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Faces of Interface Featuring Tim Matteson

The Faces of Interface is an important series for the Interface IQ Blog because it highlights the talented people that keep Interface going strong. In this new ForceLeaders feature we interviewed Tim Matteson, product quality and improvement engineer for our Mini OEM product line, to learn a little bit more about his history and what he’s working on these days.

Interface’s Tim Matteson grew up in the small town of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin (and yes, there are many cheese jokes here) between Green Bay and Milwaukee. He was fond of the electrical and mechanical world, having grown up with a father who owned an electronics business and often doing work for him. This interest drove Tim towards mechanical fields and hobbies.

Immediately after school, Tim went to work for a printing company called Action Printing in Wisconsin. His job was to keep the large, fast, and loud presses in working order. Through this work he learned he had a proficiency for troubleshooting and problem-solving. Tim worked his way through the ranks at Action Printing, eventually becoming the assistant plant manager where he managed a crew and ensured production remained efficient.

Eventually, and after a trip to warm and sunny Arizona, Tim and his wife decided it was time for a change of scenery. Tim moved to Arizona shortly after the vacation and started working at another commercial printing company, Signature Offset. He spent 10-years there as the operations manager, and while he enjoyed his time with the company, the decline of the printing industry had Tim looking for a new opportunity.

Tim joined Interface in August 2010 as our second shift manager, which entailed keep an eye on production throughout our facility. After a few years, he moved to become the department supervisor of one of our most popular product lines, Interface Mini Load Cells. He then moved up again, becoming a business unit manager. In this role, he oversaw production for three different product lines, including our popular minis. And now today, Tim runs the Mini OEM product line as the product quality and improvement engineer.

In this role, Tim oversees the production of one of Interface’s fastest-growing business units in OEMs. His job is to ensure that production is running as efficiently as possible and that every product that leaves the floor has the same premium quality that Interface is known for in the industry. Tim says that the thing he enjoys most about working at Interface is the fact that he gets to put his problem-solving and troubleshooting skills to work every day. He’s also dealing with a lot of detailed drawings of Interface products, which brings back fond memories of his drafting days.

In his free time, Tim likes to spend his time outdoors exploring Arizona. One of he and his wife’s favorites spots to hike is the Superstition Mountains. The couple has also hiked the Grand Canyon 10 times now, often camping out at our state’s Wonder of the World. He says that he and his wife probably spend so much time outdoors nowadays because they’ve escaped the winter weather and can enjoy time outside nearly all year long.

Tune in each month as we feature another Interface employee or partner. To view the entire series, visit our ForceLeaders page here.

Interface Promotes Key Leaders to Expand Services, New Markets and Innovations

Interface, the world’s trusted leader in technology, design, and manufacturing of force measurement solutions, announced this month key leadership changes within the organization. Ian James was promoted to chief operating officer (COO), Brian Peters was promoted to vice president of Global Sales, and the role of Mark Weathers, vice president of Interface’s Mini and 1923 Wireless products, is now leading advanced manufacturing and OEM solutions. These executive promotions are key steps to drive Interface’s sustained growth across multiple product lines, as well as its expansion into new markets and industries.

“Ian, Brian and Mark represent our breadth of leadership within our organization,” said Greg Adams, CEO, Interface. “In alignment with our entire Interface team, they are instrumental in growing our position as the leader in premium, accurate, and reliable force measurement solutions. Our company is fueled by our dedicated employees and I am honored to be part of their continuous efforts and commitment to provide the high-quality products and an exceptional customer experience for all of those we serve.”

Despite disruptions caused by the global pandemic in 2020, Interface continued to find new ways to help customers across multiple industries. The company launched one of its most innovative load cell products to date in ConvexBT, and expanded manufacturing and global sales of its international G Series SI-based load cell product line. Interface also expanded its automation and high volume, engineered-to-order production capabilities, and added manufacturing representatives GenTek and Hill and Company to improve in-market sales support in the U.S.

Ian James is a seasoned senior executive with a background in manufacturing and systems. After spending the early part of his career in the UK military, he held a series of senior roles in GE before founding two successful startups. He has worked with Interface since late 2017, most recently as vice president of sales. In his new role as COO, James sees his primary challenge and opportunity as leading the transformation of operations to a new and robust manufacturing model that will help the company serve its customers with world class products supported by an unbeatable customer experience.

Brian Peters served as a successful regional sales manager before his promotion to vice president of Global Sales. Peters is now responsible for the worldwide sales network for Interface, including U.S. manufacturing representatives and international distributors. Stepping into his new role, Peters looks forward to bringing over a decade of direct experience to steer Interface’s continued efforts of industry leading customer support and targeted market growth in the test and measurement, industrial applications, and OEM markets.

“As we navigate the current dynamic landscape, it’s critical that we remain agile to stay in front of changing market demands and customer requirements,” said Peters. “Our diversification across a wide range of industries has provided us both stability through the pandemic and wide-reaching insight as markets are recovering. Interface has already experienced ramping growth in early 2021, and our ability to outpace and out service our competition will be vital to Interface maintaining the gold standard expectations set by our customers and the force measurement industry as a whole.”

Mark Weathers has extended his leadership role in Interface’s focus on automation and OEM (original equipment manufacturer) business solutions. His expanded role is a result of his continued achievements as vice president of Interface’s Mini and 1923 Wireless production groups, where he has been able to cut lead times for some of Interface’s higher volume products by 50% or more. This title change reflects the company’s new strategic priorities of growing its higher-volume custom OEM business, and the closely related improvement of its technology and manufacturing processes to improve cost and performance.

“The VP of Advanced Manufacturing and OEM products is an extension of my former role as VP of Mini and 1923, which are largely OEM products. My role will be to prepare us to be more competitive by innovating in both product and process, resulting in cost positions that allow us to move into higher volume OEM applications,” said Mark Weathers, vice president of advanced manufacturing and OEM products.

NEWS ARTICLE: Interface Promotes Three, Expanding Roles for Innovations, Services and New Markets

PRESS RELEASE: Force Measurement Solutions Leader Interface Announces Executive Promotions Supporting its Continued Growth and Expansion

What is New in Custom Solutions

Here at Interface, we make it a priority to adapt to the needs of our customers in any way possible. Each year we gather vast amounts of data and feedback to address changes in the marketplace and advancements in technology. Often, this comes in the form of new product releases developed specifically with our customer’s most significant needs in mind. However, new product releases take time for development, testing and release. When customers need to address a challenge quickly, we turn to our innovative custom solutions team.

No matter the project, chances are there is a customized force measurement product to fulfill the requirement. We work directly with our customer’s engineering and testing teams to understand the challenge and offer alternative solutions to off-the-shelf products. Our dedicated engineers and measurement experts, along with supporting company resources, and advanced engineering lab give Interface the competitive advantage to make any force measurement application work with what we have to offer.

We provided a brief overview of our custom solutions offerings and process a past blog. Today’s post provides an update on what’s new in custom solutions:

New Custom Solutions Offerings

Among the most significant changes to custom solutions is our growing engineered to order offerings for OEM customers. To best serve these customers and testing engineers with premium and affordable force measurement solutions for use in components or products, Interface now offers engineered to order capabilities for the masses. Engineered to order means Interface can deliver force and torque measurement solutions from our massive catalog that are modified to meet the features, specifications, and cost that our customers require, while still retaining the premium accuracy, quality and reliability Interface is known for across every industry we serve.

Another exciting capability that Interface has recently added is the addition of more digital instrumentation communication options for collecting data from our products. We’ve added Models INF1 and INF4 signal conditioners with field bus capability that include CANopen, DeviceNet, CC-Link, Profibus, Profinet, Modbus, and EtherCAT. By adding this capability, our products can interface with networks that customers already have installed in their facilities.

Custom Solutions Applications

Interface customers continue to turn to our experience Custom Solutions Engineers to build systems that utilize a range of sensor technologies, communication devices and even frames and cases to provide a complete structure.  This includes a growing demand for uniquely pairing force and torque components that work remotely through wireless and Bluetooth technologies as well as delivering entire testing units that re mobile or can be used in the field. The possibilities are unlimited with the amount of products Interface in our catalog, including the possibilities of using new designs.

Every year we engage in a host of unique custom solutions projects with our customers. We would like to share of a few of our favorites with you.

Airplane Maintenance – Wireless Customization

When an airplane comes into the shop, engineers often must jack it up to perform maintenance. When you lift a plane, there is always a risk because you can’t put too much stress on the wings and fuselage. To ensure that the maintenance team members weren’t stressing the plane beyond its limits, Interface developed a solution to measure the lifting force of each individual jack used to lift the plane. The solution included a number of Interface Model 1200 Series Load Cell that would transmit the forces applied back to a base station. However, the customization came in the way data was transmitted to the base station. Typically, wires are used for transmission, but in this case, there were 21 load cells used on the lifting equipment. To avoid having 21 wires get in the way, Interface added custom capabilities to the 1200 series to allow it to communicate with the base station wirelessly.

Crane Application – Custom Programming

Lifting heavy objects can be a dangerous job for onsite workers, not to mention, pushing a large industrial crane too far can result in expensive damages and downtime. Therefore, when an Interface’s industrial customer needed to intelligently monitor a crane in the process of lifting, we helped create a custom program to do so. The custom application included a model 1280 and force measurement activated program. Whenever the crane was nearing a weight that was unsafe, an alert was triggered based on the force measurement reading that could either sound an alarm or shut the system down. This created an automated safety system using force data.

Additional Custom Solution Applications and Use Cases are available here. 

Custom solutions are key to Interface’s broad offerings that we provide when off-the-shelf solutions don’t provide exactly what is required. Our design engineers and manufacturing team is ready to work directly with our customers to provide a solution that is right for your project. To learn more, visit us at /custom-solutions/.

Contributor: Ken Bishop

 

 

Load Pins 101

A load pin is a type of load cell that can replace bolts, clevis, sheave, and equalizer pins, as well as other load-bearing components to measure tensile and compression forces. Load pins are internally gauged with a bored center containing strain gauges, allowing them to convert force into an electrical signal for engineers to accurately collect data.

Most applications for load pins in the past have been for overhead equipment like cranes and lifts. Load pins have expanded in popularity and are now often used to test and measure force, load, and limitations in a much larger variety of applications. This includes uses not only for cranes and lifting devices, but also construction equipment, industrial machines, nautical craft and equipment, aerospace, and civil engineering applications. A primary system approach with structural applications is for safety and to prevent excesses in loading and lifting.

New model types with wireless and Bluetooth technology are also resulting in more use cases for these specialized force measurement solutions. This applies to both test and measurement as well as for installed OEM components within a larger structure or apparatus.

Top Load Pin Benefits

  • Easy to install new or retrofit
  • Robust construction
  • Replaces existing load bearing pins without any system modifications
  • Engineered to order designs available
  • Can be supplied with integral connector
  • Custom sizes and higher capacities available

Load pins come in many standard shapes and sizes, as well customization options to meet a specific design or use requirement. Interface provides these measuring devices, which often replace a bolt or pin, for safety and application monitoring. Some of our load pins are exclusively designed to meet the needs of applications in hazardous environments like the oil and gas industry, or marine industry where they’ll be submerged in water during testing and for continuous use.

The Interface Load Pins are machined from high tensile stainless steel and are suitable for exposed situations including seawater. We offer standard load pins with ratings between 1.1K lbf to 3.3M lbf (500kgs to 1500 MT). We also offer custom manufactured load pins suit applications from 100 kgs to 1500+ MT.

LP Stainless-Steel Load Pin – Great for lifting applications for both short and long distances. This product can be amplified with 5VDC, 10VDC or 4-20mA Outputs. It can also be made to meet ATEX requirements. Model LP Load pin is available in capacities up to 3,000,000 lbf (13.3 kN).

WTSLP Wireless Stainless-Steel Load Pin This advanced load can transmit wirelessly up to 600 (1,969 feet) meters in distance (clear line of sight) to a handheld display or USB base station.  The capacities range goes all the way up to 3,000,000 lbf (13.3 kN). The wireless option utilizes low power consumption for long battery life. It is configured and calibrated via PC using a base station and telemetry toolkit and compatible with Interface WTS Wireless products. The load pin is robust and uses a lightweight housing. It is environmentally sealed to IP67.

Load Pin Application

One of the largest scale applications of load pins we provided were used to measure force on a large bridge infrastructure project in the western U.S. The goal was to continuously monitor the standard force created by regular traffic, as well as the seismic force before, during, and after earthquakes. The monitoring sensors needed to be integrated into a dampener that would be attached to the structural tower.

The solution allows the company to monitor force from emitted data to cross-reference the standard traffic force with the seismic force to understand its effect on the bridge. Its purpose is to help with predictive maintenance and influence future bridge designs to better compensate for the forces of an earthquake or other natural disasters, which are common in this part of the world.

READ THE SEISMIC BRIDGE MONITORING APPLICATION NOTE HERE

READ THE INFRASTRUCTURE CASE STUDY HERE

The project required a custom product that could handle the inimitable and considerable force of a bridge under every scenario of distress. Engineers developed a custom load pin to handle the force of movement in the bridge in the event of an earthquake. This load pin was much larger than our standard version and is rated at 900,000 lbf. The large load pins were designed to be integrated into the dampener with wireless data acquisition modules connected to the load pins to allow for remote access to the data. With the integration of Interface’s custom load pins and data acquisition module, the customer was always able to continuously collect data for real-time evaluation. The sturdy construction of our load pins and 900,000 lbf rating allowed for readings during all degrees of seismic activity.

To learn more about our wide variety of load pins and there many applications, please contact our application specialists today.

Robotics in Play with New Animated Application Using ConvexBT

Numerous factors are driving the industry 4.0 revolution. From big data to IoT technology, industrial facilities and manufacturing plants are looking at new ways to automate their process and create a more efficient and cost-effective environment. One of the most important technology advancements in this mix is robotics.

Robotic equipment is a common industry 4.0 innovation used to create an autonomous or semi-autonomous machine capable of carrying out a variety of repetitive tasks that used to take up the time of skilled labor. Some of the tasks or processes that robotics enhance include stock management and logistics, manufacturing automation, janitorial duties and, there are even robotic applications called co-bots that assist human workers when ultra-high precision is needed.

To facilitate the demand for robotics, a variety of sensor and measurement components are necessary to ensure the highest quality and reliability of these application. Many tasks carried out by robotic applications are ultra-precise and require more accuracy than what a human hand or eye can handle.

Sensor technologies embedded in the actual robotics instrument must also be used to constantly calibrate or monitor the robotics. If robotics is used on an automated manufacturing line, any issues with the robotics can disrupt and compromise the entire process. Therefore, robotics manufacturers utilize Interface solutions when they need quality sensors that can monitor the precision of the robotics and ensure that their accuracy and reliability is maintained.

Interface develops high-quality test and measurement solutions designed for hardware testing of all kind. For robotics, our products are frequently used as a component within an OEM device. We understand the premium accuracy and reliability necessary to help develop robotics solutions and have provided both off-the-shelf and custom force measurement solutions designed to meet a variety of applications. We recently created an animated application note on an industrial automation robotic arm using our new light weight, light touch load button load cell, the ConvexBT.

The ConvexBT is designed for testing and also for full integration into the robotic element to measure the force pressure during use.  ConvexBT is available in multiple capacities, including our latest release of the 500lb and 1Klb models.

NEW! Interface Robotic Arm Application Note

A customer came to Interface with a robotic arm product that would be used to lift and move delicate objects, such as a glass bottle, in an automated environment. The goal in using Interface was to find a force measurement product that could ensure the robotic arm did not damage the products it was moving by applying too much force. The main component that Interface products would be applied to is the robotic arms’ clamp. The objective was monitoring the grabbing pressure of the clamp and ensure that the device would stop applying pressure when the necessary force was used to pick up the object without doing damage.

Using its new line of Load Button Load Cells, ConvexBT, and a DMA2 DIN Rail Mount Signal Conditioner, Interface provided a solution that would produce an electric signal on the clamping process that tells a controller to have the device stop applying pressure. Two ConvexBT products were connected underneath the rubber pads on both sides of the robotic arm clamping device. When the clamps made contact and applied pressure, the DMA2 Signal Conditioner converted the signal from the ConvexBT from MV/V to volts to a PLC controller. This signal tells the controller when to have the robotic arm stop applying clamping force.

Ultimately, the two ConvexBT Load Button Load Cells were able to accurately measure the amount of pressure applied to the object the robotic arm was lifting and moving without causing any harm or damage to the object.

This is just one of many examples of force measurement products being used in the robotics and automation industry. As the demand for robotics grows and a wider variety of applications are introduced, Interface will continue to engineer the best solutions to help customers reach the age of Industry 4.0.

To learn more about Interface solutions for the robotics and automation industry, please visit /solutions/. You can also check out our case study on the for industrial automation and robotics use here.

Interface Outlook for 2021

Interface CEO Greg Adams shares his outlook for the coming year.

Never in our collective lives have we faced so much uncertainty and turmoil! The year 2020 will make history, that much is certain. Between the COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest, and a year of political strife for the ages, I think we’re all ready to turn the chapter on the start of this decade.

Despite the challenges we’ve faced in 2020, I’m still very optimistic about our future, and for Interface. My optimism is fueled by the amazing people we have here at Interface.

As a family, we’ve gotten through this together and are only growing stronger. I couldn’t be prouder of our people for their resilience and hard work in the past year. We have continued to provide the same excellent service our customers appreciate. In fact, our Net Promoter Score® remained above 60 again in our latest 2020 Customer Satisfaction Survey.

Additionally, product quality is higher than ever and we even had a few major product launches this year, including ConvexBT, our most advanced load button load cell ever, and the G Series, a new international Mini Load Cell product line. And most importantly, we’ve done all of this by ensuring that the health and safety of everyone is our number one priority.

Our ability to remain successful in the past year is a product of how diversified our end markets remain. We continue to serve a wide variety of critical technology-focused industries including aerospace and defense, automotive, medical, industrial, T&M and more. We have benefited from global diversification as well, stepping up our focus on market leaders around the world. It’s also a testament to our engineers who continue to be future focused on innovation. We’ve developed new and groundbreaking ways to serve customers, and we’ve identified trends to keep us at the bleeding edge in our industry and continuously moving forward.

The last point I’ll make on the year 2020 before looking ahead is that we’ve also taken some of the downtime to improve our internal processes and dedicate time to skills training for our team. Not only have we improved our product lines and capabilities, but we’ve also ensured that our skillsets remain strong going into the next year.

And as we finally make the turn to 2021, I’ve spent some time looking ahead to what I believe the next year will hold for our industry and for Interface:

A heightened focus on pre-sale and post-sales service is one thing that we’ve heard from customers in the last year through our semi-annual surveys. We’re upgrading our sales process to ensure our engineering teams are more involved in assisting the customer select and configure the products and systems that are right for their application. Enhancing our after-sales service will include capturing and distributing instructions, guides, and other technical services into a more accessible and easier to find outlets like our robust website.

Another trend we’re seeing requested from our customers is a desire for force measurement providers to migrate from components to systems. World-class componentry will always be important, but our experience working with customers to provide total system solutions that meet their specific needs is critical. In addition, the demand for higher performance and more customization options continues. One of the biggest improvements Interface has made in the past year is updating our production lines to include more automation capabilities. This allows us to provide high-performance, customized products at high volume while still being able to offer competitive costs. This change is helping us expand our sales with the OEM customers.

Finally, a big trend we’ve been following is miniaturization and the desire to pack more sensor technology into a single load cell or torque transducer. We’ve already begun to address this in some of our products by designing accelerometers into load cells. In industries like automotive, we often use a torque transducer to measure rotation with components like car engines. By adding an accelerometer, we can measure both rotation and acceleration through a single device.

As this desire for more data and less convoluted test systems grows, Interface will continue to find ways to customize our load cells and add more sensor types like temperature and humidity. We’ll also do this by using electronic miniaturization manufacturing methods to improve capability without increasing the overall size of the package.

In conclusion, I’m extremely pleased with the level of talent, the strength of the brand and the depth of our commitment to customer satisfaction. We’ve overcome the challenges presented to us this year and remain stronger than ever. Our renewed focus on the future will also help us identify opportunities for innovation to serve customers in more unique and beneficial ways.

I hope that everyone in our community, from our partners to our customers and employees, has a wonderful holiday season and comes back in the new year refreshed. We’re not out of the woods yet with the pandemic, but there is light ahead and we are speeding to be the Interface you can always rely on.

Faces of Interface Featuring Mark Bliss

For our newest edition of Faces of Interface, we had the opportunity to talk with Mark Bliss, senior application engineer, with our manufacturer’s representative, Minnesota Measurement Engineering.

Minnesota Measurement Engineering (MNME) works across a wide variety of industries throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Western Wisconsin, and Iowa. They help engineers specify sensing, testing, and measuring products that best fit their needs and the needs of their application. In addition, MNME builds and integrates custom test and measurement systems for customers. We are thrilled to have them as a partner and are proud to feature Mark Bliss and the team at MNME.

Mark is proud to be a career learner, especially as it pertains to science and engineering. Mark’s mother was a librarian, and his father was involved in science. His upbringing led both himself and his brother to pursue a career in engineering.

Mark attended the University of Minnesota, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. During his time in school, he also engaged in several high-profile internships with Thermo King Corporation, Ecolab, Inc., and Honeywell. This experience helped him get hired at Boeing shortly after college.

Mark spent a year and two months with Boeing as a mechanical design engineer before he and his wife decided they wanted to return to Minnesota. With the move, Mark joined MTS Systems Corporation where he served as a mechanical engineer and program leader within the Systems Product Development R&D Group.

Mark also started his own engineering consulting services company 2RM, LLC. Mark’s passion for engineering pushed him to moonlight as a consultant for everything from OEMs to startups. Some of the work he conducted included custom machine design, structural finite element analysis and optimization, reverse engineering, prototyping, component and material sourcing, in addition to boosting his skill set in sales, accounting, marketing and customer service.

In 2015, Mark was looking for a new challenge and saw an opportunity to take on a sales role at MNME while still applying his passion for engineering through the custom systems side of the business.

As a Senior Application Engineer at MNME, Mark is responsible for assisting customers with force, torque, pressure, acceleration, position, flow, vibration, data acquisition, and custom solutions for R&D, industrial, and OEM applications. His role includes supporting customer product information and quoting requests, visiting customers to understand and identify needs, following up on leads and principal contact reports, identifying sales opportunities and maintaining relationships with customers of all sizes.

Mark mentions that the best part about his position with MNME is the fact that he gets to see and work with new technology every day. Some days he might be working with a medical device manufacturer and the next day he is selling solutions for an autonomous vehicle. The diversity of his customers keeps him on his toes and ensures he’s always learning something new.

He also loves the fact that he gets to continue getting hands on with technology. One of the unique capabilities of MNME is the fact that they act as both a manufacturer’s rep, as well as a solutions provider. Many of Mark’s customers leverage him to develop custom systems or help integrate systems in their test and measurement process.

So where does Interface fit into all this? Going back again to MTS Systems, Mark would often interact with Interface. He developed a fondness for our force measurement products and systems because of their accuracy, durability and reliability. When he moved to MNME, he continued that relationship on the sales side and now acts as one of our top reps!

He, his wife and their two girls are also highly active. The family enjoys downhill skiing, boating, fishing and camping, as well as traveling the world. When we spoke to Mark, he discussed a many skiing trips he had taken in Austria, Germany, and Canada. Finally, if he wasn’t already involved in enough, he also enjoys investing in stocks and bonds. The man certainly keeps himself busy!

We are proud to have Mark at MNME representing Interface products and services. Working alongside Josh Sebasky, both provide Interface customer’s a great depth of experience and knowledge whether it is finding the right load cells or torque transducers for a test project or customizing a verification load frame solution for test and measurement programs.

To locate a representative or distributor in your area, please visit here.

Interface Differentiator is Proprietary Strain Gage Manufacturing

Interface products have been heralded for their accuracy, reliability, and quality for more than 50 years. We credit our vertically integrated approach to manufacturing as the most significant factor in our development of industry-leading force measurement products, meaning we control every part of the design, manufacturing and testing of our products before they are shipped to our customers.

The process for how we differentiate ourselves begins with Interface strain gages. By manufacturing our own proprietary strain gages here at our headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona, we can optimize our load cells to a quality level very few providers can match.

Think of strain gages as the heart and soul of a load cell. These components power every aspect of the device and their quality dictates a significant portion of the load cells’ overall quality. In addition, customization of the strain gages is a critical factor in ensuring the load cell is meeting the specific requirements of a customer’s project.

The last point is critically important because Interface does not just provide one size fits all products. Yes, we have a large standard product line ready to ship. There are many times when we collaborate directly with our customers to understand their application and the challenges that may be present during a force measurement testing program or OEM design. This allows us to offer modified and custom products that are engineered to order.  Whether that comes in the form of an off-the-shelf product within our catalog of more than tens of thousands of options, or a new model using our strain gage technology to meet the needs of a unique application.

An example of our commitment to meeting customer needs is the way we develop our strain gages to compensate for temperature, an environmental factor that can drastically affect the accuracy of force data. Our strain gages are designed and manufactured to counteract the temperature characteristics of the modulus of the load cell structural material.

The benefit to this is that our load cells are temperature-insensitive and do not require modulus compensation resistors, ultimately producing a simpler and more reliable circuit with higher output signal. It also means no dynamic thermal mismatch errors from modulus compensation resistors which cannot be thermally connected with the load cell’s surface at the strain gage location.

In addition, our proprietary strain gages provide several key benefits. Included below are a few of the differentiators available with Interface strain gages:

  • A higher output of 4mV/V, while competitors provide 3mV/V or less, which provides superior performance, flexibility, and accuracy.
  • The ability to perform hot and cold thermal compensation, from 15˚ – 115˚F, while competitors typically only provide heat compensation (60˚ – 160˚F).
  • Eight strain gages per load cell compared to our competitors four gages, which provides superior compensation of eccentric loads to further minimize resulting errors.
  • Our strain gages also offer:
    • Higher signal-to-noise ratio
    • Higher resolution in precision measurement applications
    • Superior fatigue life

Another factor in the development of our strain gages is our expertise and knowledge of the manufacturing process. We have always developed our own strain gages going all the way back to 1968. Therefore, we have learned everything there is to know about it and can guarantee the quality of our load cells in any environment based on this tenured expertise and having manufactured and calibrated millions of force measurement devices.

To learn more about our vertically integrated manufacturing process and the various forms of product and system customization we offer, contact our specialized application engineers.

 

Interface Engineered to Order Solutions

Load cells and torque transducers come in many different capacities, sizes and capabilities. They are used in nearly every industry that manufactures any type of hardware device or component. From testing minute forces on miniaturized medical devices, all the way up to measuring force in the construction of enormous suspension bridges or even rocket engines. The point is, there is no one size fits all in the force measurement world when performance matters.

What makes Interface uniquely the leader and is a true differentiator in the force measurement industry is our ability to provide engineered to order solutions to meet our customer’s exact application requirements.

Innovation across multitudes of industries has provided the opportunity to be more creative in utilizing Interface proprietary technology and engineering talent in the development of new force measurement devices. More and more we find ourselves leaning on our experts using our proprietary strain gages and product designs to develop solutions that meet the needs of our customer’s unique projects and end-products.

Through our work on modifications and custom solutions, we have expanded our product offerings to more than 37,000 uniquely designed products spanning across 52 years of development. Once initiating as a custom solution, many of these products have made their way into our catalog as standard products based on growing trends and larger demands.

There is also another form of customization, or more accurately termed modification, that we are seeing more and more as Interface grows our engagement with OEM customers. We call this “engineered to order” solutions. These solutions are different from full customization and critical in serving our diverse customers.

Designers and builders of high-volume products may have opted in the past for simplistic testing technology that lacks consistency, quality, accuracy and reliability. As product failures or customer satisfaction wanes based on performance, OEMs are driven to find force measurement solutions they can depend on for precise measurement and performance. This is also indicative of the times we are in utilizing advancements in production, technology and even robotics to produce products.

It is essential for product makers and engineers to find reliable solutions for accurately monitoring and testing product performance in real-time. In short, they need sensor capabilities that meet their product manufacturing volume, safety requirements and overall robust product performance standards. This is very typical in industrial markets where OEM customers want to monitor machines in the moment and more accurately predict fatigue or when a machine will need to be repaired, reducing overall downtime and saving money.

To best serve OEM customers and testing engineers with premium and affordable force measurement solutions, Interface offers engineered to order capabilities for the masses. Engineered to order means Interface can deliver force measurement solutions from our massive catalog that are modified to meet the features and specifications that our customers require, while still retaining the premium accuracy, quality and reliability Interface is known for across every industry we serve.

Interface Application Engineers work closely with our customers to determine the exact specs their product requires and deliver a manufacturing plan that meets their volume, accuracy and reliability needs through an engaged process. We plan, coordinate and team together to build the right product, for the right time and right price. Most importantly, we can modify most of our products in our entire catalog, giving flexibility within a precision line of solutions.

OEMs, product designers, and testing experts do not need to compromise performance. Interface’s engineered to order process combined with our automated production lines allows us to provide the same great quality force sensor our customers expect from an industry leader.

Interface excels when we partner with our customers in the earliest phases of development to ensure we provide the best solution, based on size, capacities and performance capabilities. By sharing design plans, we can collaborate with our customers to provide the best outcome. Ready to engage our experts?  Contact us here.