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Collaborative Robots Using Interface Sensors

Industrial evolutions continue to find new and innovative ways to use technologies, from AI to advanced robotics. What is not changing over time is the unique ability for humans to solve challenges and create new solutions. Pairing human ingenuity with machines to increase efficiencies and productivity is what we see today with the fast growing use of collaborative robots.

A cobot, short for collaborative robot, is a type of robot designed to work alongside humans in a shared workspace. Unlike traditional industrial robots, which are typically separated from human workers, cobots are designed to be safe and easy to use working side-by-side people. This interactivity is often referenced as part of moving from Industry 4.0 to Industry 5.0.

Cobots are typically equipped with sensors technologies that allow them to detect the presence of humans and react accordingly. This can include slowing down, stopping, or changing direction to avoid collisions or other safety hazards. Cobots are often used in tasks that are repetitive, dangerous, or require a high level of precision, such as assembly, packaging, or inspection.

One of the main advantages of cobots is their flexibility and ease of use. They can be quickly reprogrammed or taught new tasks, making them a cost-effective solution for many distinct types of manufacturing and assembly operations. Additionally, because they can collaborate with human workers, they can help to improve efficiency and productivity while also reducing the risk of injury or accidents.

In our new case study, Advancements in Robotics and Cobots Using Interface Sensors, we explore how are force measurement sensors used for cobots.

Force measurement sensors are often used in collaborative robotics to provide feedback on the force being applied during a task. This information can be used to ensure that the cobot is performing the task correctly and to detect any issues or errors that may occur. There are several types of force measurement sensors that can be used in cobots.

  • Strain gage sensors: Interface uses proprietary strain gages in our load cells. Use of this type of sensor helps to measure the deformation of a material in response to applied forces. They are commonly used in cobots to measure forces applied to a gripper or end effector.
  • Miniature load cells and load cell load buttons: Interface load cells of all sizes are used for both testing during design as well as embedded into the actual cobot for continuous monitoring. These types of sensors measure the force applied to a structure, such as a robotic arm or a part being manipulated by a gripper. Load cells can be used to ensure that the cobot is applying the correct amount of force to the part being worked on. Our smallest load cells are often used in the production and design of cobots.
  • Torque transducers: Interface transducers are utilized to measure the movement of robots, in rotation and for pivotal activity. These are critical in tasks on production lines, as well in unique industry cobots, such as entertainment.
  • Tactile sensors: These sensors measure the pressure or force applied to a surface. They are commonly used in cobots for tasks that require a high level of sensitivity, such as grasping and manipulating fragile objects.

Advancements in Technology Leads to Multi-Axis Sensors and Cobots

As use of cobots grows, so do the demands for using more data to define precision measured responses and actions. Multi-axis sensors can provide several benefits for cobots, as they allow for more accurate and precise sensing of the robot’s position, orientation, and movement. Here are some ways that cobots can benefit from multi-axis sensors:

  • Improved accuracy: Multi-axis sensors can provide more accurate readings of a cobot’s position and orientation, allowing it to perform tasks with greater precision and accuracy. This can be particularly important for tasks that require precision accuracy, such as assembly or inspection.
  • Enhanced safety: Multi-axis sensors can help to improve the safety of cobots by detecting when the robot is approaching an object or a person and slowing down or stopping to prevent collisions. This can be particularly important when cobots are working near human workers.
  • Greater flexibility: Multi-axis sensors can allow cobots to perform a wider range of tasks, as they can adapt to changes in the environment or the task at hand. For example, a cobot with multi-axis sensors can adjust its position and orientation to grip an object from a variety of angles, or to perform a task in a confined space.
  • Faster response time: Multi-axis sensors can provide real-time feedback on the cobot’s movement, allowing it to adjust more quickly and with greater accuracy. This can help to improve the speed and efficiency of the cobot’s performance.

Cobots are being used in a wide range of industries, as they offer benefits such as improved efficiency, precision, and safety. Some of the industries that are currently using cobots include:

  • Automotive: Cobots are being used in the automotive industry for tasks such as assembly, material handling, and inspection.
  • Electronics: Cobots are being used in the electronics industry for tasks such as assembly, testing, and inspection.
  • Food and beverage: Cobots are being used in the food and beverage industry for tasks such as packaging, sorting, and palletizing.
  • Medical: Cobots are being used in the medical industry for tasks such as assembly, inspection, and material handling.
  • Pharmaceuticals: Cobots are being used in the pharmaceutical industry for tasks such as packaging, inspection, and dispensing.
  • Aerospace: Cobots are being used in the aerospace industry for tasks such as drilling, riveting, and assembly.
  • Plastics and rubber: Cobots are being used in the plastics and rubber industry for tasks such as injection molding, material handling, and inspection.

By using force measurement sensors, cobots can perform tasks with greater accuracy and precision, reducing the risk of errors and improving overall efficiency. They can also help to prevent damage to parts or products being worked on and ensure that safety standards are being met.  Read the full case study below.

Advancement in Robotics and Cobots Using Interface Sensors Case Study

 

Interface Manufacturing and Production Solutions

Force measurement is integral to advanced manufacturing systems, especially when it comes to how this technology is used in production lines. Force sensors are utilized in both testing and monitoring of a wide variety of machines to ensure accuracy and repeatability throughout the production line. These sensors are also used by production line engineers in the design and development of systems used to ensure accuracy in measurements of force, weight, compression, and torque as products and components move throughout the line, including distribution.

Watch how Interface provided an industrial automation solution for small pallets used in the distribution of manufactured products. In the video, we highlight a request for a pallet weighing solution to use in their warehouse to monitor their products and goods 24/7. They need to use sensor technologies to verify if any products are missing based on the weight, and able to determine pricing for their goods based on the weight.

Interface works with a large range of manufacturers and equipment makers to improve quality and productivity by supplying high-performance measurement solutions. From using miniature load cells to apply the exact force needed to press a brand identity onto fragile consumable, to using multi-axis sensors for verifying performance data when making intricately machined parts, Interface products are commonplace in manufacturing and production.

In fact, Interface offers manufacturing and production standard off-the-shelf, engineered to order and complete OEM solutions including load cells, instrumentation and weighing devices. Our products provide the quality and durability necessary within industrial environments. In addition, we can customize the majority of our products to fit unique and evolving needs as sensor technologies like robotics and advanced manufacturing devices are integrated into production lines.

Load cells are frequently used in monitoring equipment. Interface can custom design force sensors to be installed directly into product for monitoring certain forces in real-time, including for use in industrial automation robotics. This is particularly popular in manufacturing because you can monitor equipment to understand when it may be out of alignment and needs to come down for repair, rather than risking a disruption in production. This is particularly important in automated production lines because it gives engineers and extra set of eyes on machines and improves efficiency overall by reducing downtime.

One of the unique use cases for load cells used for monitoring is in weighing materials held on pillow blocks bearings. Pillow block bearings, or similarly constructed bearing, are used to carry rolled materials or conveyor belt. Interface’s new PBLC1 Pillow Block Load Bearing Load Cell can be placed underneath the bearing to measure the weight of whatever material is being held up. These types of bearing are often found in machines with similar type of bearing are used on conveyor belts moving products down a production line.

Manufacturing Feed Roller System

A customer has a feed roller system and needs to monitor the forces of both ends of the rollers, in order to maintain a constant straight feed. They would also prefer a wireless system. Interface came to the rescue with our Pillow Block Load Cells and WTS Wireless Telemetry Systems. Interface suggests installing two PBLC Pillow Block Load Cells at both ends of the bottom roller to measure the forces being applied. The forces are measured when connected to WTS-AM-1E Wireless Strain Bridge Transmitter Module. The data is then transmitted wirelessly to the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station and the WTS-BS-1-HA Wireless Handheld Display for multiple transmitters, where data can be displayed, graphed, and logged on the customer’s computer.

Production Line Conveyor Belt Adhesion Test

A customer wants to test the adhesion strength in between the many layers and textiles of a conveyor belt. They want to conduct a separation test from the rubber of the conveyor belt from the other layers. They would also like a wireless solution. Interface’s SMA Miniature S-Type Load Cell is installed in the customer’s tensile test load frame, where it measures the forces applied as the test is conducted and the layers are pulled and separated. When connected to the WTS-AM-1F Wireless Strain Bridge Transmitter Module, the data is wirelessly transmitted to WTS-BS-5 Wireless Analog Output Receiver Module with nV output. The WTS-BS-5 can then connect to the 9330 Battery Powered High Speed Data Logging Indicator to display, graph, and log the data with supplied BlueDAQ software.

Industrial Automation Robotic Arm for Production

A manufacturer of a robot arm needs to measure force and torque when the arm picks up and places objects. The manufacturer needs a wireless system to accomplish this in order to log the measurement results. Interface supplied Model 6A40A 6-Axis Load Cell with Model BX8-HD44 Data Acquisition/Amplifier.

Interface force sensors can be used in a number of ways within the manufacturing industry across a variety of applications for the test and monitoring of machines and production lines.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Force Measurement Solutions for Advanced Manufacturing Robotics

Robotics and Automation are Changing Modern Manufacturing at Interface

Vision Sensor Technology Increases Production Reliability

Industrial Automation Brochure

Weighing Solutions Brochure

Smart Pallet Solution

Interface Solutions for Safety and Regulation Testing and Monitoring

Interface Solutions for Production Line Engineers

Due to the influence of IoT, AI and big data, the role of production line engineer has become far more critical as manufacturers demand peak efficiency. These engineers need to stay current in automation technologies used to design, build, and monitor a production line for the benefits of decreasing speed to market, lowering costs, and improving outputs at the highest quality standards.

Among the many software and hardware solutions these individuals must also understand connected sensors are among the most important. Sensors are the nervous system of an automated production line, telling which machines must perform certain tasks, when, and how. They are a source for smart factories and smart manufacturing.

Sensors modernize manufacturing, assembly, and production lines by enabling real-time monitoring and control of the production process.

Measurement solutions provide accurate data on production parameters such as temperature, speed, pressure, force, and other relevant variables, which can then be used to optimize the production process, detect, and resolve problems in real-time, and prevent downtime. Additionally, sensors can be integrated into industrial IoT systems to provide valuable insights and analytics that can help manufacturers make data-driven decisions.

One of the sensor types that play a key role in these automated production lines are force sensors. Force sensors can be used by production line engineers across several different facets of an automated line. When designing a manufacturing line, there are quite a few factors that go into the full system. This includes process monitoring, quality control, predictive maintenance, energy management and inventory management. Force sensors play a role in each of these types of data points and processes.

For instance, a production line engineer can install sensors onto a machine that outputs a great deal of torque and monitor that torque to ensure the components creating that force are running smoothly, or if there are certain indicators that say it needs to be pulled off the line briefly for maintenance. When products on the line trigger certain force parameters such as weight, this can also tell the automated production line it is ready for the next stop in the process. Production line engineers design these lines around the sensing capabilities available and connected force sensing products have made a major difference in helping things become more efficient.

There is another automated process that also requires force sensors that is used as part of a manufacturing line, or as a standalone system – robotics. Production line engineers are doing a great deal of research and development into robotics to automate process that are repetitive, or far too delicate for human hands. Force sensors, in this use case, are used in both the testing of robotics to ensure accuracy or developed into the robotics to monitor certain functions over time.

Robotics can improve assembly and production processes, leading to higher efficiency, improved quality, and reduced costs. As technology continues to advance, the use of robotics by production line engineers in assembly and production is likely to become even more widespread.

Here at Interface, we have a great deal of experience in developing solutions for industrial automation and manufacturing lines. We have developed a few application notes to outline how production line engineers use our sensor solutions and force measurement products.

6-Axis Force Plate Robotic Arm

A customer wanted to measure the reaction forces of their robotic arm for safety purposes. The reaction loads occur at the robotic arm’s base; therefore, they needed a force measurement system at the base of the robotic arm. Interface suggested using their force plate option to install at the base of the robotic arm. Four 3-Axis Force Load Cells were installed between two force plates, then installed at the bottom of the arm. This creates one large 6-Axis Force Plate. The sensors force data is recorded and displayed through the two BX8 Multi-Channel Bridge Amplifier and Data Acquisition Systems onto the customer’s PC or laptop. Interface’s 6-Axis Force Plate was able to successfully measure the reaction forces of the customer’s robotic arm. Read more here.

Press Load Monitoring

Press forming is a method to deform varied materials. For instance, materials such as steel can be bent, stretched, or formed into shapes. A force measurement solution is required to monitor the forces being applied by the press forming machine. This ensures quality control and traceability during the production process. For large press forming machines, Interface recommends installing the 1000 High-Capacity Fatigue-Rated LowProfile™ Load Cell. When the material is placed under the punch plate to form a shape, the force applied is measured by the 1000 Series Load Cell. The force results captured is sent to the INF-USB3 Universal Serial Bus Single Channel PC Interface Module, where results can be graphed and logged on the customer’s PC with provided software. Interface’s force measurement products and instrumentation accurately monitored and logged the force results of the press force machine, ensuring zero-error production performance. Learn more about this application here.

Snack Weighing and Packaging Machine

A snack manufacturing brand wanted to weigh the amount of their snacks that is automatically dispersed into the bags during the packaging process. In this case, they wanted to weigh their potato chips being packaged. The company also wanted to ensure the potato chips are at the exact weight needed due to regulatory standards to be distributed out to consumers in the public. Interface’s solution was to use multiple SPI Platform Scale Load Cells, and install it to the potato multi-head weigher and packaging machine. The SPI Platform Scale Load cells were installed inside of the mount that attaches the head weigher to the packaging machine. Force results from the potato chips were read by the load cells and sent to the ISG Isolated DIN Rail Mount Signal Conditioner, where the customer is able to control the automated production from their command center. Using this solution, the customer was able to determine the weight of the potato chips being distributed into their bags with highly accurate results. They also were able to control the automated production process with the provided instrumentation. They will use this same weighing method for other snacks that need to be packaged. Read about the solution here.

Production line engineers turn to Interface due to our quality, accuracy, and reliability. Our products are used to test, monitor in real time, and created automated processes within a manufacturing line. As automation and robotics grow, you will continue to see new applications for sensors in this sector.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

IoT Industrial Robotic Arm App Note

Quality Engineers Require Accurate Force Measurement Solutions

Vision Sensor Technology Increases Production Reliability

Force Measurement Solutions for Advanced Manufacturing Robotics

Robotics and Automation are Changing Modern Manufacturing at Interface

Industrial-Automation-Brochure-1

 

Interface Solutions for Machine Builders

No matter the industry, if products are being made chances are industrial machines are involved in some part of R&D, testing, production, and distribution.

Engineers involved in the design and manufacturing of these machines require the highest quality sensors, tools and equipment. In addition, humans often lean on machines for very precise or repetitive tasks, this means that precision and reliability is key for every aspect of these machines.

Machine builders are the backbone of product development and production. They are responsible for building, assembling, and integrating components for stand-alone and multi-station automated machine tools and systems. These automated machine-tool systems are used in all sectors of manufacturing, including assembly, processing, and fabricating systems.

Interface plays a critical role for machine builders, for those that design one machine or manufacture machines at scale for users around the world. We supply machine builders with precision load cells, torque transducers, instrumentation, data acquisition devices and accessories. They lean on Interface because of our experience in supplying the world solutions utilized for industrial product testing and production across all kinds of industries from agricultural machinery to medical testing machines.

The accuracy and quality of our products is why machine builders rely on Interface. In addition, our experience and diversity of product has led machine builders and engineers to choose Interface force measurement sensors throughout their careers. In fact, Interface has served machine builders for more than 50 years. It is a relationship and role we know very well.

The world of machine building has also changed over the years. In the past, machine builders used force sensors primarily to test products before going out to the market. This is still a prominent use case amongst product engineers. The fast-rising use cases over the past decade comes from the demand for smarter machines, automation and miniaturization of products.

Today, more machines builders and OEMs are designing force sensors directly into machines to allow users to activate components, monitor data on the machines in use for real-time feedback and adjustments. This type of innovation using sensors has opened opportunities for Industry 4.0 connectivity between machines.

To get a better idea of how machine builders are using force sensors, Interface has developed a wide range of applications notes to provide real world examples of force measurement in action in the machine building world. We have included a few of those examples below.

Metal Press Cutting Machine

A customer wanted to test the amount of force it takes to cut through different thicknesses of metal on their metal press cutting machine. They also wanted to ensure their metal press cutting machine is working properly and understand its maximum limitation. Interface suggested installing their 3AXX 3-Axis Force Load Cell underneath the plate where pieces of metal are placed to be cut, or punched holes in. When connected to the BX8-HD44 BlueDAQ Series Data Acquisition System, the force results of different metals being cut will be displayed, graphed, and recorded on the customer’s PC. It also has an analog output that can connect to the machines PLC in case of an overload. Using this solution, the customer was able to determine the different number of forces it took for their metal press cutting machine to cut through different types and thicknesses of metal. Read more here.

Snack Weighing and Packaging Machine

A snack manufacturing brand wanted to weigh the amount of their snacks that is automatically dispersed into the bags during the packaging process. In this case, they wanted to weigh their potato chips being packaged and ensure the potato chips are at the exact weight needed due to regulatory standards. Interface’s solution was to use multiple SPI Platform Scale Load Cells and install it to the potato multi-head weigher and packaging machine. The SPI Platform Scale Load cells were installed inside of the mount that attaches the head weigher to the packaging machine. Force results from the potato chips are read by the load cells and sent to the ISG Isolated DIN Rail Mount Signal Conditioner, where the customer is able to control the automated production from their command center. Using this solution, the customer was able to determine the weight of the potato chips being distributed into their bags with highly accurate results. They also were able to control the automated production process with the provided instrumentation. They will use this same weighing method for other snacks that need to be packaged. Read about this application here.

Tablet Forming Machine

A pharmaceutical company needs to precisely monitor the forces applied by the tablet (pill) forming machine to understand the relationship between raw material, die set, forming force, and motor cycle speed. Optimizing the equipment will improve productivity and efficiency of the tablet forming process, while reducing losses. For maximizing production and monitoring the process, Interface suggested a WMC Sealed Stainless Steel Mini Load Cell (10K lbf Capacity) be mounted in the section of the downward press bar. The load cell was then connected to a 9320 Portable Load Cell Indicator to collect the needed data. Read more here.

Machine builders require the best test and monitoring equipment. Interface has backed professional machine builders, machine design engineers, machine manufacturers and those that utilize the equipment for many years with top-of-the-line force sensing solutions.  Whether you are looking to build a machine, design machine tools and equipment or embed sensors into machines, we are here to help.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Proving Theoretical Cutting Forces of Rotary Ultrasonic Machinery App Note

Force Solutions for Testing Machines

Interface Sensors Used for Internet of Things

OEM: Industrial Robotic Arm

Fitness Equipment and Machines

Ice Machine Weighing

GS-SYS04 Gold Standard® Portable E4 Machine Calibration System

Laser Machine Cutting Force App Note

Exploring Interface Capabilities and Differentiators

Interface is the largest producer of load cells defined by a particularly important core differentiator. The Interface difference is precision.

How do we maintain this standard of excellence? Interface is directed by our foundational 4-pillars for success: quality, service, accuracy, and innovation. This applies to anything and everything that we do, including manufacturing premium force measurement products, engineering and design, custom solutions, providing calibration and repair, and in our commitment to service.

Interface has long been known for providing accuracy-based sensor technologies, innovative solutions, engineering excellence and quality products that our customers trust. We have detailed our breadth and depth of capabilities and differentiators for our products that are designed to serve customers across a growing number of industries.

In our online capabilities statement, you can find:

  • Interface differentiators
  • Interface core products and expertise
  • Certifications
  • Industry NAICS and PSC Codes
  • Interface’s Company Snapshot

Our customers around the world are innovators, market leaders, boundary-breaking, finding ways to do things differently, make things safer, improve products and create new all through the measurement of force. We provide solutions for test and measurement, as well as OEM. This includes companies in aerospace and defense, automotive and vehicle, medical devices, energy, industrial automation, entertainment and amusement, agriculture, maritime, infrastructure, and equipment manufacturing.

As world’s trusted leader in force measurement technology, design, and manufacturing, it is important that we guarantee the highest quality performance of load cells, torque transducers, multi-axis sensors, wireless telemetry, instrumentation, calibration and more. To do this, it is the Interface people, technology, manufacturing, engineering, and force measurement solutions that make the difference.

Here are just a few of Interface’s key differentiators and capabilities:

  • PROPRIETARY STRAIN GAGES: We make our strain gages and assemble them in the same buildings as our final sensor testing is performed in-house to ensure the quality and accuracy.
  • THE STANDARD: Interface is the standard for all load cells. Since 1968, our LowProfile® load cells have been used throughout the world because of their accuracy and dependability.
  • CALIBRATION: Our trademarked Gold Standard Calibration System is the industry ‘gold standard’ for test and measurement.
  • SYSTEMS: Interface is the only major load cell company offering a comprehensive system for customers to calibrate their own load cells.
  • CERTIFICATIONS: Every load cell we make is individually calibrated and tested through a series of performance tests before it leaves our facility.
  • STANDARD, ENGINEERED-TO-ORDER AND CUSTOM: We design and build our force measurement solutions, delivering the broadest variety of available options in the industry.
  • TEAM: Our team is an extended network of professionals that design, build, administer, sale and support our customers with the best force measurement solutions that fit their exact requirements based on expertise and experience.

You can see all the Interface differentiators in our capabilities statement.

We’ are proud of the Interface brand, our five-decade legacy as a leader in the industry and fact that we are a women-owned manufacturing company. We guarantee our products quality because every employee and partner take pride in our work. It is our dedication to deliver on our promise.

Capabilities-Statement

Making Products Smarter with Interface OEM Solutions

Products need to be smart in today’s world. Whether it is consumer or commercial, people expect added functionality in everything. From coffeemakers and exercise equipment to large industrial machinery used in massive infrastructure projects, sensors play a crucial part in making these products smarter.

Sensor technologies allow smart products to collect and manage important user data, monitor products usage for durability and safety, enable automation, and personalize user applications and experiences. Original equipment manufacturers of these smart products and their components are eager to find quality sensors that provide robust features ideal for modern day user requirements.

Force sensors are key to making products smarter, performing with greater accuracy, and enhancing overall quality. Force sensors have the unique ability to perform multiple tasks at a time, including real-time monitoring and executing automation features with precision.

Interface partners with engineers and product designers to offer OEM solutions intended to be directly implanted into a product, or retroactively installed to make products smarter. With our unique assortment of custom and off-the-shelf load cells, torque transducers and instrumentation options, including wireless components, our force sensors are created to help enhance the smart products of today and tomorrow.

Interface’s white paper Turning an Active Component Into a Sensor details of how Interface works with OEMs to design sensors into products or retrofit them into existing products. To further illustrate the range of options available with Interface’s sensors and instrumentation, we have detailed additional application notes to give you a broader perspective of utilizing force sensors for OEM solutions.

Robotic Surgery Arm

A biomechanical medical company wanted to gather force, torque, and tactile feedback from their robotic arm during invasive surgery. The surgeon’s movements are mirrored by the robotic arm during surgery, and it is essential all haptic force feedback is measured to ensure safety during invasive surgery. Several of Interface’s force and torque measurement products were used in this OEM robotic arm. These include the ConvexBT Load Button Load Cell, SMTM Micro S-Type Load Cell, and the MRTP Miniature Overload Protected Flange Style Reaction Torque Transducer. Force results were collected when connected to the 9330 Battery Powered High Speed Data Logging Indicator and viewed via a laptop. Each one of Interface’s load cells and torque transducers played a part in the ensuring the safety and functionality of robotic arms during invasive surgery. The force feedback that was measured from the robotic arm ensured that the robot used the perfect amount of force when using surgical tools that create incisions during surgeries. It also measured the torque being produced, ensuring the robot arm was moving smoothly and at the right speeds.

PRV (Pressure Relief Valve) System

A manufacturer wanted to conduct a PRV test (pressure relief valve test) on their valve installation and monitory equipment when under a full pressure load. The purpose was to ensure safety and reliability for customers while the product was in use. They also wanted to be able to record and graph the results. As part of an OEM system that is used by their customers, Interface suggested installing the 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile™ Load Cell to a test frame on top of the pressure relief valve. As pressure is increased onto the spring in the valve, it pushes forces onto the load cell. Results can be recorded using the 9330 Battery Powered High Speed Data Logging Indicator. Using this solution, the manufacturer’s customers are able to successfully determine the exact amount of force it requires for their valve to release when under a pressure load, increasing longevity and safety of the product overall.

Bolt Tension Monitoring

A customer wanted to monitor the tension of the bolts used in installation of industrial pipes. Interface suggested installing multiple LWCF Clamping Force Load Cells, each connected to WTS-AM-1E Wireless Strain Bridge Transmitter Modules. The load cells are installed under the tightened bolts on the pipes as part of the technology solution to measure forces. The load cells measure the compression forces from the bolts, and the real-time results are transmitted wirelessly from the WTS-AM-1E’s to the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station. Real-time results from the LWCF’s are displayed using provided Log100 Software. Interface’s load cell monitoring system successfully monitors the compression forces of the bolts in real-time, which is an important installation solution for the OEM.

Smarter products, connected factories, and higher efficiency are all made possible through sensors. Interface force sensors are the leading solutions for enabling automation, real-time monitoring and accurate data collection for OEM applications.

Interface force sensors make consumer and commercial products smarter. Learn why OEMs choose Interface to activate products with sensor technologies and more about Interface’s capabilities and solutions for OEMs here.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Interface OEM Solutions Process

OEM: Candy Stamp Force Testing

OEM: Medical Bag Weighing

OEM: Prosthetic Foot Performance

OEM: Snack Weighing and Packaging Machine

OEM: Tablet Forming Machine Optimization

OEM: Industrial Robotic Arm

OEM: Chemical Reaction-Mixing

Contact our OEM specialists and let us help you to make your products smarter and more equipped to meet the demands of tech-savvy users.

Force Sensing Keeps Factories Running Feature in Fierce Electronics

In the recent article, ‘May the force be with you: Force sensing keeps factories running, product quality high’ Dan O’Shea at Fierce Electronics writes about the growing demand for sensors in industrial automation applications.

Following his interview with Interface’s Keith Skidmore, Dan writes:

‘While some sensors are more focused on monitoring equipment or measuring environmental conditions around a manufacturing process, force sensors measure mechanical forces occurring in the equipment and processes, and the products being manufactured. They measure things like load, tension, resistance, weight or total pressure applied. By employing this kind of sensing technology, manufacturers can monitor the health of their equipment and improve quality assurance for their products.’

“Testing things by applying a force to them is super common. Many products in lots of industries get tested this way, from aerospace to automotive, through to consumer goods. Chairs, furniture, mattresses, ladders–basically, anything that’s being manufactured, there can be a desire to figure out how strong the various parts of those products are.” Keith Skidmore, engineer and regional sales director at Interface

Read the entire Fierce Electronics article here.

Interface provides industrial automation and IoT solutions to manufacturers, equipment makers and factories around the world. Sensors play a pivotal role in production and optimization through tools and process improvements.

Industrial Robotic Arm

Robotic arms are frequently used in production facilities throughout the manufacturing process. Suppliers of these devices heavily rely on accurate and quality sensors to provide feedback. In this application, the designer needed to test the force of the arm apparatus to ensure it could safely secure packages on a moving conveyor belt without damaging any materials or products. This automated function helps to improve quality of packaging and increase productivity on the line.

Interface provided the model 6A40A 6-Axis Load Cell with model BX8-HD44 Data Acquisition Amplifier instrumentation. The 6-Axis load cell provides measurement of all forces and torques (Fx, Fʏ, Fz, Mx, Mʏ, Mz) and the BXB-HD44 Data Acquisition Amplifier logs, displays, and graphs these measurements while sending scaled analog output signals for these axes to the robot’s control system. Customer installed 6A40 6-Axis Load Cell between robot flange and robot grabber. The extensive data outputs from the multi-axis sensor provided the exact detailed measurements needed for the industrial robotic application.

Interface Sensors Used for Internet of Things

What is creating the increasing demands for sensor technologies today? One thing is just using sensors in things, putting sensors into things that didn’t use to utilize sensors. Advancing the use of data in objects, equipment, consumer goods, machines and tools is increasing the needs for advanced and reliable measurement devices. It’s why demand for Interface products used in Internet of Things applications are expanding rapidly.

Sensor data is being used through the entire life cycle of a product design, from early design to testing, through production and even aftermarket sales. The valuable insights that engineers and manufacturers gather from real-time user data and feedback in both test and actual market use is advancing iterations, use cases, and smart application types.  Interface is seeing this in the demands for miniature sensors used by OEMs and wireless technologies. The smarter the device, the better the sensor. That is why Interface is a preferred partner when IoT needs accurate information to make smart decisions.

Big data along with advancing IoT communication capabilities is presenting opportunities for manufacturing to use efficient, accurate, and cost-effective sensor solutions designed for making products and machines smarter. Users of IoT solutions and manufacturers of IoT products are using valuable sensory data to constantly measure applied forces, helping with innovation and redesigns. It’s being used for all types of smart devices, industrial automation robots, medical equipment, and even wireless mobile testing labs.

What type of products are being used in IoT?

We are seeing Interface load cells, torque transducers, multi-axis sensors, DAQ and instrumentation systems are designed for all kinds of advanced IoT applications. While many are taking advantage of our expanding line of wireless and Bluetooth load cells and instrumentation, we also see numerous requests for our Mini Load Cells to be designed into the actual product.

Interface has been supplying these sensor technologies for years. To capture some of growing demands miniaturized and wireless sensors, we’ve recently launched a new solutions area on our website, Internet of Things. We explore Industry 4.0 and wireless applications, offer a new Interface IoT Solutions brochure and highlight products that are used for IoT use cases.

Our solutions align with the requirements of IoT and Industry 4.0.  You see this in the array of capabilities in our products, including:

  • Wireless communications and enabled sensors for real-time collection
  • Miniature load cells and sensor technologies for modernization and innovation of product designs
  • Robotic sensor solutions for use in autonomous and mounted devices
  • OEM designed sensor solutions to use for stability and product intelligence
  • Intrinsically safe products used in harsh and changing environments
  • Safety and regulatory sensors for constant monitoring
  • Bluetooth and wireless telemetry system components used for monitoring and testing
  • Stainless steel and rugged designs for different temperatures and climates
  • Advanced instrumentation and software for accurate and reliable data capture
  • OEM engineered products for high-production counts

Whether you are using Interface measurement products for prototype testing, temperature testing, component and usability studies or small-scale testing machines, we have solutions that make your tests cordless, digital, and using internet speed to capture data.

Recent IoT Applications Using Interface Measurement Solutions

  • Smart factory tools and machines
  • Wireless testing equipment for labs
  • Autonomous vehicle components
  • Robots and robotic parts
  • Weighing and lifting apparatus
  • Safety regulation feedback and sensing devices
  • Predictive usability and durability testing
  • Fitness and health equipment use
  • Touch screen testing
  • Home health feedback sensors

To learn more about our products used for IoT applications, contact our application engineering experts.

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New Interface White Paper Highlights Turning an Active Component into a Sensor

The most common uses of force measurement in OEM (original equipment manufacturer) applications are when a force sensor is designed into a product that will be produced at mid to high volumes and provides real-time force feedback on certain product functions in use. Utilizing sensors as a feature enables data acquisition over time to monitor forces and understand how those forces effect product efficiency, safety, quality or all of these performance metrics. This ultimately is used to design a better product, in the current state and for future enhancements or to know when a product is performing best or risks breaking down.

Did you know that there is another application of force sensors in OEM applications that is playing a large role in the factory of the future? This is when we turn an active component into a sensor and use that data to create automated actions. This solution is used when there is a desire to take a moving component within a system and make it smarter, ultimately allowing it to make data-based decisions on its own.

For example, the manufacturing industry is using force sensors on machines within a production line that are responsible for picking components up for visual inspection. The sensor is integrated into the grabbing component and can tell the machine the exact force to use when picking up the component as not to damage it. This is a critical capability when dealing with expensive and delicate components that can break under too much force. In the past, a force measurement sensor would have been used only to test this functionality. When the sensor is designed directly into the machine, the user can both test beforehand and monitor and automate processes in real-time.

The need for this type of capability is growing rapidly amongst manufacturers across a wide variety of industry including aerospace and defense, industrial, medical, automotive, industrial automation, assembly and more. To further outline the potential for these types of solutions, Interface developed a new white paper that details  how sensor solutions for OEMs work with specific examples of the benefit of turning an active component into a sensor.

Included below is a brief intro to the recently released white paper. Get your copy by clicking on the link here. Additionally, if you’re interested in learning more about Interface solutions for OEM applications go here, or call us to speak to our OEM application experts at 480-948-5555. Ready to get started, let us know how we can help here.

WHITE PAPER EXCERPT

OEM SOLUTIONS: TURNING AN ACTIVE COMPONENT INTO A SENSOR

The age of industrial automation and big data is upon us. Manufacturers that fall behind in equipping their facilities and products with innovation that allows for automated processes, remote monitoring and better efficiency through technology, will quickly fall behind. This is due to the fact that automation helps to significantly improve process quality because it eliminates human error. It also creates long-term cost savings by speeding up several processes, or by helping to monitor products in use and in real-time to optimize performance and stability over time through better data collection.

Get your copy of the white paper to read more.

Special note, contributors to the white paper are Interface and sensor engineering experts, Brian Peters and Rob Fuge.

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