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Interface Engineered Solutions for Lifting Webinar Recap

Everything from mechanical engineering designs, equipment materials, and the sensors used in lifting machinery is changing the concept of lifting today. Interface experts Keith Skidmore and Ken Bishop explore types of measurement products, applications, technical considerations, and tips for lifting use cases in the Interface recorded webinar Engineered Solutions for Lifting.

Sensors are central in lifting equipment to maintain safety, quality, compliance, and efficiency. Interface provides a useful product selection online resource for lifting applications. Go to the Lifting Solutions Guide.

Interface load cells can help prevent accidents by providing real-time feedback on the weight of the lifted load. The measurement data helps ensure the lifting machinery is not overloaded or unbalanced, leading to structural failure, tipping over, or injury. Sensor technologies improve quality control by ensuring products are lifted to the correct specifications.

Interface LowProfile Load Cells, Load Pins, Load Shackles, and Tension Links improve efficiency by automating the lifting process. For example, load cells can control the speed and movement of a lifting mechanism, ensuring that the load is lifted safely and efficiently. These measurement sensors can reduce costs by minimizing damage to equipment and products. By preventing overloads and ensuring that loads are lifted safely, load cell devices can extend the lifespan of equipment and prevent costly accidents.

In many industries, regulations require load cells for lifting applications to ensure compliance and overload protection. For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires the use of load cells in many lifting applications for monitoring and reporting.

Automation of lifting is on the rise. Using robotics and component activation is commonly designed into new equipment and retrofitting existing hardware. These features also provide valuable operating safety and alarm systems based on key measurements. Modernizing equipment to meet today’s and future use cases is important to operators and manufacturers of lifting equipment. This includes utilizing wireless components and using cloud-based data (IoT).

Lifting sensors are more commonly found in settings with high-temperature variances and exposure to extreme environmental conditions. The measurement solutions must withstand these variances while providing continuous monitoring capabilities. Today’s use cases require smaller load cells, like our beam load cells, while not sacrificing precision measurement.

Interface products are used for all types of lifting equipment, apparatus, and machines, including:

  • All Purpose Cranes
  • Patient Lifts and Medical Equipment
  • Drones with Lift and Carry Capabilities
  • Aircraft Lifts and Rigging
  • Lifting Gantry Systems and Mobile Gantry Cranes
  • Jib Cranes
  • Engine and Floor Cranes
  • Scaffold Runway Systems
  • Venue and Entertainment AV Equipment
  • Rigging Equipment
  • Pallet Movers
  • Elevators
  • Loaders and Bulldozers

During the webinar, Interface experts shared tips and best practices. Here is a quick summary of tips for lifting use cases.

Top Measurement Tips for Lifting Use Cases

TIP #1 Select the right force sensor. Factors to consider when selecting a force sensor include the maximum force it can measure, accuracy, weight, dimensions, and environmental conditions for use.

TIP #2 Proper installation will define your application’s success. It is important to install the force sensor correctly to ensure accurate measurements.

TIP #3 Calibrate the force sensor regularly, preferably once a year. Regularly run calibration-grade tests if the load cell is embedded into the lifting device.

TIP #4 Based on each use case, instrumentation can make all the difference in your program. For example, a data acquisition system collects force data to monitor the lifting process, identify potential problems, and generate reports.

TIP #5 Design the lifting system with safety in mind. Force measurement can improve the safety of lifting systems by preventing overloading, detecting imbalances in the load, and monitoring the condition of the lifting equipment.

Tune into the webinar to hear Keith Skidmore and Ken Bishop detail best practices, key considerations to identify stable and unstable lifting, and a thorough review of industry applications using Interface products.

Lifting Applications

Crane Capacity Verification

A customer wants to verify that their crane is strong enough to safely lift a heavy load at its rated maximum load capacity. A wireless solution is needed to avoid long cables and to have a faster installation time. Interface’s Model WTSATL Lightweight Wireless Tension Link Load Cell can measure the load’s maximum capacity. The WTS-RM1 Wireless Relay Output Receiver Modules can also trigger an alarm that can be set when the maximum capacity of weight/force has been reached. The data is transmitted and can be reviewed with the WTS-BS-1-HS Wireless Handheld Display or on the customer’s PC.

gantry crane lifting a heavy container

Gantry Crane Wireless Lifting for Heavy Containers

Gantry cranes are used for mobile and lifting applications in industrial and construction. A weighing system is needed to see if the gantry crane can lift heavy containers or loads, preventing crane failure or accidents. Interface’s WTSLP Wireless Stainless Steel Load Pins can be installed into the corners of the lifting mechanism of the gantry crane, where heavy-loaded containers are lifted and moved. The force results are then transmitted to the WTS-BS-1-HS Wireless Handheld Display for Single Transmitters and a connected computer using the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station.

Patient Lifting Device

In the medical field, sometimes it is necessary to weigh or transfer patients who are disabled and cannot walk. A Hoyer lift is used to move patients around. A manufacturer would like a force system to weigh disabled patients and see the maximum weight it can hold. Interface’s WTS 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile® Wireless Load Cell is attached to the top of the Hoyer lift. The force results are wirelessly transmitted to the medical laptop through the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station.

Find additional productions and solutions in our Lifting Solutions Overview.

Lifting Solutions Brochure

The Aviation Industry Soars Using Interface Solutions

Interface is proud to offer a diverse range of force, torque, and weight measurement solutions to the aviation industry.

A sector within the aerospace industry, Interface aviation solutions are products we supply for use in the design, engineering and operation of aircraft.

The quality of our products, including the reliable form factor design, proprietary strain gages, and rugged materials, are built to withstand the rigorous performance standards and environments that aircraft safety demands. It is why Interface is a provider of choice for test and measurement solutions in the aviation industry. Check out our new Aircraft Solutions overview here.

The aircraft and aviation industries are vast and complex with many different sectors. Our products are currently used in commercial, general and military aviation, aviation infrastructure, equipment and systems. In addition to the mechanical component testing, Interface often supplies load cells, torque transducers and instrumentation for use in aviation training, education, research and development.

While aviation systems embody an extensive collection of interconnected components and technologies, this complexity does not lessen the requirements for rigorous sensor-based test and measurement programs for every part. Interface products help to collect critical data on the performance of aircraft components and systems. These aviation systems include aircraft, air traffic control, navigation and communication systems, infrastructure, ground support equipment, airport transport vehicles, aircraft testing labs, and tools.

We work with aeronautical and mechanical engineers who are involved in designing, developing, and maintaining aircraft, propulsion systems, avionics, and air traffic management technologies. Interface load cells and transducers provide accurate and reliable measurements of forces, weights and torques of aviation components and systems.

How does the aviation industry use Interface measurement solutions?

  • Aircraft engine manufacturers use our load cells and torque transducers to measure the operating performance within their design limits and for diagnostics and troubleshooting. Read: Aircraft Engine Hoist
  • Aviation system developers integrate our sensors into equipment and parts to provide continuous force monitoring and to trigger alarms for maintenance.
  • Rotorcraft part makers need to assess the loads and torques on blades and other components to the aircraft is safe to fly and to identify any weaknesses based on accurate measurements. Read:Propeller Testing
  • Landing gear experts use our load cells to confirm that the gear can withstand the forces encountered during takeoff, landing, and taxiing. Read: Landing Gear Joint Testing
  • Aircraft structures must be strong enough to withstand the forces encountered in flight. Testing is standard for cycle counts, environmental tests and assessment of materials. Interface products are used for assessing structural like wings and fuselages in wind tunnel tests. Read: Interface Solutions for Structural Testing and Aircraft Wing Fatigue App Note
  • Flight control systems are using measurement sensors to test and monitor the components used for various controls. Read: Aircraft Yoke Torque Measurement
  • In-flight systems and simulators utilize precision measurement devices to provide vital data that monitors aviation and aircraft health. This is important for real-time assessments and for training purposes. It is essential for the long-term growth of the industry to provide the best tools and equipment to learn the values of accurate measurement and how it impacts performance and safety.

Beyond the essential manufacturers of aircraft parts, aviation systems, and equipment, Interface supplies many of the leading aviation testing labs with load cells, load pins, torque transducers, wireless devices and instrumentation. The quality of our products is built to withstand the rigorous performance standards and environments that aircraft safety demands.

Our products are used for static testing, material testing, torque testing, fatigue testing, stress and tension tests, dynamic testing, environmental and wind tunnel testing, structural tests and compression testing. We also supply the aviation industry with measurement solutions for rigging, lifting, weighing and monitoring of equipment in use. Check out our Aircraft Lifting Equipment App Note.

Learn more about our range of solutions in this Airplane Jacking System solution.

The aviation industry is a dynamic and ever-changing industry, and the sectors within it are constantly evolving. New innovations in the aviation require extensive testing and accurate measurement. The aviation industry is a complex and demanding industry, and the development of new technologies requires a rigorous testing process.

The fact that Interface offers an extensive array of force measure devices in different models, capacities, configurations and capabilities helps aviation system suppliers and manufacturers. Our load cells and sensor technologies are used to measure a wide range of factors, such as tensions, weights, forces, and torques. This information can be used to ensure the safety and reliability of aircraft and their components.

With a surplus of options that can meet the specifications of each use case and testing application, Interface is an experience and preferred provider to the aviation industry.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Interface Supports Wind Tunnel Testing

LIFTING: Airplane Jacking System

LIFTING: Aircraft Engine Hoist

Taking Flight with Interface Solutions for Aircraft Testing

Aircraft Wing Fatigue App Note

Aircraft Screwdriver Fastening Control App Note

Airplane Static Testing Case Study

Interface Automotive Force Measurement Solutions

Interface introduced our load cells to the auto and vehicle industry more than five decades ago. Quality and precision sensor technologies are essential to manufacturing and production for vehicles.

Interface force measurement devices are used for critical testing in both commercial and industrial vehicle design and production to ensure safety and reliability in the automotive industry.

As the industry has evolved and transformed, so has the products we supply to our customers in this market. Our range of solutions continues to expand in functionality and capabilities as complexities of testing throughout the entire journey, from component design and prototyping to rigorous safety testing of every piece of equipment progresses.

By creating highly responsive, critically accurate, and safer load cell and torque sensors, we are seeing our products used in all types of test and measurement applications, including:

  • Engine dynamometers
  • Lug nut assembly
  • Airbag connector testing
  • EV battery testing
  • ICE and EV motor torque testing
  • Equipment fatigue testing
  • Motor test stands
  • Brake and clutch pedal force
  • Engine head bolt tightening
  • Vehicle crash test walls
  • Race car suspension testing
  • Transmission gear box and gear mesh
  • Autonomous vehicle tests

Research and development facilities with precision application requirements 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 even been used in NASCAR and IndyCar garages for testing individual springs and entire vehicle suspensions.

Preview Interface products used in the automotive and vehicle markets in this new solutions video.

Here are two highlights of automotive application notes.  You can find more about automotive and vehicle solutions here.

Tire Testing

A top tire manufacturer needed a solution that would provide data analysis for stress testing.  The research would provide advancements to their product by defining the tire’s dynamic control capabilities. In review with our application engineers, they detailed they need to measure both the torque and lateral force in their testing.

Interface recommended the new AT105 Contactless Force Torque Transducer. With the torque and lateral force testing requirements, they determined that the best option to review the results by display as well as with graphing is to connect the transducers to the 4-Channel USB Interface Module SI-USB4.  You can see the entire solution and results in the Tire Testing App Note.

MDPS Testing

A manufacturer wanted to test the power steering for their vehicles. They want to test the linkage tension and compression between the rack and pinion. On a test frame, Interface’s 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile™ Load Cell was installed at the end of the rack and pinion actuator. As the wheel is turned, the load cell tests the push and pull forces. Force measurements can be displayed in real time using the highly accurate 9870 High-Speed High Performance TEDS Ready Indicator. The 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile Load Cell successfully measured the tension and compression between the rack and pinion of the customer’s MDPS system. You can see the entire solution and results in the MDPS testing App Note.

Additional Resources:

Driving Force in Automotive Applications

Advancing Auto Testing with Interface Measurement Solutions

Automotive Window Pinch Force Testing

Test and Measurement for Electric Vehicles

 

Driving Force in Automotive Applications

Among the most highly regulated industries in the world, automotive is up there with the likes of medical and defense. Every component and system needs to be thoroughly tested and deliberately analyzed to ensure that the final product is safe for the driver, other vehicles and pedestrians. Any mistakes or failures can cause catastrophic damage and put lives at risk.

There are hundreds of thousands of different tests that car parts and software go through before they are approved for the road. Among them is force measurement testing. Force and torque tests are integral to the structural and mechanical design and build of the car. Gathering data on the build quality and safety of materials and components found within cars, trucks and more is done through a wide variety of different force measurement testing.

Interface has been a partner to the automotive industry for more than 50 years, from the major OEMs to smaller parts manufacturers and test labs. We build force and torque sensors and acquisition devices designed to provide automotive engineers and manufacturers with high-quality data to monitor and confirm the design and in-action processes of a wide variety of vehicles.

Force testing applications for the automotive industry involve everything from structural, engine, brake, seat belt and suspension tests, all the way down to individual lug nut torque testing.

Recently, Interface has also been supplying solutions to those in the growing electrical vehicle (EV) market. EV cars and other motor vehicles present a wide variety of unique challenges for engine torque and battery technology testing.

As an example of some of the products we offer to the industry, we are highlighting Interface expertise in different automotive applications. This will include specific examples of work we’ve done for our customers recently or in the past.

BRAKE PEDAL TESTING

One of the largest areas of automotive test and measurement we are involved in is brake pedal testing. Our customers need to ensure that applying certain amounts of force to the brake will slow and stop the vehicle as intended.

In this application note, Interface supplied our customer with a BPL-300-C Brake Pedal Load Cell, which was installed on the brake pedal. As the user depressed the brake pedal, force data was transmitted by our BTS-AM-1 Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Strain Bridge Transmitter Module to the BTS Toolkit Mobile App and displayed on a mobile device. This allowed our customer to view and graph the data in real-time.

Read the application note for Brake Pedal Testing here.

EV BATTERY TESTING

In the EV market, 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 that’s performed on EV batteries in compression testing. As an EV battery is charged and stores more electrons, it swells. If the packaging that houses the batteries is not intelligently designed to compensate for this swelling, you could have a major problem.

For this challenge, Interface can supply the popular 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.

Read more about Interface’s role in the The Future of Automotive is Electric.

SUSPENSION TESTING

A personal favorite of the Interface team is a suspension test we performed on a race car. As you can imagine, race car components need to be finely tuned for optimal performance. The suspension is one of the most significant factors in the tuning process.

Using an Interface Model 1200 Standard Load Cell, we were able to measure simulated motions of a racetrack including bumps, banks and other track conditions. This allowed the customer to gather highly accurate (0.04%) measurements of loads applied to individual suspension points. This type of suspension testing technology can also be performed on a regular commercial automobile, but the race car example is much more fun!

View the race car suspension testing application here.

MOTOR TESTING

In this motor test stand application, it was used in the quality control lab of a major automotive manufacturing customer that needed to test, record and audit the torque produced by a new motor design under start load.

Interface supplied a Model AxialTQ Rotary Torque Transducer that connected between the motor and the differential, on the drive shaft, which could measure and record these torque values. Based on the data collected using the AxialTQ, AxialTQ Output Module, and customer laptop, the test engineer was able to make recommendations to optimize the amount of torque created by the new motor design.

You can read more about the AxialTQ in this post.  

The wide variety of applications for automotive force testing that Interface has been involved in is significant. We have many published application notes beyond those highlighted, including Seat Testing, Engine Head Bolt Tightening and one for an Engine Dynamometer (dyno for short) use case. The examples listed above just scratch the surface.

Interface is a preferred partner to the automotive industry.  To review some of the automotive application notes we have published, please check out our website at /solutions/automotive-vehicle/. You can also give us a call to learn more about the various solutions we offer for customers in the automotive industry at 480-948-5555.

AxialTQ for Anything That Turns and Needs Testing

The Interface AxialTQ™ wireless rotary torque transducer is a specialty product designed specifically for internal combustion testing, engine development testing, and manufacturing.

Although Interface initially developed AxialTQ for these applications, this innovative product is available for a range of use cases, including helicopters, forklifts, watercraft, industrial pumps, wind energy and more.

While AxialTQ is incredibly versatile, it continues to be used heavily in the automotive industry. Outside of traditional internal combustion lab engine testing, it’s also useful for drive train lab testing, automotive accessory lab testing and serving the unique needs of internal combustion for the agricultural industry. If it turns, it can be tested with AxialTQ.

Once we established AxialTQ as a leader in the internal combustion testing space, we knew the natural next step was to enter the electric vehicle market. The application of AxialTQ is similar; however, electrical vehicles use different technology. Our move to enter this new market is critical because as much as some people wish to ignore it, electric vehicles will soon dominate. Deloitte estimates the electric vehicle market will reach a tipping point in 2022 when the cost of an electric vehicle is on-par with its combustion engine counterparts.

AxialTQ’s industry-leading testing capabilities are helping to propel the change from combustion to electric engines. Interface is more than prepared for the shift to support test and measurement applications. As of 2019, there are roughly 20 major cities worldwide that have plans to ban gas cars by 2030 or sooner. Although the U.S. isn’t looking to ban combustion vehicles until 2040, other countries like Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands are being extremely aggressive due to renewable energy concerns. Even though internal combustion engines are part of our core testing capabilities, we have the necessary tools needed for the new wave of automotive technology.

“Energy concerns is why we will start seeing an increase in AxialTQ used in the electric vehicle market. If trends continue at the current pace, we will start to see more electric vehicle applications and less internal combustion soon.” – Ted Larson, VP of Product Management and Marketing

No matter what a customer’s application is, AxialTQ has the reliability and flexibility to test it. From internal combustion to electric vehicles and a whole lot more, Interface is prepared every step of the way.


For more information about how AxialTQ can make a difference in your organization, contact our Application Engineers to learn more. Download the latest AxialTQ brochure here:

Interface AxialTQ Brochure