Posts

New Interface Multi-Axis Sensor Selection Guide

Interface multi-axis sensors have multiple benefits for test and measurement applications. Beyond providing more data, they consolidate measurement signals and conserve test space.

Interface multi-axis sensors are like other force and torque sensors with strain gage bridges bonded to machined flexures. Each bridge typically defines a measurement axis. Interface offers multiple configurations for 2, 3, or 6-axis options: axial and torque, axial and shear, axial and moment, and all six degrees.

Most force and torque sensors are bidirectional, tension, and compression. Many sensors can be dual or triple-bridge for dedicated or redundant signals. These types of load cells output the same signal and direction of measurement.

Uniquely, multi-axis sensors have additional bridges to provide output signals for varying axes or types of mechanical loading. Interface multi-axis sensors are designed to provide a complete picture of the test article by quantifying reaction loads through the test article on the “non-measure” side.

These specialized load cells are used in various applications across industries, including aerospace, robotics, automotive, and medical device research. These sensors are specifically designed for applications requiring measuring moment and axial loads to determine the center of gravity or misalignment. They are used for tests requiring simultaneous force and torque monitoring, such as bearing test and material test machines, rheometry test machines for rubber testing, or continuous stress testing of equipment like pumps and master key systems. The multi-axis sensor offers better fatigue testing through setup and load verification.

Below is a demonstration using Interface’s 6-Axis Sensor with our BX8 to measure the precise movements of a robotic hand.

For additional information on this type of application, check out Manufacturing: 6-Axis Force Plate Robotic Arm and Using Multi-Axis Sensors to Bring Robotics to Life.

Selecting a Multi-Axis Sensor

To find the suitable multi-axis sensor for your unique requirements, Interface’s latest resource guide is a versatile reference to compare the sensor types, features, capabilities, and options. The Interface Multi-Axis Sensor Selection Guide lets you quickly evaluate the various sensor types based on whether you need a 2-axis, 3-axis, or 6-axis. Reviewing the products based on features and capabilities is easy, including tension and compression, axial torsion, force and torque, side and radial force, compact, temperature compensated, moment compensated, flange mount, or a center through hole.

This new resourceful tool also helps in reviewing various options, including connector protection, connector options, standardized output, TEDS, CANbus, internal shunt cal, custom calibration, multiple bridges, special threads, dual-diaphragm, special temperature range, cable length, and more.

How the Multi-Axis Selection Guide Works

GO TO: Interface Multi-Axis Sensor Selection Guide

STEP ONE: Select the Number Of Axis You Want to Measure

STEP TWO: Identify Multi-Axis Sensor Features And Capabilities

  • Axial Torsion
  • Center Through Hole
  • Compact
  • Flange Mount
  • Force and Torque
  • High Capacity
  • Moment Compensated
  • Side and Radial Force
  • Temperature Compensated
  • Tension and Compression

STEP THREE: Choose the Multi-Axis Sensor Options

  • Active output ±10V
  • Active output ±5V
  • Add a connector to a cable
  • Cable length
  • CANbus
  • Connector options
  • Connector protection
  • Custom calibration
  • Dual diaphragm
  • Integrated speed and angle measurements option
  • Internal Shunt Cal
  • Mating cable assembly
  • Multiple bridges
  • Special temperature range
  • Special threads
  • Special versions on request
  • Speed up to 3000 rpm
  • Standardized output
  • TEDS

Interface a range of resources related to our multi-axis sensors.  Here is a recent webinar that helps give you a background on these sensors and applications and technical tips.

TIP: Find all of the Interface product guides here.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Multi-Axis Sensors Product Brochure

Enhancing Structural Testing with Multi-Axis Load Cells

A Promising Future in Measurement and Analysis Using Multi-Axis Sensors

Mounting Tips for Multi-Axis Sensors

Enhancing Friction Testing with Multi-Axis Sensors

Interface Multi-Axis Sensor Market Research

Dimensions of Multi-Axis Sensors – An Interface-Hosted Forum

Multi-Axis Sensors 101

Better Data and Performance with Interface Multi-Axis Sensors

Brochure: BX8 and 6-Axis

A Promising Future in Measurement and Analysis Using Multi-Axis Sensors

By combining the measurements from multiple axes, multi-axis sensors provide a better assessment of an object’s motion or orientation in three-dimensional space. Measuring the changes in resistance or output voltage from the sensing elements along multiple axes, multi-axis load cells can accurately determine the forces acting on them. The combination of the signals from different axes provides a comprehensive understanding of the force distribution, enabling engineers to analyze and optimize designs, evaluate structural integrity, and ensure safe and efficient operation in various applications.

Multi-axis load cells have significant advantages and provide valuable benefits in testing labs. The top reason to use multi-axis sensors is to get more measurement data. The data provided when using a 2, 3 or 6-Axis load cell is used in various applications, including robotics, space projects, virtual reality, motion tracking, navigation systems, and innovative consumer products.

Engineers and product designers prefer multi-axis load cells for several reasons. Multi-axis load cells enable engineers and designers to capture forces along multiple directions simultaneously. This capability is particularly beneficial when dealing with complex and multidirectional forces, which are common in real-world applications. By obtaining a complete understanding of how forces act on a structure or product, engineers can design more robust and optimized solutions.

The Promises of Multi-Axis Sensors

  • Comprehensive force measurement and better data analysis: Multi-axis load cells enable precise measurement of forces in multiple directions simultaneously. Multi-axis load cells provide richer and more comprehensive data for analysis. The data is valuable for evaluating structural integrity, load distribution, and performance characteristics of a design.
  • Compact size with robust capabilities: Smaller sensors with digital outputs are easier and less expensive to permanently install into their machines. Size impacts the install, testing and monitoring. Multi-axis sensors are best embedded into products for a real-world application that needs the data, while reducing the number of single load cells and overall size of a product.
  • Increased accuracy and reliability: Multi-axis sensors track performance and reliability better than traditional sensors with more measurements in more directions, enhancing the accuracy and reliability of test results. They provide a more complete understanding of how forces are distributed and interact within a structure, helping researchers and engineers make informed decisions based on reliable data.
  • Wide range of applications: Multi-axis sensors are needed to keep up with modern technologies and application requirements. Multi-axis load cells are used in various testing scenarios, including materials testing, structural testing, product development, and quality control. They are used in industries such as aerospace, automotive, manufacturing, civil engineering, and more. As technology advances and testing requirements become more sophisticated, the demand for multi-axis load cells is likely to grow.
  • Efficiency and cost-effectiveness: A single multi-axis load cell can replace multiple sensors. This consolidation simplifies the testing setup, reduces complexity, and lowers costs. Multi-axis sensors maximize return on investment for testing devices.
  • Enhanced testing capabilities: Multi-axis load cells enable more advanced testing procedures. Digitized sensor information allows for remote monitoring increased analytics, easy access and data collection. This expands the range of tests that can be performed and provides more comprehensive data for analysis and evaluation.
  • Saving space in testing: Using a single multi-axis load cell saves physical space in the testing. This is particularly important in situations where space limited or when performing tests in confined environments. By reducing the footprint of the load cell setup, engineers and designers can optimize the use of their workspace.
  • Simplifying set-up: Using a single multi-axis load cell simplifies the testing setup compared to using multiple single-axis load cells. It reduces the number of sensors, cables, and connections required, leading to a streamlined testing process. This simplicity improves efficiency, saves time, and reduces the chances of errors associated with multiple sensors and connections.

Interface Multi-Axis Sensor Models

2-AXIS LOAD CELLS: Interface’s 2-Axis Load Cells measure any two forces or torques simultaneously, have minimal crosstalk, are standard off-the-shelf and are high accuracy sensors.

3-AXIS LOAD CELLS: Interface’s 3-axis load cell measures force simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes: X, Y, and Z – tension and compression. Options include:

6-AXIS LOAD CELLS: Interface’s 6-Axis Load Cell measures force simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes and three simultaneous torques about those same axes. Six full bridges provide mV/V output on six independent channels. A 36-term coefficient matrix is included for calculating the load and torque values in each axis. In the end, they provide more data, accuracy, are very stiff and cost-effective for a wide range of testing options.

Interface continues to add to our product line of advanced multi-axis sensors. Read New Interface Multi-Axis Load Cells to see our latest model additions.

The future of multi-axis is evolving in versatility for various system level health monitoring for products and components. Data is valuable now and in the future. These sensors enable test engineers to collect more data now for future analysis. For example, an automotive electronics manufacturer could limit recall to only parts that match extremely specific build criteria based on the detailed sensor data that is captured and stored during product evaluations and testing.

The outlook for multi-axis load cells is promising. Their ability to provide comprehensive force measurement, improve efficiency, and enhance testing capabilities makes them a valuable tool for researchers, engineers, and quality assurance professionals. With ongoing advancements in sensor technology and increasing demand for precise and reliable testing, multi-axis load cells are expected to play a crucial role in the future of testing labs.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Using Multi-Axis Sensors To Bring Robotics To Life

Mounting Tips For Multi-Axis Sensors

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

Enhancing Friction Testing With Multi-Axis Sensors

Recap Of Inventive Multi-Axis And Instrumentation Webinar

Interface Multi-Axis Sensor Market Research

Dimensions of Multi-Axis Sensors Virtual Event Recap

Better Data and Performance with Interface Multi-Axis Sensors

Multi-Axis Sensor Applications

Using Multi-Axis Sensors to Bring Robotics to Life

The advent of robotics brought with it the expansion of machine capabilities across many industries. The range of robotics today spans industrial, entertainment, autonomous, medical, educational, defense and consumer robots.

As with all invention and innovation, the demands for more data and precision testing have grown dramatically in recent years. Due to the nature of robotic movement, and the engineering that must be done to make this movement work, testing sensor technologies are advancing to improve robotics capabilities and to make them more accurate.

In the force measurement world, one of the best sensor devices that lends itself perfectly to robotics are multi-axis sensors. Interface’s multi-axis sensors are designed to provide the most comprehensive data points for advanced testing. With our industry-leading reliability and accuracy, Interface’s multi-axis sensors can provide the data our customers need to ensure performance and safety requirements are met in their robotic designs.

Multi-axis sensors can provide several benefits for use in robotics, as they allow for accurately measuring the robot’s position, orientation, and movement. Here are some ways that robots can benefit from multi-axis sensors:

  • Improved accuracy: Multi-axis sensors provide more accurate readings of a robot’s position and orientation, allowing it to perform tasks with greater precision and accuracy. This can be particularly important for tasks that require precision accuracy, such as assembly or inspection.
  • Enhanced safety: Multi-axis sensors help to improve the safety of robots by detecting when the robot is approaching an object or a person and slowing down or stopping to prevent collisions. This can be particularly important when robots are working near human workers.
  • Greater flexibility: Multi-axis sensors allow robots to perform a wider range of tasks, as they can adapt to changes in the environment or the task at hand. For example, a robot with multi-axis sensors can adjust its position and orientation to grip an object from a variety of angles, or to perform a task in a confined space.
  • Faster response time: Multi-axis sensors can provide real-time feedback on the robot’s movement, allowing it to adjust more quickly and with greater accuracy. This can help to improve the speed and efficiency of the robot’s performance.

Multi-Axis Robotic Arm Using Force Plate

In this application note, we highlight a customer that needs to measure the reaction forces of their robotic arm for safety purposes. The reaction loads occur at the robotic arm’s base; therefore, they need a force measurement system at the base of the robotic arm. Interface suggests using our force plate option to install at the base of the robotic arm. The solutions includes 3-Axis Force Load Cells are installed between two force plates, then installed at the bottom of the arm. This creates one large 6-Axis Force Plate. The sensors force data is recorded and displayed through the two BX8 Multi-Channel Bridge Amplifier and Data Acquisition Systems onto the customer’s computer. Read more about this application here.

Sensors must be able to provide the robust data requirements needed in designing and using robotics. Testing for industrial robots, which are used in manufacturing and assembly processes to automate tasks that are repetitive, dangerous or require precision, need exact measurements to clear the path to use. This data from sensors is used in design and production to evaluate reliability and quality of craftmanship. These types of robots are used in a variety of industries such as automotive, electronics, and aerospace.

Safety is primary for service and medical robots, as they are designed to interact with humans and perform tasks in healthcare, cleaning and surgical procedures, diagnosis, and rehabilitation.

Precision and accuracy are what defines the testing requirements for military robots. Whether these robots are used in military applications, such as bomb disposal, reconnaissance, and search and rescue missions or to operate in dangerous environments where it is not safe for humans to work, they must be thoroughly tested for high accuracy in operation.

While educational and entertainment robotics involve human interaction, so sensor technologies must match the use cases for teaching students about robotics, programming, and technology. They are often designed to be easy to use and intuitive, allowing students to experiment and learn through direct experience. Robots designed for entertainment purposes, such as robotic toys or theme park attractions are interactive. Robust sensor data makes the robots more engaging and may incorporate features like voice recognition or facial recognition to provide an authentic experience.

Lastly, autonomous robots undergo vast amounts of design tests using force and torque sensors due to the requirements of operating independently, without human intervention. They are often used in applications such as space exploration, agriculture, or transportation.

Interface offers a wide variety of multi-axis sensor options including 2-axis, 3-axis, 6-axis, and axial torsion load cell sensors. The benefits of using multi-axis sensors aligns to the advancements in robotics, as the expectations to do more means more data is needed to thoroughly test and measure every capability and interaction with accuracy.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

BX8 & 6-Axis

Multi-Axis Sensor Applications

Mounting Tips for Multi-Axis Sensors

Recap of Inventive Multi-Axis and Instrumentation Webinar

Dimensions of Multi-Axis Sensors An Interface Hosted Forum

Multi-Axis Sensors

Multi-Axis Sensors 101

 

Dimensions of Multi-Axis Sensors Virtual Event Recap

The Interface ForceLeaders hosted forums are designed to answer frequently asked questions from testing engineers and product designers about new technologies and uses cases. In our recent virtual event, Dimensions of Multi-Axis Sensors, we discussed the considerations for these types of sensors, the test and measurement benefits, products Interface offers and various applications.

Interface recognizes that there are growing demands for multi-axis sensors.  In our hosted event, Interface’s Brian Peters kicked-off the conversation by highlighting benefits and reasoning for the use of these types of sensors, including answering some common questions. We’ve provided a recap of the event below or you can watch the event here https://youtu.be/zua1lvTh488.

What is Unique about Multi-Axis Sensors?

Multi-axis sensors have additional bridges to provide output signals for varying axes or types of mechanical loading. They are designed to measure a multitude of forces and moments simultaneously with a single load cell sensor. Fundamentally similar to other force and torque sensors with strain gage bridges bonded to machined “flexures,” each bridge typically defines a measurement axis. 

There are multiple configurations of 2, 3, or 6-axis options.

  • Axial + Torque
  • Axial + Shear
  • Axial + Moment
  • All 6 degrees of freedom

Should You Use Multi-Axis Sensors?

The largest factor to consider is the accuracy of your test model. In many test applications using standard load cells we often notice side or eccentric load, which can skew your data. While many Interface load cells, particularly mini load cells, have been designed to reject indirect loads, nothing can handle side and eccentric loads quite like a multi-axis sensor. Dedicated multi-axis designs are typically more balanced axis capacity limits with discrete signal outputs. Composite signal outputs are common in 6-axis models.

What are the Benefits of Multi-Axis Sensor Technology?

There are a number of benefits to using multi-axis sensors in addition to accounting for and accurately measuring or rejecting side and eccentric load. These benefits include:

  • Consolidate measurement signals, conserve test space
  • Measure unwanted system crosstalk
  • Quantify reaction loads through test article on “non-measure” side 
  • More successful fatigue testing through setup and load verification
  • More data, more understanding, more complete picture

What Considerations Should Engineer Make When Using Multi-Axis Sensors?

If you’ve made the decision to utilize a multi-axis sensor in your test model, please note the following considerations:

  • System-level loads and geometry
  • Maximum loading conditions
  • Chosen capacity is adequate for measurement loads as well as potential peak or extraneous loads
  • Choosing the right sensor based on primary axis measurements

Interface Multi-Axis Sensor Products

Ken Bishop details various types of multi-axis sensor technology from Interface during the highlighted ForceLeaders event you can watch here.  Interface offers a wide range of multi-axis sensors, including 3-axis, 6-axis, axial torsion and 2-axis versions. The product options give you the ability to measure forces simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes, with the 6-axis load cells also measuring torque around those axes.

AXIAL TORSION LOAD CELLS

Interface’s axial torsion load cell is used for measuring both torque and force in a single sensor. Typical applications of its axial torsion transducer include bearing test and material test machines. The features of our axial torsion load cell include minimal cross talk, extraneous load resistance, and the load cell is fatigue rated. Customers can also add the following options: an integral cable, compression overload protection, and connector protectors.

2-AXIS LOAD CELLS

The Interface 2-Axis load cells can measure in two directions, X and Y simultaneously. It is commonly used in applications where dual-axis measurement is important in design and testing. They are effective for applications that measure lateral forces and the narrow design fits into compact areas.

2-Axis Interface Products:

3-AXIS LOAD CELLS

Interface’s 3-axis load cell measures force simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes: X, Y, and Z – tension and compression. Each axis provides a unique mV/V output and requires no mathematical manipulation. The 3-axis load cell is built to minimize eccentric loading effects and crosstalk between axes. We offer five different models in its 3A Series 3-axis load cell designed for a wide variety of capacities. They are compact in size, provide 3 full bridge mV/V outputs with an IP68 option.

3-Axis Products:

6-AXIS LOAD CELLS

Interface’s 6-Axis Load Cell measures force simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes and three simultaneous torques about those same axes. Six full bridges provide mV/V output on six independent channels. A 36-term coefficient matrix is included for calculating the load and torque values in each axis. An 8-channel amplifier with a USB PC interface is also available which simplifies data analysis. The company offers five different models of 6-axis load cells for a wide variety of capacities. In the end, they provide more data, accuracy, are very stiff and cost-effective for a wide range of testing options.

6-Axis Products:

Keith Skidmore, an application expert at Interface, outlined a number of use cases spanning across multiple industries. They included testing programs using multi-axis sensors in automotive, medical, aerospace and defense, consumer packaging and more. Some of the application notes discussed during this recorded event include:

  • Wind tunnel testing
  • Aerospace structural and fatigue testing
  • Computer model validation
  • Friction testing
  • Medical device: ball socket testing
  • Prosthetics
  • Robotic arm
  • Hydrofoil
  • Seat testing
  • Center of gravity

Be sure to watch the YouTube video below to gain insight into some of the most frequently asked questions about multi-axis sensors.

We had a great time introducing our audience to the possibilities of Interface Multi-Axis Sensors. If you are interested in watching the video on demand of the webinar, you can click on the link below to watch the presentation in its entirety.

Multi-Axis Sensor Applications

For more than 50 years, Interface has proven itself as the premier provider of load cells, with the most accurate and reliable products on the market. As the technical landscape has evolved, we have invested heavily in new technology to suit the growing needs of our customers. One of the most important innovations we’ve brought to market over the past few years is our lineup of wide-ranging multi-axis sensors.

Interface Multi-Axis Sensors are designed to measure a multitude of forces and moments simultaneously with a single load cell sensor. These sensors provide multiple bridges that precisely measure the applied force from one direction with minimal crosstalk from the other axes.

Multi Axis Sensor 3AXX 3 Axis Load Cells -

Interface Multi-Axis Sensor 3-Axis Load Cell

Interface offers 3-axis, 6-axis, and axial torsion load cells, which provide the ultimate in force and torque measurement. We can measure forces simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes, with the 6-axis load cells also measuring torque around those axes. In addition, we offer multiple data acquisition and amplifier systems which make graphing, logging and displaying data easy enough for any experience level.

Our customers work in a wide variety of industries, and we are continually seeing new applications of our range of multi-axis sensors. These sensors are used in aerospace, automotive, medical and more.

The following application examples provide a clearer picture of the benefit of this force measurement and sensor technology.

Rocket Structural Testing – In rocket and aerospace testing, there are a million different considerations to ensure a proper launch. One of the vital force tests that need to be conducted is on the connection between the rocket and the launch vehicle. There are force and moment in multiple directions at the connection point. Interface Multi-Axis Sensors can be used to test not only the strength of the connection but also ensure a safe disconnection between the rocket and launch vehicle.

Drone Testing – One of the most interesting applications of our multi-axis sensors is in the drone industry and in areas of urban mobility. Our sensors are used to test the drone’s rotor. The drone will always pull on the sensor to create the most significant force; however, there is also a slight amount of moment that needs to be accounted for. We were able to calibrate a semi-custom load cell to account for both the large pull force and the small moment force to provide the most accurate data possible.

Prosthetics – Another impressive application of our multi-axis sensor technology is in the medical industry. We helped to test the multiple force and torque data necessary to build a strong and reliable prosthetic knee joint and spine. Each of these prosthetics has multiple motions on many axes. To measure the quality of the prosthetic and to ensure it doesn’t fail when implanted in a patient, medical OEM’s need to be able to collect data on each of these axes simultaneously.

The need for measurements on multiple axes has grown over the last couple of years because of the desire to use big data to create better products. Interface Multi-Axis Sensors provide the accurate measurements our customers need and the ability to collect those measurements simultaneously, which has created a significant boost in efficiency.

To learn more about Interface’s expanding lineup of multi-axis sensors and data acquisition systems, please contact our team of experienced Application Engineers or visit /product-category/multi-axis-sensors/.

Contributor: Keith Skidmore, Regional Sales Director at Interface

Multi-Axis-Brochure

Multi-Axis Sensors 101

Have you ever tried to build a piece of furniture with half the tools necessary? It just doesn’t work. And this same problem occurs when you try to test and measure force and torque on complicated types of machinery like an aircraft assembly or advanced robotics on a single axis. In response to meet this complex force measurement need, Interface has developed a product line of 2-axis, 3-axis, 6-axis, and axial torsion load cell sensors.

Data-driven design is at the forefront of product development, especially in highly-regulated markets like aerospace, medical and industrial. Interface’s multi-axis sensors are designed to provide the most comprehensive force and torque data points on advanced machinery. With our industry-leading reliability and accuracy, these multi-axis sensors are able to provide the data our customers need to ensure performance and safety in their product design.

To provide you with more insight, here’s an overview of Interface’s multi-axis sensors and their unique capabilities.

3-Axis Load Cells

Multi Axis Sensor 3AXX 3 Axis Load Cells -

Interface’s 3-axis load cell measures force simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes: X, Y, and Z – tension and compression. Each axis provides a unique mV/V output and requires no mathematical manipulation. The 3-axis load cell is built to minimize eccentric loading effects and crosstalk between axes. The company offers five different models in its 3A Series 3-axis load cell designed for a wide variety of capacities.

6-Axis Load Cells

Interface’s 6-axis load cell measures force simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes and three simultaneous torques about those same axes. Six full bridges provide mV/V output on six independent channels. A 36-term coefficient matrix is included for calculating the load and torque values in each axis. An 8-channel amplifier with USB PC interface is also available which simplifies data analysis. The company offers five different models of 6-axis load cells for a wide variety of capacities.

Axial Torsion Load Cells

Interface’s axial torsion load cell is used for measuring both torque and force in a single sensor. Typical applications of its axial torsion transducer include bearing test and material test machines. The features of our axial torsion load cell include minimal cross talk, extraneous load resistance, and the load cell is fatigue rated. Customers can also add the following options, an integral cable, compression overload protection, and connector protector.

2-Axis Load Cells

Multi Axis Sensors AT102 2-Axis Axial Torsion Load CellThe Interface 2-axis load cells can measure in two directions, X and Y simultaneously. It is commonly used in applications where dual-axis measurement is important in design and testing.

Interface multi-axis load cells are ideally suited to many industrial and scientific applications, such as aerospace, robotics, automotive and medical research (orthopedics and biomechanical). In fact, their unique capabilities are helping the medical industry optimize prosthetic design via multi-axis testing. The automotive industry is using Interface’s multi-axis products in wind tunnels, and the military is using them to test the center of gravity in aerospace applications.

As with all force measurement products available from Interface, we’re happy to work with you to provide a custom design. We can customize our products for varying capacities between X-Y and Z, higher temperature capability, or OEM and private labeling if needed.

For more information on Interface’s multi-axis sensors, visit our web product page or review our product brochure for detailed specifications on every product.

Multi-Axis Brochure_6-Page