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ForceLeaders Summit Novi

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.

Recap of Accurate Report on Calibration

Interface recently hosted an in-depth discussion on the topic of calibration.  As one of the largest calibration labs in the world for force and torque sensors, our team shared insider tips, frequently asked questions, set up techniques and best practices in the lab during this extensive calibration webinar.

The ForceLeaders seminar also covered details about various calibration grade equipment like our 1800 Platinum Standard® Calibration LowProfile® Load Cell, 1600 Gold Standard® Calibration LowProfile® Load Cell, fixtures, load frames, and calibration systems.  We also delved into topics that include instrumentation, verification frames and software.

During the event, we covered a diverse set of subjects due to the range of experiences of our attendees including the top five reasons why calibration matters, the measurement of uncertainty, identifying errors and the parameters of calibration.

You will find the recorded event Accurate Report on Calibration is available to review the technical details related to each of these important calibration subjects.

Elliot Speidell, Brian Peters and Chris Brandenburg covered a wide range of topics, including:

  • The Metrology Perspective
  • Interface Calibration Methodology: What, Why & How
  • Top 5 Reasons Why Calibration Matters
  • Calibration and Measurement Uncertainty
  • What Errors are Characterized in the Calibration Process?
  • System Calibration Considerations
  • Calibration Lab Set Up Best Practices + Tips
  • Optimization + Calibration Applications
  • Fixtures + Standard Equipment
  • Interface Calibration Services
  • Do & Don’t Tips + FAQ

To get things started, we began the event with a quick conversation about metrology, the science of measurement, which embraces both experimental and theoretical determinations at any level of uncertainty in any field of science and technology.

Metrology is the global network standardizing measurement units. Calibration is the action taken at each step in the metrology network.

Metrology is important to Interface because it provides the standards for controlled processes, systems, reliability, accuracy, quality and science. Calibration is the set of operations that compares the accuracy of a measuring instrument of any type, such as a load cell or torque transducer, against a recognized standard. The process of calibration includes adjusting the measuring instrument to bring it in alignment with the standard.

Why is calibration of load cells and torque transducers important?

  • All load cells are subject to performance degradation due mistreatment, drift, or aging
  • You need traceability and quality system requirements
  • Pre and post-test verification is critical for data validity
  • Even load cells manufactured to the highest standards require regular calibration

Interface calibrates every load cell and torque transducer to spec before it leaves our facility. We also provide recalibration services for all types of devices, even those we don’t manufacturer. This results in more than 100,000 calibrations every year by our trained technicians. During this event we shared valuable tips for setting up and operating a world-class calibration lab.

Best practices for calibration labs:

  • Define workspace requirements
  • Qualify measurement types and models
  • Identify suppliers
  • Select calibration grade equipment
  • Assemble lab
  • Train lab techs
  • Create certification and testing protocols
  • Define workflows
  • Utilize software for tracking assets and certificates
  • Know maintenance and recalibration schedules

The Accurate Report on Calibration recorded event is available online to watch at your convenience.

If you need help in defining the best calibration grade systems or equipment for your specific test environment, contact our application engineers.  If you need a calibration service, you can submit your request online.

Faces of Interface Featuring Scott Whitworth

Our Faces of Interface features the masterfully creative force behind the Interface brand. If you’ve ever downloaded an Interface product brochure or spent time on the Interface website, chances are Scott Whitworth, Interface’s creative services manager, played an important role.

Scott puts together complex product details for T&M pros, develops visual stories with digital content, and helps us keep track of thousands of offerings – one at a time! This is a story about Scott’s journey from film to the video game industry and even teaching before finally joining Interface.

Growing up, Scott was always interested in art and filmography. He pursued creative endeavors, such as a degree in the film industry at the Arts Institute of Phoenix, where he also took some traditional painting and sculpting classes. During his time in school, he started to pick up graphic design skills as well. These talents led Scott to begin his career in the film industry at a company called Digital Domain. In this role, he did digital effects for several different films and commercials.

He then moved to Phoenix, where he worked for a company called THQ. At THQ, Scott began in the film and television division where he worked in animation. Two years after he started, the company closed the film and television division and offered Scott a position in the games division. Scott remained with THQ for eight years doing 3D modeling and design.

From 2008 until 2015, Scott worked as an independent creative resource across several creative disciplines for many clients. And then an old colleague brought him back to Arizona and back to the Art Institute working a teaching job. He enjoyed his freelance work but wanted to get back into the corporate world, which ultimately led him to Interface.

Scott started in graphic design for Interface to help bolster our marketing footprint. He quickly learned about the load cell industry and all the customers that utilize sensors. Growing up in Michigan, his grandfather made parts for the automotive industry, so he was familiar with some of the technical intricacies and use cases. With a naturally technical mind and blended with a passion for creative works, he was a perfect fit for Interface.

“The blending of technical content with design tasks is I really love about working at Interface. It provides creative freedom in my work, with the discipline of getting all the technical details exactly right.” Scott Whitworth, Creative Services Manager at Interface.

Scott’s day-to-day involves leading a agile marketing team and overseeing all branding and creative functions, including collateral material, data sheets, website design and supporting the development of creative assets for our global network of sales partners. He plays a big role in creating continuity amongst all of Interface’s marketing assets. When he arrived, there were differences between marketing materials, so he has worked to standardize and strengthen the brand into the same style. His efforts and leadership in this area has really supported a leading look and representation for Interface.

When he’s not making the Interface brand shine, Scott can be found spending time with his wife and four kids. He has three sons ages 14, 13 and 10, as well as a 2-year-old daughter. So, Scott doesn’t have time for much more than being a great dad! When he does get some free time, he continues his creative passions through 3D modeling for himself, exploring painting and sculpture and other forms of art.

Scott has worked hard to make the Interface brand standout from the competition through a wide variety of platforms We’re thankful for Scott and his many talents and are glad we got share his story.

Advancements in Instrumentation Webinar Recap

Interface experts recently hosted a conversation about what is changing in the world of instrumentation, as it related to sensor technologies and force measurement.  The new event, Advancements in Instrumentation is a continuation of our ForceLeaders Interface Instructional on Instrumentation Event.

The conversation began with a focus on what has changed in the last five years and why instrumentation is such an important topic in T&M. 

TRENDS IN ADVANCED INSTRUMENTATION

The number one change in test and measurement that we have identified is the omnipresent use of sensors in things that didn’t use to have sensors. This includes consumer products, home healthcare medical devices, EVs, factory equipment, tools, robotics, just to name a few. With the demands for more feedback, more data, and more required performance monitoring, instrumentation requirements are growing in functionality. 

We are getting smarter in our applications and uses cases, which means we need smarter devices to capture all the information to make intelligent decisions in product design, engineering, and manufacturing. We see this with smart factories, smart vehicles, smart agriculture, smart tools, smart medical technologies, these innovations and advancements need more data to make smart decisions, in design, test, build and use.

Other trends we discussed include the infusion of IoT into test and measurement. As we connect more instruments and devices into our networks, it requires advanced instrumentation and changes in what has been used as basic and standard instruments in the past. We also see customization and programmability needs changing and movement towards more digital interfaces.  Specifically, during this hour-long discussion we dive into digital outputs, amplifiers, communication protocols and advancements in software options, including a quick MathScript demo. Watch the video here.

TYPES OF INSTRUMENTATION HIGHLIGHTED IN WEBINAR

  • Signal Conditioners
  • Data Acquisition Systems (DAQ) 
  • Indicators
  • USB Interface Modules
  • Wireless and Bluetooth Telemetry Systems
  • Portable
  • TEDS Ready

Interface highlighted a series of new instrumentation solutions in great detail. This includes recent releases like our BX8 DAQ Series, Wireless Telemetry System Additions, 9850 Torque and Load Cell Indicator and SI-USB4. We also shared what we are bringing to market this year, including new portable indicators, a DAQ systems designed specifically for torque transducers, advanced multi-channel solutions and new USB indicators for wireless sensors. We also talked about custom instrumentation solutions when you need something designed for a unique use case or OEM application.

Throughout the webinar, instrumentation selection criteria were highlighted to help make the right decisions in pairing your measurement devices to the available instrumentation options. We addressed common questions, do’s and don’ts, and tips that are helpful in evaluating what will work with your project, in your lab or at your factory.

ADVANCEMENTS IN INSTRUMENTATION WEBINAR TOPICS

  • Types of Advanced Instrumentation
  • Selection Criteria for Advanced Instrumentation
  • Recap Digital Versus Analog Options
  • What’s New in Wireless + Bluetooth Telemetry Systems 
  • New Instrumentation Solutions from Interface
  • Trends in Test Data Management + Systems
  • Applications + Uses Cases
  • FAQs

You can watch the entire conversation to learn more.

WHY INTERFACE FOR INSTRUMENTATION

With so many options available, we want to make it easier in choosing the right instrumentation. Here are a few reasons why Interface is a provider of choice when it comes to instrumentation for force measurement.

  • Interface is a single point of contact for measurement device and instrumentation
  • Interface offers a range of solutions from USB Interface Modules to Multi-Channel and Wireless DAQ Systems
  • Interface can partner to design and build complete systems
  • Interface has expertise for technical support
  • Interface has deep use case experience across all the sensors we offer, from load cells to wireless load pin technologies
  • Interface instructional videos, literature, software demonstrations and manuals available online in your Support area of the website
  • Interface provides software with our instrumentation

Additional Resources

Interface Instructional on Instrumentation Event

Recap of Inventive Multi-Axis and Instrumentation Webinar

Instrumentation Analog Versus Digital Outputs

Instrumentation Options in Test and Measurement

Force Measurement Instrumentation 101

Faces of Interface Featuring Tyler Pettit

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.

Embedding Sensors in Products Webinar Recap

Interface recently hosted a live virtual event, Embedding Sensors in Products, where Brian Peters and Randy White detail the processes, products and uses cases for using Interface load cells, load pins, and torque transducers as a stand-alone sensor solution or a component within a product.

Interface has been providing custom engineered and manufactured solutions for more than 50 years to equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and product engineers to meet unique specifications and requirements.

Interface sensor technologies are frequently being used medical devices, machines and equipment, industrial automation robotics, material extraction and pumps, weighing and monitoring devices, vehicle production and components and more. Building any custom OEM solution to exact specifications is a team sport.  Working together with Interface engineers, we partner with the customer through ever stage: Design, Test, Build and Supply.

The typical uses cases for Interface OEM Solutions include:

  • Products requiring sensor technology components
  • Instrumenting components
  • Utilizing sensors to measure force, weight, or torque
  • Managing test and measurement processes and protocols
  • Precision performance requirements and testing 

The entire recorded Embedding Sensors Event is available to online to watch at your convenience.

The best tip for success is to engage early with Interface. Our experts have the experience and know-how of product capabilities, applications, configurations, and a history of what works and potential risks. When getting started, details matter. Our OEM Applications Engineers will work with you to ensure we have answer to important questions, including: 

  • What are you measuring?
  • Why are you measuring?
  • What signal or connectivity is needed?
  • Measurement range and potential loading conditions
  • Envelope and mechanical integration
  • Environment
  • Calibration – relative vs absolute measurement
  • What are you trying to solve #1?

Be sure to watch the new ForceLeaders event to gain insights into the process, tips for success, industry use cases and the range of products available for embedding sensors into products. There are many products Interface has available that are great options for engineered-to-order and customization. These Interface products include low and high capacity load cells, compression load cells, miniature load cells and load buttons, load pins, s-type and beam load cells, sealed load cells, torque transducers, digital communication devices, multi-axis sensors and more. Several product options are discussed in detail during this informative presentation

You can watch the presentation below, where our experts discuss the following topics:

  • Interface OEM Solutions
  • How to Get Started
  • Dialing in on Specifications and Requirements
  • Process: Design, Test, Build and Supply
  • Common Sensors Used for OEM
  • Trends in OEM 
  • Applications + Uses Cases
  • FAQs

If you have questions about how to get started or need further information about our OEM Solutions, go here. Our experts are ready to help with your exact requirements.  Additional information is also available in our white paper, New Interface White Paper Highlights Turning an Active Component into a Sensor.

Faces of Interface Featuring Rocky Lee

In today’s Faces of Interface, we’re introducing Rocky Lee, a recent addition to the Interface team. Rocky joined Interface in September 2021 as our director of quality. His role is ensuring that every product that leaves our doors meets the incredibly high precedent for accuracy and reliability that Interface is well known for around the world. We had a great time talking to Rocky and hope you enjoy his story.

As a kid growing up Rocky always displayed an interest in STEM. It led him to pursue a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Michigan. He enjoyed learning about how things work and how things are made, so it felt like the perfect education for his interests.

Shortly after graduating, he got his first role in the engineering and manufacturing world. Rocky joined Raytheon as a mechanical engineer. His role at Raytheon was traveling around to airports to outfit them with a new communications system that Raytheon had developed. He would go in and ensure that the airport’s infrastructure could handle the power and technology requirements of the new radar system.

After Raytheon, he started as a product engineer for Toyota. His role involved him being stationed at a supplier that converted Toyotas into convertibles. He also worked on various other convertible lines, including Toyota Paseo, Mitsubishi Eclipse, and the Mitsubishi Spyder hardtop convertible. These experiences really kicked off a few of his passions in life – quality and convertibles. In fact, Rocky has owned three convertibles including a Toyota Celica convertible, Mercedes SLK, and a BMW 4-Series Hardtop Convertible.

Rocky then took a short break from the engineering and manufacturing world. He owned an ultra-high-end wedding gown design and manufacturing company for several years. He really enjoyed owning the company because it pushed him into new roles like sales and marketing, expanding his capabilities and expertise. After moving on from this business, he would then move to a quality management role for Suncast, which made consumers goods for the home and garden market. This would be his last role before joining Interface.

In 2021, Rocky and his wife decided it was time for a change of scenery. They had always envisioned themselves retiring to Arizona, but they decided to get started on warmer weather early! Rocky joined Interface shortly before moving and he chose us because he had deep desire to get back into the engineering and manufacturing world.

Rocky is learning quickly in his new role. His first major project is expanding the quality inspection process to ensure quality is instilled from start to finish and throughout development. He says he is enjoying his time at Interface due to the high-level of Interface’s engineering talent. He feels that the expertise here will help him learn quickly and become engrossed in the force measurement world. He’s also excited by the wide range of industries and applications that Interface is involved in by supplying precision force measurement solutions to companies globally.

When he’s not working hard to meet customer expectations for Interface product quality, Rocky, his wife, and their two children are taking advantage of Arizona and all it has to offer. This includes hiking, sightseeing, white water rafting and more. He is also really enjoying the golf out here. He and his wife love to play together and they’re planning to spend a good deal of their free time checking out Arizona’s award-winning golf scene in the years to come.

Rocky is a wonderful addition to the team and we’re proud he chose Interface. To get to know more of Interface’s outstanding team, tune into the blog each month for a new addition to our Faces of Interface Series.

Read more about the importance of quality in our industry here: Quality is Top Reason Customers Choose Interface

 

Faces of Interface Featuring Jason Fairfield

In today’s Faces of Interface, we had the opportunity to sit down with our CFO Jason Fairfield to discuss his journey to Interface. He shared with us some interesting professional stops in the engineering and manufacturing industries, as well as his passions working at Interface and in life.

As a fourth generation Arizona native, Jason has made his way across the desert a few times over. He was born in Clarkdale, a small town down the hill from Jerome. He and his family moved all around the state as he grew up, including Tucson, Scottsdale, back to Clarkdale, and eventually to Phoenix.

Jason attended Northern Arizona University, earning an accounting degree. During his time at NAU, he also made a little money working as a bartender. He looks back on this experience fondly because he got the opportunity to meet and talk with a wide variety of people, picking up valuable interpersonal skills and collecting a wealth of ‘bartending’ stories he still shares with others today.

After college Jason landed his first accounting gig. Coincidentally, it became his first taste of the manufacturing world working at Honeywell’s large computer products group. He worked in the financial planning group at a Honeywell plant that manufactured and sold mainframe computers. At the time, they employed over 5,500 people, operating 24-hours, seven days a week. As a member of the financial planning team, he saw how the business worked and really enjoyed learning the ins and outs of operating such a large facility.

Over the next few years, Jason remained in finance working mostly in manufacturing with organizations that developed products ranging from plastics to military electronics. He even had a stint as the CFO of an electronic vape company that had online revenues of $30 million annually. And he’s taken on being a successful business owner as co-owner of Goettl Air Conditioning, an Arizona-based manufacturer and servicer of HVAC equipment. It was an experience he enjoyed very much.

Through the prompting of a former colleague who was head of HR at Interface, Jason joined Interface in January 2019 as a consultant and soon transitioned to our permanent CFO in May of 2019.

“Interface is such a great company to work for because every day is different and the applications that we work on across a wide range of industries are always unique and exciting. The team here at Interface is outstanding and the opportunity to work with such a great group of people has been a pleasure.” – Jason Fairfield, CFO at Interface, Inc.

Jason said one of the joys he gets from his CFO role is helping others understand complex financial relationships. He shares his wealth of experience and financial know-how through skills training and career development programs at Interface. He noted that it’s a great feeling when you see the light bulb go on over someone’s head.

When he’s not tending to Interface finances, Jason likes to spend his time with family, travel, golf, and computer gaming.  He and his wife have three children ages 29, 26 and 25. His oldest son was just married. Congratulations to Jason’s son and their family.

In addition to time spent with family, Jason and his buddies like to get together to watch mixed martial arts fights, consume adult beverages and tell each other exaggerated truths. The group also enjoys sharing smoked meats and veggies during their time together. He was quick to point out, smoking meat and fish and whatever else isn’t nailed down has become a hobby over the past few years.

It was wonderful getting to know Jason and learning about his very interesting career path, his passion for finance and a brief look into his hobbies. To learn more about Interface’s outstanding team, tune into the Interface blog every month for a new Faces of Interface.

Interface 2021 Video Watch List

Interface is committed to providing a variety of online support resources to help our customers and those interested in using our products and services. In fact, we host one of the industry’s largest self-help glossaries of test and measurement technical terms, a detailed technical library, along with a robust troubleshooting guide and access to our famous Load Cell Field Guide.

In our conversations with customers, we know that people like to consume information in a variety of formats. That is why in 2021 we produced a number of new videos to extend our digital library of education and training references.

From product use cases to technical user guides, our team of experts have created 19 new videos in 2021.  The new Interface videos cover a diverse set of topics, including product introductions, industry solutions, animated application notes, use cases, installation tips, and explainers for using Interface software.

We also introduced our new ForceLeaders Webinar Series in 2021. We hosted seven expert-led online events that included product overviews, technical tips, installation support, use cases and FAQs for a number of Interface products and services. Each webinar was recorded and archived on our site, as well as posted on our YouTube channel.

Here is a quick and easy guide to the 2021 Watch List for the latest releases from Interface’s video vault:

NEW 2021 FORCELEADERS WEBINARS

INDUSTRY SOLUTIONS 

ANIMATED APPLICATION NOTES AND USE CASES

PRODUCT OVERVIEWS, SET-UP AND TRAINING VIDEOS

So what is on the schedule for 2022? You need to tune-in by subscribing to our YouTube channel, as well as watching for upcoming ForceLeaders Webinars.  We are already working on our first series of online events that we’ll launch in February. Keep watching, we have a lot more we are ready to share.