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Metrologists and Calibration Technicians 101

Interface works with metrologists and calibration technicians worldwide. We are a partner, supplier of calibration grade products they use, and participants in research to advance the science of measurement. We are also proud team members with experienced experts in measurement, including our esteemed force measurement engineers and calibration technicians at Interface.

By simple definition, a metrologist is a scientist who researches and applies the science of measurement. Working in the field of metrology, they often create processes and engineer tools and systems used to measure objects, such as load cell calibration tools used to accurately to measure applied force.

Engineers and technicians work in collaboration with metrologists in the design of products and devices used for measuring objects. Metrologists are keen to maintain the accuracy standards of measurements for organizations, product makers, and manufacturers of measurement devices.

Metrologists practice their expertise in test and measurement at manufacturing facilities, corporate R&D centers, independent test and calibration labs, government entities and standards organizations, as well as at higher learning institutions. The range of industries that utilize metrologists spans from aerospace to medical sciences. It is commonplace for metrologists to participate in research, product design, testing, and repair of equipment.

To preserve accuracy of performance and standards of measurement, metrologists develop calibration procedures to control performance of devices. They use these techniques to also identify enhancements and continuous improvement initiatives. Metrology professionals often share their findings with metrologist groups and associations, for purposes of scientific research and development within the field of measurement science. NIST publishes reports related to metrology from contributors around the world. You can find thousands of reports here.

Calibration technicians calibrate test and measurement equipment, as well as provide quality inspection, installation, troubleshooting support, and regular maintenance. Cal techs operate the machines used to validate performance, then report on the findings.

A calibration technician can work in production or manufacturing environments, onsite calibration labs, or for independent labs that provide services to users and makers of measurement devices. It is quite common to find calibration labs staffed with experience technicians as a part of a manufacturer’s facility, across most industries. Depending on the size of the manufacturer, this could include a small in-house lab or multiple lab sites. These labs are stocked with a variety of sensors, rigs, machines, and tools. As noted by many of our representative firms and onsite customer visits, they often will find shelves of blue load cells ready for use at any time for test and measurement projects and calibration services.

Interface supplies calibration labs with all types of measurement calibration grade transducers and equipment, including:

Calibration technicians work with various testing and calibrating tools and technologies. The role requires a mix of expertise in the science and application of measurement. Interface has multiple onsite calibration labs with full testing rigs, machines, operating tools, instrumentation, and software used for tracking performance. Interface does calibrate every product we manufacture, to certify performance prior to releasing to the customer.

Interface Services Calibration Technicians operate within our Services Calibration and Repair Department at our Interface production facilities in Arizona. They provide services for Interface products for annual and regular calibration check-ups, as well as diagnostic, repair, and warranty evaluations. Interface recommends annual calibration services. If you need to schedule a service, go here.

Technicians perform calibrations and any additional needed services for customer owned equipment, works with quality and inspection managers to maintain the proper records within the services process application. They ensure that the measurements taken with our equipment are accurate. Interface calibration techs work on multiple shifts for a 24/6 operation. Interface is adding qualified technicians to our team to meet the demands in production and services.

Calibration technicians perform inspection, testing and validation to ensure conformance to established accuracy and calibration standards. They also help to create calibration procedures and help n sourcing errors or quality issues reported during calibration activities.

Requirements for Interface Calibration Technicians include:

  • Perform basic to mid-range diagnostics of force measurement equipment
  • Work collaboratively in a team environment to complete discrete tasks
  • Print and Review Calibration Certificates Competencies
  • Able to use fine motor skills to calibrate product
  • Able to work with hand and power tools, lifts, electronic test equipment, soldering and indicators
  • Understands industry and quality concepts and standards such as ISO, A2LA, NIST
  • Offers suggestions and improvements as they see them
  • Organize and schedule work in progress
  • Experience in calibration technology, science, engineering, or a related field

You can apply for positions Interface Calibration Technician jobs here.

For metrologists and calibration technicians, quality and control require strict adherence to ensure that the products and equipment are performing properly. As measurement is exact, both are responsible for performing routine audits and quality inspections to maintain compliance with good calibration practices.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Regular Calibration Service Maintains Load Cell Accuracy

Top Five Reasons Why Calibration Matters

Shunt Calibration 101

Extending Transducer Calibration Range by Extrapolation

Strain Gage Design Under Eccentric Load WRSGC Presentation

Specifying Accuracy Requirements When Selecting Load Cells

 

Enclosures 101

Individuals in the engineering and manufacturing world know Interface well for the reliability and accuracy of our force measurement products. However, some may not know that we also provide a wide variety of instrumentation and accessories for force measurement systems. One of those accessories that enhance the usability, durability, and ease of accessibility for force measurement products are enclosures.

Enclosures come in a wide variety of form factors and can be used for single or multiple products. Their purpose is to help in protecting devices, as well as facilitate easier mounting capabilities. They can also be used to combine multiple instruments to create a full measurement system for data recording and ongoing analysis.

Interface enclosures protect your sensor and instrumentation investments. They are durable for mobile force measurement solutions and are an easy-to-care for addition to any system.

There are a range of Interface enclosures, including NEMA rated options. NEMA ratings are a convenient system established by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association to rate how well various types of electrical enclosures protect against environmental hazards such as dust and dirt, water ingress (whether hose-directed, precipitation or submersion) and corrosion.

As detailed in our recent Ruggedized Test & Measurement Solutions webinar, here is a quick reference to NEMA ratings.

Single and Dual Instrument Enclosure

NEMA 4 Enclosure provides a convenient way to mount single and dual instruments (1/8 DIN Package) to walls and other vertical structures. Choose between bottom or rear exit cable glands. Both 110V and DC power options available.

Single and Dual Channel Internal Mount Enclosure

The internally mounted plastic NEMA 4 enclosure for 1/8 DIN single and dual instrumentation provides a convenient way to mount to walls and other vertical structures. This enclosure provides a greater degree of protection than other enclosures because the instrument is mounted behind a clear polycarbonate cover. The cover is secured with four screws. Includes bottom exit cable glands.

Interface Enclosure Examples

Special Purpose Wireless Enclosure

NEMA 4 Enclosure for 1 or more instruments (1/8 Din Package) that accommodates WTS Wireless Instrument Model WTS-9812 and related wireless antennas. Compatible with the Wireless Telemetry System (WTS) which includes sensor transmitters, receivers, and displays. High accuracy, high quality measurement is interfaced with simple yet powerful configuration and monitoring software. The WTS gives sensor manufacturers and integrators the complete flexibility to build their own sensor modules around it. The system easily replaces wired systems, reducing installation and maintenance costs. Connect wireless to one or more WTS 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile® Wireless Load Cells.

Single Instrument Enclosure

This NEMA 4 Enclosure provides a convenient way to mount single instrument (1/8 DIN Package) to walls and other vertical structures. Choose between bottom or rear exit cable glands. Both 110V and DC power options available. The instrumentation panel of for this type of instrumentation are available for use with Interface Models 9825 General Purpose Indicator9890 Strain Gage Load Cell, Mv/V Indicator, 9894 Analog Input Process Indicator and others.

Dual Channel Benchtop Enclosure

Designed for benchtop and laboratory use, these enclosures provide an alternative to panel mounting of meters when an instrument panel is not available. Suitable for 1/8 DIN size dual instrumentation. Attractive, no-maintenance, black ABS polycarbonate material. They provide a finished instrument look to what would otherwise be isolated meters on a work bench or shelf. Cooling slits in top and bottom surfaces. Analog output connector option available.

Special Purpose Portable Systems

Custom Enclosure that can be built to accommodate customer requirement for any instrument or load cell type. Features and options available for custom system enclosures include:

  • Environmental Sealed Case with IP67 Rating
  • Custom Cut Foam Inserts
  • Instrumentation
  • Force Sensors – Standard, Engineered-to-Order and Custom
  • Cables and Connectors
  • Internal Battery Pack
  • Onboard Battery Charger
  • Internal
  • DC Power Charging Receptacle
  • AC Power Charging Receptacle
  • AC to DC Switch
  • Internal Cooling Fan

Watch to learn more

Rack Mount

Also available is a mounting rack that accommodates the BX8-HD15 BlueDAQ Series and BX8-HD44 BlueDAQ Series. The mounting rack holds up to five BX8 lab enclosures. Simultaneous acquisition and evaluation of measured values up to 40 channels with key guard and synchronization cable (included in delivery).

Enclosures provide special sealing options to protect instrumentation from harsh or hazardous conditions. They are a perfect pairing with using sealed sensors including Interface’s Load Cells, S-Type Load Cells and Load Beams, Miniature Load Cells and Load Buttons, Coil Tubing Load Cells, Load Washers, Load Pins, Tension Links and Shackles.

To learn more about our enclosure options, please contact our application engineers.

Enclosures Brochure

Digital Instrumentation 101

Digital instrumentation used for test and measurement provides faster data input and output, and more robust analytics. Interface offers several types of digital instrumentation devices that transform load cell and strain bridge input into digital data output in numerous protocols and bus formats.

Instrumentation that utilizes analog output has long been the standard in the industry. As new requirements for use cases and applications grow, test and measurement engineers and professionals find digital instrumentation advantageous because of the lower cost, easy integration and scalability. They also like the advantage of daisy-chaining multiple sensors together on a single cable run.

Advancements in sensor technologies coincide with growing demands to gather more testing data. This is seen through the use of multi-axis sensors, along with requirements for multi-channel instrumentation that can integrate into existing systems already designed with specific digital connections and protocols, as highlighted in using Interfaces BX8 with our 6-Axis sensors. Change is also coming with a strong desire to utilize instrumentation that can easily work within cable free environments or in remote locations.

In addition to improving speed of data output, digital instrumentation offers an abundance of benefits. This is primarily due to the digital signal, as they are less susceptible to noise and are more secure. Digital instrumentation typically has built in error detection. Digital signals are best for transmitting signals across longer distances or when you need to allow for simultaneous multi-directional transmissions. Many people like the ease of integration, both into existing networks as well as with other testing devices.

Types of Interface Digital Instrumentation

  • Indicators and Bidirectional Indicators
  • Portable and Programmable Indicators
  • Battery Powered Indicators and Bidirectional Indicators
  • Single and Multi-Channel Transmitters
  • Controllers and Programmable Controllers
  • USB Output Modules
  • PC Interface Modules
  • Sensor to USB Output Converters
  • Data Acquisition Systems
  • Wireless Instrumentation

Connection options available for Interface Digital Instrumentation include, RS232, RS485, RS422, Wi-Fi, USB, Bluetooth, and Ethernet Protocols. The types of data output protocols available include ASCII, Modbus, CANopen, DeviceNet, Profibus DP Modbus/TCP, Ethernet TCP/IP, Ethernet/IP, EtherCAT and several others. See the complete list of connections and protocols in our Digital Instrumentation Overview.

Top selling digital instrumentation models from Interface, with many available in various protocols:

Do you have questions about the type of instrumentation that will support your application?  You can see more of the solutions by visiting our instrumentation selection guide.  Here are six questions begin evaluating your instrumentation options:

  • Where are you going to connect your sensor technology and how?
  • Do you need to store your data?
  • Do you prefer an analog or digital output device?
  • Are you going to plug-in your instrumentation or use hand-held, wireless or Bluetooth connectivity?
  • How will your data output be displayed?
  • How many channels do you need for your project or program?

For additional help with instrumentation, please contact our application engineers.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Digital Instrumentation for Force Measurement

Ultimate BlueDAQ Software Guide for Interface Instrumentation

Interface Instrumentation Definitions

Instrumentation Selection Guide

Advancements in Instrumentation Webinar

Interface Instructional on Instrumentation Event

Instrumentation

Interface Force Measurement 101 Series Introduction

In our ongoing commitment to provide valuable resources through self-help guides and online reference materials, we are introducing our 101 Series.

This new online resource is an easy-to-use guide for load cell basics and force measurement topics. The series is a collection of content in various formats that detail subjects related to test and measurement.

Interface prioritizes helping our customers understand the inner workings of our expanding line of sensors, accessories, and instrumentation by creating guides, technical manuals, and solution applications for force measurement.

The Interface 101 Series will introduce you to relevant subjects about our products and how we can help you get the most accurate and reliable force data in the industry by using our solutions.

Our new 101 Series guide is an effortless way to navigate through high-level test and measurement topics. Each section of the new 101 Series includes a featured 101 IQ blog on a single subject, as well as quick links to videos, case studies, white papers, application notes, product information, technical specifications and more related to that subject.

The goal in creating the 101 Series is to provide a basic understanding on how our products are used for various test and measurement applications across all industries. The references are an effective way to learn about the broad depth of Interface products like our precision load cells, torque transducers, multi-axis sensors, calibration systems and instrumentation. We also provide relevant test and measurement content related to types of force measurement testing, components, systems, and materials used in engineering highly accurate measurement technologies.

There are thousands of references found throughout our site, like our design files for product engineers and digital instrumentation set-up videos for lab techs. It is our pledge to develop material that support our 35,000 products, as well as provide educational content like the 101 Series and our ForceLeaders Webinars you can watch on-demand.

Included below are the current 101 IQ Blogs you will find featured on the 101 Series online guide. We will add additional references to this 101 Series, as we post new subjects. Go to Force Measurement 101 Series to bookmark this reference.

101 Series IQ Blogs

You can find additional reference materials related to our products and services including manuals, product catalogs, technical references, and events.  Go to our online support to find helpful educational and advanced resources like our technical glossary, engineering tips and installation guides.

If you are mostly interested in why you should choose Interface, here is a good reference to start.

If you are not able to find the information you need or you have a specific question about our products or services, be sure to contact us to help.

Stainless Steel Load Cells 101

Different materials are used in designing and building force sensing products based on the environmental conditions. The choice of materials is important when considering specifications, test and measurement environment, and use case. One of the best metals for keeping environmental factors away from the electronics of a load cell is stainless steel.

The three main metals used in making load cells and other force sensing products is aluminum, steel, and stainless steel. The output signal performance for stainless steel load cells is in the middle of steel and aluminum standards.

The main benefit of stainless steel is the fact it is the best material to use in a corrosive environment because of the metal’s environmental resistance properties. The downside to stainless steel is that it is a bit more difficult to machine; however, it does only require a simple heat treatment process. It is also the most expensive metal of the three and has the highest hysteresis.

Why choose stainless steel over the more cost-effective steel and aluminum options, especially when it is not the strongest or provide the best signal output? Interface recommends stainless steel when the user needs to collect data from a load cell in a hazardous environment or under harsh conditions.

Interface offers stainless steel sensors as part of our hermetically sealed ruggedized load cell product lines. We make stainless steel load cells of all sizes and capacities, including stainless steel miniature load cells, load washers, and customized load pins. Using stainless steel not only keeps users safe, but it also allows for high-quality, accuracy and reliability in extreme environments.

These specialized load cells and force measurement solutions are designed and manufactured so that our products are safe for use in hazardous gas and dust environments when installed per applicable installation instructions. These components play an integral role in the safety of those working in dangerous environments in particular industries like oil and gas, mining, aerospace, automotive and more.

Some of our stainless-steel load cell options include:

To help keep individuals and workplaces safe, manufacturers create tools and equipment that are protected from the elements in these environments and will not expose electronics to hazardous environments. Interface’s contribution to this is our ruggedized load cells, many of which are made with stainless steel materials due to its strength in these harsh environments. We also carry a specialized line of intrinsically safe products.

There are hundreds of thousands of engineers and manufacturers that design solutions for or work in hazardous environments. Whether its operating inside of facilities with large machines with intricate moving parts, working hundreds of feet in the air repairing a bridge, or deep within a mine shaft, these professionals put themselves in danger every day by the nature of their work. The solutions they use to measure force must provide the type of specifications that are suited for these types of conditions.

To learn more about these products, join the conversation Ruggedized Solutions for Test & Measurement, where we discuss:

  • Defining Ruggedized
  • Environmental Stresses and Harsh Condition Categories
  • Standards and Ratings
  • Structural and Material Options
  • Ruggedized Test and Measurement Devices
  • Sealed Products and Enclosures
  • Extreme Temperatures and Cycling
  • Exposure to Moisture and Submersibles
  • Test and Measurement Applications Using Ruggedized Products
  • Do’s + Don’ts
  • FAQs

This is a live event that takes place Tuesday, November 15, 2022. To register or get a copy of the recorded event, go here.

 

Types of Force Measurement Tests 101

There are distinct types of force tests that engineers, product designers, manufacturers, and test labs perform to accurately measure factors that control quality, safety, and reliability.

Testing force helps to qualify how something will react when applying load, either by a normal application or by pulling and pushing it fails. The type of force measurement classifications are compression, fracture, tension, flexure, and shear.

Interface provides a broad range of solutions for static and dynamic force measurement tests including standard and custom transducers, instrumentation, accessories, frames, calibration equipment and other components used for in force testing.

The most common categories of force testing include:

  • Tensile testing
  • Shear testing
  • Compression testing
  • Fatigue testing
  • Torque testing
  • Hardness testing
  • Static testing
  • Mechanical strength testing
  • Material testing
  • Proof load testing
  • End of line testing

There are variations to each of these test classifications, such as cycle testing is often a subset of fatigue and mechanical strength tests. Hardness testing is frequently referred to as nondestructive testing. Initial R&D tests typically center around choosing materials, strength and durability tests, compression ergonomic and abrasion tests.

Here are the general characterizations of the most popular types of force tests.

Tensile Test

Tensile strength is the ability of a metal to withstand a pulling apart tension stress. Performing a tensile test, sometimes referred to as tension testing, applies uniaxial load to a test bar and gradually increasing the load until it breaks. The measurement of the load is against the elongation using an extensometer. The tensile data is analyzed by using a stress-strain curve. Interface load cells are commonly used for various tensile tests when accuracy of measurement matters.

Compression Test

Compression is the result of forces pushing towards each other. The compression test is like the tensile test. Place the object in a testing machine, apply a load and record the deformation. A compressive stress-strain curve is drawn from the data. Interface provides load cells that measure compression-only or tension and compression measurements from the same device.

Torque Test

Torque measurement determines how an object will react when it is turned or twisted. There are two common use cases, fastening tests of objects or by testing rotating parts in an assembly. The two types of torque measurement are reaction and in-line, which are important when selecting the type of torque transducer to use in your test. The wrong torque can result in the assembly failing due to several problems, whether that is by torque testing bolts or engine parts. Parts may not be assembled securely enough for the unit to function properly, or threads may be stripped because the torque was too high, causing the unit to fail. Torque is a force producing rotation about an axis. This type of testing is also extremely popular in automotive to measure a variety of components.

Shear Test

Shear strength is the ability to resist a “sliding past” type of action when parallel, but slightly off-axis, forces, applied in the test. Shear force is directional force that is over the top of a surface or part. Shear is measured by tension or compression using a shear or bending beam load cell.

Hardness Test

Hardness testing, which measures the resistance of any material against penetration, is performed by creating an indentation on the surface of a material with a hard ball, a diamond pyramid or cone and then measuring the depth of penetration. Hardness testing is categorized as a non-destructive test since the indentation is small and may not affect the future usefulness of the material. There are a wide variety of hardness testing types as well.

Examples of Testing Types

Compression Test Example

Interface’s customer wanted to measure the amount of compression force a piece of candy could withstand to ensure its label is marked correctly. The purpose of the test was to correctly calibrate the equipment to provide the same stamping force each time without breaking the candy apart. An Interface Model WMC Mini Load Cell and 9330 Battery Powered High Speed Data Logging Indicator are used to measure the results. Read more about this compression test here.

Torque Measurement Example

In this example torque testing accurately measures the forced needed to securely fasten a bolt. This type of test is critical in highly regulated industries like aerospace and automotive to ensure every screw and bolt are not over or under-tightened. Interface’s LWCF Clamping Force Load Cell along with Interface’s INF-USB3 Universal Serial Bus Single Channel PC Interface Module provide a solution that monitors the force being applied during bolt tightening.

Shear Test Example

This example shows how aerospace manufactures use shear testing to measure the affects of wind as it moves past the wings, hull, and other components of a plane. Interface measured this force using a Model 6A154 6-Axis Load Cell mounted in the floor of the wind tunnel, and connected  to the scaled model by a “stalk”. A BX8-AS Interface BlueDAQ Series Data Acquisition System was connected to the sensor to collect data.

As products become more complex and technologically advanced, the test and measurement industry must provide solutions to monitor a wide variety of factors. This is no different in force measurement.

Interface has been involved in every type of force measurement type across a variety of applications both large and small. To learn more about our more than 36,000 product SKUs designed to conduct all these tests, from single load cells and torque transducers to complete testing rigs and systems. We also provide calibration services for all types of force measurement transducers. Contact us if you are unsure which force measurement solution best fits your testing plan.

Additional Resources

Tensile Testing for 3D Materials

Material Tensile Testing

Interface Solutions for Material Testing Engineers

Bike Handlebar Fatigue Testing

Interface Specializes in Fatigue-Rated Load Cells

Specifying Accuracy Requirements When Selecting Load Cells

Spring Compression Testing App Note

Insights in Torque Testing Featured in Quality Magazine

Flange Style Load Cells and Torque Transducers 101

Interface offers several flange type load cells and torque transducers for easy mounting and installation. Interface provides the complete solutions for a flange mount including the adapters, bases, bolts, connector options and cables.

Standard flange designs mount directly to cylinders for stability and accuracy in measurement. We also offer mounting plates for more complex testing systems that use one or more sensors.

The primary advantage of the Interface Flange Load Cell is that the hub of the transducer is mounted using several smaller screws instead of one large central thread. It is easier to preload multiple smaller screws (bolts) than a single central thread. In certain applications it may not be possible to properly preload a central thread due to the torque limits of the load cell. There’s also the important benefit of clocking a load cell fixtures alignment.

The most popular low profile flange mount load cell is the 12X8 Flange Load Cell. This load cell is similar in design to our Interface 1200 series.  Instead of a center hole, the 12X8 has multiple smaller holes making installation easier for certain types of cylinders. The 12X8 is for tension and compression measurement. It is fatigue rated with the ability to survive 100 million fully reversed cycles. The load cell has proprietary Interface temperature compensated strain gages and performance to 0.05%. It is eccentric load compensated with low deflection. The 12X8 is ideal for long-term cycle testing.

Watch How to Mount a Flange Style Load Cell

Interface offers a variety of flange style products including load cells, miniature load cells, torque transducers and multi-axis sensors. Here are a few of the flange offerings available from Interface:

12X8 Flange Standard Precision LowProfile® Load Cell

2300 High Capacity Flange Mount Column Load Cell

1700 Flange LowProfile® Load Cell

MRT Miniature Flange Style Reaction Torque Transducer

MRT2 Miniature Flange Style Reaction Torque Transducer

MRT2P Miniature Overload Protected Flange Style Reaction Torque Transducer

5400 Series Flange Style Reaction Torque Transducer

TS18 Shaft to Flange Style Reaction Torque Transducer

TS16 Male Square Drive to Flange Style Reaction Torque Transducer

TSCF C-Face Flange Torque Transducer

6ADF Series 6-Axis DIN Flange-Type Load Cells

Flange style load cells are commonly used in a wide range of applications, from automotive testing to agriculture equipment tests. The variety of flange style solutions are ideal for specialized product designs, including robotics, medical devices, OEM products and equipment requiring secure mounting with sensor capabilities.

TRACTOR POWER TAKE OFF SYSTEM TESTING

In this example you can see how a tractor manufacturer needed to measure the torque and speed of the tractor’s PTO (power takeoff test) system. The purpose of the applied sensor solution was to ensure the PTO was working properly when an implement is attached to the tractor. It also provides ongoing maintenance monitoring for optimum performance. Interface provided a T27 Bearingless Hollow Flange Style Rotary Torque Transducer to measure the tractor’s torque and speed of their tractor’s PTO system.

ROBOTIC SURVEY FORCE FEEDBACK SYSTEM

Robotic Surgery Force Feedback App Note

Additional flange style models can be found in our extensive product catalog, which defines the specifications, capacities and design features.

TEDS 101

In the electronics industry, sensor compatibility challenges can lead to significant issues with efficiency, accuracy, safety and more. When it comes to force measurement sensors, incompatibility issues can railroad an entire project.  This is where the role of Transducer Electronic Data Sheets (TEDS) comes into play.

TEDS is a set of electronic data in a standardized format stored in a chip that is attached to a transducer, therefore allowing the transducer to identify and describe itself to the network and ease automatic system configuration. This self-identification capability for the transducer is needed for maintenance, diagnostics, and to determine mean time between failure characteristics. The chip stores information such as manufacturer name, identification number, type of device, serial number, as well as calibration data. The TEDS can be uploaded to the system upon power up or request. It also serves as documentation for the transducer.

Transducer Electronic Data Sheets (TEDS) provide:

  • Sensor with electronic identification
  • IEEE 1451.4 standard for smart transducer interface
  • Plug and play readiness
  • Storage of sensor information and calibration data
  • Use with new or existing sensors

IEEE1451.4 specifies a table of identifying parameters that are stored in the load cell in the form of a TEDS. TEDS is a table of parameters that identify the transducer and is held in the transducer on a EEPROM for interrogation by external electronics.

A TEDS chip becomes the ultimate tool to allow users to take off-the-shelf sensor solutions and integrate them into a total force measurement solution. The key benefits TEDS provide includes:

  • Eliminating potential for data entry error
  • Simplifying new system setup and speeds up the process
  • Making swapping load cells in and out of a test system seamless
  • Improving safety by ensuring the system has the correct sensors
  • Easily identifying and tagging sensor locations
  • Improving inventory control of sensors
  • Changing sensors out without jeopardizing integrity of the system

TEDS chips can be sold separately or integrated into existing systems such as instrumentation products. Interface offers both options, selling TEDS as a standalone accessory, as well as integrating them into instrumentation solutions, such as:

9840 Calibration Grade Multi-Channel Load Cell Indicator

Model 9840 is suitable for use in calibration labs, field service, or anywhere high accuracy is important. This product’s features include a bipolar 6-digit 2-line display, remote sense, low noise, 24-bit internal resolution, USB port with RS232 communication, mV/V calibration, store calibrations for up to 25 sensors. 6-point linearization, unit conversion and front-panel tare. This unit also has Self-calibration via TEDS Plug and Play ready IEEE 1451.4 compliance.

9320 Battery Powered Portable Load Cell Indicator

Model 9320 is a bipolar 7-digit handheld meter featuring two independently scalable ranges, peak and valley monitoring, display hold, mV/V calibration, and a power save feature. Typical battery life exceeds 45 hours of continuous use and 450 in low power mode. IEEE1451.4 TEDS Plug and Play compliant.

Additional TEDS Ready Interface Solutions

9840-400-1-T 4-Channel Intelligent Indicator

9840TQ mV/V Input Torque Transducer Indicator

9870 High-Speed High Performance Teds Ready Indicator

BX6-BT Portable 6-Channel High Speed Bluetooth Data Logger

BX8-AS BlueDAQ Series Data Acquisition System With Industrial Enclosure

BX8-HD15 BlueDAQ Series Data Acquisition System For Discreet Sensors With Lab Enclosure

BX8-HD44 BlueDAQ Series Data Acquisition System For Multi-Axis Sensors With Lab Enclosure

These solutions make a great addition to any testing environment as they enable quick compatibility and are very easy to setup. To learn more about TEDS or to explore how TEDS can help solve your force measurement challenges, contact us to explore the possibilities.

Shunt Calibration 101

Calibration is a critical stage to ensure proper accuracy and reliability of any force measurement device. There are many ways to calibrate and different types of calibration. In the standards of maintaining our quality and precision requirements, Interface calibrates every test measurement device we manufacture including our load cells and torque transducers. Every device is shipped with the most detailed calibration certifications in the industry.

With our experience and expertise, we understand that sharing what we know is beneficial to our customers and partners in the test and measurement industry. One of the means by which we do this is through a series of technical white papers.  A popular white paper that was written years ago still stands the test of time, as it provides a deep dive on the topic of shunt calibration. Click on the title “Shunt Calibration for Dummies,” to access the full white paper.

What is Shunt Calibration?

Shunt calibration is a technique for simulating strain in a piezo-resistive strain gage Wheatstone bridge circuit by shunting one leg of the bridge. The bridge may be internal to a discreet transducer or composed of separately applied strain gages. The resulting bridge output is useful for calibrating or scaling instrumentation. Such instrumentation includes digital indicators, amplifiers, signal conditioners, A/D converters, PLC’s, and data acquisition equipment. Care must be taken to understand the circuits and connections, including extension cables, in order to avoid measurement errors.

Benefits of Shunt Calibration

The biggest reason to use shunt calibration is the flexibility and low-cost it offers the user. In this method of calibration, the bridge circuit is already there, and you don’t need to make and break cable connections to run it. This means that a shunt calibration can be applied conveniently and at any time during the test program. It is often used in situations where the user is calibrating control system equipment that will be communicating with a transducer or to confirm that the transducer is functioning properly.

Expected Shunt Calibration Repeatability in Modern Transducers

An important question that comes up regarding calibration is what type of repeatability can I expect from shunt calibration? Included below are the specifications outlining expected repeatability:

Procedure for a repeatability test performed:

  • 100 Klbf Load Cell specimen loaded in compression.
  • 12 test cycles of 4 mV/V hydraulically applied physical load and 1 mV/V Shunt Cal on two bridge legs.
  • Rb = 350 ohm, Rs = 88750 ohm, 20 ppm/°C, internal to load cell.
  • Measurements over 3 days.
  • Interface Gold Standard HRBSC instrumentation.

Results of test

  • Std Dev of physical load measurement: 0.004%.
  • Std Dev of Shunt Cal: 0.001% pos, 0.001% neg.

The topics that are illustrated in examples and discussion points for this white paper include:

  • Basic Bridge Circuit and Formulas
  • Resistor Examples
  • Tolerance
  • Cables
  • Errors
  • Permanent Zero Balance Shifts
  • Transducer Toggles
  • Instrumentation
  • Procedures for Repeatability in Tests

If this is a topic that of interest, download this technical reference guide for further exploration and calculation examples in shunt calibration.

As a leader in calibration services, Interface has an A2LA ISO 17025 accredited calibration lab located at the company’s headquarters in Arizona. Many depend on Interface for expert recalibration, which we recommend to do annually for optima maintenance. Our own calibration lab has the broadest capability and highest quality of calibration and repair services available. We understand the criticality of proper calibration and traceability and have the experience and expertise necessary to meet your exacting needs.

Additional Calibration Resources

Extending Transducer Calibration Range by Extrapolation

Additional Interface Calibration Grade Solutions

Gold Standard® Calibration System

This refreshed white paper is a tribute to the contributions of LaVar Clegg.