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Interface Promotes Key Leaders to Expand Services, New Markets and Innovations

Interface, the world’s trusted leader in technology, design, and manufacturing of force measurement solutions, announced this month key leadership changes within the organization. Ian James was promoted to chief operating officer (COO), Brian Peters was promoted to vice president of Global Sales, and the role of Mark Weathers, vice president of Interface’s Mini and 1923 Wireless products, is now leading advanced manufacturing and OEM solutions. These executive promotions are key steps to drive Interface’s sustained growth across multiple product lines, as well as its expansion into new markets and industries.

“Ian, Brian and Mark represent our breadth of leadership within our organization,” said Greg Adams, CEO, Interface. “In alignment with our entire Interface team, they are instrumental in growing our position as the leader in premium, accurate, and reliable force measurement solutions. Our company is fueled by our dedicated employees and I am honored to be part of their continuous efforts and commitment to provide the high-quality products and an exceptional customer experience for all of those we serve.”

Despite disruptions caused by the global pandemic in 2020, Interface continued to find new ways to help customers across multiple industries. The company launched one of its most innovative load cell products to date in ConvexBT, and expanded manufacturing and global sales of its international G Series SI-based load cell product line. Interface also expanded its automation and high volume, engineered-to-order production capabilities, and added manufacturing representatives GenTek and Hill and Company to improve in-market sales support in the U.S.

Ian James is a seasoned senior executive with a background in manufacturing and systems. After spending the early part of his career in the UK military, he held a series of senior roles in GE before founding two successful startups. He has worked with Interface since late 2017, most recently as vice president of sales. In his new role as COO, James sees his primary challenge and opportunity as leading the transformation of operations to a new and robust manufacturing model that will help the company serve its customers with world class products supported by an unbeatable customer experience.

Brian Peters served as a successful regional sales manager before his promotion to vice president of Global Sales. Peters is now responsible for the worldwide sales network for Interface, including U.S. manufacturing representatives and international distributors. Stepping into his new role, Peters looks forward to bringing over a decade of direct experience to steer Interface’s continued efforts of industry leading customer support and targeted market growth in the test and measurement, industrial applications, and OEM markets.

“As we navigate the current dynamic landscape, it’s critical that we remain agile to stay in front of changing market demands and customer requirements,” said Peters. “Our diversification across a wide range of industries has provided us both stability through the pandemic and wide-reaching insight as markets are recovering. Interface has already experienced ramping growth in early 2021, and our ability to outpace and out service our competition will be vital to Interface maintaining the gold standard expectations set by our customers and the force measurement industry as a whole.”

Mark Weathers has extended his leadership role in Interface’s focus on automation and OEM (original equipment manufacturer) business solutions. His expanded role is a result of his continued achievements as vice president of Interface’s Mini and 1923 Wireless production groups, where he has been able to cut lead times for some of Interface’s higher volume products by 50% or more. This title change reflects the company’s new strategic priorities of growing its higher-volume custom OEM business, and the closely related improvement of its technology and manufacturing processes to improve cost and performance.

“The VP of Advanced Manufacturing and OEM products is an extension of my former role as VP of Mini and 1923, which are largely OEM products. My role will be to prepare us to be more competitive by innovating in both product and process, resulting in cost positions that allow us to move into higher volume OEM applications,” said Mark Weathers, vice president of advanced manufacturing and OEM products.

NEWS ARTICLE: Interface Promotes Three, Expanding Roles for Innovations, Services and New Markets

PRESS RELEASE: Force Measurement Solutions Leader Interface Announces Executive Promotions Supporting its Continued Growth and Expansion

50 Years and Still Innovating Force Measurement Solutions

Interface is well known for premium accuracy and reliability when it comes to force measurement solutions. The product lines that Low Profile VP Brian Shaw and Mark Weathers, VP, Mini and 1923 Wireless Business Products manage range from Interface’s oldest products to brand-new ones in the pipeline.

In this new InterfaceIQ post, we highlight the different ways we are instilling innovation in both our older products and our newest designs, including optimizing efficiencies and significantly reducing production time.

Mini Load Cells

Interface was founded on the LowProfile® load cell product, what some companies refer to as pancake load cells. The next major product line to come along in our history is collectively referred to as load cell ‘minis,’ which tend to be smaller and cover a wide variety of geometries and packages. The fundamentals of our quality products haven’t changed; however, the speed at which we are able to get these products to market has improved significantly.

WMCP Overload Protected Stainless Steel Mini Load Cell

Interface minis are used for light-touch, lightweight, or limited space applications. Our miniature load cells provide exceedingly accurate measurements, similar to our full-size load cells, with proprietary alloy strain gages, full temperature compensation, and some environmentally hardened applications. Capacities are available as low as 0.11 pounds of force / 0.5 newtons and as high as 100 kilonewtons.

Most of our off-the-shelf mini load cells can be used in a wide variety of applications. Our engineers can also work with customers to design custom load cells to fit a specific need.  For example, our custom mini load cells are commonly used in the medical industry for applications like blood separation products.

Optimizing Production Significantly Cuts Lead Times

The most significant development in Interface’s mini load cell product line is the optimized production methods we have continually introduced. Inventory positioning and communication streamlining have helped to cut lead times in mini load cell production from seven to three days in our pilot product tests.

We take time to make innovation a priority in everything we do, from optimizing production methods to introducing new ways to help our clients succeed. This diversity is the reward Brian Shaw and I receive as co-managers of a department with our oldest and newest solutions.” Mark Weathers, VP of Mini and 1923 Wireless Business Products at Interface

Last week’s blog outlined efforts by leaders at Interface to improve efficiency by breaking down departmental barriers. The improvements we introduced have restructured various departments in the supply chain to allow our employees to have more direct communication with one another.

For instance, planners now sit directly on the production floor. This gives them direct access to the assembly line where they can schedule their own orders and accelerate time to market. In the past, the chain of communication was bogged down by departmental barriers that would slow down the time it takes to get a customer order into production.

1923 Wireless Series Load Cells

On the other end of the innovation spectrum is Interface’s 1923 Wireless Series Load Cell, a brand-new product in development at Interface. The original 1923 Series of load cells is one of Interface’s highest volume products. Its design and consistency have made it a popular off-the-shelf solution for many years.

The 1923 Series was originally designed for the oil and gas industry to avoid pump jacks going too fast and interrupting the capillary flow of oil. The load cell sits on the pump jack and monitors the force at which the jack pumps, providing real-time data to avoid over-pumping.

One of the challenges that sparked the development of our 1923 Wireless Series is the fact that the original 1923 Series requires a cable leading to the bridge device to relay the data to the user. In the hazardous environments where the load cell is used, the cables are subject to damage and can be inconvenient or dangerous. Our 1923 Wireless Series innovation removes the need for the cable and provides the same accurate, real-time data readings with little to no fuss.

Interface has thrived for more than 50 years because we have built a foundation for which we manufacture premium force measurement products. This enables us to look ahead and create solutions for the challenges of tomorrow.

Contributor:  Mark Weathers, VP, Mini and 1923 Wireless Business Products, Interface

 

 

 

Faces of Interface Featuring Mark Weathers

From working at a Fortune 100 company to owning his own machine shop and everything in between, Mark Weathers, VP of Mini and 1923 Wireless Business Products at Interface, has seen it all in manufacturing. His career experiences have provided him with the tools to excel as a leader.

Weathers graduated from Georgia Tech with a mechanical engineering degree and started his career at General Electric (GE) in the appliances side of the business. During his time at GE, he quickly realized his passion for manufacturing. He knew he preferred getting hands-on with the products, so he joined GE’s manufacturing management program where he developed skills managing a production floor.

After 10 years at GE, Weathers joined Aligned Signal, now Honeywell Aerospace, for nine years before owning his own machine shop, Excalibur Precision Machining. Excalibur served the aerospace industry, and it’s during this time that Weathers gained experience running a business, in addition to critical skills in business development. These skills, along with his management training experience at GE and MBA from ASU later in his career, serves him well in his leadership position at Interface.

Mark sold his business, Excalibur, and continued working with the company under its new management before joining Interface as a quality manager in 2015. At this time, CEO Joel Strom had just joined the company to improve processes and bolster innovation. Over the next four years, he has worked with Strom and other Interface leaders to help break departmental barriers on the production floor and speed up the time-to-market for mini load cells as well as specialized and custom products.

By combining the entire supply chain and improving Interface’s interdepartmental communication, the Interface Executive Team expects the company to run far more efficiently and customer satisfaction to improve dramatically with all the focus on continuous improvement. In Weather’s department, lead times for some of Interface’s higher volume products have already been cut in half, or greater.

Weathers attributes his success at Interface to the collaborative environment that Strom created and his own management style. He prefers to lead by setting an example of a positive attitude and the “do what it takes” mindset he wants to see from his staff. This includes taking time to have daily meetings with everyone on the production floor to understand their challenges, and jumping in his truck to deliver materials to other offices and more to ensure we are doing whatever it takes.  No matter what, Mark knows he will do anything he can to remove obstacles that cause negativity and finger-pointing and instead focus on results and positive outcomes.

“I liken my management style to Olympic curling, an odd analogy, I know and what I mean by this is I see myself as the two guys out in front of the curling stone, madly sweeping away barriers to the success of our department.” – Mark Weathers, VP Mini and 1923 Wireless Business Products at Interface

Weathers was raised in a military family, and also co-owns a jujitsu facility where he trained in the art for a few years. Those experiences have helped him bond with all types of people, regardless of their background, and recognize that everyone has something to contribute. Along with mountain biking and spending time with his family, Weathers finds pleasure in being extremely hands-on with the renovation of his house. He’s well known around Interface for having spent the last seven years single-handedly working on his home. He finds the same passion as a renovator as he does as a manufacturer, but with less stress!.