Posts

Interface OEM Solutions Process

Engaging with Interface to create a solution uniquely designed for your specific application, at scale, requires a proven process that is trusted and reliable.  Interface works with manufacturers across all types of industries, from medical to energy, to supply custom-made sensors to are used to activate components, provide measured feedback in products, for safety requirements and monitor performance. When accuracy, quality and reliability matter, Interface is a partner of choice for OEM Solutions.

In partnership with integrators and original equipment manufacturers, we fully support four phases in our OEM Solutions Process: Design, Test, Build and Supply. The OEM Process infographic highlights high-level activities in each phase.

OEM Process

The Process for OEM Solutions at Interface

#1 DESIGN PHASE:  Collaborating with our team of OEM experts begins at the design phase. We work together with you providing engineering support and mechanical sensor design expertise as we work together to scope out the requirements and create design drawings. It is important to connect early to ensure you have captured all the important details that are relevant to embedding sensor technologies into products. Beyond size and capacity, you will want to determine what you will measure, how it will transmit data and frequency of communications, as well as exact sensor type, material use and configurations. Do you need a miniature load cell or multi-axis sensor capabilities? Will it be a load button, S-Type or load pin that fits your specs? These are the types of questions we address in the early stages of the design process. To complete this phase, we provide prototypes of early designs and also pricing based on scale of production and timelines for delivery.

#2 TEST PHASE: The second phase of the OEM process involves a complete testing protocol, selecting materials and supplies as well as packaging requirements.  For example, do you need a sealed solution, coated, stainless? We work to define exact specifications of the sensor based on performance and producibility. We work closely with our engineering, production and calibration teams through test and simulations.

#3 BUILD PHASE: Upon customer approval, once testing and prototypes are given the green light, we move to producing the devices at scale. Building requires an orchestrated team that is dedicated to quality and precision in the build process.  We measure and track each required step in the build phase with exactness, allowing for no exceptions or error. We set schedules, define the floor plans and build the instructions to build based on your requirements. These critical steps ensure the parts are built and delivered within your scheduled requirements and our quality standards.

#4 SUPPLY PHASE:  Interface acts as your supply chain partner in the management of production, stock and delivery. We work closely with you in inventory management and forecasting. This is where our partnership is heavily dependent on ongoing communications and reporting to project, produce and ship your parts when you need them.

In our recent webinar, Embedding Sensors in Products, our team highlights the steps, actions and commitment to getting you the solution you need. You can watch the recorded event here. Get a copy of our OEM Solutions brochure to learn more. Contact our specialized OEM Solutions Team today to get started by letting us know how we can partner with you for Interface OEM products and services.

Additional Resources:

OEM Solutions- Turning an Active Component into a Sensor

OEM: Medical Bag Weighing

OEM: Snack Weighing and Packaging Machine

OEM Industrial Robotic Arm App Note

Faces of Interface Featuring Dan McAneny

Our Faces of Interface series provides readers with an inside look at all the brilliant and talented people that work for our 52 year-old company.  There is also a team of experts and experienced individuals that are part of our sales engineering network. These representatives and distributors are integral to the work we do, and they are considered part of the Interface family.

In this post, we are featuring Dan McAneny, co-founder and sales engineer at Tritek Solutions, one of Interface’s sales representatives covering the Pacific Northwest. Dan has been working with Interface for many years, so we have gotten to know him pretty well and are grateful to have him part of our team.

Dan began his career as a design engineer in New York after graduating with a bachelor of science in Electrical Engineering from Lehigh University. He spent a few years in this design engineer role before quickly realizing that he had a passion for being out in the field and working directly with customers, rather than behind a desk.

His search for sales engineering positions took him out west to work for a rep company in Los Angeles, California, that sold electronic test equipment. This position helped Dan develop his proficiency in sales, as well as better understanding of the test solutions critical to the evolution of technology. When the LA company went out of business in 1988, Dan and his good friend and co-worker decided to start Tritek Solutions.

Tritek Solutions is a manufacturers’ representative with sales and administrative staff capable of providing a complete sales and support solution. The company focuses on test instruments, systems, specialized components and board-level products.

The company quickly ascended, growing into Northern California, the Rocky Mountain region, and the Pacific Northwest. And after 28 years in Southern California, Dan and his wife decided to take their talents to Seattle, Washington, where he could focus his work with Tritek in the Pacific Northwest.

Dan learned about the diverse and innovative technology ecosystem in this region and has developed a wide range of experience and expertise on how to serve customers in various industries such as aerospace and defense, medical, industrial, automotive and construction. In fact, this is the aspect of his job that he enjoys the most, working with customers in all of these different technology sectors in Seattle to learn about their challenges in bringing new innovation to market, and offering synergistic solutions available from the many manufacturers he represents.

“In a single day, I could be standing next to a 777X airplane for an hour, and then the next hour, I could be discussing a solution for developing delivery drones or ventilator production. The possibility of learning about and working with customers on hundreds of new technology is something I enjoy every day.”

When Dan began working with us many years ago, he noticed that our presence in the Pacific Northwest was mainly focused on large aerospace OEM’s and knew he could help us break into a larger variety of markets. Dan has been successful in proactively searching for and securing new opportunities for Interface force measurement products across new markets, innovators and advancing technology sectors.

“Working with Interface has been a pleasure. Their more than half-century in business has provided them with a deep understanding for efficiently working with reps like myself, and the quality of their products and engineering talent makes it easier because I know my OEM customers know and trust the Interface brand.”

When he is not making a killing helping original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) find test, engineering and manufacturing solutions for their product development process, Dan enjoys taking advantage of the beautiful outdoors in the Pacific Northwest. Dan’s wife of 30 years and two sons age 23 and 25 enjoy road and mountain biking, hiking and swimming together, as well as exploring the hidden gems the region has to offer.

Stay tuned to our blog for new Faces of Interface ForceLeaders profiles to learn more about our valued network and team members. You can subscribe to receive the blog weekly at www.interfaceforce.com/blog/.

 

Interface Steps in to Support Medical Industry COVID-19 Innovations

The COVID-19 outbreak has hit everyone hard and many industries are rushing to adjust to this new world. One of the industries most impacted by the outbreak has been the medical sector. Hospitals are in a position of running dangerously low on supplies and equipment to treat the influx of patients coming through the doors for vital treatment.

Fortunately, global innovators, product designers and manufacturers in the medical sector and outside the industry have stepped up to provide solutions critical to the fight against COVID-19. Some of the largest original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the world, such as Honeywell Aerospace, 3M, and Ford, have reallocated significant resources within their facilities to help produce medical equipment and PPE like the much needed N95 Masks.

Medical OEMs are also ramping up production on certain technology aimed at preventing, testing, and treating the corona virus. One of the most significant pieces of medical technology needed in this pandemic are ventilators. Prior to the outbreak, analysts predicted a shortage of these devices, which are needed to treat the rising number of patients. OEMs around the world stepped up to mass-produce high-quality ventilators to meet this demand.

The production of ventilators did not just fall upon the shoulders of the OEMs. Thousands of design and test engineers in coordination with manufacturing service providers involved in the ventilator supply chain also leaned in to support the demand. Interface is proud to help participate as part of the supply chain, helping essential OEMs around the world with critical force and torque testing products.

One example related to ventilators came in April of this year when SISU reached out through our representative network to T&M Instruments in Texas.  Jace Curtis worked with Interface to urgently provide our T8 General Purpose Shaft Style Rotary Torque Transducers. Jace, who represents the Interface product line, worked with a team of suppliers and testing experts to get the product design through testing quickly. This meant the transducer needed to be in-house within 24-hours. Working with Brian Peters, the product was expedited due to the sensitive nature of this requirement and delivered from our Scottsdale headquarters in the time requested.

Photo Credit DEWESoft: Testing Ventilator with Interface T8

SISU is currently designing and manufacturing the AUSTIN P51, a low-cost ventilator to aid hospitals and medical professionals in the current world-wide shortage, and they needed the torque transducers as quickly as possible to help test and verify the ventilator stepper motor.

The challenge with this project was that SISU was targeting the manufacturing of 100,000 ventilators on a very rigorous timeline and they did not have time to program a test to acquire and analyze this data. They needed to quickly set up a test correlating lung pressure to the torque of the stepper motor when the adjacent paddles squeeze the self-inflating bag. Air is then driven through a series of pressure regulators and a HEPA filter that can assist or support the human lungs when compromised.

DEWESoft USA, a company that develops and manufactures versatile and easy-to-use data acquisition systems, was charged with the development of this test system. They immediately got to work and were able to deliver a test platform capable of verifying the torque and air pressure within hours.

One of the key pieces of technology in the development of the test system was our torque transducers. The purpose of the torque transducers in the test platform was to analyze the stepper motor and gather data to ensure performance and accuracy. It was critical that the motor performed to specification, and our stainless steel, contactless T8 Torque Transducers were well-equipped to provide DEWESoft® with highly accurate, real-time data.

Additionally, not only was Interface able to overnight the T8 Torque Transducer to DEWESoft on a Saturday morning, but we were able to absorb some of the costs due to the nature of the product need and these unprecedented times. Jace Curtis was also onsite on Saturday to help assist with set-up and testing.

DEWESoft recently put together an application note and video showing the test platform in action. In these pieces, you can see how our torque transducer is used within the testing platform. Included below are links to DEWESoft’s video and application note:

Interface is proud to be an essential business in this time of crisis. It was our duty and honor to support T&M Instruments and DEWESoft in the development of this critical testing platform for life-saving ventilator technology manufactured by SISU.  It is our commitment to all our customers.  We are here to help.

Contributors:  Jace Curtis and Brian Peters