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Top Five Reasons Why Calibration Matters

Applied metrology is the measurement science developed in relation to manufacturing and other processes, ensuring the suitability of measurement instruments, their calibration, and quality control.

Calibration is the practice of evaluating and adjusting equipment to ensure precision and accuracy. Calibration for force measurement determines whether a sensor is working properly, as well if it needs repair or replacement.

Calibration is critical in the application of test and measurement because it provides controlled methods using equipment and systems that ensure reliability, accuracy, and quality.

We recently shared in our Accurate Report on Calibration seminar, the top five reasons why calibration matters. Below highlights each why.

#1 Reason Why Calibration Matters – Understanding Uncertainty

  • Measurement uncertainty is defined as an estimate of the range of measured values within which the true value lies or, alternatively, the degree of doubt about a measured value.
  • In every application, there will be an uncertainty requirement on the force measurement.
  • The equipment used to make the measurement must be traceable to a realization of the SI Newton unit of force within this required uncertainty.

#2 Reason Why Calibration Matters – Quality and Specifications

  • Calibration ensures the transducer is performing to listed specification.
  • It avoids costly impacts or escapes to manufactured goods and products.
  • Maintaining quality of manufactured device to original specifications is an important reason why calibration matters.
  • It certainly minimizes the cost of poor quality.

#3 Reason Why Calibration Matters – Minimize Downtime

  • Proactive maintenance will always take less time than reactive problem solving and repairs.
  • Identify and repair or replace system components before they fail through regular calibration.
  • Plan calibration intervals to minimize downtime, as a schedule is preventative maintenance.

#4 Reason Why Calibration Matters – Data Accuracy

  • All load cells are subject to potential performance degradation due to mistreatment or drift, impacting data integrity.
  • Pre and post test verification provide assurances in data validity.
  • Confidence in critical measurements is imperative.

#5 Reason Why Calibration Matters – Accreditation and Certifications

  • Calibrations provide adherence to quality management systems and requirements, especially ISO certifications and compliance.
  • It assures that measurements gathered within the valid calibration period are reliable, trustworthy, and defensible.
  • Traceability of measurement is guaranteed with certifications.

To start, every sensor Interface manufactures is calibrated and certified in our fully accredited calibration labs before it leaves our facilities. We do so under ISO 17025 standards with full NIST traceability for quality assurance. Annually, we provide more than 100,000 calibrations on force and torque measurement devices.

We also provide complete calibration services and repair on any sensor we make, as well as other manufacturer’s equipment. Our experienced calibration lab technicians offer a complete range of calibration services for load cells, torque transducers and other force measurement devices, including:

  • Scheduled Repairs for Ongoing Inventory Management
  • RMA Tracking and Permanent Archive of Test Data
  • Custom Calibration Services
  • Certification

Calibration is a necessity as any product can degrade, resulting in a decline in accuracy. Interface recommends every device go through a calibration service annually to maintain the integrity of the sensor performance. If you need assistance in scheduling a calibration service or requesting help, contact us here.

We also offer a range of calibration grade equipment for labs and to use for self-service calibration.  This includes our verification load frames, calibration systems, calibration grade load cells and lab instrumentation. Read Calibration Grade Load Cells and Systems and Additional Interface Calibration Grade Solutions to learn about these and other products.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Recap of Accurate Report on Calibration

Interface Calibration 101

GS-SYS04 Gold Standard® Portable E4 Machine Calibration System

Shunt Calibration 101

Extending the Calibration Range of a Transducer

Calibration-and-Repair-Brochure-1

 

 

Recap of Accurate Report on Calibration

Interface recently hosted an in-depth discussion on the topic of calibration.  As one of the largest calibration labs in the world for force and torque sensors, our team shared insider tips, frequently asked questions, set up techniques and best practices in the lab during this extensive calibration webinar.

The ForceLeaders seminar also covered details about various calibration grade equipment like our 1800 Platinum Standard® Calibration LowProfile® Load Cell, 1600 Gold Standard® Calibration LowProfile® Load Cell, fixtures, load frames, and calibration systems.  We also delved into topics that include instrumentation, verification frames and software.

During the event, we covered a diverse set of subjects due to the range of experiences of our attendees including the top five reasons why calibration matters, the measurement of uncertainty, identifying errors and the parameters of calibration.

You will find the recorded event Accurate Report on Calibration is available to review the technical details related to each of these important calibration subjects.

Elliot Speidell, Brian Peters and Chris Brandenburg covered a wide range of topics, including:

  • The Metrology Perspective
  • Interface Calibration Methodology: What, Why & How
  • Top 5 Reasons Why Calibration Matters
  • Calibration and Measurement Uncertainty
  • What Errors are Characterized in the Calibration Process?
  • System Calibration Considerations
  • Calibration Lab Set Up Best Practices + Tips
  • Optimization + Calibration Applications
  • Fixtures + Standard Equipment
  • Interface Calibration Services
  • Do & Don’t Tips + FAQ

To get things started, we began the event with a quick conversation about metrology, the science of measurement, which embraces both experimental and theoretical determinations at any level of uncertainty in any field of science and technology.

Metrology is the global network standardizing measurement units. Calibration is the action taken at each step in the metrology network.

Metrology is important to Interface because it provides the standards for controlled processes, systems, reliability, accuracy, quality and science. Calibration is the set of operations that compares the accuracy of a measuring instrument of any type, such as a load cell or torque transducer, against a recognized standard. The process of calibration includes adjusting the measuring instrument to bring it in alignment with the standard.

Why is calibration of load cells and torque transducers important?

  • All load cells are subject to performance degradation due mistreatment, drift, or aging
  • You need traceability and quality system requirements
  • Pre and post-test verification is critical for data validity
  • Even load cells manufactured to the highest standards require regular calibration

Interface calibrates every load cell and torque transducer to spec before it leaves our facility. We also provide recalibration services for all types of devices, even those we don’t manufacturer. This results in more than 100,000 calibrations every year by our trained technicians. During this event we shared valuable tips for setting up and operating a world-class calibration lab.

Best practices for calibration labs:

  • Define workspace requirements
  • Qualify measurement types and models
  • Identify suppliers
  • Select calibration grade equipment
  • Assemble lab
  • Train lab techs
  • Create certification and testing protocols
  • Define workflows
  • Utilize software for tracking assets and certificates
  • Know maintenance and recalibration schedules

The Accurate Report on Calibration recorded event is available online to watch at your convenience.

If you need help in defining the best calibration grade systems or equipment for your specific test environment, contact our application engineers.  If you need a calibration service, you can submit your request online.

Accurate Report on Calibration

Learn from Interface force measurement solutions experts about calibration, why it matters, types of calibration and the precision equipment used in the calibration process. Interface shares decades of experience in calibrating more than 100,000 load cells, torque transducers and other devices every year. Elliot Speidell provides tips, parameters for optimization, lab set-up recommendations and answers calibration related questions in this new recorded ForceLeaders virtual event.

New Product Release of Interface Force Verification Frames

Interface, the leader in force measurement solutions, is excited to release three new models of the Interface Force Verification Frame for fast and efficient force measurement product verification.

The Interface Force Verification Load Frame is lightweight and easy to use, providing an on-demand and onsite solution for verifying the accuracy and reliability of load cells. Buyers are able to conduct load cell verification in real-time between calibration services for a wide range of types and sizes of load cells.

The new Interface load frame is lightweight and can be customized with multiple adapters to fit a wide range of different load cells. It is being sold in three different models based on the capacity needs of the user.

  • IFVF-1K model provides a capacity of 1,000 lbf
  • IFVF-2.5K model provides a capacity of 2,500 lbf
  • IFVF-5K provides a capacity of 5,000 lbf

Specifications and options details for each model, along with design file information and our technical user guide are available on the new product page here.

VIEW A DEMONSTRATION OF A VERIFICATION TEST STAND IN OUR NEW ANIMATED APP NOTE 

The mobile, lightweight design allows customers to pick up and carry the Interface Force Verification Frame directly to an in-process force test and conduct point-of-use verification in minutes. The typical process for verification can take a few days to a week or more, slowing down product test and development time significantly.

The wide range of adapters available for the new Force Verification Frame is designed so that Interface and many non-interface load cells can be verified with this system. This provides compatibility with load cells that Interface provides to industry leaders in aerospace and defense, automotive, medical, OEM, testing labs, energy, industrial automation, education, and metrology.

Our customers need an easy-to-use test and measurement hardware apparatus that allows them to verify the accuracy and provide a quick check-up of their load cells fast, anywhere and at any time. We are pleased to offer our latest product, the Interface Force Verification Frame which gives customers a simple and efficient point-of-use verification system compatible across a wide range of industry applications and force measurement products.” –  Ted Larson, Vice President of Product Management and Marketing, Interface.

Additionally, customers rely on Interface for calibration services and products. Calibration services and systems preserve the industry-leading accuracy and reliability of Interface products. However, supplemental load cell verification could only be accomplished if customers owned a calibration system or shipped their products to a calibration lab. Now, the Interface Force Verification Frame allows customers to perform their own product accuracy tests quickly and more cost-effectively between annual calibration certifications. It also helps to determine when a product needs to be sent in for repair.

The Interface Force Verification Frame is available today. For more information on the available systems and custom options, contact an Interface Application Engineer at 480-948-5555 or request a quote here.

 

Faces of Interface Featuring Ken Bishop

From the very beginning, force measurement has been a major part of Ken Bishop’s life. Growing up in Anaheim, California, his father worked for a company called Ormond, Inc., which produced load cells, rocket thrust stands, weighing products and scales. He got to know the people his father worked with and the cool technology they were working on. Therefore, it was no surprise that Ken would follow in his father’s footsteps shortly after graduating high school and working for Ormond himself.

Ken worked with his father at Ormond for five years. He held positions as a driver, an assembler, and then eventually worked his way into a technical management position. After Ormond, he took a brief break from the force measurement industry to join the expanding computing field. He worked at General Micro Systems, where he focused on single board computers. However, his true calling pulled him back and he rejoined the force measurement industry when he was hired at Sensortronics.

Sensortronics then became the first load cell company acquired by Vishay in 2002. Vishay is a global manufacturer of semiconductors and passive electronics and in the early 2000s they would end up acquiring three more load cell manufacturers after Sensortronics. Ken’s job became to work as a team member to consolidate the four companies in the Americas and create Vishay’s transducer group as the Operations Manager for the America’s. Ken oversaw this group for several years afterwards.

During his working career, Ken also began to focus on his post-secondary education. He took night classes for quite a while to earn several degrees. He started with an Associates of Science from Fullerton College. He then received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management, followed by a master’s degree in Business Administration, from the University of Redlands, in California.  His post-secondary education allowed Ken to excel faster in his career path.

After Vishay, Ken took a brief hiatus from the engineering world to get away from it all. He picked up and moved to Montana to enjoy the wide-open spaces and outdoor lifestyle. However, it was not long before the itch to make things returned. In 2006, Ken moved to Arizona and joined Interface.

Ken began his career at Interface on the sales team as an application engineer focused on the West territory. His job was to work with customers to deliver force measurement solutions for a wide variety of test and design challenges in the aerospace, industrial, medical, metrology and automotive sectors. He eventually worked his way up to become a senior application engineer.

During his time as an application engineer and senior application engineer, Ken realized that there were many customer challenges that could not be solved with an off-the-shelf solution. While Interface had worked on custom projects previously, there was no official department to head up the growing demand for custom solutions.

When the department was created, Ken was given the opportunity to become the custom solutions director. He jumped at the opportunity and created a solutions team that could meet the growing demands of Interface’s customers for systems and specialized products. Ken leads the development of custom force measurement solutions designed to meet the unique challenges of an evolving technology and manufacturing ecosystem.

If all this was not enough, Ken also leads the repair and recalibration services department with fellow Interface technical service manager, Chris Brandenburg. And, he has spent some time working on the marketing team. Ken has truly done and seen it all in the force measurement industry.

Calibration Grade Load Cells and Systems

The Interface brand has become synonymous with premium accuracy, reliability, and performance since we pioneered load cells back in 1968. Because of our reputation and commitment to quality, our Gold Standard® and Platinum Standard® Calibration Grade products are used by engineers and calibration experts in top metrology labs independently and within aerospace, automotive, medical, and industrial automation industries around the world.

Why Interface is the Gold Standard in Calibration Grade Load Cells?

Calibration grade load cells meet ASTM E74 standards, capable of 2% lower load limits. These Interface products are handcrafted in design and production for excellence in performance, meeting the most demanding calibration requirements. Accuracy is considered extremely high by precision standards.

One of the key reasons for our product’s accuracy is the fact that Interface leverages a vertically integrated design and production method. We control the entire manufacturing process, which begins with the development of our own strain gages.

Strain gages are the heart and soul of every load cell. By controlling the design and production, we can customize the strain gage in each load cell to fit the specific force measurement needs of our customers.

To develop our Gold and Platinum Standard products, the most accurate and reliable products in our catalog, we add more strain gages to improve performance and allow for a higher tolerance. We also run more intensive tests to ensure premium quality. These products are tested at 30 points and in three different positions to provide a coefficient. This coefficient allows us to use the Gold Standard Calibration Systems to get more precise performance and calibrate load cells against a more precise analysis. The final results lead to the most accurate and trusted calibration systems and calibration load cells.

Interface Calibration Systems and Load Cell Application

In nearly every major manufacturing lab in the U.S. and beyond, you will find an Interface Gold Standard Calibration System and Gold or Platinum Standard Load Cells. This is because our customers are working on some of the most advanced hardware in their respective industries and fields. These customers not only need to ensure their measurements are as accurate as possible to avoid product failure. They also need to prove the accuracy of their testing equipment for those products to pass inspection and make it to the market.

Interface Gold Standard Calibration Systems and Load Cells are used in a wide variety of applications. This includes wing and rocket tests to make sure the structural integrity of the hardware will hold up to extreme conditions and force. Our calibration systems are also used in stent stress testing to prove that an implanted stent will not fail over the lifetime of the patient. If they do, it can lead to serious medical complications and often death.

Interface Gold Standard and Platinum Calibration Grade Products

Our product line includes a wide range of Gold and Platinum Standard Load Cells and Gold Standard Calibration Systems. These products are uniquely suited for a wide number of applications and industries. Read how Interface Defines the Gold Standard in Calibration Systems here. The calibration grade products in this lineup include:

Calibration Grade Load Cells:

Calibration Systems:

For more information on Interface Gold and Platinum Standard Load Cells and Calibration Systems, contact our Application Engineers or visit www.interfaceforce.com.

Contributor: Ken Bishop, Sales and Custom Solutions Director, Interface

Interface Launches New University Program

Interface is investing in the engineers of tomorrow with our new Interface University Program.  The new STEM-focused initiative promotes innovation and education by providing access to the best force measurement products, services, and experts in the industry.

As the world’s leader in force measurement solutions, Interface created the specialized Interface University Program to provide discounted products and services, educational materials and access to renowned test and measurement expertise.

The distinct Interface University Program offers higher education institutions and students reductions on the industry’s most accurate and reliable force measurement standard products and calibration services to accelerate research and development, advance science, perform accurate testing, and promote exploration.

Through the unique program, Interface is also providing educational support in the form of internships, R&D projects, sponsored test and measurement class projects, grants, and community STEM program support.

“Our goal is to empower engineering students to achieve their educational and career goals with the help of our exclusive Interface University Program,” said Joel Strom, CEO, Interface. “The program will make critical engineering tools, services and professional support more accessible to universities and colleges faculty and engineering students. This program provides best in class test and measurement products, specialized solution bundles and discounts on products and services that will enrich engineering and metrology program experiences.”

The Interface University Program

Interface Standard Products:

  • Get Started Bundle with Interface LowProfile®, Sealed S-Type and Mini Beam Load Cells, Torque Transducer, Indicator and more at 25% off
  • Load Cell 101 Field Guide by Interface Engineers
  • 10% off all standard products and additional loyalty program discount programs

Interface Calibration and Repair Services:

  • Tiered Calibration Services Program discounts
  • Expedited repair services with special discounts
  • 25% off 3-year annual calibration services programs for maintenance

Education Support and Resources:

  • Internships for R&D at Interface HQ in Arizona
  • R&D projects
  • Sponsored test and measurement class projects or challenges
  • Failure testing projects
  • Onsite engineering hours: class, speaking, events

Interface provides force measurement solutions and services to hundreds of universities coast-to-coast and around the world every year. The company’s founder, Richard F. Caris, was a major proponent of charitable giving to STEM-focused institutions and programs. In 2015, Caris donated $20 million to the University of Arizona Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab to support the construction of mirrors used for the Giant Magellan Telescope. The Mirror Lab has utilized Interface products in its mirror polishing process for the past twenty years.

“Interface has been a long-time partner of the University of Arizona,” said Buell Jannuzi, Ph.D., Steward Observatory director and head of the Department of Astronomy, University of Arizona. “Their commitment to STEM and support of the Mirror Lab has been critical to our efforts, as well as the education of our students.”

For more information on the program and for a detailed breakdown of special offers, services, and educational support, please visit /university-program/ or contact our Application Engineers at 480-948-5555.

PRESS RELEASE

University Program Overview

University Program 2 Page

 

A Visit to The Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab

In 2015, Interface’s visionary founder Richard F. Caris had many legacies, one of which is the donation he made to The University of Arizona’s (UA) Mirror Lab. This endowment was a testament to his unwavering commitment to innovation, exploration, and science. Because of his deep personal interest and generous donation to the lab, UA named it the Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab.

At the Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab, scientists, engineers, and technicians are developing large, lightweight mirrors with unparalleled surface accuracy. The actual mirrors are helping to advance science and discovery around the world with the new generation of optical telescopes that can explore the universe through optical and infrared light. The actual mirrors developed at the lab represent a sweeping departure from the old conventional solid-glass mirrors.

Buell Tomasson Jannuzi, Jeffrey Kingsley, Ted Larson, Ken Vining in front of GMT Primary Mirror Segment 5 (S5). Photo Credit: Damien Jemison UA

Interface’s Chief Engineer Ken Vining and VP of Product Management and Marketing Ted Larson recently took a trip to Tucson, Arizona, to get an up close and personal view of the advancements that have been made over the last four years at the Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab. The experience is breathtaking for anyone that gets the opportunity to visit the lab.

Although the lab has been using Interface’s load cells long before 2015, the purpose of the Caris donation was to aid in the construction of the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) with the lab’s revolutionary mirror casting capabilities.

These primary mirrors for the GMT are described as “a marvel of modern engineering and glassmaking.” Five of the seven 8.4-meter segmented mirrors have been cast thus far. The first mirror is complete and the other four are in various stages of production.

Completing any telescope project is a significant time commitment. In the last four years, a few segments have been cast. The project is expected to run until 2027. Although completing the GMT is a long-term endeavor, the lab is starting to think about future projects.

During Interface’s recent visit, our engineers made sure to provide careful guidance on product selection to promote future achievements and inventions.

The Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab team has all these ideas they’re thinking about and we knew if they engaged Interface early, we could help them solve a lot of problems.” – Ken Vining, Chief Engineer at Interface

While our experts were touring the Mirror Lab, they also discussed our new Interface University Program that provides special incentives for students and higher education programs. Interface knows that when programs learn with the best force measurement products, they can advance their learnings and encourage future innovations.

One of the additional benefits from the onsite visit was advancing Interface and the Mirror Lab’s collaboration in providing additional technical education, support, and resource to UA engineering students and Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab personnel. Interface has developed a variety of topics for educational seminars, including humidity’s effect on load cell performance, the basics of metrology, how to properly calibrate a load cell, and the impact of high elevation on load cells.

In case you’re curious about the last topic, elevation doesn’t have much of an effect on load cell performance. However, a telescope of this magnitude can test the boundaries like no other.  It is 18,000 feet at installation altitude, which gets a telescope above the ‘dirty’ parts of Earth’s atmosphere. If you are looking to learn more about the Interface University Program, contact us here.

Interface was founded in 1968 by Richard F. Caris.  You can read more about our history here.  If you would like to tour The University of Arizona’s Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab, you can get tickets online.  Tours are Monday through Friday at 1 pm, and as available at 3 pm. Click here for tickets and information.

About UA:  Established in 1885, the University of Arizona, the state’s super land-grant university with two medical schools, produces graduates who are real-world ready through its 100% Engagement initiative. Recognized as a global leader and ranked 16th for the employability of its graduates, the UA is also a leader in research, bringing more than $622 million in research investment each year, and ranking 21st among all public universities. The UA is advancing the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships and is a member of the Association of American Universities, the 62 leading public and private research universities. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $8.3 billion annually.  https://www.arizona.edu