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Faces of Interface Featuring Dave Reardon

In today’s Faces of Interface series, we are talking to one of the newest members of our distinguished sales team, Dave Reardon, regional sales director. Dave grew up around the force measurement industry and has made his way to Interface after a distinguished career in the aerospace industry.

Dave Reardon has known the world of strain gages since he was young. His father was a long-time strain gage expert in the aerospace industry and Dave followed in his footsteps. He also took a liking to the industry at an early age, participating in CAD classes in high school followed by attending Cal State Long Beach in pursuit of an electrical engineering degree. He ended up finishing his bachelor’s degree, switching to information technologies at University of Phoenix, followed by a master’s degree in business administration from Kaplan.

His first role came as an assistant engineer for aerospace industry giant McDonnell Douglas. His role involved flight test engineering team as needed, until they learned about his CAD skills, at which time they had him primarily doing strain gage drawings.

Over the next 18 years, Dave took his talents across a wide variety of aerospace leaders including Lockheed Martin, Gulfstream Aerospace, Bombardier, The Boeing Company, and more. His roles varied from instrumentation engineering in flight test, to test directing in avionics development labs, and eventually sales. On the sales side, he was working with systems very akin to Interface’s portfolio including data acquisition, telemetry products, and sensors. He even owned his own rep firm for a time that included a few sensor lines in addition to other testing equipment.

A few months ago, Dave was looking for a new opportunity. He was well acquainted with Interface’s products and when he saw an opportunity to work here, he jumped on it with the help of a referral from a friend. Dave came to Interface as our regional sales director in charge of the East Coast. His long-time work in aerospace industry, and specifically his knowledge of strain gages and sensors, made him a great fit in this role.

His responsibilities include managing sales across the region, working with customers daily to find a solution that is right for their specific needs, working with applications engineers, and managing rep firms across the large territory. Dave works across all industries; however, with his background in aerospace, in addition to automotive, he certainly knows what fits bests for those industries.

Dave has made an incredibly positive impact on our team at Interface. Dave mentioned what he enjoys the most is that he has never worked for a company with better communication internally and throughout our community. He specifically highlighted the marketing team’s ability to continue driving leads as critical benefit of working sales at Interface. He also loves collaborating with customers and seeing the incredible potential of the innovation landscape.

When he is not solving customer challenges with force systems, Dave is usually off traveling. He has visited 46 of the 50 states, as well as multiple countries. He lives in Daytona Beach, Florida, but still loves to vacation in other beach destinations. Italy is his favorite international get away so far, having spent two weeks there back in 2014. Dave also has five grown children, a grandchild, with another on the way.

We appreciate Dave taking the time to speak with us and look forward to watching him flourish here at Interface . To learn more about our incredible team members, check in each month for a new Face of Interface’s feature. You can see all our ForceLeaders here.

Faces of Interface Featuring Ashlesa Mohapatra

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Demands for Quality Energy Measurement Solutions

Powering the world is no simple task, especially as research and innovation into alternative energy sources are at an all time high. Across the energy supply chain there are soaring demands from engineers, scientists, equipment makers and suppliers to provide quality and accurate market solutions.

The energy market is constantly evolving to power our infrastructure as well as finding new ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Interface is a key differentiator when it comes to test and measurement. We play an important role in the development and deployment of effective energy market solutions as our sensor technologies are used to test and monitor energy equipment, sources and methods for extraction and containment. As well, Interface is center in supplying devices used in the development of fueling alternatives and introducing new energy solutions.

To explain our role in the energy market and how are products can be used by engineers in these industries, Interface Energy Solutions Overview details the types of products and examples of applications used by industry market leaders and innovators.

Interface force measurement solutions are used in all types of energy related applications to produce oil, gas, wind, coal, solar, hydrogen, nuclear, geothermal and emerging energy sources around the world. We are recognized as a provider of choice for our reliability and accuracy in designing, engineering, testing, innovating, and manufacturing precision sensor-based solutions for the energy industry.

One of the industries where Interface’s experience and knowledge of force measurement is vertically integrated into production and manufacturing processes is in the energy industry. The conditions energy professionals work in can be harsh. They are often in hazardous environments extracting oil and natural gas, wind, or coal to fuel our world’s dependencies for power. The equipment our energy sector customers use must be rugged and provide the most accurate results possible. If the equipment fails, our customers risk steep losses and exposure to safety hazards.

Based on market requirements, we recently introduced the new Interface Pressure Compensated Downhole Load Cell solution specifically designed for the energy sector. The downhole environment poses many challenges for well-drillers, operators, tool-string designers, and other engineers in the oil and gas industry. This innovation eliminates the need for “wet” load cells to monitor forces on their downhole load strings, which don’t hold up for extended use where there are extreme pressures and temperatures in a caustic environment. Interface created a dry load cell with an innovative protective design that reduces the number of sensors required in any downhole load string, extending the life of the load cell by a decade or more.

The types of products the energy market demands from Interface for these applications include standard LowProfile load cells, various torque transducers, multi-axis sensors and all types of instrumentation. We supply engineered to order and custom products for various energy testing environments and OEM solutions. The range of options include uniquely designed torque transducers, load washers, tension and compression load cells, load pins, wireless gear and more.

ENERGY APPLICATIONS USING INTERFACE PRODUCTS

  • Solar panel design and testing
  • Wireless monitoring devices
  • Submersible and hazardous environment products
  • Hydrogen electrolyzer devices
  • Storing and transporting crude oil and natural gas
  • Windmill testing and management
  • Wireline spool tension control
  • Oil and gas equipment
  • Hydro power generation
  • Hook load tension
  • Torque tong monitoring
  • Tool recovery and fishing
  • Wave energy
  • Downhole OEM parts
  • Calibration and equipment maintenance

Interface force measurement solutions are used in components, machines and field equipment for energy R&D and production. From prototyping to monitoring equipment, our durable load cells and torque transducers assist suppliers of parts along with energy industry leaders and innovators to fuel the world. You can find more energy applications here.

Energy-Brochure-1

To learn more about our work in the energy industry or to inquire about how our force sensors can benefit your next project, contact our application engineers today.

Additional Resources

Interface Helps Power the World

Interface Most Promising Energy Tech Solution Provider

Announcing the Launch of the Interface Pressure Compensated Downhole Load Cell

Fueling Global Demand for Interface Solutions

 

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.

Additional Resources

Wireless Telemetry System

WTS 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile® Wireless Load Cell

WTS Brake Pedal Force Testing

IoT Solution That Monitors Rigging and Lifting in Real-Time Showcased at OTC50

Advancements in Instrumentation Webinar Recap

Solutions to Advance Agriculture Smart Farming and Equipment

Fueling Global Demand for Interface Solutions

Increasing demand for quality, accurate and reliable sensor technologies is global.  Interface products are used on every continent and across all types of industries. As manufacturers and product innovators make advances in what they build and test, there is a direct correlation to the growth in precision test and measurement tool requirements we supply.

The overall sensor market in 2022 is expected to continue its fast past growth, estimated between 8-12% across all types of sensors. In force measurement, this pace is consistent with the experience in the global markets we serve in Africa, Asia, Australia and Oceania, Europe, Middle East, South and North America.

Represented by hundreds of sensors experts around the world, Interface distributors continue to experience growth in market share and Interface product users.  In fact, Interface’s fastest growing markets are represented in our global network.  Solutions that utilize our precision load cells, torque transducers, multi-axis load cells and instrumentation are all experiencing high growth worldwide.

What is impacting the greatest international growth for all types of sensors technologies?  According to market analysis and based on Interface’s experience, it’s being fed by:

  1. Miniaturization of Products and Sensors Used in Testing and OEMs
  2. Industrial Automation and Robotics
  3. Innovation in Aerospace and Automotive
  4. IoT – Internet of Things

Our direct experience in demand for Interface solutions outside of the US is related to these areas and specifically new products and expanding use cases. First, we recently launched our Global G Series products to meet this demand. This specialty product is sold exclusively outside the US. These products are designed and manufactured in the International System of Units (SI), with the same precision and accuracy of all Interface products.

The Global G Series is a global standard product line that is designed for applications that require miniature load cells and for OEM solutions used for automation of machines and components.  The markets that are experiencing the highest growth internationally include:

For example, innovative markets like electric vehicles and hydro-electric energy are growing rapidly domestically and in international markets. These industries rely on force testing to optimize these new technologies.

The Asia-Pacific market is currently our fastest growing market. Interface provides products for this market across all industries including automotive, aerospace, test and measurement and more. As mentioned above, the alternative energy, aerospace and electric vehicle market is a big area for Interface and the Asia-Pacific plays a big role in these areas.

Electric vehicle design and manufacturing requires a precise level of accuracy to improve energy efficiency, minimize weight and maximize vehicle range. For instance, battery technology is a major global focus; therefore, maximizing power output using force testing is the key to improving vehicle design. To achieve this, test and measurement solutions need to be as accurate as possible. Interface also provides high accuracy torque transducers, load cells, load washers and more for two areas of electric vehicle testing: laboratory testing to optimize system performance and production testing to ensure product quality.

Another application for force measurement in Europe is force testing on off-shore hydro-electric power plants. This is a great fit for Interface because we have developed an entire lineup of load cells and other products that are submersible. For this project specifically, we provided submersible WMC load cells. This is one example of an innovative application for renewable energies, and this is another market that is growing rapidly both domestically and internationally.

One of the consistent top selling products in both regions and industries are wireless load cells. In our 2022 Test and Measurement Industry Trends blog, detailed some of this growing demand for wireless force measurement solutions. Wireless systems are helping manufacturers simplify the integration process and create a cleaner safer test environment with far less wiring. It is especially helpful in industries like aerospace or automotive, where large factories want to transmit data across the facility without needing a mess of wires getting in the way.

For wireless needs, Interface supplies its Wireless Telemetry System (WTS) which offers sensor transmitters, receivers, and displays. High accuracy, high quality measurement is interfaced with simple yet powerful configuration and monitoring software and gives sensor manufacturers and integrators the complete flexibility to build their own sensor modules around it. The system easily replaces wired systems, reducing installation and maintenance costs.

One area that Interface is also investing in internally is recalibration services to serve all customers across the world. Many of our customers are becoming more aware of and utilizing these services, as we are continuing to grow this capability amongst international customers who are utilizing Interface products for the first time.

Interface’s presence in the international market is growing quickly. Interface is looking forward to seeing where and how we can supply the best in force measurement solutions to enable innovation around the world.

Source: Tyler Pettit, Application Engineer International Markets

Quality is Top Reason Customers Choose Interface

In our latest customer feedback survey, we asked those that rely on Interface why they buy from us. The overwhelming top response was product quality. One of the trademarks of Interface is ensuring that our products meet not only the demand of what is needed in the market for measurement sensors, but that the precision, accuracy, and quality of everything we build is market leading. Best in class.

Our customers drive Interface innovation. We are continuously looking at trends, special requirements and future outlooks to determine what solutions can meet today’s requirements and those in the future. It was noted in the survey that customers depend on Interface for this expertise and experience. That is why it is central in our business strategy and key for Interface’s success to ask, listen and learn from those that rely on our force measurement solutions in their businesses.

A hallmark to our semi-annual survey is the Net Promoter Score (NPS) question that is designed to measure loyalty. We asked again in this latest Spring 2021 survey, “How likely is it that you would recommend Interface to a friend or colleague?” Respondents are then asked to rate their response by selecting 0-10 with 10 being extremely likely and 0 not at all likely. The percentage of those that select 9 or 10 are considered promoters of the Interface brand. Anyone that scores 6 or below is considered by NPS standards to be a detractor. The percentage of promoters minus the percentage of detractors are gives you an NPS score.

We are very excited to announce that Interface’s current Net Promoter Score is +73.

The founders of NPS note that outstanding companies in their class average between a +30 to +50. We are honored by the recognition coming directly from our customers.

“This is a great result! We appreciate the recognition of our team member’s hard work to generate such customer satisfaction and loyalty. Global brands recognized around the world and who are famous NPS power users rarely report scores as high as Interface. We are honored to have such loyal customers, as seen in an outstanding +73 NPS. Remarkably, this came during a period where the customers’ most recent experience likely was influenced by the pandemic strain.” Greg Adams, CEO

We learned from our customers when we asked, “What are the most important reasons why you choose to buy from Interface?”, that product quality matters most, followed next by calibration and repair services, accuracy specifications, experience working with Interface and brand reputation. We also looked at trends in future product demands and the ability to buy online through our QS48 online shopping service.

Our customers were very forthcoming in their preferences for technical support, with phone and email taking top positions. This was followed by using our technical library, video demonstrations and numerous product and technical manuals.

We also gained great insights from our customers when we asked, “How can we improve your overall experience working with Interface?”  All feedback matters to us. It’s what we gain through this transparent and open process that we know where we can look to improve. In fact, we are determined to look at every opportunity presented in the survey to make operational improvements that benefit our customers in all areas from design to shipments.

“Our team performance demonstrates the winning position we are all committed to at Interface. Customer experience is central to what we do and it’s our focus to continuously exceed expectations. As great as this score is today, the better news is that we have the opportunity to improve further and define our future as the market leader by delivering the best for our customers.” Greg Adams, CEO

Our last question in the survey, we asked, “How satisfied are you with Interface and your customer experience?” and we learned that 98% of our customers are satisfied and 83% are very or exceedingly satisfied. We appreciate all those that provided their candid responses in our Spring Customer Satisfaction and NPS Survey. Our work continues to make sure what we do goes above and beyond and delivers on our promise to exceed expectations.

 

Interface Outlook for 2021

Interface CEO Greg Adams shares his outlook for the coming year.

Never in our collective lives have we faced so much uncertainty and turmoil! The year 2020 will make history, that much is certain. Between the COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest, and a year of political strife for the ages, I think we’re all ready to turn the chapter on the start of this decade.

Despite the challenges we’ve faced in 2020, I’m still very optimistic about our future, and for Interface. My optimism is fueled by the amazing people we have here at Interface.

As a family, we’ve gotten through this together and are only growing stronger. I couldn’t be prouder of our people for their resilience and hard work in the past year. We have continued to provide the same excellent service our customers appreciate. In fact, our Net Promoter Score® remained above 60 again in our latest 2020 Customer Satisfaction Survey.

Additionally, product quality is higher than ever and we even had a few major product launches this year, including ConvexBT, our most advanced load button load cell ever, and the G Series, a new international Mini Load Cell product line. And most importantly, we’ve done all of this by ensuring that the health and safety of everyone is our number one priority.

Our ability to remain successful in the past year is a product of how diversified our end markets remain. We continue to serve a wide variety of critical technology-focused industries including aerospace and defense, automotive, medical, industrial, T&M and more. We have benefited from global diversification as well, stepping up our focus on market leaders around the world. It’s also a testament to our engineers who continue to be future focused on innovation. We’ve developed new and groundbreaking ways to serve customers, and we’ve identified trends to keep us at the bleeding edge in our industry and continuously moving forward.

The last point I’ll make on the year 2020 before looking ahead is that we’ve also taken some of the downtime to improve our internal processes and dedicate time to skills training for our team. Not only have we improved our product lines and capabilities, but we’ve also ensured that our skillsets remain strong going into the next year.

And as we finally make the turn to 2021, I’ve spent some time looking ahead to what I believe the next year will hold for our industry and for Interface:

A heightened focus on pre-sale and post-sales service is one thing that we’ve heard from customers in the last year through our semi-annual surveys. We’re upgrading our sales process to ensure our engineering teams are more involved in assisting the customer select and configure the products and systems that are right for their application. Enhancing our after-sales service will include capturing and distributing instructions, guides, and other technical services into a more accessible and easier to find outlets like our robust website.

Another trend we’re seeing requested from our customers is a desire for force measurement providers to migrate from components to systems. World-class components will always be important, but our experience working with customers to provide total system solutions that meet their specific needs is critical. In addition, the demand for higher performance and more customization options continues. One of the biggest improvements Interface has made in the past year is updating our production lines to include more automation capabilities. This allows us to provide high-performance, customized products at high volume while still being able to offer competitive costs. This change is helping us expand our sales with the OEM customers.

Finally, a big trend we’ve been following is miniaturization and the desire to pack more sensor technology into a single load cell or torque transducer. We’ve already begun to address this in some of our products by designing accelerometers into load cells. In industries like automotive, we often use a torque transducer to measure rotation with components like car engines. By adding an accelerometer, we can measure both rotation and acceleration through a single device.

As this desire for more data and less convoluted test systems grows, Interface will continue to find ways to customize our load cells and add more sensor types like temperature and humidity. We’ll also do this by using electronic miniaturization manufacturing methods to improve capability without increasing the overall size of the package.

In conclusion, I’m extremely pleased with the level of talent, the strength of the brand and the depth of our commitment to customer satisfaction. We’ve overcome the challenges presented to us this year and remain stronger than ever. Our renewed focus on the future will also help us identify opportunities for innovation to serve customers in more unique and beneficial ways.

I hope that everyone in our community, from our partners to our customers and employees, has a wonderful holiday season and comes back in the new year refreshed. We’re not out of the woods yet with the pandemic, but there is light ahead and we are speeding to be the Interface you can always rely on.

Looking Forward to the New Year

2020 has been a challenging year for most. Despite the disruption every person and industry has faced this past year, Interface continues to keep our eyes on the future. What can we do to meet our customer’s needs today and tomorrow?

One of the ways that Interface has accomplished this intense focal point is by setting our sights on the increasing number of requests for specific drawings and engineered to order force, torque, and specialized product lines. These requests provide us unique visibility in evolving product development concepts and the overall T&M landscape for the customers we serve.

Through Interface’s continued investments in R&D, analyzing the marketplace, and anticipating customer needs, we’ve identified key trends that we believe will have a significant positive impact in meeting our customer’s current requirements and preparing for future demands.

The first trend we see today is our customer’s increased focus on miniaturization. Innovation using sensor technologies continues to shrink in dimensions yet require the same or greater level of precision performance. We see this in all types of devices and hand-held technologies, industrial automation, robotics, as well as in automotive and consumer product inventions.

The trend towards miniaturization in the medical device industry has been happening for quite some time; however, the capabilities and precision requirements continue to become more stringent and demanding of higher levels of performance. For example, with trends in at-home care remote monitoring has caused medical device manufacturers to develop mobility for devices. They’re also taking diagnostic machines and turning them into a handheld version so doctors can administer medical tests quickly and efficiently at the point of care, rather than sending patients out of home for administering or tracking.

To address product development challenges related to devices that becoming more compact, Interface is engineering and manufacturing precision components that excel in confined space. We’ve already begun to address this in 2020 with the release of our ultra-precision ConvexBT™ Load Button Load Cells.

ConvexBT is a first of its kind load button load cell, providing better temperature resistance and more enhanced eccentric load rejection than other competitive products. For many years, miniature load cells categorized as load buttons have been sensitive to off-axis, eccentric or misaligned loads. This means if the load is not exactly perpendicular to the surface it is resting on, the data could become skewed or inaccurate. Interface designed the ConvexBT load button load cell to confine misaligned loads to the primary axis of the cell providing superior performance in comparison to similar products on the market. Read more about the product release here.

The next key trend we are prepared to address in 2021 and beyond is test and measurement systems that address complex and multi-dimensional testing requirements. Historically, load cells and torque transducers have addressed force, torque, and weight in a variety of single product groups. And these devices would be added to a test series with a host of other sensors or get multiple outputs through a variety of tests. More and more customers want measurement devices that include additional outputs from the sensors to account for things like acceleration, temperature, humidity, and more.

We see this in growing requests for adding accelerometers in our load cells and torque transducers. In industries like automotive, we often use a torque transducer to measure rotation with components like car engines and tires. By adding an accelerometer, the device can be used to measure both torque and acceleration. This addresses our customer’s desire to simplify their test process and it provides more data in a single test to expand use cases and applications.  As this desire for more data and fewer testing devices grows, Interface is continuing the expansion of engineered to order and customized load cells to allow for dual measurements in a single component.

This trend is closely related to the need for a complete system. Systems are often completely customized to a single project or program that provides the measurement device, instrumentation, cabling, and housing. These systems can also be mobilized with wireless components for field applications.  The group of custom solutions engineers have created multiple versions of these systems used in energy, aerospace, and T&M labs.

Despite the challenges of the last year, Interface is hyper-focused on innovation and the ability to address the evolving needs of our customers. If you want to measure it, then Interface is here to help you create the right solution to get exactly what is required for your invention, product improvement or test. How can we help you win in 2021?

Force Measurement Solutions for Mobility Markets

One of the tenets in addressing urban mobility is innovation.  As populations grow around the world, addressing how people get from here to there is part of a challenge and opportunity.  Investments are growing in this sector, as experts and designers look to how to increase efficiency and performance in vehicle markets.

Interface has long been a supplier of test and measurement solutions to industries that play a critical role in mobility, from vehicle manufacturers to infrastructure planners and builders. In our latest case study, we look at some of the innovative ways our solutions are being used to advance technologies and capabilities in transportation.

If something moves, it likely needs force and torque testing for reliability, safety and performance. With the evolving trends in urban mobility, Interface is working with makers and builders of all types of transportation solutions for unmanned vehicles like drones and autonomous vehicles, as well as alternatively fueled and electric vehicles.

READ OUR NEW CASE STUDY: INTERFACE’S CRUCIAL ROLE IN VEHICLE AND URBAN MOBILITY MARKETS

Interface customers utilize our standard and custom products in the vehicle and mobility markets to:

  1. Test the force and torque of components for validation or for design improvements
  2. Integration of sensor technology into a component or product for functional real-time performance data

These products include Interface load cells, mini load cells and subminiature load button load cells, rotary and reaction torque transducers, instrumentation, and accessories. For the growing trends for digital requirements in testing and OEM solutions, our wireless and Bluetooth solutions are commonly used in these markets.  Interface is also frequently engaged on specific customer requests for engineer-to-order products and customized solutions.

Here are four use case scenarios of Interface solutions used in the vehicle and mobility markets:

Brake Pedal Testing

Interface’s Brake Pedal Load Cell BPL-300-C was installed on a brake pedal and then connected to a BTS-AM-1 Bluetooth Low Energy Strain Bridge Transmitter Module, which collects and transmits data to our BTS Toolkit Mobile App. This solution allowed the customer to record and review data from a mobile device while out on a test track. READ MORE HERE.

Drone Delivery Systems

Interface supplied four WMC Sealed Stainless Miniature Load Cells to measure the payload weight and  for the detection of in-motion shifting and uneven distribution of the package weight. As the load cells detect this data, it provides a signal to the propeller to increase RPMs on the propellers and adjust balance and weight distribution inflight. WATCH HERE.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Battery Testing

Compression testing performed on EV batteries is critical for performance and safety. As an EV battery is charged and stores more electrons, it swells. If the packaging housing the batteries does not compensate for this swelling in the design, failure is likely. Interface can supply a WMC miniature load cell. The load cell will measure compression force as a battery goes through charge cycles on a test stand to determine the force given off as the battery swells. This allows our customers to design the proper packaging for the batteries. Read more about the future of EV markets and testing here.

Engine Performance Testing

Force and torque sensors are used with a dynamometer, which isolates the engine’s power output to help quantify its overall performance.  In this application, a  precision SSMF Fatigue Rated S-Type Load Cell is attached to a torque arm to “feels” the torque from an engine loading system. The fatigue rating on the load cell allows it to accurately measure performance for extended cycles. A signal conditioner is used to connect out from the load cell to a computer to ensure clear transmission of data to accurately measure torque being produced by the engine. Engineers analyze power transfer through the data output to tune the engine performance. Check out this engine dynamometer application note here.

Contact our experts to learn more about these types of testing applications, use cases and products used in urban mobility projects.