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Making Products Smarter with Interface OEM Solutions

Products need to be smart in today’s world. Whether it is consumer or commercial, people expect added functionality in everything. From coffeemakers and exercise equipment to large industrial machinery used in massive infrastructure projects, sensors play a crucial part in making these products smarter.

Sensor technologies allow smart products to collect and manage important user data, monitor products usage for durability and safety, enable automation, and personalize user applications and experiences. Original equipment manufacturers of these smart products and their components are eager to find quality sensors that provide robust features ideal for modern day user requirements.

Force sensors are key to making products smarter, performing with greater accuracy, and enhancing overall quality. Force sensors have the unique ability to perform multiple tasks at a time, including real-time monitoring and executing automation features with precision.

Interface partners with engineers and product designers to offer OEM solutions intended to be directly implanted into a product, or retroactively installed to make products smarter. With our unique assortment of custom and off-the-shelf load cells, torque transducers and instrumentation options, including wireless components, our force sensors are created to help enhance the smart products of today and tomorrow.

Interface’s white paper Turning an Active Component Into a Sensor details of how Interface works with OEMs to design sensors into products or retrofit them into existing products. To further illustrate the range of options available with Interface’s sensors and instrumentation, we have detailed additional application notes to give you a broader perspective of utilizing force sensors for OEM solutions.

Robotic Surgery Arm

A biomechanical medical company wanted to gather force, torque, and tactile feedback from their robotic arm during invasive surgery. The surgeon’s movements are mirrored by the robotic arm during surgery, and it is essential all haptic force feedback is measured to ensure safety during invasive surgery. Several of Interface’s force and torque measurement products were used in this OEM robotic arm. These include the ConvexBT Load Button Load Cell, SMTM Micro S-Type Load Cell, and the MRTP Miniature Overload Protected Flange Style Reaction Torque Transducer. Force results were collected when connected to the 9330 Battery Powered High Speed Data Logging Indicator and viewed via a laptop. Each one of Interface’s load cells and torque transducers played a part in the ensuring the safety and functionality of robotic arms during invasive surgery. The force feedback that was measured from the robotic arm ensured that the robot used the perfect amount of force when using surgical tools that create incisions during surgeries. It also measured the torque being produced, ensuring the robot arm was moving smoothly and at the right speeds.

PRV (Pressure Relief Valve) System

A manufacturer wanted to conduct a PRV test (pressure relief valve test) on their valve installation and monitory equipment when under a full pressure load. The purpose was to ensure safety and reliability for customers while the product was in use. They also wanted to be able to record and graph the results. As part of an OEM system that is used by their customers, Interface suggested installing the 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile™ Load Cell to a test frame on top of the pressure relief valve. As pressure is increased onto the spring in the valve, it pushes forces onto the load cell. Results can be recorded using the 9330 Battery Powered High Speed Data Logging Indicator. Using this solution, the manufacturer’s customers are able to successfully determine the exact amount of force it requires for their valve to release when under a pressure load, increasing longevity and safety of the product overall.

Bolt Tension Monitoring

A customer wanted to monitor the tension of the bolts used in installation of industrial pipes. Interface suggested installing multiple LWCF Clamping Force Load Cells, each connected to WTS-AM-1E Wireless Strain Bridge Transmitter Modules. The load cells are installed under the tightened bolts on the pipes as part of the technology solution to measure forces. The load cells measure the compression forces from the bolts, and the real-time results are transmitted wirelessly from the WTS-AM-1E’s to the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station. Real-time results from the LWCF’s are displayed using provided Log100 Software. Interface’s load cell monitoring system successfully monitors the compression forces of the bolts in real-time, which is an important installation solution for the OEM.

Smarter products, connected factories, and higher efficiency are all made possible through sensors. Interface force sensors are the leading solutions for enabling automation, real-time monitoring and accurate data collection for OEM applications.

Interface force sensors make consumer and commercial products smarter. Learn why OEMs choose Interface to activate products with sensor technologies and more about Interface’s capabilities and solutions for OEMs here.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Interface OEM Solutions Process

OEM: Candy Stamp Force Testing

OEM: Medical Bag Weighing

OEM: Prosthetic Foot Performance

OEM: Snack Weighing and Packaging Machine

OEM: Tablet Forming Machine Optimization

OEM: Industrial Robotic Arm

OEM: Chemical Reaction-Mixing

Contact our OEM specialists and let us help you to make your products smarter and more equipped to meet the demands of tech-savvy users.

Fitness Equipment Makers Require Extreme Accuracy

Interface’s specialty is building solutions for the testing and monitoring of parts and total systems that move and create force. One of the industries where this is critical is the fitness industry. Equipment and fitness machines, whether designed for in-home use or in professional athlete training facilities, needs to perform safely and accurately.

Utilizing Interface sensors and instrumentation, the performance of different fitness apparatus is measured in various testing protocols throughout the product’s lifecycle. Rigorous tests are performed during each phase: R&D, design, manufacturing, and after-market use. These tests look at performance data, as well as measure reliability, durability, fatigue, and safety of the equipment. Manufacturers of fitness devices also utilize feedback from sensors to monitor user experiences in real-time. This means they need accurate data for all types of user profiles, strength variability, weights, and experience levels.

The global fitness market also needs a testing solutions partner as the industry is looking at solid growth over the next few years. In fact, Allied Market Research predicts that the fitness market will reach $14.8 billion by 2028, registering a CAGR of 3.3% year-over-year during this assessment period.

Interface recently captured a series of use cases for how our test and measurement products are used in the fitness industry for testing and in OEM applications. You can read the entire case study here: Interface Measures Fitness Equipment with Extreme Accuracy.

Addressing Challenges in Making Fitness Equipment

In the development of fitness equipment, a lot goes into the manufacturing and engineering process to ensure equipment is safe and reliable for users. Taking a treadmill as an example, the wheels that move the running surfaces must withstand varying speeds and levels of force over extended periods of time. This requires torque and stress testing. Additionally, the sensors on the handrails that send out a pulse to measure the user’s heart rate needs to provide accurate data in health and wellness uses. Manufacturers are looking to install sensors into their equipment that measure various forces and provide fitness data to the user, or data that doctors can use to monitor patients while working out. These makers and product designers for fitness equipment need sensors that can be easily designed into the product or customized to fit into existing products to enable smart functionality and IoT capabilities.

Interface Fitness Equipment Test & Measurement Solutions

Interface provides a variety of measurement solutions used by manufacturers and testing engineers in the fitness equipment sector. This includes our load cells, torque transducers, multi-axis sensors and miniature load cells, along with the popular wireless products and instrumentation. Our products have been used across a wide variety of fitness applications, including elliptical, leg press, rowing machines, bicycles both mobile and stationary, and physical training and therapy equipment. Interface sensor technologies are preferred by product design engineers in this field because of the precision, accuracy, range of options, and quality.

The following application notes examples provide an overview of how Interface serves the fitness industry:

Designing Fitness Equipment and Machines

A fitness machine manufacturer wanted multiple load measurement systems for their different fitness machines such as the elliptical, leg press, rowing machine, and the cable machines used in gyms of all types. The goal of designing sensors into the equipment is to ensure the machines are functioning properly to prevent injuries. The sensors can also be used for trainers who want to conduct strength and endurance tests. Interface provided a combination of products including the WMCFP Overload Protected Sealed Stainless Steel Miniature Load CellSSB Sealed Beam Load Cells, and AT103 Axial Torsion Force and Torque Transducers. Paired with Interface’s proper instrumentation, the forces can be measured, graphed, and displayed during the testing stage. Interface’s products all effectively measured forces needed for those working out or undergoing athletic training regiments. Not only did it ensure the designed machines were working properly, but it also helped those using them to track their endurance performance and consider future design enhancements based on consumer use. Read more about this use case.

 

 

Treadmill Rehabilitation

A medical device maker wanted a force measurement system for their experimental rehabilitation treadmill for patients that have pelvic mobility difficulties. For example, patients who have had strokes tend to have difficulty walking. Their goal was to measure the forces applied on the pelvis when the patient is walking on the treadmill and catch any pelvic deviations. The treadmill had a special harness with two actuators on either side of the patient when in use. Interface suggested installing two WMC Sealed Stainless Steel Miniature Load Cells to the actuators, which will measure the forces applied on the pelvis of the patient. Force results would be measured using the SI-USB4 4-Channel USB Interface Module, which could also be graphed and logged on the customer’s computer with supplied VS3 software. Using this solution, the medical company was able to catch different pelvic deviations in their experimental rehabilitation treadmill using Interface’s products. Learn more here.

Bike Power Pedals

A bike manufacturer wanted to evaluate the functionality of their power pedals. They needed a reliable system to measure how much force the cyclist pushes down onto the bike pedals, and they preferred a wireless system that can be paired with their computer to review data results. Interface suggested four Model SML Low Height S-Type Load Cells installed within the bike’s pedals. The four SMLs are paired with two WTS-AM-4 Wireless Strain Bridge Transmitter Modules, which will transmit the force data from the cyclist to the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station Dongle connected to the customer’s computer. The products Interface provided allowed the bike manufacturer to measure the pedal power applied by the cyclist. Read more here.

Interface load cells, torque transducers, and data acquisition systems are ideal for many fitness applications, especially those designed for IoT connectivity. Interface offers products that measure all types of force across the necessary fitness applications. Additionally, if we don’t have a product that works for your exact challenge, our custom solutions team will work alongside your design and test engineers to create the most effective and efficient solution based on the unique specifications.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Bike Frame Fatigue Testing Application Note

E-Bike Torque Measurement

Why Product Design Engineers Choose Interface

Golf Club Swing Accuracy

Golf Ball Tee

Interface Sensors Used for Development and Testing of Surgical Robotics

Electro-mechanical and software advancements in the medical device and healthcare industry have made all kinds of surgical robotics a reality. Manufacturers and design engineers of these robots come to Interface during the stages of research and development, product engineering and refinement, and testing to perfect surgical use cases. The sensor technologies we provide are preferred in these processes and in final integration due to the fact these devices are highly regulated and require the utmost in accuracy and reliability.

The types of surgeries currently being performed with robotics include what were once considered invasive and a higher risk of failure such as coronary bypass, removing cancer tissue, transplants, laser incisions, and more. With surgical robotics, the medical professionals rely on precision to perform these surgeries with as minimal invasion as possible.

The product development process for surgical robotics is extremely meticulous and requires a wide variety of tests to confirm the accuracy of the product. One of the key components to testing in this field is force measurement. As you can imagine, force plays a massive role in surgical robotics. Every action performed needs to be forced tested to ensure that whatever the surgical task, the robot is doing it with precision.

For surgical robotics, minute forces need to be measured because they are working with highly fragile subjects within a human body. To measure these tiny forces, Interface offers a variety of Interface Mini™ Solutions.  Interface Mini Load Cells are used for light touch, light weight, or for less space. Our miniature load cells provide exceedingly accurate measurements similar to our full-size load cells with proprietary alloy strain gages. They are used in R&D, test and for OEM use in robot components.

All our miniature beam load cells, load cell load buttons, load washer, miniature tension force load cells, S-type load cells, and sealed stainless steel load cells are commonly used based on their capacity and designs.  A variety of our load cells can be used in an off-the-shelf application. Our engineers can also work with you to design custom load cells to fit your exact needs, which is common in robotics.

Interface recently developed an application note to outline how force measurement can be used in testing force feedback using a combination of load cells, torque transducer and data acquisition device on a robotic surgical device.

Robotic Surgery Force Feedback

A biomechanical medical company wanted to test the force, torque, and tactile feedback from their robotic arm for invasive surgery. The surgeon’s movements are mirrored by the robotic arm during surgery, and it was essential all haptic force feedback is measured to ensure safety during invasive surgery. A number of Interface’s force and torque measurement products were suggested for this robotic arm. These includes our load button, S-types, Mini overload protected torque transducers and DAQ instrumentation.  Included below are the roles of each device:

Each one of Interface’s load cells or torque transducers played a part in the ensuring the safety and functionality of robotic arms during invasive surgery. The force feedback that was measured from the robotic arm ensured that the robot used the perfect amount of force when using surgical tools that create incisions during surgeries. It also measured the torque being produced, ensuring the robot arm was moving smoothly and at the right speeds. Read the application note for this surgical robot here.

This is just one example of Interface’s work in robotics, and surgical robotics specifically. There are a growing number of devices used in special, precision surgeries that utilize force to perform its task.

Additional Resources Related to Medical, Healthcare and Robotics

Spotlighting Medical Device and Healthcare Solutions

Medical and Healthcare Brochure

OEM: Medical Bag Weighing

Force Solutions for Medical Tablet Forming Machines

Interface OEM Solutions Process

6-Axis Force Plate Robotic Arm App Note

Force Measurement Solutions for Advanced Manufacturing Robotics

Faces of Interface Featuring Tyler Pettit

Tyler Pettit, our applications engineer for international accounts, is leading some of our fastest growing markets in Asia, Europe and regions outside of the US. With the heightened demand for Interface solutions worldwide and our international success, we felt it was the perfect time to feature Tyler and the outstanding work he is doing in supporting our global sales distributor network.

Tyler spent six years in the United States Navy where he served on active duty protecting domestic assets as a Hospital Corpsman (Medic). He cherished his time in the Navy and learned a lot. He quickly realized he was not interested in a career in the medical field. However, the Navy did afford him the opportunity to attend the Airforce Community College and Ben Franklin University, where he received his degree in Biomedical Engineering.

The engineering and technology part really stuck because after serving in the Navy, Tyler would go on to work for a company called Machine Solutions. In this role, he helped to develop the machines that medical manufacturers use to build stents, angioplasty balloons, heart valves and more. Later, he would move to a field role where he performed preventative maintenance on the machines, calibrations, and training. This experience was also his introduction to load cells, as Machine Solutions used load cells to test the crimping force of their products.

Working at Machine Solutions, Tyler also got more acquainted with Interface due to his experience with load cells. When Interface posted an opening career position, Tyler jumped at the opportunity to join the team. He joined as a junior applications engineer and quickly showed a knack for the role. He was then promoted applications engineer to handle international accounts, the role he has today and that continues to expand in responsibilities with our international growth.

In this role, Tyler is responsible for working with customers and our distributor network outside of the US to find force solutions that meet their needs, as well as coordinating distributor requests with Interface’s production facility to ensure customers are getting the products. He is also constantly working with partners across the international regions to help them serve Interface customers expeditiously and to their satisfaction.

The thing he enjoys most about working at Interface is the ability to see new applications for Interface products every day. Due to his background in medical, he gravitated towards those applications quickly. But as he got more comfortable in all the industries Interface helps, he started to really enjoy some of the unique space applications.

My job is exciting because one day a product I sold is in space, the next day it is saving a life! – Tyler Pettit, Applications Engineer

When he’s not facilitating Interface’s growing international success, Tyler can be found hanging with his wife Melissa, whom he met at Interface in 2018 and married in 2021, and their three kids. The family enjoys everything outdoors, especially headed to the Imperial Sand Dunes aka Glamis. Tyler is also a big hockey fan and cheers on the Pittsburgh Penguins.

It was a pleasure getting share Tyler’s story and his journey to Interface. He is certainly a star here and we look forward to his role in further expanding our presence in international markets!  We also are overjoyed in his found love that has it’s beginnings at Interface. We wish Tyler and Melissa great happiness in their life together.

To meet more of Interface’s talented team and our partners, tune into our blog for our monthly Faces of Interface series in our ForceLeaders feature.

Spotlighting Medical Device and Healthcare Solutions

In medical technology design, engineering and manufacturing, accuracy is everything. Not only are standards and regulations for product quality extremely high in the medical industry, the safety and wellbeing of patients and users depends on it.

Interface continues to provide the medical device and healthcare industry with the most accurate and reliable force measurement products used for R&D, testing, and embedding sensors for continuous measurement.

In our Medical and Healthcare Solutions Overview, Interface dives deeper into our capabilities and product line that is used throughout the lifecycle of development and supply of medical device and healthcare components. For decades, Interface has been a supplier of precision measurement solutions those that are used in the design, engineering, testing and manufacturing of products used in the industry. Here is a quick recap spotlighting why Interface is a preferred industry partner.

Interface Medical and Healthcare Solutions

Interface provides load cells and sensors of all capacities and sizes to use in the development of medical devices, healthcare tools, and technologies that improve the ability to diagnose, mitigate risks, treat illness, support wellness and advance science.

First and foremost, to qualify as a provider of products in the industry the proper certifications for quality are a necessity. Interface is celebrated for meeting and exceeding the quality needs for our customer’s projects in medical and healthcare. Our products are built and tested in accordance with A2LA, International Standard ISO/IEC 17025:2017 and ANSI/NCSL Z540- 1-1994. This accreditation demonstrates technical competence for a defined scope and the operation of a laboratory quality management system.

The next qualification is experience. In the medical industry, they need to know that their suppliers understand their rigid requirements and use cases for their products. Our engineers and product teams have been providing proven sensor technologies used for a wide variety of medical devices, like prosthetics and surgical implements. These products require extremely accurate measurement before they are approved for use. Interface knows what it takes to meet these requirements.

The industry requires a range of capabilities and sizes of measurement devices like our various miniature and shear beam load cell solutions with 10x overload protection. Our torque transducers provide rotary and reactive measurement to accurately measure performance. These solutions are used to control product use, for fatigue testing, test surgical equipment durability, measure implants and monitor equipment. Other Interface medical device and healthcare solutions include multi-axis sensors for multiple channels of measurement in one housing to use in complex designs requiring multiple measurement outputs.

Prosthetics Performance

Interface supplies products to test how a prosthetics perform during different positions and stances. The products used in a prosthetic foot design test including the Interface Model 3A120 3-Axis Load Cell, which was installed between the leg socket and the prosthetic foot and the Model 3A120, which was connected to a portable data acquisition system. When standard precision solutions need a custom designed sensor, Interface’s solutions team and engineers work directly with medical device manufacturers to deliver specialized products, systems and software that meet the evolving needs and innovation requirements. Included below is an application note that outlines the prosthetic testing process using Interface force solutions.

In this example, a customer wanted to know how a prosthetic foot responds as it is loaded during different stances. This challenge required a force solution and Interface supplied 3A120 3-Axis Load Cell which were installed between the leg socket and the prosthetic foot. The Model 3A120 was then connected to a portable data acquisition system. With this solution, the customer was able to log data was for the X, Y, and Z axis, review the results and identify premature foot flat and dead spots during foot’s use. Using this data, they’re now able to make improvements to the design. Read more about this prosthetic load and fatigue testing application here.

Stent And Catheter Testing

Stent CatheterFor this specific use case, large testing rigs that contain approximately a dozen Interface load cells are used to test stents and heart valves that are surgically implanted into patients. The rigs subject the stents and heart valves to thousands of stress tests over months to determine their material properties. Stents stay in a patient’s body for the rest of their life, so accuracy and durability are extremely important. This application makes use of Interface’s Miniature Beam Load Cell product line, which is overload protected. This product line is extremely reliable and has never had a reported fatigue failure. Included below is another application example.

In this application note, the customer needed to apply known forces to stent and catheters to ensure they pass all necessary strength and flexibility testing. Interface’s solution was to use a MBP Overload Protected Beam Miniature Load Cell that is placed behind the guide wire for the stent or catheter. The motor will spin the linear drive and push the load cell and guide the wire through the testing maze. MBP Overload Protected Beam Miniature Load Cell is connected to the DIG-USB PC Interface Module. All forces are measured and stored on PC. Using this system, the Customer was able to perform required testing and log to PC, followed by being able to review results and take actions as needed. You can read more about this application use case for a stent testing system here.

A growing demand for our products utilized in OEM medical applications. Interface works with manufacturers across the world who design and build life-saving medical devices, implants, and tools, as detailed in the post Interface Ensures Premium Accuracy and Reliability for Medical Applications. Customers turn to Interface because of our proven track record for producing, at volume, the most accurate, reliable and efficient force measurement products and accessories for collecting critical data.

Interface has been involved in the engineering of unique sensor products for use in medical devices and equipment, from MedTech devices to some of the machinery used to manufacture medical products. Increasing success happens when you engage early.  Our experts are ready to assist with your medical device and healthcare test and measurement product needs.

Additional Medical and Health Care Industry Resources

OEM: Medical Bag Weighing

Medical Bag Weighing App Note

Force Solutions for Medical Tablet Forming Machines

New Interface White Paper Highlights Turning an Active Component into a Sensor

Where to Find 50 New Force Measurement Application Notes

One of the advantages we have at Interface is that our application engineers and solutions experts are constantly recommending Interface load cells, torque transducers, instrumentation and accessories for a wide range of projects and programs.  In this fortunate position, it enables our team to explain why and how these solutions work through a series of illustrative application notes. We detail the problem statement, the products required to achieve the desired outcome, and the measurable results in every Interface application note.

The purpose of our app notes is to show the range of capabilities for products we offer, as well as inspire product designers, engineers, and testing professionals to expand how they use sensor technologies. We also increased our industry solutions to highlight a growing interest of how our products are used in agriculture, maritime and infrastructure force and torque measurement projects.

In 2021, Interface produced a record 50+ new application notes.  We have so many application notes, we even produced a first ever complete Interface Applications Catalog.  The type of applications we detailed this year range from space docking to golf swing testing, with everything in between. You can find applications for livestock weighing, crash wall testing, crane safety regulation and even commercial fishing line tests.

Every application note includes a graphic that highlights how the test project is designed and how the products work together. All our illustrated application notes can be found here.  We also have a collection of animated application notes you can watch here.

So if you didn’t keep up with every application note we added this year, here is a quick reference:

AUTOMOTIVE AND VEHICLE

Automotive Head Rest Testing

Pre-Installation Sealing Sensor Testing

Automotive Window Pinch Force Testing

Airbag Connector Testing

Vehicle Crash Test Load Cell Wall

Torque Measurement for Electric Vehicles

TEST AND MEASUREMENT

Garbage Truck On-Board Weighing

Bike Helmet Impact Test

Bike Handlebar Fatigue Testing

Mobile Force System

Gaming Simulation Brake Pedal

Mountain Bike Shocks Testing

Spring Compression Testing

Proving Theoretical Cutting Forces of Rotary Ultrasonic Machining

Fitness Equipment and Machines

6-Axis Load Cell Solutions using Raspberry Pi

Mouse Touch-Pad Force Testing

Treadmill Force Measurement

Veterinary Weighing Scales

E-Bike Torque Measurement

Bike Power Pedals

Bike Load Testing

Bike Frame Fatigue Testing

Golf Club Swing Accuracy

Golf Ball Tee

INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION

Commercial Food Processing

6-Axis Force Plate Robotic Arm

INFRASTRUCTURE

Aerial Lift Overload Control

Concrete Dam Flood Monitoring

Hydraulic Jacking System Testing

AGRICULTURE

Tractor PTO Torque Testing

Silo Grain Dispensing

Poultry Feeder Monitoring

WTS Equine Bridle Tension System

BTS Equine Bridle Tension System

Livestock Weighing System

Tractor Linkage Draft Control

Chicken Weighing

Silo Monitoring and Weighing

MEDICAL AND HEALTHCARE

Tablet Machine Hardness Tester Calibration

Dental Handpiece Torque Check

Interventional Guidewire Quality Inspection

Tablet Hardness Testing

AEROSPACE AND DEFENSE

Space Dock Capture Ring Force Testing

Aircraft Yoke Torque Measurement

Aircraft Screwdriver Fastening Control

Landing Gear Joint Testing

Aircraft Engine Hoist

Rescue Helicopter Hoist Test

MARTIME

Mooring Quick Release Hooks (QRH)

Commercial Fishing Wire Rope Testing

Mooring Line Tension Testing

Crane Block Safety Check

Crane Capacity Verification

Crane Force Regulation

We would like to send a special thank you to our illustration and design team of Lauren O’Hagan and Scott Whitworth for all their work in creating this array of illustrations, along with a special shout out to Ken Bishop and Keith Skidmore that help us create all these application stories.

What’s new in 2022? Stay close to our Interface IQ Blog and watch our updates on the homepage and solutions for new inspirations and unique examples how engineers and product designers are thinking about using our sensors,

New Interface White Paper Highlights Turning an Active Component into a Sensor

The most common uses of force measurement in OEM (original equipment manufacturer) applications are when a force sensor is designed into a product that will be produced at mid to high volumes and provides real-time force feedback on certain product functions in use. Utilizing sensors as a feature enables data acquisition over time to monitor forces and understand how those forces effect product efficiency, safety, quality or all of these performance metrics. This ultimately is used to design a better product, in the current state and for future enhancements or to know when a product is performing best or risks breaking down.

Did you know that there is another application of force sensors in OEM applications that is playing a large role in the factory of the future? This is when we turn an active component into a sensor and use that data to create automated actions. This solution is used when there is a desire to take a moving component within a system and make it smarter, ultimately allowing it to make data-based decisions on its own.

For example, the manufacturing industry is using force sensors on machines within a production line that are responsible for picking components up for visual inspection. The sensor is integrated into the grabbing component and can tell the machine the exact force to use when picking up the component as not to damage it. This is a critical capability when dealing with expensive and delicate components that can break under too much force. In the past, a force measurement sensor would have been used only to test this functionality. When the sensor is designed directly into the machine, the user can both test beforehand and monitor and automate processes in real-time.

The need for this type of capability is growing rapidly amongst manufacturers across a wide variety of industry including aerospace and defense, industrial, medical, automotive, industrial automation, assembly and more. To further outline the potential for these types of solutions, Interface developed a new white paper that details  how sensor solutions for OEMs work with specific examples of the benefit of turning an active component into a sensor.

Included below is a brief intro to the recently released white paper. Get your copy by clicking on the link here. Additionally, if you’re interested in learning more about Interface solutions for OEM applications go here, or call us to speak to our OEM application experts at 480-948-5555. Ready to get started, let us know how we can help here.

WHITE PAPER EXCERPT

OEM SOLUTIONS: TURNING AN ACTIVE COMPONENT INTO A SENSOR

The age of industrial automation and big data is upon us. Manufacturers that fall behind in equipping their facilities and products with innovation that allows for automated processes, remote monitoring and better efficiency through technology, will quickly fall behind. This is due to the fact that automation helps to significantly improve process quality because it eliminates human error. It also creates long-term cost savings by speeding up several processes, or by helping to monitor products in use and in real-time to optimize performance and stability over time through better data collection.

Get your copy of the white paper to read more.

Special note, contributors to the white paper are Interface and sensor engineering experts, Brian Peters and Rob Fuge.

Additional Resources for OEM

Interface is a Critical Solutions Provider for OEMs

Making the Case for Custom Solutions Webinar Recap

 

Interface Multi-Axis Sensor Market Research

Recently, Interface commissioned an independent research report on multi-axis sensors demand and use cases. This is a product line that Interface has made significant investments in as more customers require increased load cell functionality and additional source data from their force sensors. The research results confirm that the current demand is in fact expanding worldwide, and the overall users and market size is expected to grow by double digits over the next six years.

Included below is a brief overview of the state of the multi-axis, as well as an explanation of their overall purpose and why the growth of this type of test and measurement device continues to increase in popularity. We will also continue to break out the results of this research paper, so tune into the InterfaceIQ blog for more multi-axis research content. To learn more about these advanced sensors, view our ForceLeaders webinar Dimensions of Multi-Axis Sensors.

Multi-Axis Sensors Market Overview: The rise of IoT and Industry 4.0 had enabled automation. Machines continue to get smarter and can make split-second decisions using real-time data. Force measurement plays a key role in this transformation. Load cells that are tracking performance and reliability have more insights than ever before. They will continue to grow in their accuracy and capabilities. Load cell and sensor technologies are being used to identify precisely when and where something went wrong on a production line. Load cells will be growing in playing a key role in making production lines more efficient, less reliant on human resources and less costly.

There has been increased need for multi-axis sensors that measure and collect data points on up to six axes. Multi-axis sensors were invented because of the increased requirements for data, both in testing and during actual product use. And this is not slowing down anytime soon. Over the next decade, load cells will continue to keep up with the demand to handle more measurement data points. More sensors will need to be packed into a single device to collect more data with less equipment.

Five Key Take-Aways from Interface’s Multi-Axis Market Research:

  1. There is a growing requirement for high-performance sensor fusion of multi-axis sensor systems to enable the newly emerging technologies and highly demanding applications.
  2. Advancements in technology enabling effective components at a lighter and smaller size, such as the swift rise of unmanned vehicles in both the defense and civil applications and the increasing applications based on motion sensing, are the factors driving the multi-axis sensor use cases for testing and to embed into products.
  3. Digitizing force sensors is another trend changing our product innovators and manufacturer’s designs of machines and equipment through advanced measurement data. Many have strongly invested in more advanced digital electronics to efficiently harvest and store more data. Revolutions in industries and technologies is the dominant trend in force measurement, not to mention the entire manufacturing and engineering industry. Harnessing big data enables product users to remotely monitor assets and increase use of analytics.
  4. With network-connected force measurement through sensors and instrumentation, OEMs have greater control over testing and product development. Equipment using multi-axis sensors to track performance and reliability provide valuable data on how equipment is performing and predict when machines need maintenance.
  5. Global machine makers and equipment builders want smaller force sensors they can permanently install in the products. Smaller, wireless sensors are easier and less expensive to install. As more industrial networks are created to share higher-quality data, more and more sensors will be added to these machines.

What: Multi-axis sensors allow the user to measure forces and torques, which occur in more than one spatial direction, as with measurements in x- and y-direction. This allows manufacturers to obtain more data on a wider variety of axes, allowing them to make better design decisions and ultimately improve the product quality. A crucial focus is force measurement in manufacturing, where force transducers are frequently used to determine the force for weight measurement or in the process of production.

Why? Data-driven test and measurement is at the forefront of product development, especially in highly regulated markets like aerospace, automotive, medical, and industrial. One of the most significant applications for multi-axis sensors is seen in manufacturing facilities who want to integrate more autonomy and robotic processes. The goal is to streamline logistics procedures and reduce human errors and workplace accidents. The report also found that there is a great deal interest for last-mile delivery robots, either on the ground, on the sea or drones in the air.

Interface’s Role: Interface multi-axis load cells are ideal for industrial and scientific applications. They are used by engineers and testing labs in various industries and market segments including aerospace, robotics, automotive, advanced manufacturing, for medical devices and research. Our products designed to provide the most comprehensive force and torque data points on advanced machinery. With our industry-leading reliability and accuracy, these multi-axis sensors can provide the data our customers need to ensure performance and safety in their product design.

In fact, their unique capabilities are helping the medical industry optimize prosthetic designs and usability standards with multi-axis sensor testing. The automotive industry is using Interface’s multi-axis products in wind tunnels, and the military is using them to test the center of gravity in aerospace applications.

Here are a few applications use cases that show how multi-axis is advancing products in multiple industries:

Wind Tunnel

Seat Testing Machine

Friction Testing

Industrial Robotic Arm

Ball and Socket Prosthetic

Prosthetic Foot Performance

Syringe Plunger Force Measurement

Research was conducted independently by Search4Research.

Faces of Interface Featuring Richard Snelson

Richard Snelson, president of Measurements Incorporated, is the leader of our outstanding manufacturers’ representative firm serving the Mid-Atlantic coast of the US. The origin of the company, that supports customers in this region with application solutions for structural, material, and environmental testing, is an intriguing story.

In this new Faces of Interface feature, Richard highlights one of his favorite projects and provides his thoughts on representing the most reliable and accurate force measurement products in the industry from Interface.

Richard grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was brought up hearing all about his ‘old man’ and the incredible work he got to do with customers across the technology landscape. His father and two partners started Measurements Incorporated in 1976. The company had spun out of another company called Micro Measurements. At that time, they sold a limited range of product lines to a wide range of customers. Some of the most memorable customers Richard would hear about from his dad included those that worked with bridges, battle tanks and even cadavers.

After high school, Richard attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he would go on to earn a split degree in business, marketing, and management. During his college years, Richard also received a ton of career experience working multiple jobs. His summers were spent as a technician in the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, where his role include working on a reactor. He also worked on the Brooklyn Bridge, replacing cables on the massive structure, as well as working for a friend of his dad in the oil and gas industry. These jobs not only put Richard through college, but they also exposed him to hands-on experience working with organizations and on projects like what his dad would talk about at home when he was growing up.

The experiences and incredible stories he was told throughout his youth pushed Richard to accept a role working for his father’s company. He started out selling one product line, XY plotters, to major test labs and facilities across the Mid-Atlantic. After finding a great deal of success, Richard was given the entire state of Delaware to sell every product line in the company’s portfolio. This eventually expanded into Pennsylvania and Maryland.

As he grew his expertise as a sales rep at Measurements Incorporated, Richard also began buying out the other two owners as they retired and eventually retained sole ownership of the company in 2003. Today the company carries an ever-expanding product line of test and measurement equipment and serves some of the most reputable organizations across multiple industries including, aerospace, defense, medical, industrial, and more.

I put myself in the customer’s place and offer a complete solution, sometimes reminding them of things they might not initially think of and the end result is that we are all successful.” Richard Snelson, president of Measurements, Incorporated.

Like his father, Richard has also collected many of his own fun, interesting, and sometimes incredibly nerve-racking stories. Among his favorite are the two times he was asked to head over to One World Trade Center to oversee installation equipment and then later assess a challenge with a sensor on the building’s enormous spire on the very top. Richard and few other men from the company charged with some of the tower’s maintenance and caretaking went up to the top together. During the assessment, Richard and the maintenance company’s president were tasked with repelling up the spire to identify and fix the sensor. Richard enjoyed an unforgettable experience and got a sweat-inducing picture in the process that you can see in his photo above!

Richard has a long-time relationship with Interface that began in 2006. He raves about the quality of the brand and the confidence he and his customers have in the accuracy and reliability of our force measurement sensors. He has great respect for the people he works with regularly, including his Regional Sales Director, Elliot Speidell. Richard often finds himself identifying the signature blue paint job on our load sensors during customer facility tours. He’s proud that he’s able to offer the industry’s leading force measurement solutions to some of the world’s most prominent organizations.

When he’s not dangling off one of the tallest buildings in the world or helping solve key customer challenges with a bevy of critical instrumentation, Richard enjoys time spent with family, his wife of 36 years Tracey, their two children Courtney and Derek, and their grandson Everett. The family loves to spend their time outdoors and can often be found sailing on the Chesapeake Bay.  Richard also enjoys recreational shooting and cruising around on his motorcycle.

We couldn’t have asked for a better partner in Richard and his team at Measurements Incorporated. We are happy to share his story. Looking for more Faces of Interfaces? Go check out our ForceLeaders here.