Posts

ForceLeaders Summit Novi

The new ForceLeaders live event takes place on Wednesday, September 14, 2022 in Novi, Michigan at The HUB Stadium. Our force measurement solutions engineers and experts from Interface will share valuable tips and experiences using load cells, torque transducers, multi-axis sensors, pressure sensors, and advanced instrumentation. Join us for a two plus hour conversation followed by some interactive discussions and fun.

EV Battery Testing Solutions Utilize Interface Mini Load Cells

Automotive components undergo rigorous testing to meet regulatory standards, guarantee performance, and ensure consumer safety. These components continually require investment in innovation to meet the expressed governmental, consumer and commercial use requirements.

One of the vehicle components that is undergoing intense change is the battery. The market is heavily focused on increasing mileage use and life, which includes the shift from single-use lithium batteries to lithium-ion batteries which are rechargeable.

These customer sentiments are noticeable in the growing global electric vehicle (EV) and hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) demands for sustainable and longer-lasting battery solutions. Customer satisfaction and commercial applications are closely intertwined with a vehicle’s ability to travel longer distances without refueling or charging. The demands and changes drive robust test and measurement programs to bring new battery models and designs to market.

In 2021, it is estimated the EV battery market exceeded 38% of total battery sales. As technology continues to improve the lifecycle and reducing battery costs, Precedence Research estimates 32% CAGR through 2030. This translated to $46B in the US alone of market share, while Asia Pacific is leading the production of EVs and overall demand for the EV batteries. Based on global adoption of electric vehicles, supported by government initiatives and an intense focus on reduced carbon emissions, the EV battery market is expected to continue expanding around the world.

The testing of batteries is growing in complexity with the increase in number of cells, modern designs, materials, cycles, installation, vehicle models, certifications and charging equipment to name a few. Battery simulation and real battery integration testing are two examples of commonly used T&M programs used to validate battery adaptability and use requirements. In battery testing, accuracy and quality of the measurement devices are vital. The following are the most common battery types today:

  • Lithium-ion Battery
  • Lead-Acid Battery
  • Sodium-ion Battery
  • Nickel-Metal Hydride Battery
  • Others

Due to the market shift to EVs, the lithium-ion battery is the number one battery type today. The domination of the lithium-ion battery exceeded all other battery types in 2021. Manufacturers of EVs prefer partnering with OEMs of newer model Li-ion batteries because they are lighter in weight and have higher energy density. The following details one of many Interface solutions offered to automotive component and battery manufacturers.

Electric Vehicle Battery Monitoring

The EV battery manufacturer required a system to monitor their lithium-ion batteries. Normally, lithium-ion batteries are measured through voltage and current measurements or (ICV) to analyze and monitor the battery life. In consultation with the design and testing engineers, Interface recommended a solution that required installing the LBM Compression Load Button Load Cell in between two garolite end plates, and measuring the force due to cell swelling or expansion. Instead of monitoring through voltage (ICV), this method is based on measured force (ICF). To monitor the testing, the load cell was paired with the 9330 Battery Powered High Speed Data Logging Indicator. This instrumentation solution provides the ability to display, record and log the force measurement results with supplied software.  To review the results and complete application note, go here.

Interface has long partnered with auto manufacturers and suppliers of various parts and components to provide a large range of automotive industry test and measurement solutions.  This includes sensors and instrumentation solutions for the development, testing and performance monitoring of all types of batteries, with growing interest for lithium-ion battery testing.

Interface will be discussing this and other force measurement solutions at the upcoming Auto Test Expo in Europe. Join us in Stuttgart or contact our application engineers to collaborate on a testing solution that works for your next project.

Additional Automotive Industry Resources

Interface Automotive Force Measurement Solutions

Driving Force in Automotive Applications

Test and Measurement for Electric Vehicles

The Future of Automotive is Electric

AxialTQ Technical White Paper Details Comparative Testing

WTS Brake Pedal Force Testing

Automotive + Vehicle Brochure

Automotive Window Pinch Force Testing App Note

Automotive Head Rest Testing App Note

Advancing Auto Testing with Interface Measurement Solutions

Interface Automotive Force Measurement Solutions

Interface introduced our load cells to the auto and vehicle industry more than five decades ago. Quality and precision sensor technologies are essential to manufacturing and production for vehicles.

Interface force measurement devices are used for critical testing in both commercial and industrial vehicle design and production to ensure safety and reliability in the automotive industry.

As the industry has evolved and transformed, so has the products we supply to our customers in this market. Our range of solutions continues to expand in functionality and capabilities as complexities of testing throughout the entire journey, from component design and prototyping to rigorous safety testing of every piece of equipment progresses.

By creating highly responsive, critically accurate, and safer load cell and torque sensors, we are seeing our products used in all types of test and measurement applications, including:

  • Engine dynamometers
  • Lug nut assembly
  • Airbag connector testing
  • EV battery testing
  • ICE and EV motor torque testing
  • Equipment fatigue testing
  • Motor test stands
  • Brake and clutch pedal force
  • Engine head bolt tightening
  • Vehicle crash test walls
  • Race car suspension testing
  • Transmission gear box and gear mesh
  • Autonomous vehicle tests

Research and development facilities with precision application requirements favor our 1200 Series LowProfile™ Load Cells with their special moment compensated design. These are used in auto manufacturer assembly lines in a variety of production monitoring and verification applications. Our exceedingly accurate LowProfile™ Load Cells have even been used in NASCAR and IndyCar garages for testing individual springs and entire vehicle suspensions.

Preview Interface products used in the automotive and vehicle markets in this new solutions video.

Here are two highlights of automotive application notes.  You can find more about automotive and vehicle solutions here.

Tire Testing

A top tire manufacturer needed a solution that would provide data analysis for stress testing.  The research would provide advancements to their product by defining the tire’s dynamic control capabilities. In review with our application engineers, they detailed they need to measure both the torque and lateral force in their testing.

Interface recommended the new AT105 Contactless Force Torque Transducer. With the torque and lateral force testing requirements, they determined that the best option to review the results by display as well as with graphing is to connect the transducers to the 4-Channel USB Interface Module SI-USB4.  You can see the entire solution and results in the Tire Testing App Note.

MDPS Testing

A manufacturer wanted to test the power steering for their vehicles. They want to test the linkage tension and compression between the rack and pinion. On a test frame, Interface’s 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile™ Load Cell was installed at the end of the rack and pinion actuator. As the wheel is turned, the load cell tests the push and pull forces. Force measurements can be displayed in real time using the highly accurate 9870 High-Speed High Performance TEDS Ready Indicator. The 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile Load Cell successfully measured the tension and compression between the rack and pinion of the customer’s MDPS system. You can see the entire solution and results in the MDPS testing App Note.

Additional Resources:

Driving Force in Automotive Applications

Advancing Auto Testing with Interface Measurement Solutions

Automotive Window Pinch Force Testing

Test and Measurement for Electric Vehicles

 

Fine-Tuning Testing Solutions for Championship Racing Vehicles

As every championship race car team looks to find its competitive advantage, measured in seconds, Interface continues to play a pivotal role in ensuring accurate force measurement solutions are used to test the limits of every component used in motorsports.

The automotive industry has long depended on the quality and accuracy of Interface load cells, torque transducers, instrumentation, and multi-axis sensors.  Did you know it is also used in the competitive arena of auto racing?  Performance demands are constantly being pushed for all types of racing machines, whether it’s for NASCAR, IndyCar, or even the amateur level racing. What is known in the racing community is that engineers and manufacturers of equipment and parts used in these high-performance vehicles rely on Interface for precision testing solutions.

In our new case study, Building a Championship Race Car, we detail some of the specific sensor technologies used in the racing arena for high performance testing. We highlight how Interface’s TXY 2-Axis Load Cell is used in testing tires. Leading tire manufacturers, including SCCA sponsors, utilize these sensors to get precise test data on tire uniformity. The TXY has minimal cross talk across its strain gage bridges, ideal for this type of testing.

We also detail how our top load cell, the LowProfile, is frequently used in testing shocks, springs, and struts.  With any racing vehicle, control is fundamental, and the equipment used to maintain that control must be proven to meet the exceptionalism and requirements of racing professionals and their teams.

In this technical article, learn how the popular AxialTQ Torque Transducer, a bearing-less, compact wireless design, affords the test engineer suitable data collection for engine analysis, as well as brake HP calculations for active performance testing.

A competitive spirit runs deep within our Interface team, it’s what we do. We like to ensure our products are top class and help our customers win!  We also have first-hand experience in how our products are used in the racing arena. That experience affirms the positive performance effects of force measurement in auto racing.

Did you know that Interface’s Vice President of Sales, Brian Peters, has accomplished eight National Championships in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) solo racing, and also competes in the One Lap of America cross-country, weeklong multi-competition racing event?

The annual SCCA National Championships draws more than 1,000 drivers from across North America to compete over two days. Wins are decided by mere thousandths of a second. Knowing how our products are used in high-performance racing environments, only fuels us more.

Performance and precision are critical and Interface force measurement solutions help to fine-tune critical racing vehicles, parts, and apparatus used to test different components in motorsports. We also like to say, it’s a competitive advantage. Read our case study to learn more.

Additional Resources

Powered by Interface Race Update from Brian Peters

Race Car Suspension Testing

Driving Force in Automotive Applications

Automotive and Vehicle

Fueling Global Demand for Interface Solutions

Increasing demand for quality, accurate and reliable sensor technologies is global.  Interface products are used on every continent and across all types of industries. As manufacturers and product innovators make advances in what they build and test, there is a direct correlation to the growth in precision test and measurement tool requirements we supply.

The overall sensor market in 2022 is expected to continue its fast past growth, estimated between 8-12% across all types of sensors. In force measurement, this pace is consistent with the experience in the global markets we serve in Africa, Asia, Australia and Oceania, Europe, Middle East, South and North America.

Represented by hundreds of sensors experts around the world, Interface distributors continue to experience growth in market share and Interface product users.  In fact, Interface’s fastest growing markets are represented in our global network.  Solutions that utilize our precision load cells, torque transducers, multi-axis load cells and instrumentation are all experiencing high growth worldwide.

What is impacting the greatest international growth for all types of sensors technologies?  According to market analysis and based on Interface’s experience, it’s being fed by:

  1. Miniaturization of Products and Sensors Used in Testing and OEMs
  2. Industrial Automation and Robotics
  3. Innovation in Aerospace and Automotive
  4. IoT – Internet of Things

Our direct experience in demand for Interface solutions outside of the US is related to these areas and specifically new products and expanding use cases. First, we recently launched our Global G Series products to meet this demand. This specialty product is sold exclusively outside the US. These products are designed and manufactured in the International System of Units (SI), with the same precision and accuracy of all Interface products.

The Global G Series is a global standard product line that is designed for applications that require miniature load cells and for OEM solutions used for automation of machines and components.  The markets that are experiencing the highest growth internationally include:

For example, innovative markets like electric vehicles and hydro-electric energy are growing rapidly domestically and in international markets. These industries rely on force testing to optimize these new technologies.

The Asia-Pacific market is currently our fastest growing market. Interface provides products for this market across all industries including automotive, aerospace, test and measurement and more. As mentioned above, the alternative energy, aerospace and electric vehicle market is a big area for Interface and the Asia-Pacific plays a big role in these areas.

Electric vehicle design and manufacturing requires a precise level of accuracy to improve energy efficiency, minimize weight and maximize vehicle range. For instance, battery technology is a major global focus; therefore, maximizing power output using force testing is the key to improving vehicle design. To achieve this, test and measurement solutions need to be as accurate as possible. Interface also provides high accuracy torque transducers, load cells, load washers and more for two areas of electric vehicle testing: laboratory testing to optimize system performance and production testing to ensure product quality.

Another application for force measurement in Europe is force testing on off-shore hydro-electric power plants. This is a great fit for Interface because we have developed an entire lineup of load cells and other products that are submersible. For this project specifically, we provided submersible WMC load cells. This is one example of an innovative application for renewable energies, and this is another market that is growing rapidly both domestically and internationally.

One of the consistent top selling products in both regions and industries are wireless load cells. In our 2022 Test and Measurement Industry Trends blog, detailed some of this growing demand for wireless force measurement solutions. Wireless systems are helping manufacturers simplify the integration process and create a cleaner safer test environment with far less wiring. It is especially helpful in industries like aerospace or automotive, where large factories want to transmit data across the facility without needing a mess of wires getting in the way.

For wireless needs, Interface supplies its Wireless Telemetry System (WTS) which offers sensor transmitters, receivers, and displays. High accuracy, high quality measurement is interfaced with simple yet powerful configuration and monitoring software and 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.

One area that Interface is also investing in internally is recalibration services to serve all customers across the world. Many of our customers are becoming more aware of and utilizing these services, as we are continuing to grow this capability amongst international customers who are utilizing Interface products for the first time.

Interface’s presence in the international market is growing quickly. Interface is looking forward to seeing where and how we can supply the best in force measurement solutions to enable innovation around the world.

Source: Tyler Pettit, Application Engineer International Markets

Where to Find 50 New Force Measurement Application Notes

One of the advantages we have at Interface is that our application engineers and solutions experts are constantly recommending Interface load cells, torque transducers, instrumentation and accessories for a wide range of projects and programs.  In this fortunate position, it enables our team to explain why and how these solutions work through a series of illustrative application notes. We detail the problem statement, the products required to achieve the desired outcome, and the measurable results in every Interface application note.

The purpose of our app notes is to show the range of capabilities for products we offer, as well as inspire product designers, engineers, and testing professionals to expand how they use sensor technologies. We also increased our industry solutions to highlight a growing interest of how our products are used in agriculture, maritime and infrastructure force and torque measurement projects.

In 2021, Interface produced a record 50+ new application notes.  We have so many application notes, we even produced a first ever complete Interface Applications Catalog.  The type of applications we detailed this year range from space docking to golf swing testing, with everything in between. You can find applications for livestock weighing, crash wall testing, crane safety regulation and even commercial fishing line tests.

Every application note includes a graphic that highlights how the test project is designed and how the products work together. All our illustrated application notes can be found here.  We also have a collection of animated application notes you can watch here.

So if you didn’t keep up with every application note we added this year, here is a quick reference:

AUTOMOTIVE AND VEHICLE

Automotive Head Rest Testing

Pre-Installation Sealing Sensor Testing

Automotive Window Pinch Force Testing

Airbag Connector Testing

Vehicle Crash Test Load Cell Wall

Torque Measurement for Electric Vehicles

TEST AND MEASUREMENT

Garbage Truck On-Board Weighing

Bike Helmet Impact Test

Bike Handlebar Fatigue Testing

Mobile Force System

Gaming Simulation Brake Pedal

Mountain Bike Shocks Testing

Spring Compression Testing

Proving Theoretical Cutting Forces of Rotary Ultrasonic Machining

Fitness Equipment and Machines

6-Axis Load Cell Solutions using Raspberry Pi

Mouse Touch-Pad Force Testing

Treadmill Force Measurement

Veterinary Weighing Scales

E-Bike Torque Measurement

Bike Power Pedals

Bike Load Testing

Bike Frame Fatigue Testing

Golf Club Swing Accuracy

Golf Ball Tee

INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION

Commercial Food Processing

6-Axis Force Plate Robotic Arm

INFRASTRUCTURE

Aerial Lift Overload Control

Concrete Dam Flood Monitoring

Hydraulic Jacking System Testing

AGRICULTURE

Tractor PTO Torque Testing

Silo Grain Dispensing

Poultry Feeder Monitoring

WTS Equine Bridle Tension System

BTS Equine Bridle Tension System

Livestock Weighing System

Tractor Linkage Draft Control

Chicken Weighing

Silo Monitoring and Weighing

MEDICAL AND HEALTHCARE

Tablet Machine Hardness Tester Calibration

Dental Handpiece Torque Check

Interventional Guidewire Quality Inspection

Tablet Hardness Testing

AEROSPACE AND DEFENSE

Space Dock Capture Ring Force Testing

Aircraft Yoke Torque Measurement

Aircraft Screwdriver Fastening Control

Landing Gear Joint Testing

Aircraft Engine Hoist

Rescue Helicopter Hoist Test

MARTIME

Mooring Quick Release Hooks (QRH)

Commercial Fishing Wire Rope Testing

Mooring Line Tension Testing

Crane Block Safety Check

Crane Capacity Verification

Crane Force Regulation

We would like to send a special thank you to our illustration and design team of Lauren O’Hagan and Scott Whitworth for all their work in creating this array of illustrations, along with a special shout out to Ken Bishop and Keith Skidmore that help us create all these application stories.

What’s new in 2022? Stay close to our Interface IQ Blog and watch our updates on the homepage and solutions for new inspirations and unique examples how engineers and product designers are thinking about using our sensors,

Recap of Latest Spin on AxialTQ Webinar

Interface recently hosted a new webinar in our ForceLeaders series that highlighted the revolutionary AxialTQ product.  The event reviewed the bearingless wireless rotary torque transducer design and detailed component specifications, why test engineers prefer the AxialTQ, and use cases for this precision measurement system.

If you were not able to attend the Latest Spin on AxialTQ event, you can watch the entire recording online here.

The revolutionary AxialTQ was first introduced in 2018. The design originated from the popular HRDT product that utilized a rotor stator gap design as a single component. After hundreds of users, we started the product engineering exercise to see how we could advance the soon-to-retire HRDT and evolve it into something that would perfectly fit current market conditions.

As technologies were changing testing protocols and requirements, such as for electric motors, alternative energy hardware, space vehicles and industrial machine automation, we wanted to add new functionality. Jay Bradley and the Interface engineering team began the process by looking at DIN size optimization, shorter stators, additional coupling options, advanced software configurations and simple “drop-in” replacement parts with a modular design.

After thousands of design hours and testing, Interface released the AxialTQ. The specialized product is a unique combination of accuracy, reliability and ease of use that redefines the standard torque measurement device in terms of function and durability.

Engineers prefer the new AxialTQ because of the time-proven sensing element with longer active area providing greater measurement sensitivity while being less vulnerable to shock loads.  The high-resolution digital electronics are state-of-the art. Uniquely, the large gap design up to 6 mm axial and 12 mm radial minimizes contact damage which is important at high-speed testing. It has 120-degree partial loop antenna on the stator to make installation easier.

Specialized design features of AxialTQ make it a great fit for test and production applications.

  • Crash-proof design for maximum reliability
  • Industry-leading gap to prevent damage to rotor stator at full speed
  • Simultaneous analog and digital outputs, enables real-time control and data collection
  • Interchangeable stators and output modules minimize parts inventory
  • Versatile design and wide range of configurations to match any application
  • Hardware is self-configuring
  • New advanced software with added features and logging capabilities
  • Rotor and stator coils designed using printed circuit boards for durability

The AxialTQ rotor sensing element and electronics are the heart of the system. It has a rugged design for all types of torque measurement applications.  It comes in 8 torque capacities. The status assembly matches to the rotor DIN size and is interchangeable with equipment DIN size rotor assemblies, increasing usability.  The USB digital output module has galvanic isolation on all outputs and has standard IP65 ingress protection.  It enables real-time control and accurate data collection.

Keith Skidmore shared several use cases during the presentation, including engine dynamometers, motor test stands and other automotive production line applications.

The AxialTQ is designed for testing anything that spins. It’s ideal in testing and production of hydraulic motors, EVs, helicopters, aircraft, and drones, along with windmills and industrial fans.  It’s great for testing forklifts, off-road and utility vehicles as wells as tractors and watercraft.  AxialTQ is also generally used for measuring torque on industrial motor assemblies, pumps, appliances, braking systems, and motor vehicle accessories.

Watch the entire webinar below to hear Keith and Jay share tips, specifications, frequently asked questions and how to get the most out of your torque measurement applications.

Learn more about AxialTQ here.

Advancing Auto Testing with Interface Measurement Solutions

What classifies as the automotive industry involves a complex and dynamic mix of suppliers, makers and designers of all types of vehicles, as well as prototypes of the changing demands and requirements of consumers both big and small.  Whether we look at where we are today with hybrid and electric motors, or autonomous rigs and people movers in test now, one thing that is constant is Interface’s role in providing vital measurement solutions for testing and real-time performance monitoring in the automotive and vehicle markets.

Automotive is one of the industries in which Interface has worked with since the introduction of our first load cells more than five decades ago. Force and torque measurement is critical to testing at every stage of design and manufacturing. Our sensor solutions, instrumentation and accessories are used across all facets of component development, including the testing of engines and exterior bodies, tires, batteries, fuel pumps and more.

Interface products are used for crash walls, brake testing, energy storage tests in the lab, seat belt and headrest testing, just to name a few. The fact is torque and force play a major role in making the vehicle move and ensuring it’s safe for drivers and pedestrians alike.  Interface is showcasing some of these solutions at the upcoming Automotive Test Expo. Registration to attend is free.

As the industry evolves, so do we. In fact, our advanced product AxialTQ was created for the automotive industry for testing of EVs. This revolutionary torque transducer is now used in all types of line production, assembly and part, including:

  • Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) Lab Testing and End of Line (EOL) Testing
  • Drivetrain Lab Testing
  • Automotive Accessory Lab Testing
  • Electric Vehicle (EV) Motor EOL and EV Lab Testing

For more about this dynamic product, you can watch our latest AxialTQ Webinar here.

Interface supplies high quality, precision load cells to automotive manufacturers, including custom one-off sensors and special application-specific designs. Standard off-the-shelf models such as our 2400 series , our 3200 series Stainless Steel LowProfile™ Load Cells, and our WMC Miniature Load Cell family are popular with machine builders and used anywhere a rugged stainless steel load cell is required.

Research and development facilities with precision applications favor our 1200 Series LowProfile™ Load Cells with their special moment compensated design. These are used in auto manufacturer assembly lines in a variety of production monitoring and verification applications. Our exceedingly accurate LowProfile™ Load Cells have been used in NASCAR and IndyCar garages for testing individual springs and entire vehicle suspensions.

A moment compensated Interface load cell has as much as 1,000 times less error from side load or moment as our competitor’s products. And many of our sensors feature 10x mechanical overload protection, which helps protect against unintended loads. Our Model BPL Load Cell is a very LowProfile™ load cell used for measuring force on gas, brakes or clutch pedals.

With a wide range of automotive vehicle load cell sensors, force and torque measurement capabilities, and features such as moment compensation, temperature compensation, and mechanical overload protection, Interface can help you design a solution perfect for your automotive application. In fact, here are a few examples of our products in action.

Airbag Connector Testing

Testing airbag connectors functionality is needed ensure perfect deployment to meet the ultimate test of saving lives. There are eight to twelve connectors installed in each vehicle, and tests are needed to be made in order to clarify the connectors are working effectively. The amount of force needs to be tested in order to see when an electrical current has triggered use.  Utilizing the WMC Sealed Stainless Steel Miniature Load Cell to the actuator of the test rig. The airbag connector is held in place at the bottom of the test rig. Forces are applied and measured using the 9330 High Speed Data Logger as the connector is pushed down to latch together.  Read more about this use case.

Seat TestingSeat Testing

During testing there was consistent overloading and replacing of the single-axis load cells. After a thorough inspection, it was discovered that this was due to bending moments that had never been quantified so a multi-axis sensor was defined as the best solution.  An Interface Model 6A68C 6-Axis load cell was installed in their existing test machine. The 6-Axis Sensor was intentionally oversized allowing the customer to measure the unidentified bending moments while preventing any damage. Data Acquisition and Amplifier BX8 was used to graph, log, & store the data collected at the sensor. Read more here.

Automotive Headrest Testing

When a manufacturer for automotive head rests wanted to test the durability of their products by conducting several fatigue tests and force tests on the head rests to make sure it meets durability and high-quality standards, Interface was able to help. The solution was to install Model 1000 Fatigue-Rated LowProfile™ Dual Bridge Load Cell to the customer’s actuator mechanism. This load cell is perfect for fatigue testing and reports highly accurate results through the fatigue cycling. The results are collected by using the SI-USB4 4-Channel USB Interface Module, which synchronizes the data directly from the load cell and the string pot (for measuring distance) to the customer’s computer. Using this system, the head rest manufacturer was able to get highly accurate data through the fatigue testing cycle. Watch the testing video in action!

 

Engine DynamometerEngine Dynamometer

Internal combustion engines are by far the most common power source for land vehicles. From a 2-stroke motor in a lawn mower, to a V-8 stock car engine, horsepower and torque are the benchmarks of engine performance. Engine manufacturers and aftermarket suppliers use an engine dynamometer (dyno for short) to accurately measure an engine’s performance. An engine dyno isolates an engine’s power output to help quantify its overall performance, applying a load directly to the engine and utilizing a load cell to measure the torque absorbed by the loading mechanism. Horsepower is then calculated using the torque and RPM of the engine. To conduct this test, a precision S-Type Load Cell is attached to a torque arm which “feels” the torque from the engine loading system. The Interface Model SSMF is a great choice because it is fatigue-rated for a number of fully reversed cycles and is environmentally sealed to withstand harsh environments. Utilizing the Model CSC Signal Conditioner provides a clear signal to a data-acquisition system. Using this test solution, the load cell reacts precisely with the amount of torque being produced by the engine and provides accurate signals to the data-acquisition system. Engineers are then able to analyze the power transfer for the engine and optimize for performance. Read more about this solution here.

For additional automotive solutions and use cases, go here.

Interface’s Steering Role in All Types of Transportation

Interface serves a wide variety of industries that design and manufacture movers of people and objects. The transportation sector consists of companies that assist in the movement people or goods, as well as supporting infrastructure. Whether it is automobiles or planes, trains or helicopters, spacecraft or water vessels, Interface provides solutions to help test and measure force, weight, torque, lift and more.

The safety, quality and reliability of the overall transportation industry are all important considerations in design, build and performance. Human safety being the most critical requirement of any transport vehicle or structure.

This means that stringent testing is necessary to confirm the design of every part and system on a vehicle. Force measurement sensors can used to test a wide variety of factors on every type of invention that moves or transports a person or thing. From the torque of an electrical vehicle engine to the weight distribution of an aircraft, these types of tests help to refine the designs of components, vessels, and vehicles, confirming safety and dependability.

All Interface product categories have a role in the testing of all these transportation entities.  Many of our sensor technologies are also ideal for performance monitoring and integration into product designs, whether it’s for ongoing measurement of weighing ship cargo with load pins, load shackles and tension links or using our torque transducers for engine testing on e-bikes, automobiles, trucks, buses, and other transport vehicles.  If it moves, it needs to be measured. Our force and torque solutions are ideal for every segment of this market sector.

Let’s take a quick tour of a few application examples that demonstrate the different products we provide that are helping get people and objects safely moving down the road, on the rails, in the air and even into space.

Wind Tunnel Testing

A major aerospace company was developing a new airplane and needed to test their scaled model for aerodynamics in a wind tunnel, by measuring loads created by lift and drag. Interface offered a Model 6A154 6-Axis Load Cell which was mounted in the floor of the wind tunnel and connected to the scaled model by a stalk. A Model BX8-AS was then connected to the sensor to collect data. The wind tunnel blew air over the scaled model creating lift and drag, which was measured and compared to the theoretical airplane models. Software in the PC converted raw data signals to actual force and torque values at the stalk. Using this solution, the company was able to analyze the collect data and made the necessary adjustments in their design to improve the aerodynamics of their theoretical airplane models. Read more.

Garbage Truck On-Board Weighing

A garbage disposal company wanted to test the load capacity of their garbage truck bins so they know when it reached maximum capacity. Interface’s solution was to customize and install 4 SSB Sealed Beam Load Cells under the garbage box body, on either side. When trash continues to be piled inside the box body, it will push more force down onto the SSB Sealed Beam Load Cells. When maximum load capacity has been reached, the results can be reviewed and displayed when connected to the 482 Battery Powered Bidirectional Weight Indicator in real time. With this system, the customer was able to test the maximum load capacity of the garbage bin attached to the truck, so they know when to empty the truck’s garbage at the transfer station. Read more.

Engine Head Bolt Tightening

Enging Bolt TighteningAn industrial automation company was building an automated assembly machine for an auto manufactur­ing plant. They needed to tighten all head bolts on an engine on their assembly line to a specific torque value. Having the head bolts precisely and consistently tightened to the engine block is critical to the operation of the engine. Several Interface Model T33 Spindle Torque Transducers were installed in their new machine to control torque, angle, and ensure the head bolt was properly tight­ened. The square drive of the T33 allowed the customer to fix their tool directly to the end of the torque sensor, streamlining the installation. When the machine comes down and screws on the engine head bolts the torque and angle profile are sent to the customer’s machine controller. Based on the feedback received by the machine controller, the automation will pass the engine to the next step in the assembly line or fail and have the engine evaluated further. This allowed the customer to ensure the head bolts were correctly installed according to manufacturer specifications, producing an engine that meets performance and reliability expectations of the auto manufacturing plant. Read more.

Bicycle Load Testing

A mountain bike manufacturing company wanted a system that measures their bike frames load capacities and vibrations on the frame. They also want to ensure the bike’s high quality and frame load durability during this final step of the product testing process. Interface suggested installing Model SSMF Fatigue Rated S-Type Load Cell, connected to the WTS-AM-1E Wireless Strain Bridge, between the mountain bike’s seat and the bike frame. This will measure the vibrations and load forces applied onto the bike frame. When a heavy load is added to the seat, the SSMF Fatigue Rated S-Type Load Cell measures the vibrations and load forces applied to the bike to indicate any stress points through a number of cycles. The results will be captured by the WTS-AM-1E and transmitted to the customer’s PC using the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station. This solution helped the mountain bike manufacturing company gather highly accurate data to determine that their bikes met performance standards through this final testing cycle. Read more.

These are just a brief example of the work we do in transportation. Interface systems have been involved in projects with boats, races cars, construction vehicles and even rocket ships. Manufacturers turn to Interface because of our track record for accuracy and the transportation industry relies on this data to keep its customers safe.

For additional insights and ideas related to transportation solutions, here are a few more posts to read.

Interface Plays a Role in Testing Bicycles

Evolving Urban Mobility Sector for Test and Measurement

Interface’s Crucial Role in Vehicle and Urban Mobility Markets

Measurement Technologies for Boats, Yachts and Watercraft

Interface and The Race to Space

Driving Force in Automotive Applications

To review more application notes pertaining to transportation or to talk to an application engineer about your next project, contact us or call us at 480-948-5555.