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Faces of Interface Featuring Robert Hawk

In today’s Faces of Interface feature, we spoke with Robert Hawk, director of information technology (IT). He is responsible for keeping Interface’s business operational using all kinds of hardware and software, which is core to our fundamental success.

Robert was our very first IT guru at the company and since joining the company and has helped modernize our systems to keep our operations running smoothly. We sat down with Robert to learn about his background and get some insight on everything he does for Interface, our customers, our partners, and global network.

Robert’s background in the world of information technology started with his time in United States Army. He spent his early years in the service with the Infantry. When looking for new opportunities and challenges for his career, he switched his military specialty to Communications and IT, and he then transitioned to the Wyoming Army National Guard.

During his time with the National Guard, Robert worked as an Admin NCO for the 115th Fires Brigade and the IT Department at the F.E. Warren Air Force Base Medical Center. While doing all this, he also continued his support of the Communications and IT section as a Wyoming Army National Guard soldier serving on weekends. Thank you for your service! He obtained two Master of Science graduate degrees, one in Computer Information Systems and one in Computer Engineering.

Robert’s transition to the private sector was as an outsourced IT consultant, serving customers in Wyoming and then Arizona. It was a demanding role that required long hours and some travel; however, it was a wonderful experience. He decided that he wanted to spend more time with his family, and this is when he found Interface.

Interface hired Rob as our first official IT guy in 2014. In fact, which was the name of the role at the time – IT Guy! In the eight years since Rob joined Interface, he has brought our technology light years forward to meet the demands of a growing and thriving manufacturing technology brand leader. The company’s investments in IT allowed Rob to modernize our infrastructure, systems and vastly improve our digital efficiency internally, and with customers. One example is our transition from Windows 95 to Windows 11. He and his team are now rolling out an entire ERP system that will create huge efficiencies and capabilities for the 54-year-old business.

His role at Interface includes managing a team of nine information technology people who are responsible for ensuring the business and production is running smoothly, all the time for a 24/7 business. He is committed to always staying on the lookout for innovative technologies to help streamline operations, support continuous improvements, and help stay on the forefront of ways to engage with all stakeholders. He is also keen to keeping Interface on the forefront of information security.

One thing that you will certainly learn from Rob is that he loves his work because he enjoys helping Interface in their role of helping our customers achieve remarkable things across a wide variety of applications.

Robert is a bit of a workaholic, so part of his free time includes learning, recertifying, and reading up on the newest technologies. He is definitely an IT guy through and through. When he gets some time away, his hobbies include giving back to the military community through charity work with veteran’s organizations. He also loves to ride his motorcycle. Most importantly, he spends time with his three kids aged 21, 19 and 12. In fact, the 19-year-old works for us here at Interface!

Robert is a critical member of Interface’s team, and we could not provide the outstanding technology solutions we do without his work on our digital systems. We thank him for his dedication to his craft and to Interface! What keeps him up at night, keeps us running all day!

 

Ruggedized Test and Measurement Solutions Webinar Recap

Interface’s event, Ruggedized Test and Measurement Solutions, details various transducers, instrumentation and accessories that are designed to withstand environmental stresses and harsh conditions.

The types of testing use case that require ruggedized solutions are material testing, high and low temperature environments, structural and fatigue tests, high cycle count tests, any test for products exposure to moisture or humidity, pressure tests, as well as underwater and in-fluid tests. As noted, this applies to every industry, including maritime, aerospace, food packaging, consumer products, construction, medical devices and automotive.

Interface considers ruggedization as force measurement solutions designed and fabricated for use in extreme environments and applications, ability to operate within accuracy specifications while withstanding one or more environmental stresses or harsh conditions.

During this event, Ken Bishop and Elliot Speidell details the top factors when evaluating test and measurement products used in extreme environments, such as exposure to high or low temperatures, depth of submersion, moisture and water concerts, dust, and other harsh conditions. They present key questions to answer when evaluating your testing requirements, as well as top considerations.

These important evaluation subjects and ruggedized product factors are based on years of experience in collaborating with companies around the world. They define use cases and actual examples of Interface load pins, instrumentation, stainless steel load cells, enclosures and accessories used in all types of harsh and even hazardous environments.

Here is a quick preview of all the topics thoroughly discussed during this event.

  • Environmental Stresses and Harsh Condition Categories
  • Standards and Ratings
  • Structural and Material Options
  • Ruggedized Test and Measurement Devices
  • Sealed Products and Enclosures
  • Extreme Temperatures and Cycling
  • Exposure to Moisture and Submersibles
  • Test & Measurement Applications Using Ruggedized Products

The entire online seminar is now available on-demand. Watch it here.

Top Selling Interface Ruggedized Products

These types of products follow strict certification standards and ratings. During the online seminar, Interface product experts detail the standards and ratings related to intrinsically safe products, sometimes referred to as hazardous location use, as well as solutions designed to meet safety, regulatory or compliance requirements.

The standard ensures that an intrinsically safe device is incapable of triggering combustion or igniting any gasses or vapors. The device is safe to use around dust and gas without risking static electricity or heat discharge from the device igniting the surrounding volatile gasses, powders, and liquids.  Explosion proof applies to a device enclosed in a case that can withstand a gas or vapor explosion.  Should there be an explosion, it will be contained within the enclosure.

Interface offers products with different IP ratings, including IP66, IP67 and IP68 applied to different transducers and instrumentation. Ingress protection (IP) ratings, which grade the resistance of an enclosure against the intrusion of dust or liquids ingress protection (IP) ratings, which grade the resistance of an enclosure against the intrusion of dust or liquids.

  • IP65 – Dust-tight, protected against water jets
  • IP66 – Dust-tight, protected against powerful water jets
  • IP67 – Dust-tight, protected against the effects of temporary submersion in water
  • IP68 – Dust-tight, protected against the effects of continuous immersion in water

What is the difference between IP66 and IP68? IP68 enclosures also provide dust-tight performance against solids. However, they are also rated for significantly better defense against water ingress than an IP66 enclosure. An IP68 enclosure can withstand submersion for over 30-minutes at up to a specified water depth.

Interface also has a range of instrumentation products that are NEMA, and IP rated based on the enclosure and housing designs.  These include:

Interface offers standard and customized solutions. Contact our application engineers to discuss your options and how to ensure you have the right product to match the conditions of our test and measurement environment.

Ruggedized Test and Measurement Solutions Webinar

Interface force measurement engineers and solution experts host an online discussion focused on products used to withstand one or more conditions related to temperature, cycling, moisture, environmental stresses. Learn about Interface’s stainless steel load cells, environmentally sealed options, submersible test and measurement products, enclosures, wireless capabilities, load pins, intrinsically safe products. We detail solutions used for all types of applications used in industries that include medical device, aerospace and defense, industrial automation, infrastructure, maritime and general test & measurement. We discuss sensors models, capabilities, features and FAQs. We dive into use cases, tips, measurement know-how and OEM products.

Weighing Your Options Webinar

Interface force measurement experts detail solutions used for all types of weighing and lifting applications. We discuss sensor models, capabilities, features and tips using various load cells, load pins, shackles, tension links, weighcheck systems and instrumentation. Learn about use cases, FAQs, measurement applications, options for harsh environments and OEM products. If you are exploring quality measurement solutions that provide high accuracy and reliability for scales, cranes, lifting equipment or tools, join us.

Faces of Interface Featuring Ashlesa Mohapatra

In today’s Faces of Interface Series, we sat down with our engineering team member that is responsible for innovative and custom force measurement solutions designed and built at Interface headquarters. Design Engineer Ashlesa Mohapatra is a brilliant individual who has lived and breathed the world of engineering since she was young. She is a lifetime learner who shares her knowledge with all who ask and is an outstanding member of the Interface engineering team.

Ashlesa was destined to be an engineer from her early days. Her grandfather was an engineer who served in the Indian Navy and helped to build naval ships. Her father was also an engineer whose passion for the field rubbed off on Ashlesa. He was constantly bringing home books and drawings, or power tools to work around the house. She was also present and absorbed as much knowledge as she could on every subject that interested her father.

She would go on to attend KIIT and receive her undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering, followed by a master’s degree in mechanical engineering with a minor in renewable energy for the University of Massachusetts Lowell. While earning her education, Ashlesa also took on two internships to further her learning and career experience. This included an internship for Larsen & Toubro in Oman and Applied Medical in California. In addition, Ashlesa’s propensity for learning also inspired her to educate her peers. She has five published works covering a wide range of topics related to design and sustainable manufacturing in peer reviewed journals like Scopus and Elsevier.

Prior to joining Interface, Ashlesa took on a role as a quality engineer with H&S technical services. Her role involved reviewing and writing medical manufacturing processes for medical devices related to heart and kidney health according to ISO 13485 and 14971. The role taught her a lot, but she quickly realized it was not her calling. Her true passion was for design and innovation.

This passion led Ashlesa to Interface where she joined as a design engineer. In this role, Ashlesa works on 12 different product lines, helping to customize products to meet customer needs across a variety of industries. She is part of two high-performance teams, leading the team behind the miniature load cells LBS and LBSU ConvexBT Load Button Load Cell product lines, and working with the WMC product line. In addition, she is part of the Interface Navigator’s team where she deploys strategic thinking and thought leadership for process improvement within Interface. She also authors research papers for regional and national conference proceedings s for the company on innovations and trends in force measurement technology.

Ashlesa says that her favorite things about working at Interface are that no two days are the same, her design work is extremely exciting and rewarding and that learning from the role is limitless. Her design work affords her the ability to look at customer challenges every day and try to develop complex and interesting solutions that meet their needs. She loves the challenges and is excited to come in every day.

In her free time, the engineering passion continues to spill over. She is a part of several engineering organizations, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Getting more women involved in STEM education and careers is another passion of Ashlesa, so she offers mentorship services to members of SWE to spark a lifelong relationship with engineering. She is also a judge for the design review panel at the EPICS program at ASU. As part of her work with ASME, she is always lending a hand to ASU students by reviewing research papers and lending her advice. However, Ashlesa does take some time to get away and enjoys being outdoors, hiking, camping, and other activities.

Ashlesa is a true champion of innovation and plays such a critical member of our engineering design team. She delights customers with her creative approach and expertise, and we are thrilled to have her on board.

Faces of Interface Featuring Jeff White

In today’s Face of Interface, we are going global. We are sharing our recent interview with Interface’s International Sales Director, and one of the newest members of the sales leadership team, Jeff White.

Jeff took a non-traditional path into the force measurement world and has truly taken the lead ever since. We are extremely excited to share his story, which includes a long history working with Interface.

Jeff grew up in Chicago and attended Northern Illinois University where he received a bachelor’s degree in public health and a minor in business. After school, he was working at Target when one big sales event, known as Black Friday in the US, made him realize his time in retail was ending. Over that Thanksgiving period a friend talked about an opportunity with Rice Lake Weighing Systems and Jeff jumped at it.

Rice Lake manufactures and distributes weight-related products and supplies, so Jeff leapt headfirst into the force measurement industry. His first role with the company had him working in inside sales where he answered customer calls and got his first taste of real-world applications. As he learned more about solutions, products, and customer requirements, he moved into a position “on the road” in Rice Lake’s Mobile Marketing Unit (MMU) Bus.

This role had Jeff traveling the country showcasing Rice Lake systems and meeting customers, partners, and vendors. This is also where many people at Interface, and others around the country, came to recognize Jeff as the bus guy! His dynamic enthusiasm, passion for helping others, and product technical knowledge were a perfect mixture for this innovative way to bring solutions to the customer’s door.

Jeff loved the role in his younger years traveling and getting to know everything he could about the industry. Working with a network of hundreds of distributors, he was able to help solve all kinds of customer challenges. Some of his time was learning how to best help Interface with a range of products to satisfy all types of customer requirements. This experience helped Jeff quickly become an expert on all things force measurement, including Interface’s sensor technologies.

As Jeff managed different territories and distributors around the country, he realized living out of a suitcase (and a bus) did not align with goals he is aiming to achieve in his personal and professional life. At this point, he had lived in Arizona for a few years and became acquainted with the growth and opportunities at Interface. His vast technical, sales, and leadership experience across a wide range of industries and distributor groups, as well as collaborating with suppliers, made him a great fit for the International Sales Director role.

In this position, Jeff is responsible for growing international sales through our extensive global sales network. By focusing on building relationships based on trust and respect, Jeff brings tremendous value to Interface’s valued distributors and customers. He wants to ensure they are secure in sharing their business and product requirements in territory, by working together with their committed partner – Interface.

Jeff says that he has enjoyed meeting and learning from the team and learning all about Interface’s production area. He is also excited to have a home base and office that is close to engineering and production, being able to get answers quickly and communicate effectively, and build a relationship with co-workers, while he represents the interests of “rest of world” through our global network. He also understands that when he is in territory, he brings practical know-how and experience to support and train our representation throughout the world.

As for his free time, Jeff loves all things Chicago sports. Despite his travels around the country, he stays true to his hometown teams. He is also active in sports himself. He golfs, plays pickup basketball, and is part of a Friday night softball league.

Interface is thrilled to have Jeff on the team. His experience, force measurement expertise, and leadership aligned to an enthusiastic commitment to success is the perfect alignment to help us grow our international business.

To learn more about our excellent Interface team members, tune into our blog every month for a new Faces of Interface ForceLeaders posts.

Faces of Interface Featuring Sean Malone

In today’s Faces of Interface, we talked with Sean Malone who is responsible for calibrating and repairing our customer’s force measurement equipment. As our esteemed warranty coordinator, his important role requires extensive knowledge of force measurement technologies. This is because not only do we support the products we make, we also calibrate and repair force measurement products from a wide variety of other manufacturers.

Throughout his life, Sean has always had a propensity for working with his hands. Hi family owned a locksmith business, so he grew up to become very mechanically proficient. In fact, Sean worked for the 35-year family-run business for 25 years before the family decided to sell it. Sean also went to school at ITT Tech during that time and received his associates in computer networking and science.

After leaving the locksmith business, Sean investigated a new role where he could continue to work with his hands every day. This desire led him to Interface. He began his career at Interface as a repair technician in our production facility, then he moved on to become a calibration finalist, and the manager of the service department before settling into his current role as warranty coordinator.

His journey through Interface’s service department gave him a great deal of knowledge about the business and the ins and outs of a load cell. This allows him to perform his current role to the highest degree and aptitude. He’s also a great resource for questions and support for our team members and global network. His position today includes being a single point contact for service customers, performing root cause analysis, fixing load cells, calibrating them, and ensuring items sent in for services get back to the customer in premium working order.

Sean says that he’s caught his professional stride at Interface and really enjoys the fact that he is learning something new every day. He also remarked that the people he comes to work with make the job and the company that much more enjoyable. We’re glad to have you here too Sean, as you represent the best in ForceLeaders.

In his free time, you won’t find Sean anywhere else but at the golf course. Being an Arizona native, he has grown up with a passion for the U.S. golf capitol of the world and all it has to offer for an avid golfer. His skills in the sport also extend to a little bit of frisbee golf from time to time. All things golf, all the time. That’s the way Sean winds down.

We’re incredibly honored to have Sean on the team and his work is critical to keeping our customers products operating at the highest standards of accuracy and reliability, today and for many years to come.

To learn more about the outstanding team at Interface, check in to our blog each month for our Faces of Interface series.

Faces of Interface Featuring Melissa Enriquez

There are three staples of an Interface product: accuracy, reliability, and quality. In today’s Faces of Interface, we talked Melissa Enriquez, Quality Engineer, who is one of the engineers responsible for ensuring the third, and arguably most important staple of our products meets Interface standards. We had a wonderful time learning Melissa’s story and hope you enjoy it too!

Melissa’s journey to the engineering world was not as typical as some of our other team members. In fact, she had not really pictured herself in this type of career at all. When she applied for her first job in Michigan, there was two open positions. One was in accounting and the other in quality. She was hired for the role in quality, and the rest is history.

The opportunity to be part of a quality team really opened doors for Melissa. She received on the job training as an SPC coordinator and enjoyed the role. This also eventually led to her getting her certification in SPC, ASQ and more. She also attended community college in Michigan and got her associates degree in Applied Sciences, followed by two bachelor’s degrees a few years later. She has a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan, and a biomechanical engineering degree from Wayne State University.

After taking on the responsibilities of quality engineering, Melissa began to climb the ranks. She worked across multiple industries including automotive, aerospace, military and defense, and others. One of her more prominent roles was with Burtek, where her work with the company’s partners Raytheon and Lockheed Martin won awards for excellence in quality. In addition, her name can still be found across military equipment around the world due to being listed as a Quality Test Director on those products.

Her last stop before joining Interface was at Cobasys, an energy storage solution company helping to push battery technology forward in the electric vehicle market. In this role, Melissa helped to implement multiple quality standards, a supplier management program, and much more.

In September 2021, Melissa came to work for Interface. She has served as a quality supervisor and quality engineer. She joined Interface because she wanted to get back to being direct with the products and fix problems directly. Her role involves ensuring every product that leaves our doors is up to the high Interface standards. This includes supervising quality inspectors, performing root cause analysis and corrective action, problem solving, updating documents to make requirements clear and engaging in finding ways to advance our product quality processes. What she enjoys most about Interface is the people, the ability to make a difference in the company, and the quality products and services we provide to our customers.

When she is not upholding the Interface standard, Melissa can be found enjoying her two hobbies – sports and music. As a UofM alumni, she is a big supporter of all Michigan Wolverine sports. As far as music goes, she spent a lot of her younger years playing instruments, including drums, clarinet, bass clarinet, and trumpet. Today, she indulges that passion by listening to a wide variety of music and attending concerts.

Melissa is a big part of why Interface remains successful with a reputable brand known for exceptional quality. Our commitment to quality only goes as far as our people’s commitment to meet and exceed these standards. Melissa is a huge proponent of ensuring that everything that passes her desk is of the quality our customers have come to expect and demand from the leader in force measurement.

To learn more about Interface’s outstanding teams and individuals, check into our blog every month for a new Faces of Interface story.

Superior S-Type Load Cells Webinar

Interface force measurement engineers and solutions experts explore s-type load cells. We discuss the history, engineering perspective, models, capabilities and features of these specialized miniature load cells. Learn about use cases, tips for test and measurement applications and FAQs. Mark Weathers, Raymunn Machado-Prisbrey and Randy White unveil our latest new product, the SuperSC S-Type Load Cell. Find out about it’s unique features and design.