISTA is one of the world’s largest integrated producers of polymers and fibers, primarily for nylon, spandex and polyester applications. With a business presence in over 20 countries, INVISTA delivers exceptional value for its customers through market insights and technology innovations, along with a powerful portfolio of some of the most recognized global brands and trademarks in their respective industries including: COOLMAX®, CORDURA®, LYCRA®, POLARGUARD®, SOLARMAX®, SUPPLEX®, TACTEL®, and THERMOLITE®. More information on INVISTA can be found at www.INVISTA.com and on personal care offerings at HyFit.INVISTA.com.

 

LYCRA HyFit® is a trademark of INVISTA

 

Aurizon Ultrasonics talks about ultrasonic bonding for nonwovens

In December 2014 Aurizon Ultrasonics announced an exclusive license agreement with CERA France to manufacture and sell CERA’s patented rotary ultrasonic bonding technology for entrapping elastic strands into nonwoven structures. This technology is best suited for contour-fit hygiene products such as baby diapers, adult briefs, and child and adult pull-on pants, as well as medical garments and textiles.

 

A recent conversation with Aurizon’s Tom Ehlert, vice president of research and development, Dan Sorensen, senior research scientist, and Greg Benrud, president, showcases the technology, and provides insight into how it’s impacting the marketplace.

 

Q: How did Aurizon and CERA France get together to sign this agreement?

Tom: We approached CERA. This is a technology that we had some experience with before CERA patented it. We knew we could create a significant product and process improvement opportunity for the industry when we used it in conjunction with our rotary ultrasonics.

Greg: When we met with CERA to discuss licensing, it was obvious they had done their homework on us and understood that the equipment we were bringing to market was robust and effective. This was a key consideration in their evaluation of potential licensees. They had established some criteria and determined that Aurizon effectively met those criteria.

 

Q: What is the technology?

Tom: There are two approaches to integrating elastic strands into nonwovens. Adhesive application has been the primary method for years. Adhesives are used to secure the elastic onto the substrate using a variety of application methods. Ultrasonics, on the other hand, captures elastics between two substrates by securing them when elongated between narrow bond points designed in a tunnel-like fashion. These bond points secure the elastics within the substrate such that once they return to their larger, relaxed diameter they become immobilized.

 

Q: What expertise does Aurizon bring to this technology?

Dan: We are uniquely able to leverage our core competencies in ultrasonics and high speed converting within the hygiene/personal care industry to deliver robust process solutions. Our extensive experience with nonwoven bonding and tooling design has accelerated the development of this entrapment technology. Utilizing our pilot line, we have defined the appropriate process and tooling requirements for virtually any combination of fiber decitex, tension and substrates. And we’re now able to use this knowledge to create customized solutions that can effectively entrap the elastics across a broad range of materials and product executions.

 

Q: What have customers and prospects been saying about this technology and its outcomes?

Greg: While the comments have been very good, I think actions definitely speak louder than words. One of the biggest end users in this industry moved on this very quickly. We’re working with them on two product forms – both adult incontinence and baby diapers.

Tom: We’ve also had several European customers who have come here to see it in operation. Both OEMs and end users have shown strong interest.

Dan: There’s definitely a level of excitement – even a level of surprise that’s associated with it. And I think that speaks to the fact that when you stretch the ultrasonically entrapped composite you feel a lower amount of tension per unit of elongation than one that is adhesively attached. This improved tension profile can create a more comfortable fit and potentially lead to fewer customer complaints.

 

Q: How does ultrasonics produce a superior product?

Dan: When you compare it to an adhesive execution, ultrasonics only affects a very small portion of the elastic strand. The result is that we are essentially providing the consumer with a fabric that is as close to just a raw elastic strand as you can make. The problem with the adhesive coating methods is that they are not always easily controlled or consistent. The beauty of ultrasonic entrapment is that the bond points are discrete, precise and very reproducible.

Tom: Our process gives the product developer the ability to fine-tune what they want that ruffle to be. Its controllable because you’re defining specifically where those lock down points are. You can’t do that with adhesives. Plus with the adhesive, especially the spray-coat adhesive where you’re just flooding it, you can feel that it’s tacky. Adhesives can also stiffen the fabric when you spray it on and fold it over. When this happens you create a laminate that’s less soft and not nearly as comfortable for the person wearing it. The other area where ultrasonics creates a superior fabric and fit is creep.

 

Q: What is creep?

Dan: Creep occurs when products with adhesively attached elastics are warmed by body heat from the wearer, causing the adhesive to soften and allow the elastics to “slip” through those adhesive bonds. When this happens you can lose the effectiveness of the “gasket” created by the elastic due to a loss of tension. Products a mother may put on her baby, such as lotions or oils, can also affect how elastics are secured in adhesives, as they can break down the adhesive and cause creep. With an ultrasonic system, there is no creep. There is nothing to break down. We have melted polymers so body temperature or any type of lotion or oil doesn’t affect the bond zones.

 

Q: I’ve heard you talk about intermittency and zoned tension – how do these play into the quality of the finished product?

Dan: With ultrasonics we can specifically define where the entrapment starts and ends. We can control this within less than a millimeter, so it’s very precise. With a glue system, you typically have some delay associated with the application valve, so it is very difficult to control to the level of consistency of ultrasonics. This is important to a product developer and to a manufacturer of disposable products because they’re able to produce more products to specification. And it’s important to the end-user because we’re able to provide them with a better feel and more comfort.

Tom: Zoned tension is definitely another benefit that is very difficult to achieve with adhesives. By zoned we mean you have differential tension as the elastic progresses through the product – either tighter or looser. Or alternatively, you create different tensions on two different elastic strands that are running next to each other.

 

Q: How does ultrasonics save on material or operating costs?

Tom: Ultrasonic entrapment doesn’t require additional raw materials, like glue, in order to secure the elastic strands. So immediately those costs go away. And we don’t have any of the on-going costs associated with glue storage, handling and preparation. The costs of operating and maintaining the glue applicator equipment are also eliminated. Those types of ongoing costs can actually add up to millions of dollars per year for a production facility making products like this.

Dan: Another savings comes from the potential of utilizing lower basis weight materials because you don’t need to worry about adhesive bleed through.

 

Q: How does it make the process more efficient, and thus save on production time?

Dan: Adhesive application processes are inherently messy. When you apply adhesives to these substrates, it doesn’t just go where you want it. It goes everywhere. And then you have to stop and clean it off, and that causes downtime. Each time a machine goes down and you have to clean it up, you’re losing production time and creating waste. That doesn’t happen with ultrasonics.

Greg: Ultrasonics gives you higher up time and more operational efficiency – both of which can result in significant savings in high speed converting operations like those making hygiene products.

 

Q: You mentioned you’ve been testing different nonwoven weights and elastic strands with different anvils. That’s great, but how can someone be sure their materials are right for ultrasonics?

Greg: We have a pilot line with elastic fiber capabilities, so if I’m a customer who says, ‘These tests that you’ve done are great, but I want to see it with my nonwoven and my elastic,” then we can run their materials on our pilot line at their production speeds and demonstrate the capability.

 

 

To learn more about Aurizon Ultrasonics and its process for entrapping elastics into nonwoven materials, visit www.noglueneeded.com or call 877.321.3718.

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