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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

Force Solutions for Medical Tablet Forming Machines

In the medical and healthcare industry, accuracy is an absolute imperative in the devices used in every stage including diagnosis, surgery, health monitoring and even after care. This also applies to the specialized equipment used by pharmaceutical manufacturers, in both design and maintenance, when producing medicine and other healthcare related products.

When it comes to product development in the United States, not only do med devices and pharmaceuticals need to pass rigorous FDA regulations, but they must also be proven to serve patients and doctors safely. This results from robust test and measurement data requirements before seeking clearance. These same types of fundamental safety requirements of testing are also standard in most developed countries when seeking approvals before release.

Medical industry manufacturers turn to Interface because our force measurement solutions are designed for high performance test and measurement, in both accuracy and reliability. There is also a high demand for Interface’s ability to customize solutions to meet the exact requirements of these sensitive applications.

In a variety of medical device applications, one noted example is Interface’s role in providing various miniature beam and in-line load cell solutions with ten times the overload protection to protect against accidental shock loads. Our torque transducers provide rotary and reactive measurement to accurately track light movements required to control prosthetic fatigue testing, surgical equipment, knee or hip replacement and other medical devices. Other Interface solutions include multi-axis sensors for multiple channels of measurement in one housing. Read more about these types of medical applications here.

Interface provides force measurement solutions for a wide variety of products and machines that help biotechnology and pharmaceutical product engineers to design, test and manufacturer devices of all shapes and sizes. When it comes to equipment used in the manufacturing of medicine, Interface products are used to optimize production and reduce waste.

TABLET HARDNESS TESTING

In this application, a pharmaceutical tablet producer wanted to test and monitor the hardness of the tablets being created in their tablet forming machine. Interface’s SML Low Height S-Type Load Cell was mounted to the hardness device inside the tablet forming machine. The SML Low Height S-Type Load Cell was then connected to the 9870 High-Speed High Performance TEDS Ready Indicator to record the force measurements.

TABLET FORMING MACHINE OPTIMIZATION

For a tablet forming machine optimization project in Europe, a pharmaceutical tablet producer wanted to monitor the forces applied by the tablet forming machine in an effort to understand the relationship between raw material, die set, forming force, and motor cycle speed. The goal was to improve productivity and efficiency of the tablet forming process, while reducing losses such as cracked tablets or voids, by adding a dimension of feedback that could be used to assign specific press adjustment criterion for given inputs. An Interface Model WMC Sealed Stainless Steel Mini Load Cell 10K lbf was mounted in the section of the downward press bar. The machine was modified to accomplish this. The load cell was then connected to a Model 9320 Portable Load Cell Indicator to collect the needed data.

TABLET MACHINE HARDNESS CALIBRATION

Our partners in Germany also had the opportunity to work on a calibration project for a device that tested the hardness of tablets, such as a medicine in tablet form. The reason for this type of device is because medical tablets are overly sensitive to compression force when being formed and when ready to be shipped. If the tablets hardness isn’t tested properly, consistency in size and shape is nearly impossible. The need for force testing is because the device must provide very minimal and accurate forces to the tablet for product consistency. When this is applied to tablets that are used in medicine, accuracy in dosage is fundamental and an absolute necessity.

The customer required a unique solution to properly re-calibrate the device. They needed a mini-load cell the size of a sugar cube that replaces the tablets and fits horizontally in the tablet test-box. A special cable exit was also critical for the compression only calibration application.

Interface provided an MCC Miniature Compression Load Cell which can measure forces on its side with a special cable exit on the flat side that attaches to a calibration indicator, such as the Interface battery powered handheld indicator and datalogger Model 9330. The MCC load cell calibration set compares the applied forces with the hardness tester to make sure that the tablet hardness tester uses the correct force for future tablet hardness tests. The BlueDAQ software included in our indicator helps to log and compare the data of the MCC reference load cell.

In the past, the customer’s medical tablet machines had to be rebuilt for calibrations, or a complex mechanism had to be integrated to enable vertical calibration. With Interface’s new solution, the customer successfully verified and calibrated the tablet hardness tester machine horizontally to conduct accurate hardness testing on tablets in the future. Interface’s MCC Miniature Compression Load Cell was perfect due to its small size, and convenience in measuring the forces on its side.

Read more about these healthcare and medical applications in these posts:

Interface Solutions for Medical Devices and Healthcare

Interface Load Cells in Medical Applications

Interface Ensures Premium Accuracy and Reliability for Medical Applications

To see more of Interface’s solutions designed for the medical device industry, visit our solutions page at www.interfaceforce.com/solutions/medical-healthcare/.

Faces of Interface Featuring Ginny Bradley

In today’s Faces of Interface, we’re introducing you to Ginny Bradley. As International Application Engineer, Ginny is responsible for supporting our Global Sales Network of distributors outside of the U.S. This includes distributors on every continent, from Asia to South America, and expanding in operations due to continued growth and demands for Interface products worldwide.

Ginny’s journey into the engineering and manufacturing world is quite different than her husband’s, Jay Bradley, who was featured in a previous ForceLeaders post. Now we are sharing the story of his equally brilliant wife of 33 years, and we’re excited to tell her story.

Ginny grew up as a military brat moving up and down the east coast of the United States, after living in Japan as a young child. Her father was a flight deck officer on an aircraft carrier, and due to her exposure to the world of aerospace, Ginny was always extremely interested in science, math, and technology. This led Ginny to pursue a degree in computer science, which eventually became her minor, and she graduated with a degree in accounting and business administration from the University of Central Florida.

After college, Ginny went to work for the nonprofit organization, Foundation for Senior Living. She began as a staff accountant and eventually was promoted to head of HR and accounting. Ginny spent 24 years with the Foundation for Senior Living and really enjoyed her time there. However, she was on call 24/7 due to the fast-paced nature and small staff typical of nonprofits, and eventually she felt it was time for a change.

Ginny took on contract accounting jobs for a few years and then began talking to her husband about Interface. She was always intrigued about his work at Interface because of her interest in math and science, so she decided to give it a shot when a position on our front desk opened 10 years ago.

Ginny’s propensity for learning had her right in the thick of the Interface world not too long after she started. She quickly moved into an accounting and sales role, followed by a data entry and sales role. Ginny picked up on the ins and outs of Interface and its customers, and soon she was asked to become an international application engineer.

In this role, Ginny is responsible for ensuring products and solutions are aligned with customer needs. Her math and science background, along with her interest in and exposure to the aerospace and defense industries, helped her quickly grasp the various Interface product lines and provide valuable advice to customers. She also has the special benefit of being able to lean on her husband, who is an experienced engineer, when she needs a little more technical detail. In addition, she can apply her accounting background to process large POs, help customers align pricing with their needs, and more.

As international application engineer, Ginny’s day is always engaging as she works with people from all over the world from Europe to APAC, including distributors in Germany, China, Canada, India, United Kingdom, Australia, and many others around the globe.

“My favorite thing about working at Interface is the ability to work with these customers directly and help them solve real-world challenges,” Ginny Bradley, International Application Engineer

In her free time, Ginny likes to spend time with Jay and their three children. She enjoys being hands on with various projects around the house including arts and crafts. She and Jay are currently renovating their home. Her absolute favorite pastime is adventuring around Northern and Southern Arizona with her best friend and going on wine tours. Their most recent big trip was a wine tour back East in the Finger Lakes area near where Jay grew up, and Jay accompanied them.

Now you know a little bit more about the Bradleys, our Interface dynamic duo! If you want to learn more about our outstanding team, check back in every month for a new entry about our ForceLeaders in our Faces of Interface Series.

To locate and contact any of our International Distributors, go here.