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Load Cells Maximize Weighbridge Performance

What is a weighbridge? By definition, a weighbridge, also known as a truck scale or weight scale, is a large, heavy-duty platform scale used to weigh vehicles and their cargo. They are typically found in industrial settings where large or commercial vehicles, cargo, and various materials must be weighed.

Weighbridges come in all shapes and sizes and measure the weight of various products. The heart and soul of a weighbridge is a sensor that provides the user with accurate weight data.

Traditional weighbridges often rely on mechanical components that can wear down over time, leading to slight inaccuracies. Interface load cells are incredibly precise and deliver highly accurate weight readings, even with constant use. This minimizes errors in measurements, ensuring reliable data for every weighbridge operation.

One of the most common weighbridge applications using load cells is measuring large trucks at weigh stops on highways and in transport centers. However, weighbridge load cells are used in weighing applications for railways, waste containers, supermarket scales, warehouses, test benches, heavy-duty equipment, and industrial scales.

Typical Weighbridge Use Cases

  • Compliance with weight limits: Many countries regulate transportation, including a vehicle’s maximum weight. For example, weighbridges ensure that trucks are not overloaded, which can damage roads and bridges and be dangerous.
  • Shipping costs: Weighbridges are used to weigh shipments to calculate accurate shipping costs.
  • Track inventory: Warehouses, shipyards, manufacturers, and distribution companies can use weighbridges to track their inventory by weighing incoming and outgoing goods.
  • Waste disposal: Weighbridges can weigh waste materials during landfill disposal by automating equipment to manage waste.

Our load cells support many weighbridge applications because we supply highly accurate and reliable force sensor technologies commonly used in weighing applications across all industries. We understand weighing sensors must be highly accurate and reliable to ensure precise data. Check out our weighing solutions guide to help select the right measurement device for your application.

Interface weighing solutions that make an excellent fit for weighbridge applications include:

Top Five Benefits of Precision Load Cells For Weighbridges

#1—Precision load cells offer superior accuracy to traditional mechanical weighbridge systems. This minimizes errors in weight measurements, ensuring reliable data for transactions, compliance checks, and inventory management.

#2—Reliability is vital in these applications. Interface load cells deliver consistent weight readings even with repeated use. This allows for dependable performance, which is crucial for tasks like batching or monitoring materials.

#3—Unlike mechanical systems with moving parts, precision load cells are reliable instruments that increase lifespan and reduce maintenance costs and downtime for weighbridge operations.

#4—Precision load cells offer a broader range of weight capacities. This allows a single weighbridge with these load cells to accommodate various vehicle sizes and weights, offering greater flexibility.

#5- Interface offers a range of highly durable load cells designed to withstand harsh industrial environments, ensuring long-lasting performance and reliable weight measurements.

Truck Weighbridge Solution

A customer owned a truck company and needed to record the weight of loads being carried by their trucks. They wanted a wireless weighing bridge to transmit, log, and display the results in real time. Interface suggested installing multiple WTS 1200 LowProfile™ Load Cells under a weighing bridge. When the truck drives over it, the load cells transmit the force results wirelessly to the WTS-BS-4 Industrial Base Station connected to the customer’s PC with the provided Log100 software. The WTS-LD2 Wireless Large LED Display also displayed the weight inside for the driver to see in real-time. Using this solution, the customer successfully measured, logged, and graphed the different loads their trucks carried wirelessly onto the weighbridge.

Interface has also seen applications, including the use of weighcheck load cells in machinery for bag filling, bottle filling, high-speed check weighers, multi-head packing machines, silo and tank weighing systems, and conveyor scales.

Interface is the perfect force solutions partner for weighbridge applications across industries. To learn more about these solutions for weighbridges and other weighing applications, please visit our Weighing Solutions Overview and Applications.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Aquafarming Fish Weighing

Inventory Weighing

Mining Tank Weighing

Timber Weighing and Harvesting

Load Cells for Smarter and More Efficient Weighing

Medical Bag Weighing

 

Load Cells Elevate Gantry Crane Performance

Interface provides a variety of measurement solutions for gantry crane applications. Load cells aren’t just an upgrade but a game-changer for gantry crane operations.

A gantry crane is an overhead crane with a horizontal beam supported by two legs traveling along a fixed track or wheels. They are used for lifting and moving heavy objects in various industrial settings, such as warehouses, shipyards, container yards, and construction sites.

Key features of gantry cranes include:

  • Mobility: Unlike bridge cranes, fixed to a runway system, gantry cranes can move freely within their designated area. This makes them more versatile and suitable for outdoor applications.
  • Lifting capacity: Gantry cranes can be designed to lift a wide range of weights, from a few to hundreds of tons.
  • Portability: Some gantry cranes are portable and can be easily moved from one location to another.
  • Versatility: Gantry cranes can be equipped with various attachments, such as hooks, magnets, and buckets, to handle a wide range of materials.

Benefits of Using Force Measurement Solutions with Gantry Cranes

Load cells, load pins, tension links, wireless telemetry systems, and instrumentation devices from Interface are valuable to makers and users of gantry cranes.  These vital measurement solutions offer several safe and efficient operation benefits:

Overload Prevention

  • Safety: The biggest reason is preventing crane overload. Exceeding the crane’s capacity can lead to catastrophic consequences, including equipment damage, structural failure, injuries, and even fatalities. Force measurement devices, often in the form of load cells or tension links, directly measure the weight of the lifted object, ensuring it stays within safe limits.
  • Alerts and Alarm Settings: Many devices paired with specific instruments can trigger audible or visual alarms if the load approaches the limit, giving the operator time to adjust. Some advanced systems automatically shut down the lifting operation to prevent potential overload.

Improved Efficiency and Accuracy

  • Optimal load handling: Knowing the exact weight of the load allows operators to position it precisely and efficiently. This is crucial for tasks like loading and unloading containers or placing heavy machinery with minimal risk of damage.
  • Reduced energy consumption: By lifting only the necessary weight, you optimize energy usage by avoiding unnecessary strain on the crane’s motors and systems.

Maintenance and Inspection

  • Monitoring crane health: Force measurement data can be used to track crane performance over time and identify potential issues early on. This helps with preventive maintenance and ensures the crane stays in top working condition.
  • Compliance with regulations: Many workplaces have regulations requiring the monitoring of crane loads for safety reasons. Force measurement devices provide accurate data to demonstrate compliance.

Gantry Crane Applications

Tension monitoring in cable cranes: For cranes using cables instead of hydraulics, tension links measure cable tension, safeguarding against cable stress and potential breaks.

Center of gravity determination: In complex lifts with unevenly distributed weight, measuring forces at different points helps determine the load’s center of gravity, which is crucial for safe lifting and maneuvering.

Retrofitting existing cranes for safety: Crane-safe load monitoring systems are vital to crane safety. Load pins for accurate measurement are an excellent way to modernize gantry cranes. Replacing existing load-bearing pins in the crane header block to sense the load, detect the moment of lifting a load, and monitor the cranes’ maximum safe load limit.

Weighing within winch assembly: Load pins are used to measure the weight of aluminum and steel rolls. The custom load pin was designed to fit within the winch assembly, with an anti-rotation bracket to ensure correct positioning.  We also supplied a large digit wall-mounted display to enable them to see resulting loads easily.

Safety measurement system:  If the lifting load exceeds the safe lifting load, audible or visual alarms can be triggered, or if part of a control system, that action will automatically stop the lift. Additionally, having a real-time display of the lifted load allows crane operators to lift the maximum allowable amount, improving productivity by reducing the number of lifts required to complete a task.

To improve operational efficiency and safety, a measurement system is an excellent tool that can alert the crane operator to imminent excess lifting conditions that may cause harm to operators and equipment. Overall, force measurement devices are essential for the safe, efficient, and compliant operation of gantry cranes, making them a valuable investment for any lifting operation.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Load Pins, Tension Links, & Shackles

Gantry Crane Weighing

A Great Force for Crane and Hoist Solutions

Interface Engineered Solutions for Lifting Webinar Recap

Seaside Ports are Optimizing Efficiency and Safety Using Interface Sensor Technologies

Jib Crane Tension Monitoring

Crane Safety Requires Precision Measurements Ship to Shore

Crane Block Safety Animated Application Note

 

Building Synergy to Accurately Measure OEM Products and Components

Interface thrives on deep collaboration with OEM partners. We control the entire process, from meticulous sensor design to robust packaging, but our true strength lies in the synergy we create with our customers.

Interface’s value to original equipment manufacturers is the diversity of custom-engineered single measurement devices and sensors easily integrated into components or products. Interface OEM Solutions refer to high-volume products manufactured as unique sensors to use in existing hardware, to activate a product, or as a stand-alone measurement component.

We provide various strain-gaged products, engineering services, and design capabilities to support manufacturers with custom solutions that fit their precise requirements.

When is an Interface OEM solution necessary for your product or component?

#1 Accurate Measurement: Interface load cells and transducers allow OEMs to monitor and measure real-time forces applied to their parts and products. The measurement data is crucial for performance monitoring and ensuring components and systems operate within safe and optimal load ranges.

#2 Data Acquisition and Analytics: Interface sensor technologies provide valuable product usage and performance insights. Product designers benefit by understanding user behavior and informing future product development decisions. This data can also be used for predictive maintenance.

#3 Design Optimization: Analyzing real-time force data helps engineers optimize part and product designs. Understanding how forces are distributed and interact within a system helps reduce material usage and component weight without compromising strength. Product engineers must also identify and eliminate stress points to improve durability and longevity.

#4 Safety and Reliability: Monitoring forces enables proactive safety measures, preventing accidents and equipment failures. The sensor data is valuable in preventing damage by stopping operations or triggering alarms when excessive forces are detected during use.

#5 Product and Component Quality Control: Using embedded sensor technologies is important when guaranteeing consistent force-related performance during use.

OEM Solution Definition

Speed meets precision with Interface’s complete control over sensor design. From precision strain gages to stocking and shipping parts, we own every step – allowing us to iterate and tailor our sensors to your needs rapidly. Our dedicated engineers work with OEM partners to seamlessly integrate specific requirements into every sensor, delivering solutions as unique as your vision.

OEM solution development is a collaborative process that will leverage our expertise.  Before we define a measurement solution for your specific OEM requirements, Interface engineers and application experts start with a detailed solution definition process between the OEM team members. We host a series of system-level discussions that drive maximum design, build, and production efficiency.

Top OEM Solution Discovery Questions

  • What is the #1 challenge or problem you are trying to solve?
  • What are you measuring?
  • Where will the sensor be used or placed?
  • Why are you interested in specific measurements?
  • What signal or connectivity is needed?
  • What are the defined measurement ranges and potential loading conditions?
  • How do you best describe the envelope and mechanical integration?
  • What are the environmental conditions and exposures for the product or component?
  • What are the plans for sensor calibration?
  • Are you using relative or absolute measurements?

The Interface measurement products available for creating a unique SKU only available to an OEM include our load cells, miniature load cells and load buttons, load pins, and torque transducers. OEMs can choose from Interface’s depth of sensor solutions for specific force ranges, directions, mounting configurations, and environments, enabling optimal integration into their designs.

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Interface Products Available for Custom OEM Solutions

  • Low and High Capacity LowProfile Load Cells
  • Compression-Only Load Cells
  • Miniature Load Cells
  • S-Type and Beam Load CellsColumn and Rod End Load Cells
  • Load Cell Load Buttons
  • Sealed Load Cells
  • Stainless Steel Load Cells
  • Multi-Axis Sensors
  • Torque Transducers
  • Flange Style Torque Transducers
  • Hex Drive and Square Drive Torque Transducers
  • Load Pins and Load Shackles
  • Load Washers
  • Tension Link Load Cells
  • Instrumentation

For products requiring sensor-based components, use Interface products to measure force, weight, or torque accurately and continuously during use, meet safety requirements and certifications, and ensure product quality.

Get started by sharing your initial requirements with us by going to our OEM solution request or contacting our experts. We are ready to help you with making sensor-enabled products.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Making Products Smarter with Interface OEM Solutions

Interface OEM Solutions Process

OEM Robotic Surgery Force Feedback

OEM Solutions Turning an Active Component into a Sensor

Manufacturing Solutions

Why Product Design Engineers Choose Interface

 

Force Measurement Solutions for the Forestry Industry

The natural resources industry spans multiple subsectors, including minerals and mining, aquacultures, environmental services, water management, agribusiness, energy, and forestry.

Within the forestry sector, sensor technologies aid in optimizing operations, ensuring safety, and enhancing efficiency. Sensors are used in forestry heavy equipment, forest and timber management tools, logging machines, wood product manufacturing, pulp and paper manufacturing, and the recycling of forest products.

Interface force measurement solutions have a role across the continuum of forestry, from providing universal load cells to accurately measure the performance of tools and machinery during operations to supplying torque transducers for testing vehicles and equipment used in managing and securing resources.

Interface products are ideal for forest management, harvesting, and processing use cases, whether designing heavy-duty machinery using load cells to prevent overloading or protecting operators with sensor-based alarm systems and monitoring tools.

Interface devices are used in tree harvesting equipment to measure the force required to cut down trees accurately, ensuring minimal waste and maximizing resource utilization. With heavy machinery, such as log skidders and loaders, force sensors can precisely measure the weight of logs and timber transported. This data aids in preventing overloading, which can damage the equipment and negatively impact the environment. Interface sensors, including our load pins and load shackles, are also used in crane and winch systems to measure weight and load in lifting and lowering logs with the appropriate force.

Timber Weighing and Harvesting

A timber company needed a weighing system for sustainable forest management and to measure the amount of timber harvested. Weighing and monitoring harvested timber helps with resource monitoring and contributes to the overall sustainability of the forestry industry. Interface suggested creating a truck weighing scale to weigh logging trucks before and after loading timber. Multiple SSLP Stainless Steel LowProfile Universal Load Cells with WTS-BS-1E Wireless Transmitter Modules were installed under the weighing bridge. The load cells transmitted the force results wirelessly to the WTS-BS-4 Industrial Base Station connected to the customer’s PC with the provided Log100 software. The WTS-LD2 Wireless Large LED Display could also display the weight inside for the driver to see in real-time. Results were viewed on the WTS-BS-1-HA Wireless Handheld Display for Multiple Transmitters. Interface’s Wireless Telemetry System used in the logging truck weighbridge was highly accurate and efficient, creating better resource management and conservation. Read more here.

TIP: Check out the Wonderful World of Wireless webinar for additional tips and products that work in remote forestry environments.

Monitoring systems are another important application in forestry that utilizes Interface products to monitor the health and stability of trees. By implementing Interface sensors to measure the force exerted on tree trunks due to wind or other environmental factors, forest managers can assess the risk of tree fall and make informed decisions about tree removal to prevent accidents and property damage.

Forestry Applications Using Interface Measurement Solutions

Forest Management: This involves planning and implementing strategies to maintain and enhance the health and productivity of forests. It includes reforestation, forest inventory, pest control, and wildfire management.

Timber Harvesting: Timber harvesting is cutting and removing trees from forests for various purposes, including producing lumber, pulpwood, and other wood products. Sustainable harvesting practices are essential to ensure the long-term health of forests.

Wood Processing: Once harvested, trees are processed into wood products such as lumber, plywood, particleboard, and wood pulp. These products are used in construction, furniture manufacturing, and paper production.

Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs): Besides wood, forests provide a wide range of non-timber forest products, including fruits, nuts, mushrooms, medicinal plants, and wildlife. These products are often harvested sustainably for food, medicine, and other purposes.

Bioenergy: Forest biomass, such as wood chips and sawdust, can be a renewable energy source for biofuels and biomass power generation.

Forestry_InfographicPoster

Interface load cells, instrumentation, load pins and shackles, and our wireless telemetry systems are utilized and implemented across various forestry applications, contributing to sustainable practices. If you want to learn more about Interface’s Natural Resources Industry solutions, please contact our application engineers for assistance.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Natural Resources Brochure

Digging Into Interface Mining Industry Solutions

Heavy Truck Test and Measurement Solutions

Interface Measurement Solutions for the Natural Resources Industry

Engineered Solutions for Lifting Webinar

Lifting

Crane Block Safety Animated Application Note

Weighing Solutions Guide

 

Force Measurement Sensors are Essential to Modern Industrial Machinery

 

Industrial machinery plays a vital role in the global economy. It helps to improve productivity and efficiency, and it is essential to produce many of the goods we rely on daily.

Industrial machinery use cases range from equipment used in manufacturing and construction to transportation and robotics. Force measurement sensors and instrumentation play a critical role in ensuring industrial machinery’s safe and efficient operation.

Interface sensor technologies, including our load cells and multi-axis sensors, provide critical data for various machinery designs and functions. Interface analog and digital instrumentation products are available to amplify, condition, and display the signals from force measurement sensors.

The accuracy of force, torque, and weight measurements guide industrial machinery’s design and performance mechanisms.

What types of industrial machinery are using Interface measurement products today?

  • Machine tools used for grinding, drills, and lathes
  • Fabrication apparatus used for bending, shearing, and welding
  • Assembly equipment for production environments that include conveyor belts, robotic arms, and picking devices
  • Testing, quality control, and safety inspection equipment
  • Heavy equipment operational controllers for forklifts, cranes, and hoisting gear
  • Construction machinery such as loaders, bulldozers, and lifts

Industrial machinery is prevalent in manufacturing vehicles, aircraft, consumer goods, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals. Heavy-duty machinery is standard in energy production, mining, forestry, agriculture, and transportation.

The machines’ quality heavily depends on the accuracy of measurements used in the initial design, retrofitting, production, and practice. Interface products provide the products that enable machines to operate at peak performance safely and efficiently. Learn more in our new Interface Industrial Machinery Solutions, a part of Industrial Automation market offerings.

How Interface Measurement Solutions Used in Industrial Machinery

Machine Safety Monitoring

Interface products are used for monitoring the performance of machines and for management in sensing potential problems before they cause a failure. Interface measurement technologies are used in construction machinery to enable operators to gauge the force applied to materials, preventing overexertion and potential damage. Read Interface Solutions for Safety and Regulation Testing and Monitoring

Heavy Machinery and Lifting Equipment

In material handling equipment, force sensors help prevent accidents and injuries. Interface load cells, including load pins and shackles, monitor loads, weight, and distribution. Learn more about lifting solutions in our Engineered Solutions for Lifting Webinar.

Manufacturing and Production Machines

Manufacturers rely on Interface sensor solutions in industrial machines such as injection molding machines to monitor the force applied to the mold or how they are used in machines to ensure correct product packaging. The efficiency of machines is enhanced by correctly measuring the forces applied during different operations. Force sensors help ensure products are assembled correctly and within tolerance on production lines.

Industrial Automation Machines and Robotics

Interface sensors in industrial machines such as robots allow for more precise and delicate tasks that measure force at touch and throughout the entire operation. In machine tools, load cells assist in monitoring cutting forces and prevent damage to tools and workpieces. In robotic arms and automated assembly lines, force sensors provide precise force application during welding, riveting, and material handling.

Benefits of Using Interface Products in Industrial Machinery

  • Improved safety: Load cells can help prevent accidents and injuries by monitoring the weight and distribution of loads and ensuring that machines operate correctly.
  • Increased productivity: Force measurement sensors can help improve machines’ efficiency by optimizing the force applied during different operations. Force measurement sensors can help reduce machine downtime and enhance the quality of products with accurate data, helping to make intelligent decisions.
  • Reduced waste and operating costs: Measurement devices can help to reduce costs by preventing machine failures and improving the quality of products.

Force measurement sensors and instrumentation are essential components of modern industrial machinery. They ensure the safe, efficient, and productive operation of these machines. Contact Interface application engineers to evaluate the best sensor technologies for your specific test and measurement pe failures and improving the quality of products.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Hydraulic Press Machines and Load Cells

Sanding Machine Force Monitoring

Interface Solutions for Machine Builders

Metal Press Cutting Machine

Laser Machine Cutting Force App Note

Ice Machine Weighing

Force Measurement Testing Improves Products and Consumer Safety

Cobot Safety Programming

Crane Capacity Verification App Note

Bending Beam Load Cell Basics

Bending beam load cells are a versatile and cost-effective solution for many weighing and force measurement applications. These types of miniature load cells are small in dimension, which makes them ideal solutions for compact testing environments and for embedding into machines or products for continuous performance measurement.

The use of bending beam load cells expands across industries and applications, for weighing scales, medical devices, industrial process controls, robotic designs, packaging machinery and civil engineering projects.

How Bending Beam Load Cells Work

A bending beam load cell converts a force applied to it into an electrical signal by measuring the flexure of the beam. This is done by attaching strain gages to the beam. When the beam bends, the strain gages change their resistance, which is then converted into an electrical signal by a Wheatstone bridge circuit. The output signal is proportional to the applied load.

The bending beam load cell is bolted to a support through the two mounting holes. Under the covers, you can see the large hole bored through the beam. This forms thin sections at the top and bottom surface, which concentrate the forces into the area where Interface’s proprietary strain gages are mounted on the top and bottom faces of the beam. The gages may be mounted on the outside surface, as shown, or inside the large hole.

The compression load is applied at the end opposite from the two mounting holes, usually onto a load button that the user inserts in the loading hole.

MB Miniature Beam Load Cell

MB MINI BEAM LOAD CELL

The Interface Model MB is a miniature beam load cell used in test machines and a variety of low capacity applications.

  • Standard Capacities are 5 to 250 lbf (22.2 N to 1.11 kN)
  • Proprietary Interface temperature compensated strain gages
  • Performance to 0.03%
  • Low height – 0.99 in (25.1 mm)
  • Eccentric load compensated
  • ±0.0008% /˚F – max temperature effect on output
  • Low deflection

MBI Overload Protected Miniature Beam Load Cell

Interface’s Model MBI Overload Protected Miniature Beam Load Cell has better resistance to off-axis loads then other similar load cells and is fatigue rated.

  • Standard capacities from 2 to 10 lbf (10 to 50 N)
  • Proprietary Interface temperature compensated strain gages
  • Performance to 0.03%
  • Low height – 1in max
  • ±0.0008% /˚F – max temperature effect on output
  • 10x overload protection

MBP Overload Protected Miniature Beam Load Cell

Our Model MBP series Mini load cells provide a similar performance to Model MB series with the added safeguard of internal overload protection. This patented overload protection is accomplished via hard stops that are EDM machined into the load cell flexure. This provides a greater overload protection (2.5-10lbf ±1000% of full scale capacity, 100 N ±500% of full scale capacity), giving the user added protection in more severe applications.

  • Standard capacities from 2 to 10 lbf (10 to 50 N)
  • Proprietary Interface temperature compensated strain gages
  • 10x overload protection
  • Low height – 0.99 in (25.1 mm)
  • ±0.0008% /˚F temp. effect on output
  • 5′ Integral Cable (custom lengths available upon request)
  • NIST Traceable Calibration Certificate

MBS Parallelogram Load Cell

The Interface MBS Parallelogram load cell is made of lightweight aluminum construction and highly suitable for medical and robotics applications.

  • Capacities from 2.2 to 10 lbf (9.8 to 44.5 N)
  • Lightweight
  • Nonlinearity error 0.02% FS
  • Ideal for OEM applications

Double Bending Beam Cells

A very useful variation on the bending beam design is achieved by forming two bending beams into one cell. This allows the loading fixtures to be attached at the threaded holes on the center line, between the beams, which makes the sensitive axis pass through the cell on a single line of action.

Bending Beam Load Cell Applications

Material testing is a common application for bending beam load cells. This type of miniature load cell measures the forces applied to materials with a high degree of accuracy to determine stiffness, strength and durability of the specimen.

It is quite common to find bending beam load cells in industrial automation machines and robots to precisely measure the forces required for control, safety and efficiency. In robotics specifically, bending beam load cells will measure the force applied to the robot’s arms and grippers. The data is used to control the robot’s movements and to ensure that it is not damaging the objects it is handling.

Aerospace engineering have long used bending beam load cells in design, testing and manufacturing of aircraft and spacecraft. Automotive engineering use bending beam load cells to design and test vehicles for safety and reliability.

Due to Interface’s ability to custom design bending beam solutions that meet strict size, capacity and accuracy requirements, our products are commonly used in medical and healthcare applications.

Bending Beam Application for Medical Device Testing

In this application, the medical device product lab needs to apply known forces to stent and catheters to ensure they pass all necessary strength and flexibility testing. MBP Overload Protected Beam Miniature Load Cell is placed behind the guide wire for the stent or catheter. The motor will spin the linear drive, push the load cell, and guide the wire through the testing maze. The bending beam load cell connects to the DIG-USB PC Interface Module to record and store testing data for analysis. Read more.

Bending Beam Application for Vertical Farming

Vertical farming is the production of produce in a vertical manner using smart technology systems, while indoors using an irrigation system. A wireless force measurement solution is needed to monitor the amount of water being used, to ensure the produce is being watered just the right amount. Interface suggests installing four MBI Overload Protected Miniature Beam Load Cells under each corner of the trays of the produce to accurate measure the weight during watering. A JB104SS 4-Channel Stainless Steel Junction Box connects to each bending beam cell and to a WTS-AM-1E acquisition module. The device wirelessly transmits the sum weight to the WTS-BS-1-HA Wireless Handheld Display for multiple transmitters, and the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station. Interface’s Wireless Telemetry System monitored and weighed the amount of water being used on the produce in this vertical farming system to increase yield and conversation. Read more here.

Additional Resources

How Do Load Cells Work?

The Basics Of Shear And Bending Beams

Interface Mini™ Load Cell Selection Guide

Introducing Interface Load Cell Selection Guides

The Anatomy Of A Load Cell

Mini Load Cells 101

Load Cell 101 And What You Need To Know

Interface Load Cells Propel New Torsional Force Measurements for Wind Energy Project

Amongst the wide variety of industries that Interface serves, clean and renewable energy sectors are some of the hottest in pursuit of sensor-based solutions. Between private and public funding, and the overwhelming desire for humans to become more sustainable, new energy technology and investment is multiplying at a rapid pace. 

Interface force measurement solutions are used in all types of energy-related applications for wind, solar, hydro, nuclear, geothermal, and emerging energy sources worldwide. We are recognized as a provider of choice for our reliability and accuracy in designing, engineering, testing, innovating, and manufacturing precision sensor solutions for the energy industry.  In fact, we have designed unique load cells that are embedded into some of the largest test and production equipment for energy production in the world. Read Interface Most Promising Energy Tech Solution Provider

Advance technologies in renewable and sustainable energy sources continues to drive the critical need to monitor, test, and validate concepts, equipment, and tools used in procurement. In the global energy industry, many of the alternative source technologies are inventive, newer, and require unique measurement solutions to take on the challenges found in R&D, testing, and production.  

In addition, alternative energy sources in their infancy can be very cost prohibitive going from exploration to consumption. Therefore, it is important that quality, cost effective testing solutions are provided to help researchers, engineers and manufacturers minimize total costs. Interface force testing solutions help to solve and lessen the burden of these challenges by offering a wide range of test and measurement solutions.

New Interface case study reveals how our load cells were used by the PTB in Germany to calibrate and test the world’s largest machine that measures torsional forces related to wind turbines.

Interface force measurement sensors were requested to help Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), the national metrology institute of the Federal Republic of Germany, in the design of an innovative wind energy project. As the second largest metrology institute in the world, the PTB has an acclaimed international reputation in research relating to units and precise measurement. 

PTB is a service provider for science, business, and society, and advises the German federal government on all metrology issues. Organizationally, the PTB is a departmental research facility and senior authority within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection. For more than 135 years, PTB’s role has been making important contributions to advancing the energy transition, heat transition and climate protection with quality and speed. 

Interface, working in tandem with our esteemed partner Interfaceforce e. K. in Germany, was asked to provide load cell solutions to use in the design and testing of the world’s first traceable torque measurements of up to 5 MN ∙ m for a wind energy facility. As a first of its kind project, the PTB needed to include high accuracy, quality test equipment to guarantee precise and reliable data. Interface solutions fit the exact requirements.  Read the complete case study here.

Summarizing the engagement, PTB endeavored to construct a system with highly accurate and repeatable results, and one that enable bending moments, axial forces, and dynamic excitations of up to 3 Hz. Thereby, making it possible to realize a metrological characterization of dynamic influences in the (MN ∙ m) torque range, as well as in the MN force range. Working closely with PTB, Interface’s experts in Germany worked with the metrology lab engineers to identify the correct products for this unique calibration system.  

These products are being used to calibrate and test PTB’s torque measurement system, allowing the system to provide accurate and repeatable results over time. The custom load cell products Interface provided PTB for this innovative wind energy system, as detailed in Interface Supports Incredible Wind Energy Innovation, included:

The load cells that were chosen helped PTB to create the system needed for its wind energy facility, which allows multi-component transducers to be calibrated in a traceable and practice-oriented way for force and torque. The system is also now the world’s largest machine starting up at PTB, with which the large torsional forces that occur in wind turbines can be precisely measured for the first time.  Read the article: World’s largest device for measuring torque in wind turbines opens.

As we detailed in Load Cells for Renewable Energy Production and Testing, Interface and our incredible distributor network continues to work with engineers and industry leaders to find viable measurement solutions. Pushing the boundary forward on new and renewable energy is rewarding for our company, especially as we help those achieve energy innovation using sustainable, quality measurement solutions.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Geothermal Well Drilling

Interface and Green Energy Innovation

Interface Solutions for Growing Green Energy

Demands for Quality Energy Measurement Solutions

Interface Supports Renewable Energy Innovation

Interface Supports Incredible Wind Energy Innovation

How Load Cells Are Transforming the Construction Industry

The construction industry is one the most universal, growing, and dangerous industries in the world. Interface force measurement solutions are used for all types of construction applications from bridge and high-rise building projects to foundation load tests and structural monitoring. Our sensors and instrumentation are used in crane and heavy lifting operations, material testing and equipment calibration.

Accuracy and quality of all measurement products used for design, testing, monitoring, and equipment evaluations is imperative in protecting the project’s assets and workers. One of the leading causes of construction accidents is overloading equipment. When equipment is overloaded, it can fail, leading to serious injuries. It is essential to utilize high accuracy load cell technologies to measure the amount of force being applied to construction equipment.

Interface force measurement solutions can help to prevent overloading accidents by using the measurement data to ensure that equipment is not being extended beyond its safety capabilities. Force measurement solutions can also be used to monitor the performance of equipment and identify potential problems before they lead to an accident.

Interface offers a wide variety of sensor solutions for construction equipment and material testing. Our load cells offer precise measurements of applied forces, furnishing essential data regarding the structural response under various load circumstances. This data plays a critical role in evaluating structural integrity, detecting potential vulnerabilities, and optimizing design to guarantee the safety and dependability of infrastructure.

Interface force measurement solutions can help to improve efficiency and productivity in the construction industry in all areas including engineering, testing and maintenance. By monitoring the performance of equipment, construction companies can identify areas where they can improve efficiency.

It is common to find Interface load cells, including load pins, load shackles, miniature and even jumbo load cells in use for various forms of construction projects, equipment and tools. These products, as well as torque transducers, instrumentation and wireless systems are frequently used in the testing and monitoring of the machinery, rigging and lifting devices, gear, and heavy duty vehicles that are used in various stages of building.

Interface provides various sensors for a range of construction use cases around the world, including:

  • Residential and commercial buildings
  • Infrastructure programs
  • Industrial construction
  • Material testing machines
  • Civil engineering projects
  • Mining and tunneling
  • Environmental remediation
  • Heavy equipment manufacturing
  • Vehicle OEMS
  • Cranes and lifting equipment


Construction is an ever-present and ever-growing industry estimated to reach nearly $13T in global spending with broad and diverse use of measurement solutions. From single dwelling construction tools to heavy machines used to move concrete slabs, measurement is fundamental in construction. Included below we have provided a few examples of how our sensors are being used in construction.

Construction Reach Stacker

A reach stacker is a vehicle used in construction site to lift, move, and stack heavy containers. A force monitoring system was needed to ensure the safety of surrounding personnel, and if the reach stacker can lift heavy loads. Interface’s WTSLP Wireless Stainless Steel Load Pins were installed into the corners of the lifting mechanism of the reach stacker, where heavy loaded containers are lifted and moved. The force results were then wirelessly transmitted to both the WTS-BS-1-HS Wireless Handheld Display for Single Transmitters, or directly to the customer’s PC with the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station. Using this solution, the customer was able to monitor their reach stacker with Interface’s Wireless Telemetry System and ensure its ability to lift heavy loads on site.

Bridge Construction Wind Monitoring

Wind monitoring is a necessary operation during bridge constructions. Strong winds can destroy a bridge under construction since it is a work in progress with poor structural design. Monitoring these winds in real time is much more accurate than using predicted weather forecasts. Interface suggested installing the WTS-WSS Wireless Wind Speed Transmitter Module on the highest point of construction, such as a crane. Wind speed results were wirelessly transmitted to the customer’s PC through WTS-BS-4 Wireless Base Station with USB Interface in Industrial Enclosure. It was transmitted to the WTS-BS-1 Wireless Handheld Display for Unlimited Transmitters Data can be displayed, logged, and graphed with supplied Log100 software. Interface’s WTS-WSS Wireless Wind Speed Transmitter Module combined with Interface’s Wireless Telemetry System was perfect to monitor the wind speed in real-time during the bridge’s construction.

Metal Bending Force Material Testing for Construction

A construction material supplier wanted to know how much force it takes to bend different grades of steel metal used for building and infrastructure projects. They use their metal bending machine to create different metal hardware and wanted to record the amounts of force it takes to bend the metal used for their projects. Interface suggested using a wireless method, so cables do not interfere with the machine. The WTS 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile® Wireless Load Cell was attached to the head of the hydraulic operated steel bender. Results were wirelessly transmit to the customers PC through the WTS-BS-4 Wireless Base Station with USB Interface, where data can be displayed, logged, and graphed with supplied Log100 software. Using this solution, the customer was able to record the force results of his metal bending machine with Interface’s Wireless Telemetry System.

Interface is adept at providing solutions suited for use in construction projects, equipment and ongoing monitoring programs.  If you have questions about what products are suited for your specific project, equipment or testing programs, contact us. We are here to help.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Force Measurement Solutions for the Construction Industry

Interface Solutions for Heavy Equipment

Gantry Crane Weighing

Lifting Heavy Objects

Rigging Engineers Choose Interface Measurement Solutions

Innovative Interface Lifting Solutions

Modernizing Infrastructure with Interface Sensor Technologies

Interface Solutions for Structural Testing

Why Civil Engineers Prefer Interface Products

Innovative Interface Load Pin Applications

 

 

Interface Solutions for Heavy Equipment

Interface has collaborated with heavy equipment design engineers and OEMs for many years by providing sensors to measure weight, torque, and force. Heavy equipment, also known as heavy machinery, is used to describe the heavy-duty machines that are vastly utilized in infrastructure, construction, transportation, maritime, forestry, agriculture, and mining industries.

Force measurement plays a crucial role in the design, testing, and use of heavy equipment and vehicles including excavators, bulldozers, loaders, cranes, lifts, mixers, pavers, and compactors. Many of the considerations in designing heavy machinery are mandated by force limitations and equipment performance testing. Reference our Cranes and Lifting case study for examples.

Top Five Heavy Equipment Use Cases for Force Measurement

  1. Performance Valuation: Force measurement is used to evaluate the performance of heavy equipment. It allows engineers and designers to assess the forces and loads experienced by different components, such as hydraulic systems, structural elements, and moving parts. Measuring forces with high accuracy ensures that the equipment is built to operate within safe and efficient limits.
  2. Safety Confidence: Heavy equipment operates in demanding and challenging environments where safety is fundamental. Force measurement solutions from Interface help to identify potential safety risks by monitoring the forces exerted on various components in both testing and actual real-time use. Load cells and other sensor technologies enable engineers to design equipment with appropriate safety factors, ensuring that it can withstand the expected forces without failure or compromising operator safety.
  3. Design Optimization: Force measurement assists engineers to enhance the design of heavy equipment. By accurately measuring forces and loads during operation, and will identify areas of high stress or potential weak points. This information is valuable in refining the design, selecting appropriate materials, and implementing structural modifications to improve durability, efficiency, and overall performance.
  4. Regulatory Standards and Compliance: Heavy equipment is subject to strict industry standards and regulations, globally, nationally, and locally that specify performance and safety requirements. Force measurement is used for measuring and monitoring compliance. By accurately measuring and documenting forces, engineers can demonstrate that the equipment meets the specified criteria, aiding in regulatory approvals and certifications.
  5. Troubleshooting and Maintenance: Periodically measuring forces to monitor the condition of critical components and identify any abnormal or excessive forces is useful for identifying issues or wear. This information is critical for preventive maintenance, identifying the root causes of problems, and extending the equipment’s lifespan.

In the construction industry, heavy equipment is extensively used for retail, commercial and civic construction projects. Interface supplies load cells, tension links, load shackles, load pins and other measurement solutions for testing and monitoring.

Excavators are equipped with a hydraulic arm and a bucket, allowing them to dig, excavate, and move enormous amounts of earth, debris, or materials. Sensors are used in design, performance monitoring and maintenance of this type of machinery.

Loaders are powerful machines used for loading materials onto trucks, stockpiling, and general material handling. Overloading is the most common failure. Testing loads for these machines used in construction sites, quarries, and mining operations ensures safety and compliance.

Bulldozers need to be evaluated for earthmoving and grading projects. Rigorous force measurement evaluations help to validate power and maneuverability.

Cranes extensively utilize sensors, including load pins and tension links. During crane lifting capacity tests, force sensors are used to verify if a design for the crane can handle the loads it is required to lift and carry while in movement. This can be done with a variety of different force sensors. Interface tension link sensors are a smart choice as it can be used inbetween the crane hook and the load to provide a more accurate reading on the force. This example of force testing is critical to not only moving the required load, but also in verifying that the crane is safe to operate around workers below. If the crane lift capacity cannot be verified, individuals below the crane are at risk of massive loads dropping from great heights.

Lifts depend on sensors. In the shipping and transportation industry, heavy equipment must have carrying capacities verified or the machines and vehicles may break down or lose control due to excessive loading. In addition, operators need to be cognizant of their load limits and current use in cases. This verification is done using load cells in the testing of the vehicle, but load cells are also used at truck stops with weigh stations. Interface load cells can provide fully accurate data at extremely high weight. In addition, the engines on these trucks need to be able to move the vehicle while under large loads. For this challenge, torque transducers can be used to evaluate and refine an engine’s capability to move vehicles at required loads.

Interface sensors are used in the test and monitoring of maritime heavy equipment, both onshore and near-shore. Cranes and forklifts used in moving cargo plus maritime equipment used for securing lines often use sensor technologies. We also supply measurement devices used for heavy equipment that is submersible. This includes engine testing, mooring and fishing lines, boat hoists and more. Interface offers a complete lineup of sealed sensors that excel while submerged, allowing maritime users to test equipment in real time.

Included below, we have outlined a few heavy machinery testing examples in which Interface products were used:

Gantry Crane Weighing

Gantry cranes are used for several mobile and lifting applications within industrial or construction environments. A weighing system is needed to see if the gantry crane can manage lifting 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 wireless transmitted to both the WTS-BS-1-HS Wireless Handheld Display for Single Transmitters, or directly to the customer’s PC with the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station. Using this solution, a customer can monitor the loads lifted from their gantry crane with Interface’s Wireless Telemetry System and determine whether their gantry crane was able to manage lifting heavy loads.

Overall, force measurement provides valuable insights into the performance, safety, and reliability of heavy equipment, enabling designers, manufacturers, and operators to make informed decisions and ensure efficient and safe operation.

We have a wide range of solutions for the design and testing challenges of heavy equipment used for lifting, weighing, and measuring force and torque. Contact us for any help you need with heavy equipment solutions.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Infrastructure Projects Rely on Interface

Lifting Solutions

Weighing Solutions Brochure

Heavy Truck Test and Measurement Solutions

Force Measurement Solutions for the Construction Industry

Bridge Construction Wind Monitoring

Solutions to Advance Agriculture Smart Farming and Equipment

Why Machine and Equipment Manufacturers Choose Interface

LIFTING: Lifting Heavy Objects

LIFTING: Crane Block Safety Check

LIFTING: Crane Force Regulation