The new ForceLeaders live event takes place on Wednesday, September 14, 2022 in Novi, Michigan at The HUB Stadium. Our force measurement solutions engineers and experts from Interface will share valuable tips and experiences using load cells, torque transducers, multi-axis sensors, pressure sensors, and advanced instrumentation. Join us for a two plus hour conversation followed by some interactive discussions and fun.
In the engineering and manufacturing world, quality and efficiency are key factors to long-term success. Interface is committed to maintaining the highest standards in our work and products through our training, leadership development and certification initiatives. One of the programs we use to drive continuous improvements and efficiencies is by certifying team members as Lean Six Sigma Greenbelts.
The IASSC Certified Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt™ (ICGB™) is a professional who is well versed in the core advanced elements of Lean Six Sigma Methodology. They lead improvement projects and serve as team members working with their peers on complex improvement projects. These individuals possess a thorough understanding of all aspects of the Lean Six Sigma Method including competence in subject matters contained within the phases of Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control (DMAIC).
We are pleased to announce four newly certified Interface Greenbelts: Ashlesa Mohapatra, Tim Matteson, Jesse Deffenbaugh, and Justin Smith.
Providing this training at Interface is our Director of Quality, Rocky Lee, recently featured in our Faces of Interface series. Rocky is also a certified Greenbelt who is well on his way to being Blackbelt certified, an honor he should achieve this year.
“Greenbelt training serves as the perfect vehicle to provide necessary data collection and analytical skills necessary to complete meaningful studies. It also provides a standardized skillset for future studies.” Rocky Lee, Director of Quality, Interface
We asked the four new Greenbelts about their experience in achieving this valuable new certification. Here are their responses:
“I was interested in joining the certification program because I knew it would equip me with the tools needed to solve problems on the floor in an organized and effective manner. My Greenbelt Certification has helped me improve processes by eliminating defects, while also streamlining production and eliminating waste time, money, and resources. As for the process, it was simple and engaging. We had quizzes at the end of every module, a final exam, and a project. Rocky Lee did a fantastic job in simplifying the concepts by giving us practical examples of problems we face at Interface daily.” Ashlesa Mohapatra, Production Engineer, Interface
“I was interested in getting this certification so I could improve myself by learning new data analysis skills and techniques to help improve efficiency of our processes and to reduce the number of defects and waste in production. The techniques I learned are already helping me in analyzing the impact to performance when changing the gage clamps used for gaging low capacity SSMs. I’ve also learned better ways of analyzing historical creep data and then comparing sample data to the greater trends. I think there is opportunity for improvement when it comes to efficiency and defect reduction, and I think having more employees speaking the same Six Sigma language and using the same methodologies will help in effectively diagnosing issues and then implementing the changes needed.” Jesse Deffenbaugh, Production Engineer, Interface
“I was interested in the Six Sigma course because it adds to my skills as an engineer and compliments my intended career path. I think this course helps to frame issues in terms of quality, the degree of quality that is expected by our internal and external customers, and the cost associated with not meeting those expectations. Rocky was an excellent teacher. I think that having people at Interface with this multi-disciplinary training will help to maintain the overall quality of products as well as the process of making those quality products.” Justin Smith, Engineer, Interface
“I took on this program to further my education and to provide more value to the company. A certification in lean six sigma Greenbelt training will benefit the company and myself, as I will be able to immediately apply this certification in my daily activities. Overall, I believe this process will help with data analysis, building a lean culture, and to be more effective and efficient.” Tim Matteson, Mini OEM Product Quality and Improvement Engineer, Interface
Rocky shared his insights on the significance of the Greenbelt training and how it impacts our work at Interface.
Why is this certification important to Interface?
First, we had a strong interest from our team members. The actual initiative started through requests made to Mark Weathers, VP of Advanced Manufacturing and OEM Products, about the possibility of getting Six Sigma Greenbelt trained and certified at Interface. Mark asked Rocky to lead this effort. The interest was strong enough that Rocky and Mark thought it was a good idea to start it right away. The decision to move forward with the training coincided with multiple studies that had been started by our engineers.
What does it mean to have a Six Sigma Greenbelt training certification in one’s job?
The DMAIC process provides the framework for attacking problems. The technical knowledge is in the measure and analyze phases of Six Sigma methodology. A great deal of training time is spent in these areas in preparing someone for certification. The impact of this can be seen when a person is leading projects and participating in solving challenges. The framework is valuable for those that apply this technique in their work.
How does this initiative and certification help Interface improve our quality and reduce cost of quality?
Certified Greenbelts approach problems using proven problem-solving tools. This includes using studies and analyses, that when performed by certified leaders is a systematic way to obtain results, have more meaning. This important training drives to actions to identify quantifiable measures that are used to focus on qualitative improvements and results.
How were people chosen to participate?
After the first few people showed interest, Rocky asked other engineers in the Quality and Engineering departments. Ten people signed up and they were divided into two groups. This was to make the classes more interactive during the weekly training and review sessions. The people chosen for the first group already had high-profile projects underway and it would benefit them immediately on their projects.
How long does it take to complete certification?
The course has 34 sections and we were able to complete the course in less than eight weeks.
What is Interface’s plan for additional Six Sigma certifications?
Our plan is to add another Greenbelt class this year. Also, less intensive training classes will be available to employees to increase skills in basic problem-solving, analysis, and statistics. We also plan to have another Blackbelt Certified trainer next year, in addition to Rocky Lee. This will enable Interface to provide continual company-wide basic training that explains the concepts and benefits of Six Sigma. The standard knowledge gained from Six Sigma will help everyone to work smarter and not just harder.
Interface is dedicated to superior quality. From our products to our manufacturing and planning processes, everything we do is with the utmost care and respect to ensure we can exceed our customer’s expectations. Six Sigma training and Greenbelt certifications are important investments into our team members and our customers. We are proud and honored for Rocky’s leadership in this important initiative.
We appreciate our newly certified team members for sharing their experiences and the value of this certification program. Congratulations to our new Interface Greenbelts!
Tyler Pettit, our applications engineer for international accounts, is leading some of our fastest growing markets in Asia, Europe and regions outside of the US. With the heightened demand for Interface solutions worldwide and our international success, we felt it was the perfect time to feature Tyler and the outstanding work he is doing in supporting our global sales distributor network.
Tyler spent six years in the United States Navy where he served on active duty protecting domestic assets as a Hospital Corpsman (Medic). He cherished his time in the Navy and learned a lot. He quickly realized he was not interested in a career in the medical field. However, the Navy did afford him the opportunity to attend the Airforce Community College and Ben Franklin University, where he received his degree in Biomedical Engineering.
The engineering and technology part really stuck because after serving in the Navy, Tyler would go on to work for a company called Machine Solutions. In this role, he helped to develop the machines that medical manufacturers use to build stents, angioplasty balloons, heart valves and more. Later, he would move to a field role where he performed preventative maintenance on the machines, calibrations, and training. This experience was also his introduction to load cells, as Machine Solutions used load cells to test the crimping force of their products.
Working at Machine Solutions, Tyler also got more acquainted with Interface due to his experience with load cells. When Interface posted an opening career position, Tyler jumped at the opportunity to join the team. He joined as a junior applications engineer and quickly showed a knack for the role. He was then promoted applications engineer to handle international accounts, the role he has today and that continues to expand in responsibilities with our international growth.
In this role, Tyler is responsible for working with customers and our distributor network outside of the US to find force solutions that meet their needs, as well as coordinating distributor requests with Interface’s production facility to ensure customers are getting the products. He is also constantly working with partners across the international regions to help them serve Interface customers expeditiously and to their satisfaction.
The thing he enjoys most about working at Interface is the ability to see new applications for Interface products every day. Due to his background in medical, he gravitated towards those applications quickly. But as he got more comfortable in all the industries Interface helps, he started to really enjoy some of the unique space applications.
My job is exciting because one day a product I sold is in space, the next day it is saving a life! – Tyler Pettit, Applications Engineer
When he’s not facilitating Interface’s growing international success, Tyler can be found hanging with his wife Melissa, whom he met at Interface in 2018 and married in 2021, and their three kids. The family enjoys everything outdoors, especially headed to the Imperial Sand Dunes aka Glamis. Tyler is also a big hockey fan and cheers on the Pittsburgh Penguins.
It was a pleasure getting share Tyler’s story and his journey to Interface. He is certainly a star here and we look forward to his role in further expanding our presence in international markets! We also are overjoyed in his found love that has it’s beginnings at Interface. We wish Tyler and Melissa great happiness in their life together.
To meet more of Interface’s talented team and our partners, tune into our blog for our monthly Faces of Interface series in our ForceLeaders feature.
One of the advantages we have at Interface is that our application engineers and solutions experts are constantly recommending Interface load cells, torque transducers, instrumentation and accessories for a wide range of projects and programs. In this fortunate position, it enables our team to explain why and how these solutions work through a series of illustrative application notes. We detail the problem statement, the products required to achieve the desired outcome, and the measurable results in every Interface application note.
The purpose of our app notes is to show the range of capabilities for products we offer, as well as inspire product designers, engineers, and testing professionals to expand how they use sensor technologies. We also increased our industry solutions to highlight a growing interest of how our products are used in agriculture, maritime and infrastructure force and torque measurement projects.
In 2021, Interface produced a record 50+ new application notes. We have so many application notes, we even produced a first ever complete Interface Applications Catalog. The type of applications we detailed this year range from space docking to golf swing testing, with everything in between. You can find applications for livestock weighing, crash wall testing, crane safety regulation and even commercial fishing line tests.
Every application note includes a graphic that highlights how the test project is designed and how the products work together. All our illustrated application notes can be found here. We also have a collection of animated application notes you can watch here.
So if you didn’t keep up with every application note we added this year, here is a quick reference:
AUTOMOTIVE AND VEHICLE
TEST AND MEASUREMENT
MEDICAL AND HEALTHCARE
AEROSPACE AND DEFENSE
We would like to send a special thank you to our illustration and design team of Lauren O’Hagan and Scott Whitworth for all their work in creating this array of illustrations, along with a special shout out to Ken Bishop and Keith Skidmore that help us create all these application stories.
What’s new in 2022? Stay close to our Interface IQ Blog and watch our updates on the homepage and solutions for new inspirations and unique examples how engineers and product designers are thinking about using our sensors,
Among the many industries Interface serves, the aerospace industry is one of the fastest growing users of our precision force measurement solutions. This is because ultra-accurate force, weight and torque measurements and data are critical to testing, performance and safety for airplanes, helicopters, and rockets.
Aerospace engineers and manufacturers of commercial, industrial, and military aerospace vehicles and associated components must measure multitudes of factors such as fatigue, structure durability, materials, weight distribution, drag, effects of inclement weather, velocity changes, thrust, and center of gravity to name a few.
Interface is synonymous with high performance sensors used for all types of test and measurement applications. For more than five decades, aerospace innovators and industrial giants have relied upon Interface to provide precision products and services they can trust. Our test and measurement solutions are designed for use in the aerospace industry to withstand extreme conditions, whether they are for testing wings on commercial airplanes or used to measure the force of an intergalactic vessel launch.
Interface showcases products and use cases in our new aerospace solutions brochure detailing many the products and custom solutions we provide to the industry. We provide an overview of our accurate and reliable lineup of force measurement products, as well as highlighting various application examples to outline different ways we have long served the makers, builders, testers and engineers across the diverse aerospace industry.
To work in the aerospace industry, you have to meet the highest quality industry requirements in manufacturing and calibration. We take our commitment towards quality assurance very seriously and guarantee our products meet or exceed the quality clauses outlined by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO). We test and calibrate all products we build in a certificated lab based in Arizona that holds A2LA, International Standard ISO/IEC 17025:2017 and ANSI/NCSL Z540-1- 1994 accreditations. The strict adherence to these standards demonstrates our technical competence for a defined scope and the operation of a laboratory quality management system. Every Interface manufactured sensor goes through rigorous testing and calibration before it’s released to our customers.
The sensors, instrumentation, and accessories we supply to aerospace equipment manufacturers and testing labs range from mini to jumbo load cells, torque transducers, multi-axis sensors, and various wireless, digital and analog instrumentation devices. Interface sensors have been used regularly in the engineering and testing of military aircraft, missiles, space, commercial airliners, and for general aviation components as demonstrated in this aerospace and defense industry case study.
One aerospace use case of our force sensors is for structural testing. Interface LowProfile™ Load Cells are utilized for structural static and fatigue testing. Our moment and temperature compensated load cells use proprietary alloy strain gages for extreme accuracy and reliability. Using eight proprietary strain gages per sensor, our 4mV/V output well exceeds the performance. These load cells are offered in single, dual, and triple bridge configurations for different data acquisition and control requirements in aerospace vehicle production.
The range of aircraft and space vehicles that use Interface solutions include all types from unpowered gliders to commercial and military aircraft, as well as rockets, missiles, drones, launch vehicles, and spacecraft. These vehicles go through extensive and rigorous test and measurement programs and processes requiring the reliability and accuracy of Interface made products. Here are a few types of aerospace applications using Interface measurement solution:
- Aircraft Wing Fatigue Testing
- Rocket Structural Testing
- Landing Gear Joint Testing
- Hoist Tests for Aircraft Engines
- Helicopter and Parachute Tests
- Vessel Launch Tests
- Wind Tunnel and Environmental Condition Testing
- Reduce Gravity Simulations
Aircraft Wing Fatigue
Before any of the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18 twin-engine supersonic fighter jets can be put into operation, the wings of the aircraft must undergo fatigue testing in a controlled environment to ensure that they are capable of withstanding the forces that will be encountered during real-world flight throughout the lifetime of the aircraft. Highly accurate measurements must be recorded in order to make sure that a near-exact replication of in-flight conditions are being achieved. During fatigue tests, Interface’s 1248 Standard Precision Flange LowProfile Load Cells are installed in line with the hydraulic cylinders, which apply back-and-forth loading forces to the aircraft. This is carried out over the course of 18 months to simulate in-flight stresses and strains on the wings. Load cells are connected to indicators, which record output. Capable of withstanding more than 100 million (1×108) fully reversible load cycles, Interface’s LowProfile Fatigue-Rated Load Cells have performed flawlessly in F/A-18 wing testing with zero recorded failures in the many years that testing facilities around the world have been using them.
Rescue Helicopter Hoist Test
When a customer wanted to test the strength of the cable line used in the hoist of their helicopter during rescue missions and situations, see if both the cable and the hoist can withstand a heavy load safely, and for long periods of time while the helicopter is in flight, they turned to Interface. We supplied a WTSSHK-D Wireless Crosby™ Load Shackle, which is 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 computer. Data can also be transmitted to the WTS-BS-1-HS Handheld Display for Single Transmitters, giving the customer the option to view mooring cable line tension. Using this solution, the customer was able to add a heavy load to the end of the helicopter hoist, to ensure it is strong and safe enough to carry both rescue personnel and objects while being in midair.
The aerospace industry is responsible for some of the greatest inventions and innovation in our global history. The engineering and manufacturing of a single rocket engine design, using handwritten calculations and with less computing power than a modern smartphone, took us to the moon. The aerospace industry is an assembly of researchers, design houses, test labs and manufacturing companies that engineer and build vehicles to travel within and beyond Earth’s atmosphere using Interface products. Whether you need a million-pound jumbo load cell, custom load pin, or wireless instrumentation, we understand aerospace requirements and our engineers are on stand-by to assist. Get your copy of our new Aerospace Solutions Brochure here.
There are many different types of devices used in test and measurement from load cells to torque transducers and tension links to multi-axis sensors. In addition, there are sub-categories in each of these product types that are based on various specifications, capabilities, capacities, and application requirements.
Discussing load cells specifically, there are different models and configurations depending on the use case, the amount of force measurement or weighing requirements for a particular load, dimensions, and even test environment considerations. No matter what our customers need, we have standard and custom load cells up to the task. In our 101 series, we are highlighting the innovative miniature load cell sub-category of Interface S-Type Load Cells.
What Is an S-Type Load Cell and What Is It Used For?
S-type load cells, sometimes called s-beam, gets its nomenclature from the “S” looking model of the load cell. It is shaped this way because it is designed to measure well-controlled tension and compression forces. There are preferred by engineers and testing labs for the precision, size, material, and ability to fit in limited spaces. They are often used for weighing, in test machines as well as product designs for ongoing performance measurement by OEMs.
An s-type load cell will often be used within a system designed to stress test products in a controlled environment for fatigue and product testing to measure the way the product stands up to force over long periods of time. The benefit of Interface S-Type Load Cells is that they are very cost-effective, highly accurate, easy to mount, and offer flexibility because it can be used universally for tension and compression testing. They are also smaller than typical load cells, providing major benefits when there are limitations in space or for smaller test product dimensions.
Interface has a wide range of specialized miniature s-type load cells including sealed, micro-size, fatigue-rated, high-temperature ratings, low height, overload protected and intrinsically safe to meet all types of testing protocols and plans. You can see all the s-type models here.
An s-type load cell is generally used with eyebolts or rod-ends when used in tension and this can cause binding or the associated hardware to unthread. These uniquely designed load cells should not be used when weighing an object that can sway or rotate. Additionally, an s-type load cell is not recommended when the load cell will be used for both tension and compression, where accuracy in compression is critical. In this case we’d recommend a shear type of load cell.
S-Type Load Cell Applications
Prosthetic limbs must be tested for extreme loading that can occur during falls, accidents, and sports movements. Fatigue testing of prosthetic components determines the expected lifespan of the components under normal usage. Interface suggested a static load test apparatus using SSMF Fatigue Rated S-Type Load Cell attached to hydraulic actuators to apply and measure loads. The fatigue testing machine uses SSMF Fatigue Rated S-type Load Cell to apply and measure cyclic loads. During the fatigue test, the actuator repeatedly applies and removes the force to simulate activity such as walking. Tilt tables may also be used to apply forces at various angles to simulate the heel-to-toe movement of walking or running. Using this solution, engineers can determine whether prosthetic materials and designs will withstand the rigors of daily use and occasional high load situations. Read more here.
To meet safety protocols in relation to the manufacturing of various furniture products, fatigue testing, shock testing, and proof testing must be rigorously performed before diffusion into the marketplace. Force testing simulations on furniture products are critical in determining the posted max loads to protect manufacturers from liability due to damages that might result from the misuse of those products and overloading. Using an Interface Model SSMF Fatigue Rated S-Type Load Cell along with Interface Model 9890 Strain Gage, Load Cell, & mV/V Indicator provides a solution that measures the force being applied in fatigue cycle testing of a furniture product, in this case testing the rocking mechanism in an office chair. Unlike other similar load cells, the Model SSMF is fatigue rated making it highly suitable for fatigue testing. No fatigue failure of any fatigue-rated Interface load cell, used within its ratings, has ever been reported. The furniture manufacturer was able to obtain accurate data about the rocking mechanism the office chair as it was fatigue cycled into failure. Adjustments were made to the design to improve the safety and life of the furniture, ensuring product quality and protecting the manufacturer from future liability. Read more here.
Interface S-Type Load Cells are highly effective, accurate and flexible products used for a wide variety of applications needing compression and tension force testing. To learn more about Interface’s S-Type Load Cells, you can also visit here or call us today to speak to an application engineer who can help you select the right product for your next project at 480-948-5555.
Interface sensors are used in a never-ending list of products, from heavy machinery to miniature medical devices. In the spirit of the Olympics, we thought we would share how our force and torque technologies are used in the test and measurement of bicycles, whether used for extreme off-road racing or speeding around the track. Interface has a role in helping to get bikes on the road and performing at optimum speeds.
Road, mountain and e-bikes present a fantastic use case for our products because everything from the force a rider puts on a bike’s suspension, shocks and frame when sitting on it, to the torque of the pedals and tires need to be carefully tested before a bike is ready for action. In the application notes below, we outline different parts and kinds of bikes that utilize measurement testing in design and actual use, along with the specific Interface force sensors used in each case.
Mountain Bike Shock Testing
In this application example, when a manufacturer wanted to test the durability of the forks on the front of their bikes, the rear shocks, front suspension, and ensure that the bikes shocks absorption is working properly for bike riders, we had a solution. Interface suggested installing the 1000 High Capacity Fatigue-Rated LowProfile™ Load Cell in a fatigue frame using the company’s bike forks. The forks undergo a fatigue test for several hours. Test results from the 1000 High Capacity Fatigue-Rated LowProfile™ Load Cell will be sent to the INF-USB3 Universal Serial Bus Single Channel PC Interface Module where the customer can view, log, and graph the results on their PC computer or laptop with provided software. Using this solution, the customer was able to test the bike’s front and rear shocks using Interface’s products. They determined if there were any weak spots in the forks or if it was working properly.
E-Bike Torque Measurement
e) manufacturer needed to test the torque on their electronic bicycles. They also needed a torque sensing system that measures how much force the bike rider is pedaling onto the pedals, because this determines how much electric power the bike’s motor generates. To address this challenge, Interface suggested installing the Model T12 Square Drive Torque Transducer where the pedal assist sensor would normally be. The T12 Square Drive Torque Transducer’s results could then be recorded, graphed, and logged using the SI-USB4 4 Channel USB Interface Module when connected to the customer’s PC. This allows the e-bike manufacturing company to successfully test the torque on their electronic bicycles with Interface’s products and instrumentation.
Bike Power Pedals
For a bike manufacturer testing the functionality of its power pedals, Interface supplied a full wireless system solution to measure how much force the cyclist pushes down onto the bike pedals. The solution included four Model SML Low Height S-Type Load Cells installed within the bike’s pedals. The four SMLs were paired with our Wireless Telemetry System components, two WTS-AM-4 Wireless Strain Bridge Transmitter Modules, which transmit the force data from the cyclist to the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station Dongle connected to the customer’s PC or laptop. Interface also provided the software needed with their wireless products. Using this system, the bike manufacturer was able to measure the pedal power applied by the cyclist. The customer was also able to measure and log the data wirelessly transmitted to their PC computer.
Bike Load Testing
In this example, another mountain bike manufacturing company wanted a system that measures their bike frames load capacities and vibrations on the frame, and to ensure the bike’s high quality and frame load durability during the final step of the product testing process. Interface suggested installing Model SSMF Fatigue Rated S-Type Load Cell, connected to a WTS products, the WTS-AM-1E Wireless Strain Bridge, between the mountain bike’s seat and the bike frame. This measured the vibrations and load forces applied onto the bike frame. The results are then captured by the WTS-AM-1E and transmitted to the customer’s PC using the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station. Using this solution, the mountain bike manufacturing company was able to gather highly accurate data to determine that their bikes met performance standards through this final testing.
Bike Frame Fatigue Testing
Fatigue testing is critical for bike design engineers. Our customer wanted to perform a fatigue test on their bike frames and analyze the strength of their bike frames in order to ensure durability and high-quality standards, turned to Interface for a solution. We suggested installing Model 1000 Fatigue-Rated LowProfile™ Load Cell to the customer’s bike frame fatigue tester. This load cell provides the customer with highly accurate results through the fatigue cycling. These results are collected using the INF-USB3 Universal Serial Bus Single Channel PC Interface Module and displayed on the customer’s PC or Laptop with Interface’s provided software. With this solution, the bike manufacturing company successfully had their bikes undergo fatigue frame testing, receiving highly accurate results with Interface’s load cell and instrumentation.
This deep dive into bicycle testing is just the beginning in demonstrating how many applications of Interface products can be used to improve the quality and reliability of the final design. When you consider bicycles, testing is critical whether it’s being used in the Olympics, for recreation or even transportation. Bicycle safety is fundamental to any design. Testing the performance and durability are essential before any bicycle is approved to be used on the road.
For a preview of all the application we have and can possibly work on, continue following the Interface IQ Blog at http www.interfaceforce.com/blog/. Each month we provide analysis and insight on new and interesting use cases and application examples.
Interface Regional Sales Director Jeffrey Boyd has a long history in the force measurement industry and is an incredible addition to the Interface sales team. You see, force measurement runs in Jeff’s blood!
Jeff originally got into the industry because he watched and listened to his dad talk about his experience at another force measurement manufacturer, Sensor Development. In fact, his dad actually helped start the company when he joined the owner shortly after the company was founded. You could say that Jeff was somewhat groomed for success in this field.
To prepare for his destined career, Jeff spent a few years at Oakland University. After that, he quickly joined up with his dad at Sensor Development. Jeff started in the calibration department, learning the ins and outs of strain gages, load cells, torque sensors and everything in between. After a few years, he was leading both the calibration services and customer service department. Jeff was in charge of ensuring customer satisfaction when products came in for repair, service or calibration.
After several years getting hands on with the products and developing critical expertise in the various sensors the company sold, Jeff decided it was time to transition into a sales role. He originally began as a sales engineer helping to develop customer quotes and working directly with the engineering department on custom applications. His success in sales lead him to become a regional sales manager in 2014.
From 2014 to 2017, Jeff served as regional sales manager for Sensor Development until it was bought out by HITEC Sensors and was renamed to HITEC Sensors Development. Jeff remained with HITEC for another four years before it was time for exploring new opportunities.
Due to his experience in the industry, Jeff was familiar with the Interface brand and our product’s reputation for quality and accuracy. Right about the time Jeff’s time with HITEC was coming to end, Interface had an opening for a Regional Sales Position due to Keith Skidmore‘s promotion to our specialized Custom Solutions team.
Jeff joined Interface in the Spring of 2021 and is a perfect fit, technically and professionally. Not only because of Jeff’s years of experience, also because he continues to live in Michigan and will be covering Interface’s Central U.S. region working with our manufacturer’s representative firm, Stress Analysis Services. He’ll be working with our sales reps, including John Guy, and our customers to ensure they get exactly what they require from Interface. He knows the area and knows the needs of the industry well.
As for why Jeff chose Interface, he says it’s because of the people. Throughout the interview process and during these first few weeks, Jeff mentioned how supportive and friendly his teammates and the leaders of the company are working to ensure his success. He also sees the trajectory that Interface is currently on and knows that he will have an opportunity to grow and thrive alongside Interface.
When he’s not helping customers find the perfect product or customer solution for their test and measurement needs, Jeff is spending time with his wife and his five grown sons and granddaughter. Living through the cold Michigan winters make vacationing to the warmth a must. Jeff and his wife frequently travel to Las Vegas and Arizona or any other warm state to escape. Though, they also like to spend some of their time cheering on their favorite football teams. Notably, the household is a bit divided when it’s game time. Jeff is also an avid golfer and spends a lot of his down time on the course.
We’re so glad to have Jeff on our team as our new ForceLeaders member and we can’t wait to see what we’ll achieve together in interest of our valued Interface customers.
Faces of Interface is an important series because it highlights the talented team members that keep Interface going strong. In this new ForceLeaders feature, we interviewed Garland Hawkins, our production planner for Interface’s most popular LowProfile load cells. A key member of our operations and Navigators teams at Interface, this feature highlights Garland’s professional history and a few of the things he’s working on today.
Growing up in the home of a mechanical engineer, you are bound to develop a kinship with the engineering and manufacturing world. For Garland Hawkins, he remembers fondly the time spent with his father building and tinkering with different mechanical objects. While a career in the manufacturing industry wasn’t necessarily planned, he’s thrilled that it’s where his career has taken him.
Garland’s path to the manufacturing industry is a little different than his father’s trek. After high school, Garland’s career began in the logistics industry as an order filler for Lineage Logistics. He enjoyed the work and quickly showed off his talents rising through the ranks over six years from order filler to trainer and eventually the supervisor. After leaving Lineage, Garland continued his career in logistics as the shipping and receiving manager for S&G.
After two years at S&G, Garland was ready for a change of scenery. He had spent his whole life in California and wanted something new. In 2016, Garland moved to Arizona because he preferred the desert landscape and knew that growth opportunities in Arizona were on the rise. Garland began working at the airport for a consolidation company, but he knew it was just a temporary gig before getting back into the field he knew and loved of logistics.
Then an opportunity came about with Interface. Garland began with Interface in the shipping and receiving department. As he became acclimated and comfortable in this new role in the engineering and manufacturing industry, he caught his stride. Shortly after, Garland was recognized for his hard work with a promotion into the planning department and eventually into his current role as Production Planner for Interface’s LowProfile Load Cell line.
In this role, Garland is tasked with managing the supply chain and planning. Basically, everything related to shipping and logistics for LowProfile Load Cell products. This includes, monitoring parts, maintaining inventory, addressing works orders with the production floor, scheduling machine shop and production orders and aligning capacity with customer demands and requirements.
Garland notes what he loves about Interface is the opportunity for success within the company. Most importantly, Interface is hyper-focused on growing into new markets and new regions and Garland knows that this will translate to career growth and opportunities to contribute to the company’s growth.
In addition to taking advantage of opportunities to grow at Interface, Garland is also working on his own to grow his skillset and knowledge during his time at Interface. Garland recently completed his degree in Operation Management and Analysis at Ashford University.
Garland’s drive and hunger are certainly not lost on Interface either. The company recognized this ambition and nominated Garland into its prestigious cross-functional Navigators program, which is designed to take rising stars and put them through development activities that expose them to every department of the company. This working team is essential in providing ideas and plans to drive positive change with critical thinking and problem-solving throughout the company. Garland is thankful for this opportunity because it provides the ability to see the company from every angle. It is helping him better understand the impact and importance of his own role while giving him insight on growth opportunities within the company.
While he’s not working at Interface, Garland likes to relax by enjoying his relatively new hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. He’s recently taken interests in hiking and exploring the outdoors in the desert. He’s also a big sports fan, especially basketball. He enjoys playing and watching NBA games while checking out the local food scene. However, he has not adopted the Suns as his home team yet, he’s a loyal Lakers fan through and through.
We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to shed some light on one of our committed team members. Garland Hawkins is star in the making with plenty to offer and a drive to take action.