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Merryweather Foam Blog

Since 1948, we have been industry leaders in fabricating unique, foam components for customers in the medical, sound absorption, automotive, and unique packaging industries. At Merryweather Foam, we pride ourselves on our ability to combine experience, innovation, and excellent customer service. We have the knowledge, manpower & equipment to help you get the job done. Visit our website to see our fabrication portfolio as well as our capabilities.

Our Rogers Preferred Convertor Status - What It Means to You

We are proud to be a Rogers Corporation Preferred Converter

At Merryweather Foam, we are proud of the relationships we build with our customers and suppliers. We understand companies still do business with people, and we are proud of our knowledgeable and friendly team. Sometimes the results of these relationships are relatively invisible. Other times they result in tangible achievements.

Near the bottom of the Merryweather Foam website's home page, you'll see a series of logos and certifications. We are pleased to have earned the right to display these logos and are happy to share what they can mean to you, our customers and potential customers. One of those is a logo that designates Merryweather Foam as a Rogers Preferred Converter.

Who is the Rogers Corporation?

Rogers Corporation is one of the oldest material manufacturers in the United States. Founded in 1832, its roots are in paperboard manufacturing. Since then, Rogers has successfully evolved and adapted their products, technologies, and manufacturing presence to meet the demands of current and emerging markets. Among many other products, Rogers produces advanced foams for cushioning and protective sealing. Rogers is noted for their reliability, efficiency and performance.

What is the Benefit of Being a "Preferred Converter"?

By achieving Preferred Converter status of Rogers Corporation, Merryweather Foam can provide our customers quicker access to Rogers products at more affordable pricing. This allows us exceptional access to desired Rogers products like PORON® Urethane and BISCO® Silicone materials which are used in gaskets and sealing, impact and energy absorption and heat shielding. This positively impacts our customers using quality Rogers products by providing them with better access at the best pricing available.

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4 Reasons Why Our Membership with the GFA Benefits You

As proud members of the GFA, or Gasket Fabricators Association, Merryweather foam is committed to delivering the best cutting-edge solutions to their customers. Through our engagement in GFA resources and events, our company connects with the best suppliers and innovators in our industry to ensure we remain competitive, agile and powerful for our end customer - you. We aren't content to rest on our laurels, despite having some of the industry's most cutting-edge choices in cutting edges - Water Jet Cutting, Die Cutting, Contour Cutting and more - as well as customer-focused production techniques and a commitment to overall product quality. Partnering with the GFA as a member has allowed us to expand our expertise:

Annual Meetings
As with many fabrication-based industries, a single piece of technology or technique breakthrough can provide better products, pricing and efficiency virtually overnight. GFA membership gives Merryweather Foam access to twice a year membership meetings. These gatherings allow us to peruse new suppliers and lock in component and equipment deals that empower us to deliver a more valuable product to you, our customers. 

A Strong Network of Peers
The seminars, presentations and networking opportunities enjoyed by GFA members allow us to meet and stay in contact with peers that can offer guidance for unique challenges. We pride ourselves in staying up-to-date on the latest problem-solving techniques in the foam fabrication field, and GFA seminars give our team the knowledge and network contacts they need to serve you.

Technical Webinars
Important industry news travels fast, and if it happens between annual meetings, GFA webinars help us stay informed. By virtually connecting with and learning from the brightest minds in our field, we're always well ahead of changes and ready to take advantage of any potential opportunities on your behalf. 

The TechTeam™
The TechTeam™ is a valuable panel of experts assembled and serving in conjunction with the International Association of Die cutting and Die making. The team is a unique GFA membership benefit that extends the reach of our problem-solving skills by giving us access to sharp industry minds outside of our factory walls. If you have an unusual product or unusual fabrication needs, we are able to confer with the TechTeam™ for new ideas and a fresh outlook, giving you the benefit of efficiency.

At Merryweather Foam Inc, our membership in the GFA is only part of our commitment to our customers. We know that the needs and demands of the marketplace - whether they're for retail goods, equipment operation and protection, filtering or other applications - deserve to be met as affordably and quickly as possible, and with the highest degree of skill and quality available. We're proud to meet those demands every day, and invite you to contact us for all of your foam fabrication needs.

To learn more about the Gasket Fabricators Association, visit their website. Also, we would love to help you with your next project--please get in touch with us if you are in need of help. 

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3M Select Converter Status - Why It Matters

Since 1948, the hardworking and passionate team at Merryweather Foam, Inc. has committed itself to becoming an industry leader in the world of manufacturing unique foam components for customers all over the world. We're incredibly appreciative of our dedicated customers, many of whom have been with us since the beginning. We're not a business that is willing to just rest on its laurels, however, which is why we're always taking steps to continually improve and eliminate waste in our manufacturing processes.

This is a large part of the reason why we're always working hard to achieve new quality certifications that allow us to prove that Merryweather Foam has earned its place as one of the most trusted manufacturers working today. One of those is 3M Select Converter Status, which means a number of important things for both our company and for our customers.

What is 3M Select Converter Status?
3M Select Converter status is a quality certification awarded by 3M Converter Solutions. 3M Converter Solutions is a global engagement platform targeting markets like electronics assembly, appliance assembly and beyond. They're a company that has pledged to act with uncompromising honesty and integrity in all of their interactions with customers, to always satisfy the needs of their users with innovative and superior solutions and to respect the social and physical environments around the world. Given that pedigree, it's easy to see why Select Converter status is both such a sought-after qualification and one that the company is very selective when it comes to awarding with their partners.

In order to achieve 3M Select Converter status, we completed a range of product-specific training sessions. That, coupled with the large volume of 3M produced materials that the company is responsible for handling each year, allowed us to become a trusted name in terms of our manufacturing processes, our engineering quality and the knowledge of our sales personnel.

What 3M Select Converter Status Means for Our Customers
For our valued customers, working with a 3M Select Converter like Merryweather Foam brings with it a host of different benefits that can't be ignored. These include but are not limited to things like:

  • Access to 3M-certified Specialists and Support Services
  • Competitive Pricing
  • Access to the Latest Solutions that 3M has to Offer and More

The Dependable Solution You Can Trust
At Merryweather Foam, we understand that every application represents a unique circumstance that requires a unique material solution. As a 3M Select Converter, this puts our sales team in the perfect position to connect you with the right specialists and technical support operators, both in-house and directly at 3M. This level of support in turn is able to give you all of the specific answers that you need and who can recommend the perfect product and materials options out of the thousands that are released by 3M each year.

3M Pressure Sensitive Adhesive & Industrial Adhesive
As 3M Select Converters, our unique relationship with 3M puts us in a better position to provide our customers with the specific items they need for any application when they need them the most. Case in point: 3M currently makes some of the highest quality UL Certified Adhesive and pressure sensitive available on the market today.

Adhesives in general are routinely taking the place of traditional bonding techniques, due in large part to the significant advancements that companies like 3M are making. Pressure sensitive and industrial adhesives are so customizable to the application that not only can they be die cut, but they're also strong enough to remove the need for a weld of any type.

As 3M Select Converters, we're specialists in these types of pressure sensitive and industrial adhesives. You get the benefit of not only purchasing the highest quality solution from 3M, but also having it converted to fit your needs by Merryweather Foam. This is the type of versatility that you just won't find anywhere else.

Unbeatable Prices
This in turn allows us to pass the savings onto you, as a way to give back for all the support you've given us throughout our history. You get all of the materials and other items that you need when you need them the most and Merryweather gets the comfort that comes only with knowing that we were able to help you carry your project through to completion and to excel beyond your wildest dreams.

Let us Help
Please get in touch with us! We would love to help you on your next project--big or small. 


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Cutting Up and Down: The Digital Knife Machine

Digital Knife Cutting is CAD driven which allows for precise cuts of thin foam material.

Imagine wanting to cut shapes from thin sheets of foam. You'd probably reach for an X-Acto knife. A very sharp thin blade means it cuts readily while being easy to maneuver. That's why it's often the first choice for cutting materials like card, plastics, and even leather.

The digital knife is the industrial version of the trusty X-Acto. Computer control brings accuracy and repeatability, so every piece comes off the machine exactly as designed.

Operating principles
Sheet material goes on a large flat bed. A gantry or bridge spans the sheet and carries the knife holder. One motor moves the holder back and forth along the gantry while a second moves the gantry over the sheet. A third motor inside the knife holder provides rotation, turning the knife so the blade is always facing in the direction of movement.

All three motors are under computer control, with their movements synchronized to drive the knife through the sheet material and cut out the shape needed. The path taken by the knife comes directly from a CAD file of the part. With no special tooling needed, it's possible to design and cut out a shape in just minutes.

Reciprocating motion
Anyone who's ever used an X-Acto knife knows it takes some effort to actually make a cut. The material needs holding still while the knife is pulled through, which isn't the case with the digital knife machine. Instead, the knife oscillates up and down. The movement is only over a fraction of an inch and happens too fast to see. It's really not much more than a vibration but it has the effect of pushing the material down as the knife cuts. That's why foam or other material being cut doesn't need clamping in place.

Why digital knife cutting?
Many people know flat bed die cutting as the way to produce complex shapes from sheet material. It's a very fast and repeatable method, but needs a crucial piece of tooling; the steel rule die. Making these dies adds a step between designing the part or shape and having it come off the machine. It also means a little set up time on the machine.

The digital knife cuts slower than the flat bed die cutter, but there's no waiting while the die is made, tested, modified and tested again, and no set up on the machine. For the customer in a hurry the digital knife gets them their pieces quicker, although for larger quantities die cutting usually works out cheaper per piece.

Benefits of digital knife cutting

  • Cut complex shapes from sheet material.
  • Tight radii, smooth radii, and even sharp corners are possible.
  • Smooth edges with no steps or jagged edges in curved surfaces.
  • Good accuracy and repeatability (little piece-to-piece variation.)
  • No tooling, so no up-front costs or extended lead times.

Merryweather capabilities

A bed of 60" by 120" handles large foam sheets, and "daylight," (the space between the bed and the gantry,) is enough that several sheets can be stacked and cut together, saving time and money. "Nesting" software works out how to get the most pieces out of a sheet, or alternatively the machine can produce one very large shape. Pockets are easily cut by lifting the knife over the material to where it's needed before resuming cutting. Programming direct from CAD means the machine is as suitable for producing one-offs as high volume orders.

Tooling-free

When there's no time or money to make a steel rule die, digital knife cutting is the way to go. Programmed directly from the CAD file, it's a fast, accurate and repeatable way of cutting complex shapes from thin sheets of material.

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Rotary Die Cutting - Foam Fabrication Capability

Rotary die cutting can be used to create shapes, creases, folds and guides in foam and plastic materials.

What Fabrication Processes Are Available to Business Owners?

Anytime a business needs to produce large numbers of identical and highly accurate shapes through cutting, forming and shaping sheet or rolled metal, or some other material, such as paper or plastic, business owners frequently use a versatile fabrication process called die cutting.

Different manufacturers use varying die cutting processes, which include:

  • Flatbed
  • Press
  • Laser
  • Rotary

What Is the Rotary Die Cutting Fabrication Process and Why Is It Chosen So Often?

Since the rotary die cutting procedure takes place on a heavy-duty cylindrical anvil, or rotary press, it provides a stable and efficient method that works well for clients' high-volume projects. This type of fabrication process produces little waste, mostly due to the sheer simplicity of the machine's design and specific capabilities.

Similar to the idea of a mold in other processes, a die serves as the customized tool that makes the cuts and shapes in the materials chosen. the The most common dies used in the process include engraved dies that offer stability and a solid base due to its mass, adjustable dies for varied blade options and magnetic plate tooling that also offers a stabilizing force due to the power of the magnets.

The rotary die cutting process begins when an operator feeds a long web or sheet of material into the die cutting machine's "station," which is the spot that contains the rotary cutting tool that creates the designed shapes by various methods, including cutting programmed shapes, creating perforations and creases or whittling the sheet or web down to smaller pieces. A set of well-calibrated gears ensure that a rotary die cutting machine will work at the same speed as the rest of the process for high accuracy and quality. As for the flexible foam material, it goes through the machine, the small amount of waste material filters into a catcher for easy clean-up and disposal.

Since the rotary die cutting cylinders feature a limited size, they are only suitable for smaller projects — a few feet wide or less — but that still leaves plenty of options for manufacturers, which include:

  • Polyester foam packaging
  • Gasket foam seals
  • Polyester foam rollers
  • Waterjet cut foam gasketing
  • Waterjet cut polyester foam spiral
  • Polyester foam case insert
  • Reticulated polyurethane foam filter
  • Flexible gasketing material
  • Fabricated foam gasket

Ultimately, this process offers many benefits to a company that regularly needs precision cutting on various materials, quick turnaround times and the potential for taking on multiple projects at once since users can combine die cutting with coating, embossing and lathing processes.

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