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Recap of Accurate Report on Calibration

Interface recently hosted an in-depth discussion on the topic of calibration.  As one of the largest calibration labs in the world for force and torque sensors, our team shared insider tips, frequently asked questions, set up techniques and best practices in the lab during this extensive calibration webinar.

The ForceLeaders seminar also covered details about various calibration grade equipment like our 1800 Platinum Standard® Calibration LowProfile® Load Cell, 1600 Gold Standard® Calibration LowProfile® Load Cell, fixtures, load frames, and calibration systems.  We also delved into topics that include instrumentation, verification frames and software.

During the event, we covered a diverse set of subjects due to the range of experiences of our attendees including the top five reasons why calibration matters, the measurement of uncertainty, identifying errors and the parameters of calibration.

You will find the recorded event Accurate Report on Calibration is available to review the technical details related to each of these important calibration subjects.

Elliot Speidell, Brian Peters and Chris Brandenburg covered a wide range of topics, including:

  • The Metrology Perspective
  • Interface Calibration Methodology: What, Why & How
  • Top 5 Reasons Why Calibration Matters
  • Calibration and Measurement Uncertainty
  • What Errors are Characterized in the Calibration Process?
  • System Calibration Considerations
  • Calibration Lab Set Up Best Practices + Tips
  • Optimization + Calibration Applications
  • Fixtures + Standard Equipment
  • Interface Calibration Services
  • Do & Don’t Tips + FAQ

To get things started, we began the event with a quick conversation about metrology, the science of measurement, which embraces both experimental and theoretical determinations at any level of uncertainty in any field of science and technology.

Metrology is the global network standardizing measurement units. Calibration is the action taken at each step in the metrology network.

Metrology is important to Interface because it provides the standards for controlled processes, systems, reliability, accuracy, quality and science. Calibration is the set of operations that compares the accuracy of a measuring instrument of any type, such as a load cell or torque transducer, against a recognized standard. The process of calibration includes adjusting the measuring instrument to bring it in alignment with the standard.

Why is calibration of load cells and torque transducers important?

  • All load cells are subject to performance degradation due mistreatment, drift, or aging
  • You need traceability and quality system requirements
  • Pre and post-test verification is critical for data validity
  • Even load cells manufactured to the highest standards require regular calibration

Interface calibrates every load cell and torque transducer to spec before it leaves our facility. We also provide recalibration services for all types of devices, even those we don’t manufacturer. This results in more than 100,000 calibrations every year by our trained technicians. During this event we shared valuable tips for setting up and operating a world-class calibration lab.

Best practices for calibration labs:

  • Define workspace requirements
  • Qualify measurement types and models
  • Identify suppliers
  • Select calibration grade equipment
  • Assemble lab
  • Train lab techs
  • Create certification and testing protocols
  • Define workflows
  • Utilize software for tracking assets and certificates
  • Know maintenance and recalibration schedules

The Accurate Report on Calibration recorded event is available online to watch at your convenience.

If you need help in defining the best calibration grade systems or equipment for your specific test environment, contact our application engineers.  If you need a calibration service, you can submit your request online.

Engaging Interface Calibration and Repair Services Expertise

A high-quality load cell is a critical piece of technology for the design and testing of products throughout various, highly regulated industries including medical, aerospace and defense, automotive, and industrial automation. To get the most out of a load cell, just like anything else, you need to understand how to care for and maintain it. A poorly maintained load cell can lead to inaccurate data and poor performance.

Interface Calibration and Repair Services provide a valuable function for our customers in recalibration and technical support for the thousands of products manufactured by the leader in force measurement.  When cared for properly, a load cell should to be calibrated once a year or at least every two years under regular use. There are also certain circumstances where a load cell is damaged in use and needs immediate repair. Interface can handle calibration and repair of any load cell on the market, whether we build it or not.

A key differentiator for Interface is the fact that our calibration lab is ISO 17025 and A2LA accredited. These accreditations are typically for major calibration labs, not in a manufacturer’s facilities like ours. Our deep expertise in the development of load cells allows us to provide the highest quality calibration and repair services on the market because we know the product inside and out.

Interface’s Industry Leading Calibration and Repair Process

The Interface calibration team consists of 10 individuals dedicated to an optimized calibration and repair process that gets our customer’s load cells in and out as quickly as possible. The process begins with the front-end team, who manages the customer’s request, goes through the RMA process, and troubleshoots any additional concerns with the customer.

Once we review the product in-house at our Arizona headquarters, the load cell goes through a thorough inspection process to identify any necessary repairs and to ensure the load cell is in working condition for calibration. This includes an electrical test to evaluate if the load cell is in proper condition to calibrate. It’s also important to note that if the load cell can’t be repaired, there is no charge to the customer, and we work to find a replacement unit. The customer also approves any repairs that are necessary before work begins.

The final step in the process is the actual calibration. Our calibration team has many years of experience and know load cells inside and out. We also work with the most advanced equipment, including our proprietary Gold Standard® and Platinum Standard® systems. These devices ensure that the load cells are calibrated to the most accurate capability possible before returning to the customer. More information about Interface Calibration Systems can be found in our Calibration Systems 101 blog here.

Our commitment to building quality calibration systems is evident by the customers who also use them to do calibration in-house. In fact, in nearly every major manufacturing testing lab, you will find an Interface Gold Standard Calibration System and Gold or Platinum Standard Load Cells. This is because our customers are working on some of the most advanced hardware in their respective industries and fields. Engineers and testing labs trust Interface for accuracy, performance and quality.

Interface customers not only need to ensure their measurements are as accurate as possible to avoid product failure, they also need to prove the accuracy of their testing equipment for those products to pass inspection and make it to the market. We provide both our expert calibration services in our calibration lab, or through high-quality, high-reliability systems available that we build for our customers.

Interface Calibration and Repair Services

  • 50+ Years of Calibration Experience
  • Calibration of All Manufacturers Load Cells
  • 100,000+ Calibrations Performed Annually
  • Custom Calibrations
  • IPerform Service Software for RMA, Tracking and Permanent Archive of Test Data
  • NMI Certified Gold and Platinum Standard Reference Load Cells
  • Interface Gold Standard Calibration Software Used for Data Collection and Analysis
  • Full-Service Machine Shop for Mechanical Requirements

Force Capabilities:

  • NIST/NMI Traceable Calibration
  • 2 gf – 1 Million lbf Calibration Capability
  • (9) Hydraulic & (5) Deadweight Test Stands to Support Your Calibration Requirements

Torque Capabilities:

  • 0.022 – 100K in-lbf Capacities
  • NIST Traceable to 2.2K in-lbf
  • NMI Traceable 2.2K – 100K in-lbf

Interface calibration and repair services are designed with the customer in mind. Our process is fast, reliable and will ensure premium accuracy for our customer’s most complex and high-quality data-dependent design and test projects. Our team of experts work with every customer to ensure personalized world-class service.  It starts with engagement, how can we help?

For more information on Interface calibration and repair services, please visit /calibration-repair/.

Click here to schedule a service today.

Contributor:  Chris Brandenburg, Technical Services Manager at Interface

Faces of Interface Featuring Chris Brandenburg

Interface Technical Services Manager Chris Brandenburg has not followed the traditional path into the manufacturing and engineering world. Growing up and finishing high school in Illinois, Chris worked a job in retail for a number of years. Looking for a way out of retail, Chris engaged with a family friend who worked for manufacturer that built hydraulic lifts called, Advanced Lifts. Chris was offered a job at Advanced Lifts and spent a few years helping to build these products.

This was Chris’s first foray into the manufacturing world, and while he enjoyed the industry, he quickly realized that he had a greater passion for working with people rather than actually building the machines. This is when he began to explore a career in front-end customer service.

Advanced Lifts offered him a job in a customer support role where he would be helping people troubleshoot their hydraulic lifts. With his years of experience building the product he was able to handle the technical aspect of the job, while the customer support aspect came naturally.

After nine years with Advanced Lifts and more than enough harsh Illinois winters, Chris realized it was time for a change. In 2011, he moved to Arizona on whim and got a job at Shutterfly working in customer service. Over his seven years with Shutterfly, he quickly moved up the ranks and became a customer service supervisor managing a team of more than 30 people.

Chris valued his time at Shutterfly because it helped him learn how to work with and help people of all different backgrounds. During the company’s incredibly busy holiday season, it was Chris’s job to hire more than 150 people for various roles within the company. He says that he became adept at understanding people and figuring out where they would excel in certain customer service positions.

In 2018, Chris embarked on a new journey in an industry he had little experience in at the time, force measurement. Chris was intrigued by the opportunity to join Interface because he would have the opportunity to build a customer service department from the ground up. Prior to Chris joining, Interface employees from various departments shared the role of customer service without an official department.

Chris has since helped to build a high-functioning and compassionate team of customer service professionals dedicated solely to improving the Interface customer experience. He’s also done this while balancing a few different roles simultaneously with customer services duties. He worked for a time as an application engineer, and currently leads customer service for the calibration services department. He is often praised by his colleagues as a a go-to resource to get it done. He is valued for his teamwork and willingness to do whatever it takes.

Chris says that it has been an honor to take on such a critical role in expanding Interface’s customer service function and enjoys the responsibility in helping the company continue to grow and improve every day. However, his favorite thing about working at Interface, as other have also mentioned in this series, is working with the talented people at Interface. Not only are they a kind and hardworking team, so many individuals here have been with the company for a long time and have a wealth of knowledge to share. The ability to leverage this source of insight makes his job working through customer service challenges much easier. It has also helped him develop an expertise in an industry that just two years ago he knew little about and know is an incredible resource to help others.

When Chris isn’t tackling customer service requests, he can be found at home with his fiancé and stepdaughter watching movies or catching an NFL game. Chris is a self-described nerd who loves Marvel and Star Wars movies. His football allegiances lie in his home state of Illinois with the Bears, as well as appreciating the work of the greatest dynasty in NFL history, the New England Patriots.

Authors note: the point on the New England Patriots can be debated, but as a Pats fan myself I stand by it. And Chris did describe himself as a Patriots fan – the author did not fabricate this point!