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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.

Faces of Interface Featuring Elliot Speidell

In today’s Faces of Interface post, we are featuring Interface Regional Sales Director Elliot Speidell. Amongst all the wonderful stories and backgrounds, we hear about from our amazing team, Elliot’s may be one of the most unique and interesting.  You see, Elliot didn’t start his career in or go to school for engineering like many of the Faces of Interface subjects we’ve highlighted in the past.

In fact, Elliot studied music education at Northern Arizona University. Music was Elliot’s first passion and he thought that he would go on to pursue a career in it. Although, as he explains it, he was a kid just trying to figure it out and wasn’t sure what to do. But he loved music, so he went for it.

His first job out of school was teaching music in elementary school, followed by teaching both middle and high school students. And while he did enjoy it for a time, he and his wife were expecting a daughter and he thought that it was time for a change.

Now, music isn’t Elliot’s only passion. He also loves to work with cars. He can often be found tinkering and improving cars that he eventually races in Sports Car Club of America Solo (SCCA) events. SCCA Solo is different from what you see on TV with NASCAR and Indy Car Racing. It involves precision driving through a designated course marked with cones. If you’ve kept up with the Faces of Interface series, you would know that SCCA Autocross is also a major hobby for our Global Sales Vice President, Brian Peters.

Going back to Elliot and his desire to move into a new field, both Brian and Elliot became friends during SCCA competition, and Elliot had mentioned to Brian that he was looking for something new. Knowing Elliot well, Brian thought that he would make a great application engineer. Thus, the unique story of how Elliot moved from music to a career in technology and engineering by joining the team at Interface.

As an Application Engineer at Interface, Elliot provided frontline support to customers across the east coast, later moving to serve the west coast. He worked across industries providing force measurement solutions to customers for a wide variety of applications. After a few years, he moved on to the newly introduced technical services department where he served as the technical services manager. In this role, Elliot and his team helped manage the recalibration of customer’s products as well provided technical support to customers for load cells, torque transducers, and related instrumentation. He was also instrumental in selling these services to customers and growing the technical services business.

Today, Elliot is a regional sales director where this time he started on the west coast and eventually has taken over support for the region that is along the US east coast, as well as a few regions in the south including Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. The new role is more strategic in nature in that he’s out working directly with customers providing Interface force solutions, while also working directly with Interface’s teams of outside sales reps in those regions.

The thing that Elliot loves most about working at Interface is the diversity of applications he gets to work on. One day he could be helping provide a solution for measuring the tension on a guitar string and another day he’s helping a customer that’s working on a test stand for a rocket engine. Every day is unique and the technology he gets to see, and help solve challenges for, is always getting cooler!

When he’s not solving customer challenges, Elliot can be found with his wife of 14 years and their daughter, riding his mountain bike, or in the garage slowly working on LS swapping his car’s engine for SCCA autocross. Pre-pandemic, he also still indulged his love of music by playing trumpet in a Soul and Funk band at various Phoenix area venues.

We hope you enjoyed learning about Elliot as much as we enjoyed sharing this feature. Stay tuned for more Faces of Interface in 2021, and from everyone here at Interface, we wish you a very happy New Year!

Aerospace and Defense Industry Solutions

Among the many applications Interface products are used for across multiple markets, there may be none that require the highest levels of accuracy, quality and reliability as does the aerospace and defense industry.

By classification, aerospace largely comprises of those engaged in producing and servicing of commercial aircraft. The defense market is defined as those providing military weapons and systems designed to operate in the air, in the sea or on land.

The aerospace and defense industries are global markets that continue to expand their use of precision sensor technologies for advancing innovations in autonomous vehicles and flight systems, electric and hydrogen engines, as well additive manufacturing applications. Interface proudly serves the world’s largest manufacturers and suppliers in www.interfaceforce.com/solutions/aerospace by providing world-class force and torque measurement solutions for these types of requirements, as well as for their future inventions.

Over the past two years, the trends in the global commercial space ecosystem along with defense needs have created unique requirements that benefit from our five decades of being a premium provider for A&D equipment manufacturers and testing labs. We are able to meet these trending demands through our standard, engineered to order and completely custom force, torque and systems. These solutions are being utilized in testing of all types of vehicles, on the ground, in the water, and for flight.

A&D is a unique industry because of the complex needs of many applications. When we develop applications for other industries, we’re typically focused on solving a few specific challenges, whether it’s related to cost, safety, performance, environment, or other engineering specified design requirements. In aerospace and defense, every one of these factors needs to be addressed, as well as some special needs. Applications in the aerospace and defense industry cannot fail. If they do, it can put people, both military and civilians, in danger. That’s why force products in the defense industry need to be of the highest quality in all key factors.

Below are a few applications for force measurement in the defense industry. Each demonstrates the criticality of proper force testing, as well as the complexity of the projects Interface has been involved in.

SLS Tank Test

As outlined in NASA’s article on the SLS Tank Test, NASA’s goal was to push the very limits of a test version of the world’s largest rocket fuel tank. The project put incredible flight test strain on the tank to try and push it to its breaking point. After five hours of testing and more than 260% of the expected flight load, the tank finally buckled. Doing this helped engineers gather data on the tank to help intelligently optimize the final rocket ship.

In this application, load cells played the key role of collecting the flight force data. The extreme nature of the flight tests meant that the load cells needed to be incredibly durable and provide accurate data all the way through the breaking point.

Structural Testing

For the many hundreds of thousands of commercial and military vehicles on the market, especially those that fly, there are numerous force tests involved to validate a design and ensure they’re safe and of the highest quality to move into production. Load cells and torque transducers are used across a wide variety of vehicles for structural testing. The torque of the helicopter rotor is measured and validated using a torque transducer, or the wings and hull of an airplane are put through wind tunnels and other stress tests with load cells installed to collect data. All of these force applications are critical to ensuring that these vehicles can last beyond their intended breaking point and offer complete peace of mind to operators and passengers. There are a million different things that a military pilot is thinking about – the structural integrity of his or her aircraft should never be one of them.

Custom Sensors

Another area that has grown in recent years as technology pushes the aerospace and defense market forward is custom sensors. Test has gotten more sophisticated as the move to big data becomes more prevalent, and Interface has addressed this by working directly with customers to develop custom sensors that address unique challenges.

One of the biggest areas where we have seen a growing need for custom sensors is on test stands in thrust application. Test stands are often used in field testing on rocket or plane engines. In certain field applications, the test stand is outfitted with numerous load cells that must be custom designed with features like weatherization, multiple bridges, very-high precision, and more. The reason for this is because the cost of a thrust test in fuel alone can be incredibly high. You usually only get one shot at a successful thrust test. If there are any issues with the sensor, it’s going to be costly.

Interface has deep experience developing custom sensors for our aerospace and defense partners. We understand their needs and work closely with their engineering team to ensure they get it right the first time. If you’re interested in learning more about Interface and our solutions for the aerospace and defense industry, please visit us at www.interfaceforce.com/solutions/aerospace.

For additional references, check out our A&D related case studies and application notes:

Launching Into Orbit with Interface

Force Measurement for Space Travel

Interface’s Crucial Role in Vehicle and Urban Mobility Markets

Aircraft Wing Fatigue Test

Rocket Structural Test

Wind Tunnel Testing

Contributor: Elliot Speidell, Interface Regional Sales Director