High Tech Firm Sonics Celebrates Multiple Milestones
Newtown-based Sonics & Materials Inc celebrated its milestone 50th anniversary with a gala luncheon on April 5 at its headquarters, marking 50 years of manufacturing in the state of Connecticut as a leading supplier of ultrasonic welding systems and ultrasonic liquid processors.
The occasion also highlighted company founder and CEO Robert S. Soloff’s 80th birthday and served as an opportunity to announce the promotion of his daughter, Lauren, to company president.
Sonics & Materials was started in 1969 in Danbury by Mr Soloff, before relocating to its current site off Church Hill Road 21 years ago. Sonics currently employs a total of 85 people at that local corporate headquarters and boasts a worldwide network of distributors and representatives, many of whom traveled from as far as China and South Africa to join in the April 5 celebration.
At the luncheon, Mr Soloff announced that Lauren Soloff, who joined the company in 1995 and is currently executive vice president, would be assuming the office of president, effective immediately, while he will be continuing in his role as CEO.
The company was joined at celebration by several local, state, and federal officials and included remarks by Attorney General William Tong and Newtown First Selectman Dan Rosenthal as well as the presenting of proclamations and certificates of recognition.
Mr Rosenthal called Sonics a Connecticut success story, adding, “Having businesses like Sonics in Connecticut that are producing global products and employing people, this is certainly a positive for Newtown and the state.”
During his brief remarks, Attorney General Tong recalled that before his election, his former law firm had represented the company, “So I’m here as part of the greater Sonics family. So before I was the state’s lawyer, I was Sonics’ lawyer. We are thankful to you on behalf of Connecticut for your commitment, your hard work, and your confidence in our state. Thank you for believing in Connecticut and this community.”
One week earlier, Sonics was featured as Senator Chris Murphy’s “Monday Manufacturer,” where the senator was quoted as saying: “I’m happy to highlight Sonics & Materials’ 50 years of service to the manufacturing sector in Connecticut and their commitment to training the next generation of students in the ultrasonics field. Their hard work goes a long way in ensuring Connecticut manufacturing remains competitive.”
A popular topic in the remarks was the importance of manufacturing companies and their contributions to Connecticut’s economic growth. In addition to providing jobs and educating its skilled work force in the specialized field of ultrasonic technology, Mr Soloff told the approximately 150 guests in attendance that Sonics offers tuition reimbursement and work study programs to students in local and state technical schools and university programs.
Half-Century Of Innovation
Over the past half-century, Sonics has defined its role as an industry pioneer, acquiring a total of 30 patents (plus three pending) for technological innovations, continuing the work started by Mr Soloff, who was awarded the original patent for the ultrasonic method of welding thermoplastic parts. This groundbreaking assembly technique is now used universally across many manufacturing sectors, especially the automotive, aviation, medical device, electronics, appliance, and battery industries.
In his remarks, Mr Soloff noted myriad ways in which the simple sound waves at the heart of his ultrasonic technology inventions and systems are used today. Speaking of “the almost magical force of ultrasonics,” he went on to say, “I like to think of our company as a symphony orchestra where everyone has their part… and together, we make beautiful music and produce world-class ultrasonic products. Our music, however, is mostly in the 15 to 40 kHz range.”
In addition to welding systems, Sonics’ other ultrasonic product lines, including liquid processors, are employed throughout research facilities, hospitals and thousands of laboratories and universities, as well as in the nanotechnology, cannabis, biotechnology, and DNA sequencing fields.
Commenting on her expanded role at the company, Lauren Soloff said, “I look forward to continuing our history of innovation… to developing more high-performance ultrasonic solutions for our customers’ varied applications while continuing to provide them with the kind of service and support that can transform their business. I appreciate the trust my father has shown me as well as the hard work and support of all the Sonics’ employees who have brought us to 50 years of success.”
A ‘Hopeful’ New President
Ms Soloff referenced that the years 1969 and 2019 were “turbulent and uncertain years” but said that being part of Sonics makes her hopeful.
“We have employees at Sonics who were born in Brazil, England, Thailand, India, Portugal, France, Philippines, Dominican Republic, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Puerto Rico. We have distributors celebrating with us today who traveled from Italy, Canada, Mexico, China, and South Africa,” she told the guests.
“We do business in no less than 125 countries, including places such as Iceland, Estonia, and Zambia,” she said. “We are a company of people who practice different religions, have different political beliefs, and we have a wide variety of educational backgrounds, including those who went to technical schools, state schools, private schools, and some who were home-schooled.
“Yet somehow, despite all of these many differences, we come to Sonics every day and work together, problem solve, create, and design,” Ms Soloff continued.
“We have mourned together, and we are fortunate, as we are today, to regularly celebrate together,” she concluded. “When people walk through our doors, whether it be as an employee, customer, vendor, family member, or friend, people sense that they are in a place where views are respected and differences are appreciated — a place where judgement is not based on where you were born or what your diploma may or may not say — but by your unique contribution to Sonics.”
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