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I’ve Got a Load Cell – Now What? Episodes 3 and 4

Continuing our review of the popular webinar series, I’ve Got a Load Cell – Now What?, we are detailing the third and fourth episodes. The focus of these two installments is documentation that you should expect with every load cell and the fundamentals of load cell output.

Digging into documentation is an important subject for anyone that is buying or using load cells for test and measurement. It is also a differentiator in the quality and type of manufacturer that makes your device. The details provided in load cell documentation validates the characteristics and performance, as well as experience and craftmanship used in the engineering and construction of your load cell.

When quality and accuracy matters, documentation and certification are critical verification evidence.

Load Cell Documentation: Datasheets and Calibration Certificates

Interface provides detailed datasheets for every load cell model number. On the top of the datasheet, the Interface model number precedes the description of the load cell’s primary characteristics, such as 1200 Standard Load Cell. The Interface Calibration Certification accompanies every sensor device we manufacturer and ship from our U.S. headquarters, confirming the final condition prior to release. Interface calibrates every load cell we make before it leaves our facilities as part of our performance guarantee.

INTERFACE DATASHEET FUNDAMENTALS

  • Features and Benefits
  • Standard Configuration and Drawings
  • Dimensions
  • Specification Parameters Based on Model and Capacity
  • Detailed Measurement and Performance Data for Accuracy, Temperature, Electrical and Mechanical
  • Options
  • Connection Options
  • Accessories

Special note for datasheet reviews, the models that use the same form factor are often on the same datasheet with varying capacity measuring ranges in U.S. (lbf) and Metric (kN) information.  All Interface datasheets are available for review and download for every product we offer, including load cells, torque transducers, multi-axis sensors, mini load cells, load pins and load shackles, instrumentation and accessories.

INTERFACE CALIBRATION CERTIFICATES DETAILSIQ

  • Model Number
  • Serial Number
  • Bridge and Capacity
  • Procedures
  • Input and Output Resistance
  • Zero Balance
  • Test Conditions: Temperature, Humidity and Excitation
  • Traceability
  • Shunt Calibration
  • Performance Test Data of Test Load Applied and Recorded Readings
  • Authorized Approval

The performance information detailed on the certificate is important for how it was calibrated, how it performed at release, system health checks and troubleshooting. Watch the episode #3 of I’ve Got a Load Cell – Now What? for additional information about datasheets and cal certs.

Fundamentals of Load Cell Output

Load cells are used in one of two ways, either universal (bipolar) or single mode (unipolar). Bipolar is for measuring tension and compression. Unipolar is for measuring either tension or compression. This use type will dictate what output you will get from the load cell. Most Interface load cells are a tension upscale device, which means you will get a positive output when it is placed in tension.

Standard load cells are usually unamplified mV/V ratio metric output. Interface does offer amplification signals for our load cells, which is a common request when pairing with a data acquisition system. In episode #4 of I’ve Got A Load Cell – Now What?, Elliot provides an example of mV/V ratio metric when using a 5000 lbf LowProfile Load Cell with our 9840 Instrumentation.

For questions about datasheets, calibration certifications or performance and capacities, please contact our application engineers.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Interface 1200 Precision LowProfile Load Cell Series Product Highlight

Load Cell Basics Technical Q&A Part One

Load Cell Basics Technical Q&A Part Two

Understanding Load Cell Temperature Compensation

Load Cell Basics Sensor Specifications

 

Interface Congratulates Four New Certified Six Sigma Greenbelts

In the engineering and manufacturing world, quality and efficiency are key factors to long-term success. Interface is committed to maintaining the highest standards in our work and products through our training, leadership development and certification initiatives. One of the programs we use to drive continuous improvements and efficiencies is by certifying team members as Lean Six Sigma Greenbelts.

The IASSC Certified Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt™ (ICGB™) is a professional who is well versed in the core advanced elements of Lean Six Sigma Methodology. They lead improvement projects and serve as team members working with their peers on complex improvement projects. These individuals possess a thorough understanding of all aspects of the Lean Six Sigma Method including competence in subject matters contained within the phases of Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control (DMAIC).

We are pleased to announce four newly certified Interface Greenbelts: Ashlesa Mohapatra, Tim Matteson, Jesse Deffenbaugh, and Justin Smith.

Providing this training at Interface is our Director of Quality, Rocky Lee, recently featured in our Faces of Interface series. Rocky is also a certified Greenbelt who is well on his way to being Blackbelt certified, an honor he should achieve this year.

“Greenbelt training serves as the perfect vehicle to provide necessary data collection and analytical skills necessary to complete meaningful studies. It also provides a standardized skillset for future studies.” Rocky Lee, Director of Quality, Interface

We asked the four new Greenbelts about their experience in achieving this valuable new certification. Here are their responses:

“I was interested in joining the certification program because I knew it would equip me with the tools needed to solve problems on the floor in an organized and effective manner. My Greenbelt Certification has helped me improve processes by eliminating defects, while also streamlining production and eliminating waste time, money, and resources. As for the process, it was simple and engaging. We had quizzes at the end of every module, a final exam, and a project. Rocky Lee did a fantastic job in simplifying the concepts by giving us practical examples of problems we face at Interface daily.” Ashlesa Mohapatra, Production Engineer, Interface

“I was interested in getting this certification so I could improve myself by learning new data analysis skills and techniques to help improve efficiency of our processes and to reduce the number of defects and waste in production. The techniques I learned are already helping me in analyzing the impact to performance when changing the gage clamps used for gaging low capacity SSMs. I’ve also learned better ways of analyzing historical creep data and then comparing sample data to the greater trends. I think there is opportunity for improvement when it comes to efficiency and defect reduction, and I think having more employees speaking the same Six Sigma language and using the same methodologies will help in effectively diagnosing issues and then implementing the changes needed.” Jesse Deffenbaugh, Production Engineer, Interface

“I was interested in the Six Sigma course because it adds to my skills as an engineer and compliments my intended career path. I think this course helps to frame issues in terms of quality, the degree of quality that is expected by our internal and external customers, and the cost associated with not meeting those expectations. Rocky was an excellent teacher. I think that having people at Interface with this multi-disciplinary training will help to maintain the overall quality of products as well as the process of making those quality products.” Justin Smith, Engineer, Interface

“I took on this program to further my education and to provide more value to the company. A certification in lean six sigma Greenbelt training will benefit the company and myself, as I will be able to immediately apply this certification in my daily activities. Overall, I believe this process will help with data analysis, building a lean culture, and to be more effective and efficient.” Tim Matteson, Mini OEM Product Quality and Improvement Engineer, Interface

Rocky shared his insights on the significance of the Greenbelt training and how it impacts our work at Interface.

Why is this certification important to Interface?

First, we had a strong interest from our team members. The actual initiative started through requests made to Mark Weathers, VP of Advanced Manufacturing and OEM Products, about the possibility of getting Six Sigma Greenbelt trained and certified at Interface. Mark asked Rocky to lead this effort. The interest was strong enough that Rocky and Mark thought it was a good idea to start it right away.  The decision to move forward with the training coincided with multiple studies that had been started by our engineers.

What does it mean to have a Six Sigma Greenbelt training certification in one’s job?

The DMAIC process provides the framework for attacking problems. The technical knowledge is in the measure and analyze phases of Six Sigma methodology. A great deal of training time is spent in these areas in preparing someone for certification. The impact of this can be seen when a person is leading projects and participating in solving challenges. The framework is valuable for those that apply this technique in their work.

How does this initiative and certification help Interface improve our quality and reduce cost of quality?

Certified Greenbelts approach problems using proven problem-solving tools. This includes using studies and analyses, that when performed by certified leaders is a systematic way to obtain results, have more meaning. This important training drives to actions to identify quantifiable measures that are used to focus on qualitative improvements and results.

How were people chosen to participate?

After the first few people showed interest, Rocky asked other engineers in the Quality and Engineering departments. Ten people signed up and they were divided into two groups. This was to make the classes more interactive during the weekly training and review sessions. The people chosen for the first group already had high-profile projects underway and it would benefit them immediately on their projects.

How long does it take to complete certification?

The course has 34 sections and we were able to complete the course in less than eight weeks.

What is Interface’s plan for additional Six Sigma certifications?

Our plan is to add another Greenbelt class this year. Also, less intensive training classes will be available to employees to increase skills in basic problem-solving, analysis, and statistics. We also plan to have another Blackbelt Certified trainer next year, in addition to Rocky Lee. This will enable Interface to provide continual company-wide basic training that explains the concepts and benefits of Six Sigma. The standard knowledge gained from Six Sigma will help everyone to work smarter and not just harder.

Interface is dedicated to superior quality. From our products to our manufacturing and planning processes, everything we do is with the utmost care and respect to ensure we can exceed our customer’s expectations. Six Sigma training and Greenbelt certifications are important investments into our team members and our customers. We are proud and honored for Rocky’s leadership in this important initiative.

We appreciate our newly certified team members for sharing their experiences and the value of this certification program. Congratulations to our new Interface Greenbelts!