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Exploring New Measurement Products Webinar

The Interface Exploring Capabilities of New Measurement Products Webinar details new products, including sensors, instrumentation, and accessories. Our experts will cover dozens of new additions to the extensive 40,000-plus product catalog of force measurement solutions. Interface engineers highlight product features, capacities, use cases, and technical tips in the fast-paced new technical online seminar.

Wonderful World of Wireless Webinar

Interface Wonderful World of Wireless Webinar explores using wireless sensors, instrumentation, and accessories to cut the cable. Our experts detail wireless load cells, wireless testing equipment, best practices, and tips. Learn about wireless telemetry systems, key considerations, and challenges. Interface engineers highlight industry applications and frequently asked questions in this new technical online seminar.

Interface New Product Releases Fall 2023

Interface has added new load cells and instrumentation to our expansive measurement solutions catalog. The Fall 2023 new product releases include several standard products, along with options for engineered to order and custom solutions.

The Interface product line is one of the most extensive in the world of test and measurement. We want to make it easier to navigate models based on your requirements. Interface has a series of guides that can help you choosing the right load cells, miniature load cells, torque transducers, couplings, DAQ systems and instrumentation. Visit our online product selection tools.

ICPA STAINLESS STEEL COMPRESSION LOAD CELL

Interface’s new ICPA compression load cells are built to exacting standards with submersible versions available. The standard product is durable, versatile and easy to integrate into existing machines and equipment. There are several options available in standard capacities and dimensions including domed top (supplied with or without a loading cap), integral carry handles, mounting base, integral connectors and internal analog/digital signal amplifiers. The standard product is constructed from stainless steel and IP-rated. It can be customized to specific requirements. Download the ICPA datasheet.

Primary ICPA features and benefits:

  • Ranges: 2 to 1000 MT (4.4K to 2204K lbf)
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Environmentally sealed to IP67
  • Submersible version available upon request
  • Options: Special electrical connections, integral signal conditioning
  • Model options: Domed top and loading cap, mounting base and handles
  • TEDS (Transducer Electronic Data Sheet) option
  • Custom ranges and sizes available

BSC4D-BT PORTABLE 4-CHANNEL BLUETOOTH DATA LOGGER

Interface’s new BSC4D-BT Portable 4-Channel Bluetooth Data Logger is designed for wireless measurement data acquisition with wire strain gage sensors. It is also suitable for connecting strain gage full bridges and half bridges. For quarter bridges (120 Ohm, 350 Ohm, and 1000 Ohm), there is a connection option in three-wire technology. Data is transmitted by radio via the Bluetooth Standard 2.0+EDR with serial port profile (SPP). The range is 20-meters in buildings or up to 100 m when in direct line of sight. Current consumption is less than 150 mA. When not in use, current consumption is under 10 mA. A battery can be charged at 5V supply voltage via an integrated charge regulator. Download the BSC4D-BT datasheet.

Primary BSC4D-BT Portable 4-Channel Bluetooth Data Logger:

  • IP65 housing with integrated battery
  • Long distance Bluetooth interface
  • 4 channels
  • Inputs for mV/V / 0 – 5 V / PT1000
  • Measuring ranges 2 mV / V / 10 mV / V, mV/V quarter and half-full bridge options
  • 4 digital inputs and outputs
  • Data rate up to 450 Hz

BSC1-HD SINGLE CHANNEL PC INTERFACE MODULE WITH ANALOG OUTPUT

The new Interface BSC1-HD Single Channel PC Interface Module with Analog Output is a single channel signal conditioner with both digital and analog input and output. The BSC1-HD also has optional RS232, RS422, and CANopen protocols.  Download the BSC1-HD datasheet.

Primary BSC1-HD Single Channel Module with Analog Output features and benefits:

  • 24-bit
  • mV/V input (+/-10mV/V) and Analog Input (0-10VDC)
  • Analog Output (standard +/-5V)
  • LCD Display (to 200,000 digits display resolution)
  • Compatible with Interface BlueDAQ Software
  • RS232, RS422 or Optional – CANopen
  • Trigger input
  • Options include: 4-20mA Output, 0-10V Output, CANopen and +/-5V Output

Amplifier channel has a fixed gain settings and is not adjustable for specific load cell output signals. Thus, the amplifier output will typically 0.5V per mV/V of load cell output.

SGA AC/DC POWERED SIGNAL CONDITIONER

Interface versatile SGA Signal Conditioner is now offered as a series. There are eight configurations available for this popular instrumentation product. The SGA features user selectable outputs of ±10V, ±5V, 0-10V, 0-5V, 0-20mA and 4-20ma. This product is DC or AC powered with switch selectable filters from 1 to 5kHz and is packaged in a sealed ABS enclosure. This product supports shunt calibration and a wide range of gain settings. To review all the SGA options, go here.

NEW! 8 SGA Configuration Models Now Available

  1. SGA: Amplifier with no power cord
  2. SGA-WPC: Amplifier with power cord
  3. SGA-RSC: Amplifier with Remote Shunt Calibration option and no power cord
  4. SGA-RSC-WPC: Amplifier with Remote Shunt Calibration option and includes a power cord
  5. SGA-DCI: SGA-D with Isolated Power Supply option and no power cord (DC Power Only). Also allows for 9-36 VDC Supply
  6. SGA-BCM: Amplifier with Bridge Completion option and no power cord
  7. SGA-BCM-WPC: Amplifier with Bridge Completion option and includes power cord
  8. SGA-DRMK: DIN Rail Mounting Kit option for model SGA.

Primary and Optional SGA features and benefits:

  • User selectable analog output ±10V, ±5V, 0-10V, 0-5V, 0-20 mA, 4-20 mA
  • 110 VAC, 220 VAC OR 18-24 VDC power
  • Switch selectable filtering 1 Hz to 5 kHz
  • Single channel powers up to 4 transducers
  • Selectable full scale input range 0.06 to 30 mV/V
  • Switch selectable offset ±70% FS
  • Sealed ABS enclosure
  • Model SGA-RSC can remotely activate a shunt calibration by closing a relay on the related RSC module
  • Model SGA-DCI offers with isolated 12/24V power supply
  • Model SGA-BCM has a bridge completion module for both quarter and half bridges
  • Option: AC Power Cord (PWRCRD-SGA-110)
  • Option: DIN Rail for mounting available by request

4850 BATTERY POWERED BLUETOOTH WEIGHT INDICATOR

The new Interface 4850 Bluetooth Digital Indicator is a wireless capable digital indicator housed in a stainless steel NEMA 4X enclosure. It comes with a large 0.8” LCD display for easy readout of up to 50,000 display divisions and can drive up to 8-350Ω load cells. All setup parameters may be entered via the front panel keys. A full duplex RS-232 port or optional Bluetooth module can transmit data on demand or continuously to match the input requirements of a wide variety of peripheral devices including printers, remote displays and computers. This is a high quality instrumentation solution with Bluetooth capabilities. Review the 4850 weight indicator specifications here.

Primary 4850 Digital Indicator features and benefits:

  • Full front panel configuration
  • Drives up to eight 350 ω load cells
  • Full front panel calibration, multipoint cal – linearization
  • Units- lb, kg, g, and oz
  • Stainless steel swivel stands and enclosure
  • Easy to read LCD display with up to 50,000 graduations
  • Power requirements – 4-14 vdc
  • Battery is 6-volt 3 ah internal rechargeable lead acid
  • Options for analog output: 16-Bit, 0-5 VDC, 4-20 mA and built-in relays (6V or 12V)

Beyond our standard load cells, transducers, and instrumentation, we also offer options for engineered to order, OEM sensors, and complete custom systems. If you need any assistance in selecting the right products for your test and measurement applications, please contact us.  If you have questions about these new products, capacities, capabilities, or specifications, we are here to help.

ADDITIONAL PRODUCT RESOURCES

The Rise in Digital Force Measurement Solutions

In the early days of force measurement instrumentation and use cases, analog was king and, in many cases, still dominates most use cases. The fact that product manufacturers continue to provide analog solutions is steeped in the accuracy and reliability of the format.  Digital is changing this outlook and the rise of solutions that support digital output are on the rise.

Analog and digital signals are utilized for the transmission of information, typically conveyed through electrical signals. In both these technologies, data undergoes a conversion process to transform it into electrical signals. The disparity between analog and digital technologies lies in how information is encoded within the electric pulses. Analog technology translates information into electric pulses with varying amplitudes, while digital technology converts information into a binary format consisting of zeros and ones, with each bit representing two distinct amplitudes.

The primary difference between analog and digital is how the signal is processed. Analog signals when compared to digital signals are continuous and more accurate. Digital measurement solutions have come a long way and are growing in use and popularity due to overall trends towards digital transformation and modernization of testing labs.  Read Instrumentation Analog Versus Digital Outputs for further definition.

As more test and measurement professionals and labs are using digital instrumentation, the quality and accuracy of data output has skyrocketed. Primarily, it is much easier to gather and store digital data. This is often seen through the growth in wireless sensor technologies. Interface Digital Instrumentation continues to expand with new products.

Digital signals are stronger than analog signals, providing a better signal that is free from interference by things like temperature, electromagnetism, and radio signals. The data sampling rate is also much faster. As a result, load cells and other force sensors output signals transmitted to digital instrumentation can read and record hundreds of measurements in seconds.

Another major reason for making the switch to digital output is convenience and capability. Digital instrumentation opens a world of possibilities in terms of wireless data transfer, removing the need for wires and giving engineers more flexibility in terms of where to conduct tests, or monitor applications. It also allows for larger force sensor systems to work together on larger applications in which you need multiple data points on different forces around the object you are measuring.

Why Choose a Digital Solution

  • Lower-cost options
  • Works across existing networks
  • It is scalable without causing interruptions
  • Multiple sensors can be daisy-chained together on a single cable run
  • Built-in error detection
  • Less susceptible to noise

Why Choose an Analog Solution

  • Speed, fast transmission
  • Ease of use
  • Familiarity (standard)
  • Uses less network bandwidth
  • Compatible with DAQs and PLCs

Interface offers a host of digital instrumentation solutions and complete digital systems to easily integrate into your existing test infrastructure.  The Interface Instrumentation Selection Guide is a useful resource to help in the selection of digital equipment.

Basic Criteria for Selecting Digital or Analog

  • Is there an existing network you need to connect to?
  • Are you connecting to an existing DAQ device?
  • What is your budget?
  • How many sensors are you connecting?
  • Do you need to communicate through a bus?

Be sure to tune into the ForceLeaders online event, Unlocking the Power of DAQ Webinar, to learn about data acquisition and digital instrumentation.

Digital Instrumentation Brochure

Unlocking the Power of DAQ Webinar

Interface webinar Unlocking the Power of DAQ details trends, best practices and considerations for using data acquisiton in force measurement applications. We explore DAQ instrumentation options, trends and set-up options. Learn why data acquisition systems are growing in popularity for all types of use cases. We also detail the new Interface Data AQ Packs and system options for capturing critical data. Watch the online technical seminar for recommendations on equipment, plus we answser the most frequently asked questions about DAQ in test and measurement.

Digital Instrumentation 101

Digital instrumentation used for test and measurement provides faster data input and output, and more robust analytics. Interface offers several types of digital instrumentation devices that transform load cell and strain bridge input into digital data output in numerous protocols and bus formats.

Instrumentation that utilizes analog output has long been the standard in the industry. As new requirements for use cases and applications grow, test and measurement engineers and professionals find digital instrumentation advantageous because of the lower cost, easy integration and scalability. They also like the advantage of daisy-chaining multiple sensors together on a single cable run.

Advancements in sensor technologies coincide with growing demands to gather more testing data. This is seen through the use of multi-axis sensors, along with requirements for multi-channel instrumentation that can integrate into existing systems already designed with specific digital connections and protocols, as highlighted in using Interfaces BX8 with our 6-Axis sensors. Change is also coming with a strong desire to utilize instrumentation that can easily work within cable free environments or in remote locations.

In addition to improving speed of data output, digital instrumentation offers an abundance of benefits. This is primarily due to the digital signal, as they are less susceptible to noise and are more secure. Digital instrumentation typically has built in error detection. Digital signals are best for transmitting signals across longer distances or when you need to allow for simultaneous multi-directional transmissions. Many people like the ease of integration, both into existing networks as well as with other testing devices.

Types of Interface Digital Instrumentation

  • Indicators and Bidirectional Indicators
  • Portable and Programmable Indicators
  • Battery Powered Indicators and Bidirectional Indicators
  • Single and Multi-Channel Transmitters
  • Controllers and Programmable Controllers
  • USB Output Modules
  • PC Interface Modules
  • Sensor to USB Output Converters
  • Data Acquisition Systems
  • Wireless Instrumentation

Connection options available for Interface Digital Instrumentation include, RS232, RS485, RS422, Wi-Fi, USB, Bluetooth, and Ethernet Protocols. The types of data output protocols available include ASCII, Modbus, CANopen, DeviceNet, Profibus DP Modbus/TCP, Ethernet TCP/IP, Ethernet/IP, EtherCAT and several others. See the complete list of connections and protocols in our Digital Instrumentation Overview.

Top selling digital instrumentation models from Interface, with many available in various protocols:

Do you have questions about the type of instrumentation that will support your application?  You can see more of the solutions by visiting our instrumentation selection guide.  Here are six questions begin evaluating your instrumentation options:

  • Where are you going to connect your sensor technology and how?
  • Do you need to store your data?
  • Do you prefer an analog or digital output device?
  • Are you going to plug-in your instrumentation or use hand-held, wireless or Bluetooth connectivity?
  • How will your data output be displayed?
  • How many channels do you need for your project or program?

For additional help with instrumentation, please contact our application engineers.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Digital Instrumentation for Force Measurement

Ultimate BlueDAQ Software Guide for Interface Instrumentation

Interface Instrumentation Definitions

Instrumentation Selection Guide

Advancements in Instrumentation Webinar

Interface Instructional on Instrumentation Event

Instrumentation

Introducing New Interface Instrumentation Selection Guide

Interface offers a diverse selection of instrumentation to use with all types of test and measurement programs.  As the options grow, we created a new online resource to assist in selecting the right type of instrumentation based on the sensor characteristics and the requirements for how you will use and report the outputs.

Interface’s new Instrumentation Selection Guide provides an easy and quick evaluation of various models that can be used with load cells, torque transducers and multi-axis sensors. The guide highlights Interface’s range of analog instrumentation and digital instrumentation types including indicators, signal conditioners, combination models, interface modules, DAQ systems as well as accessories.

This new Interface resource enables you to quickly evaluate the instrumentation models based on features and capabilities, including output, number of channels, software, programmability, speed, logging and graphing, resolutions, TEDS ready, and enclosure options.

Start using this new featured guide by visiting Instrumentation Selection Guide.

This new tool was recently featured in our ForceLeaders webinar Advancements in Instrumentation.  During this recorded event, we provided a series of analog and digital instrumentation products ranging from easy to use four channel SI-USB4 USB Interface Modules to the more advanced BX8 DAQ Systems: BX8-AS Interface BlueDaq Series Data Acquisition SystemBX8-HD15 Interface BlueDaq Series Data Acquisition System and the BX8-HD44 Interface BlueDaq Series Data Acquisition System. The specialized BX8 instrumentation products are designed for 8-channel synchronized sampling with two pulse encoder channels, ideal for internal calculations of axis load values for Interface’s popular 6-Axis Multi-Axis Sensors. Another new instrumentation solution featured in webinar is the BX6-BT Portable 6-Channel High Speed Bluetooth Data Logger, which has fewer channels; however, is portable and great solution for advanced testing labs that are using multi-axis sensors.

These new products, along with the vast catalog of Interface instrumentation options can be found in our references below and by using the featured Instrumentation Selection Guide.

Additional References for Choosing Interface Instrumentation Products

More Support Resources for Interface Instrumentation

If you need assistance in exploring sensors you intend to use with the instrumentation, contact our Application Engineers.

Advancements in Instrumentation Webinar Recap

Interface experts recently hosted a conversation about what is changing in the world of instrumentation, as it related to sensor technologies and force measurement.  The new event, Advancements in Instrumentation is a continuation of our ForceLeaders Interface Instructional on Instrumentation Event.

The conversation began with a focus on what has changed in the last five years and why instrumentation is such an important topic in T&M. 

TRENDS IN ADVANCED INSTRUMENTATION

The number one change in test and measurement that we have identified is the omnipresent use of sensors in things that didn’t use to have sensors. This includes consumer products, home healthcare medical devices, EVs, factory equipment, tools, robotics, just to name a few. With the demands for more feedback, more data, and more required performance monitoring, instrumentation requirements are growing in functionality. 

We are getting smarter in our applications and uses cases, which means we need smarter devices to capture all the information to make intelligent decisions in product design, engineering, and manufacturing. We see this with smart factories, smart vehicles, smart agriculture, smart tools, smart medical technologies, these innovations and advancements need more data to make smart decisions, in design, test, build and use.

Other trends we discussed include the infusion of IoT into test and measurement. As we connect more instruments and devices into our networks, it requires advanced instrumentation and changes in what has been used as basic and standard instruments in the past. We also see customization and programmability needs changing and movement towards more digital interfaces.  Specifically, during this hour-long discussion we dive into digital outputs, amplifiers, communication protocols and advancements in software options, including a quick MathScript demo. Watch the video here.

TYPES OF INSTRUMENTATION HIGHLIGHTED IN WEBINAR

  • Signal Conditioners
  • Data Acquisition Systems (DAQ) 
  • Indicators
  • USB Interface Modules
  • Wireless and Bluetooth Telemetry Systems
  • Portable
  • TEDS Ready

Interface highlighted a series of new instrumentation solutions in great detail. This includes recent releases like our BX8 DAQ Series, Wireless Telemetry System Additions, 9850 Torque and Load Cell Indicator and SI-USB4. We also shared what we are bringing to market this year, including new portable indicators, a DAQ systems designed specifically for torque transducers, advanced multi-channel solutions and new USB indicators for wireless sensors. We also talked about custom instrumentation solutions when you need something designed for a unique use case or OEM application.

Throughout the webinar, instrumentation selection criteria were highlighted to help make the right decisions in pairing your measurement devices to the available instrumentation options. We addressed common questions, do’s and don’ts, and tips that are helpful in evaluating what will work with your project, in your lab or at your factory.

ADVANCEMENTS IN INSTRUMENTATION WEBINAR TOPICS

  • Types of Advanced Instrumentation
  • Selection Criteria for Advanced Instrumentation
  • Recap Digital Versus Analog Options
  • What’s New in Wireless + Bluetooth Telemetry Systems 
  • New Instrumentation Solutions from Interface
  • Trends in Test Data Management + Systems
  • Applications + Uses Cases
  • FAQs

You can watch the entire conversation to learn more.

WHY INTERFACE FOR INSTRUMENTATION

With so many options available, we want to make it easier in choosing the right instrumentation. Here are a few reasons why Interface is a provider of choice when it comes to instrumentation for force measurement.

  • Interface is a single point of contact for measurement device and instrumentation
  • Interface offers a range of solutions from USB Interface Modules to Multi-Channel and Wireless DAQ Systems
  • Interface can partner to design and build complete systems
  • Interface has expertise for technical support
  • Interface has deep use case experience across all the sensors we offer, from load cells to wireless load pin technologies
  • Interface instructional videos, literature, software demonstrations and manuals available online in your Support area of the website
  • Interface provides software with our instrumentation

Additional Resources

Interface Instructional on Instrumentation Event

Recap of Inventive Multi-Axis and Instrumentation Webinar

Instrumentation Analog Versus Digital Outputs

Instrumentation Options in Test and Measurement

Force Measurement Instrumentation 101

What is New in Custom Solutions

Here at Interface, we make it a priority to adapt to the needs of our customers in any way possible. Each year we gather vast amounts of data and feedback to address changes in the marketplace and advancements in technology. Often, this comes in the form of new product releases developed specifically with our customer’s most significant needs in mind. However, new product releases take time for development, testing and release. When customers need to address a challenge quickly, we turn to our innovative custom solutions team.

No matter the project, chances are there is a customized force measurement product to fulfill the requirement. We work directly with our customer’s engineering and testing teams to understand the challenge and offer alternative solutions to off-the-shelf products. Our dedicated engineers and measurement experts, along with supporting company resources, and advanced engineering lab give Interface the competitive advantage to make any force measurement application work with what we have to offer.

We provided a brief overview of our custom solutions offerings and process a past blog. Today’s post provides an update on what’s new in custom solutions:

New Custom Solutions Offerings

Among the most significant changes to custom solutions is our growing engineered to order offerings for OEM customers. To best serve these customers and testing engineers with premium and affordable force measurement solutions for use in components or products, Interface now offers engineered to order capabilities for the masses. Engineered to order means Interface can deliver force and torque measurement solutions from our massive catalog that are modified to meet the features, specifications, and cost that our customers require, while still retaining the premium accuracy, quality and reliability Interface is known for across every industry we serve.

Another exciting capability that Interface has recently added is the addition of more digital instrumentation communication options for collecting data from our products. We’ve added Models INF1 and INF4 signal conditioners with field bus capability that include CANopen, DeviceNet, CC-Link, Profibus, Profinet, Modbus, and EtherCAT. By adding this capability, our products can interface with networks that customers already have installed in their facilities.

Custom Solutions Applications

Interface customers continue to turn to our experience Custom Solutions Engineers to build systems that utilize a range of sensor technologies, communication devices and even frames and cases to provide a complete structure.  This includes a growing demand for uniquely pairing force and torque components that work remotely through wireless and Bluetooth technologies as well as delivering entire testing units that re mobile or can be used in the field. The possibilities are unlimited with the amount of products Interface in our catalog, including the possibilities of using new designs.

Every year we engage in a host of unique custom solutions projects with our customers. We would like to share of a few of our favorites with you.

Airplane Maintenance – Wireless Customization

When an airplane comes into the shop, engineers often must jack it up to perform maintenance. When you lift a plane, there is always a risk because you can’t put too much stress on the wings and fuselage. To ensure that the maintenance team members weren’t stressing the plane beyond its limits, Interface developed a solution to measure the lifting force of each individual jack used to lift the plane. The solution included a number of Interface Model 1200 Series Load Cell that would transmit the forces applied back to a base station. However, the customization came in the way data was transmitted to the base station. Typically, wires are used for transmission, but in this case, there were 21 load cells used on the lifting equipment. To avoid having 21 wires get in the way, Interface added custom capabilities to the 1200 series to allow it to communicate with the base station wirelessly.

Crane Application – Custom Programming

Lifting heavy objects can be a dangerous job for onsite workers, not to mention, pushing a large industrial crane too far can result in expensive damages and downtime. Therefore, when an Interface’s industrial customer needed to intelligently monitor a crane in the process of lifting, we helped create a custom program to do so. The custom application included a model 1280 and force measurement activated program. Whenever the crane was nearing a weight that was unsafe, an alert was triggered based on the force measurement reading that could either sound an alarm or shut the system down. This created an automated safety system using force data.

Additional Custom Solution Applications and Use Cases are available here. 

Custom solutions are key to Interface’s broad offerings that we provide when off-the-shelf solutions don’t provide exactly what is required. Our design engineers and manufacturing team is ready to work directly with our customers to provide a solution that is right for your project. To learn more, visit us at /custom-solutions/.

Contributor: Ken Bishop