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New Interface Multi-Axis Sensor Selection Guide

Interface multi-axis sensors have multiple benefits for test and measurement applications. Beyond providing more data, they consolidate measurement signals and conserve test space.

Interface multi-axis sensors are like other force and torque sensors with strain gage bridges bonded to machined flexures. Each bridge typically defines a measurement axis. Interface offers multiple configurations for 2, 3, or 6-axis options: axial and torque, axial and shear, axial and moment, and all six degrees.

Most force and torque sensors are bidirectional, tension, and compression. Many sensors can be dual or triple-bridge for dedicated or redundant signals. These types of load cells output the same signal and direction of measurement.

Uniquely, multi-axis sensors have additional bridges to provide output signals for varying axes or types of mechanical loading. Interface multi-axis sensors are designed to provide a complete picture of the test article by quantifying reaction loads through the test article on the “non-measure” side.

These specialized load cells are used in various applications across industries, including aerospace, robotics, automotive, and medical device research. These sensors are specifically designed for applications requiring measuring moment and axial loads to determine the center of gravity or misalignment. They are used for tests requiring simultaneous force and torque monitoring, such as bearing test and material test machines, rheometry test machines for rubber testing, or continuous stress testing of equipment like pumps and master key systems. The multi-axis sensor offers better fatigue testing through setup and load verification.

Below is a demonstration using Interface’s 6-Axis Sensor with our BX8 to measure the precise movements of a robotic hand.

For additional information on this type of application, check out Manufacturing: 6-Axis Force Plate Robotic Arm and Using Multi-Axis Sensors to Bring Robotics to Life.

Selecting a Multi-Axis Sensor

To find the suitable multi-axis sensor for your unique requirements, Interface’s latest resource guide is a versatile reference to compare the sensor types, features, capabilities, and options. The Interface Multi-Axis Sensor Selection Guide lets you quickly evaluate the various sensor types based on whether you need a 2-axis, 3-axis, or 6-axis. Reviewing the products based on features and capabilities is easy, including tension and compression, axial torsion, force and torque, side and radial force, compact, temperature compensated, moment compensated, flange mount, or a center through hole.

This new resourceful tool also helps in reviewing various options, including connector protection, connector options, standardized output, TEDS, CANbus, internal shunt cal, custom calibration, multiple bridges, special threads, dual-diaphragm, special temperature range, cable length, and more.

How the Multi-Axis Selection Guide Works

GO TO: Interface Multi-Axis Sensor Selection Guide

STEP ONE: Select the Number Of Axis You Want to Measure

STEP TWO: Identify Multi-Axis Sensor Features And Capabilities

  • Axial Torsion
  • Center Through Hole
  • Compact
  • Flange Mount
  • Force and Torque
  • High Capacity
  • Moment Compensated
  • Side and Radial Force
  • Temperature Compensated
  • Tension and Compression

STEP THREE: Choose the Multi-Axis Sensor Options

  • Active output ±10V
  • Active output ±5V
  • Add a connector to a cable
  • Cable length
  • CANbus
  • Connector options
  • Connector protection
  • Custom calibration
  • Dual diaphragm
  • Integrated speed and angle measurements option
  • Internal Shunt Cal
  • Mating cable assembly
  • Multiple bridges
  • Special temperature range
  • Special threads
  • Special versions on request
  • Speed up to 3000 rpm
  • Standardized output
  • TEDS

Interface a range of resources related to our multi-axis sensors.  Here is a recent webinar that helps give you a background on these sensors and applications and technical tips.

TIP: Find all of the Interface product guides here.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Multi-Axis Sensors Product Brochure

Enhancing Structural Testing with Multi-Axis Load Cells

A Promising Future in Measurement and Analysis Using Multi-Axis Sensors

Mounting Tips for Multi-Axis Sensors

Enhancing Friction Testing with Multi-Axis Sensors

Interface Multi-Axis Sensor Market Research

Dimensions of Multi-Axis Sensors – An Interface-Hosted Forum

Multi-Axis Sensors 101

Better Data and Performance with Interface Multi-Axis Sensors

Brochure: BX8 and 6-Axis

Center of Gravity Testing in Robotics Demands Precision Load Cells

As the use of robotics expands across industries and the types of robotic motions grow in complexity, advanced testing using quality measurement solutions is essential. Contact momentum and gross measurements of indicators are not enough for sophisticated robotics. With the requirements for robots and cobots to have fluid and inertial movement capabilities, control and feedback demand maximized feedback and resolution.

Related to the testing of inertia, load shifting, and interaction, is defining the center of gravity for robots’ actions and applications. The center of gravity (CoG) of a robotic system is a critical factor in its stability and performance.

The CoG is the point at which the entire weight of the system is evenly distributed. If the CoG is not properly located, the system may be unstable and prone to tipping over, which could damage the robot.

For any robotic application that deploys advanced mobility features, the center of gravity can affect the way the system moves. It can also impact the exactness of its movements. Thus, it is essential to use measurement solutions that are highly precise. See: Advancements in Robotics and Cobots Using Interface Sensors.

Why Robotic Engineers Care About CoG Testing

  • Stability: The CoG is a major factor in determining the stability of a robot. If the CoG is not properly located, the robot may be unstable and prone to tipping over. This can be a safety hazard, and it can also damage the robot. It is an expensive mistake to not have stability proven before moving forward with the design.
  • Performance: The CoG can also affect the performance of a robot. If the CoG is located too high, the robot may be less maneuverable. If the CoG is located too low, the robot may be less stable. By optimizing the CoG, robotic engineers can improve the performance of the robot and use for actions that rely on exact movement.
  • Safety: In some industries, such as manufacturing, medical and aerospace, there are safety regulations that require robots to have a certain CoG. For example, in the automotive industry, robots that are used to weld cars must have a CoG that is below a certain point. By testing the CoG of their robots, robotic engineers can ensure that they are meeting safety regulations.

There are different methods for determining the CoG of a robotic system. One common method is to use strain gage load cells. Not all load cells are designed for precision measurement. Interface specializes in precision. Center of gravity testing demands strict measurement. For example, Interface compression load cells are often used in center of gravity testing for robotics because they are very accurate and can measure remarkably small forces.

Interface load cells measure force, and they can be used to determine the weight of a system at different points. By measuring the weight of a system at different points, it is possible to calculate the location of the CoG.

Interface load cells used for center of gravity testing are typically in our miniature load cell line, due to the size of the installation and testing environment. Miniature load cells are easily embedded into robotics, as well as can be used for continuous monitoring.

Surgical Robotic Haptic Force and CoG

Robots used for surgery often utilize haptic force feedback for ensuring that the surgeon does not apply too much force, creating harm or greater impact on the patient. Haptic is the use of force, vibration, or other tactile stimuli to create the sensation of touch. In the context of invasive surgery, haptic force feedback from robotics is used to provide the surgeon with feedback about the forces they are applying to the patient’s tissue. CoG testing can help to prevent the robotic arm from tipping over during surgery.

CoG testing is important for haptic force feedback in invasive surgery because it ensures that the robotic arm is stable and does not tip over during surgery. The CoG is the point at which the entire weight of the robotic arm is evenly distributed. If the CoG is not properly located, the robotic arm may be unstable and prone to tipping over. This can be a safety hazard for the surgeon and the patient.

CoG testing is also used to optimize the design of the robotic arm for haptic force feedback. CoG testing using precision load cells can verify the performance of the robotic arm in haptic force feedback applications. After the robotic arm has been designed and optimized, CoG can ensure that the robotic arm is able to provide the surgeon with the feedback they need to perform surgery safely and accurately.

Robotic Center of Gravity on Production Line

A company is developing a new robotic arm that will be used to simulate human behavior on a manufacturing product line. The robotic arm will be used to pick and place products, and it is important that the arm is stable and does not tip over. To ensure the stability of the robotic arm, the company needs to determine the CoG of the arm. The load cell is placed on the arm, and the arm will be moved through a range of motions. The data from the load cell will be used to calculate the CoG of the arm.

CoG Testing and Multi-Axis Sensors

Multi-axis load cells are growing in use for robotics testing to provide data across 2, 3 or 6 axes at any given time. These high functioning sensors are ideal for robotic tests where there are simulations of human behaviors. This is detailed in Using Multi-Axis Sensors to Bring Robotics to Life.

To perform CoG testing using precision load cells, a robotic system can be placed on a platform that is supported by the load cells. We call these force plates. The load cells measure the weight of the system at different points, and the data is then used to calculate the location of the CoG. Visit our 6-Axis Force Plate Robotic Arm application note to learn more about force plates and multi-axis sensors.


Benefits Of Using Precision Load Cells for CoG Testing:

  • Interface precision load cells provide advanced sensors functional beyond contact and simple indicator measurement, to maximize robotic feedback and optimize performance.
  • Interface precision load cells can provide accurate measurements of the weight of a robotic system at different points.
  • Interface precision load cells are repeatable and dependable, which means that the results of CoG testing are consistent when testing robots and cobots.
  • Interface precision load cells are easy to use, which makes them a practical option for CoG testing and integration into the actual robot.

There are several benefits to using an Interface Mini Load Cells, like our ConvexBT Load Button Load Cell or MBI Overload Protected Miniature Beam Load Cell for high accuracy CoG testing.

First, the miniature load cell is small and lightweight, which makes it easy to attach to the robotic arm. Second, the load cell is designed for precision measurement, which ensures that the CoG of the arm is accurately determined. Third, the quality of Interface precision load cells provides repeatable and dependable measurement, which means that the results of CoG testing are consistent.

Using a miniature load cell of high accuracy is a valuable way to test the CoG of a robot used to simulate human behavior on a product line. This ensures that the robot is stable and does not tip over, which is critical for safety and efficiency.

In addition to testing the CoG of a robotic arm, other tests for these types of robotics include the weight of the arm, the distribution of the weight of the arm, and the friction between the arm and the surface it is moving on. By considering these factors, it is possible to accurately determine the CoG of a robotic arm and ensure that it is stable and safe to operate.

There are many factors that can affect the accuracy of CoG testing using load cells, including the design, capacity and range of measurement of the load cells, the stability of the platform, and the distribution of the weight of the system.

CoG testing is an important part of the design and development of robotic systems. By determining the CoG of a system, it is possible to improve its stability and performance. If you are interested in learning more about CoG testing using Interface precision load cells, please contact us.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Types of Robots Using Interface Sensors

Robotic Grinding and Polishing

Collaborative Robots Using Interface Sensors

Advancements in Robotics and Cobots Using Interface Sensors

Using Multi-Axis Sensors to Bring Robotics to Life

Robotic Surgery Force Feedback

IoT Industrial Robotic Arm App Note

Force Measurement Solutions for Advanced Manufacturing Robotics

Reduced Gravity Simulation

Tank Weighing and Center of Gravity App Note

 

Automation-and-Robotics-Case-Study

Types of Robots Using Interface Sensors

Robots are increasingly being used in a wide range of applications, from manufacturing and healthcare to entertainment and defense. As robots become more sophisticated, the need for accurate and reliable force measurement becomes even more critical.

Interface load cells and torque transducers are commonly used in the design and testing of new robots. Our sensor technologies are used to measure and monitor forces and loads experienced by various robot components. Load cells are used to measure the forces exerted by robotic arms and grippers, while torque transducers are used to measure the torque generated by motors. Multi-axis load cells are growing in use with robotic engineers throughout the R&D phases for more measurement data to make smarter decisions in design and use of the robot.

The use of Interface load cells and torque transducers in robotics offers several benefits. First, they can help to improve safety by detecting excessive forces or overloads. Second, they can help to optimize performance by providing feedback about the forces being applied by the robot. Third, they can enable more sophisticated control of robotic systems by providing real-time data about the forces and torques being generated. Our miniature load cells are commonly used by robotic OEMs to provide control and feedback during use.

Types of Robotics Using Sensor Technologies

Autonomous robots are engineered to operate independently without human intervention. They are often used in applications such as space exploration, agriculture, and transportation. Cobots work in collaboration with humans, enhancing skills, providing safety, or replacing tedious tasks to increase productivity. Read more in our Advancements in Robotics and Cobots Using Interface Sensors case study. The following highlights robot types that utilize Interface measurement solutions.

Industrial Robots: These robots are used in manufacturing and assembly processes to automate tasks that are repetitive, dangerous or require precision. They are used in a variety of industries such as automotive and aerospace. Robotic arms are frequently used in industrial automation. Check out our Industrial Robotic Arm App Note.

Medical Robots: These robots are used in healthcare applications, such as surgical procedures, diagnosis, and rehabilitation. They are often designed to be highly precise and can perform tasks that are difficult for human surgeons to perform. Learn more: Robotic Surgery Force Feedback

Military and Defense Robots: These highly skilled robots are used in military applications, such as bomb disposal, reconnaissance, and search and rescue missions. They are often designed to operate in dangerous environments where it is not safe for humans.

Educational Robots: These robots are used to teach students about robotics, programming, and technology. They are often designed to be easy to use and intuitive, allowing students to experiment and learn through hands-on experience.

Entertainment Robots: These robots including animatronic robots are designed for amusement purposes, such as robotic toys or theme park attractions. They interactive and engaging, incorporating features like voice and facial recognition. Read about this type of use case here: Animatronics

Consumer Product and Service Robots: These robots are designed to interact with humans and perform tasks such as assisting in healthcare, cleaning, or entertainment.

Why Interface Supplies Robotic Manufacturers with Load Cells

Measurement solutions, including load cells, play a vital role in the design, testing, and operation of robots by providing valuable information about forces, loads, and weights. They contribute to enhancing safety, optimizing performance, and enabling more sophisticated control of robotic systems.

Load cells are used to measure the forces exerted by robotic arms and grippers. By integrating load cells at key points in the robot’s structure, engineers can monitor the forces and torques experienced during operation. This helps in optimizing the robot’s performance, ensuring it operates within safe limits, and improving its control algorithms.

To determine the weight of the robot itself or the payload it carries, sensors are vital. The measurement data is crucial for stability analysis, power calculations, and designing the mechanical structure of the robot to ensure it can handle the intended loads. This is extremely important when utilizing robots in industrial applications for lifting and weighing.

Utilizing robots in production lines requires integrated sensors into robots to protect everyone and the equipment. Integrating load cells into robotic safety systems helps to detect excessive forces or overloads. If a load cell detects a force beyond the specified limit, it can trigger emergency shutdown procedures to prevent damage to the robot or injury to nearby humans.

Calibrating robotic systems in the design phase by using transducers ensures accurate measurement of forces and torques is very important. They are used during testing to validate the performance of the robot under different operating conditions and loads. This data helps engineers fine-tune the control algorithms, improve the robot’s efficiency, and identify potential weaknesses or areas for improvement.

A quality force measurement solution is ideal for real-time feedback about the forces being applied by the robot. This feedback can be used in closed-loop control systems to regulate and adjust the robot’s movements, gripping force, or interaction with the environment. Load cell data can also be integrated into the robot’s control system to ensure accurate and precise force control.

Robotics_InfographicPoster

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Interface Sensors Used for Development and Testing of Surgical Robotics

6-Axis Force Plate Robotic Arm

Automation and Robotics Demands Absolute Precision

Robotic Arm Animated Application Note

Industrial Robotic Arm App Note

 

Interface Supports Wind Tunnel Testing

In the development of an airborne vehicle, like a plane or helicopter, wind tunnel systems are used to gather data across a variety of tests related to the aerodynamics of the vehicle’s design. Whether an object is stationary or mobile, wind tunnels provide insight into the effects of air as it moves over or around the test model. Interface is a supplier of measurement solutions used for aircraft and wind tunnel testing.

Wind tunnels are chambers that test small scale model versions of full systems, or in some cases, parts and components, depending on the size and capabilities of the wind tunnel. They work by allowing the engineers to control airflow within the tunnel and simulate the types of wind force that airplanes and other aircraft will experience in flight. Wind tunnels are also used for testing automobiles, bicycles, drones and space vehicles.

By taking careful measurements of the forces on the model, the engineer can predict the forces on the full-scale aircraft. And by using special diagnostic techniques, the engineer can better understand and improve the performance of the aircraft.

The process for measuring the force and how it reacts to this force works by mounting the model in the wind tunnel on a force balance or test stand. The output is a signal that is related to the forces and moments on the model. Balances can be used to measure both the lift and drag forces. The balance must be calibrated against a known value of the force before, and sometimes during, the test.

Interface’s strain gage load cells are commonly used in wind tunnel testing due to their quality, accuracy and reliability. The instrumentation requirements often depend on the application and type of test. The range of options for both load cells and instrumentation vary based on scale, use, cycle counts, and data requirements.

Instrumentation used in wind tunnel testing can be as simple as our 9325 Portable Sensor Display to a multi-channel data acquisition system. Interface analog, digital and wireless instrumentation solutions provide a range of possibilities. As is the case, wind tunnel testing is typically very sensitive. It is important to calibrate the instrumentation before each test to measurement accuracy.

Types of Wind Tunnel Tests Using Force Measurement Solutions

  • Lift and drag: Load cells are used to measure the two most significant forces that impact aircraft design. Lift is the force that acts perpendicular to the direction of airflow and keeps the craft airborne. Drag is the force that acts parallel to the direction of airflow and opposes forward motion.
  • Side force: This force acts perpendicular to both the direction of airflow and the lift force. It is caused by the difference in pressure between the upper and lower surfaces of the aircraft.
  • Moments: Moments are the forces that act around a point. The most common moments measured in wind tunnels are the pitching moment, the yawing moment, and the rolling moment.
  • Stability and control: Tests conducted to measure the stability and controllability of an aircraft are commonly using force measurement solutions for aircraft design changes or integrating new parts into an existing model.
  • Performance: Particularly important with new designs, engineers use these tests to measure the simulated flight performance under maximum speed, range and fuel efficiency.

The specific tests that are conducted in a wind tunnel depend on the project requirements.

Multi-Axis Sensors for Wind Tunnel Testing Applications

In measuring the forces of a wind tunnel test, multi-axis sensors offer the perfect solution for collecting as much data as possible across every axis, giving the engineer a more complete picture on the aerodynamics of the plane. In fact, Interface has supplied multi-axis load cells for use in several wind tunnel testing applications, for OEMs, testing facilities and part makers.

We offer a variety of multi-axis options including 2, 3 and 6-axis standard and high-capacity configurations depending on testing and data requirements of the user. These sensors can precisely measure the applied force from one direction with little or no crosstalk from the force or moment. Interface products provide excellent performance and accuracy in force and torque measurement.

To match the demands of the volumes of data available using multi-axis sensors in wind tunnel testing, Interface often provides several data acquisition instrumentation solution along with our BlueDAQ software.

Wind Tunnel Test Application

A major aerospace company was developing a new airplane and needed to test their scaled model for aerodynamics in a wind tunnel, by measuring loads created by lift and drag. Interface Model 6A154 6-Axis Load Cell was mounted in the floor of the wind tunnel and connected to the scaled model by a stalk. The wind tunnel blew air over the scaled model creating lift and drag, which was measured and compared to the theoretical airplane models. The output of the 6-axis sensor was connected to the BX8-AS Interface BlueDAQ Series Data Acquisition System, which was connected via USB cable to a computer. Using this solution, the company was able to analyze the collected data and made the necessary adjustments in their design to improve the aerodynamics of their theoretical airplane models.

Interface supports wind tunnel testing and all uses of force measurement in the advancements in aeropspace.

Wind tunnel testing is critical to the aircraft industry, as well as other industries like automotive and space. Interface has been providing multi-axis sensors and strain gage load cells to industry leaders and wind tunnel operators. We understand the unique needs of this type of testing and the instrumentation options that work best with our high-accuracy sensors. We also can work to provide custom solutions, load cells for use in extreme environmental conditions. Contact us to get the right solution for your specific testing program.

Additional Resources

Aircraft Wing Fatigue App Note

Airplane Jacking System

Interface Airplane Static Testing Case Study

Taking Flight with Interface Solutions for Aircraft Testing

Aircraft Yoke Torque Measurement

Aircraft Screwdriver Fastening Control App Note

Interface’s Crucial Role in Vehicle and Urban Mobility Markets

Rigging Engineers Choose Interface Measurement Solutions

 

Advancing Lithium-Ion Battery Test and Measurement

One of the key driving forces behind electric vehicle innovation is advancements in lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery technology. Exploring more efficient and powerful lithium-ion batteries increases electric vehicle adoptions and propels robust Li-ion battery developments into other industries that include industrial automation, robotics, consumer products, machinery and renewable energy.

Today, lithium-ion batteries generally last two to three years. A lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery is an advanced battery technology, also referred to as a secondary cell, that uses lithium ions as the primary component of the electrochemistry design.

To achieve the goal of improved and longer-lasting batteries, a wide variety of testing is needed to confirm performance, capacity, safety and fatigue. Force measurement testing is used in many facets of lithium-ion battery testing. Force testing is done on the battery itself and is used for various stages within the R&D and manufacturing processes.

The lithium-ion battery market is also expanding rapidly. According to Markets and Markets research, this market is projected to reach $135B in 2031, up from an estimated $48.6B in 2023. Interface is poised to support the growth by supplying our industry leading force products to battery and electric vehicle manufacturers around the world.

Li-ion Battery Test & Measurement 

There are several different ways force sensors are being used in the design, manufacturing, and testing of lithium-ion batteries. There is an even wider variety of measurement and high-accuracy sensors being used by engineers in this field. Interface has a product suited for the following test and measurement use cases.

Performance Testing: Load cells are used to measure the mechanical properties and performance of lithium-ion batteries. This is achieved by applying controlled loads to the batteries and monitoring the corresponding responses, such as force, strain, or displacement. Using this data, researchers can evaluate the battery’s structural integrity, durability, and mechanical behavior under different conditions.

Capacity Testing: Load cells can also be employed to assess the capacity and energy density of lithium-ion batteries. By subjecting the batteries to various load profiles and measuring the corresponding electrical outputs, load cells enable the characterization of a battery’s energy storage capabilities and performance over time. This is critically important as electric vehicles manufacturers push to get more range out of their vehicles.

Safety Testing: Lithium-ion batteries are prone to thermal runaway and other safety hazards. By integrating temperature sensors, pressure sensors, and load cells, it becomes possible to monitor and analyze critical parameters during battery operation. Load cells can detect abnormal mechanical forces or stresses that may indicate an impending failure, allowing for preventive measures or shutdown protocols to be implemented.

Environmental Testing: Load cells and other sensor technologies can be utilized to simulate real-world conditions and environmental factors that batteries may encounter during their lifespan. This includes subjecting batteries to vibration testing, temperature cycling, humidity exposure, or even simulating acceleration forces. By monitoring the battery’s response under these conditions, manufacturers and researchers can assess the battery’s performance and reliability in various environments.

Manufacturing Quality Control: Load cells can be used in battery manufacturing processes to ensure consistent quality and performance. By measuring and analyzing the forces and stresses experienced during assembly, welding, or compression processes, load cells can help identify manufacturing defects, inconsistencies, or deviations from design specifications.

Interface has detailed several examples of these types of testing in the following electric vehicle battery application notes:

Electric Vehicle Battery Load Testing Feature and Application

Electric Vehicle Structural Battery Testing

Electric Vehicle Battery Monitoring

Interface Products Used in Li-ion Battery Tests

Several types of load cells can be used in lithium-ion battery tests, depending on the specific requirements and parameters being measured. Here are a few commonly used load cell types in battery testing:

  • Compression Load Cells are often employed to measure the compressive forces applied to lithium-ion batteries during performance or safety testing. Compression load cells are designed to accurately sense and quantify the forces experienced when batteries are subjected to compression, stacking, or other types of mechanical loading.
  • Tension Load Cells are utilized when measuring the tensile forces applied to batteries. They are particularly useful in applications where the batteries are subjected to tension or pulling forces, such as in certain structural integrity tests or when evaluating the behavior of battery modules or packs under different loading conditions. Tension load cells provide high accuracy measurement.
  • Shear Beam Load Cells are suitable for measuring shear forces, which occur when two forces are applied in opposite directions parallel to each other but not in the same line. In lithium-ion battery testing, shear and bending beam load cells can be used to assess the mechanical behavior of battery components, such as adhesive bonds or interfaces, where shear forces may be a critical parameter.
  • Multi-Axis Load Cells are designed to measure forces in multiple directions simultaneously. These multi-axis sensors are beneficial when evaluating complex loading scenarios or when assessing the behavior of batteries under multidirectional forces. They provide a comprehensive understanding of the mechanical response of the battery in different directions.
  • Customized Load Cells are engineered to the unique requirements of various testing options and use cases for lithium-ion battery testing and performance monitoring. These load cells can be tailored to fit the battery’s form factor, provide high accuracy, or measure specific force parameters critical to the testing objectives. Interface can work directly with our customers to understand the use case and design a product suited for your specific needs. Go here to inquire about Interface Custom Solutions.

Interface is also supplying force measurement products used in research and for mining operations that supply the materials used in lithium-ion batteries. To learn more about Interface’s products and offerings used in the advances of Li-ion batteries and electric vehicle design, test and manufacturing, visit our automotive solutions.

Additional Resources

Feature Article Highlights Interface Solutions for EV Battery Testing

EV Battery Testing Solutions Utilize Interface Mini Load Cells

Interface Powers Smart Transportation Solutions

Force Sensors Advance Industrial Automation

Evolving Urban Mobility Sector for Test and Measurement

 

A Promising Future in Measurement and Analysis Using Multi-Axis Sensors

By combining the measurements from multiple axes, multi-axis sensors provide a better assessment of an object’s motion or orientation in three-dimensional space. Measuring the changes in resistance or output voltage from the sensing elements along multiple axes, multi-axis load cells can accurately determine the forces acting on them. The combination of the signals from different axes provides a comprehensive understanding of the force distribution, enabling engineers to analyze and optimize designs, evaluate structural integrity, and ensure safe and efficient operation in various applications.

Multi-axis load cells have significant advantages and provide valuable benefits in testing labs. The top reason to use multi-axis sensors is to get more measurement data. The data provided when using a 2, 3 or 6-Axis load cell is used in various applications, including robotics, space projects, virtual reality, motion tracking, navigation systems, and innovative consumer products.

Engineers and product designers prefer multi-axis load cells for several reasons. Multi-axis load cells enable engineers and designers to capture forces along multiple directions simultaneously. This capability is particularly beneficial when dealing with complex and multidirectional forces, which are common in real-world applications. By obtaining a complete understanding of how forces act on a structure or product, engineers can design more robust and optimized solutions.

The Promises of Multi-Axis Sensors

  • Comprehensive force measurement and better data analysis: Multi-axis load cells enable precise measurement of forces in multiple directions simultaneously. Multi-axis load cells provide richer and more comprehensive data for analysis. The data is valuable for evaluating structural integrity, load distribution, and performance characteristics of a design.
  • Compact size with robust capabilities: Smaller sensors with digital outputs are easier and less expensive to permanently install into their machines. Size impacts the install, testing and monitoring. Multi-axis sensors are best embedded into products for a real-world application that needs the data, while reducing the number of single load cells and overall size of a product.
  • Increased accuracy and reliability: Multi-axis sensors track performance and reliability better than traditional sensors with more measurements in more directions, enhancing the accuracy and reliability of test results. They provide a more complete understanding of how forces are distributed and interact within a structure, helping researchers and engineers make informed decisions based on reliable data.
  • Wide range of applications: Multi-axis sensors are needed to keep up with modern technologies and application requirements. Multi-axis load cells are used in various testing scenarios, including materials testing, structural testing, product development, and quality control. They are used in industries such as aerospace, automotive, manufacturing, civil engineering, and more. As technology advances and testing requirements become more sophisticated, the demand for multi-axis load cells is likely to grow.
  • Efficiency and cost-effectiveness: A single multi-axis load cell can replace multiple sensors. This consolidation simplifies the testing setup, reduces complexity, and lowers costs. Multi-axis sensors maximize return on investment for testing devices.
  • Enhanced testing capabilities: Multi-axis load cells enable more advanced testing procedures. Digitized sensor information allows for remote monitoring increased analytics, easy access and data collection. This expands the range of tests that can be performed and provides more comprehensive data for analysis and evaluation.
  • Saving space in testing: Using a single multi-axis load cell saves physical space in the testing. This is particularly important in situations where space limited or when performing tests in confined environments. By reducing the footprint of the load cell setup, engineers and designers can optimize the use of their workspace.
  • Simplifying set-up: Using a single multi-axis load cell simplifies the testing setup compared to using multiple single-axis load cells. It reduces the number of sensors, cables, and connections required, leading to a streamlined testing process. This simplicity improves efficiency, saves time, and reduces the chances of errors associated with multiple sensors and connections.

Interface Multi-Axis Sensor Models

2-AXIS LOAD CELLS: Interface’s 2-Axis Load Cells measure any two forces or torques simultaneously, have minimal crosstalk, are standard off-the-shelf and are high accuracy sensors.

3-AXIS LOAD CELLS: Interface’s 3-axis load cell measures force simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes: X, Y, and Z – tension and compression. Options include:

6-AXIS LOAD CELLS: Interface’s 6-Axis Load Cell measures force simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes and three simultaneous torques about those same axes. Six full bridges provide mV/V output on six independent channels. A 36-term coefficient matrix is included for calculating the load and torque values in each axis. In the end, they provide more data, accuracy, are very stiff and cost-effective for a wide range of testing options.

Interface continues to add to our product line of advanced multi-axis sensors. Read New Interface Multi-Axis Load Cells to see our latest model additions.

The future of multi-axis is evolving in versatility for various system level health monitoring for products and components. Data is valuable now and in the future. These sensors enable test engineers to collect more data now for future analysis. For example, an automotive electronics manufacturer could limit recall to only parts that match extremely specific build criteria based on the detailed sensor data that is captured and stored during product evaluations and testing.

The outlook for multi-axis load cells is promising. Their ability to provide comprehensive force measurement, improve efficiency, and enhance testing capabilities makes them a valuable tool for researchers, engineers, and quality assurance professionals. With ongoing advancements in sensor technology and increasing demand for precise and reliable testing, multi-axis load cells are expected to play a crucial role in the future of testing labs.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Using Multi-Axis Sensors To Bring Robotics To Life

Mounting Tips For Multi-Axis Sensors

BX8-HD44 BlueDAQ Series Data Acquisition System For Multi-Axis Sensors With Lab Enclosure

Enhancing Friction Testing With Multi-Axis Sensors

Recap Of Inventive Multi-Axis And Instrumentation Webinar

Interface Multi-Axis Sensor Market Research

Dimensions of Multi-Axis Sensors Virtual Event Recap

Better Data and Performance with Interface Multi-Axis Sensors

Multi-Axis Sensor Applications

Force Measurement Solutions Demonstrations at Automotive Testing Expo

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.

AxialTQ Demonstration

Another product that will be a focus is the revolutionary AxialTQ™ Wireless Rotary Torque Transducer. Designed for the automotive industry, this transducer is common for advanced torque tests and in the electric vehicle markets. Interface presented a new white paper that provides comparative research related to the AxialTQ product, demonstrating its performance related to other offerings. Read AxialTQ Technical White Paper Details Comparative Testing.

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.

Bluetooth® Brake Pedal Animated Application Note

Additional Automotive Solutions and Resources

EV Battery Testing Solutions Utilize Interface Mini Load Cells

Electric Vehicle Battery Monitoring App Note

Torque Measurement for Electric Vehicles

Automotive Head Rest Testing App Note

Fine-Tuning Testing Solutions for Championship Racing Vehicles

Automotive Window Pinch Force Testing

Automotive Head Rest Testing Animated Application Note

Automotive + Vehicle Brochure

 

Mounting Tips for Multi-Axis Sensors

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.

In follow-up to our webinar, Inventive Multi-Axis and Instrumentation Webinar, here are some valuable reminders on how to properly mount both 3-Axis and 6-Axis load cells to gather the most accurate and reliable data for any test and measurement application.

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.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Interface Multi-Axis Sensor Market Research

Dimensions of Multi-Axis Sensors; An Interface Hosted Forum

Interface Sensor Mounting and Force Plates

Mounting Plates

3Axis-Mounting-Instructions

Force Sensing Keeps Factories Running Feature in Fierce Electronics

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.

Following his interview with Interface’s Keith Skidmore, Dan writes:

‘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

Read the entire Fierce Electronics article here.

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.

Industrial Robotic Arm

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.