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Interface Calibration 101

Calibration of force and torque sensors is critical to receiving accurate data from measurement testing.  Calibration is the comparison of the instruments output against the known standard of measurement. For a load cell, it is the comparison of the load cell output against the standard test loads.

The calibration ensures the sensor is performing accurately and set for ideal output based on the capacity and configuration of the design. A standard calibration tests repeatability and linearity, which are both used to determine the accuracy. Calibration tests are run to identify any potential measurement errors caused by zero offset, non-linearity, hysteresis, non-repeatability, and shifts from zero.

The team of calibration experts at Interface are specifically trained to provide this specialized service as part of our quality and lab standard requirements of operations. Interface is ISO/IEC 17025:2017 and A2LA Accredited for Torque and Force Calibration in accordance with the recognized International Standard ISO/IEC 17025:2017.

Interface certifies all our load cells with accredited calibration before releasing the product for shipment. Certificate information includes tabulated measurement variables data, zero balance, computed nonlinearity and hysteresis, and traceability statements. We are often recognized as the most complete calibration certification in the industry

In a recent customer survey, we found that one of the most important roles that Interface force measurement solutions play is for our calibration services. This is due to the accuracy, reliability, and dependability over long periods of time of the load cells we manufacture and service.

Why Calibrate?

Calibration is important based on many different factors, including continued performance, safety, and compliance with ISO or industry specific standards. Interface’s standard recommended calibration interval is to recalibrate every 12 months. The frequency of calibrations should be determined by the following use case factors that may affect measurement accuracy:

  • Measurement quality and allowable tolerance range
  • Level of stress to which the equipment is subjected
  • Stability of past calibrations
  • Required measuring accuracy
  • Quality assurance requirements

Interface Calibration Services

Interface provides calibration and repair services on load cells and torque transducers, including devices made by other sensor manufacturers. In fact, Interface performs more than 100,000 calibrations every year. This includes new products as well as devices sent to Interface for recalibration and repair. Repairs include a complete evaluation of the device prior to repair and calibration upon completion.

In addition, here are some other benefits for choosing Interface as your calibration services partner:

  • ISO 17025 Accredited
  • Scheduled Repairs for Ongoing Inventory Management
  • Custom Calibration Services
  • RMA Tracking and Permanent Archive of Test Data
  • NMI Certified Gold and Platinum Standard Reference Load Cells
  • Interface Gold Standard Calibration Software Used for Data Collection and Analysis
  • Full-Service Machine Shop for any Mechanical Requirements

Calibration Services Process

The Interface calibration team consists of a team of professionals dedicated to an optimized calibration and repair process for timely management of our customer’s requests. We begin the calibration service process with our technical services group who manage the request and RMA process, in addition to evaluation and troubleshooting.

We evaluate all products at our headquarters with our team of experts. The sensor goes through a thorough inspection process to identify any necessary repairs and to ensure device is in working condition in preparation of a calibration. This includes an electrical test. Based on the extensive evaluation, if the device is found to be unrepairable, there is no charge. We also will work to find a replacement unit. All work beyond the evaluation is sent to the customer for approval.

The final step in our calibration services process is the actual calibration. Our calibration team is considered the most experienced in the industry due to the sheer volume of work product they calibrate every day.  Interface also is heavily invested in conducting all our calibrations with the most advanced equipment, including our proprietary Gold Standard® and Platinum Standard® systems. These machines ensure that the transducers are calibrated to the most accurate ability possible before returning to the customer.

Even the most high-end manufactured load cells and finely tuned components endure accuracy degradation over continued use. To ensure your sensors are always ready for peak performance, check out our calibration services request form. We also provide a full range of calibration grade products for metrology and testing labs. You can also give us a call at 480-948-5555 to discuss your specific calibration needs.

 

Engaging Interface Calibration and Repair Services Expertise

A high-quality load cell is a critical piece of technology for the design and testing of products throughout various, highly regulated industries including medical, aerospace and defense, automotive, and industrial automation. To get the most out of a load cell, just like anything else, you need to understand how to care for and maintain it. A poorly maintained load cell can lead to inaccurate data and poor performance.

Interface Calibration and Repair Services provide a valuable function for our customers in recalibration and technical support for the thousands of products manufactured by the leader in force measurement.  When cared for properly, a load cell should to be calibrated once a year or at least every two years under regular use. There are also certain circumstances where a load cell is damaged in use and needs immediate repair. Interface can handle calibration and repair of any load cell on the market, whether we build it or not.

A key differentiator for Interface is the fact that our calibration lab is ISO 17025 and A2LA accredited. These accreditations are typically for major calibration labs, not in a manufacturer’s facilities like ours. Our deep expertise in the development of load cells allows us to provide the highest quality calibration and repair services on the market because we know the product inside and out.

Interface’s Industry Leading Calibration and Repair Process

The Interface calibration team consists of 10 individuals dedicated to an optimized calibration and repair process that gets our customer’s load cells in and out as quickly as possible. The process begins with the front-end team, who manages the customer’s request, goes through the RMA process, and troubleshoots any additional concerns with the customer.

Once we review the product in-house at our Arizona headquarters, the load cell goes through a thorough inspection process to identify any necessary repairs and to ensure the load cell is in working condition for calibration. This includes an electrical test to evaluate if the load cell is in proper condition to calibrate. It’s also important to note that if the load cell can’t be repaired, there is no charge to the customer, and we work to find a replacement unit. The customer also approves any repairs that are necessary before work begins.

The final step in the process is the actual calibration. Our calibration team has many years of experience and know load cells inside and out. We also work with the most advanced equipment, including our proprietary Gold Standard® and Platinum Standard® systems. These devices ensure that the load cells are calibrated to the most accurate capability possible before returning to the customer. More information about Interface Calibration Systems can be found in our Calibration Systems 101 blog here.

Our commitment to building quality calibration systems is evident by the customers who also use them to do calibration in-house. In fact, in nearly every major manufacturing testing lab, you will find an Interface Gold Standard Calibration System and Gold or Platinum Standard Load Cells. This is because our customers are working on some of the most advanced hardware in their respective industries and fields. Engineers and testing labs trust Interface for accuracy, performance and quality.

Interface customers not only need to ensure their measurements are as accurate as possible to avoid product failure, they also need to prove the accuracy of their testing equipment for those products to pass inspection and make it to the market. We provide both our expert calibration services in our calibration lab, or through high-quality, high-reliability systems available that we build for our customers.

Interface Calibration and Repair Services

  • 50+ Years of Calibration Experience
  • Calibration of All Manufacturers Load Cells
  • 100,000+ Calibrations Performed Annually
  • Custom Calibrations
  • IPerform Service Software for RMA, Tracking and Permanent Archive of Test Data
  • NMI Certified Gold and Platinum Standard Reference Load Cells
  • Interface Gold Standard Calibration Software Used for Data Collection and Analysis
  • Full-Service Machine Shop for Mechanical Requirements

Force Capabilities:

  • NIST/NMI Traceable Calibration
  • 2 gf – 1 Million lbf Calibration Capability
  • (9) Hydraulic & (5) Deadweight Test Stands to Support Your Calibration Requirements

Torque Capabilities:

  • 0.022 – 100K in-lbf Capacities
  • NIST Traceable to 2.2K in-lbf
  • NMI Traceable 2.2K – 100K in-lbf

Interface calibration and repair services are designed with the customer in mind. Our process is fast, reliable and will ensure premium accuracy for our customer’s most complex and high-quality data-dependent design and test projects. Our team of experts work with every customer to ensure personalized world-class service.  It starts with engagement, how can we help?

For more information on Interface calibration and repair services, please visit /calibration-repair/.

Click here to schedule a service today.

Contributor:  Chris Brandenburg, Technical Services Manager at Interface

Calibration Grade Load Cells and Systems

The Interface brand has become synonymous with premium accuracy, reliability, and performance since we pioneered load cells back in 1968. Because of our reputation and commitment to quality, our Gold Standard® and Platinum Standard® Calibration Grade products are used by engineers and calibration experts in top metrology labs independently and within aerospace, automotive, medical, and industrial automation industries around the world.

Why Interface is the Gold Standard in Calibration Grade Load Cells?

Calibration grade load cells meet ASTM E74 standards, capable of 2% lower load limits. These Interface products are handcrafted in design and production for excellence in performance, meeting the most demanding calibration requirements. Accuracy is considered extremely high by precision standards.

One of the key reasons for our product’s accuracy is the fact that Interface leverages a vertically integrated design and production method. We control the entire manufacturing process, which begins with the development of our own strain gages.

Strain gages are the heart and soul of every load cell. By controlling the design and production, we can customize the strain gage in each load cell to fit the specific force measurement needs of our customers.

To develop our Gold and Platinum Standard products, the most accurate and reliable products in our catalog, we add more strain gages to improve performance and allow for a higher tolerance. We also run more intensive tests to ensure premium quality. These products are tested at 30 points and in three different positions to provide a coefficient. This coefficient allows us to use the Gold Standard Calibration Systems to get more precise performance and calibrate load cells against a more precise analysis. The final results lead to the most accurate and trusted calibration systems and calibration load cells.

Interface Calibration Systems and Load Cell Application

In nearly every major manufacturing lab in the U.S. and beyond, you will find an Interface Gold Standard Calibration System and Gold or Platinum Standard Load Cells. This is because our customers are working on some of the most advanced hardware in their respective industries and fields. These customers not only need to ensure their measurements are as accurate as possible to avoid product failure. They also need to prove the accuracy of their testing equipment for those products to pass inspection and make it to the market.

Interface Gold Standard Calibration Systems and Load Cells are used in a wide variety of applications. This includes wing and rocket tests to make sure the structural integrity of the hardware will hold up to extreme conditions and force. Our calibration systems are also used in stent stress testing to prove that an implanted stent will not fail over the lifetime of the patient. If they do, it can lead to serious medical complications and often death.

Interface Gold Standard and Platinum Calibration Grade Products

Our product line includes a wide range of Gold and Platinum Standard Load Cells and Gold Standard Calibration Systems. These products are uniquely suited for a wide number of applications and industries. Read how Interface Defines the Gold Standard in Calibration Systems here. The calibration grade products in this lineup include:

Calibration Grade Load Cells:

Calibration Systems:

For more information on Interface Gold and Platinum Standard Load Cells and Calibration Systems, contact our Application Engineers or visit www.interfaceforce.com.

Contributor: Ken Bishop, Sales and Custom Solutions Director, Interface

Calibration Systems 101

Even with the most accurate load cells available, the toll of constant use over long periods, and in some cases accidental misuse, can impact the reliability of the output. Calibration of force measurement products is vital in performance management, and necessary for safety and compliance with ISO and industry-specific standards.

In a recent Interface customer survey, 21% of respondents are calibrating load cells in-house. This is one of the reasons why Interface provides world-class load cell calibration solutions in several design configurations, as well as custom products, for a wide range of rigid and portable systems. Interface calibration offerings include complete systems for desktop and portable configurations, load frames, signal conditioning boards, intelligent digital indicators, calibration grade load cells, and calibration adapters.

The Interface Gold Standard® Calibration Systems, using the Interface Gold or Platinum Standard® Load Cells, ensures a metrology system of the highest accuracy and lowest uncertainty available.

The GS-SYS Gold Standard® Calibration System Load Frame consists of a four-post rigid load frame, proprietary load feedback loop, signal conditioning hardware, and fully-automated calibration software for the highest accuracy and lowest uncertainty available. Portable versions of the GS-SYS system are also available for calibrating load cells and test equipment.

Features of the system include:

  • 2 channels with an option available for 3 and 4 channels
  • 9840 Intelligent Indicator
  • Less than 0.04% RDG uncertainty
  • Testing and reporting per ASTM E74 and/or ISO 376 standards
  • Automated reports, graphs, and performance parameter calculations with custom reporting options
  • Innovative fixturing allows for tension and compression calibration without changing the setup
  • Proprietary load feedback design for accurate and reliable load control
  • Data archiving

A fully automated Interface Calibration System can reduce calibration time by 50% to 90% and can be set for automated calibration runs to be completed in less than five minutes.

The top calibration grade load cells from Interface are the 1800 Platinum Standard® Calibration Load Cell in ranges of 1.1K lbf to 55K lbf, 4.89 kN to 245 kN, followed by the 1600 Gold Standard® Calibration Load Cell with options from 500 lbf to 200K lbf and 2.22 kN to 900 kN.

Interface also has a compression-only calibration load cell, the 1601 Gold Standard®, in capacities of 1K lbf to 100K lbf and 4.45 kN to 445 kN.  The 1606 Gold Standard® Low Capacity Calibration load cell is also used in metrology labs, with products available in 50 lbf to 300 lbf ad 222 N to 1.33 kN sizes.

Interface also offers calibration software included with our calibration products. The ICS-202 Gold Standard® Load Cell Calibration Software will provide exact load output at specific load points. Calibration results from other runs can be compared, measured, and displayed with current run results.

Interface provides the most accurate and reliable load cells in the force measurement industry. We are able to do this because we control the entire load cell development process from design to production, including manufacturing our own strain gauges. Controlling the complete process ensures outstanding product quality which is confirmed through our stringent calibration requirements before any Interface product is shipped to our customer.

Interface load cells are capable of lasting a very long time. In fact, we recently received a calibration service request on some of the very first load cells that we have ever manufactured, decades old. To ensure load cells last as long as possible, Interface recommends customers calibrating their load cells on an annual basis. The frequency of calibrations should also be determined by the following factors:

  • Measurement quality and allowable tolerance range
  • Subjected level of stress on the equipment
  • Stability of past calibrations
  • Required measuring accuracy
  • Quality assurance requirements

Whether you rely on Interface for calibration maintenance services or perform the services in-house, we have calibration solutions to meet your exact needs including load frames, signal conditioning boards, and intelligent digital indicators.  Contact our specialized Application Engineers to discuss the best options for your requirements.

Download or view the Calibration Systems Brochure

Contributor:  Jay Bradley, Sr. Electrical Engineer, Interface

Faces of Interface Featuring Albert Luna

Albert Luna was a born engineer. From a young age, he was always interested in how things worked. One of his favorite childhood hobbies was to take things apart to see what was inside them. He took apart appliances, TVs, radios and more and always looked forward to going to his cousin’s house to play with his drafting tools that furthered his mechanical inquisitiveness. Because of his childhood experiences, his parents encouraged him to pursue a formal career in advanced engineering.

Albert took his parents’ advice and enrolled at California State University, Los Angeles, where he graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. With his professional credentials in-hand, he launched his career as a design engineer. Throughout his profession, he’s worked with a variety of organizations, including Snap-on, where he was paid to play with tools and became an expert at designing solutions with strain gages. While Albert’s skills are abundant, his desire to learn didn’t stop there. He’s currently studying for his professional engineering (PE) exam.

Although Albert gained a lot of experience in his discipline, one thing he hadn’t gotten a chance to do in his previous positions was to design with sensors. Prior to joining Interface, Albert was just always handed a sensor and asked to build a tool around it. When he saw the opportunity to expand his skill set and work extensively with sensors, he eagerly applied to Interface and became a design engineer for the company that is the leader in force measurement solutions. Albert currently works on Interface’s Gold Standard® LowProfile® load cell product line.

“The thing I enjoy most about working at Interface is how hands-on my job is and how I get to use tools, work with equipment and help with troubleshooting. I work on a product from the design stage all the way through calibration.” Albert Luna, Design Engineer, Interface

Not only is Albert an expert design engineer, but he also goes above and beyond for Interface’s customers in any way he can. His work philosophy is to make sure that all customers are satisfied and that everything they want in their application has been incorporated. With Albert, nothing is ever compromised.

Albert is also known in Interface for his wall of fame.  His office is papered with credentials and awards from Toastmasters International in recognition of his passions and commitment to always be learning.  It is one of the many things that make a valued member of the Interface family.

Albert’s love of working with his hands translates into his personal life as well. When he’s not at Interface, he loves to fix things around his house and spend time on his car. In fact, he even earned a two-year degree in auto mechanics.

Although he loves hands-on building projects, cycling is another one of Albert’s passions, and 70-mile bike rides are among his many accomplishments in his favorite hobby.

 

 

Interface Displays Force Measurement Aerospace Applications at Space Tech Expo

As a leader in precision-based force measurement solutions serving the world’s largest aerospace and rocket makers in the world, Interface is proud to exhibit at Space Tech Expo 2019, May 20-22.

Interface a trusted leader with 51 year’s experience in supplying and customizing products that help in the design and test of aircraft and spacecraft vehicles, as well as ground equipment. Attendees can find our experts at booth #1016 at the Space Tech Expo 2019 in the Pasadena Convention Center in California.

During the Space Tech Expo, Interface is showcasing a variety of force measurement solutions used in various forms of aerospace test and measurement. www.interfaceforce.com/solutions/aerospace of Interface test and measurement products are commonly used for structural testing, wing tests, flight condition simulation testing, climate-controlled testing and thrust testing for rocket and airplane engines. Read more here.

Interface showcase includes a wide range of force measurement products, capabilities and www.interfaceforce.com/solutions/aerospace, including:

For additional information about Interface solutions for the aerospace industry, visit www.interfaceforce.com/solutions/aerospace.

Interface Defines the Gold Standard in Calibration Systems

Interface understands that when companies are designing and testing complex structures like airplanes, space shuttles, automobiles, and oil & gas rigs, failure is not an option. In order to reduce uncertainty and guarantee the safety of these systems, the highest levels of accuracy in the testing process is an absolute requirement before any structure is moved to final production.

For more than a half-century, Interface has set the standard for reliability in force measurement products. Each load cell that leaves our doors is precisely calibrated to the highest standards available on the market.

In fact, we are maintaining standards of accuracy acceptable by the world’s leaders in aerospace, energy, rockets, medical devices, infrastructure, automobiles and more. Assurance of accuracy and quality are supported through our proprietary Gold Standard® Calibration System, which is the defining ‘gold standard’ in our industry.

Years ago, our customers started asking how we could help them do an in-house calibration. We knew we had to ensure the same quality we used ourselves, no exceptions. So we built our system for commercial use, making it the first of its kind calibration system available to our valued load cell customers.

Interface is the only major load cell company that also sells calibration systems. In fact, many calibration labs and other load cell makers calibrate their load cells with Interface Gold Standard Calibration Systems.

GS-SYS Gold Standard Calibration System Load Frame

GS-SYS Gold Standard Calibration System Load Frame

Interface Load Cell Calibration Systems are available for a wide range of rigid and portable systems and configurations. The Interface GS-SYS Gold Standard® Calibration System Load Frame uses the Interface Gold Standard® Load Cell to ensure a metrology system of the highest accuracy and lowest uncertainty available. It consists of a four-post rigid load frame, proprietary load feedback loop, signal conditioning hardware, and fully-automated calibration software. It also comes in a desktop and portable system for more effortless mobility.

Additional features of the Interface Gold Standard® Calibration System include:

  • 2 channels (options available for up to 8 total channels)
  • SCB1 measurement board featuring <0.003% FS Nonlinearity
  • Less than 0.04% RDG uncertainty
  • The fully-automated system will reduce calibration time by 50% to 90%
  • Automated calibration run can be completed in less than 5 minutes
  • Innovative fixturing allows for tension and compression calibration without changing the setup
  • 12 in. clearance between posts allows for easy load cell installation and removal
  • Accurate and reliable load control achieved by proprietary load feedback design
  • Testing and reporting per ASTM E74 and/or ISO 376 standards
  • Automatically produces standard reports, graphs, and performance parameter calculations
  • Ability to customize reports and graphs
  • Automatically archives data

We also offer training on our systems for new users.  There are additional features that can be customized into calibration systems.  Contact our expert customer solutions application engineers here.

The Gold Standard Calibration System is the preferred choice for companies that value accuracy and reliability. If you prefer that Interface does all your calibration and repairs, contact our trusted service and cal experts today at /calibration-repair/.

 

 

Calibrate with the Force Measurement Experts

Calibration of your force measurement products is critical to continued performance, safety, and compliance.  This is why Interface invests significant dedicated resources to calibration and repair services for tension, compression, system calibrations, ISO 376, and ASTM E74 to ensure our customer’s load cells are always performing at premium accuracy levels.

We complete more than 100,000 NMI traceable calibrations annually including our Certified Gold and Platinum Standard reference load cells. In addition to servicing our quality products, we can provide calibration services for other manufacturer’s load cells, as well as custom calibration services when needed.

The Interface Technical Services team follow strict standards and protocols as defined by our best practices and industry standards.  We are fully ISO 17025 accredited and in combination with more than 50 years of calibration expertise, we are one of the largest and most experienced calibration service providers in the world.

“Interface recommends recalibrations at 12-month intervals. The frequency of your calibration services should ultimately be determined by your accuracy and quality assurance protocols.”  – Michael Cobb, Technical Services at Interface

In our full-service Interface Metrology Lab, we can measure even the smallest shifts in response using any of our 15 dedicated hydraulic standards and five deadweight standards.

Most engineers that work with us are surprised to learn that Interface’s load cells often increase in accuracy over time with standard use. In fact, historical data of our products in the market that are serviced through Interface demonstrate improvements in accuracy the longer our customers have them in use. This does not mean you should not provide regular calibration maintenance to ensure you’re achieving the highest levels of accuracy.

A primary differentiator between Interface Calibration Services and others are our Interface manufactured load cell standards which have a well-established performance curve that allows for consistent calibration data. Using our Interface Gold Standard Calibration Software for data collection and analysis, our engineering and metrology teams pay close attention to the performance data of these standards, which we use to compare other load cells to ours. All data is gathered regularly in a permanent archive of testing data and results are subject to strict monitoring to prevent performance issues.

Because of our processes and consistency, we can provide quick calibration turnaround times within seven days and optional expedited services within three days. Interface is constantly improving processes and procedures to ensure customers can receive calibration services as quickly as possible without significant disruption to their operations.

Scheduling services with Interface are easy at Interface.  The first step is to complete the form located at /calibration-repair/calibration-repair-request-form/.  Upon submission, Interface will promptly contact you with a formal quote and shipping instructions.

Our Reputation is Defined by Our Industry-Leading Quality

Interface is proud to have a 50-year reputation for delivering the highest quality force measurement solutions on the market. To develop a global reputation for quality, we started by defining what quality means to us. At Interface, quality is providing our customers with products that meet the standards we publish, doing so quickly, and getting the products right the first time. Because of the standards we evaluate our products against, other load cell manufacturers often adopt our quality processes.

“We are known for quality because Interface leverages its gold and platinum standards to manufacture and service the best load cells in the world.”

Our consistency is evident throughout the organization, including in our dedicated metrology and incomparable engineering departments. We’re able to measure even the smallest shifts in response through our 15 hydraulic standards and five deadweight standards—all of which are just for load cells. Our engineering and metrology teams pay close attention to these standards, which we use to compare other load cells to ours. All of this data is gathered regularly and subject to strict monitoring to prevent issues.

Unlike others, Interface’s load cells do not lose their accuracy over time. Instead, our load cells demonstrate improvements in accuracy the longer our customers have them.  The way we design our load cells is the key to this success. Our load cells are low height and high precision for axial force measurement, and we use sheer beams for more strain gauges inside. The strain gauge is part of the flexure, which allows all strains to be measured as accurately as possible. Our strain gauges are designed in-house so customers don’t need to accommodate their designs to account for generic strain gauges.

Interface load cells also improve over time because of the materials we use. We manufacture our load cells with steel that we machine in-house, and we manufacture our own strain gages. The strain gages are bonded to our machined steel elements, and as a result of the bonding process, the adhesive and bonding materials will gradually improve the transfer of strain with time. This allows for a better transition of force from the machined steel to the strain gauge, which accounts for the increase in long-term performance from error and output standpoints.

Our reputation for quality has been critical to maintaining our market leadership over the past 50 years, and we stop at nothing to provide our customers with the most accurate force measurement solutions available. To learn more about Interface’s load cells and quality our renowned Gold and Platinum Standards, call us at 800-947-5598 or email contact@interfaceforce.com.

Contributor: Michael Cobb, Interface Technical Services