VOL. 11 July ISSUE YEAR 2010
in Vol. 11 - July Issue - Year 2010
Innovative Components For Efficient Ultrasonic Applications
Britton Diver (right) at the first Process Cleaning Expo (PCx), which was held from 4
The SONOPUSH MONO HD rod-style transducers offer 20 percent more output at the same beam length, resulting in significantly shorter cleaning times that translate into higher throughput at lower costs
Consulting services for both existing and potential customers is an important focus for Britton Diver (left), Sales Manager of Weber Ultrasonics America
As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of ultrasonic components, Weber Ultrasonics GmbH facilitates construction of highly efficient ultrasonic systems through its innovative developments. MFN got together with Britton Diver, Sales Manager at Weber Ultrasonics America, to discuss this and other related topics.
(?) MFN: Since it was founded in 1998, Weber Ultrasonics has developed into one of the world’s technological leaders in the field of ultrasonic components. What is the secret to this success?
(!) B. D.: The fact that Weber Ultrasonics has been able to assume a leading worldwide position as a manufacturer of ultrasonic components within a relatively short time is thanks in no small part to the 30 years of experience and comprehensive know-how of company founder Dieter Weber. He is co-inventor of the push-pull principle and also has excellent knowledge of the market. However, concentrating keenly on the requirements of users since its foundation and placing emphasis on customer proximity have also been key factors throughout the company’s history. As such, research and development – particularly in the development of innovative, high-grade products – have been a primary focus from the very beginning. This is, for example, how the first digital generators, multifrequency transducers and digital multifrequency generators from Weber Ultrasonics came about. And alongside various patents, research activities have also resulted in a broad portfolio of products for very heterogeneous target sectors. This and the rapid expansion within Europe, to the US and into Asia have also contributed to the success.
(?) MFN: Which fields of ultrasonic technology does Weber Ultrasonics develop and produce components for?
(!) B. D.: We make products for several fields. These include ultrasonic transducer systems and generators for surface technology, which are geared in particular to the fields of industrial component cleaning and electroplating. Another key field is ultrasonic welding technology, for which we manufacture generators and transducers. And ultrasonic components for special applications, such as sewage sludge disintegration, as well as ultrasonic drilling, riveting, eroding and cutting represent yet another segment.
(?) MFN: How do these components differ from those of your company’s competitors?
(!) B. D.: Our high degree of customer focus in developing new concepts and redeveloping existing products leads to systems that offer genuine added value. Examples of this include our automatic power output stabilisation feature or the removable control console on our ultrasonic generators. The compact dimensions of our new ULTRASONIC MICRO CLEANING (UMC) 1 MHz generators are also unrivalled, as six generators with 500 Watt power output can be integrated into a single 19" housing. Another USP is the laser-welded housing of our submersible transducers, whose extremely smooth welded joint almost entirely eliminates any build-up of soiling or resoiling of the parts and tanks. These advantages, in combination with the high quality and long service life of our products, are what make the difference.
(?) MFN: How long has Weber Ultrasonics been active in the US market?
(!) B. D.: I have been working very successfully with Weber Ultrasonics in the US market since 2003. As a consistent further development of this success story, we then founded the subsidiary "Weber Ultrasonics America" in 2009.
(?) MFN: What was the story behind the foundation of the subsidiary in the US?
(!) B. D.: Weber Ultrasonics America was founded to drive forward production of ultrasonic components in the US. This also involved the transfer of specialist product and production expertise, which includes some trade secrets. Obviously, we were keen for sensitive information like this to remain in the hands of contractual partners. But once contractually agreed cooperation was in place, Weber Ultrasonics then began investing more heavily in production and the site in the US. The main reasons behind this were regional proximity to customers in North and South America, as well as the strategic proximity to Asia.
With "Weber Ultrasonics America", "Weber Ultrasonics weld & cut GmbH" and "Weber Environment Technologies GmbH & Co. KG", Weber Ultrasonics founded a total of three subsidiaries in 2009. The aim in founding these companies is further global expansion and commitment to a broader structure through our portfolio of products and services.
(?) MFN: What was the deciding factor in favour of the Clarkston location?
(!) B. D.: The proximity to the industrial metropolis of Detroit and thereby to potential and existing customers in the automotive sector and other sectors of industry. After all, Detroit is just 45 minutes away by car.
(?) MFN: What products and services are offered by Weber Ultrasonics America?
(!) B. D.: At our Clarkston facility we produce submersible transducers and, with the exception of the multifrequency devices, also market Weber Ultrasonics’ entire product range – for surface technology and ultrasonic welding. Our consulting services, for both existing and potential customers, is another important focus. We also operate a Service Centre, which holds workshops for customers, as well as performing service, maintenance and repair work. The Clarkston facility also equips cleaning systems with transducer systems and generators tailored to specific applications.
(?) MFN: Does Weber Ultrasonics America also have a test lab?
(!) B. D.: Yes, we have a test lab. It is not as large as the one in Germany, but it does allow us to perform various tests directly for customers.
(?) MFN: Which countries does Weber Ultrasonics America supply products to?
(!) B. D.: We supply products to and support customers throughout the entire American continent.
(?) MFN: What sectors do these customers come from?
(!) B. D.: In the field of surface technology, we supply companies from the automotive industry and the supply sector, the electrical engineering and electronics industry, as well as the fields of PCB manufacture, optics and precision mechanics, metal working, medical engineering, the fittings industry, photovoltaics and maintenance. In terms of ultrasonic welding, we supply SONIC MULTI PURPOSE generators and transducers to the packaging industry for welding plastics and non-wovens.
(?) MFN: What advantages can customers expect when using ultrasonic components from Weber Ultrasonics?
(!) B. D.: Firstly, high quality components. But also our comprehensive service, which starts with consulting prior to any purchase decisions and therefore eliminates potential planning errors from the outset. We then support our customers during installation and commissioning, while our repair and maintenance service ensures trouble-free operation of the ultrasonic systems throughout their life. We also place great emphasis on delivery reliability, whether new systems or provision of spare parts.
(?) MFN: What goals does Weber Ultrasonics have for the next few years?
(!) B. D.: To consolidate and build on our position of market leadership in Germany and Europe. At the same time, Weber Ultrasonics is also keen to establish itself as a worldwide market leader and further expand its market shares in the US, Asia and Eastern Europe. To achieve these goals, we are concentrating on the development of high-quality, innovative products and on providing a first class service, which also includes delivery reliability.
(?) MFN: How is Weber Ultrasonics preparing to meet the demands of increasing globalisation and realignment of markets?
(!) B. D.: We see Asia and Eastern Europe as the main growth markets of the future. We will therefore strengthen and expand our worldwide sales and service network accordingly. Investment in research and development is another important point. Here, Weber Ultrasonics Germany has strengthened its workforce by taking on new staff in 2009 and 2010 despite the economic crisis. The goals of strengthened research also include development of new products for new fields of application and sectors.
MFN would like to thank Britton Diver for this interview.