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Building a Clean Energy Future in Hydrogen with Force

Clean energy is a driving force of innovation, technology, and investment in the global economy. Established energy giants and nimble startups are pouring resources into sustainable solutions. Among them, hydrogen shines as a particularly exciting frontier. The global hydrogen generation market is estimated to be $170B and growing, with an estimated 2,000 hydrogen production-related projects globally.

As with any evolving technology, monitoring and testing are necessary to qualify and improve the various systems that validate inventions and advance adoption. Interface has worked with clean energy suppliers and equipment manufacturers for many years. We have gained much experience in understanding the complexities and requirements of testing and monitoring alternative energy sources.

Among the various clean energy harvesting and storage solutions available today, hydrogen is among the most researched and impactful clean energy options. Hydrogen is considered a clean fuel that produces only water when consumed in a fuel cell. Hydrogen can be produced from biomass, natural gas, nuclear power, and renewables, including solar and wind. Read: Load Cells for Renewable Energy Production and Testing

Due to experience as a supplier of force measurement solutions for energy providers and equipment makers, Brian Peters contributed a new article about the dynamics of applying force testing in hydrogen energy to the Winter Edition of Global Hydrogen Review. His article highlights the current state of hydrogen energy and the barriers that force measurement is helping to solve. He details force-testing solutions for novel technologies that transport, monitor, and store hydrogen energy.

The full article can be read on page 19 of the December 2023 edition of Global Hydrogen Review here. We’ve also included a brief preview of the article below.

Feel The Force

By Brian Peters, VP of Global Sales, Interface

Hydrogen, as a clean and reliable renewable energy source, has been a carrot on a stick for green energy innovators for many years. Scientists and technologists have understood the positive impact of hydrogen for a long time and even harnessed it at times, but the ability to reliably transport, store, and harness this energy at a reasonable cost has previously eluded them. However, hydrogen is back in full force as storage and battery technology has advanced, giving new life to the promise of hydrogen.

Hydrogen is critical to the future of green energy because it is an optimal solution to storing renewable energy from other sources such as wind and water. In certain areas, like California, we produce too much energy from renewable sources but have nowhere to store it. This is leading to a tremendous amount of resource loss. Therefore, hydrogen innovation investment is on the rise again to solve production, storage, and monitoring application challenges aimed at curtailing waste and holding enough energy to power more infrastructure with green energy.

To start, hydrogen production in its current state is quite expensive as the element is difficult to handle, and the equipment and processes available today are scarce or subpar. Many of the traditional production and storage methods also lead to excessive waste.

One of the key reasons that storage has become such a challenge is due to the unique nature of hydrogen energy. Hydrogen is an incredibly light element in liquid form, which is a popular way of storing it in higher volumes. However, in this form, it can be very volatile and hard to maintain due to temperature constraints, and therefore, storage, metering, and more require extreme precision. While in a compressed form, hydrogen takes up more space and needs to be carefully monitored for pressure-related concerns.

Due to the volatility of hydrogen energy, transportation has also become a barrier to the reliable transfer and use of hydrogen energy. The cost alone of transporting liquid or compressed hydrogen can become immense with the current lack of stable transportation/storage methods and the danger it can pose to the individuals shipping the substance.

The road to reaching a place where hydrogen could become a real solution to meeting the demand for renewable energy has been filled with hundreds of technological advancements. One of the lesser-known but extremely critical solutions to making hydrogen a reality on a large scale is force measurement. Force sensors can be used at every level of hydrogen advancement, from harnessing the power of hydrogen to storing, monitoring, and transporting it – and more use cases for hydrogen applications are being implemented frequently. Read More

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Load Cells for Renewable Energy Production and Testing

Interface Details Hydrogen Electrolyzers Solution in Design News

Interface and Green Energy Innovation

Interface Load Cells Propel New Torsional Force Measurements for Wind Energy Project

Interface Supports Renewable Energy Innovation

Interface Solutions for Growing Green Energy

Demands for Quality Energy Measurement Solutions

Windmill Energy App Note

Wave Energy Converter

Biomass Handling

Interface Measurement Solutions for the Natural Resources Industry

Interface offers various sensor technologies for research, development, extracting, processing, and preserving natural resources. Our load cells and instrumentation are critical in measuring and monitoring forces, loads, and weight in different processes, equipment, tools, and technologies used in the natural resources industry. The data acquired from Interface load cells provides tremendous value in innovation, R&D, and optimization.

Our load cells, torque transducers, multi-axis sensors, wireless telemetry systems, and instrumentation assist scientists, engineers, and researchers to accurately measure resource utilization, environmental impacts, and efficiencies in resource management. Our measurement solutions are used in the early stages of machine and tool designs to onsite monitoring equipment used in extraction processes, lifting, moving, and transporting materials.

As detailed below, our load cells and torque transducers are essential for the natural resources industry. They help to improve the efficiency, safety, and sustainability of natural resource extraction and processing.

Natural Resources Industry Use Cases for Interface Measurement Solutions

  • Resource Innovation: Sensor technologies are utilized in R&D, identifying innovative ways to improve natural resource extraction, processing efficiency, and safety.
  • Sample and Material Testing: Sensor devices measure and monitor the forces and loads on samples and materials during testing.  These tools are required to research and develop new natural resource extraction and processing technologies.
  • Mining and Quarrying Equipment Design and Testing: Load cells and torque transducers can measure and monitor forces, loads, and weight in mining and quarrying equipment, such as excavators, loaders, and crushers.
  • Logging and Forestry Machine Regulatory and Safety Monitoring: Load cells can monitor the forces and loads on logging and forestry machines, such as harvesters and forwarders.
  • Ground Stability Monitoring: Interface sensors can monitor ground stability in mines, quarries, and construction sites. This data can be used to identify and predict potential ground movements and to take steps to mitigate the risks.
  • Drilling Optimization: Interface specialized load cells often measure and monitor the forces and loads on drilling rigs. This data can optimize the drilling process by adjusting the weight on the bit and the penetration rate.
  • Material Handling: Load cells are valuable for weighing materials of all types.
  • Pipeline Integrity Operations: Force measurement solutions can be used to monitor the pipeline’s integrity by identifying and predicting potential pipeline failures and taking steps to mitigate the risks. They are also utilized for measuring the flow of oil and gas.
  • Soil Preparation and Agrarian Management Devices: Load cells and torque transducers can measure and monitor the forces and loads on soil preparation and agrarian management devices, such as tractors and harvesters.
  • Water Resource Management: Interface transducers can monitor river, stream, and canal water flow. This data can be used to manage water resources effectively and to predict flooding risks.
  • Timber Harvesting and Weighing Machinery: Interface measurement devices can measure and monitor the weight of harvested timber to ensure that wood is being harvested sustainably and to comply with regulations.
  • Dam Safety: Load cells, such as load pins, can be used to monitor the structural integrity of dams. The force measurement sensor is also used to monitor the stability of other structures related to resource management.
  • Mineral Processing Tools and Machines: Load cells and torque transducers can measure and monitor the forces and loads on mineral processing tools and machines, such as crushers, grinders, and conveyors. They are frequently used in designing vehicles and equipment, specifically in weight optimization.

Timber Weighing And Harvesting Solution

A timber company needs a weighing system for sustainable forest management. They need to measure the amount of timber harvested. Weighing and monitoring harvested timber helps with resource monitoring and contributes to the overall sustainability of the forestry industry. Interface suggests creating a truck weighing scale to weigh logging trucks before and after loading timber. Multiple SSLP Stainless Steel LowProfile Universal Load Cells with WTS-BS-1E Wireless Transmitter Modules are installed under the weighing bridge. The load cells will transmit the force results wirelessly to the WTS-BS-4 Industrial Base Station connected to the customer’s PC with the provided Log100 software. The WTS-LD2 Wireless Large LED Display can also display the weight inside for the driver to see in real-time. Results can also be viewed on the WTS-BS-1-HA Wireless Handheld Display for Multiple Transmitters.

Geothermal Well Drilling Optimization

Geothermal energy is the heat derived from the Earth’s interior, harnessed for various applications such as electricity generation and heating by utilizing the natural heat reservoirs found beneath the Earth’s surface. A customer had a conventional geothermal system and needed to drill a deep well into the Earth to tap into its natural heat reservoirs. Interface’s IPCD Pressure Compensated Downhole Load Cell is a highly accurate load cell explicitly developed for downhole tension and compression measurements in high temperature, high pressure well conditions, such as drilling to build or establish geothermal infrastructure. Precise tool string force measurements can be monitored through customer instrumentation. Using this sensor solution, the customer effectively managed forces on the tool string throughout the well-drilling process, preventing costly tool separation or damage.

NaturalResources_InfographicPoster

From enhancing water management to precisely weighing timber for transportation, force sensors significantly mitigate risks, reduce environmental effects, and create safe work environments. As the natural resources industry grows and evolves, integrating force sensors is central to balancing resource utilization with ecological conservation and safety.

Vertical Farming for Sustainable Food Production on Earth and Beyond

Vertical farming is a method of producing crops in vertically stacked layers, typically in indoor environments such as warehouses or greenhouses. This innovative agricultural approach offers a number of advantages over traditional farming methods, including higher crop yields per unit of land, more efficient use of resources such as water and energy, and the ability to grow crops in urban areas where space is limited. While vertical farming is currently being explored to increase food production on Earth, it also has applications in space R&D and for food sustainability projects.

In space, where resources such as water, energy, and land are limited, vertical farming can offer a viable solution for producing food. By using vertical stacking of crops, indoor environments, and controlled conditions, vertical farming can potentially overcome challenges such as gravity, atmospheric conditions, and limited space. This could enable sustainable food production for future space missions, space settlements, and colonization efforts.

As the global population continues to grow, and urbanization increases, vertical farming is a promising approach for addressing food scarcity and production challenges on Earth. With most the world’s population projected to live in urban areas by 2050, the need for localized food production close to urban centers becomes more critical. Vertical farming can provide fresh produce year-round, reduce the need for transportation, minimize the use of pesticides, and optimize resource utilization, making it a sustainable and efficient method for urban food production.

Interface sensor technologies and instrumentation are being utilized to expand the capabilities and possibilities in agriculture on Earth and in space. In our new case study, Vertical Farming on Earth and in Space, we explore products and solutions for challenges related to farming on earth and beyond. These solutions utilize load cells, multi-axis sensors, wireless instrumentation and devices for irrigation and growth monitoring systems, robotics, and farming equipment. The case study highlights innovation from a collaboration of industries including agriculture, space, and automation.

 

Vertical Farming Robotic Monitoring

In vertical farming applications, automated mechanics pick up and move the products, thus using less human involvement and contamination. To keep an eye on these automated systems, a wireless force measurement system monitors the robotics that pick up and move the produce to their next destination of the packaging process. Interface suggests installing SPI Low Capacity Platform Scale Load Cells, along with WTS-AM-1E Wireless Strain Bridge Transmitter Modules in the center of the platforms of the robotic lifting system that move around the produce. The WTS-AM-1E’s wirelessly transmit the data collected from the SPI’s to the WTS-BS-1-HA Wireless Handheld Displays for multiple transmitters, and the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station when connected to a computer. Read more here.

Vertical farming has the potential to revolutionize food production in space and on Earth, addressing the challenges of feeding a growing global population, particularly in urban areas. The intersection of various industries and the use of innovative technologies, including interface force measurement solutions, can play a crucial role in advancing vertical farming as a sustainable solution for future food production in space and on our home planet.

The collaboration between education, space, agriculture, and manufacturing sectors, including the use of interface force measurement solutions, can accelerate the development and deployment of vertical farming technologies for space and Earth. These solutions can provide data on factors such as plant growth, resource usage, and environmental conditions, which can be used to optimize the design and operation of vertical farming systems for maximum sustainability and productivity. Read the case study here.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Inventive Agriculture Monitoring and Weighing Solutions

Aerospace Brochure

Force Sensors Advance Industrial Automation

Solutions to Advance Agriculture Smart Farming and Equipment

Using Multi-Axis Sensors to Bring Robotics to Life

Vertical Farming on Earth and in Space

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.

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.