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Evolving Urban Mobility Sector for Test and Measurement

Every day it seems we are inching closer to the Jetson’s utopia of flying cars, floating cities and robot butlers. Technology is evolving to the point where robotics and computers control most aspects of travel and mobility. That requires a lot of testing and dependency on accurate measurements for what is on the road and what is flying up above.

Interface has been long been working with leading manufacturers and suppliers of all types of vehicles traveling on the ground, across the skies, and into www.interfaceforce.com/solutions/aerospace. As innovations are removing old boundaries, one thing that remains constant is the need for test and measurement programs.

In the urban mobility sector, we are seeing growth related to rigorous T&M projects for everything from autonomous vehicles to manned rockets, as well as unmanned aircrafts and drones. Interface is proud to be a solutions provider to the engineers and innovators of these growing applications and sectors.

Arizona, the home to Interface’s headquarters, is considered a hub for new technologies and inventions in urban mobility, including autonomous automobiles, alternative-fueled vehicles, rockets and unmanned vehicles. There are dozens of companies with testing and research facilities located throughout Arizona, with countless self-driving vehicles testing and mapping streets throughout the state. In fact, the Institute for Automated Mobility (IAM) in partnership with Intel, Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, University of Arizona, and other public and private organizations, is collaborating on state-of-the-art research in Arizona. The goal of IAM is to advance all aspects of autonomous vehicles from science to safety to policy.

Nearly every company currently testing and innovating autonomous vehicle technology in Arizona is a customer of Interface. We are providing everything from instrumentation to torque transducers, along with a large range of our standard precision load cells for all types of testing projects. Our custom solutions team also has been working with leaders in these markets.

Being on the forefront as a solutions provider for this sector gives us visibility into many of the applications. What we have learned is demand is related to advancing urban mobility to solve for increasing congestion and diminishing inner-city air quality. The 2019 Urban Mobility Report published by The Texas A&M Transportation Institute with cooperation from INRIX notes:

“Connected vehicles “talking” to each other, such as traffic signals and other systems, and providing this information to decision‐makers will provide unprecedented data and insights to identify and fix mobility problems. Newer model vehicles sense and adjust to their surroundings, increasing the safety and efficient movement of goods and people. Other technologies, such as The Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printers, Blockchain, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will impact transportation systems of the future.”

As technology leads the way in urban mobility, the safety and performance of the vehicle are of utmost importance. There is no room for failure. The point is, the advancement of robotics, sensor technology, and computing power are becoming a driving factor behind a fully autonomous world in terms of how people and products move about the world.

Another area of increased T&M product demand at Interface is coming from the application of our force measurement products for moving objects in unmanned vehicles above ground. The advancement of drone technology for commercial purposes is seen through the adoption across diverse applications such as mapping, logistics, and surveillance. Interface load cell technologies have been used for flight and wing testing, load testing and a variety of force measurement projects. The drone market, for commercial applications,  is expected to grow to more than $7B through 2022.

Interface is well known throughout key global industries as the premier manufacturer of the most accurate and reliable force measurement products on the market. For urban mobility, accuracy is critical to maintaining safe, pilot and driverless, vehicles and with the advancement of high-quality robotics.

Our load cells and torque transducers are used to test and measure key data points such as balance and weight distribution, thrust and lift, and to optimize movement on robotic arms and legs.

Here are a couple of application examples where Interface is providing critical components to advance innovation in urban mobility

Aerospace and Defense

The aerospace and defense industries are among the earliest adopters of urban mobility technology. The defense sector has utilized drones for surveillance, tactical advantage and battle since the advent of the technology. Aerospace manufacturers have also implemented autonomy into many of their commercial and defense planes. Interface has been a longtime partner of the aerospace and defense sector, working with some of the largest OEM’s across the U.S., as well as internationally. Some of the capabilities of our products in the aerospace and defense industry include thrust tests, wing and fuselage balance, weight distribution and fatigue testing, landing gear tests and parcel delivery weight testing for drones.

Automotive

In the automotive industry, autonomous vehicles have been a critical focus for the past 10 years. The technology really exploded onto the scene over the past five years with key players like Google, Tesla, GM, and others making significant investments in the development and testing of autonomous vehicles. Interface products are used by most of the major automobile OEM’s throughout the world. In 2018, we released one of our most advanced products to date, the Axial TQ™, which includes capabilities uniquely designed for autonomous vehicle testing. Our services in automotive include bolt fastening, brake pedal force testing, engine torque testing and more.

Here are a couple of application notes and a case study that outlines how Interface products are used in this sector:

As the urban mobility sector continues to grow, more advanced travel and delivery systems will require precise weight and torque testing to ensure unwavering reliability. The less control humans have over land and air vehicles, the more we need to trust the construction and design of these vehicles using proper force testing. Interface will continue to grow as a key player in the space as more OEM’s turn to our services to optimize the development of drones, autonomous vehicles, and other urban mobility innovations.

Contributor: Kim Williams, Interface Business Development Manager

Interface Solutions for Medical Devices and Healthcare

There is a reason that the most highly regulated industries in the world turn to Interface for force measurement equipment used for medical device and healthcare product design, development and testing. The industry must trust the data they are using to optimize or validate product design because the slightest errors can have devastating results.

In the medical industry, the dependence on accuracy and reliability increases tenfold. Not only are medical devices and healthcare products some of the most complex and delicate technology in the world, the regulations and certification standards they need to meet are stringent. And most importantly, any design flaws or failures could present serious health risks and or worse. Interface has been a trusted partner to medical OEMs and healthcare technology providers around the world for decades.

Our test and measurement products are crucial in the development of numerous medical and healthcare tools, technology, medical devices and equipment used in labs and hospitals alike. Interface has been part of remarkable innovations and test and measurement projects of products implanted inside of the human body and used for prosthetics.

To serve our customers who need high-quality force and torque measurement testing data, Interface is the provider of choice for accurate, reliable and customizable force measurement products and systems.”  Elliot Speidell, Regional Sales at Interface

Engineering and building load cells, along with supplying the best torque transducers, digital instrumentation and accessories all plays a critical role in the evolving needs within the healthcare industry. Interface load cells that can measure capacities as low as 0.11 lbf / 0.5 N have been used to measure the smallest weight change in medical bags. Our multi-axis sensors are used to measure multiple axis of force in the development of prosthetics.

Here are a few applications that showcase different Interface products for healthcare and by medtech OEMs:

VASCULAR CLAMP FORCE

Using an Interface High Speed Data Logging Indicator and Model LBS Load Cell, the customer was able to test multiple clamps, recording the force measurements for each. By using this accurate data, they were able determine the best one to use during surgery. READ THE MEDICAL APP NOTE HERE.

BALL AND SOCKET MED DEVICE

A medical device OEM needed to test a new design for an artificial hip joint. This test needed to validate load consistency, and the durability of their design. Using a 6-Axis Load Cell mounted to the manufacturer’s test machine, they were able to simulate actual use. A Model BX8 was connected to the sensor to collect data. READ THE MEDICAL APP NOTE HERE.

SURGICAL STAPLER FORCE VERIFICATION

A large medical manufacturer required a load button load cell to verify the amount of force needed to activate the surgical stapler. Along with precision measurement, the load cell requirements were it needed to be small, easy to mount, and accurate. Interface’s LBMU Compression Load Button was mounted to the surgical stapler to enable force verification, and then connected to a 9820 Load Cell Indicator to record output. READ THE MEDICAL APP NOTE HERE.

PROSTHETIC FOOT PERFORMANCE

In this use case, Interface supplied products to help our customer test how a prosthetic foot performed during different positions and stances. The products used in this test were the Interface Model 3A120 3-Axis Load Cell, which was installed between the leg socket and the prosthetic foot and the Model 3A120 which was connected to customer’s portable data acquisition system. READ THE MEDICAL APP NOTE HERE.

When standard precision solutions need a custom application, Interface’s solutions team and engineers work directly with medical device manufacturers to deliver specialized products, systems and software that meet evolving needs and innovation.

To provide additional information on the medical customers we serve and the solutions we develop, Interface has created our medical industry case study. The case study provides details on the force measurement needs of the industry, as well as various examples of solutions we have developed for medical devices and equipment from heart medtech devices to some of the machinery used to manufacture medical products.

Click Here to Read the NEW Interface Medical Industry Case Study

You can view some of these medical and healthcare application use cases here.

Contributor:  Elliot Speidell, Regional Sales Director at Interface

 

Interface’s Sustaining Role in Arizona and the Global Business Ecosystem During COVID-19

For more than half a century, Interface has had the privilege of serving a wide variety of industries and helping our customers test, design, and manufacture products and infrastructure essential to everyday life. Our purpose at Interface defines our commitment to our customers. It simply says, “We enable innovation that improves people’s lives and keeps them safe.” 

Following our commitment to purpose and in adherence to the Arizona Governor’s Executive Order 2020-18, Interface is open for business as a classified essential business. We are working hard to remain your trusted leader in force measurement solutions during these challenging times. We are building products at our Arizona manufacturing headquarters, supporting our representatives and distributors, and shipping products to our customers every day. We are doing so with safety at the forefront in everything we do.

On March 23, 2020, Arizona’s Governor Doug Ducey issued an executive order outlining essential business services here in the state of Arizona. The list included businesses centered around certain imperative functions such as infrastructure operations, businesses critical to the national supply chain, transportation services and manufacturers. Interface force measurement technologies, tools, and systems touch just about every physical product or system that consumers and businesses use every day. Our products are used to support many of the business operations and products manufactured that are included in this essential services list.

Interface is committed to maintaining our business operations and ensuring our customers continue to receive the highest quality product and service without disruption. Our force measurement solutions are essential to the development of a countless amount of critical hardware across many key industries, from energy to healthcare. We are proud to be an enabler of the products and infrastructure that keeps our global economy running.

The essential market leaders and industries that Interface serves include aerospace, defense, automotive, construction and infrastructure, industrial automation, energy, medical and healthcare. Here is how we are helping some of these industries and why Interface is a key member in the supply chain that keeps these essential businesses operating, designing, engineering, testing, innovating and producing during these challenging times.

Medical:

Interface products play a crucial role in the most highly regulated industry in the world – medical. Our force measurement solutions are used to test devices and instrumentation which keep patients safe and healthy. Interface’s accurate mini load cells are designed to measure medium to small forces. Our torque transducers provide rotary and reactive measurement for movement tracking, blood weighing, robotic surgery, eye surgery, and prosthetic testing. For example, we developed a custom solution that is used to test a prosthetic limb for force and torque capacity. We even provide OEMs with sensor technologies to measure force in use of their medical products. Our load cells are featured in applications used for the heart, as well as implanted devices designed to perform well-beyond the lifespan of the patient. We’ve also engineered and created custom solutions for a wide variety of medtech devices, as well as for leading bio and pharmaceutical companies. All of these applications serve as critical and essential to our existence. We are honored to help our customers with their life sustaining critical applications.

Aerospace & Defense:

Interface load cells and torque transducers are used to test everything from rocket engines to wing strength, flexibility and structural integrity for aircraft. Our product’s industry-leading accuracy and reliability are important to the www.interfaceforce.com/solutions/aerospace because the longevity of our load cells are financially durable and our precision products ensure that measurements are precise. For example, one tiny inaccuracy in the measurement of an airplane wing’s force capacity can cause critical failures and have devastating effects. Innovation is core to this industry segment, from urban mobility to unmanned vehicles. Testing is fundamental in getting these products to market, while protecting all of us. These industries count on us and we continue to supply them with the products they need to keep us safe.

Infrastructure & Construction:

In construction, one of the key considerations in building a skyscraper, hospital or a home is the materials used to keep the structure sturdy in regular use or even a natural disaster. Material testing that uses Interface load cells is common. Our products are used in cycle testing on various metal and wood-based materials to ensure they hold up over time and through the elements. Our load cells can be used on cranes and other construction equipment to prevent overloading and weight testing. We also recently provided the materials for project using custom load pins to measure and monitor standard force from regular traffic and the seismic force of earthquakes.

Vehicle & Automotive:

The most important factor in automotive design and development is the safety of the driver. One of the ways that we serve the automotive industry is through products used in safety tests. One common application that uses Interface force measurement tools is brake pedal testing. Our load cells are used to measure, test, and optimize the force required to depress the brake pedal. Another application use case of Interface’s products helps in the need to increase productivity for automobile wheel installation, while ensuring that the lug nuts are installed to the proper torque values for safety purposes. These measurements need to be performed with the utmost care and accuracy, which is why many of the world’s most prominent automobile manufacturers turn to Interface for their force measurement solutions. These applications are used in testing of vehicles of all sorts and sizes, from large capacity trucks that move our food supply to farming equipment that harvests that supply. They even keep all our high-demand delivery drivers safer on the road. They count on us, as we count on them.

Industrial & Automation: 

Throughout factories across the world, producing everything from furniture to paper products, Interface load cells and torque transducers can be found on machines along the production line. Our products are featured in robotics, consumer packaging equipment, and even the machines that screw the cap on bottles, stamp logos and apply labeling. Force measurement tools are used to ensure the proper force is being used to complete these processes with minimal waste, while ensuring safe and secure packaging for the consumer. We see growing innovative ways to utilize load cells, multi-axis sensors and torque transducers to help accelerate production for vital products that are critical to our everyday life.

We are serving our purpose and mission to be part of supply chain for these industry applications, as a reliable supplier, expert manufacturer and dedicated community member. To learn more about Interface and the various industries and applications we serve, check out our application notes.

We are here to help! Stay safe and stay well.

Our COVID-19 response is here.

 

Applications for Consumer Products and Packaging

When we think about force measurement and its relation to product development, we often consider the aerospace, automotive or industrial industry. However, many of Interface’s customers use load cells and torque transducers to test and develop machinery used for consumer products and in the packaging industry.

In order to meet this demand, customers need force measurement tools that are both accurate and provide the necessary data points to automate and regulate consumer packaging machinery. This consumer packaging case study takes a look at the wide variety of applications of force measurement tools used to create consistency and quality among the products consumer buy and use daily.

BACKGROUND

If you have ever wondered how a pill or piece of candy gets a little logo stamped on it without crushing it or how every bag of chips is nearly filled to the same capacity, chances are a load cell or torque transducer was involved. Interface works with hundreds of customers who manufacture a wide variety of machines used in the consumer packaging industry. These machines serve numerous functions including logo stamping, bag weighing, bottle capping, sealing, and precision cutting.

According to Grandview Research, the use of automation, as well as robotics throughout the packaging lines, has seen tremendous growth in recent years. The aim is to improve productivity, reduce the operating costs and prevent waste, thus improving the overall efficiency of the packaging systems. “Big Data” has also gained popularity with operation managers that collect machine data to regulate the performance of the machinery, undertake preventive maintenance and maximize the up-time.

CHALLENGE

The challenge our customers run into when building these machines is they require a high level of precision to get consistent and repeatable results. If the machines are incorrectly calibrated, it can lead to excessive waste. For instance, if a bottle of soda isn’t capped correctly, it can leak, or if the machine which embosses toilet paper and napkins is too forceful, the paper will be ripped to shreds. Currently, most packaging machines are relying on physical hard stops, clutches, monitoring motor current and laborious tasks to monitor and apply the necessary force and torque. To ensure proper performance and to reduce waste, the most accurate and reliable force measurement tools are required.

SOLUTION

Interface works with hundreds of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) who develop machines for the consumer packaging industry. Depending on the function of the machine, we manufacture a wide variety of force measurement products to help reduce waste, ensure repeatable results and provide accurate data to help consumer packaging customers automate their processes.

All of our products come with various data communication systems, including analog or digital and Bluetooth®, wireless or Ethernet. This provides customers with flexibility in their data collection methods and the ability to connect systems through the Internet of Things (IoT) functionality. For machines using a precision twisting motion, such as capping machines, we offer nearly 50 types of reaction torque transducers and rotary torque transducers for customers. All of our torque transducers are precision-machined and use our proprietary torque sensors for the most accurate data possible.

For precision weighing or stamping, such as the candy stamping application, we manufacture more than 60 different types of load cells and Interface Mini Load Cells. These load cells have capacities as low as 1 lbf (500 gf) for extreme precision. In our customer’s application highlighting candy stamping, a test apparatus was outfitted with the Interface Model WMC Mini Load Cell and a 9330 Data Logging Indicator to measure the compression force required to imprint the candy without crushing it and collect data to finely tune the process.

For applications using robotics, Interface offers multi-axis sensors to test force and torque measurements simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes.

RESULTS

Accuracy in packaging is a game-changer for cost-savings, production efficiency, time-to-market, and product safety. Whether you are measuring, weighing or securing, Interface load cells, mini load cells, torque transducers, and instrumentation can assure you the quality and accuracy you need to protect your brand and customer satisfaction.

Interface is one of the leading force measurement manufacturers for the consumer packaging industries. We work directly with OEM’s and engineering consultants to implement systems and products which help to reduce waste, automate the packaging process and provide accurate, repeatable results. For more information on how Interface can help solve your test and measurement challenges, please contact us to connect with our specialized Application Engineers, click here to locate a local Representative or International Distributor.

READ COMPLETE CASE STUDY HERE

Interface Case Study For Consumer Packaging

Multi-Axis Sensor Applications

For more than 50 years, Interface has proven itself as the premier provider of load cells, with the most accurate and reliable products on the market. As the technical landscape has evolved, we have invested heavily in new technology to suit the growing needs of our customers. One of the most important innovations we’ve brought to market over the past few years is our lineup of wide-ranging multi-axis sensors.

Interface Multi-Axis Sensors are designed to measure a multitude of forces and moments simultaneously with a single load cell sensor. These sensors provide multiple bridges that precisely measure the applied force from one direction with minimal crosstalk from the other axes.

Multi Axis Sensor 3AXX 3 Axis Load Cells -

Interface Multi-Axis Sensor 3-Axis Load Cell

Interface offers 3-axis, 6-axis, and axial torsion load cells, which provide the ultimate in force and torque measurement. We can measure forces simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes, with the 6-axis load cells also measuring torque around those axes. In addition, we offer multiple data acquisition and amplifier systems which make graphing, logging and displaying data easy enough for any experience level.

Our customers work in a wide variety of industries, and we are continually seeing new applications of our range of multi-axis sensors. These sensors are used in aerospace, automotive, medical and more.

The following application examples provide a clearer picture of the benefit of this force measurement and sensor technology.

Rocket Structural Testing – In rocket and aerospace testing, there are a million different considerations to ensure a proper launch. One of the vital force tests that need to be conducted is on the connection between the rocket and the launch vehicle. There are force and moment in multiple directions at the connection point. Interface Multi-Axis Sensors can be used to test not only the strength of the connection but also ensure a safe disconnection between the rocket and launch vehicle.

Drone Testing – One of the most interesting applications of our multi-axis sensors is in the drone industry and in areas of urban mobility. Our sensors are used to test the drone’s rotor. The drone will always pull on the sensor to create the most significant force; however, there is also a slight amount of moment that needs to be accounted for. We were able to calibrate a semi-custom load cell to account for both the large pull force and the small moment force to provide the most accurate data possible.

Prosthetics – Another impressive application of our multi-axis sensor technology is in the medical industry. We helped to test the multiple force and torque data necessary to build a strong and reliable prosthetic knee joint and spine. Each of these prosthetics has multiple motions on many axes. To measure the quality of the prosthetic and to ensure it doesn’t fail when implanted in a patient, medical OEM’s need to be able to collect data on each of these axes simultaneously.

The need for measurements on multiple axes has grown over the last couple of years because of the desire to use big data to create better products. Interface Multi-Axis Sensors provide the accurate measurements our customers need and the ability to collect those measurements simultaneously, which has created a significant boost in efficiency.

To learn more about Interface’s expanding lineup of multi-axis sensors and data acquisition systems, please contact our team of experienced Application Engineers or visit /product-category/multi-axis-sensors/.

Contributor: Keith Skidmore, Regional Sales Director at Interface

Multi-Axis-Brochure

Digital Instrumentation for Force Measurement

The age of IoT (Internet of Things), where almost every vehicle, machine, and piece of equipment is connected and shares information rapidly, is also greatly impacting the world of engineering and manufacturing for the better.  Data is more accessible, which allows for improved decision-making and more efficient product development cycles and design testing.

The demands from customers to go digital is something that Interface has paid close attention too. Digital instruments are becoming more popular because of their advantages over analog devices, such as greater speed, increased accuracy, better resolution, reduction in operator errors and the ability to provide automatic measurements in the system application.

Interface provides a wide range of digital instruments that take load cell and strain bridge input and provides data output in a variety of protocol and bus formats, including many industry standards requirements. This combination allows our customers to transform their test and measurement programs and force measurement applications into the digital age. The results are faster data input and outputs, along with more robust analytics.

In addition to improved efficiency, accuracy and speed, digital instrumentation and more specifically, digital signals, provides a plethora of benefits for test and measurement engineers.

These benefits include:

  • Digital signals are less susceptible to noise
  • Digital signals are more secure
  • Digital signals can travel a long distance
  • Digital signals allow multi-directional transmission simultaneously
  • Digital instrumentation can connect to other devices and networks more easily
  • Digital instrumentation can connect with protocols that they are already using in their facility

Another key reason our customers are demanding digital instrumentation is because of the push for Industry 4.0 facilities. Industry 4.0 involves the process of connecting various machines, smart and conventional, to the cloud with sensors to create a powerful sensor network.

The Industry 4.0 network will be fast and stable enough to relay data to people or other machines in real-time. This data is rapidly turned into insight and the information ultimately allows engineers and manufacturers to automate more processes to create a more efficient factory. The digital instrumentation devices that Interface provides play a significant role in helping our customers create Industry 4.0 manufacturing for OEM products and compete in the fourth industrial revolution using digital technologies.

Some of the most popular digital instrumentation devices that Interface provides include:

  • INF1 Modbus TCP Weight Transmitter Indicator  – The Interface Modbus/TCP indicator has a 6-digit red LED display (8 mm height), space-saving compact design, 4 buttons for the system calibration for a single channel weight transmitter.
  • 480 Bidirectional Weight Indicator480 Bidirectional Weight Indicator – The 480 Bidirectional Weight Indicator comes in a NEMA 4X stainless enclosure. The standard options include 523,000 internal counts, 0.8 in. LED 6-digit display and a measurement rate that goes up to 40 Hz.
  • INF4-Ethernet TCP/IP Weight Transmitter Indicator – This 4-channel weight transmitter instrument works in an Ethernet TCP/IP network and it is accessible via a web browser. It has a 6-digit red LED semi-alphanumeric display (8 mm height) and 7 segments with a compact design, 4 buttons for the system calibration, and a 6 indicator LED.

For more information on Interface’s growing lineup up of digital instrumentation, please visit /product-category/digital-instrumentation/.

 

Advanced Testing with Telemetry Systems from Interface

In product development, flexibility is a crucial facet of creating efficient workflows. Having a diverse set of flexible tools and testing instruments allows engineers and manufacturers to approach their work from a wide variety of angles and environments.

Interface is keenly aware of the growing demand for manufacturers and integrators to have advanced systems that easily replace hard-wired systems, reducing installation and maintenance costs. Based on these needs, Interface offers a variety of off-the-shelf and custom force measurement wireless solutions, in multiple capacities, capabilities, ranges, and dimensions for all types of applications.

Case in point is Interface’s two advanced telemetry systems, the Interface Wireless Telemetry System (WTS) and the new Interface Bluetooth® Telemetry System (BTS). These telemetry systems transmit high-quality data from load cells to single and multiple devices. Both the WTS and the BTS offer a wide variety of benefits, including high accuracy, high resolution, IP-rated enclosures, and multiple configuration options. The quality of Interface load cell performance is fully realized utilizing the convenience of these systems, which are acting as a data bridge between the load cell and a display device.

The WTS and BTS products are designed to provide OEMs, labs, and engineers with flexibility in where and how they conduct product testing using load cells. The WTS was designed for a controlled lab environment or engineering facility with access to Wi-Fi® or ethernet data. The BTS solution was created to allow for field testing in areas with little to no access to the internet. Included below is a more in-depth breakdown of the features of Interface’s industry-leading telemetry systems.

WTS-BS-4 Wireless Base Station with USBWireless Telemetry System (WTS)

The WTS is a high-speed, modular system that allows for data collection from long ranges. It is powerful and easily expandable for measuring multiple sensor types and can connect with up to 100 sensors within a half-mile range. The device is supported by powerful configuration software with data logging and visualization for local or remote access. It comes in a wide variety of different model types, including integrated transmitter models, repeater models, output models, display models and antenna models. It can connect with up to 100 sensors up-to a half a mile range.

To see the range of wireless WTS products, go to /product-category/wireless-telemetry-system.

Bluetooth® Telemetry System (BTS)

The BTS features high measurement resolution, which produces a noise-free resolution of 1 in 92,000 counts (16.5 bit) when used with a 3mV/V sensor and 1 in 184,000 counts (17.5 bit) when used with a 6mV/V sensor. The system also allows for advert format and encoding as well as details on connected services to facilitate simple integration of the device within custom apps for OEM applications. BTS can connect up to 12 sensors to a single mobile device or to multiple mobile devices.

The premium advantage of the BTS, above the long battery life, low cost and mobile apps visualization resources, is its ability to connect directly to mobile devices to collect data on-the-go without an internet connection. This allows engineers to complete field testing in remote locations or hard to access areas. Free iOS and Android apps are available for download and enable users to create dashboards with varying degrees of detail based on application requirements. The BTS output can be visualized on phones and tablets by using digital displays, gages, tanks, and charts.

To learn more about the new Bluetooth Telemetry System (BTS) offered by Interface, go to /products/instrumentation/bts-bluetooth-telemetry-system.

For more information on Interface’s WTS and BTS products read below.  You can access a detailed spec sheet comparing the products along with individual datasheets online by registering online at Interface.com.

WTS BTS Brochure

 

Compression Force Testing

Compression is a type of force that we apply every day often without thinking and compression is intensely tested in many of the products we use on a daily basis.

Compression force is defined as the energy generated from compressing an object or substance. Compressive force is simply the direction of the force applied to the load cell. The compressive strength of materials and structures is an incredibly important engineering consideration in both designs and build.

Whether you are clicking the keys on your laptop at work or slamming on your brakes to avoid an accident on your morning commute, you are using the compression force. Testing of the compression force is essential in developing a reliable and sturdy product that can withstand the pressure applied to it many times over. Often, safety is at the core of compression testing.

Load cells incorporated into the testing process work by measuring the pushing force of an application on a single axis. The strain gage compresses to measure the load applied. The deformation of the strain gage provides the measurement data. Application tests measure the total compression force the products or structures can handle, as well as the effects of compression over time through stress tests. In both cases, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) need accurate measurements to guarantee their products can withstand compression in the short and long-term.

Interface supplies a variety of compression-focused load cells and accessories for all types of applications, both for test and measurement, as well as for inclusion in originally manufactured products and solutions. These compression load cells are often used in vehicles, industrial automation, aerospace, and defense industries. Applications are wide-ranging, from testing the impact of drones dropping packages to the material strength of bridges during an earthquake. Interface load cells are highly-rated to provide the most accurate data and reliability over time, which is why engineers rely on Interface compression-only load cells.

Here are a few of the compression load cells available from Interface:

1601 Gold Standard® Calibration Compression-Only LowProfile® Load Cells – Interface’s Gold Standard® Load Cells are designed for calibrating other load cells. The 1601 load cell is compression-only and has options available for a second and third bridge and overload protection.

1201 Compression-Only Standard Precision LowProfile® Load Cells – The Interface 1201 LowProfile® load cell provides a “compression-only” force measurement. Its spherical-shaped top surface helps provide minimal off-axis loading. 1201 is our most popular load cell designed for static applications and has a higher output than most competitive load cells.

2101 Dual Range Standard Compression-Only Load Cells – The Interface Model 2101 consists of lower and higher capacity model 1200 type load cells which are stacked with overload protection built into the lower capacity load cell permitting the high resolution to be obtained at both low and high levels of capacity. The Model 1201 is LowProfile® moment compensated.

LBM Compression Load Button Load Cells – The Interface LBM Compression Load Button is constructed from stainless steel and has a small size for all types of sensor apps and testing. This product is available in capacities that range from 25 lbf up to 50K lbf.

There is a variety of other standard compression-only load cells, including modified and custom Interface compression testing options in multiple capacities. For more information on our compression-only products or any of Interface’s industry-leading force measurement solutions, contact our Application Engineers.

Faces of Interface Featuring Lance Gerdes

Lance Gerdes grew up as a “military brat” who moved around the world with his family to various U.S. Air Force bases because his father was an Avionics Specialist. For some children this would be a burden; however, for Gerdes, it was an opportunity to connect with his father and brothers over the inner-workings of aviation, cars, and sailboats. The family would work on the different vehicles they owned together, and his father who was a flight instructor would even take them up in planes. It is easy to see how Gerdes became a mechanical engineer and one of his brothers became a flight engineer.

Being a military family member also provided Gerdes with a culturally-diverse background. He attended schools across the world before graduating high school in Okinawa, Japan, where his family was stationed at the time. He eventually made his way back to the United States, where he attended college at Northern Arizona University earning his degree in mechanical engineering.

Lance began his professional career in the nuclear industry doing nuclear maintenance and nuclear refueling for various U.S. contractors, including Westinghouse, Babcock & Wilcox and Nuclear Engineering Services. He remained in the sector until his son was born, at which time he decided to relocate to Scottsdale, Arizona. After moving, he began working at Calibron, a manufacturer of liquid calibration devices.

As his career brought Gerdes further into the mechanical engineering side of things, he eventually found Interface. He joined the company because his work with load cells and force measurement devices allowed him to realize how diverse the field is in its applications. Some of the applications that have impressed him the most include how to measure the force on the enormous mirrors made at the Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab at The University of Arizona which are used on the Magellan Telescope (GMTO) being built in Chile, or how load cells used to do crash-landing tests with air and spacecraft.

Today, Gerdes works as the Continuous Improvement Subject Matter Expert (SME) at Interface. In this role, he leads a group of 12 specialized technicians that are responsible for creating one of Interface’s newest and most innovative product lines. This invention, the proprietary 1923 Wireless Series Load Cell, is a significant product line for the company. This exclusive product is designed for the oil and gas industry, which allows users to avoid pump jacks going too fast and interrupting the capillary flow of oil. The high-performance wireless load cell, which is incorporated into the manufacturer’s original equipment, sits on the pump jack and monitors the force at which the jack pumps, providing real-time data to avoid over-pumping.

Learn more about how Lance and his team are utilizing automation tools and robotics for advancing innovation and continuous improvements in building precision load cell solutions for OEMs. Click here to read more.

Gerdes’ life has revolved around engineering since he can remember. From living abroad on military bases to nuclear and mechanical engineering, his passion continues to exude this commitment and energy in making an impact at Interface and for the customer.

In his free time, he likes to decompress from it all and enjoy a good balance. At home, his life revolves around his family, his five German shorthaired pointer dogs and his love for the peaceful escape of camping and hunting. Gerdes has been married for 25 years, and he and his wife have a 24-year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter.  He is active with his children’s extra-curricular activities, including coaching baseball, basketball, and swimming. He and his family love to go camping and boating together, and Gerdes is an avid big game bowhunter.

To learn more about the brilliant minds that shape Interface, follow our monthly Faces of Interface feature on our blog at /blog/.