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Interface Manufacturing and Production Solutions

Force measurement is integral to advanced manufacturing systems, especially when it comes to how this technology is used in production lines. Force sensors are utilized in both testing and monitoring of a wide variety of machines to ensure accuracy and repeatability throughout the production line. These sensors are also used by production line engineers in the design and development of systems used to ensure accuracy in measurements of force, weight, compression, and torque as products and components move throughout the line, including distribution.

Watch how Interface provided an industrial automation solution for small pallets used in the distribution of manufactured products. In the video, we highlight a request for a pallet weighing solution to use in their warehouse to monitor their products and goods 24/7. They need to use sensor technologies to verify if any products are missing based on the weight, and able to determine pricing for their goods based on the weight.

Interface works with a large range of manufacturers and equipment makers to improve quality and productivity by supplying high-performance measurement solutions. From using miniature load cells to apply the exact force needed to press a brand identity onto fragile consumable, to using multi-axis sensors for verifying performance data when making intricately machined parts, Interface products are commonplace in manufacturing and production.

In fact, Interface offers manufacturing and production standard off-the-shelf, engineered to order and complete OEM solutions including load cells, instrumentation and weighing devices. Our products provide the quality and durability necessary within industrial environments. In addition, we can customize the majority of our products to fit unique and evolving needs as sensor technologies like robotics and advanced manufacturing devices are integrated into production lines.

Load cells are frequently used in monitoring equipment. Interface can custom design force sensors to be installed directly into product for monitoring certain forces in real-time, including for use in industrial automation robotics. This is particularly popular in manufacturing because you can monitor equipment to understand when it may be out of alignment and needs to come down for repair, rather than risking a disruption in production. This is particularly important in automated production lines because it gives engineers and extra set of eyes on machines and improves efficiency overall by reducing downtime.

One of the unique use cases for load cells used for monitoring is in weighing materials held on pillow blocks bearings. Pillow block bearings, or similarly constructed bearing, are used to carry rolled materials or conveyor belt. Interface’s new PBLC1 Pillow Block Load Bearing Load Cell can be placed underneath the bearing to measure the weight of whatever material is being held up. These types of bearing are often found in machines with similar type of bearing are used on conveyor belts moving products down a production line.

Manufacturing Feed Roller System

A customer has a feed roller system and needs to monitor the forces of both ends of the rollers, in order to maintain a constant straight feed. They would also prefer a wireless system. Interface came to the rescue with our Pillow Block Load Cells and WTS Wireless Telemetry Systems. Interface suggests installing two PBLC Pillow Block Load Cells at both ends of the bottom roller to measure the forces being applied. The forces are measured when connected to WTS-AM-1E Wireless Strain Bridge Transmitter Module. The data is then transmitted wirelessly to the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station and the WTS-BS-1-HA Wireless Handheld Display for multiple transmitters, where data can be displayed, graphed, and logged on the customer’s computer.

Production Line Conveyor Belt Adhesion Test

A customer wants to test the adhesion strength in between the many layers and textiles of a conveyor belt. They want to conduct a separation test from the rubber of the conveyor belt from the other layers. They would also like a wireless solution. Interface’s SMA Miniature S-Type Load Cell is installed in the customer’s tensile test load frame, where it measures the forces applied as the test is conducted and the layers are pulled and separated. When connected to the WTS-AM-1F Wireless Strain Bridge Transmitter Module, the data is wirelessly transmitted to WTS-BS-5 Wireless Analog Output Receiver Module with nV output. The WTS-BS-5 can then connect to the 9330 Battery Powered High Speed Data Logging Indicator to display, graph, and log the data with supplied BlueDAQ software.

Industrial Automation Robotic Arm for Production

A manufacturer of a robot arm needs to measure force and torque when the arm picks up and places objects. The manufacturer needs a wireless system to accomplish this in order to log the measurement results. Interface supplied Model 6A40A 6-Axis Load Cell with Model BX8-HD44 Data Acquisition/Amplifier.

Interface force sensors can be used in a number of ways within the manufacturing industry across a variety of applications for the test and monitoring of machines and production lines.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Force Measurement Solutions for Advanced Manufacturing Robotics

Robotics and Automation are Changing Modern Manufacturing at Interface

Vision Sensor Technology Increases Production Reliability

Industrial Automation Brochure

Weighing Solutions Brochure

Smart Pallet Solution

Interface Solutions for Safety and Regulation Testing and Monitoring

Introducing the Interface Consumer Product Testing Case Study

The global consumer products market is a multi-billion dollar industry that thrives on innovation and new product development. There are numerous opportunities to utilize sensor-based technologies to test for safe use and monitor product performance.

Interface is a source of quality precision force sensor technologies used throughout the product lifecycle from concept and R&D, through engineering and testing, to manufacturing and eventually consumption. We supply force measurement solutions for use in equipment, machines, tools, and integration into actual products like our miniature load cells to measure performance and use. We even provide products to accurately measure and monitor hardware used in consumer product distribution. Interface load cells and instrumentation help consumer product designers and fabricators drive usability, adoption, production efficiencies, and ensure safety to satisfy the needs of all types of consumers.

In our latest case study, Interface Delivers for Consumer Products, we highlight specific use cases and products that are used by the consumer products industry. Interface offers multitudes of products, from sensors used to measure weight on the production line of a consumer good to regulating how the consumer can use the product by using embedded load cells into the actual product.

Here are a few examples of how our force sensors are used in the consumer products industry:

  • Keyboards and buttons: Force sensors can be used to measure the force applied to keys on a keyboard or buttons on electronic devices, such as smartphones or game controllers, to ensure that they have a consistent and satisfying feel for the user.
  • Package testing: Force sensors can be used to measure the force applied to packaged consumer goods, such as food and beverage containers, during transportation and handling to ensure that they are not damaged and that their contents are protected.
  • Automotive testing: Force sensors can be used to measure the forces applied to various components of a vehicle during crash testing, such as doors and seat belts, to ensure that they meet safety standards and provide adequate protection for the occupants.
  • Sports equipment: Force sensors can be used to measure the force applied to sports equipment, such as golf clubs, tennis rackets, and baseball bats, to ensure that they meet performance and safety standards.
  • Wearable devices: Force sensors can be used to measure the force applied to wearable devices, such as fitness trackers, to ensure that they are durable and can withstand the wear and tear of daily use.

Our specialty is building force measurement solutions for the testing and monitoring of parts and total systems, which is vital to manufacturers and designers of consumer packaged goods. Accurate measurement is necessary in design, prototyping and producing final consumer products across all industries for performance and safety. These solutions are ideal for consumer product stand-alone testing rigs, production equipment, as well as embedding into products to increase operability and reliability for end users.

Additional consumer products applications utilizing Interface quality measurement solutions include:

These are just a few examples of how force sensors are used in the consumer products industry to measure the force applied to a variety of products. The use of force sensors is essential for ensuring that consumer products meet safety and performance standards, and for providing consumers with a high-quality user experience.

To better illustrate and address our solutions designed for consumer products across sectors, we have developed a case study outlining the consumer product testing challenges and technology we offer for these customers.
Interface Delivers for Consumer Products Case Study

Interface Solutions for Production Line Engineers

Due to the influence of IoT, AI and big data, the role of production line engineer has become far more critical as manufacturers demand peak efficiency. These engineers need to stay current in automation technologies used to design, build, and monitor a production line for the benefits of decreasing speed to market, lowering costs, and improving outputs at the highest quality standards.

Among the many software and hardware solutions these individuals must also understand connected sensors are among the most important. Sensors are the nervous system of an automated production line, telling which machines must perform certain tasks, when, and how. They are a source for smart factories and smart manufacturing.

Sensors modernize manufacturing, assembly, and production lines by enabling real-time monitoring and control of the production process.

Measurement solutions provide accurate data on production parameters such as temperature, speed, pressure, force, and other relevant variables, which can then be used to optimize the production process, detect, and resolve problems in real-time, and prevent downtime. Additionally, sensors can be integrated into industrial IoT systems to provide valuable insights and analytics that can help manufacturers make data-driven decisions.

One of the sensor types that play a key role in these automated production lines are force sensors. Force sensors can be used by production line engineers across several different facets of an automated line. When designing a manufacturing line, there are quite a few factors that go into the full system. This includes process monitoring, quality control, predictive maintenance, energy management and inventory management. Force sensors play a role in each of these types of data points and processes.

For instance, a production line engineer can install sensors onto a machine that outputs a great deal of torque and monitor that torque to ensure the components creating that force are running smoothly, or if there are certain indicators that say it needs to be pulled off the line briefly for maintenance. When products on the line trigger certain force parameters such as weight, this can also tell the automated production line it is ready for the next stop in the process. Production line engineers design these lines around the sensing capabilities available and connected force sensing products have made a major difference in helping things become more efficient.

There is another automated process that also requires force sensors that is used as part of a manufacturing line, or as a standalone system – robotics. Production line engineers are doing a great deal of research and development into robotics to automate process that are repetitive, or far too delicate for human hands. Force sensors, in this use case, are used in both the testing of robotics to ensure accuracy or developed into the robotics to monitor certain functions over time.

Robotics can improve assembly and production processes, leading to higher efficiency, improved quality, and reduced costs. As technology continues to advance, the use of robotics by production line engineers in assembly and production is likely to become even more widespread.

Here at Interface, we have a great deal of experience in developing solutions for industrial automation and manufacturing lines. We have developed a few application notes to outline how production line engineers use our sensor solutions and force measurement products.

6-Axis Force Plate Robotic Arm

A customer wanted to measure the reaction forces of their robotic arm for safety purposes. The reaction loads occur at the robotic arm’s base; therefore, they needed a force measurement system at the base of the robotic arm. Interface suggested using their force plate option to install at the base of the robotic arm. Four 3-Axis Force Load Cells were installed between two force plates, then installed at the bottom of the arm. This creates one large 6-Axis Force Plate. The sensors force data is recorded and displayed through the two BX8 Multi-Channel Bridge Amplifier and Data Acquisition Systems onto the customer’s PC or laptop. Interface’s 6-Axis Force Plate was able to successfully measure the reaction forces of the customer’s robotic arm. Read more here.

Press Load Monitoring

Press forming is a method to deform varied materials. For instance, materials such as steel can be bent, stretched, or formed into shapes. A force measurement solution is required to monitor the forces being applied by the press forming machine. This ensures quality control and traceability during the production process. For large press forming machines, Interface recommends installing the 1000 High-Capacity Fatigue-Rated LowProfile™ Load Cell. When the material is placed under the punch plate to form a shape, the force applied is measured by the 1000 Series Load Cell. The force results captured is sent to the INF-USB3 Universal Serial Bus Single Channel PC Interface Module, where results can be graphed and logged on the customer’s PC with provided software. Interface’s force measurement products and instrumentation accurately monitored and logged the force results of the press force machine, ensuring zero-error production performance. Learn more about this application here.

Snack Weighing and Packaging Machine

A snack manufacturing brand wanted to weigh the amount of their snacks that is automatically dispersed into the bags during the packaging process. In this case, they wanted to weigh their potato chips being packaged. The company also wanted to ensure the potato chips are at the exact weight needed due to regulatory standards to be distributed out to consumers in the public. Interface’s solution was to use multiple SPI Platform Scale Load Cells, and install it to the potato multi-head weigher and packaging machine. The SPI Platform Scale Load cells were installed inside of the mount that attaches the head weigher to the packaging machine. Force results from the potato chips were read by the load cells and sent to the ISG Isolated DIN Rail Mount Signal Conditioner, where the customer is able to control the automated production from their command center. Using this solution, the customer was able to determine the weight of the potato chips being distributed into their bags with highly accurate results. They also were able to control the automated production process with the provided instrumentation. They will use this same weighing method for other snacks that need to be packaged. Read about the solution here.

Production line engineers turn to Interface due to our quality, accuracy, and reliability. Our products are used to test, monitor in real time, and created automated processes within a manufacturing line. As automation and robotics grow, you will continue to see new applications for sensors in this sector.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

IoT Industrial Robotic Arm App Note

Quality Engineers Require Accurate Force Measurement Solutions

Vision Sensor Technology Increases Production Reliability

Force Measurement Solutions for Advanced Manufacturing Robotics

Robotics and Automation are Changing Modern Manufacturing at Interface

Industrial-Automation-Brochure-1

 

Taking Measure of Miniature Load Cells Webinar

Interface force measurement engineers and solution experts host an online discussion focused on products used to withstand one or more conditions related to temperature, cycling, moisture, environmental stresses. Learn about Interface’s stainless steel load cells, environmentally sealed options, submersible test and measurement products, enclosures, wireless capabilities, load pins, intrinsically safe products. We detail solutions used for all types of applications used in industries that include medical device, aerospace and defense, industrial automation, infrastructure, maritime and general test & measurement. We discuss sensors models, capabilities, features and FAQs. We dive into use cases, tips, measurement know-how and OEM products.

Enabling Internet of Things Capabilities

Interface’s new case study explores the demands for connecting products using sensors through the Internet to provide measured and accurate feedback, improving the user experience. The connected requirements for consumer products and industrial automation continue to grow as interconnectivity between devices increases usability, productivity and safety.

Interface Sensor Technologies Enables IoT Capabilities highlights products that are considered part of the Internet of Things (IoT) industry. What is IoT? It is often used to describe products and components with sensors, which are often embedded technologies, used to connect and share data with other devices and systems via the Internet.

Interface is a solutions provider for those that need quality, accurate measurement solutions for IoT enablement to create smart products. We provide a range of load cells, in various sizes and capacities, along with instrumentation and wireless telemetry systems for IoT applications, from home appliances and fitness equipment to manufacturing robotics and self checkout kiosks. The capabilities to utilize immediate sensor data make products smarter, allowing for engineers and consumers to better control the reliability and functions of the sensor-enabled components. IoT enablement uses force sensor measurement paired with data signal compatibility.

Our product and applications experts work with engineers, product designers, testing labs and manufacturers to find the right solution, whether it is for a single project or to actual use our sensors as an OEM for a new product that goes to market.

Accuracy in measurement is paramount to the functioning of IoT, as the data is used to measure the use and impact. Data from the measurement sensor, when connected cloud-enabled and Internet wireless devices, increases the ability for products to adjust in real-time. This can be seen in products like ice makers, as well as lifting heavy objects. The feedback of activity is sent through the sensor to the data output module, so that the information can be used and viewed by Internet connected devices.

Read the case study for more ideas and use cases for connecting products and components through sensor-based IoT solutions.

Interface Sensor Technologies Enables IoT Capabilities

Interface Details Hydrogen Electrolyzers Solution in Design News

In the new article, Force sensing helps hydrogen electrolyzers efficiently harness energy, Randy White, OEM Business Development Manager at Interface details how products made the the leader in force measurement are used for increasing operational efficiencies in renewable energy production.

Published in Design News in November 2022, the article focuses on using advanced sensor technologies to measure critical infrastructure that is used for hydrogen production and storage. As outlined in the article, Interface is a supplier of choice for innovative solutions used in the energy industry. Randy details how Interface LWHP14 Precision Load Washer Load Cells are used to monitor tie rods and submit results via a WTS-AM-1E Wireless Strain Bridge Transmitter Module for accurately reporting critical measurements in real-time.

Here is a quick excerpt from the article, Force sensing helps hydrogen electrolyzers efficiently harness energy.

The use of hydrogen as a clean and reliable renewable energy source has been a carrot on a stick for green energy innovators for many, many years. Scientists and technologists have understood the positive impact of hydrogen for a long time, and even harnessed it at times, but the ability to reliably store and harness this energy at a reasonable cost has previously eluded them. However, hydrogen is back in full force as storage and battery technology has advanced, giving new life to the promise of hydrogen.

Hydrogen is critical to the future of green energy because it is an optimal solution to storing renewable energy from other sources such as wind and water. In certain areas, like California, we’re actually producing too much energy from renewable sources, but have no place to store. This is leading to a tremendous amount of resource loss. Therefore, hydrogen innovation has come back to become a storage solution to curtail waste and hold enough energy to power more infrastructure with green energy.

Read more here.

Watch the actual use case in our animated Electrolyzer and Fuel Cell Tie Rod Monitoring Application Note.

Interface engineers and application experts work to design force measurement solutions that are customized for unique applications. Our solutions are available as stand-alone and at scale to include in manufactured parts, components, machines and products. Contact us to learn more.

Ruggedized Test and Measurement Solutions Webinar

Interface force measurement engineers and solution experts host an online discussion focused on products used to withstand one or more conditions related to temperature, cycling, moisture, environmental stresses. Learn about Interface’s stainless steel load cells, environmentally sealed options, submersible test and measurement products, enclosures, wireless capabilities, load pins, intrinsically safe products. We detail solutions used for all types of applications used in industries that include medical device, aerospace and defense, industrial automation, infrastructure, maritime and general test & measurement. We discuss sensors models, capabilities, features and FAQs. We dive into use cases, tips, measurement know-how and OEM products.

Interface Introduces SuperSC S-Type Miniature Load Cell

Interface has released its latest load cell invention, the SuperSC S-Type Miniature Load Cell. Interface’s new product is an s-type miniature load cell that offers capacities in a form factor 80% smaller and 50% lighter than other models of s-type load cells. It’s ideal for industry 4.0 applications.

The Interface SuperSC is an economical general purpose load cell with a compact design. It is perfect for all types of test and measurement applications in confined spaces and for OEM use cases with smaller product dimensions. The miniature sensor is also environmentally sealed and insensitive to off axis loading.

Designed by Interface’s engineer Raymunn Machado-Prisbrey, 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 are imperial standards. They are environmentally sealed with an IP66 rating and offer high stiffness with low detection.

“S-type load cells have grown in popularity every year since their introduction in 1974 by Interface’s founder, primarily due to their design features and performance for use in diverse force measurement applications.” Mark Weathers, VP of Advanced Manufacturing and OEM Products

Due to its high capacity and compact housing, it is an ideal sensor for weighing and test machines, as well as in OEM product designs for ongoing performance measurement and monitoring. S-type load cells are some of Interface’s most popular products. The new product release of the SuperSC represents the next generation of the versatile Interface Mini product offerings.

“The SuperSC is the next generation of s-type load cells with the Interface’s distinguishable high quality, accuracy, reliability, and range of capacities, while also offering a more compact design and options for customization and embedding into products and machines,” said Mark Weathers, VP of Advanced Manufacturing and OEM Products

The Interface SuperSC is manufactured at Interface’s headquarters in Arizona. It has accessories and different build options, including a high-temperature rated version, fatigue rated, special calibrations, and it also can be pre-installed with rod end bearings. Interface also plans to introduce a submersible, IP68 rated version and a model specialized for load compensation.

The new Interface SuperSC S-Type Miniature Load Cell and review specification sheets and pricing are here.

Interface highlighted the product in the recent Superior S-Type Load Cells webinar recording.

PRESS RELEASE

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Superior S-Types Webinar Recap and New SuperSC

SuperSC S-Type Miniature Load Cell

Superior S-Type Load Cells Webinar

S-Type Load Cells 101

Superior S-Types Webinar Recap and New SuperSC

Interface hosted a new online seminar, Superior S-Type Load Cells, to highlight the different models, capabilities, and features of this popular type of force measurement transducer. It also provided a terrific opportunity to showcase one of Interface’s latest inventions, the new SuperSC S-Type Load Cell.

Interface’s Raymunn Machado-Prisbrey, Randy White and Mark Weathers detail important topics during this essential force sensors event. The presentation focuses on various S-type products, an engineering perspective, use cases and applications, along with the news of the SuperSC product release.

S-type load cells, sometimes called s-beams, get its nomenclature from the “S” looking model of the load cell. The classification of this type of load cell is considered a miniature sensor. They are part of Interface’s extensive line of Mini Load Cells.

One of the clear advantages of this load cell, that Interface brought to market in 1974 through an invention by our founder Richard F. Caris, is that it can be used to measure tension and compression.

Common Standard S-Types Use Cases

  • Controlled tension and compression measurement applications
  • Proof loading
  • Fatigue and high cycle count tests
  • Material testing
  • Suspended weighing and platform scales
  • Rigs, cranes, and hoists
  • OEM systems
  • Test machine integrations

The “S” shaped load cell has mechanical attachments on the top and bottom. The strain gage bridge is located at center. Interface uses a Wheatstone bridge with proprietary strain gages in a bending configuration. This offers a more efficient inline package versus standard bending bridge sensors for improved off axis insensitivity.

Watch our latest webinar to learn more about the versatile miniature S-Type Load Cells and the news about our SuperSC.


As detailed in the webinar, one of the biggest benefits is the scalable design that can accommodate a wide range of capacities through material and dimensional changes. S-types gained their popularity with requirements for small form factors and precision. They are now some of Interface’s top 10 products.

Engineers and testing labs prefer Interface’s s-type sensors for:

  • Proven load cell form with Interface’s strain gages
  • High accuracy
  • Size and much smaller than typical load cells
  • Value and cost-effective solution
  • Flexibility to fit in limited spaces
  • Easy to integrate
  • Universal for tension and compression testing

S-types are used inline during loading. They feature threaded mounting holes, providing stability and accuracy in measurement. They are not designed to be used for moving or rotating test objects. S-types are used in individual use cases for testing rigs and machines, as well as OEM solutions embedded into a product for continuous measurement and feedback.

Interface has a wide range of specialized miniature s-type load cells including:

  • Sealed
  • Micro-size
  • Fatigue-rated
  • High-temperature ratings
  • Low height
  • Overload protected
  • Intrinsically safe

You can watch the entire online event here. You will be the first to preview the official launch of the SuperSC and how it is modern design, superior performance, and low cost are ideal for OEM solutions. Randy, Ray and Mark detail tips, FAQs and some innovative applications for s-type load cells.

We record all Interface webinars for your convenience. Be sure to subscribe to our Interface YouTube Channel so that you do not miss an event.