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Interface Differentiator is Proprietary Strain Gage Manufacturing

Interface products have been heralded for their accuracy, reliability, and quality for more than 50 years. We credit our vertically integrated approach to manufacturing as the most significant factor in our development of industry-leading force measurement products, meaning we control every part of the design, manufacturing and testing of our products before they are shipped to our customers.

The process for how we differentiate ourselves begins with Interface strain gages. By manufacturing our own proprietary strain gages here at our headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona, we can optimize our load cells to a quality level very few providers can match.

Think of strain gages as the heart and soul of a load cell. These components power every aspect of the device and their quality dictates a significant portion of the load cells’ overall quality. In addition, customization of the strain gages is a critical factor in ensuring the load cell is meeting the specific requirements of a customer’s project.

The last point is critically important because Interface does not just provide one size fits all products. Yes, we have a large standard product line ready to ship. There are many times when we collaborate directly with our customers to understand their application and the challenges that may be present during a force measurement testing program or OEM design. This allows us to offer modified and custom products that are engineered to order.  Whether that comes in the form of an off-the-shelf product within our catalog of more than tens of thousands of options, or a new model using our strain gage technology to meet the needs of a unique application.

An example of our commitment to meeting customer needs is the way we develop our strain gages to compensate for temperature, an environmental factor that can drastically affect the accuracy of force data. Our strain gages are designed and manufactured to counteract the temperature characteristics of the modulus of the load cell structural material.

The benefit to this is that our load cells are temperature-insensitive and do not require modulus compensation resistors, ultimately producing a simpler and more reliable circuit with higher output signal. It also means no dynamic thermal mismatch errors from modulus compensation resistors which cannot be thermally connected with the load cell’s surface at the strain gage location.

In addition, our proprietary strain gages provide several key benefits. Included below are a few of the differentiators available with Interface strain gages:

  • A higher output of 4mV/V, while competitors provide 3mV/V or less, which provides superior performance, flexibility, and accuracy.
  • The ability to perform hot and cold thermal compensation, from 15˚ – 115˚F, while competitors typically only provide heat compensation (60˚ – 160˚F).
  • Eight strain gages per load cell compared to our competitors four gages, which provides superior compensation of eccentric loads to further minimize resulting errors.
  • Our strain gages also offer:
    • Higher signal-to-noise ratio
    • Higher resolution in precision measurement applications
    • Superior fatigue life

Another factor in the development of our strain gages is our expertise and knowledge of the manufacturing process. We have always developed our own strain gages going all the way back to 1968. Therefore, we have learned everything there is to know about it and can guarantee the quality of our load cells in any environment based on this tenured expertise and having manufactured and calibrated millions of force measurement devices.

To learn more about our vertically integrated manufacturing process and the various forms of product and system customization we offer, contact our specialized application engineers.

 

Why Interface Load Cells Stand Out from the Competition

As you might expect, there’s a lot of care and attention to detail in our product development methods that allow Interface to create the most accurate and reliable force measurement tools on the market. Honed over our 51 plus years in the manufacturing of force measurement products, we have among the most refined and thorough processes in the industry. Today, we are going to reveal one of the unique testing processes in our LowProfile® load cell development which sets us apart from the competition, by a landslide!

It’s no secret, Interface LowProfile load cells are reliable and offer repeatable results. What isn’t widely known is this is because of the product’s overall capability to handle loads with minimum error due to misalignment. In plain English, these load cells are very forgiving to general misalignment when they are installed into the application. Why? Because of a process called moment compensation. This is one of the primary differentiators from other pancake load cells in the marketplace.

Moment compensation is one of the many production tests we run on our LowProfile load cells to guarantee minimal influence from off-axis loads known as “moments.” We compensate for moments by hanging a weight from a fixture and rotating it around the LowProfile load cell. The offset weights go around and take readings at specific locations. The computer records the data and identifies the highest readings and locations. The operator then modifies the geometry of the material from the beam to make the beamless stiff. Once this process is completed, we go around and repeat the process to confirm results until the product passes the specification criteria.

Moment compensation is performed on every individual Interface LowProfile load cell and most other Interface load cell models to ensure repeatability and accuracy. This is a big deal in the force measurement industry because most load cell manufacturers don’t test and compensate or have a specification for eccentric load sensitivity like we do.

Interface takes these extra steps because we understand that as product development becomes more complex, the margin for error gets smaller and smaller. Moment compensation also helps to maximize the operating life and minimize performance errors. With Interface LowProfile load cells, customers know that every step in our design and development process is conducted to ensure the premium quality which exceeds their needs and quality expectations.

Contributor: Carlos Salamanca, Interface Engineering

Are you a person that likes to learn visually? There’s an Interface video for that! Check out Interface’s Brian Peters explaining the process here:

For more information on Interface’s lineup up of our precision LowProfile load cells, please visit /product-category/load-cells/ or call to contact an Application Engineer at 480-948-5555.  You can also read about our entire line of load cells here.

Load Cell Brochure 6 Page