Interface experts are returning to Novi, Michigan, to demonstrate new and popular force measurement solutions at the Automotive Testing Expo. The focus of this year includes our multi-axis sensors, axial torsion and torque transducers, miniature load cells, wireless and testing rig solutions, instrumentation, along with our precision load cell technologies for all types of automotive testing and equipment used in the industry.
New SuperSC for Automotive Industry
One of the demonstrations will be Interface’s new SuperSC S-Type Miniature Load Cell. This new product is an economical general purpose load cell with a compact design that measures tension and compression in one unit. It offers high performance capacities in a form factor 80% smaller and 50% lighter than other models of s-type shear beam load cells.
The SuperSC is an ideal product in end of line validation testing for automotive, individual automotive component testing, and fatigue or life cycle testing. It is versatile for machines, component tests, integration into a manufacturing or assembly line for real-time force monitoring.
Many automotive testing labs rely on an actuator for fatigue or lifetime expectancy testing. Without force measurement, testers can only tell when the product reaches failure. The SuperSC can provide early warnings on component performance and life degradation.
SuperSC comes in 12 capacities ranging from 25 to 1K lbf and 100 N to 5 kN. Six designs for international standards of measurement (metric) and six for imperial standards. They are environmentally sealed with an IP66 rating and offer high stiffness with low detection and is insensitive to off-axis loading.
To learn more about AxialTQ, watch this video demonstration.
Automotive Testing Applications
Interface will also be showcasing brake pedal load cells, our robot using multi-axis sensors, digital and portable instrumentation and custom solutions designed specifically for auto test engineers. One of these solutions that we will be sharing is our Electric Vehicle Structural Battery Testing application.
EV Battery Structural Testing
Structural EV battery testing is core to optimization as innovation drives electric vehicle battery design and sustainability. Automotive manufacturers and component testing engineers need to validate structural battery pack design for life expectancy against design targets, as well as crash test compliance and survivability. Working with the EV battery maker, Interface’s recommendation is our 1100 Ultra-Precision LowProfile Load Cells for use in-line with hydraulic or electromechanical actuators within the test stand. Interface’s 6A Series 6-Axis Load Cells are also used to capture reactive forces transmitting through pack structure. Multi-axis measurement brings greater system level insight and improved product success.
Understanding best practices for mounting is critical to collecting accurate data, especially when it comes to multi-axis load cell solutions. As more testing engineers choose multi-axis sensors for the benefits of additional data, it is important to note that improper mounting can cause multiple axis to be unaligned and skew the data across the various axis you are measuring.
The first thing to understand is there are certain mounting considerations that are important across every type of multi-axis sensors. These considerations begin with understanding the relationship between the sensor and mounting hardware. The sensor is made up of the electronic internals of a load cell, while the mounting hardware is comprised of plating that needs to align with the test system.
The next thing to understand is that deflections in the system introduce errors and apparent crosstalk. To avoid deflections, plates and fixtures used in mounting must be stiff enough to avoid deflections. The best way to understand this is to try and emulate how stiff the plating was when the sensor was calibrated, this will help you understand how stiff you need the plate to be in the testing application.
Finally, every single multi-axis sensor model also comes with unique mounting instructions, so be sure to consult the written instructions if you have questions. When it comes to mounting instructions for our products, Interface publishes all mounting instructions online.
Mounting instructions provide information on the class of hardware for mounting, as well as important data such as the torque on the dowel pins, for cases that include dowel pins.
For 3-axis mounting, we provide assembly instructions for each type of load cell available. For example, the assembly instructions pictured on the far left shows a 3-Axis sensor with four threaded mounting holes on the top surface and two dowels that should be used to avoid the plate slipping. The dowel pins are crucial to aligning the axis. The instructions also show mating services which are identified with arrows or hash marks.
The 6-axis mounting hardware is a bit different in that there are more holes in the mounting plates and fixtures for dowel pins, which stop the mounting plate from deforming or bending because this can cause inaccuracies in data. Additional mounting locations are necessary to securing the plates and fixtures.
Considerations for 6-axis mounting include the potential need to use a double-plate mounting arrangement, the plates must be suitably thick, the plates must have the same material as sensor for thermal matching, and flat and smooth mounting plate surfaces are preferred. The example here shows some of the features mentioned above.
We hope this simple guide will provide you with the information you need to get the most out of your multi-axis sensors. If you are ever unsure about any details within the mounting process for multi-axis sensors, feel free to contact Interface for support or questions about any multi-axis products.
In the recent article, ‘May the force be with you: Force sensing keeps factories running, product quality high’ Dan O’Shea at Fierce Electronics writes about the growing demand for sensors in industrial automation applications.
‘While some sensors are more focused on monitoring equipment or measuring environmental conditions around a manufacturing process, force sensors measure mechanical forces occurring in the equipment and processes, and the products being manufactured. They measure things like load, tension, resistance, weight or total pressure applied. By employing this kind of sensing technology, manufacturers can monitor the health of their equipment and improve quality assurance for their products.’
“Testing things by applying a force to them is super common. Many products in lots of industries get tested this way, from aerospace to automotive, through to consumer goods. Chairs, furniture, mattresses, ladders–basically, anything that’s being manufactured, there can be a desire to figure out how strong the various parts of those products are.” Keith Skidmore, engineer and regional sales director at Interface
Interface provides industrial automation and IoT solutions to manufacturers, equipment makers and factories around the world. Sensors play a pivotal role in production and optimization through tools and process improvements.
Robotic arms are frequently used in production facilities throughout the manufacturing process. Suppliers of these devices heavily rely on accurate and quality sensors to provide feedback. In this application, the designer needed to test the force of the arm apparatus to ensure it could safely secure packages on a moving conveyor belt without damaging any materials or products. This automated function helps to improve quality of packaging and increase productivity on the line.
Interface provided the model 6A40A 6-Axis Load Cell with model BX8-HD44 Data Acquisition Amplifier instrumentation. The 6-Axis load cell provides measurement of all forces and torques (Fx, Fʏ, Fz, Mx, Mʏ, Mz) and the BXB-HD44 Data Acquisition Amplifier logs, displays, and graphs these measurements while sending scaled analog output signals for these axes to the robot’s control system. Customer installed 6A40 6-Axis Load Cell between robot flange and robot grabber. The extensive data outputs from the multi-axis sensor provided the exact detailed measurements needed for the industrial robotic application.
Interface continues to experience significant growth in demand and fulfillment of our precision measurement products and services. Despite the ongoing challenges in supply and overall health and economic concerns, our focus has remained steadfast to serve customers with innovative solutions, facilitated requests for specialized engineering and production requests and expeditiously working to meet the delivery schedules aligned to our customers’ requirements.
As the overall T&M industry grew, so did the demand for engineers and manufacturers across all industries to have proven solutions from their test and measurement equipment, expanded capabilities from sensor technologies, as well as explore new ways of optimizing products with real-time, accurate measurement.
As we look ahead to 2022, we are also investing in new and existing trends and exploring how they will shape the overall market next year and beyond. To help prepare our customers, here are our predictions for the new year, along with what is hot and trending in force measurement. The following provides some insights from our experts on how Interface is prepared to address these trends, while continuing to serve our customers at the highest level of satisfaction. Here is Interface’s viewpoint on market trends and predictions for 2022 and beyond.
Big Data Continues to Rule Product Design and Test
Over the last few years, we’ve shared our view on the Industry 4.0 revolution and how Interface customers are demanding more data from their T&M tools to give exactness in accuracy and all-encompassing performance data at the earliest phases of product design. Not only will this continue, but it will expand rapidly. In the force measurement world, Interface has responded by serving our customers with new innovations in multi-axis sensors that provide more force data on more axis. Interface offers a wide variety of multi-axis sensors including 2, 3 and 6-axis sensors. We certainly anticipate a continued growth in demand for multi-axis sensors as our product line expands to meet the requirements.
In addition, Interface is seeing more requests from manufacturers and product designers to embed sensors and measurement capabilities within their products. To enable continuous improvements and advancements in smart manufacturing and product designs, sensors are being used to provide real-time feedback on machines, components, equipment, and consumer products. These sensors are often designed in or embedded into the OEM product to predict the health in each type of use case, as well as notify users when a repair or adjustment is needed for safety, user satisfaction, and controlled maintenance. In the manufacturing applications, this capability significantly reduces facility downtime. To meet this demand, Interface is investing in more automation capabilities within our own manufacturing facilities to produce high volume sensor solutions for OEM customers. This market is growing rapidly, and Interface is working hard to meet the needs of our customers that need our products in volume.
New Advancements in Strain Gages
Another trend that Interface is actively investing in is new strain gage technologies and manufacturing techniques to better serve the high-production and OEM markets. Interface uses proprietary strain gages for all products we manufacture. When OEMs are making high-volume product orders and need sensors that fit their exact needs without breaking their budget, Interface is ready to meet the demand. One of the ways that force sensor manufacturers can meet OEM cost needs is through innovation in strain gages, the heart of any measurement device. Interface deploys a team of resources to design and build custom strain gages when a unique solution is part of the design requirements. Interface has expanded our specialization and expertise in mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, and metallurgy to meet this specific trend and need. We are currently undergoing critical R&D to find new ways to develop these components and working directly with customers to meet their data requirements. Check out this post on strain gages.
Growing Demand for Wireless Solutions
Another trend that is continuing to gain momentum is the growing need for wireless measurement solutions. Wireless systems are helping manufacturers simplify the integration process and create a cleaner safer test environment with far less wiring. Wireless communication is also playing a major role in advanced manufacturing and smart products. By connecting systems wirelessly, users can monitor testing and in OEM applications, review the health of a system, from a central point. This includes for components used in the field, underwater or via remote locations for assembly and test.
These wireless systems also help improve accuracy significantly. Wireless technology has gotten to the point where we can receive more accurate readings when converting from an analog to a digital signal. This is especially important in highly complex and regulated industries like aerospace, energy, or medical. Wireless solutions will continue to grow, and Interface continues to develop new wireless total system solutions for our various product lines.
Faster, More Efficient Calibration Services
One of the most critical facets of working in manufacturing and technology is meeting the demands of our clients in an extremely timely manner. Innovation, advancements and testing demands slows down for no one, and our customers are no exception. This also requires regular maintenance and servicing of our devices. Interface recommends annual calibration services to ensure your force and torque measurement products are performing as designed. We understand they need our products and services fast. As part of our commitment to customers, Interface provides high quality calibration services that are key to long lasting and accurate force sensors. This service has grown rapidly alongside the force measurement industry and we’re receiving more re-calibration orders than ever before. To meet this demand, Interface is investing heavily in both people and technology to further expedite this process and meet our promise of expeditious turnaround times for calibration services. Read more about calibration here.
Sometimes out-of-the-box meets the exact requirements, sometimes it’s in the box. Interface continues to expand our product mix to include advanced instrumentation, accessories, sensors and unique housing for full systems due to growing demands. Our team of solution engineers partner with our customers to identify the specifications and understand the application to build completely custom solutions, from single sensors to complete systems. These systems can be used within lab testing environments or as remote testing solutions. Learn more about the capabilities of our custom solutions team here.
These are just a few of the many trends occurring in test and measurement into 2022 and beyond. Technology is progressing at a rapid pace. Our customers need more data, that’s abundant and accurate. Our sensors are seeing new application and use cases, ranging from testing unmanned space vehicles to smart agriculture components.
Rest assured, Interface is deeply invested in addressing these trends and serving our customers in the new year and beyond with critical innovation. It’s what we’ve been doing since 1968. We see an abundance of opportunities and possibilities in working with our customers to get the best products for their projects, programs, and OEM products. Whether they need our standard, engineered-to-order, and custom solutions, we are here to serve and ready for 2022. How can we help you?
https://www.interfaceforce.com/wp-content/uploads/Trending-2022.jpg800800Jamie Glass/wp-content/uploads/Interface_White_Red.svgJamie Glass2022-01-04 15:08:132022-12-21 21:13:162022 Test and Measurement Industry Trends
Test and measurement systems are defined by the sensor, instrumentation, and mounting hardware. Mounting considerations are crucial when designing your system. Utilizing best practices in mounting is also extremely important, especially if you are utilizing multi-axis sensors. Deflections in the system can introduce errors and apparent crosstalk into the sensor measurement.
Mounting plates are used to secure sensors during use. The plates should emulate how the sensor was calibrated, so if it was calibrated on stiff plates these characteristics should be duplicated when using the sensor. Plates should be stiff in design, as a flimsy plate secured on corners can introduce errors, such as off-axis loading, due to bending.
Interface mounting plates are made from the best grade alloy and stainless-steel, machined to the tightest specifications, and are designed exclusively to maintain the performance of the sensor in your application.
Interface Mounting Plates Features and Benefits
Designed to work with Interface products
Made with the highest quality components and processes
Created to maintain the specification of the sensors
Distributes the load over the foundation of the supporting structure
Provides a prepared surface for the load cell
Eliminates the requirement for expansion assemblies in most installations
Available in standard and custom options
Mounting instructions are specific to each sensor model. Interface offers complete product datasheets and drawings to locate the features for mounting. We also publish mounting instructions for our torque transducer models, as highlighted in our recent Inventive Multi-Axis and Instrumentation Solutions webinar. The instructions we offer include model, material, capacity, mounting holes, threads and dowel pins and pilot specifications, for both live and dead-end use.
Plates must deflect uniformly to minimize local deformation at the mating surfaces. You may need to use a double plate mounting arrangement, also known as a sandwich mount. In this case, they need to be suitably thick. They must be flat and smooth and the same material as the sensor for thermal matching.
Interface offers top plates and bottom plates for load cells. Mounting Plates for Low Profile™ Load Cells are used in the installation of a compression load cell under a weigh bridge, tank, or other structure normally requires that mounting plates be used. The bottom plate is designed to mate with the load cell and is fabricated of mild steel. It distributes the load over the foundation or supporting structure and provides a prepared surface for the load cell.
The top plate distributes the load to the weighing structure and provides a hard surface for the load button. The top plate will move on the button due to thermal expansion, load shifting, wind loading, and other side loads. The high side load capacity of the Interface load cell eliminates the requirement for expansion assemblies in most installations. Mounting plates are suitable for compression loads only; they will not properly support a universal load cell used in tension.
Interface has recently introduced force plates. Interface Force Plates are a system of multiple multi-axis sensors mounted between two plates. They are ideal for larger capacities than single 6-Axis sensors and can react high moments. Results dependent on characteristics of the plates and other system components and for load introduction and bigger sensors, you should consider in-situ calibration. Force plates are used for applications such as robotic arms. When secured at the base of the arm, the four sensors are providing feedback during use.
https://www.interfaceforce.com/wp-content/uploads/Interface-Mounting-Plates.jpg800800Jamie Glass/wp-content/uploads/Interface_White_Red.svgJamie Glass2021-12-07 11:15:022022-12-21 21:22:49Interface Sensor Mounting and Force Plates
Interface’s resident solutions experts Keith Skidmore and Ken Bishop detailed a series of multi-axis products and advanced instrumentation options in our latest ForceLeaders webinar. They topics discussed during this recorded event included detailed features and benefits of the line of 3-Axis and 6-Axis Multi-Axis Sensors available from Interface. In summary, if you are looking for more data, to maximize your return on testing investments and need a compact solution compared to using multiple single load cells, multi-axis load cells may be the right solution for your application or testing project.
Pairing your sensor with right type of instrumentation that is best suited for the device and your data requirements is an important consideration. During event, Keith shares why the BX8 Data Acquisition System and Amplifier provides 8-channel synchronized sampling and internal calculation of axis load values for 6-axis sensors. The BX8 provides high-speed synchronous sampling that is critical for dynamic measurements. It is high resolution and low noise and comes with our BlueDAQ software for data viewing and analysis. There is an option to also use BlueDAQ PRO! with MathScript. Multiple BX8 can be synchronized for use with 12-channel 6-axis sensors and force plates, which are discussed later during the event. For large capacity 6-axis sensors, you can also use two BX8’s to create a 72-coeffecient matrix. Watch the event to learn more and read about 6-Axis and BX8 powerful measurement solution.
In contrast to the BX8, Keith details the Interface BSC4 and shares important features that make it a good instrumentation choice to use with our model 3A, 3AR 3-Axis load cells. It can be used with up to four mV/V or VDC output sensors. It is a compact and convenient instrumentation option, compared to using multiple single-channel amplifiers. Our BSC4D comes with BlueDAQ software and is LabView compatible. Learn more about 3-Axis and BSC4.
You will also get the first look at our latest instrumentation solution, the BX6-BT Wireless 6-Axis Data Logger. This new product is miniature in size, offers 7-channels with Bluetooth functionality. It logs to micro-SD card and is BlueDAQ compatible. It also does matrix math.
Further in the webinar, get the latest tips on mounting multi-axis sensors and using mounting plates and why we are seeing more use cases for Interface custom force plates. You don’t want to miss out on these important set-up instructions, frequently asked questions, and tips for ensuring you don’t compromise accuracy and reliability in your testing.
Watch the webinar and you’ll also learn about applications that use multi-axis and advanced instrumentation, including for structural testing, friction testing, seat testing and special condition calibration. We will be posting addition blogs from the learnings of this in-depth expert discussion, including top 10 FAQs, calibrating multi-axis sensors and the future of test and measurement using multi-axis load cells.
https://www.interfaceforce.com/wp-content/uploads/multi-axis-webinar-1.jpg800800Jamie Glass/wp-content/uploads/Interface_White_Red.svgJamie Glass2021-11-18 14:08:062021-11-18 14:09:07Recap of Inventive Multi-Axis and Instrumentation Webinar
Interface solutions experts Ken Bishop and Keith Skidmore discussed innovative product solutions utilizing multi-axis sensors and instrumentation, including our 3-Axis, 6-Axis load cells along with BX8 and BCS4 instrumentation. Learn about mounting plate and new force plate options, along with systems and use cases. Watch the recorded event.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
The Interface ForceLeaders event, Dimensions of Multi-Axis Sensors, explores the features of multi-axis load cells and the benefits of more test and measurement data. Learn why multi-axis sensor technology is growing in use across all industries.
https://www.interfaceforce.com/wp-content/uploads/MULTI-AXIS-WORKSHOP-1-1.jpg16541654Brian Johnson/wp-content/uploads/Interface_White_Red.svgBrian Johnson2021-08-10 15:49:232022-01-12 12:56:27Dimensions of Multi-Axis Sensors – An Interface Hosted Forum
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