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Specifying Accuracy Requirements When Selecting Load Cells

When selecting a load cell, it is important that your selection matches the type of application use case. If it is for general test and measurement requirements, a load cell model and capacity may differ from a load cell you design into a product or machine.

The first place to start in your transducer selection process of a load cell is to identify what you want to measure and your tolerance in accuracy.

Other questions will define the type of load cell, capacity, and measured specs. Do you want to measure tension, compression only, tension and compression, torque, or something else like pressure? What are your cycle counts for testing? What is the amount of measurement range you require? How controlled will the force be, both in orientation and magnitude consistency?

Once you identify early characteristic requirements for how you use the sensor, it is easier to begin evaluating options to optimize measurement accuracy.

Several aspects impact the accuracy of a load cell measurement, including:

  • Sensor Specifications
  • Mounting configuration
  • Calibration type
  • Instrumentation
  • Cables
  • Uncertainty of calibration

Every load cell should have a detailed specification datasheet that outlines key performance factors by model and size.

This post begins in defining specifications for accuracy as outlined for every Interface manufactured load cell. These accuracy-related specifications include:

  • Static Error Band %FS – The band of maximum deviations of the ascending and descending calibration points from a best fit line through zero output. It includes the effects of nonlinearity, hysteresis, and non-return to minimum load.
  • Nonlinearity %FS – The algebraic difference between output at a specific load and the corresponding point on the straight line drawn between minimum load and maximum load.
  • Hysteresis %FS – The algebraic difference between output at a given load descending from maximum load and output at the same load ascending from minimum load.
  • Nonrepeatability %RO – The band of maximum deviations of the ascending and descending calibration points from a best fit line through zero output. It includes the effects of nonlinearity, hysteresis, and non-return to minimum load.
  • Creep % – The change in load cell signal occurring with time while under load and with all environmental conditions and other variables remaining constant. Expressed as % applied load over specific time interval.
  • Eccentric Load Sensitivity: ECCENTRIC LOAD – Any load applied parallel to but not concentric with the primary axis. Results in moment load. SIDE LOAD – Any load at the point of axial load application at 90° to the primary axis.

Interface load cells are designed for precision, quality, and accuracy. Though the ranges may differ in specifications slightly, most of the performance data will far exceed industry standards. As we always say, Interface is the standard for load cell accuracy.

We will be outlining additional impacts on accuracy in upcoming posts. If you have questions on any product and specifications, as to whether it is the right load cell for your use case, contact us for help.

Additional Resources

Contributing Factors To Load Cell Accuracy

Application Notes

Accuracy Matters for Weighing and Scales

Interface Ensures Premium Accuracy and Reliability for Medical Applications

Interface Accelerates Accuracy in Test and Measurement

Interface Presents Load Cell Basics

I’ve Got a Load Cell Now What? Episodes 1 and 2

I’ve Got a Load Cell Now What? Episodes 3 and 4

I’ve Got a Load Cell – Now What? Episodes 3 and 4

Continuing our review of the popular webinar series, I’ve Got a Load Cell – Now What?, we are detailing the third and fourth episodes. The focus of these two installments is documentation that you should expect with every load cell and the fundamentals of load cell output.

Digging into documentation is an important subject for anyone that is buying or using load cells for test and measurement. It is also a differentiator in the quality and type of manufacturer that makes your device. The details provided in load cell documentation validates the characteristics and performance, as well as experience and craftmanship used in the engineering and construction of your load cell.

When quality and accuracy matters, documentation and certification are critical verification evidence.

Load Cell Documentation: Datasheets and Calibration Certificates

Interface provides detailed datasheets for every load cell model number. On the top of the datasheet, the Interface model number precedes the description of the load cell’s primary characteristics, such as 1200 Standard Load Cell. The Interface Calibration Certification accompanies every sensor device we manufacturer and ship from our U.S. headquarters, confirming the final condition prior to release. Interface calibrates every load cell we make before it leaves our facilities as part of our performance guarantee.

INTERFACE DATASHEET FUNDAMENTALS

  • Features and Benefits
  • Standard Configuration and Drawings
  • Dimensions
  • Specification Parameters Based on Model and Capacity
  • Detailed Measurement and Performance Data for Accuracy, Temperature, Electrical and Mechanical
  • Options
  • Connection Options
  • Accessories

Special note for datasheet reviews, the models that use the same form factor are often on the same datasheet with varying capacity measuring ranges in U.S. (lbf) and Metric (kN) information.  All Interface datasheets are available for review and download for every product we offer, including load cells, torque transducers, multi-axis sensors, mini load cells, load pins and load shackles, instrumentation and accessories.

INTERFACE CALIBRATION CERTIFICATES DETAILSIQ

  • Model Number
  • Serial Number
  • Bridge and Capacity
  • Procedures
  • Input and Output Resistance
  • Zero Balance
  • Test Conditions: Temperature, Humidity and Excitation
  • Traceability
  • Shunt Calibration
  • Performance Test Data of Test Load Applied and Recorded Readings
  • Authorized Approval

The performance information detailed on the certificate is important for how it was calibrated, how it performed at release, system health checks and troubleshooting. Watch the episode #3 of I’ve Got a Load Cell – Now What? for additional information about datasheets and cal certs.

Fundamentals of Load Cell Output

Load cells are used in one of two ways, either universal (bipolar) or single mode (unipolar). Bipolar is for measuring tension and compression. Unipolar is for measuring either tension or compression. This use type will dictate what output you will get from the load cell. Most Interface load cells are a tension upscale device, which means you will get a positive output when it is placed in tension.

Standard load cells are usually unamplified mV/V ratio metric output. Interface does offer amplification signals for our load cells, which is a common request when pairing with a data acquisition system. In episode #4 of I’ve Got A Load Cell – Now What?, Elliot provides an example of mV/V ratio metric when using a 5000 lbf LowProfile Load Cell with our 9840 Instrumentation.

For questions about datasheets, calibration certifications or performance and capacities, please contact our application engineers.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Interface 1200 Precision LowProfile Load Cell Series Product Highlight

Load Cell Basics Technical Q&A Part One

Load Cell Basics Technical Q&A Part Two

Understanding Load Cell Temperature Compensation

Load Cell Basics Sensor Specifications

 

Get an Inside Look at Interface’s Famously Blue Load Cells

Interface “blue” load cells have been utilized for millions of test and measurement projects and programs around the world.  Since the invention of Interface’s LowProfile® Load Cell, the world’s most popular pancake style load cell series has become a standard for testing engineers and lab technicians for more than five and half decades.  Today, Interface has more than 60 different types of Load Cells, including our line of Mini Load Cells.

Interface load cells come in capacities ranging from 1 lbf (500 gf) to 2 million lbf (9,000 kN). As a U.S.-based manufacturer, our extensive production and engineering facilities produce several shapes and sizes of our Interface load cells, as well as calibrate every model before it leaves our facilities.

Our expansive line of sensor models includes pancake and donut styled load cells in our LowProfile® Load Cell series and thru-hole load cells. Additionally, we offer canister, rod end, downhole, column, coil tubing, load buttons, and load washers. All of these models use Interface’s proprietary alloy strain gages to provide higher output, higher signal to noise ratio, higher resolution and superior fatigue life. This helps us build the most accurate and reliable sensors for test and measurement applications.

What makes Interface’s LowProfile Load Cells a top pick?

Here is a look inside our famous blue load cell, highlighting the top reasons Interface is selected for accuracy, quality and performance.

Interface’s load cell model that has the highest demand and usage is the 1200 Precision LowProfile series. They are used in all types of industry applications, from Material Tensile Testing to Aircraft Lifting Equipment Tests. It’s followed closely by the 1000 Fatigue-Rated LowProfile series and 1100 Ultra Precision Load Cell series.  Every series has multiple configuration and capacity options. For example, the 1200 series provides off-the-shelf model options including:

1200 Standard Precision LowProfile® Load Cell

1200 and 1201 Series 3-Wire Amplified Load Cell Universal or Compression-Only

WTS 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile® Wireless Load Cell

1200 High-Capacity Standard Precision LowProfile® Load Cell

1201 Compression-Only Standard Precision LowProfile® Load Cell

Every designed load cell can also be engineered-to-order or customized to unique specifications.

The accuracy of data, engineered designs, proprietary strain gages, comprehensive specifications, quality inspections, detailed certifications and multiple calibrations of every load cell to ensure performance make the top of the list as to why Interface is considered best in class.

Here is an opportunity to get another inside look at the Interface LowProfile Load Cell:

If you are interested in reviewing this insider’s view with SI measurements, go here.

Take a closer look at the advantages of Interface’s LowProfile Load Cell in this cutaway view.

LowProfile Cutaway

New Additions to Interface Product Catalog

Every month our team at Interface adds new technologies and solutions to our extensive product catalog.  This year, we’ve added several new force measurement devices and supporting instrumentation to use in test & measurement projects, as well to create complete systems.  The following highlight some of these new additions.

NEW INTERFACE PRODUCTS

The following products are the latest additions to our robust line of standard load cells and torque transducers offerings, along with several new instrumentation options available for pairing with different sensor models.

TORQUE TRANSDUCERS

AT105 Contactless Force Torque Transducer

Highly accurate and maintenance free, contactless, rotating, torque force sensor with digital signal transmission from rotor to stator.

AT104 Compact Size Force/Torque TransducerAT104 Compact Size Force Torque Transducer

Reliable and durable reaction torque force sensor that is ideal for testing in small places, it is non-rotating, often used with a very short axial length.

LOAD CELLS

IPCD Pressure Compensated Downhole Load Cell

Superior to hydraulically compensated wet load cells provides high accuracy, is maintenance free and pressure compensated up to 20,000 PSI and temperature compensated up to 350°F.

MBS Parallelogram Load Cell

The mini load cell is made of lightweight aluminum construction is available is capacities from 2.2 to 100 lbf (9.8 to 445 N).

WSSB Welded Stainless Steel IP68 Environment Protected S-Beam

Ideal for measuring both tension and compressive forces has standard metric threads at each end of the load cell designed to accept standard spherical seating rod-end bearings.

INSTRUMENTATION

9840TQ mV/V Input Torque Transducer Indicator

Provides a TEDS template 33 & 40 (3-point linearization) and is plug and play ready. It is IEEE1451.4 compliant with read and write capability with lbf-ft, lbf-in, N-m and mV/V measurement units.

BSC1 Single Channel PC Interface Module & Bridge Amplifier

A single channel 2.5 analog output, up to 10 mV/V input, 15-pin connector and USB powered and has graphing and logging software.

BSC2 Dual Channel PC Interface Module

Model offers 2-channels USB output, up to 10 mV/V input with two M12 connectors. It is USB powered and incudes graphing and logging software.

BX6-BT Portable 6-Channel High Speed Bluetooth Data Logger

A multi-channel amplifier with Bluetooth connection and data logger functions, which offers exceptionally many features in the smallest dimensions.

INF1-Ethernet TCP IP Single Sensor Weight Transmitter and Indicator

INF1 has a six-digit red LED display (8 mm height), space-saving compact design and four buttons for the system calibration.

INF4-EtherCat Two, Three, and Four Sensor Weight Transmitter and Indicator

INF4has a six-digit display in a compact design with four buttons for the system calibration, and a six indicator LED.

JB1100 4-Channel Advanced Signal Conditioning Transmitter Indicator and Junction Box

This is a multi-functional, compact 4-channel instrumentation solution ideal for PLC systems requiring weight data from load cells.

VSC2 Rugged Compact Vehicle Powered Signal Conditioner

This new model is a high accuracy precision differential amplifier designed for use in harsh environments with low thermal error and an operating range from -40 to +125 C.

When reviewing your options for instrumentation based on features such as type of output, required channels, added software, programmability, speed, logging and graphing capabilities, TEDS ready, and enclosures, be sure to utilize our new Instrumentation Selection Guide.

If you have technical questions or need assistance in choosing the right load cell or instrumentation, please contact our experts.  We are here to assist you.

Interface Calibration 101

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

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

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

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

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

Why Calibrate?

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

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

Interface Calibration Services

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

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

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

Calibration Services Process

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

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

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

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

 

Interface 1200 Precision LowProfile Load Cell Series Product Highlight

As a premier force measurement solutions manufacturer of more than 53 years, Interface has developed a giant catalog of more than 30,000 products that are standard, engineered-to-order and completely custom. We’ve seen nearly every challenge and complexity presented by our customer’s application requirements.

Load cells are what we know, inside and out. By design, testing, manufacturing, and calibrating, Interface is the trusted leader in quality load cells. This allows us to keep our finger on the pulse of the marketplace and develop products that meet the unique needs of a wide variety of industries.

From our earliest days, one product that has become truly an industry standard in load cells by popularity and by far the top pick for use in test labs and by product testing engineers is the 1200 Precision LowProfile® Load Cell.

When we originally released our first of its kind LowProfile Load Cell, Interface became an instant market leader in precision load cells.  In fact, our 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile Load Cell, designed for eccentric load compensated tension and compression force measurement, remains our most frequently purchased product every year. This pancake-style load cell is world-renowned for durability, accuracy, and performance.

The 1200 Model Series features and benefits include:

  • Proprietary Interface temperature compensated strain gages
  • Performance to .04%
  • High output – to 4 mV/V
  • 0008%/°F (.0015%/°C) temperature effect on output
  • Low deflection
  • Shunt calibration
  • Barometric compensation

In addition, it’s popularity amongst customers is due to the product’s versatility and customizability. There are multiple models available including the 1240, 1244, 1252, 1260, 1280, and 1290. In addition, the series is compatible with a host of base options, connectors, bridge options and overload protection. And like with all Interface products, our custom solutions team can work directly with you to meet your specific needs.

The 1200 series is used across a variety of industries for test and measurement applications. Included below are a few examples of the product in action expressed as application notes. Industries covered in these examples include aerospace, agriculture, and waste management.

AIRCRAFT LIFTING EQUIPMENT

An aerospace company wanted to check if the valves on their aircraft lifting equipment were working safely and properly. Interface’s recommended installing a 1200 Standard High Capacity Load Cell in between the aircraft testing rig and the lifting jack. The load cell can measure the load’s force safety valve when the lifting equipment opens. Results are then sent to the 9890 Strain Gage, Load Cell, & mV/V Indicator, where the customer can see it displayed in real-time. Using this solution, the customer was able to determine that the aircraft lifting equipment was working properly. Since they are ensured of its safe functionality, it can now be used on real aircrafts that need to be lifted. Read more here.

SILO GRAIN DISPENSING

A customer wants to measure and record the grain being put in and out of their grain dispensing container, as it dispenses content into a carrier truck for transportation. The customer also preferred a wireless solution. Interface suggested installing a WTS 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile™ Wireless Load Cells at the legs of the grain dispensing container. The 1200 can measure the distribution correlation of the grain as it inputted and outputted from the container. Results are transmitted and displayed using the WTS-BS-1-HA Handheld Display for multiple transmitters and logged and graphed using the WTS-BS-4 USB Industrial Base Station. Using this solution, the customer was able to log and graph the measurement results of the grain content that the silo dispenses into the grain dispensing container, and also when the grain is dispensed into the carrier truck.  Get more details here.

WASTE MANAGEMENT CONTAINER WEIGHING

A waste management company wanted to measure the capacity of their waste containers to know when it is time to dispose the waste. Interface provided Model WTS 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile™ Wireless Load Cells to be installed at the bottom of each waste container leg to measure the sum weight of the container. The real time weight data is then transmitted to the WTS-BS-4 USB Industrial Base Station with the supplied Log100 software. Using this solution, the customer was able to determine when their waste container was at full capacity to dispose of the waste, or to transfer it in a timely manner.

To learn more about load cell basics and watch our recorded webinar, go here.

Load Cell Basics Technical Q&A Part One

Interface recently hosted a webinar, Load Cell Basics, where our experts answered a series of questions from event attendees.  In the interest of sharing what we know and addressing some frequently asked inquiries, we are offering a new series in our Interface IQ blog entitled Interface Technical Q&A.  At the conclusion of our presentation, we had several questions related to the basics of load cells.  We will be answering them in two posts.  Here is the first list.

Why Does Interface Use Proprietary Strain Gages?

Strain gages are a key component to any load cell. Making our own strain gages gives Interface full control over our design and production, ensuring we can meet our specifications with certainty in quality, accuracy, and dependability. Interface strain gages are precision matched to the load cell material to counteract the temperature effect on output. We have different load cell materials and that means we use different strain gages for each type.

Our strain gages are simple in design, and we don’t use compensation resistors making them a more reliable circuit.  They don’t have to go through resistors; thus, the accuracy and precision measurement is more reliable and capable of faster thermal and higher outputs.

What Type of Temperature Testing Do You Do on Interface Load Cells?

Interface performs both hot and cold thermal compensation from 15˚ – 115˚F, including adjust and verify cycle. Most other manufacturers of load cells provide only the hot side (60˚ – 160˚F) testing. The slope of the curve is much flatter near room temperature and identical at both ends of the slope.  The result is minimal variation across the entire thermal range.  We also offer custom calibrated ranges by request. Read more about temperature compensation here.

Is Temperature Compensation Achieved Using Dummy Gages?

The simple answer is no. Interface does temperature compensation of output by matching the strain gage to the material temperature compensation of zero. This is achieved by using a wire in the circuit that opposite resistance changes to the circuit.

Do You Have Software to Read TEDS Available to Use with Interface Load Cells?

Interface does offer instruments that can use the TEDS data and instruments that can write the TEDS data to the chip. Interface has software that hooks up or attaches to the TEDS chip reader writer so that when we program a chip during manufacturing of load cells in our factory, we have software we use to complete this function.  We also do offer this software for commercial use.

Is it Acceptable to Regularly Use a Load Cell Above Its Specified Capacity?

The short answer is no.  You want to reserve the “above capacity” for accidents. We are aware that people will do this in practice and the load cell will typically work reasonably well above capacity.  The problem is you want to handle that the answer is no you’re consuming your safety factor and you don’t have any extra head room for something that goes wrong.  Also, using the load cell above capacity doesn’t exactly follow the same calibration curve.  As an example, if you are using a 10k load cell with a 10k calibration and you are running tests at 12k, you may have higher errors.  You can ask us to calibrate the load cell to the 12,000 lbs.; however, you must note this can reduce the safety factor and that is why we do not recommend it.

Does Variable Altitudes Impact Performance?

Interface does have the ability to handle different pressure scenarios. Interface sends our products out ventured, if necessary, to be able to tolerate pressure change without causing any zero shift. If you do have applications where you will have either high pressure requirements or pressure change throughout the test, we certainly have solutions that can accommodate that requirement.  Work with your application engineer to ensure you have the exact testing requirements detailed when you are ready to buy your next load cell.

Can Cables Influence Temperature Errors?

If you’re adding cable to the load cell and for example, you have a 10-foot cable you want to add 100 feet more of cable, that adds resistance. The lower gauged cable, the better. A 22-gauged cable is better than a 28-gauged cable, so use a thicker cable and it will have less resistance impact on the measurement.

Is Creep Due to Material or Strain Gages?

Essentially all the elements in the sensor and everything mechanical will respond to creep.  The goal is to match the creep behavior of the bridge to the creep behavior of the load cell material or the flexure. Yes, creep affects both, but you want the result to trend in the same direction so that you get minimal error or change in the signal because of creep.

Are All Load Cells Intrinsically Safe?

They are intrinsically safe devices; however, anytime there is a hazardous environment or intrinsic safety requirements, please contact an application engineer to review the sensor use case and to factor in all aspects of your testing and use environment.  The load cells are typically working off 5-volt 10-volt and you need to look at all aspects of the location. For more information about our specialized line visit load cells for harsh environments.

This is the first in a new series of Interface Technical Q&A.  Do you have a question for our technical experts?  Send an email to digmktg@interfaceforce.com and we will add it to a future post.  If you have an immediate question, be sure to contact us today and let us know how we can support you.  You can also reference our technical support resources online for help.

Contributors:  Keith Skidmore and Brian Peters

Additional Resources

Load Cell Basics Webinar Recap

Interface Load Cell Field Guide

Interface Solutions Designed for Infrastructure Challenges

All infrastructure, big and small, needs to be designed with safety and durability in mind. Take for instance the massive amount of design, engineering and quality control that goes into a suspension bridge requires testing before and after it’s built. Not only does it need to be constructed with supreme accuracy, but it also needs to be tested and monitored constantly to ensure it’s safe for use, especially as often infrastructure projects are exposed to extreme elements.

Among the various tools and technologies used to build and test infrastructure designs, sensors play a substantial role. Interface has served infrastructure industry suppliers and customers since our founding more than 50 years ago. Force and torque measurement products including Interface load cells, torque transducers, load pins, load shackles, tension links and instrumentation are involved in a wide variety of infrastructure applications including construction and maintenance of bridges, roads, transportation systems, communication structures, water and electrical facilities, and numerous inventions that are used to build, test, support, maintain and monitor performance of these critical projects around the world.

Accuracy and reliability of Interface solutions are a key factor in measuring structures and components that are exposed to hazardous or weather-related conditions, heavy loads and constant use. Our precision load cells, rugged load pins, wireless and digital instrumentation, along with multi-axis sensors and robust torque transducers are a top choice for those engaged in infrastructure engineering projects and testing.

A few examples of how Interface products have been used on infrastructure applications over the years are noted below. The following examples are also found with many others here /solutions/infrastructure/. 

Concrete Dam Flood Monitoring

A customer was looking for a solution to monitor a concrete dam and be notified when it reached high flooding levels. Interface provided WMC Miniature Sealed Stainless Steel Load Cells with multiple WTS-AM-1E Wireless Acquisition Modules connected to the load cells. This solution proved to be small enough and perfect for measuring compression and tension on the dam. The WMC Modules are installed on the arch of the dame and transmit data and notify the customer through Interface’s Wireless Telemetry System when flooding occurs. Check out the application here.

Hydropower Turbine Generator Monitoring

When a customer wants to monitor and detect turbine generator faults in their hydroelectric power plant located on a river, Interface can provide a T2 Ultra Precision Shaft Style Rotary Torque Transducer and attach it to the turbine generator with Interface’s Shaft Style Torque Transducer Couplings. When water from the river pushes through the penstock to the outflow, it moves the turbine blades, creating electricity through the generator shaft. Torsion measurements can be graphed and logged with the 9850 Torque Transducer and Load Cell Indicator catching any unusual fluctuations and vibrations. Using this solution, the customer can monitor, graph, and log the torque measurement results of the turbine generator. Learn more here.

Bridge Seismic Force Monitoring Solution

A customer wanted to monitor seismic activity that occurs to a bridge using force sensors to continuously monitor activity before, during and after earthquakes. They also wanted a wireless solution to avoid running long cables on the bridge. Interface provided an LP Load Pin custom made to fit the need. The load pin was used in conjunction with our WTS Wireless Telemetry System to monitor the force on the load without cables. Using this solution, the customer was able to monitor continuously, log results to the cloud and review the data. Read more here.

This is just a brief example of the applications throughout the infrastructure industry that Interface supports. A long list of additional applications that use Interface products includes:

Highways and Bridge Construction and Monitoring

Concrete Dam Measurement and Flood Monitoring

Transportation Heavy Equipment Testing

People Movers for Airports

Train Brakes Testing

Power Generation Equipment

Geotechnical Monitoring

Road Load Tests

Weight Bridges and Transportation Scales

Truck and Aircraft Weighing

Housing Mainframe and Skyscraper Construction Monitoring

Building Foundation Capacity Measurement

Bridge Seismic Force Monitoring

In-Motion Rail Weighing

Cranes and Heavy Object Lifting

Structural Testing and Telecommunication Structures

Conveyor Belts

To learn more about Interface and our solutions for Infrastructure and other key industries, please visit our solutions page at www.interfaceforce.com/solutions/.

Interface Force Measurement Solutions Featured in Quality Magazine

Choosing a force measurement device and getting the most out of it is a tricky process, even for the most seasoned engineers. So, when Quality Magazine asked our Chief Engineer and VP of Quality, Ken Vining, to share his knowledge of force measurement, he decided to put together a guide on what to look for in force measurement equipment and how to use and maintain your equipment properly.

In his Quality Magazine article titled, “Selecting and Using a Force Measurement Device: Everything you need to know,” Vining explains the contributing factors to force measurement device quality and accuracy, as well as a few tips and tricks to make sure you’re getting the best possible accuracy and longevity out of your device.

Included below is a brief introduction from article:

Force measurement devices like load cells, torque transducers and data acquisition devices are used across industries to design and test hardware. They’re a key factor in the product development process because the force, torque and weight data they collect helps to ensure products are accurately constructed, work as intended, are safe for use, and can withstand the test of time. In highly regulated and complex industries like medical and defense, this data becomes even more important because any miscalculation in the design of a product can put lives at risk.

The first thing to understand is every project requiring a load cell or torque transducer has different variables affecting accuracy and quality. And for every situation in product development and testing, there is a load cell to fit your precise need. Therefore, the most important step in ensuring accurate and high-quality data is speaking to a force measurement expert about the details of a project.

There are five key factors you need to know related to data accuracy, and three factors related to force measurement device quality. I’ll explain why each factor can contribute to inaccuracies and what to look for when selecting a device based on material selection, build quality, and environmental factors… READ MORE

Additional Ken Vining feature

For additional information on selecting and using your force measurement device, please contact our solutions experts.