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Understanding Torque Transducers for Motion Control Systems

A motion control system is an integrated set of components that work together to control the movement of a machine or device. It typically includes four main elements: controllers, sensors, actuators, and drives.

Torque transducers are essential components in motion control systems. They are important in controlling rotating machinery by providing real-time feedback on the applied torque accurately and efficiently.

Selecting the right torque transducer for a motion control system depends on several major factors, including use case, measurement range, accuracy requirements, speed, and environment.

Industry use cases of motion control systems require different torque measurement capabilities. For example, a robotic arm may need a torque transducer with a high resolution and fast response time. In contrast, a wind turbine may need a torque transducer with a high torque capacity and a long lifespan.

Motion control systems have the same basic goal: to control the movement of a machine or device in a precise and controlled method. Evaluation of the type of torque transducer for your motion control system is important based on type, measurement capacities, accuracy, and speed. Do you need a rotary torque transducer or a static device, known as a reaction torque transducer?

Torque Transducers for Motion Control Systems

Rotary torque transducers are designed to be mounted directly on a rotating shaft. These dynamic transducers are ideal for measuring torque in motors, pumps, and turbines.

Reaction transducers measure the torque applied to a stationary object. These static transducers are ideal for measuring torque in automotive applications such as brakes and clutches.

The torque transducer should withstand the environmental conditions it will be used, including factors such as temperature, vibration, and chemical exposure. These details should be easily identifiable in a review of the transducer’s specifications.

TIP: Use Interface’s Torque Transducer Selection Guide for easy device comparisons.

Why are torque transducers used in motion control systems?

Closed-loop control: Torque transducers enable closed-loop control of motors and drives. By measuring the actual torque output, the control system can compare it to the desired torque and adjust the motor speed or power output to maintain it. This ensures precise and consistent operation of the system, regardless of load variations.

Overload protection: Torque transducers can protect motors and other components from damage caused by excessive torque. By monitoring the torque in real-time, the system can shut down the motor or activate other protective measures if the torque exceeds a predetermined safe limit. This prevents costly equipment failures and downtime.

Optimization and efficiency: Torque transducers help optimize the performance of motion control systems by providing valuable data for analysis and improvement. Engineers can identify areas where the system can be more efficient by measuring the torque at different operating points. This can lead to reduced energy consumption, improved productivity, and increased product quality.

Safety: In safety-critical applications, torque transducers play a vital role in ensuring the safe operation of machinery. The system can take appropriate action to prevent accidents or injuries if the torque exceeds a safe limit by providing data on the torque applied to safety-related components.

Motion Control Applications

Here are four examples of how torque transducers are used in different types of motion control systems:

ROBOTICS: Torque transducers are used to control the movement of robotic arms with high precision. They ensure the robot arm applies the correct force to move objects without damaging them.

MACHINERY: Torque transducers control the spindle speed and feed rate of CNC machines, ensuring accurate and consistent machining operations.

ENERGY: Torque transducers are used to monitor the torque output of wind turbines and optimize their performance. This helps maximize energy production and ensure the safe operation of the turbines.

EV: Torque transducers are used in the drivetrains of electric vehicles to control the torque delivered to the wheels. This enables efficient and smooth acceleration and deceleration.

Should you use torque couplings instead of key shafts in motion control systems?

If your motion control system demands high precision, efficiency, and reliability, removing key shafts and employing torque couplings might be beneficial.

Keyless solutions can reduce downtime and associated costs in applications requiring frequent maintenance. Compact torque couplings can be a better fit than bulky key shafts in tight spaces.

If perfect shaft alignment is challenging, flexible torque couplings can compensate for misalignment and prevent potential problems.

TIP: Visit Torque Coupling Selection Guide for options.

Reviewing your use case to determine if key shafts are necessary for your motion control system is important. There are advantages to keeping key shafts. Replacing key shafts with torque couplings can offer several advantages, including:

  • Elimination of keyways: Keyways are slots cut into the shaft and hub to accommodate a key. This weakens the shaft and can lead to stress concentrations and fatigue failures. Torque couplings eliminate the need for keyways, improving the strength and integrity of the shaft.
  • Reduced maintenance: Keys can wear and loosen over time, requiring periodic maintenance and replacement. Torque couplings, on the other hand, are generally maintenance-free.
  • Improved performance: Torque couplings can transmit torque more efficiently than keys. This can lead to improved performance and efficiency in the overall system.
  • Reduced noise and vibration: Keys can cause noise and vibration, especially at high speeds. Torque couplings can help to reduce noise and vibration levels.
  • Simplified assembly and disassembly: Keys can be difficult to install and remove, especially in tight spaces. Torque couplings are generally easier to assemble and disassemble.
  • Increased flexibility: Some torque couplings can accommodate misalignment between shafts, which can be helpful in applications where perfect alignment is difficult to achieve.

Whether to use torque couplings to replace key shafts depends on the specific application. However, torque couplings can offer significant advantages in strength, performance, and ease of use in many cases.

Torque transducers are versatile tools that play a vital role in various motion control systems. They provide accurate and reliable data on the applied torque, enabling closed-loop control, overload protection, system optimization, and enhanced safety.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Trends in Torque Transducer Applications in the Auto Industry

Interface Introduces New Torque Coupling Guide

Torque Transducers and Couplings are the Perfect Pairing

Miniature Torque Transducers 101

Choosing the Right Torque Transducer

A Comparison of Torque Measurement Systems: Download the white paper.

AxialTQ for Anything That Turns and Needs Testing

Interface Validates Trends in Automotive Test and Measurement

As a trusted supplier to automotive testing labs and automakers of precision sensor technologies for force, torque, and weighing applications, the depth of our product line is vital to support research, testing, and innovation in the industry. In particular, there is a high increase in the use of Interface torque transducers for automotive test and measurement use cases.

We strive to provide the latest sensor technology to help our customers move at the pace of automotive innovation. Over the years, we have developed new products for testing and monitoring advancements in all vehicles and supporting R&D into new automotive types like electric vehicles (EVs) and autonomous vehicles. Learn more in the case study: Accelerating Automotive Excellence with Interface Testing Lab Solutions.

Growing Demands for Torque Transducers in Auto Testing

Based on current demands for Interface measurement solutions, the auto industry is experiencing a high upsurge in using torque transducers. Specifically, EV manufacturers and parts makers are using torque measurement in testing the performance of electric motors and powertrains.

EVs have become a significant force and torque measurement sensor technology user, including our popular AxialTQ™ Rotary Torque Transducer product line. Many of our transducer models are also being used to test EV battery technology, including storage, capacity, and more.

Another growing use case requiring cutting-edge torque transducers is testing advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) performance. ADAS systems rely on various sensors, including our torque transducers, to measure and control the vehicle’s dynamics. In these use cases, automotive engineers rely on supreme accuracy due to the critical nature of this safety feature. These types of use cases are pushing the requirement for accuracy further.

Finally, our torque transducers are being used in experiential automotive technologies such as fully autonomous and driver-assisted vehicle innovations. The accuracy of measurement is instrumental in bringing these inventions to market. Size, weight, and power (SWaP) is also a premium factor in these types of sensors. As more and more sensor technology is added to autonomous vehicles, the sensors must become more compact and efficient.

Specific products that Interface is supplying for these types of testing programs include high-accuracy reaction and rotary torque transducer technologies. This includes more miniature lightweight torque transducers to make integrating into test machines, production lines, and vehicles easier. Our expansion of Interface Mini Torque Transducers is helping with this requirement. We also provide more wireless torque transducer capabilities, eliminating the need for cables and wires and making testing more convenient and efficient.

Use Interface’s Torque Transducer Selection Guide to find the right product for your application requirements. Join Interface at the next Automotive Testing Expo to see live demonstrations of Interface measurement solutions.

Automotive Industry Applications Using Torque Transducers

Tire Force And Moment Using Contactless Force and Torque Transducer

A tire production company wants to put their tires under a stress test. They want to research the dynamic control capabilities of their tires. They want to measure both the torque and lateral force of the tire. Interface suggests using the AT105 Contactless Force and Torque Transducer to measure the tire lateral force and torque. Torque and force results can be displayed and graphed when connected to the SI-USB4 4-Channel USB Interface Module. After conducting a stress test on their tires, the tire production company could record and log the measurements of the torque and lateral forces implemented on their tires. Read Tire Force and Moment App Note

Vacuum Testing Using Rotary Torque Testing to Optimize Automotive Performance

The vacuum pump in a car plays an integral part in several systems, such as power brakes, HVAC, and sometimes even in the turbocharger or emissions control systems. Its primary function is to create a vacuum or negative pressure within a specific system. A torque test needs to be performed to ensure it is performing correctly. Interface’s T2 Ultra Precision Shaft Style Rotary Torque Transducer with torque couplings can be attached to the vacuum pump during performance testing. It will measure the amount of torque that is being used on the pump’s motor or drive system. When connected to the customer’s computer, results can be displayed, recorded, and logged using the SI-USB4 4-Channel USB Interface Module. Read Vacuum Testing for Automotive Performance

Torque Measurement For Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicle manufacturers need a torque measurement system for motor testing. These motors run at significantly higher rotational speeds than their internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts and have much higher power densities due to their small size and lightweight. The system would be used to test the torque and speed of their electric motors to achieve and ensure optimum instant peak torque performance. Interface’s AxialTQ™ Wireless Rotary Torque Transducer is highly accurate with the highest quality torque measurement. This product comes with the AxialTQ™ Output Module and the provided AxialTQ™ Assistant software that can be installed on a test bench. Data results are calculated and collected in real time. Read Torque Measurement for Electric Vehicles App Note

Motor Test Stand Using Torque Transducer

In the quality control lab at a major automotive manufacturing company, a test engineer needed to test, record, and audit the torque produced by a new motor design under start load. Interface supplied our AAxialTQ™ Wireless Rotary Torque Transducer connected between the motor and the differential on the drive shaft that could measure and record these torque values. Based on the data collected using the AxialTQ, AxialTQ Output Module, and customer laptop, the Test Engineer recommended optimizing the torque of the new motor design.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Anniversary of Interface Miniature Torque Transducers

Fuel Pump Optimization and Rotary Torque

Choosing the Right Torque Transducer

A Comparison of Torque Measurement Systems White Paper

Advancing Auto Testing with Interface Measurement Solutions

Automotive Window Pinch Force Testing

Automotive Head Rest Testing

Load Cells for Renewable Energy Production and Testing

Load cells are a versatile and reliable tool that can be used to measure a variety of forces and pressures. They are an essential part of the production and testing of renewable energy sources, helping engineers ensure these systems are safe and efficient.

Renewable energy companies, component makers, equipment manufacturers, and labs use Interface precision measurement devices for all phases of renewable energy testing and production. Interface’s LowProfile load cells, load pins, multi-axis sensors, wireless telemetry solutions, Mini load cells, and our sensors designed for use in submersible environments and harsh conditions are products used in the renewable energy market.  Find more information about these products in our new Interface Renewable Energy Solutions marketplace.

The advancement in renewables utilizing force measurement solutions enables us to tap into the Earth’s natural resources while preserving them for future generations. This includes growing use cases in advancing capabilities for solar panels, wind turbines, hydroelectric plants, geothermal systems, and bioenergy. This shift towards renewables reverberates across diverse industries, evident in the widespread adoption of electric vehicles and consumer products powered by the elements.

Currently, the top renewable energy sources in the world in terms of their current global installed capacity are hydropower, wind, solar and biomass. It is important to note that the ranking of these sources can change over time, as new technologies are developed, and more renewable energy projects are built.

Hydropower is the world’s largest renewable energy source. It is generated by the power of moving water, such as from rivers or waterfalls. Load cells measure the force of water flowing through a hydroelectric dam to control the flow of water. The information is used in the production and monitoring of the energy production. Load cells can also be used to measure the weight of the concrete used to build a hydroelectric dam and for assessing structural integrity. Check out our Hydropower Turbine Generator Monitoring App Note.

Wind power is the second largest renewable energy source. The energy is generated by the wind, which turns the blades of wind turbines to generate electricity. Wind power is a clean and renewable source of energy, and it is becoming increasingly cost-competitive. Load cells can be used to measure the torque and thrust of wind turbines to optimize the performance and ongoing operations. Load cells can also be used to measure the weight of the blades of wind turbines to make sure that the blades are strong enough to withstand the forces of wind depending on where the location.  Wind Turbine Bolt Monitoring provides an example of how our products are used in this type of energy production.

There are current programs around the world that are researching and development wind turbines that are located at sea. These offshore energy programs require force measurement solutions that are a submersible, ruggedized and wireless for use in energy production. Learn more by reviewing our Floating Wind Turbine Monitoring application note.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal are the third largest renewable and clean energy sources. Solar PV is generated by the sun’s light, which is converted into electricity by solar panels. Load cells can be used to measure the weight of solar panels to guarantee that the panels are properly supported and that they will not be damaged by wind or rain. Load cells can also be used to measure the force of the wind on solar panels to improve design and for ongoing element monitoring when in use. Get more details by reviewing Solar Panel Strength Testing.

Solar thermal is generated by the sun’s heat, which is used to heat water or air to generate steam or hot air, which can then be used to drive turbines to generate electricity. Load cells are used to measure the pressure and temperature of the water or air that is heated by the sun. Load cells can also be used to measure the weight of the solar collectors that are used to heat the water or air. Both use cases help in maintenance and to understand how to best protect the equipment from damage.

Biomass is the next largest renewable energy source and is generated by burning organic materials, such as wood, crops, or waste products. Biomass is a renewable source of energy, but it can also produce greenhouse gases. Measuring the energy production is critical. Load cells are vital in accurately measuring the weight of biomass fuel to safeguard against overloading the system. Load cells can also be used to measure the steam that is generated by burning biomass fuel. Interface Supports Renewable Energy Innovation details more examples.

Renewables_InfographicPoster

Read Interface Solutions for Growing Green Energy to see additional product applications.

Renewable and clean energy are often used interchangeably. Some sources are considered both renewable and clean. Renewable energy sources are important for ensuring our long-term energy security through sustainability. Clean energy sources are important for reducing our greenhouse gas emissions which science notes can significantly reduce our carbon footprint and combat the detrimental effects of global warming. Interface provides solutions that are helping to develop and deliver both renewable and clean energy.

As the world increasingly embraces renewables, we take significant steps toward building a more resilient and environmentally responsible energy landscape. This not only benefits us today but also fosters a healthier planet for future generations to enjoy. At Interface, we are committed to supporting this sustainable journey and contributing to a brighter, cleaner future for all of earth’s inhabitants.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Interface Solutions for Growing Green Energy

Interface Supports Renewable Energy Innovation

Demands for Quality Energy Measurement Solutions

Energy Solutions

Windmill Energy App Note

Wave Energy Generator

Floating Wind Turbine Monitoring

Interface Helps Power the World

Interface Details Hydrogen Electrolyzers Solution in Design News

Interface Most Promising Energy Tech Solution Provider

Fueling Global Demand for Interface Solutions

Increasing demand for quality, accurate and reliable sensor technologies is global.  Interface products are used on every continent and across all types of industries. As manufacturers and product innovators make advances in what they build and test, there is a direct correlation to the growth in precision test and measurement tool requirements we supply.

The overall sensor market in 2022 is expected to continue its fast past growth, estimated between 8-12% across all types of sensors. In force measurement, this pace is consistent with the experience in the global markets we serve in Africa, Asia, Australia and Oceania, Europe, Middle East, South and North America.

Represented by hundreds of sensors experts around the world, Interface distributors continue to experience growth in market share and Interface product users.  In fact, Interface’s fastest growing markets are represented in our global network.  Solutions that utilize our precision load cells, torque transducers, multi-axis load cells and instrumentation are all experiencing high growth worldwide.

What is impacting the greatest international growth for all types of sensors technologies?  According to market analysis and based on Interface’s experience, it’s being fed by:

  1. Miniaturization of Products and Sensors Used in Testing and OEMs
  2. Industrial Automation and Robotics
  3. Innovation in Aerospace and Automotive
  4. IoT – Internet of Things

Our direct experience in demand for Interface solutions outside of the US is related to these areas and specifically new products and expanding use cases. First, we recently launched our Global G Series products to meet this demand. This specialty product is sold exclusively outside the US. These products are designed and manufactured in the International System of Units (SI), with the same precision and accuracy of all Interface products.

The Global G Series is a global standard product line that is designed for applications that require miniature load cells and for OEM solutions used for automation of machines and components.  The markets that are experiencing the highest growth internationally include:

For example, innovative markets like electric vehicles and hydro-electric energy are growing rapidly domestically and in international markets. These industries rely on force testing to optimize these new technologies.

The Asia-Pacific market is currently our fastest growing market. Interface provides products for this market across all industries including automotive, aerospace, test and measurement and more. As mentioned above, the alternative energy, aerospace and electric vehicle market is a big area for Interface and the Asia-Pacific plays a big role in these areas.

Electric vehicle design and manufacturing requires a precise level of accuracy to improve energy efficiency, minimize weight and maximize vehicle range. For instance, battery technology is a major global focus; therefore, maximizing power output using force testing is the key to improving vehicle design. To achieve this, test and measurement solutions need to be as accurate as possible. Interface also provides high accuracy torque transducers, load cells, load washers and more for two areas of electric vehicle testing: laboratory testing to optimize system performance and production testing to ensure product quality.

Another application for force measurement in Europe is force testing on off-shore hydro-electric power plants. This is a great fit for Interface because we have developed an entire lineup of load cells and other products that are submersible. For this project specifically, we provided submersible WMC load cells. This is one example of an innovative application for renewable energies, and this is another market that is growing rapidly both domestically and internationally.

One of the consistent top selling products in both regions and industries are wireless load cells. In our 2022 Test and Measurement Industry Trends blog, detailed some of this growing demand for wireless force measurement solutions. Wireless systems are helping manufacturers simplify the integration process and create a cleaner safer test environment with far less wiring. It is especially helpful in industries like aerospace or automotive, where large factories want to transmit data across the facility without needing a mess of wires getting in the way.

For wireless needs, Interface supplies its Wireless Telemetry System (WTS) which offers sensor transmitters, receivers, and displays. High accuracy, high quality measurement is interfaced with simple yet powerful configuration and monitoring software and gives sensor manufacturers and integrators the complete flexibility to build their own sensor modules around it. The system easily replaces wired systems, reducing installation and maintenance costs.

One area that Interface is also investing in internally is recalibration services to serve all customers across the world. Many of our customers are becoming more aware of and utilizing these services, as we are continuing to grow this capability amongst international customers who are utilizing Interface products for the first time.

Interface’s presence in the international market is growing quickly. Interface is looking forward to seeing where and how we can supply the best in force measurement solutions to enable innovation around the world.

Source: Tyler Pettit, Application Engineer International Markets

Advancing Auto Testing with Interface Measurement Solutions

What classifies as the automotive industry involves a complex and dynamic mix of suppliers, makers and designers of all types of vehicles, as well as prototypes of the changing demands and requirements of consumers both big and small.  Whether we look at where we are today with hybrid and electric motors, or autonomous rigs and people movers in test now, one thing that is constant is Interface’s role in providing vital measurement solutions for testing and real-time performance monitoring in the automotive and vehicle markets.

Automotive is one of the industries in which Interface has worked with since the introduction of our first load cells more than five decades ago. Force and torque measurement is critical to testing at every stage of design and manufacturing. Our sensor solutions, instrumentation and accessories are used across all facets of component development, including the testing of engines and exterior bodies, tires, batteries, fuel pumps and more.

Interface products are used for crash walls, brake testing, energy storage tests in the lab, seat belt and headrest testing, just to name a few. The fact is torque and force play a major role in making the vehicle move and ensuring it’s safe for drivers and pedestrians alike.  Interface is showcasing some of these solutions at the upcoming Automotive Test Expo. Registration to attend is free.

As the industry evolves, so do we. In fact, our advanced product AxialTQ was created for the automotive industry for testing of EVs. This revolutionary torque transducer is now used in all types of line production, assembly and part, including:

  • Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) Lab Testing and End of Line (EOL) Testing
  • Drivetrain Lab Testing
  • Automotive Accessory Lab Testing
  • Electric Vehicle (EV) Motor EOL and EV Lab Testing

For more about this dynamic product, you can watch our latest AxialTQ Webinar here.

Interface supplies high quality, precision load cells to automotive manufacturers, including custom one-off sensors and special application-specific designs. Standard off-the-shelf models such as our 2400 series , our 3200 series Stainless Steel LowProfile™ Load Cells, and our WMC Miniature Load Cell family are popular with machine builders and used anywhere a rugged stainless steel load cell is required.

Research and development facilities with precision applications favor our 1200 Series LowProfile™ Load Cells with their special moment compensated design. These are used in auto manufacturer assembly lines in a variety of production monitoring and verification applications. Our exceedingly accurate LowProfile™ Load Cells have been used in NASCAR and IndyCar garages for testing individual springs and entire vehicle suspensions.

A moment compensated Interface load cell has as much as 1,000 times less error from side load or moment as our competitor’s products. And many of our sensors feature 10x mechanical overload protection, which helps protect against unintended loads. Our Model BPL Load Cell is a very LowProfile™ load cell used for measuring force on gas, brakes or clutch pedals.

With a wide range of automotive vehicle load cell sensors, force and torque measurement capabilities, and features such as moment compensation, temperature compensation, and mechanical overload protection, Interface can help you design a solution perfect for your automotive application. In fact, here are a few examples of our products in action.

Airbag Connector Testing

Testing airbag connectors functionality is needed ensure perfect deployment to meet the ultimate test of saving lives. There are eight to twelve connectors installed in each vehicle, and tests are needed to be made in order to clarify the connectors are working effectively. The amount of force needs to be tested in order to see when an electrical current has triggered use.  Utilizing the WMC Sealed Stainless Steel Miniature Load Cell to the actuator of the test rig. The airbag connector is held in place at the bottom of the test rig. Forces are applied and measured using the 9330 High Speed Data Logger as the connector is pushed down to latch together.  Read more about this use case.

Seat Testing

During testing there was consistent overloading and replacing of the single-axis load cells. After a thorough inspection, it was discovered that this was due to bending moments that had never been quantified so a multi-axis sensor was defined as the best solution.  An Interface Model 6A68C 6-Axis load cell was installed in their existing test machine. The 6-Axis Sensor was intentionally oversized allowing the customer to measure the unidentified bending moments while preventing any damage. Data Acquisition and Amplifier BX8 was used to graph, log, & store the data collected at the sensor. Read more here.

Automotive Headrest Testing

When a manufacturer for automotive head rests wanted to test the durability of their products by conducting several fatigue tests and force tests on the head rests to make sure it meets durability and high-quality standards, Interface was able to help. The solution was to install Model 1000 Fatigue-Rated LowProfile™ Dual Bridge Load Cell to the customer’s actuator mechanism. This load cell is perfect for fatigue testing and reports highly accurate results through the fatigue cycling. The results are collected by using the SI-USB4 4-Channel USB Interface Module, which synchronizes the data directly from the load cell and the string pot (for measuring distance) to the customer’s computer. Using this system, the head rest manufacturer was able to get highly accurate data through the fatigue testing cycle. Watch the testing video in action!

 

Engine Dynamometer

Internal combustion engines are by far the most common power source for land vehicles. From a 2-stroke motor in a lawn mower, to a V-8 stock car engine, horsepower and torque are the benchmarks of engine performance. Engine manufacturers and aftermarket suppliers use an engine dynamometer (dyno for short) to accurately measure an engine’s performance. An engine dyno isolates an engine’s power output to help quantify its overall performance, applying a load directly to the engine and utilizing a load cell to measure the torque absorbed by the loading mechanism. Horsepower is then calculated using the torque and RPM of the engine. To conduct this test, a precision S-Type Load Cell is attached to a torque arm which “feels” the torque from the engine loading system. The Interface Model SSMF is a great choice because it is fatigue-rated for a number of fully reversed cycles and is environmentally sealed to withstand harsh environments. Utilizing the Model CSC Signal Conditioner provides a clear signal to a data-acquisition system. Using this test solution, the load cell reacts precisely with the amount of torque being produced by the engine and provides accurate signals to the data-acquisition system. Engineers are then able to analyze the power transfer for the engine and optimize for performance. Read more about this solution here.

For additional automotive solutions and use cases, go here.

Test and Measurement for Electric Vehicles

Among the many technologies that are making a significant impact on our society over the last few years, very few compare to the impact of electrical vehicles. As the world addresses climate change, investments in electric vehicle technology have risen greatly across nearly all the world’s largest vehicle OEMs.

Investments in this vehicle market segment are global. According to a McKinsey report, the global electric vehicle (EV) market was valued at $162.34 billion in 2019, and is projected to reach $802.81 billion by 2027.

As with any technology, as the market potential rises the need for engineering, manufacturing, and testing technologies and suppliers rise as well. Here at Interface, we’ve been preparing for the EV market for many years. In 2018, Interface released the AxialTQ Wireless Rotary Torque Transducer, designed primarily for the automotive industry and specifically crafted to test some of the more unique requirements for engine testing on electric vehicles.

FierceElectronics outlined this need in an article on EV testing, saying “wireless rotary torque transducers are the critical link in a test rig used to develop next-generation technologies for electric and hybrid vehicle powertrains.” Interface has addressed this need with AxialTQ.

At the heart of AxialTQ’s innovation is the rotor and high-precision sensing element technology, which when combined with next-generation electronics, produces industry-leading accuracy. Unique features of AxialTQ also allow the system to be fully customizable and flexible include its ability to use simultaneous analog and digital outputs to enable real-time control and data collection. Additionally, the flexible capability of the stator and output module mounting offers an infinite number of configurations to meet any application needs, like those involved in the torque testing of EV.

The automotive industry, their subsidiaries and partners are known for stringent and comprehensive testing protocols necessary for safety, performance and quality.  Areas that require high-performing force and torque sensor technologies for test and measurement include:

  • ICE Lab Testing
  • ICE End of Line Testing
  • EV Lab Testing
  • EV Motor End of Line Testing
  • Drivetrain Lab Testing
  • Accessory Lab Testing

Read more about the EV testing use cases in our post, The Future of Automotive is Electric. 

One area that continues to expand testing is for EV batteries.  With the increase in EV battery capacity and the development in the charging technology, various parameters such as temperature, current, and pressure changes have to be monitored to ensure that any increase or decrease outside their range of functioning is detected and solved while driving the vehicle. These conditions lead to the utilization of electric vehicle sensors, which monitor such temperature, current, and pressure surges in EVs.

As outlined in our new Urban Mobility Case Study, one of the most integral pieces of technology is the battery used to run every piece of hardware and software in the car. One of the critical tests performed on EV batteries is compression testing. As an EV battery is charged and stores more electrons, it swells. If the packaging housing the batteries are not intelligently designed to compensate for this swelling, you could have a major problem. For this challenge, Interface can supply a WMC miniature load cell. The load cell will measure compression force as a battery goes through charge cycles on a test stand to determine the force given off as the battery swells. This allows our customers to design the proper packaging for the batteries.

Test and measurement and sensor technology are critical to optimizing parts and components in innovative and trending markets like the the electric vehicle market. Interface is proud to be a key supplier to these customers and we look forward to contributing to the continued growth of this important technology.

To learn more about Interface’s commitment to the automotive and EV industries, check out some of our top application notes and case studies here: www.interfaceforce.com/solutions/automotive-vehicle/.