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Interface Solutions Designed for Infrastructure Challenges

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

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

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

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

Concrete Dam Flood Monitoring

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

Hydropower Turbine Generator Monitoring

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

Bridge Seismic Force Monitoring Solution

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

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

Highways and Bridge Construction and Monitoring

Concrete Dam Measurement and Flood Monitoring

Transportation Heavy Equipment Testing

People Movers for Airports

Train Brakes Testing

Power Generation Equipment

Geotechnical Monitoring

Road Load Tests

Weight Bridges and Transportation Scales

Truck and Aircraft Weighing

Housing Mainframe and Skyscraper Construction Monitoring

Building Foundation Capacity Measurement

Bridge Seismic Force Monitoring

In-Motion Rail Weighing

Cranes and Heavy Object Lifting

Structural Testing and Telecommunication Structures

Conveyor Belts

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

Interface Explores Maritime Applications Near and Offshore

Land, air, and sea are all the places where Interface force measurement devices are used to test and confirm product designs and measure real-time functions of equipment. Interface has long been providing an array of sensor solutions for use in the maritime industry.

The solutions are diverse including hydrofoil watercraft testing, yacht rigging inspections, and safety weight monitoring on massive cranes used on shipping docks and offshore. Interface provides various load cells, load pins, tension links, load shackles, instrumentation, and wireless products for splash zone, offshore and underwater sites.

The reason we are a top choice for products in or around the water is because of our line of submersible and rugged load cells and sensors designed for underwater applications and use in harsh weather conditions. From rigs and docks to structural waterways and bridges, our load cells can survive through underwater submersions at different capacities, and still be able to relay reliable and accurate data to instrumentation and receivers at the surface level. Interface measurement technologies are helping customers regulate harsh maritime situations including underwater tension lines for commercial fishing, nearshore hoisting apparatus at shipyards, undersea energy exploration, as well as storm and tsunami monitoring.

Specifically, our wireless load pins, load shackles, and tension links are ideal for marine applications. These products can be paired with our different wireless sensor transmitters, receivers, and handheld displays. Our Wireless Crosby Bow Load Shackles have been used for line tension testing and rigging. Our load shackles are inter-changeable with our WTSTL Wireless Tension Link Load Cell. The WTS-BS-4 Wireless Industrial USB Base Station is also a popular transmitter that gives outstanding coverage and can be easily paired with one of our handheld displays such as the WTS-BS-1-HA Wireless Handheld Display for Multiple Transmitters or the WTS-BS-1-HS Wireless Handheld for Single Transmitters.

Check out a few of our applications notes to see how these products can be used for testing in the maritime industry:

Hydrofoil Testing in a Wave Tank

Hydrofoil design for watercraft is a delicate balance between performance and complexity. Finding the right shape without using overly complex angles to achieve the desired amount of lift is crucial when designing a successful hydrofoil. Once an engineer’s concepts are ready for testing, using the best force measurement equipment is required to sense the subtle differences between hydrofoil designs. Lift and drag are the most important characteristics of a hydrofoil. The Interface Model 3A120 3-Axis Load Cell is needed to read these forces. The Fz senses lift and the Fx and Fy sense the drag. Using a model BSC4D-USB bridge amplifier increases the visibility of the load cells output signals. When using the load cell and bridge amplifier, the engineers can record the real-world lift and drag forces the hydrofoils are having on the watercraft. This data allows a more in-depth comparison of proposed hydrofoil designs to find the best model for the job. Learn more.

Mooring Line Tension Testing 

Due to the changing weather conditions, mooring cable lines undergo wear and tear. Users want to ensure all mooring lines for ships or vessels are securely docked at the same loading tension so that they do not risk the mooring lines to break or cause damage. Interface WTSLTL Lightweight Wireless Tension Link can be attached to each mooring cable in use. Results are sent to the customers through the WTS-BS-4 USB Industrial Base Station when connected to the customer’s supplied PC computer or laptop. Data can also be transmitted to the WTS-BS-1-HA Handheld Display for Multiple Transmitters, giving the customer the option to view multiple mooring cable line tensions. Using these Interface products, the customer was able to verify the tensions to multiple mooring cable lines. Thus, resulting in the security of their ship being safely docked on shore. Check out the app note here.

WTS Yacht Rigging Inspection

For a customer who wants to have a complete rigging inspection to make sure the mast, still lines, and all movable hoisting lines are functional and meet the proper specifications for sailing, Interface has the products to help. To test the tension of the forestay, shroud, and backstay cables, and the tension of the movable lines when sailing, Interface provided a WTSSHK-B Wireless Crosby™ Bow Load Shackle paired with the WTS-BS-1 Wireless Handheld Display for Unlimited Transmitters. This allows customers to switch and view between multiple shackles being tested during the inspection. The WTS-BS-4 USB Industrial Base Station can also be attached to the customer’s PC or laptop to display real time measurements from the shackles and log data. With this combination of technology, the customer was able to conduct both a running and standing rigging inspection of their ship or vessel and was able to determine if all lines were functional and met safety standards. Learn more here.

Dock Crane Safety and Capacity Verification

It is essential that heavy equipment used on the dock can verify that their crane is strong enough to safely lift a heavy load. For productivity and timing, it also is helpful to constantly measure and rate maximum load capacity. In these environments, a wireless solution is needed to avoid long cables, and to have a faster installation time. Using the WTSLTL Lightweight Wireless Tension Link Load Cell, operators can measure the load’s maximum capacity. The WTS-RM1 Wireless Relay Output Receiver Modules also can trigger an alarm that can be set when the maximum capacity of weight and force. The data is transmitted and can be reviewed with the WTS-BS-1-HS Wireless Handheld Display, or, on the customer’s receiving technology. Read more here.

As you can see, Interface has got Maritime covered with a wide variety of products suitable for submersion and the harsh weather that can be found at sea. In addition, if our off-the-shelf products don’t quite meet your use case, Interface’s custom solutions team will work alongside you to create the most effective and efficient solution based on your needs.

Faces of Interface Featuring James Richardson

Born in Arizona but growing up in the rural area of Cotton City, New Mexico, James Richardson was only exposed to the opportunity of a career in engineering after moving back to Arizona. After graduating as his high school class Salutatorian in 1995, he started college in Eastern Arizona.

He later moved to Mesa in 1999 where he took a job working for his uncle at Dewitt Equipment fixing restaurant and cooking equipment like ovens, fryers and microwaves, and along with refrigeration equipment including air conditioning units, freezers, and ice machines. It was also during this time he learned to braze, solder and TIG weld.

At Dewitt, his on the job training for fixing equipment built up his foundation for engineering. The spark that really kicked it off came on a sweltering Arizona summer day when James was repairing an A/C unit on a restaurant’s loose gravel rooftop. The temperature was so high that the gravel began to sink, melting the soles of his shoes. At this point, James realized he enjoyed working with his hands and on advanced equipment; however, it was time to finish his formal education in engineering and pursue a job that included more time inside where there was ample air conditioning.

By this time James had already completed an Associate Degree at Maricopa Community College and he was about 18 months from completing a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree at Arizona State University. Completing this degree, he later earned a Master’s in Engineering Management from Ohio University. Towards the end of his bachelor’s degree, he got an internship at Honeywell Aerospace. His first job after earning his degree was with Enertron Inc., a leading provider of thermal management solutions for the aerospace, military, medical, telecommunications, and IC fab equipment industries. In this role, he designed heat sinks for circuit boards used for lasers, lighting and computers.

After three years with Enertron, he moved to Cleveland Electric Laboratories where he served as an applications engineer working on turbine engine instrumentation. This is where James got his first hands on experience with force measurement equipment. His job was to design instrumentation for strain, temperature, and pressure measurements. At one point he even designed a load pin for a customer.

In his role, he was also introduced to Interface. The company he was working for owned several Interface products and he became familiar with their high-quality and premium accuracy. Then in 2015, a headhunter called him out of the blue to offer him a chance to work for Interface. James was excited about the prospect of working for a company that put quality first. In fact, the thing that hooked him about Interface was the declared focus of “Quality is Our Driving Force,” and the fact that each of the four interviewers reiterated the importance of this statement in their interview.

James joined Interface as a production engineer. He remained in this role for about four years before being promoted to Senior Engineer, and then to his current role as Mechanical Engineering Manager where he leads a team of five other engineers. In this leadership position, James is responsible for overseeing development efforts for some of Interface’s most important product lines including the specialized 1923 and 1925 wireless custom solutions and our downhole products for the energy markets. James was instrumental in the latest new product release, the new ConvexBT Load Button Load Cell.

In addition to this critical role, James also loves to learn about the many ways that Interface products directly affect him and people close to him. This includes how measuring systems ensure the proper weight of food in nutritional planning and packaging, measurement of things like blood donations, and safety test systems for airplanes. The work done at Interface is incredibly important to everyday life and many people don’t even realize it.

In his free time, James can be found spending time with his wife of 21 years and their four children, two sons and two daughters. The family enjoys the outdoors together, partaking in activities like bike rides and hikes. He also brings some of his passion for engineering home. He’s intrigued by the possibilities of 3D printing and owns a printer himself. He’s designed and printed things like bowties, wallets, wall-mounts for various gadgets, and even toys for the kids. In case you missed it, the photo of James is his own 3-D printed bowtie. It was a big hit at the Interface holiday party.

Another interesting fact about James is that throughout his career he’s tried to connect with co-workers from different countries by learning their language. Throughout his life he’s learned a little bit of Polish and German, and is fluent in Spanish, which he learned while spending two years as a missionary in South America.

We asked James to describe his thoughts on his career in engineering in another language. He responded, “Un dicho o una frase que a mí me gusta pensar, cuando algo no sale buenisimo, es: “Siempre hay una manera mejor.” This translates to a saying or phrase that I like to think of when something doesn’t turn out great, “There is always a better way.”

To learn more about the ConvexBT, check out the datasheet here:

ConvexBT

Faces of Interface Featuring Brian Peters

It is not everyday we get to share a story about an accomplished engineer and sales leader who also doubles as a racecar driver.  Let us introduce you to our Global Sales Vice President, Brian Peters, who has a fascinating professional and personal background that came together because of his passion for all things automotive.

As a kid growing up, Brian was always interested in cars, and more specifically the mechanics of cars. His dream had always been to work with cars professionally in some capacity. This dream led him to pursue a mechanical engineering degree at Arizona State University (ASU). The thing he loved most about this experience was that the educational program was focused on a hands-on experience. During his time at ASU, he also earned an internship doing automotive component testing and accident reconstruction, which became his first foray into a profession in the automotive industry.

In this position, Brian also received his first experience working with load cells. Part of the job entailed testing seatbelts, airbags and other automotive components using force sensors. The load cells would be used to measure the resistance and force of these components in various situation. It just so happened that some of the load cells that Brian was working with were Interface load cells.

Later on in his career, Brian began looking for a new opportunity. Around the time of the 2008 economic downturn, he was referred to Interface who was looking to hire an application engineer. In 2009, Brian came on board as an Interface Application Engineer. His focus was on helping to solve force-related design and testing challenges across a wide variety of industries including automotive, aerospace, oil and gas and more.

His success with Interface helped in rise through the ranks to become a regional sales director, then national sales director. Most recently, Brian has been promoted to the position of global sales VP for Interface. In this role, Brian is responsible for all worldwide sales for Interface, including US manufacturer’s reps and international distributors. He works closely with his application engineers and regional sales team, as well as the outside sales network to ensure customers are happy and satisfied with their experience working with Interface products and services. He also continues to work directly with customers to help them solve complex challenges related to force and torque testing of new technology.

I feel very fortunate to be a part of the Interface team and take pride in the fact that Interface offers the most reliable and accurate product on the market and knows that each and every member of the organization works hard to maintain its 52+ year track record of excellence.” Brian Peters, Global Sales VP

Brian also enjoys the opportunity to solve customer needs across every industry. His love of automotive mechanics has expanded to other sectors and he loves to take on new challenges in these sectors. Brian also works closely with energy market leaders.  Read more from a recently contributed Article by Brian Peters 20 Most Promising Energy Tech Solution Providers 2020.

Brian’s automotive also passions persisted well outside of the workplace. Throughout his life he has remained connected to cars and racing. Brian is a regular on the racetrack, whether he’s racing or helping other drivers train.

He often competes in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) racing, which involves precision driving through a designated course marked with cones. While not what you would consider a fast race in comparison to NASCAR and Indy Car Racing, the level of technical expertise and ability to handle powerful cars necessary to compete in SCCA is immense. Brian has even competed in SCCA championship events throughout his career in the sport. In addition, Brian also used to train drivers, both military and enthusiasts. But don’t take our word for it, check him out on the track!

In short, the automotive industry has had a major impact on Brian’s life, and he feels extremely fortunate to be able to keep up with this dream through his personal and professional work. However, above all else is family. Brian credits his ability to thrive professionally and continue with his dream of racing to his wife of 20 years and three young daughters. He expressed that their love and support has enhanced his life like nothing else could and without them he would not be in the position he is today.

We are thankful to have you on our team Brian and we are thrilled to finally be able to tell your awesome story. To learn more about the outstanding people that make Interface go, please subscribe to our blog for more Faces of Interface ForceLeaders profiles and host of educational material related to force measurement and it’s applications in real life at www.interfaceforce.com/blog/.

Hazardous Environment Solutions from Interface

There are hundreds of thousands of engineers and manufacturers that spend their days working in hazardous environments. Whether its operating inside of facilities with large machines with intricate moving parts, working hundreds of feet in the air repairing a bridge, or deep within a mine shaft, these professionals put themselves in danger every day by the nature of their work. As engineers and manufacturers, many of us are also tasked to solve for safety challenges and keep these professionals protected in any environment.

At Interface, one of the ways we contribute to industrial safety is with the development of our Interface Ex Rated Load Cells, also known as Interface Intrinsically Safe Products. These specialized load cells and force measurement solutions are designed and manufactured so that the materials and electronic components are safe for use in hazardous gas and dust environments when installed per applicable installation instructions. These components play an integral role in the safety of the men and women working in dangerous environments in particular industries like oil and gas, mining, aerospace, automotive and more.

These hazardous environments are categorized by the amount of explosive risk that is present in the environment. These levels include:

  • Zone Zero – explosive presence is always there
  • Zone One – explosive presence is close and is sometimes there
  • Zone Two – explosive presence is nearby, but is rarely present other than in some type of leak or other catastrophes

In order for force measurement products to operate safely in these environments, companies must design the devices in accordance with a regulatory body. These products must also be inspected for approval and then it is marked with the certification code that displays the zone and temperatures it’s safe to operate in. In addition, the manufacturing process needs to be highly controlled. Manufacturers must keep documentation for each product, which includes how the product was made and where it went. And they are required to keep that documentation for 10 years in case of a product recall.

There are a number of different regulatory bodies focused on product safety throughout the world, and each has different specifications for explosiveness that need to be met based on the area in which the product is sold. Locations in which Interface can sell its Ex Rated products include countries in North America, Europe, Asia, and Brazil in South America.

The regulatory bodies that develop the specifications and approve products include:

  • International Electrotechnical Commission Explosive Atmospheres (IECEx) is given after a manufacturer proves compliance through a quality assessment report (QAR).
  • ATmospheres EXplosible or ATEX is a European Union(EU) examination certification. In order to receive ATEX certification, the manufacturer must obtain a quality assurance notification (QAN) to sell products in certain EU areas.

Interface develops a host of Ex Rated force measurement products that are certified by both IECEx and ATEX. These products have been used in a wide variety of applications within the energy and automotive industries. Included below are a few examples of the products we sell and the applications using our Ex products

ATEX 3400 Series Load Cells

The 3400 series of load cells are rated for Zone 1 and include the 3416 and 3430 Coil Tubing Intrinsically Safe Load Cells, the 3420 Coil Tubing Intrinsically Safe Load Cell and the 3410 Intrinsically Safe LowProfile® Load Cell. These products are hermetically sealed and have been used in the oil and gas industry to measure the force of coil tubing as it goes down an oil well. The 3400 Series is used in the space industry to help develop hydrogen-powered vehicles because of the threat of explosion with hydrogen power. The 3400 Series Load Cells have also been used in a distillery for a custom whiskey-making application.

ATEX, IECEx, ETL, Inmetro 1923 Series

The 1923 Series Load Cell is used in the oil and gas industry. These load cells include designs rated for both Zone 0 and Zone 2 applications. This load cell measures the force in which the pump jack is operating to avoid allowing the pump to go too fast and interrupt the capillary flow of oil. We also recently developed and released the 1923 Wireless Series load cell. Our 1923 Wireless Series innovation provides the same accurate, real-time data readings with little to no fuss over wires, which can create more hazards for the user.

ATEX SSMH Sealed Hazardous Environment Intrinsically Safe S-Type Load Cell

Our Zone 1 rated SSMH S-Type Load Cell is our only load cell that is certified for dust, so it is most often used in mining operations. This product is a tension and compression load cell that is environmentally sealed at an IP65 rating. It also has a high-temperature rating of up to 290° F for dust environments.

ATEX IECEx Bow Type Crosby™ Cabled Load Shackle

The Interface range of ATEX IECEx load shackles is designed for lifting and weighing in rugged or harsh environments, and also meet the requirements for operation in Zone 1 and 2 hazardous areas. The shackle pins are forged from high tensile stainless steel and are machined to an exacting specification. This range of load shackles is proof loaded to 150% of the normal rated load and is available in a range from 3.25 to 400 MT (7.17K to 882K lbf). The product is internally gaged and the whole instrumented area is sealed to IP67 to protect it in service.

When operating in explosive environments, our customers need to know that their products are safe and reliable. Here at Interface, we stand by the quality of our work and the safety of our Ex Rated products. For more information on Interface’s Intrinsically Safe and Ex Rated products, please visit /product-category/intrinsically-safe/.

Contributor:  Ken Vining, Chief Engineer at Interface

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

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

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

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

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

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

Medical:

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

Aerospace & Defense:

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

Infrastructure & Construction:

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

Vehicle & Automotive:

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

Industrial & Automation: 

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

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

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

Our COVID-19 response is here.

 

Interface Most Promising Energy Tech Solution Provider

Interface is proud to be recognized as one of the ‘20 Most Promising Energy Tech Solution Providers” of 2020 by CIO Review Magazine.

As a pioneer of load cell technology, Interface has long been recognized around the world for providing the most accurate and reliable force measurement solutions on the market. Accuracy matters for safety and reliability in test and measurement projects, engineering and product design and in the original equipment manufacturing of products that require precision sensor technology capabilities.

“The key ingredient to our product’s quality is our more than 50 years of experience and the fact that we have vertically integrated the entire manufacturing process from design to production. Because of this, we have a deep understanding of the materials and product capabilities necessary to suit every industry, application and customer need.” Brian Peters, Director US Sales, Interface

One of the industries where our knowledge of force measurement is vertically integrated processes is in the energy industry. The conditions energy professionals work in can be harsh. They’re often in dangerous environments extracting oil and natural gas, wind, or coal to fuel our nation’s need for power. The equipment our energy sector customers use must be ruggedized and provide the most accurate results possible. If the equipment fails, our customers risk steep financial losses and their staff is more exposed to safety hazards.

Interface has a special line of intrinsically safe solutions for harsh environments. These low profile load cells with loop-powered intrinsically safe amplified output are designed for use in the oil field and other hazardous locations. These load cells are specifically designed from Interface models by adding high resistance strain gages for low-current loop power and shielded internal amplifier for extra low emissions and minimal EMI susceptibility. Interface’s S-type load cell provides a suitable force measurement sensor for applications in coal mining and transfer and other heavy industries where explosive dust and environment conditions are potentially explosion-hazard rated.

Often times, our energy customers come to us needing a custom force measurement solution to deal with these unique challenges for all energy types including thermal, radiant, chemical energy, nuclear, electrical, motion, sound, elastic, and gravitational energy. Innovation in the energy is also heavily dependent upon accuracy in performance, whether it is advancing in the capabilities in the extraction of oil or measuring forces in solar and geothermal. Interface is relied upon by the energy industry leaders and OEM solution providers for their vast ranges of standard and customized load cells, torque transducers, digital instrumentation products and expanding wireless technologies. Read more here about our innovative solutions for the energy industry.

Upon selection for this recognition, Interface application expert Brian Peters contributed to an article for CIO Review Magazine detailing our work developing a custom downhole rig solution for an oil and gas customer. He also explains how Interface has evolved to meet the rising challenges of an industry that is addressing the need for more sustainable energy sources. Click this link to be redirected to Brian’s article online to share.  If you would like to speak with Brian or an application engineer about your test and measurement project or requirements for sensor technology, contact us here.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE

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Faces of Interface Featuring Lance Gerdes

Lance Gerdes grew up as a “military brat” who moved around the world with his family to various U.S. Air Force bases because his father was an Avionics Specialist. For some children this would be a burden; however, for Gerdes, it was an opportunity to connect with his father and brothers over the inner-workings of aviation, cars, and sailboats. The family would work on the different vehicles they owned together, and his father who was a flight instructor would even take them up in planes. It is easy to see how Gerdes became a mechanical engineer and one of his brothers became a flight engineer.

Being a military family member also provided Gerdes with a culturally-diverse background. He attended schools across the world before graduating high school in Okinawa, Japan, where his family was stationed at the time. He eventually made his way back to the United States, where he attended college at Northern Arizona University earning his degree in mechanical engineering.

Lance began his professional career in the nuclear industry doing nuclear maintenance and nuclear refueling for various U.S. contractors, including Westinghouse, Babcock & Wilcox and Nuclear Engineering Services. He remained in the sector until his son was born, at which time he decided to relocate to Scottsdale, Arizona. After moving, he began working at Calibron, a manufacturer of liquid calibration devices.

As his career brought Gerdes further into the mechanical engineering side of things, he eventually found Interface. He joined the company because his work with load cells and force measurement devices allowed him to realize how diverse the field is in its applications. Some of the applications that have impressed him the most include how to measure the force on the enormous mirrors made at the Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab at The University of Arizona which are used on the Magellan Telescope (GMTO) being built in Chile, or how load cells used to do crash-landing tests with air and spacecraft.

Today, Gerdes works as the Continuous Improvement Subject Matter Expert (SME) at Interface. In this role, he leads a group of 12 specialized technicians that are responsible for creating one of Interface’s newest and most innovative product lines. This invention, the proprietary 1923 Wireless Series Load Cell, is a significant product line for the company. This exclusive product is designed for the oil and gas industry, which allows users to avoid pump jacks going too fast and interrupting the capillary flow of oil. The high-performance wireless load cell, which is incorporated into the manufacturer’s original equipment, sits on the pump jack and monitors the force at which the jack pumps, providing real-time data to avoid over-pumping.

Learn more about how Lance and his team are utilizing automation tools and robotics for advancing innovation and continuous improvements in building precision load cell solutions for OEMs. Click here to read more.

Gerdes’ life has revolved around engineering since he can remember. From living abroad on military bases to nuclear and mechanical engineering, his passion continues to exude this commitment and energy in making an impact at Interface and for the customer.

In his free time, he likes to decompress from it all and enjoy a good balance. At home, his life revolves around his family, his five German shorthaired pointer dogs and his love for the peaceful escape of camping and hunting. Gerdes has been married for 25 years, and he and his wife have a 24-year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter.  He is active with his children’s extra-curricular activities, including coaching baseball, basketball, and swimming. He and his family love to go camping and boating together, and Gerdes is an avid big game bowhunter.

To learn more about the brilliant minds that shape Interface, follow our monthly Faces of Interface feature on our blog at /blog/.

 

 

IoT Solution That Monitors Rigging and Lifting in Real-Time Showcased at OTC50

Interface, the world’s trusted leader in technology, design, and manufacturing of force measurement solutions is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) by exhibiting at the global event.

In coordination with the event theme, The Next 50 Years of Offshore Developments, Interface will be highlighting their latest innovations that are advancing force measurement solutions specifically for the oil and gas industry. We will be gathering input from participants in our next-generation of downhole load cell and strain gage technology.

During OTC 2019, Interface is showcasing its proprietary wireless telemetry system (WTS) that measures force capacity in heavy machinery used by oil and gas support service. This innovation connects to software on a PC to handle enormous amounts of weight, preventing damage to both humans and equipment.

Interface’s solution is part of the most exclusive line of integrated wireless products on the market.” Ken Bishop, Director, Sales Engineering

Interface will also be discussing its line of ATEX approved products for use in extremely harsh environments, including its most popular product, the Interface LowProfile® load cell.  The company’s products are customizable to meet any customer specification.

Interface force measurement solutions are used in every facet of energy production from research and exploration to monitoring equipment. You can read more about Interface innovation in dry load cell technology here.  This advancement in force measurement provides unparalleled accuracy in a ruggedized package that will stand up to the harsh environments of a deep oil well. These design iterations increase product lifespans, with cost savings and consistency of using a single force measurement solution.

Attendees of OTC 2019 can find Interface team members at booth #7551, Hall C at NRG Park in Houston, May 6-8 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and May 9 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. CST.