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Why Civil Engineers Prefer Interface Products

Infrastructure is one of the most vital industries that utilize Interface force measurement solutions. Our products are chosen for the design, engineering and construction of public works projects including roads, energy structures, bridges, dams, airports, sewage systems, and pipelines.

Civil engineering is a professional discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environments. It’s the oldest engineering discipline after military engineering, and it was specifically defined to distinguish non-military engineering from military engineering.

Civil engineering is traditionally broken into several sub-disciplines including environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, transportation engineering, municipal or urban engineering, water resources engineering, materials engineering, coastal engineering, surveying, and construction engineering.

Civil engineers choose Interface sensors for testing structural components as well as for embedding sensors within buildings, waterways, and railways to ensure sustainable and safe construction, modifications, improvements, repairs and use.

Civil engineers’ relationship with and use of force measurement devices is based on two things: testing designs and monitoring completed projects.

Load cells are used from a test perspective throughout the development of infrastructure projects. For example, load cells test specific materials used in the construction of a building to ensure they can handle the required weights and environmental conditions. In the design of a drawbridge bridge, engineers use load cells to test the hydraulic system to ensure it will provide enough force to lift the bridge from a single time to thousands of times by using stress test rigs.

The use of various sensors and measurement devices in civil engineering and construction sectors has grown significantly in recent years. The sensor data from Interface load cells is utilized in every aspect, from rugged construction equipment for regulatory and safety monitoring to real-time quality monitoring of physical structures. One of the reasons is due to the advances in monitoring and reporting capabilities of sensor data. Accessibility to data has improved the ability to use it for complex calculations as well as analyze enormous amounts of output information in real-time. The benefits are improvements in structural designs and overall engineering as a result.

By accessing data remotely through Interface digital instrumentation products, those within the industry can deploy more practical solutions than were historically impossible during some of the original designs. This has transformed approaches to force measurement and load monitoring, providing robust calculations in structural and material engineering. This functionality is why civil engineering sectors rely on Interface for advanced products that deliver accurate, quality and reliable performance.

The following video highlights many products utilized in the infrastructure industry by civil engineers and for the equipment used in construction of their designs.

Force measurement is even used by civil engineers in testing the construction equipment used in a variety of infrastructure projects. One example of this is when Interface supplied a force measurement system to construction engineers to test an aerial lifts capabilities and capacities for safe use.

Aerial Lift Overload Control

A manufacturing company for aerial lifts wanted to test its self-propelled boom lift to ensure it can operate at heavy capacities when in use, and at different angles. They also wanted to prevent any accidents in case of a lifting overload, for the safety of any working individual who uses it. Interface’s solution was to attach the 3A160 3-Axis Force Load Cell to the bottom of the bucket of the boom lift. The 3A160 3-Axis Force Load Cell gave high accuracy results, which can be displayed using the 920i Programmable Weight Indicator and Controller in real time. The manufacturing company tested their aerial boom lifts and determined it was safely operable when maximum capacities had been reached.

Adversely, engineers are also designing force sensors into projects allowing them to monitor the effects of force on certain infrastructure over time. Take for example a project that Interface was involved in that required the monitoring of a bridge.

Bridge Seismic

Bridge Seismic Force Monitoring Solution

A customer wanted to monitor seismic activity that occurred to a bridge by using force sensors, and then continuously monitor bridge forces before, during and after earthquakes. Engineers on the project also preferred a wireless solution so they would not need to run long cables on the bridge. Using Interface’s LP Load Pin custom made to fit their needs, along with Interface Inc. WTS Wireless Telemetry System, continuous force monitoring was able to take place without long cables. The engineers were then able to monitor continuous loads, log information to the cloud and review information, ensuring the bridge would uphold over time and constant seismic activity. Or, allowing engineers to determine when and where repairs are necessary.

Civil engineers represent the minds and hands building critical infrastructure. This is why Interface works closely with those in this profession to ensure our sensors provide the highest quality, accuracy and reliability to keep people safe and moving across our country. To learn more about our work in infrastructure, please visit our Interface Infrastructure Solutions.

Additional Resources

Interface and Infrastructure Markets Form a Perfect Partnership

Infrastructure Industry Relies on Interface Force Measurement

Interface Solutions Designed for Infrastructure Challenges

Infrastructure Projects Rely on Interface

Monitoring the Seismic Force of a Suspension Bridge

Infrastructure-Brochure

Interface and Infrastructure Markets Form a Perfect Partnership

Infrastructure projects are growing, as investment continues to climb for projects related to rebuilding, renewing and innovating applications in this sector. These global investments come from public and private organizations as demands to address roads, bridges, water supplies, transportation, energy systems, and broadband requirements for the 21st century grow.

Experts who focus on infrastructure acknowledge these are means for civil existence and prosperity. Interface understands that our role in supporting the design, testing, manufacturing, constructing and maintenance required in infrastructure needs a top supplier of force measurement solutions.

Interface force measurement solutions have and are currently used around the world for infrastructure projects including bridges, generators, dams, waterways, transportation structures, construction projects, cranes and lifting apparatus, and heavy machinery.

Interface supplies durable and accurate sensor technologies used in testing equipment, technology, vehicles, tools and machines used in all types of infrastructure subsectors. We also find our products often designed into structures for regulatory and safety monitoring, whether that be to maintain tunnels or support wind generating farms.

Interface details force measurement products we commonly provide to those working and supporting the infrastructure sector in our Infrastructure Solutions Brochure. You can see some of these products in our Infrastructure Solutions video.

Interface load cells, load pins, instrumentation, multi-axis sensors, and torque transducers are top choices for those engaged in infrastructure projects and testing. Sensors are commonly used in measuring the related hardware used for industry products and structures. The types of infrastructure projects that Interface has supplied measurement solutions for includes transportation systems, communication structures, water and electrical facilities, and numerous inventions that are used to build, support, and maintain them, as outlined in Infrastructure Projects Rely on Interface.

Our expert engineers can help design customizable force measurement solutions for all types of applications that require sensors for OEMs and to be used in the actual structure for continuous measuring and monitoring. We have engineered sensor products used for civil engineering designs and infrastructures used in structural monitoring, vibrational monitoring, load bearing testing, tunnels, bridges, and road construction. The range of projects are broad, so we are highlighting a few below that highlight our capabilities when accuracy, quality and reliability matter in design, testing, construction, and assessing current and limitations for safety requirements.

Hydraulic JackHydraulic Jacking System Testing

An equipment manufacturer needed to test their hydraulic jacking system’s ability to lift heavy loads and objects, like a bridge during construction. They wanted to monitor the forces being applied to ensure the hydraulic jack is not only safe to use, but works well enough to avoid any potential structural issues. Interface’s 1200 Standard High Capacity Load Cell can be attached in between the hydraulic jack and a heavy load. The load cell measures the forces of the hydraulic jack as it lifts the load cell located in between the jack and the object. With the 9890 Strain Gage, Load Cell, & mV/V Indicator, the customer is also able to see the results in real-time. Read more here.

Aerial Lift Overload Control

A manufacturing company for aerial lifts wanted to test its self-propelled boom lift to ensure it can operate at heavy capacities when in use, and at different angles. They also wanted to prevent any accidents in case of a lifting overload, for the safety of any working individual who uses it. Interface’s solution was to attach the 3A160 3-Axis Force Load Cell to the bottom of the bucket of the boom lift. The multi-axis sensor provides high accuracy results, which were displayed using the 920i Programmable Weight Indicator and Controller in real time. The manufacturing company tested their aerial boom lifts and determined it was safely operable when maximum capacities has been reached in use. Read more here.

Truck Weighbridge Monitoring

A transportation company needed to record the weight or loads being carried by their vehicles. They would like a wireless weighing bridge that is able to transmit, log, and display the results in real time. Interface suggests installing multiple WTS 1200 LowProfile™ Load Cells under a weighbridge. When a truck drives over it, the load cells will transmit the force results wirelessly to the WTS-BS-4 Industrial Base Station connected to the customer’s PC with provided Log100 software. The WTS-LD2 Wireless Large LED Display can also display the weight inside for the driver to see in real time. The customer was able to measure, log, and graph the different loads their trucks carried wirelessly onto the weighbridge with success, providing for safe passage across transportation ways. Read more here.

Hydropower Turbine Generator Monitoring

A customer wanted to monitor and detect any turbine generator faults in their hydroelectric power plant located on a river. Interface’s solution was to use the T2 Ultra Precision Shaft Style Rotary Torque Transducer and attach it to the turbine generator with Interface’s Shaft Style Torque Transducer Couplings. When water from the river pushes through the penstock to the outflow, it moves the turbine blades, creating electricity through the generator shaft. Torsion measurements can be graphed and logged with the 9850 Torque Transducer and Load Cell Indicator catching any unusual fluctuations and vibrations. Using this solution, the customer was able to monitor, graph, and log the torque measurement results of the turbine generator. Read more here.

Bridge Seismic

Bridge Seismic Force Monitoring

A customer wanted to monitor seismic activity that occurs to a bridge by using force sensors and then continuously monitoring bridge forces before, during and after earthquakes occur. The customer also preferred a wireless solution so they would not need to run long cables on the bridge. Using Interface’s LP Load Pin custom made to fit their needs along Interface’s WTS Wireless Telemetry System for continuous force monitoring the designed solution was able to take place without long cables. The solution allowed the customer to monitor continuous loads, log information to the cloud and review information. Read more here.

Interface’s work with all facets of the infrastructure industry spans far and wide. Interface is a supplier of choice and key partner for providing reliable sensors and instrumentation solutions used in testing and monitoring of both the infrastructure and the equipment used to upgrade and refine it.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Infrastructure Industry Relies on Interface Force Measurement

Infrastructure Projects Rely on Interface

Interface Solutions Designed for Infrastructure Challenges

Monitoring the Seismic Force of a Suspension Bridge

 

 

 

Interface Solutions Designed for Infrastructure Challenges

All infrastructure, big and small, needs to be designed with safety and durability in mind. Take for instance the massive amount of design, engineering and quality control that goes into a suspension bridge requires testing before and after it’s built. Not only does it need to be constructed with supreme accuracy, but it also needs to be tested and monitored constantly to ensure it’s safe for use, especially as often infrastructure projects are exposed to extreme elements.

Among the various tools and technologies used to build and test infrastructure designs, sensors play a substantial role. Interface has served infrastructure industry suppliers and customers since our founding more than 50 years ago. Force and torque measurement products including Interface load cells, torque transducers, load pins, load shackles, tension links and instrumentation are involved in a wide variety of infrastructure applications including construction and maintenance of bridges, roads, transportation systems, communication structures, water and electrical facilities, and numerous inventions that are used to build, test, support, maintain and monitor performance of these critical projects around the world.

Accuracy and reliability of Interface solutions are a key factor in measuring structures and components that are exposed to hazardous or weather-related conditions, heavy loads and constant use. Our precision load cells, rugged load pins, wireless and digital instrumentation, along with multi-axis sensors and robust torque transducers are a top choice for those engaged in infrastructure engineering projects and testing.

A few examples of how Interface products have been used on infrastructure applications over the years are noted below. The following examples are also found with many others here /solutions/infrastructure/. 

Concrete Dam Flood Monitoring

A customer was looking for a solution to monitor a concrete dam and be notified when it reached high flooding levels. Interface provided WMC Miniature Sealed Stainless Steel Load Cells with multiple WTS-AM-1E Wireless Acquisition Modules connected to the load cells. This solution proved to be small enough and perfect for measuring compression and tension on the dam. The WMC Modules are installed on the arch of the dame and transmit data and notify the customer through Interface’s Wireless Telemetry System when flooding occurs. Check out the application here.

Hydropower Turbine Generator Monitoring

When a customer wants to monitor and detect turbine generator faults in their hydroelectric power plant located on a river, Interface can provide a T2 Ultra Precision Shaft Style Rotary Torque Transducer and attach it to the turbine generator with Interface’s Shaft Style Torque Transducer Couplings. When water from the river pushes through the penstock to the outflow, it moves the turbine blades, creating electricity through the generator shaft. Torsion measurements can be graphed and logged with the 9850 Torque Transducer and Load Cell Indicator catching any unusual fluctuations and vibrations. Using this solution, the customer can monitor, graph, and log the torque measurement results of the turbine generator. Learn more here.

Bridge Seismic Force Monitoring Solution

A customer wanted to monitor seismic activity that occurs to a bridge using force sensors to continuously monitor activity before, during and after earthquakes. They also wanted a wireless solution to avoid running long cables on the bridge. Interface provided an LP Load Pin custom made to fit the need. The load pin was used in conjunction with our WTS Wireless Telemetry System to monitor the force on the load without cables. Using this solution, the customer was able to monitor continuously, log results to the cloud and review the data. Read more here.

This is just a brief example of the applications throughout the infrastructure industry that Interface supports. A long list of additional applications that use Interface products includes:

Highways and Bridge Construction and Monitoring

Concrete Dam Measurement and Flood Monitoring

Transportation Heavy Equipment Testing

People Movers for Airports

Train Brakes Testing

Power Generation Equipment

Geotechnical Monitoring

Road Load Tests

Weight Bridges and Transportation Scales

Truck and Aircraft Weighing

Housing Mainframe and Skyscraper Construction Monitoring

Building Foundation Capacity Measurement

Bridge Seismic Force Monitoring

In-Motion Rail Weighing

Cranes and Heavy Object Lifting

Structural Testing and Telecommunication Structures

Conveyor Belts

To learn more about Interface and our solutions for Infrastructure and other key industries, please visit our solutions page at www.interfaceforce.com/solutions/.

Recap of Use Cases for Load Pins Webinar

Interface load pins continue to grow in demand as an easy to integrate and cost-effective sensor solution for many diverse applications as direct replacements for clevis or pivot pins. Most commonly used for lifting and rigging mechanisms in construction, structural assemblies and moving devices, load pins are typically used in rope, chain and brake anchors, sheaves, shackles, bearing blocks and pivots.

To provide greater insights and answers to questions asked to our force measurement application experts, Interface hosted a ForceLeaders Forum event, Use Cases for Load Pins. The event, now archived on our YouTube channel, highlights why more and more industries are using load pins include for projects related to infrastructure, aerospace and defense, industrial automation, manufacturing, maritime, and in energy markets such as oil and gas.

Regional Sales Director Elliot Speidell covered a series of topics in this live event, which included:

  • Who is Using Load Pins and Why?
  • Models and Design Aspects of Load Pins
  • Integration Considerations
  • Installation Factors
  • Load Pin Capabilities including Wireless Features
  • Standard and Customization Options
  • New-Found Applications Using Load Pins
  • Differences and Advantages
  • FAQs

WATCH NOW: THE ‘USE CASES FOR LOAD PINS’ ON-DEMAND EVENT

This webinar covers great detail in installation tips, integration considerations, design features and more.  Here are just a few highlights from the webinar.

Load pins measure tensile and compression forces via strain gages that are installed within a small bore through the center of the pin. Two grooves are machined into the outer circumference of the pin to define the shear planes, which are located between the forces being measured. They are made of rugged stainless-steel material and are commonly used for safety applications.  They are easy to retrofit and inherently waterproof by design, making it useful in submersible and adverse environmental conditions. Load pins have multiple bridge options and can be cabled or wireless.

One of the most important features and distinctions of a load pin is the ability to customize the design to fit the application. Due to the nature of requirements and fact most load pins are custom solutions, they often do not have any charges for NRE. Contact our application experts to learn of the possibilities and design options.

When installing a load pin various factors need to be considered which can influence the performance or accuracy. The fit of the pin within a structure is important to the overall performance of the load pin. For an optimal performance, an H7/g6 clearance would normally be recommended; however, this is not always achievable in the field and some slight loss of repeatability and linearity can normally be tolerated to achieve an “easy to fit” requirement.

Load pins are a great sensor to use in a “smart system” application for automated feedback, alarms, and real-time notifications.  They integrate with all types of instrumentation, including digital output options. Though they are simple and easy to use, they are known for hardiness. It is important to understand they are not “precision performance” devices, they are designed for standard force measurement applications that require immediate feedback. Also, they are easy to incorporate with existing actuator set-ups.

Watch the event to learn more about the questions engineers and testing experts asked us about using load pins. For specific industry examples, from bridges to crane regulation use, tune into the recorded event or visit our application notes here. Need us to get started on a custom design?  Contact us today.

Interface Crane Use Cases and Application Notes

Manufacturers and engineers of heavy equipment are rigorous about the design quality, performance and most importantly preserving safety. Having tools to test and monitor this type of equipment allows equipment producers and users to review performance at all stages, ultimately maintaining a safe working environment which is critical to any construction, transportation, or infrastructure project job site. That’s why Interface provides quality force measurement products for a host of industrial equipment machines to accurately measure force, load capacity, weight, tension and more.

Interface has been a long-time supplier of force and torque sensors along with instrumentation products for projects involving all types of cranes and lifting machines. We are frequently asked to provide crane force measurement solutions for applications used in hoisting, lifting, moving, and transporting heavy objects. These use cases range across all types of environments, from constructing high rises in metropolitan centers around the world to maritime industry users loading docks and lifting watercraft.

To outline how force measurement is used to monitor cranes, we developed series of application notes explaining the components Interface provided to allow our customer to measure safety, reliability, and efficiency of their equipment.

Crane Capacity Verification

The first application note outlines a project in which the customer wanted to verify that their crane was strong enough to safely lift a heavy load at its rated maximum load capacity. It was determined that because of the size of the crane, a wireless solution was needed to avoid long wires and burdensome installation. Interface provided a Model WTSTL Lightweight Wireless Tension Link Load Cell to measure the load’s maximum capacity. WTS-RM1 Wireless Relay Output Receiver Modules were also used to trigger an alarm that can be set when the maximum capacity of weight/force has been reached. To review the data the customer could transmit to a PC or laptop with a WTS-BS-4 USB base station. The data can also be reviewed through a WTS-BS-1-HS Wireless Handheld Display. With this solution, the customer was able to verify if the crane is safe and functional enough to lift it’s working load limit (WLL), or safe working load (SWL) capacity.

Read the full Crane Capacity Verification Application Note here.

Crane Block Safety Check

The next example features a crane application in which the customer wanted to detect whether a crane block could lift a heavy load securely to keep working conditions safe for personnel. The customer specifically wanted the solution to include an alarm feature that notified them if lifting capacity was exceeded in real-time. Using a WTSLP Wireless Stainless Steel Load Pin in place of a load bearing pin in the crane block, they could measure the force being applied by the heavy load. Data will be transmitted and displayed through both the WTS-BS-4 USB Base Station. It can also be paired with the WTS-BS-1-HA Wireless Handheld for real-time safety monitoring. The WTS-RM1 Wireless Relay Output Receiver Module triggers an alarm when maximum capacity has been reached. The customer was able to verify if the crane was operating safely and was always functional enough to lift it’s working load limit (WLL) or safe working load (SWL) capacity. The added alarm feature is critical for notifying users when the crane reaches unsafe limits during operations.

Read the entire Crane Block Safety Check Application note here.

Crane Force Regulation 

In the final application note, a customer wanted to regulate the maximum number of heavy loads being lifted, so that production time was both safe for workers and efficient. The goal was to complete lifting duties faster and with little or no expense. A wireless solution was also preferred, so that there would be no long cable interference during production. Interface supplied a WTSLP Wireless Stainless Steel Load Pin, which can be custom made to be used for any and all types of cranes. It is also great for lifting both short and long distances. The load pin was paired with the WTS Wireless Telemetry System, where force could be measured and logged. The customer was able to monitor the continuous force from the crane, and gather information on loads being lifted for continuous safety and production reporting requirements.

Read the complete Crane Force Regulation Application Note here.

You can read more about heavy equipment testing and use cases in our post, Force Measurement Solutions for the Construction Industry.

Load Shackles 101

A load shackle is a u-shaped, load-bearing connecting device designed to be used with a removable pin. Load shackles can be used in a number of different rigging and load securement applications to provide sensor technologies in the connection of different types of lifting slings, chains or ropes to an object or to each other.  A load shackle is essentially the installation of a load monitoring pin into the shackle body allowing you to replace existing rigging hardware with a load cell for force measurement and weighing data.

Load shackles are rugged in design and are used to provide accurate and reliable measurement of tensile loads, as well as support applications for harsh and challenging environments. The industries that most regularly take advantage of our load shackles include industrial, aerospace and defense, agriculture, and construction. Applications for lifting, moving and weighing objects can be monitored as well as optimized for performance using load shackles. They are often designed into engineered structures or for use with cranes, winches or other robust lifting mechanisms.

Interface offers a wide variety of load shackle designs for different environments and force measurement needs, ranging from 2.2K to 2205K lbf. Our load shackles come in both cabled and wireless, as well as environmental resistance options including flameproof and IP67. Visit our overview here.

Load shackles come in many standard shapes and sizes, including customization options to meet a specific design or use requirement. Some of our shackles are exclusively designed to meet the needs of applications in hazardous environments like the oil and gas industry, or marine industry where they’ll be submerged in water during testing and for continuous use, or in areas with high heat and flames. Some of our most popular load shackles are listed below:

WTSSHK-B Wireless Crosby™ Bow Load Shackle  – Suitable for use in a wide range of industrial and marine weighing applications, these load shackles are robust, reliable and easy to install. The unique telemetry housing is manufactured from tough high-performance polyamide resin making it strong yet light, resulting in a better-balanced load shackle when compared to others available on the market.

ISHK-B Bow Type Crosby™ Cabled Load Shackle – The Interface range of ISHK-B load shackles are designed for lifting and weighing in rugged or harsh environments, including submersible applications. The shackle pins are forged from high tensile stainless steel to 6.5 MT (14.3K lbf) and high tensile carbon steel from 9.5 MT (20.9K lbf), and are machined to an exacting specification. The basic shackle uses the Crosby G2130 (1 to 25 MT / 2.2K to 55.1K lbf), G2140 (40 to 120 MT / 88.2K to 265K lbf) and GN Rope H10 (150 to 1K MT / 331K to 2205K lbf).

Flame Proof Bow Type Crosby™ Cabled Load Shackle – The Interface range of flameproof load shackles is designed for lifting and weighing in rugged or harsh environments, and also meet the requirements for operation in Zone 1 and 2 hazardous areas. The shackle pins are forged from high tensile stainless steel and are machined to an exacting specification. The basic shackle uses the Crosby G2130 (1 to 25MT or 2.2K to 55.1K lbf) and G2140 (40 to 400MT or 88.2K to 882K lbf) series.

Load Shackle Application:

Load shackles are commonly used in the construction industry to measure heavy machinery. For cranes outfitted with a lifting attachment such as a claw, a tension sensing load shackle is used on the pulley mechanism to measure the weight lifted by the crane. The tension sensor can provide real-time data to the construction crew to help monitor the lifting process and provide the operator with the information necessary to refrain from lifting weights that are too heavy for the crane to handle. If the claw arm lifts more than the crane is able to withstand, the attachment could break off, or worse, the crane could topple over.

In a recent example, Interface’s customer used a WTSSHK-B Wireless Load Shackle connected to load-bearing strings and a WTS-BS-1-HA Wireless Handheld Indicator to gather data. The customer was able to successfully lift and read the weight (wirelessly) on a handheld display while the material was being relocated.

Learn more in this product video

To learn more about our wide variety of load shackles and their many applications, please contact our application specialists today.  You can see all of Interface’s Load Pins, Load Shackles and Tension Links here.

This post is part of our Interface 101 series where we provide a basic overview of the wide variety of product lines we offer here at Interface. In this series, we explain our force measurement product line and its benefits and then provide a few examples of our product’s in real-world situations. Here are some of our other popular 101 posts.

 

Load Pins 101

A load pin is a type of load cell that can replace bolts, clevis, sheave, and equalizer pins, as well as other load-bearing components to measure tensile and compression forces. Load pins are internally gauged with a bored center containing strain gauges, allowing them to convert force into an electrical signal for engineers to accurately collect data.

Most applications for load pins in the past have been for overhead equipment like cranes and lifts. Load pins have expanded in popularity and are now often used to test and measure force, load, and limitations in a much larger variety of applications. This includes uses not only for cranes and lifting devices, but also construction equipment, industrial machines, nautical craft and equipment, aerospace, and civil engineering applications. A primary system approach with structural applications is for safety and to prevent excesses in loading and lifting.

New model types with wireless and Bluetooth technology are also resulting in more use cases for these specialized force measurement solutions. This applies to both test and measurement as well as for installed OEM components within a larger structure or apparatus.

Top Load Pin Benefits

  • Easy to install new or retrofit
  • Robust construction
  • Replaces existing load bearing pins without any system modifications
  • Engineered to order designs available
  • Can be supplied with integral connector
  • Custom sizes and higher capacities available

Load pins come in many standard shapes and sizes, as well customization options to meet a specific design or use requirement. Interface provides these measuring devices, which often replace a bolt or pin, for safety and application monitoring. Some of our load pins are exclusively designed to meet the needs of applications in hazardous environments like the oil and gas industry, or marine industry where they’ll be submerged in water during testing and for continuous use.

The Interface Load Pins are machined from high tensile stainless steel and are suitable for exposed situations including seawater. We offer standard load pins with ratings between 1.1K lbf to 3.3M lbf (500kgs to 1500 MT). We also offer custom manufactured load pins suit applications from 100 kgs to 1500+ MT.

LP Stainless-Steel Load Pin – Great for lifting applications for both short and long distances. This product can be amplified with 5VDC, 10VDC or 4-20mA Outputs. It can also be made to meet ATEX requirements. Model LP Load pin is available in capacities up to 3,000,000 lbf (13.3 kN).

WTSLP Wireless Stainless-Steel Load Pin This advanced load can transmit wirelessly up to 600 (1,969 feet) meters in distance (clear line of sight) to a handheld display or USB base station.  The capacities range goes all the way up to 3,000,000 lbf (13.3 kN). The wireless option utilizes low power consumption for long battery life. It is configured and calibrated via PC using a base station and telemetry toolkit and compatible with Interface WTS Wireless products. The load pin is robust and uses a lightweight housing. It is environmentally sealed to IP67.

Load Pin Application

One of the largest scale applications of load pins we provided were used to measure force on a large bridge infrastructure project in the western U.S. The goal was to continuously monitor the standard force created by regular traffic, as well as the seismic force before, during, and after earthquakes. The monitoring sensors needed to be integrated into a dampener that would be attached to the structural tower.

The solution allows the company to monitor force from emitted data to cross-reference the standard traffic force with the seismic force to understand its effect on the bridge. Its purpose is to help with predictive maintenance and influence future bridge designs to better compensate for the forces of an earthquake or other natural disasters, which are common in this part of the world.

READ THE SEISMIC BRIDGE MONITORING APPLICATION NOTE HERE

READ THE INFRASTRUCTURE CASE STUDY HERE

The project required a custom product that could handle the inimitable and considerable force of a bridge under every scenario of distress. Engineers developed a custom load pin to handle the force of movement in the bridge in the event of an earthquake. This load pin was much larger than our standard version and is rated at 900,000 lbf. The large load pins were designed to be integrated into the dampener with wireless data acquisition modules connected to the load pins to allow for remote access to the data. With the integration of Interface’s custom load pins and data acquisition module, the customer was always able to continuously collect data for real-time evaluation. The sturdy construction of our load pins and 900,000 lbf rating allowed for readings during all degrees of seismic activity.

To learn more about our wide variety of load pins and there many applications, please contact our application specialists today.

Force Measurement Solutions for the Construction Industry

In the world of heavy machinery, the ability to protect these investments is critical to an efficient and cost-effective worksite. This is especially true in the construction industry, where any type of damage or disruption to onsite equipment can significantly delay project timelines and cost a construction company hundreds of thousands of dollars, or more.

Protecting equipment is important in the industry; however, the safety of people is paramount. Severe failures of the equipment can be dangerous to machine operators. One way construction companies are protecting people and their material investments is through the use of force sensor technologies with Interface’s precision load cells, torque transducers, load pins, tension links and load shackles, as well as data acquisition instrumentation.

The use of force measurement is a growing trend in construction because companies realize that they can use force sensors to track performance data on a wide variety of heavy machinery. This data can inform machine operators when they were pushing the machines past their respective limits.

Applications of Force Measurement Products Used in the Construction Industry

One of the key use cases of force sensors used in the construction industry is on heavy machinery attachments. Construction sites frequently utilize a crane, which is used to lift large bundles of material such as wood or steel with a grabbing type attachment, or used to transport construction workers to large heights with a basket or platform attachment.

For cranes outfitted with a lifting attachment such as a claw, a tension sensor can be used on the pulley mechanism to measure the weight lifted by the crane. The tension sensor can provide real-time data to the construction crew to help monitor the lifting process and provide the operator with the information necessary to refrain from lifting weights that are too heavy for the crane to handle. If the claw arm lifts more than the crane is able to withstand, the attachment could break off, or worse, the crane could topple over.

Another example of a crane attachment that can benefit from a force measurement sensor is the basket or platform type attachment used to transport workers to great heights. In this use case, a rotary actuator between the basket attachment and crane can be outfitted with a pressure transducer. This type of sensor will help measure the force placed on the attachment point to help rotate the basket in multiple directions and provide force data to ensure the basket isn’t over-rotated or carrying too much weight.

The final example of sensor technology used in construction is with a smart clamp. This is a use case that can be seen in multiple industries, in addition to the construction industry. A smart clamp, or soft-touch clamp, uses a compression load cell attached to a gauged piece of metal on both ends of the clamp. The clamp attachment is often placed on the end of a forklift type machine and used to transport delicate materials, packages, and other materials.

The compression load cell works by providing data back to the operator, letting them know how much force can be used to grab the object without breaking it. This used case is often found in the consumer packaging industry but can also be applied to the construction industry when transporting delicate building materials.

For many years, construction companies used this type of equipment and heavy machinery without the use of force sensors, making it harder to keep the equipment and workers safe. Today, more companies that develop attachments and heavy machinery have begun exploring force sensors to optimize the use of these machines. This creates a safer, more efficient and cost-effective environment for construction companies and protects their workers.

To learn more about specific construction industry use cases, review our detailed application notes below:

Lifting Heavy Objects

Harness Durability Testing

Interface is engaging with a number of customers in these industries to develop solutions to keep equipment safe and performing at optimal efficiency. To learn more about how force sensors can be used to protect your investments, contact our specialized application engineers and representatives of Interface products and solutions.

Contributor: Dan McAneny, co-founder and sales engineer at Tritek Solutions, one of Interface’s sales representatives covering the Pacific Northwest.

 

 

 

 

 

Interface’s Sustaining Role in Arizona and the Global Business Ecosystem During COVID-19

For more than half a century, Interface has had the privilege of serving a wide variety of industries and helping our customers test, design, and manufacture products and infrastructure essential to everyday life. Our purpose at Interface defines our commitment to our customers. It simply says, “We enable innovation that improves people’s lives and keeps them safe.” 

Following our commitment to purpose and in adherence to the Arizona Governor’s Executive Order 2020-18, Interface is open for business as a classified essential business. We are working hard to remain your trusted leader in force measurement solutions during these challenging times. We are building products at our Arizona manufacturing headquarters, supporting our representatives and distributors, and shipping products to our customers every day. We are doing so with safety at the forefront in everything we do.

On March 23, 2020, Arizona’s Governor Doug Ducey issued an executive order outlining essential business services here in the state of Arizona. The list included businesses centered around certain imperative functions such as infrastructure operations, businesses critical to the national supply chain, transportation services and manufacturers. Interface force measurement technologies, tools, and systems touch just about every physical product or system that consumers and businesses use every day. Our products are used to support many of the business operations and products manufactured that are included in this essential services list.

Interface is committed to maintaining our business operations and ensuring our customers continue to receive the highest quality product and service without disruption. Our force measurement solutions are essential to the development of a countless amount of critical hardware across many key industries, from energy to healthcare. We are proud to be an enabler of the products and infrastructure that keeps our global economy running.

The essential market leaders and industries that Interface serves include aerospace, defense, automotive, construction and infrastructure, industrial automation, energy, medical and healthcare. Here is how we are helping some of these industries and why Interface is a key member in the supply chain that keeps these essential businesses operating, designing, engineering, testing, innovating and producing during these challenging times.

Medical:

Interface products play a crucial role in the most highly regulated industry in the world – medical. Our force measurement solutions are used to test devices and instrumentation which keep patients safe and healthy. Interface’s accurate mini load cells are designed to measure medium to small forces. Our torque transducers provide rotary and reactive measurement for movement tracking, blood weighing, robotic surgery, eye surgery, and prosthetic testing. For example, we developed a custom solution that is used to test a prosthetic limb for force and torque capacity. We even provide OEMs with sensor technologies to measure force in use of their medical products. Our load cells are featured in applications used for the heart, as well as implanted devices designed to perform well-beyond the lifespan of the patient. We’ve also engineered and created custom solutions for a wide variety of medtech devices, as well as for leading bio and pharmaceutical companies. All of these applications serve as critical and essential to our existence. We are honored to help our customers with their life sustaining critical applications.

Aerospace & Defense:

Interface load cells and torque transducers are used to test everything from rocket engines to wing strength, flexibility and structural integrity for aircraft. Our product’s industry-leading accuracy and reliability are important to the aerospace industry because the longevity of our load cells are financially durable and our precision products ensure that measurements are precise. For example, one tiny inaccuracy in the measurement of an airplane wing’s force capacity can cause critical failures and have devastating effects. Innovation is core to this industry segment, from urban mobility to unmanned vehicles. Testing is fundamental in getting these products to market, while protecting all of us. These industries count on us and we continue to supply them with the products they need to keep us safe.

Infrastructure & Construction:

In construction, one of the key considerations in building a skyscraper, hospital or a home is the materials used to keep the structure sturdy in regular use or even a natural disaster. Material testing that uses Interface load cells is common. Our products are used in cycle testing on various metal and wood-based materials to ensure they hold up over time and through the elements. Our load cells can be used on cranes and other construction equipment to prevent overloading and weight testing. We also recently provided the materials for project using custom load pins to measure and monitor standard force from regular traffic and the seismic force of earthquakes.

Vehicle & Automotive:

The most important factor in automotive design and development is the safety of the driver. One of the ways that we serve the automotive industry is through products used in safety tests. One common application that uses Interface force measurement tools is brake pedal testing. Our load cells are used to measure, test, and optimize the force required to depress the brake pedal. Another application use case of Interface’s products helps in the need to increase productivity for automobile wheel installation, while ensuring that the lug nuts are installed to the proper torque values for safety purposes. These measurements need to be performed with the utmost care and accuracy, which is why many of the world’s most prominent automobile manufacturers turn to Interface for their force measurement solutions. These applications are used in testing of vehicles of all sorts and sizes, from large capacity trucks that move our food supply to farming equipment that harvests that supply. They even keep all our high-demand delivery drivers safer on the road. They count on us, as we count on them.

Industrial & Automation: 

Throughout factories across the world, producing everything from furniture to paper products, Interface load cells and torque transducers can be found on machines along the production line. Our products are featured in robotics, consumer packaging equipment, and even the machines that screw the cap on bottles, stamp logos and apply labeling. Force measurement tools are used to ensure the proper force is being used to complete these processes with minimal waste, while ensuring safe and secure packaging for the consumer. We see growing innovative ways to utilize load cells, multi-axis sensors and torque transducers to help accelerate production for vital products that are critical to our everyday life.

We are serving our purpose and mission to be part of supply chain for these industry applications, as a reliable supplier, expert manufacturer and dedicated community member. To learn more about Interface and the various industries and applications we serve, check out our application notes.

We are here to help! Stay safe and stay well.

Our COVID-19 response is here.