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Introducing the Interface Consumer Product Testing Case Study

The global consumer products market is a multi-billion dollar industry that thrives on innovation and new product development. There are numerous opportunities to utilize sensor-based technologies to test for safe use and monitor product performance.

Interface is a source of quality precision force sensor technologies used throughout the product lifecycle from concept and R&D, through engineering and testing, to manufacturing and eventually consumption. We supply force measurement solutions for use in equipment, machines, tools, and integration into actual products like our miniature load cells to measure performance and use. We even provide products to accurately measure and monitor hardware used in consumer product distribution. Interface load cells and instrumentation help consumer product designers and fabricators drive usability, adoption, production efficiencies, and ensure safety to satisfy the needs of all types of consumers.

In our latest case study, Interface Delivers for Consumer Products, we highlight specific use cases and products that are used by the consumer products industry. Interface offers multitudes of products, from sensors used to measure weight on the production line of a consumer good to regulating how the consumer can use the product by using embedded load cells into the actual product.

Here are a few examples of how our force sensors are used in the consumer products industry:

  • Keyboards and buttons: Force sensors can be used to measure the force applied to keys on a keyboard or buttons on electronic devices, such as smartphones or game controllers, to ensure that they have a consistent and satisfying feel for the user.
  • Package testing: Force sensors can be used to measure the force applied to packaged consumer goods, such as food and beverage containers, during transportation and handling to ensure that they are not damaged and that their contents are protected.
  • Automotive testing: Force sensors can be used to measure the forces applied to various components of a vehicle during crash testing, such as doors and seat belts, to ensure that they meet safety standards and provide adequate protection for the occupants.
  • Sports equipment: Force sensors can be used to measure the force applied to sports equipment, such as golf clubs, tennis rackets, and baseball bats, to ensure that they meet performance and safety standards.
  • Wearable devices: Force sensors can be used to measure the force applied to wearable devices, such as fitness trackers, to ensure that they are durable and can withstand the wear and tear of daily use.

Our specialty is building force measurement solutions for the testing and monitoring of parts and total systems, which is vital to manufacturers and designers of consumer packaged goods. Accurate measurement is necessary in design, prototyping and producing final consumer products across all industries for performance and safety. These solutions are ideal for consumer product stand-alone testing rigs, production equipment, as well as embedding into products to increase operability and reliability for end users.

Additional consumer products applications utilizing Interface quality measurement solutions include:

These are just a few examples of how force sensors are used in the consumer products industry to measure the force applied to a variety of products. The use of force sensors is essential for ensuring that consumer products meet safety and performance standards, and for providing consumers with a high-quality user experience.

To better illustrate and address our solutions designed for consumer products across sectors, we have developed a case study outlining the consumer product testing challenges and technology we offer for these customers.
Interface Delivers for Consumer Products Case Study

Interface Solutions for Safety and Regulation Testing and Monitoring

Among the many challenges we help to solve, safety and the stringent requirements for helping to make products safer for all types of users is top of the list. Interface’s solutions are known for quality and accuracy, which are at the forefront of all decisions used for safety and regulation testing. It is one of the top reasons consumer product makers choose Interface force, torque and weighing test and measurement solutions.

Everyone involved in the production and sale of products have a role to play in ensuring product safety and compliance with regulations, from the manufacturer to the retailer of any product. They are all responsible for designing, testing, and producing safe products.

Manufacturers have the primary responsibility for ensuring that products are safe and compliant with regulations. Governments have the authority to establish safety standards and regulations for products and to enforce these standards through inspections, fines, and recalls. Independent testing labs are used to conduct safety and compliance testing. These labs provide impartial and objective test results. Retailers also have a responsibility to ensure that the products they sell are safe and compliant with regulations. By working together, they can help to promote public trust in products and reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.

In engineering, the safety and regulation testing of products is crucial for ensuring that products are safe for use and meet industry standards. This type of testing helps to identify potential hazards and design flaws that could harm consumers or cause damage to property. It also ensures that products comply with regulations and standards set by governing bodies such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). This helps to protect consumers, promote public trust in products, and reduce the risk of liability for manufacturers. By performing safety and regulation testing, engineers can help to ensure that products are reliable, effective, and trustworthy.

Safety and regulation testing helps manufacturers in several ways:

  1. Liability reduction: By ensuring that products meet safety standards and regulations, manufacturers can reduce their risk of liability in the event of accidents or injuries caused by their products.
  2. Consumer trust: Consumers are more likely to trust and purchase products that have been tested and found to be safe and compliant with regulations.
  3. Marketability: Products that meet safety and regulation standards are more likely to be accepted in the market and sold to a wider range of customers.
  4. Brand reputation: A company’s reputation is closely tied to the safety and quality of its products. By demonstrating a commitment to safety and compliance, manufacturers can enhance their brand reputation and build consumer trust.
  5. Cost savings: Investing in safety and regulation testing can help manufacturers identify and correct design flaws before products are mass-produced, reducing the cost of recalls and liability claims.

We work with manufacturers of heavy machinery, vehicles, consumer goods, medical devices and pharmaceuticals, and even aircraft and rocket ship builders. All these industry experts know that precision test and measurement solutions are essential for eliminating the serious threat to humans when their inventions and products are not thoroughly tested and monitored properly.

Testing is the first step in the process of ensuring safety. Interface load cells and torque transducers are used to test a wide variety of parameters related to force. For instance, Interface provides solutions for projects involving the testing of cranes and ensuring that these massive machines are able to lift the weight that the particular product’s specifications allow. This ensures safety for the user and those on the ground by putting the machine through rigorous testing using load cells to measure the cranes maximum limits with various loading conditions. Watch a quick demonstration video of crane safety test solutions from Interface.

In addition, force measurement can be used to measure small and precise forces during the testing phase. One such example is the use of load cell load buttons to measure the clamping force of a vascular clamp used in surgery. This force needs to be tightly tuned in regulation with stringent medical requirements. Forces too small or large could have serious repercussions for the patient. This is a simple test that makes a dramatic difference in which the clamp force is applied to these miniature load cells and the force signal is sent to the tester.

One specific requirement that Interface has a great deal of experience in supplying solutions is for torque testing on lug nuts, bolts and other assembly equipment. While tightening these parts may seem like a simple process, industries like automotive and aerospace have strict requirements for the exact tightness and tolerance for bolts. We provide torque testing system devices that evaluate these parameters accurately to meet those regulations. Any misstep in tightening can lead to severe failure that puts the user at significant risk, not to mention pedestrians when it comes to the automotive industry.

The next use of force measurement in the realm of safety is by using sensors for real time monitoring. Load cells and torque transducers can be designed into a product to allow for monitoring of the product in use, telling the user when it needs to be repaired. They can help by notifying the user if a vehicle or machine is holding weight above its capacity, or if there is potential failure of a machine or product.

For instance, machines on a production line can be monitored and irregular data can show that it needs to be brought down briefly for repairs. Having machines with issues that are not noticed do not only affect efficiency, but it can also pose a threat to nearby workers. Additionally, monitoring something like a crane is also a way to ensure it is not overloaded.

These applications provide notable examples of how force measurement can guarantee meeting safety requirements and regulations, as well as monitoring for safe conditions in real time. To provide a visual example, we have developed several applications notes, a few of which we have included below.

Regulatory Medical Device Stent And Catheter Testing

A customer needed to apply known forces to stents and catheters to ensure they pass all necessary strength and flexibility testing. Interface suggested an MBP Overload Protected Beam Miniature Load Cell be placed behind the guide wire for the stent or catheter. The motor will spin the linear drive and push the load cell and guide the wire through the testing maze. The MBP Overload Protected Beam Miniature Load Cell is connected to the DIG-USB PC Interface Module. All forces are measured and stored on a computer. Using this solution, the customer was able to perform required testing and logged, followed by being able to review results and take actions as needed. Get more information about this testing in our Stent and Catheter Testing App Note.

Equipment Safety with Bolt Tension Monitoring

A customer wanted to monitor the tension of the bolts that are used on their industrial large metal pipes. Interface suggested installing multiple LWCF Clamping Force Load Cells, each connected to WTS-AM-1E Wireless Strain Bridge Transmitter Modules. The load cells were installed under the tightened bolts on the pipes and measured the compression forces from the bolts. The real-time results were transmitted wirelessly from the WTS-AM-1E’s to the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station when connected to the customer’s PC. Real-time results from the LWCF’s were displayed using provided Log100 Software. Interface’s load cell monitoring system successfully monitored the compression forces of the bolts in real time.

Public Safety Bridge Seismic Force Monitoring Solution

A customer wanted to monitor seismic activity that occurs to a bridge by using force sensors and then continuously monitor 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, alongside the Interface WTS Wireless Telemetry System, continuous force monitoring was able to take place without long cables, allowing the customer to monitor continuous loads, log information to the cloud, and review information. Read Bridge Seismic Force Monitoring Solution App Note for more information.

If you are looking for accurate and dependable solutions to assist with testing and monitoring for safety and regulatory requirements, contact us.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Crane Block Safety Animated Application Note

Load Cells for Consumer Product Applications

Interface Solutions for Production Line Engineers

CPG Bike Frame Fatigue Testing

MARITIME Crane Block Safety Check

Crane Safety Requires Precision Measurements Ship to Shore

Entertainment Venue Force Measurement and Monitoring Solutions

 

Interface Solutions for Consumer Products

Interface’s force measurement solutions affect every industry and all types of products. Chances are that the everyday consumer has purchased and used something evaluated with or utilizing an embedded force sensor.

In fact, Interface has a long history in providing load cells and sensor technologies to test and measure consumer packaged goods (CPG) and products. They are commonplace in early-stage prototype testing, all through final distribution. Most often, our force measurement solutions help predict failure and identify design challenges before goods are available to consumers. It is hard to imagine any product that would not go through rigorous test and measurement protocols before it goes to market. The liabilities are too great and consumer safety is paramount.

It is also critical to use accurate, quality sensors to gather reliable user data related to any consumer product. Product makers use sensor data to assess product usability, capabilities, and durability. The more data, the greater the opportunity to adjust and ensure the product is a direct fit. Precision in this process through data will improve the product’s performance and influence adoption.

From testing home health care devices to ensuring household appliances are safe and durable, Interface’s sensor measurement technologies have a vital role in R&D, design, production and packaging. Load cells and other sensor products are used for all kinds of testing, from material to fatigue, in the creation and manufacturing of everyday goods. They are growing in popularity to make products smarter and designed for IoT use.

Consumer Product Applications for Interface Force Measurement Solutions

  • Smart home devices
  • IoT solutions
  • Production line testing
  • Usability research
  • Safety and compliance
  • Regulatory and performance monitoring
  • Manufacturing robotics
  • Warehouse equipment
  • Food packaging
  • Toys
  • Gaming and simulation equipment
  • Electronics hardware
  • Sports equipment
  • Furniture
  • Capping and bottling machines
  • Real-time user feedback

We even provide products to accurately measure and monitor hardware used in intermediate goods, assembly equipment, and distribution. Our force measurement solutions are ideal for consumer product stand-alone testing rigs, production equipment, as well as embedded in consumer products to increase operability and reliability for end users.

Interface load cells and instrumentation help product designers and fabricators drive usability, adoption, production efficiencies, and ensure safety to satisfy the needs of all types of consumers. Here are a few applications notes to demonstrate Interface solutions utilized in the consumer products industry. Additional applications for consumer packaged goods and consumer products are found here.

Commercial Food Processing

A consumer food product processing plant wants to measure in-motion the food weigh as it is processed down the line. They want to ensure production line efficiency and food quality for future consumers. The customer also wants real-time results of their food being weighed to keep standards high and ensure quality product. Multiple of Interface’s SPI High Capacity Platform Scale Load Cells can be installed in the customer’s in-motion check weigher at the specific points where the food is weighed on the belt to deliver precise weighing results. When connected to the 920i Programmable Weight Indicator and Controller, real time results of the weight of the food being processed is available at all times. The 920i Programmable Weight Indicator and Controller can read up to four scale channels. Read more here.

Computer Touchpad Force Testing

A laptop manufacturer wanted to test their mouse touchpads to ensure it is functioning properly for future consumers, thus measuring the right amount of sensitivity during the consumer’s use. They also needed a system that measures the force it takes for the mouse pad to activate a response on the laptop. Interface suggested using the SMTM Micro S-Type Load Cell, from the Interface Mini™ line. The SMTM was installed in the customer’s actuator test rig. The SMTM recorded the amount of force it takes to press on the trackpad and create a response on different areas of the trackpad. An actuator aided with tactile feedback by providing movements such as dragging or creating friction. The measurements were captured using the 9330 Battery Powered High Speed Data Logging Indicator through an SD card, or another laptop directly. The SMTM Micro S-Type Load Cell was able to measure the forces applied to the mouse touchpad at various locations. Interface’s products successfully measured the forces needed to make the mouse touchpad create a response. Get more information here.

Furniture Fatigue Cycle Testing

To meet safety protocols in relation to the manufacturing of various furniture products, rigorous fatigue testing, shock testing, and proof testing before dispersion into the marketplace, and into the homes of consumers. Force testing on furniture products is critical in determining the posted max loads to protect manufacturers from liability due to damages that might result from the misuse of those products and overloading. Using Interface’s SSMF Fatigue Rated S-Type Load Cell along with Interface’s 9890 Strain Gage, Load Cell, & mV/V Indicator provides a solution that measures the force being applied in fatigue cycle testing of a furniture product, in this case testing the rocking mechanism in an office chair. Unlike other similar load cells, the SSMF is fatigue rated making it highly suitable for fatigue testing. Using this solution, the furniture manufacturer was able to obtain accurate data about the rocking mechanism the office chair as it was fatigue cycled into failure. Post testing, adjustments to the design to improve the safety and life of the furniture, ensuring product quality, and protecting the manufacturer from future liability. Learn more here.

Printer Cartridge Seal

An ink manufacturer wanted to ensure there is a proper seal between their ink cartridge caps and the cartridge body, for it to work effectively in their printers and for consumers buying it for themselves. A bad seal can cause leaks, clogging, and overall deficient performance for their printers. Interface’s solution was to measure the pressure exerted on the cartridge cap by installing the 3A120 3-Axis Load Cell under the plate during the automatic production line process. Results were logged, graphed, and stored when the customer’s PC or laptop is connected to the BSC4D Multi-Channel PC Interface Module with supplied BlueDAQ software. Using this solution, the ink manufacturer was able to determine the exact amount of force it took to seal their ink cartridge caps onto the cartridge bodies to prevent any leaks or clogging. Learn more here.

Interface solutions for consumer products are abundant. For every machine, test system and even many products themselves, these products benefit from a force sensor to improve product performance, prove reliability and more.

Additional Resources

Force Measurement is Reducing Waste and Automating the Consumer Packaging Industry

Applications for Consumer Products and Packaging

Load Cells for Consumer Product Applications

CPG Bike Handlebar Fatigue Testing

Interface Solutions in the World of Sports

CPG Water Bottle Dispensing and Weighing

CPG Treadmill Force Measurement

CPG Golf Club Swing Accuracy

CPG Gaming Simulation Brake Pedal