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Interface Measurement Solutions Support Smart Cities

Various Interface load cell products are used in the development of smart cities. What is a smart city? A smart city is a municipality that uses data and interconnectivity to improve sustainability and quality of life.

According to the Smart City Index of 2023, London is leading the way in the development of its smart city infrastructure. Other top contenders for the lead are Zurich, Oslo, Barcelona, Taiwan, Singapore and New York. There are estimates are there are more than 140 smart cities today in various stages, and the number is growing. They are also showing tremendous potential to transform the way we live, consume, move and work. Most smart city infrastructure is in the early and mid-stages of development.

From research to engineering and building to maintenance, Interface force measurement solutions are being actively used in the design and testing of components used in smart city projects and systems. Force measurement data is valuable for assessing and improving the overall efficiency and sustainability of a city. Learn more by visiting our smart cities solutions here.

Load cells can be used to measure a variety of parameters in smart city design, development of infrastructure and resource management.

  • Interface LowProfile and Mini Load Cells are used to measure the force applied to a structure or object. This information can be used to assess the structural integrity of a building or bridge, or to optimize the design of a new product used in the smart city infrastructure.
  • Interface torque transducers provide data on the rotational equivalent of force. This information can be used to monitor the performance of heavy duty machinery and construction equipment, or to ensure that products are assembled correctly when building.
  • Specialized load cell technologies, like load pins, load shackles and tension links can be used to measure tension, lifting actions and weight, which is the force of gravity acting on an object. This information can be used to weigh products, to monitor the loading of transport vehicles, or to ensure materials or people are not overloading lifting equipment. Go to our Lifting Solutions and Weighing Solutions to learn more about the range of products available for smart city applications.
  • Interface wireless and Bluetooth solutions support the advance ICT (communications) requirements to easily capture accurate data without the cable. Our complete line of wireless telemetry systems and Bluetooth options support the advancements in digital optimization and feedback required for real-time data management.

By using sensors, data, and communications to improve human conditions of our cities, we can create more livable, sustainable, and equitable communities for the future.

SmartInfrastructure_InfographicPoster

How Load Cells and Sensor Devices are Used in Smart Cities

Load cells are versatile and essential tools for a diverse range of smart city applications. They provide accurate and reliable measurements that can be used to improve safety, resource management, and sustainability. Here are some examples of how force measurement solutions are used in smart cities.

  • Improving traffic management: Data acquired from load cells and sensors can be used to monitor the weight of vehicles on bridges and roads. This information can be used to optimize traffic flow and to prevent overloading of infrastructure. Force measurement data can also be used to monitor the movement of people and vehicles. This information can be used to identify potential hazards and to prevent accidents. Read: Interface Powers Smart Transportation Solutions
  • Smart waste management: Force measurement outputs can be used to monitor the weight of waste in bins. This information can be used to optimize waste collection routes and to reduce the amount of waste that is sent to landfills. Learn more in our IoT Waste Management Container Weighing App Note
  • Structural health monitoring: The data from load cells, torque transducers and multi-axis sensors can be used to monitor the structural integrity of buildings and bridges. This information can be used to identify potential problems before they lead to failure. Check out our post Interface Solutions for Structural Testing.
  • Smart farming and agriculture: Data from force measurement solutions can be used to monitor the weight of crops and livestock. This information can be used to optimize irrigation, fertilization, and harvesting. Learn more in our post Solutions to Advance Agriculture Smart Farming and Equipment.
  • Smart transportation: Creating a system of public transportation options, electric vehicles and bicycles, along with autonomous deliveries are part of smart city development projects around the world. Interface force measurement devices are critical in the development, testing and management of smart transportation.
  • Air quality systems: Force measurement data collected in real-time can be used to monitor the emission of pollutants from vehicles and factories. This information can be used to reduce pollution and improve air quality in smart cities.
  • Resource and energy management: Measurement data is important in production and optimization of critical resources like renewable energy and water, as well as for reducing waste and improving efficiency. Force measurement data can be used to monitor the energy consumption of buildings and infrastructure. This information can be used to identify opportunities for energy savings.

Smart cities use various Interface sensors technologies and other data collection instrumentation devices to track the use of resources and transportation. Overall, force measurement solutions are a valuable tool for improving the efficiency, sustainability, and safety of smart cities. As the use of sensors and other data collection devices continues to grow, we can expect to see even more innovative applications for force measurement data in smart city applications.

Keep watch of our smart city applications, as we learn more about how our products are being used in very smart and innovative use cases.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Modernizing Infrastructure with Interface Sensor Technologies

The Rise in Digital Force Measurement Solutions

Why Civil Engineers Prefer Interface Products

Interface Powers Smart Transportation Solutions

Smart Pallet Animated Application Note

Making Products Smarter with Interface OEM Solutions

Solutions to Advance Agriculture Smart Farming and Equipment

Interface Solutions for Heavy Equipment

Vertical Farming for Sustainable Food Production on Earth and Beyond

Innovative Interface Lifting Solutions

 

Force Measurement Testing Improves Products and Consumer Safety

Across every industry, force measurement solutions are utilized to improve product performance, safety and quality. Sensor technologies are used every day to test various consumer products’ weight, torsion, tension, compression, fatigue, impact, and materials.

Force measurement testing is used throughout the product development lifecycle, from concept and R&D, through engineering and testing, to manufacturing and distribution, leading to eventual utilization. Interface load cells are commonly integrated into actual consumer products for activation and to measure performance during use.

Interface force measurement solutions are also used in the testing of equipment, machines, and tools used in the production of all types of products and goods. Our products are used in industrial automation robotic arms as well as within lifting equipment deployed to move materials around a facility.

The key to all force measurement testing is accuracy and reliability of data, as well as selecting the right type of force sensor for the specific product being testing.

Types of Product Testing Applications Using Interface Measurement Solutions

  • Weighing Applications: Interface miniature load cells are often for product testing to measure the exact weight of consumer products, such as food, beverages, and electronics. This information is critical R&D, as well on the production line and to meet the exact product specifications. Our load cells help to ensure that the products are not underweight or overweight, and comply with regulations. Read more about Load Cells for Smarter and More Efficient Weighing
  • Material Applications: Interface LowProfile load cells are often found in product testing labs to assess the strength of materials used in consumer products such as plastics, metals, and mixtures of composites. The measurements gathered during the product testing safeguards consumers and confirms the product’s durability. Read Interface Solutions for Material Testing Engineers
  • Force Applications: Interface load cells, torque transducers, and instrumentation are used in complete test systems that examine the usability of products such as exercise equipment, appliances and electronics. The data acquired in shear, tensile and force testing is important to understand if the product meets design specifications, is easy to use and does not require excessive force to work.
  • Safety Applications: One of the most important product use cases for Interface measurement solutions is to test the safety of products such as furniture, toys and automobile features. It is a requirement for every maker of products that are not hazardous and will not cause injury to consumers. Read Interface Solutions for Safety and Regulation Testing and Monitoring

To give you a better idea of how our load cells and instrumentation are utilized in distinct types of product tests, we have included a few application notes below outlining real-world examples of force testing projects.

Bicycle Helmet Safety and Impact Product Testing

A high production bicycle manufacturing facility set up a product testing lab to measure the impact of the safety of their helmets when dropped from different heights onto a flat surface such as an anvil. This test is necessary to ensure consumer safety and that the products are made with the highest quality materials to protect the rider. Interface suggests installing the 1101 Compression-Only Ultra Precision LowProfile® Load Cellat the bottom of an anvil. The bike helmet is then dropped from multiple heights and at multiple angles onto the anvil. The measurements from impact are then recorded and logged throughout the product testing using Interface’s INF-USB3 Universal Serial Bus Single Channel PC Interface Module with supplied software. Every design or material change runs through the same rigorous testing protocols using these high accuracy measurement solutions.  Read CPG Bike Helmet Impact Test

Product Weighing of Consumer Water Bottles

A manufacturer of glass bottled water needs to dispense the exact amount of fluid into each bottle and then weigh the water bottle to ensure it is at the labeled weight on the product packaging. The product testing of the manufacturing equipment is used to minimize waste and to meet the weight requirements to ensure consumer satisfaction. Interface suggests using the MBP Miniature Beam Load Cell and attaching it under a plate or platform where the water bottle is placed on while it is being filled with fluids. The force weight is measured by the MBP Miniature Beam Load Cell and connected to the 9870 High Speed High Performance TEDS Ready Indicator where results are captured, displayed, and logged for quality control. Read CPG Water Bottle Dispensing and Weighing

Product Test Lab Conducts High Volume Tensile Force Testing

A product test lab is constantly requested to conduct a series of tensile force tests on different samples and materials until failure. These materials include plastic, steel, or woven fabric, and are utilized in the design and manufacturing of several consumer products. The lab professionals want to measure tensile strength, yield strength, and yield stress for every submitted product material sample. For the tensile test stand, we recommend using Interface’s 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile™ Load Cell be installed into the test frame. As the tensile test is conducted, force results captured by the load cell and extensometer are synchronized through the SI-USB4 4 Channel USB Interface Module. The results are displayed on the customer’s computer with supplied software. Learn more by reading Material Tensile Testing.

Interface’s high precision force sensor technologies used in robotics have revolutionized the manufacturing of consumer products. With automated assembly lines and robotic arms taking charge, these machines work efficiently to mass-produce consumer goods. Quality control of all the products we provide you for testing is one of the main focuses of Interface, as we want to keep your customers happy and safe.

Interface’s experienced team are renowned specialists in force, torque and weight measurement manufacturing and technology. Our depth of knowledge and wide range of capabilities create custom solutions of all types, whether special transducers made to your exact specifications or complete customized sensor, instrumentation, and software systems. We collaborate with you to ensure the product specifications you need are designed to match your precise requirements.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Introducing the Interface Consumer Product Testing Case Study

Interface Solutions for Consumer Products

Force Measurement is Reducing Waste and Automating the Consumer Packaging Industry

Applications for Consumer Products and Packaging

Load Cells for Consumer Product Applications

Why Product Design Houses Choose Interface

Testing Labs Choose Interface High Accuracy Products

Interface Solutions for Material Testing Engineers

How Load Cells Are Transforming the Construction Industry

The construction industry is one the most universal, growing, and dangerous industries in the world. Interface force measurement solutions are used for all types of construction applications from bridge and high-rise building projects to foundation load tests and structural monitoring. Our sensors and instrumentation are used in crane and heavy lifting operations, material testing and equipment calibration.

Accuracy and quality of all measurement products used for design, testing, monitoring, and equipment evaluations is imperative in protecting the project’s assets and workers. One of the leading causes of construction accidents is overloading equipment. When equipment is overloaded, it can fail, leading to serious injuries. It is essential to utilize high accuracy load cell technologies to measure the amount of force being applied to construction equipment.

Interface force measurement solutions can help to prevent overloading accidents by using the measurement data to ensure that equipment is not being extended beyond its safety capabilities. Force measurement solutions can also be used to monitor the performance of equipment and identify potential problems before they lead to an accident.

Interface offers a wide variety of sensor solutions for construction equipment and material testing. Our load cells offer precise measurements of applied forces, furnishing essential data regarding the structural response under various load circumstances. This data plays a critical role in evaluating structural integrity, detecting potential vulnerabilities, and optimizing design to guarantee the safety and dependability of infrastructure.

Interface force measurement solutions can help to improve efficiency and productivity in the construction industry in all areas including engineering, testing and maintenance. By monitoring the performance of equipment, construction companies can identify areas where they can improve efficiency.

It is common to find Interface load cells, including load pins, load shackles, miniature and even jumbo load cells in use for various forms of construction projects, equipment and tools. These products, as well as torque transducers, instrumentation and wireless systems are frequently used in the testing and monitoring of the machinery, rigging and lifting devices, gear, and heavy duty vehicles that are used in various stages of building.

Interface provides various sensors for a range of construction use cases around the world, including:

  • Residential and commercial buildings
  • Infrastructure programs
  • Industrial construction
  • Material testing machines
  • Civil engineering projects
  • Mining and tunneling
  • Environmental remediation
  • Heavy equipment manufacturing
  • Vehicle OEMS
  • Cranes and lifting equipment


Construction is an ever-present and ever-growing industry estimated to reach nearly $13T in global spending with broad and diverse use of measurement solutions. From single dwelling construction tools to heavy machines used to move concrete slabs, measurement is fundamental in construction. Included below we have provided a few examples of how our sensors are being used in construction.

Construction Reach Stacker

A reach stacker is a vehicle used in construction site to lift, move, and stack heavy containers. A force monitoring system was needed to ensure the safety of surrounding personnel, and if the reach stacker can lift heavy loads. Interface’s WTSLP Wireless Stainless Steel Load Pins were installed into the corners of the lifting mechanism of the reach stacker, where heavy loaded containers are lifted and moved. The force results were then wirelessly transmitted to both the WTS-BS-1-HS Wireless Handheld Display for Single Transmitters, or directly to the customer’s PC with the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station. Using this solution, the customer was able to monitor their reach stacker with Interface’s Wireless Telemetry System and ensure its ability to lift heavy loads on site.

Bridge Construction Wind Monitoring

Wind monitoring is a necessary operation during bridge constructions. Strong winds can destroy a bridge under construction since it is a work in progress with poor structural design. Monitoring these winds in real time is much more accurate than using predicted weather forecasts. Interface suggested installing the WTS-WSS Wireless Wind Speed Transmitter Module on the highest point of construction, such as a crane. Wind speed results were wirelessly transmitted to the customer’s PC through WTS-BS-4 Wireless Base Station with USB Interface in Industrial Enclosure. It was transmitted to the WTS-BS-1 Wireless Handheld Display for Unlimited Transmitters Data can be displayed, logged, and graphed with supplied Log100 software. Interface’s WTS-WSS Wireless Wind Speed Transmitter Module combined with Interface’s Wireless Telemetry System was perfect to monitor the wind speed in real-time during the bridge’s construction.

Metal Bending Force Material Testing for Construction

A construction material supplier wanted to know how much force it takes to bend different grades of steel metal used for building and infrastructure projects. They use their metal bending machine to create different metal hardware and wanted to record the amounts of force it takes to bend the metal used for their projects. Interface suggested using a wireless method, so cables do not interfere with the machine. The WTS 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile® Wireless Load Cell was attached to the head of the hydraulic operated steel bender. Results were wirelessly transmit to the customers PC through the WTS-BS-4 Wireless Base Station with USB Interface, where data can be displayed, logged, and graphed with supplied Log100 software. Using this solution, the customer was able to record the force results of his metal bending machine with Interface’s Wireless Telemetry System.

Interface is adept at providing solutions suited for use in construction projects, equipment and ongoing monitoring programs.  If you have questions about what products are suited for your specific project, equipment or testing programs, contact us. We are here to help.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Force Measurement Solutions for the Construction Industry

Interface Solutions for Heavy Equipment

Gantry Crane Weighing

Lifting Heavy Objects

Rigging Engineers Choose Interface Measurement Solutions

Innovative Interface Lifting Solutions

Modernizing Infrastructure with Interface Sensor Technologies

Interface Solutions for Structural Testing

Why Civil Engineers Prefer Interface Products

Innovative Interface Load Pin Applications

 

 

Interface Solutions for Heavy Equipment

Interface has collaborated with heavy equipment design engineers and OEMs for many years by providing sensors to measure weight, torque, and force. Heavy equipment, also known as heavy machinery, is used to describe the heavy-duty machines that are vastly utilized in infrastructure, construction, transportation, maritime, forestry, agriculture, and mining industries.

Force measurement plays a crucial role in the design, testing, and use of heavy equipment and vehicles including excavators, bulldozers, loaders, cranes, lifts, mixers, pavers, and compactors. Many of the considerations in designing heavy machinery are mandated by force limitations and equipment performance testing. Reference our Cranes and Lifting case study for examples.

Top Five Heavy Equipment Use Cases for Force Measurement

  1. Performance Valuation: Force measurement is used to evaluate the performance of heavy equipment. It allows engineers and designers to assess the forces and loads experienced by different components, such as hydraulic systems, structural elements, and moving parts. Measuring forces with high accuracy ensures that the equipment is built to operate within safe and efficient limits.
  2. Safety Confidence: Heavy equipment operates in demanding and challenging environments where safety is fundamental. Force measurement solutions from Interface help to identify potential safety risks by monitoring the forces exerted on various components in both testing and actual real-time use. Load cells and other sensor technologies enable engineers to design equipment with appropriate safety factors, ensuring that it can withstand the expected forces without failure or compromising operator safety.
  3. Design Optimization: Force measurement assists engineers to enhance the design of heavy equipment. By accurately measuring forces and loads during operation, and will identify areas of high stress or potential weak points. This information is valuable in refining the design, selecting appropriate materials, and implementing structural modifications to improve durability, efficiency, and overall performance.
  4. Regulatory Standards and Compliance: Heavy equipment is subject to strict industry standards and regulations, globally, nationally, and locally that specify performance and safety requirements. Force measurement is used for measuring and monitoring compliance. By accurately measuring and documenting forces, engineers can demonstrate that the equipment meets the specified criteria, aiding in regulatory approvals and certifications.
  5. Troubleshooting and Maintenance: Periodically measuring forces to monitor the condition of critical components and identify any abnormal or excessive forces is useful for identifying issues or wear. This information is critical for preventive maintenance, identifying the root causes of problems, and extending the equipment’s lifespan.

In the construction industry, heavy equipment is extensively used for retail, commercial and civic construction projects. Interface supplies load cells, tension links, load shackles, load pins and other measurement solutions for testing and monitoring.

Excavators are equipped with a hydraulic arm and a bucket, allowing them to dig, excavate, and move enormous amounts of earth, debris, or materials. Sensors are used in design, performance monitoring and maintenance of this type of machinery.

Loaders are powerful machines used for loading materials onto trucks, stockpiling, and general material handling. Overloading is the most common failure. Testing loads for these machines used in construction sites, quarries, and mining operations ensures safety and compliance.

Bulldozers need to be evaluated for earthmoving and grading projects. Rigorous force measurement evaluations help to validate power and maneuverability.

Cranes extensively utilize sensors, including load pins and tension links. During crane lifting capacity tests, force sensors are used to verify if a design for the crane can handle the loads it is required to lift and carry while in movement. This can be done with a variety of different force sensors. Interface tension link sensors are a smart choice as it can be used inbetween the crane hook and the load to provide a more accurate reading on the force. This example of force testing is critical to not only moving the required load, but also in verifying that the crane is safe to operate around workers below. If the crane lift capacity cannot be verified, individuals below the crane are at risk of massive loads dropping from great heights.

Lifts depend on sensors. In the shipping and transportation industry, heavy equipment must have carrying capacities verified or the machines and vehicles may break down or lose control due to excessive loading. In addition, operators need to be cognizant of their load limits and current use in cases. This verification is done using load cells in the testing of the vehicle, but load cells are also used at truck stops with weigh stations. Interface load cells can provide fully accurate data at extremely high weight. In addition, the engines on these trucks need to be able to move the vehicle while under large loads. For this challenge, torque transducers can be used to evaluate and refine an engine’s capability to move vehicles at required loads.

Interface sensors are used in the test and monitoring of maritime heavy equipment, both onshore and near-shore. Cranes and forklifts used in moving cargo plus maritime equipment used for securing lines often use sensor technologies. We also supply measurement devices used for heavy equipment that is submersible. This includes engine testing, mooring and fishing lines, boat hoists and more. Interface offers a complete lineup of sealed sensors that excel while submerged, allowing maritime users to test equipment in real time.

Included below, we have outlined a few heavy machinery testing examples in which Interface products were used:

Gantry Crane Weighing

Gantry cranes are used for several mobile and lifting applications within industrial or construction environments. A weighing system is needed to see if the gantry crane can manage lifting heavy containers or loads, preventing crane failure or accidents. Interface’s WTSLP Wireless Stainless Steel Load Pins can be installed into the corners of the lifting mechanism of the gantry crane, where heavy loaded containers are lifted and moved. The force results are then wireless transmitted to both the WTS-BS-1-HS Wireless Handheld Display for Single Transmitters, or directly to the customer’s PC with the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station. Using this solution, a customer can monitor the loads lifted from their gantry crane with Interface’s Wireless Telemetry System and determine whether their gantry crane was able to manage lifting heavy loads.

Overall, force measurement provides valuable insights into the performance, safety, and reliability of heavy equipment, enabling designers, manufacturers, and operators to make informed decisions and ensure efficient and safe operation.

We have a wide range of solutions for the design and testing challenges of heavy equipment used for lifting, weighing, and measuring force and torque. Contact us for any help you need with heavy equipment solutions.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Infrastructure Projects Rely on Interface

Lifting Solutions

Weighing Solutions Brochure

Heavy Truck Test and Measurement Solutions

Force Measurement Solutions for the Construction Industry

Bridge Construction Wind Monitoring

Solutions to Advance Agriculture Smart Farming and Equipment

Why Machine and Equipment Manufacturers Choose Interface

LIFTING: Lifting Heavy Objects

LIFTING: Crane Block Safety Check

LIFTING: Crane Force Regulation

Rigging Engineers Choose Interface Measurement Solutions

Interface supports rigging engineers who design, plan, and oversee the rigging of heavy loads by providing high accuracy measurement solutions. Rigging is the process of using ropes, chains, and other lifting equipment to move and position large objects.

Rigging engineers typically work in maritime, construction, manufacturing, entertainment and energy industries. Interface is also seeing a growing demand for sensor technologies used by rigging engineers that work in aerospace, both for aircraft and space vehicle manufacturers.

The use of load cells to measure the weight of heavy loads, such as cranes, ships, rockets, theater equipment and machinery is on the rise. Rigging engineers use the data from load cells, load pins, load shackles, and tension links to ensure that the loads are not overloaded and that the rigging systems are properly designed for each use case. This often requires pairing the high accuracy sensor with instrumentation. For versatility wireless telemetry systems are useful for rigging engineers.

These vital engineering positions are responsible for rigging up and down cranes, loading and unloading ships, or moving heavy equipment around a factory floor. Rigging engineers that design and plan rigging systems for lifting and transporting heavy loads across various industries rely on accurate measurement data. They often oversee the rigging of heavy loads, ensuring that it is done safely and efficiently. They inspect rigging equipment for wear and tear, and make repairs as needed while maintaining records of rigging operations. Sensors and instrumentation play an important role.

Load cells are an important tool for rigging engineers. They provide valuable information that can be used to ensure the safety of rigging operations, whether they are for mooring tension tests in the maritime industry or for lifting an aircraft for wind tunnel testing. Load cells can be used in a variety of ways by rigging engineers. For example, they can be used to:

  • Monitor the weight of a load in real time. This information can be used to make sure that the load does not exceed the safe lifting capacity of the rigging system. Sensors are often integrated into conveyor systems, hoppers, and other equipment to measure the weight or force being exerted. These devices are often used in industries like mining, agriculture, and manufacturing.
  • Create a load map. A load map is a visual representation of the weight distribution of a load. This information can be used to ensure that the load is evenly distributed, and that the rigging system is properly designed no matter the size of structure or component.
  • Set overload limits. Overload limits are set to prevent the rigging system from being overloaded. If the weight of a load exceeds the overload limit, an alarm will sound, and the rigging system will be shut down.
  • Record load data. Load data can be recorded and used to track the weight of loads over time. This information can be used to identify trends and patterns that may indicate a need for maintenance or repairs.
  • Secure equipment. The information from force and weight sensors is critical when lifting and securing equipment, such as appartus used in the entertainment sector, from arial arts rigging to stage set-up.

Rigging engineers use load pins, load shackles, and tension links in a variety of applications to measure and monitor loads, weight and tensions in different lifting and rigging operations.

  • Crane and Hoist Monitoring: Load pins, load shackles, and tension links are commonly used in cranes and hoists to measure the load being lifted. These devices can be integrated into the lifting mechanism to provide real-time load monitoring, ensuring that the load remains within safe working limits. Application examples: Gantry Crane Weighing and Crane Force Regulation App Note
  • Heavy Lifting and Rigging: Load measurement technologies are used in heavy lifting and rigging operations to measure the tension in cables, ropes, and other lifting components. By monitoring the tension, rigging engineers can ensure that the load is evenly distributed, and that the lifting equipment is not overloaded. Application examples: Lifting Heavy Objects and Aircraft Lifting Equipment
  • Load Testing: Sensors are utilized in load testing scenarios to assess the strength and performance of lifting equipment, such as cranes, hoists, and winches. These devices provide accurate load measurements during the testing process, helping engineers determine if the equipment meets the required safety standards. Application examples: Rescue Helicopter Hoist Test and Harness Durability Testing
  • Offshore and Marine Applications: Due to the ruggedized designs of Interface load pins, load shackles, and tension links, we see extensive use in offshore and maritime operations. They are employed in various lifting and mooring applications, including lifting heavy equipment onto offshore platforms, measuring tension in mooring lines, and monitoring loads on anchor systems. Application examples: Mooring Line Tension Testing App Note and Maritime Measurement Solutions for Onshore and Submersible Applications
  • Infrastructure and Civil Engineering Projects: Load cells, load pins, load shackles, and tension links are actively used in construction and civil engineering projects for load monitoring purposes. They can be used in applications such as measuring loads on temporary structures, monitoring tension in cables and suspension systems, and ensuring safe load distribution during construction operations. Application examples: Power Line Tension Testing and Monitoring the Seismic Force of a Suspension Bridge

In all these applications, rigging engineers are using crucial data about loads, tensions, and forces, to ensure safety, optimize performance, and prevent equipment failures.

Load cells and measurement solutions can help to prevent overloading of rigging systems, which can lead to accidents and injuries. Accurate sensors help to improve the efficiency of rigging operations by providing real-time weight data. This information can be used to adjust the rigging system as needed, which can help to reduce the amount of time and effort required to lift and transport heavy loads.

Learn more about Interface’s Lifting Solutions and Weighing Solutions for Rigging Engineers with these resources:

Aerial Arts Rig

Theater Rigging System

WTS Yacht Rigging Inspection App Note

Bridge Construction Wind Monitoring

Aircraft Engine Hoist

Innovative Interface Lifting Solutions

Aerial Lift Overload Control

Weighing: Gantry Crane Weighing

Innovative Interface Lifting Solutions

Interface sensors are utilized in lifting applications to accurately measure the weight or force being exerted on the lifting equipment of all sizes. Our lifting solutions include load cells, load pins, tension links and shackles, wireless technologies, and instrumentation. It is common to see our sensors integrated into hoists, cranes, and lifting devices to provide precise load measurements.

Interface lifting solutions apply to a wide range of industries and settings, including construction sites, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, transportation, healthcare facilities, maritime docks, aircraft testing and assembly, and more. Lifting applications can vary, such as loading and unloading goods, positioning heavy equipment or machinery, transferring patients in healthcare settings, or lifting materials for construction purposes.

Our load cells, load pins and shackles assist in monitoring loads for heavy lifting equipment operators to remain within safe working limits and prevent overloading. Interface tension links and tension load cells are used for measuring lifting or pulling heavy loads with chains, cables, or ropes. The sensors measure the tension in the lifting element, providing feedback on the load being lifted and ensuring it remains within safe limits. Check out our Lifting Solutions Overview for complete details.

Top Interface Lifting Solutions

References of lifting equipment include cranes, hoists, forklifts, aerial work platforms, lifts, jacks, and various types of rigging and slings. These equipment types are designed to provide mechanical advantage, leverage, or power to lift, suspend, move, or position loads safely and efficiently. By leveraging sensor technologies, the benefits include increased safety for the operator, enhanced productivity, and efficiency optimization of load management. Additional benefits include predictive maintenance, plus smart and innovative utilization for modernization of projects and equipment.

Rigging engineers, whether working in testing environments from concert venues to rocket testing sites, use high-accuracy sensor technologies to ensure the safe and efficient movement of heavy equipment, machinery, and materials using cranes, hoists, pulleys, and other lifting devices. They are involved in the entire rigging process, from the initial assessment and design of rigging systems to overseeing the actual lifting operations.

Safety is of utmost importance in all lifting applications due to the potential risks associated with heavy loads, heights, and moving parts. The use of load monitoring devices such as load cells, tension links, load pins, or load shackles are critical to ensure the safe execution of lifting operations.

When Interface defines lifting applications, we are referring to the actions of objects, materials, or loads that are raised, lowered, or moved vertically or horizontally using lifting equipment or mechanisms. For use of our measurement solutions, these lifting applications involve the use of specialized equipment designed to safely and efficiently handle various types of loads.

In the construction industry, Interface load cells and load pins are integrated into smart cranes and construction equipment to provide real-time monitoring of the loads being lifted or carried. Lifting beams and spreader bars need high-accuracy measurement on the site. These sensors accurately measure the weight or force exerted on the equipment and provide data on the load’s status, ensuring safe operation within specified limits. This information can be used to prevent overloading, optimize load distribution, and enhance operational safety and prevent failure of any machinery.

Infrastructure demands durability, quality and accuracy of measurement. Interface load cells, tension links, load pins, and load shackles are employed in load testing applications to verify the strength and capacity of various lifting structures and equipment. They are used for a range of applications, including crane verification and safety monitoring, hoist monitoring, winch measurements, elevator suspension systems, lifting cables, overload alarms, and load testing. These tests measure the applied load and assess the structural integrity. Load cells or load shackles are often temporarily attached to lifting points or incorporated into the testing rig to capture accurate load data.

The maritime industry uses Interface measurement devices in crane systems, winches, and lifting equipment onboard ships, on offshore platforms, or vessels. These ruggedized and often submersible sensors ensure that loads are properly managed and controlled, enabling safe and efficient lifting operations in challenging marine environments. Check out this Boat Hoist application note.

Warehouses and logistics use load cells or load pins for shipping container handling, pallet weighing, conveyor systems and freight and cargo monitoring. The sensors can be easily integrated into forklifts to measure the weight of the lifted load, ensuring safe lifting, and preventing overloading.

Interface load cells and sensor technologies are also being used in applications for patient lifting and transfer. Load cells or load shackles can be integrated into patient lifting and transfer equipment, such as hoists or patient slings, hospital beds and therapy equipment. These sensors help monitor the load and ensure safe and comfortable transfers for patients and caregivers.

By integrating Interface solutions into lifting applications, the result is enhanced safety, improved efficiency, and optimization of load management. Real-time data from sensors allows for precise control, early detection of anomalies, and preventive maintenance, ensuring smooth and secure lifting operations, whether that is for a patient in a hospital or a cargo load moving from dock to ship.

Interface offers standard products for lifting, as well as custom and OEM lifting solutions.  Contact our application engineers to learn more about what type of lifting solution is best for your requirements.

Lifting Solutions Brochure

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Aircraft Engine Hoist

Theater Rigging System

Patient Hoyer Lift

IoT Lifting Heavy Objects App Note

Interface Solutions for Lifting Applications

Cranes and Lifting

Aircraft Lifting Equipment App Note

Aerial Lift Overload Control

Tension Load Cells 101

A tension load cell is a type of force sensor used to measure tensile forces in materials, structures, or machines. It is used to measure the maximum load that a material can support without fracture when being pulled or stretched under the applied load. A strain gage manufactured inside the load cell sensor measures the deformation and converts it into an electrical signal.

The main difference between a tension load cell and a compression load cell is the direction in which they measure the force being pushed or pulled. Though most Interface high performance load cells are designed for both tension and compression, specific load cells are calibrated in tension only to measure forces that pull or stretch a structure. As the load cell stretches, it measures the resulting force.

It is customary practice for most labs to use tension and compression load cells, then determine its specific tension use case based on the requirements of a test project or product design. Tension and compression load cells are easily used for tension only but will measure both. Load cells can be calibrated in either tension or compression, and both tension and compression. The combined is more economical for test labs and most use cases.

Benefits of Tension Load Cells

Load cells that measure tension are preferred over other types of load cells when the force being measured is tensile in nature. They are accurate, reliable, and can be calibrated to suit different applications and environments. Additionally, they are easy to use and require minimal maintenance.

Accurate measurement of tensile forces: Tension-only load cells are specifically designed to measure tensile forces accurately, without being influenced by compressive or bending forces. This makes them ideal for applications where the force being measured is purely tensile, such as in the testing of cables, wires, ropes, or chains used in lifting applications and equipment. Interface Tension Links are preferred for these types of lifting and weighing use cases.

High sensitivity and resolution: Tension-only load cells typically have high sensitivity and resolution, meaning they can detect slight changes in the applied force. This makes them useful in applications where precise measurements are required, such as in the testing of materials with low tensile strength.

Easy installation: Tension-only load cells are typically easy to install and use, requiring minimal setup time and equipment. They are often designed with attachment points or hooks for attaching to the load being measured, which makes them convenient for use in the field or in a testing lab.

Durability and reliability: Tension-only load cells are often constructed from durable materials, such as stainless steel, which makes them resistant to corrosion and wear over time. They are also designed to provide reliable and consistent measurements, ensuring accuracy and consistency in test results.

Tension Load Cell Applications

Tension load cells are standard and their versatility in application use makes them popular in test and measurement. Tension load cells are used for test and measurement industry applications including in manufacturing, automotive, energy, aerospace, and infrastructure. For example, the transportation sector uses load cells to measure the tension in cables, wires, ropes, and chains. They are used in a diverse range of testing equipment to measure the strength and durability of materials. They are designed to provide accurate and reliable measurements of tensile loads and can be calibrated to suit different applications and environments.

Tension load cells are commonly used in applications for material testing to evaluate the tensile strength and elasticity of varied materials, such as metals, plastics, and composites. Tension testing is a valuable tool in materials science and engineering, as it provides valuable information about the tensile properties of a material. Some examples of tension testing include:

  • Determining the strength of a material: Tension testing provides a way to measure the maximum load a material can withstand before it breaks or fails. This information is crucial in determining the strength of a material and its suitability for different applications.
  • Understanding the ductility of a material: Tension testing can also be used to measure the amount of deformation a material can undergo before it breaks. This information is important in determining the ductility of a material and its ability to withstand bending and stretching without breaking.
  • Identifying defects or weaknesses in a material: Tension testing can help identify defects or weaknesses in a material that may cause it to fail under stress. By subjecting a material to increasing levels of tension, engineers can pinpoint the point at which the material fails and investigate the cause of the failure.
  • Comparing the properties of varied materials: Tension testing can also be used to compare the tensile properties of different materials. This information is useful in selecting the best material for a specific application and designing structures that can withstand the required loads.

Tensile Testing For 3D Materials

A customer wants to conduct a tensile force test on different 3D printing materials until failure. These different 3D printing materials being tested included PLA, PETG and ASA to see how they performed. The customer wanted to test the materials quality, strength, ductility, and stiffness. Interface recommended using our 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile™ Load Cell be installed into the customer’s test frame. The tensile test is conducted, and force results captured by the load cell are synced through the INF-USB3 Universal Serial Bus Single Channel PC Interface Module. These results can be displayed on the customer’s computer with supplied software.

Tension load cells are used in structural testing to measure the tension in structures used in construction, aerospace, maritime, and infrastructure. For example, tension load cells are commonly used for bridges, buildings, and towers, to ensure they can withstand the forces in their design and application.

Tension load cells are often used within manufacturing machines and equipment for monitoring and real-time force measurement. For example, in a facility they are used to measure the tension in cables or wires during production, to ensure they meet the required specifications and are safe for use.

Research and development for all types of applications need to assess the tensile properties of new materials or structures, to assess their suitability for different applications, from medical devices to product simulations.

If your next project needs an accurate tension load cell, contact our application experts to see which model best fits your exact requirements.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Interface Solutions for Material Testing Engineers

Tensile Testing for 3D Materials App Note

Testing Lab Essentials Webinar

Bolt Tension Monitoring

Mooring Line Tension Testing App Note

Tension Links 101

Benefits of Proof Loading Verification

Proof loading is a critical test that is performed on sensors or load cells to verify their performance and accuracy under extreme conditions. Engineers may need to request proof loading verification to ensure that the sensors or other measuring devices being used in a particular application are accurate, reliable, and safe for use.

Upon request, Interface provides proof loading at the build phase of engineered-to-order load cells, as well as load pins, load shackles and tension links. By simple definition, proof loading is a safe overload rating for a sensor.

Load proofing is a special test that guarantees the sensor performs at maximum capacity before it’s released to the customer. If a manufacturer does proof loading, it will be documented in the sensors specifications that are shipped with the product. It is commonly requested for sensors that are used in lifting applications.

Additionally, quality engineers and testing professionals may request proof loading as part of quality control or compliance requirements. By ensuring that sensors and load cells are tested and validated before use, companies can ensure that they meet regulatory standards and maintain a high level of quality in their products and services.

The Proof Loading Process

By requesting proof loading, sensor users can verify the accuracy and reliability of sensors and load cells and ensure that they are functioning correctly and within their specified limits. Proof loading can also identify any issues or problems with sensors or load cells before they are put into service, allowing for repairs or replacements to be made if necessary.

Proof loading for sensors is a process of subjecting a sensor to a higher-than-normal load or stress to confirm that it can withstand that load or stress without any permanent damage or deviation from its calibration. The purpose of proof loading is to validate the accuracy and reliability of the sensor under extreme conditions, ensuring that it will perform correctly when it is in service.

During proof loading, the sensor is exposed to a controlled overload, typically between 150% to 200% of its maximum rated capacity. The sensor’s response to the load is monitored, and the output is compared to its expected behavior. If the sensor performs within acceptable limits and returns to its pre-loaded state after the load is removed, it is considered to have passed the proof load test.

When should you request proof loading for a load cell?

Proof loading for a load cell should be requested when there is a need to verify its calibration and ensure its accuracy and reliability under extreme conditions. This is particularly important when the load cell is used in safety-critical applications, such as in crane and hoist systems, industrial weighing and process control systems, and structural testing applications.

Proof loading is commonly used for sensors that are used in safety-critical applications, such as load cells used in cranes and hoists, pressure transducers used in oil and gas pipelines, and temperature sensors used in furnace applications. By performing proof loading tests, manufacturers and end-users can have greater confidence in the performance and reliability of their sensors, which can improve overall safety and efficiency.

In general, there are several situations where it is advisable to request proof loading for a load cell:

  • Before critical applications: In safety-critical applications, such as those involving lifting, handling, and transportation of heavy loads, a proof load test should be performed before the load cell is put into service to ensure that it can handle the required load without any issues.
  • After installation: It is recommended to perform a proof load test on the load cell immediately after installation to ensure that it is functioning correctly and within its specified limits.
  • After repair or maintenance: If the load cell has undergone repair or maintenance, a proof load test can be used to verify that it is still performing accurately and within its specifications.
  • After an extended period of non-use: If the load cell has not been used for an extended period, it may be necessary to perform a proof load test to ensure that it is still functioning correctly.

It is important to note that proof loading should only be performed by qualified and trained personnel using the appropriate equipment and procedures. This will ensure that the load cell is not damaged during the testing process and that it continues to perform accurately and reliably after the test is completed.

Proof loading is particularly important in safety-critical applications such as in the construction industry, transportation industry, and other industrial applications where lifting and handling heavy loads are involved. In these applications, the accuracy and reliability of sensors and load cells are crucial, as any inaccuracies or deviations from the expected behavior can result in dangerous and costly accidents.

Overall, proof loading is an essential test that engineers may need to request to ensure the safety and reliability of sensors and load cells in various industrial applications.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

IoT Lifting Heavy Objects

Cranes and Lifting

Recap of Use Cases for Load Pins Webinar

Tension Links 101

Aircraft Lifting Equipment App Note

 

Entertainment Venue Force Measurement and Monitoring Solutions

There is a great deal of critical sensor technology used to design, build, and monitor venue infrastructure and the public before and during events. Venues management, architects, product makers and engineers take inordinate steps to protect people from bodily harm, risks, and hazard-related threats. This also includes the detailed real-time monitoring for venue infrastructure, staging, equipment such as speakers and monitors, and special apparatus used for entertainment, whether it be musical, theatrical or sports related.

Interface provides torque and force measurement solutions to the global entertainment and amusement industry used in entertainment venues around the world. To ensure attendee safety of any event, force measurement sensors are ideal for monitoring of large pieces of equipment and infrastructure. This is especially critical for outdoor venues where the elements, such as wind and rain, can pose serious safety hazards.

From the monitoring of backstage rigging devices to heavy lifting equipment for sets and lighting, Interface offers a broad range of measurement and weighing solutions. Our products are used for staging, displays, filming and drone equipment, as well as theme park machines and robotics, as detailed in our Entertainment Solutions Overview.

In addition to real time monitoring, the tried and true use for force measurement sensors is in testing during the development and design stages. The entertainment industry is experimenting with a wide variety of new and engaging experiences for the audience, a lot of which involves massive infrastructure or robotics and animatronics. During live entertainment, you never want to put something as technical and complex as a mobile stage or robotic personality out in front of people without thorough testing. Interface sensors have been used to test these types of applications. Accuracy of our products ensures the manufacturers receives the data they need to confirm and produce designs used for and by various forms of entertainment.

We have recently put together a wide variety of applications notes outlining these exact types of entertainment industry applications used in venues to demonstrate how Interface products help to meet compliance requirements, improve safety, and mitigate risks for patrons, crews, entertainers, athletes, and staff while providing an entertaining experience.

Outdoor Festival Venue Wind Monitoring

An outdoor festival was occurring in a large outdoor venue for multiple days. Outdoor stages pose a risk towards high wind speeds, which need to be monitored in case a storm passes through. This is to ensure safety for all personnel on site of the festival to avoid any accidents. Interface suggested installing the WTS-WSS Wireless Wind Speed Transmitter Module on the outdoor stage. Wind speed results were wirelessly transmitted to the customer’s PC through WTS-BS-4 Wireless Base Station with USB Interface in Industrial Enclosure. It can also be transmitted to the WTS-BS-1 Wireless Handheld Display for Unlimited Transmitters Data can be displayed, logged, and graphed with supplied Log100 software. Interface’s WTS-WSS Wireless Wind Speed Transmitter Module combined with Interface’s Wireless Telemetry System was perfect to monitor the wind speed during the outdoor festival. Read more here.

Venue LED Screens

A customer constructing a huge venue wanted to weigh their very large LED screens. They also wanted to measure the force of the structure that is supporting the screens, to ensure stability and structural integrity. Interface suggested their LW General Purpose Load Washer Load Cells be assembled within rods that are part of the support structure. The LED screen hung off the structure, which connects to the rods. The compression forces applied to the rod were measured by the LW’s installed in between. The load washers were paired with WTS-AM-1E Wireless Strain Bridge Transmitter Modules, where the force results are wirelessly transmitted to both the WTS-BS-1 Wireless Handheld Display for Unlimited Transmitters and the WTS-BS-4 Wireless Base Stations with included Log100 software. Interface’s wireless load washer system successfully weighed the forces of the large LED screen for the customer’s new venue.

Venue Animatronics

Animatronics are used throughout entertainment industry. From amusement and theme parks to movie sets, animatronics need to be accurately calibrated when they move, therefore the torque of the limbs must be tested. Interface’s MRTP Miniature Overload Protected Flange Style Reaction Torque Transducer were connected to the servo motors in the limbs of the animatronics that make it move. The customer monitoring the animatronics viewed torque results on their PC when the transducers are connected to the BX8-AS BlueDAQ Series Data Acquisition with Industrial Enclosure. Using this solution, the customer was able to record the force results of his metal bending machine with Interface’s Wireless Telemetry System.

This is just a sample of the entertainment industry applications Interface force sensors can serve. We’re also heavily involved in provide standard and customized solutions used in testing and monitoring drones, touch screen calibration, equipment and infrastructure testing, and more.