Posts

Outlining Force Solutions for Structural Outrigging

Across a wide variety of industries, heavy machinery, maritime, construction, and other infrastructure often need additional structural support. This includes support that prevents equipment, vessels, and buildings from falling over, capsizing or collapsing.

Typically, the solution to provide this critical structural support comes in the form of an outrigger. For vehicles, both land and maritime, an outrigger is a projecting structure, with specific meaning depending on types of vessels, or the legs on a wheeled vehicle that are folded out when it needs stabilization.

For buildings, outriggers are interior lateral structural systems provided to improve the overturning stiffness and strength of high-rise buildings. It is a lateral load resisting system that is located within the building. The whole system consists of a core structure connected to the perimeter columns of the building.

These types of structural supports became popularized in the 1980s as an addition to high-rise buildings as they are effective up to 150 floors due to its unique combination of architectural flexibility and structural efficiency. Outrigging has been adapted for large vehicles and boats, such as large cranes that are extremely top heavy and can create balance problems, or yachts that need to be stabilized when stored out of water.

With the addition of these supports, various forms of testing need to be done to ensure the outrigger can support the vehicle or structure it is installed upon. This is where Interface’s force measurement testing and monitoring products are utilized in different outrigging applications.

Interface load cells are used by outrigging engineers, civil engineers and heavy equipment manufacturers, oil and gas, construction industry and marine equipment companies. Read more why Rigging Engineers Choose Interface Measurement Solutions.

The role of force measurement sensor technologies in outrigging is to provide high accuracy measurement of the outrigging equipment in test and actual use. The applications range from integration of sensors into outrigger equipment, to load cells for real-time monitoring of the physical structure using outrigger supports.

The most common Interface products used for outrigging include:

For example, Interface load shackle cells are used to measure the forces during outrigger testing as well as on the outrigger equipment that support the structure. The data from the sensor is critical information used to assess the structural integrity of the outrigger or structure and to identify any potential weaknesses.

Interface load cells, such as our load shackles or load pins, are typically placed in strategic locations on the outrigger or structure where the force is expected to be greatest. The load cell is then connected to a data acquisition system (DAQ) or indicator that records the force readings. The data can then be analyzed to determine the maximum force applied to the outrigger or structure, as well as the distribution of force over the structure.

Load cells can also be used to monitor the performance of outriggers or structures over time. This can be helpful in identifying any changes in the structural integrity that may be caused by wear and tear, environmental factors, or other factors. Utilizing instrumentation with alarm capabilities is helpful, as well as a tool for maintenance.

Load cells are an important safety feature in outrigging equipment. They can help to prevent accidents and ensure that the equipment is used safely. A load cell is used to prevent a crane collapse during the construction of a high-rise building in a large congested metropolitan city. The crane is used for lifting a heavy beam. The load cell alerts the operator when the load is too heavy.

Ultimately, force measurement provides several benefits to testing and monitoring different outrigger applications, including:

  • Increased safety: By measuring the force applied to the outrigger, a load cell can help to prevent overloading and damage to the outrigger. It is also valuable for continuous monitoring during lifting use cases, such as with a crane or heavy machinery.
  • Improved efficiency: By monitoring the performance of the outrigger, a load cell can help to identify any potential problems early on, which can help to prevent costly downtime.
  • Reduced risk: By providing accurate data on the force applied to the outrigger, a load cell can help to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.

Examples of how force measurement is used to test outrigger solutions in a variety of industries:

  • In the oil and gas industry, load cells are used to test the outriggers of offshore drilling rigs. This helps to ensure that the rigs are safe to operate in high-wind and wave conditions.
  • In the construction industry, load cells are used to test the outriggers of cranes and other lifting equipment. This helps to ensure that the equipment is safe to use and that it will not overload the outriggers.
  • In civil engineering, load cells are used to test the structural integrity of bridges and other structures. This helps to ensure that the structures are safe to use and that they will not collapse underload.

Outriggers play a critical role in the safety and support of vehicles, infrastructure projects and massive structures. Interface force measurement products also play a necessary role in safeguarding outriggers and the operators. If you have an outrigging use case and are wondering which products are best suiting for your specific requirements, contact Interface Application Engineers for help.

Construction Brochure

Benefits of Proof Loading Verification

Proof loading is a critical test that is performed on sensors or load cells to verify their performance and accuracy under extreme conditions. Engineers may need to request proof loading verification to ensure that the sensors or other measuring devices being used in a particular application are accurate, reliable, and safe for use.

Upon request, Interface provides proof loading at the build phase of engineered-to-order load cells, as well as load pins, load shackles and tension links. By simple definition, proof loading is a safe overload rating for a sensor.

Load proofing is a special test that guarantees the sensor performs at maximum capacity before it’s released to the customer. If a manufacturer does proof loading, it will be documented in the sensors specifications that are shipped with the product. It is commonly requested for sensors that are used in lifting applications.

Additionally, quality engineers and testing professionals may request proof loading as part of quality control or compliance requirements. By ensuring that sensors and load cells are tested and validated before use, companies can ensure that they meet regulatory standards and maintain a high level of quality in their products and services.

The Proof Loading Process

By requesting proof loading, sensor users can verify the accuracy and reliability of sensors and load cells and ensure that they are functioning correctly and within their specified limits. Proof loading can also identify any issues or problems with sensors or load cells before they are put into service, allowing for repairs or replacements to be made if necessary.

Proof loading for sensors is a process of subjecting a sensor to a higher-than-normal load or stress to confirm that it can withstand that load or stress without any permanent damage or deviation from its calibration. The purpose of proof loading is to validate the accuracy and reliability of the sensor under extreme conditions, ensuring that it will perform correctly when it is in service.

During proof loading, the sensor is exposed to a controlled overload, typically between 150% to 200% of its maximum rated capacity. The sensor’s response to the load is monitored, and the output is compared to its expected behavior. If the sensor performs within acceptable limits and returns to its pre-loaded state after the load is removed, it is considered to have passed the proof load test.

When should you request proof loading for a load cell?

Proof loading for a load cell should be requested when there is a need to verify its calibration and ensure its accuracy and reliability under extreme conditions. This is particularly important when the load cell is used in safety-critical applications, such as in crane and hoist systems, industrial weighing and process control systems, and structural testing applications.

Proof loading is commonly used for sensors that are used in safety-critical applications, such as load cells used in cranes and hoists, pressure transducers used in oil and gas pipelines, and temperature sensors used in furnace applications. By performing proof loading tests, manufacturers and end-users can have greater confidence in the performance and reliability of their sensors, which can improve overall safety and efficiency.

In general, there are several situations where it is advisable to request proof loading for a load cell:

  • Before critical applications: In safety-critical applications, such as those involving lifting, handling, and transportation of heavy loads, a proof load test should be performed before the load cell is put into service to ensure that it can handle the required load without any issues.
  • After installation: It is recommended to perform a proof load test on the load cell immediately after installation to ensure that it is functioning correctly and within its specified limits.
  • After repair or maintenance: If the load cell has undergone repair or maintenance, a proof load test can be used to verify that it is still performing accurately and within its specifications.
  • After an extended period of non-use: If the load cell has not been used for an extended period, it may be necessary to perform a proof load test to ensure that it is still functioning correctly.

It is important to note that proof loading should only be performed by qualified and trained personnel using the appropriate equipment and procedures. This will ensure that the load cell is not damaged during the testing process and that it continues to perform accurately and reliably after the test is completed.

Proof loading is particularly important in safety-critical applications such as in the construction industry, transportation industry, and other industrial applications where lifting and handling heavy loads are involved. In these applications, the accuracy and reliability of sensors and load cells are crucial, as any inaccuracies or deviations from the expected behavior can result in dangerous and costly accidents.

Overall, proof loading is an essential test that engineers may need to request to ensure the safety and reliability of sensors and load cells in various industrial applications.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

IoT Lifting Heavy Objects

Cranes and Lifting

Recap of Use Cases for Load Pins Webinar

Tension Links 101

Aircraft Lifting Equipment App Note

 

Faces of Interface Featuring Justin Walker

Our Faces of Interface feature focuses on Regional Sales Director (RSD), Justin Walker. Justin is a United States Marine veteran who grew up in the Texas oil fields. He received his knowledge and experience in engineering while in the military. He has honed his skills in engineering and sales across a variety of roles and was recently promoted to the critical role of Interface RSD.

Growing up near the oil fields in Texas and having a father and friend work in the fields led Justin to develop an interest in the technical side of oil rigging and engineering in general. However, his goal was to remain out of the fields and instead work to optimize the process through technology. To do so, Justin opted for the Marines to serve his country and receive the training necessary to accomplish this goal.

He joined the Marines at age 17, and scored very high on the technical aspects of the entry exam. This enabled him to serve as an aviation mechanic with a unique and interesting specialty in cryogenics. The cryogenics aspect of his roles allowed him to work with the liquid nitrogen and oxygen involved in weapon systems and base support. He also got some kicks freezing stuff, as well as curing a hangover or two with the highly effective chemicals.

Justin served in the Marines for four and half years before jumping into the oil and gas industry with a company named Weatherford. In this role, he worked as a wire line operator where he helped to determine where oil could be found and then using explosives to access it. He stayed in this role until the oil market dropped, and then moved into sales.

His first role in sales was at West Texas Nissan and Justin found a ton of success in a sales position. Unfortunately, the market crashed and Justin decided it was time for a change. He moved to Phoenix, Arizona, because he was familiar with the area due to his time being stationed in Yuma, Arizona, when he was a Marine.

Justin joined Interface in July 2016 as an applications engineer. He had a desire to get back into technology and engineering, while still maintaining a sales role due to his success in the automotive industry. He remained at Interface for two years before leaving to join one of our rep firms in Florida, where he still sold Interface products. After a year and a half with Interface’s rep firm, we welcomed Justin back with open arms. First, as applications engineer; however, Justin was recently promoted to Regional Sales Director covering the Central North America region. Justin has thrived in his roles at Interface.

Justin really enjoys the day-to-day interactions with customers and our rep firms. What he enjoys the most is the differences in who and what he is working with each day. One day he could be working with a customer that works in the oil field like he witnessed as a kid growing up, another day he could be selling solutions to a company responsible for putting satellites and even humans in space.

When he’s not helping customers solve their force measurement challenges, Justin can be found spending time with his wife and six-year-old stepson. He and the family enjoy getting outdoors as much as possible. Together, they hike in the mountains, camp, take a ride on their ATVs, and boat the Colorado River.

We appreciate having the opportunity to share Justin’s amazing story. He is passionate about what he does at Interface and in life. We are thrilled to have him on the Interface team and working hard for all his customers and rep firms at ensure the highest levels of satisfaction! To learn more about our outstanding team members, check in each month for a new Faces of Interface feature.

Announcing the Launch of the Interface Pressure Compensated Downhole Load Cell

Interface is excited to announce the release of a new downhole solution for the energy industry, the Interface Pressure Compensated Downhole Load Cell (IPCD).

The IPCD is a Wheatstone bridge foil-gaged-based force measurement solution using proprietary compensation methods and designed to provide highly accurate force data in harsh environments, like those found in the oil and gas industry, while requiring limited maintenance compared to similar solutions on the market. This is a product line that is many years in the making, as we’ve offered it as a custom solution. In fact, it has been developed across multiple applications to meet the needs of the oil and gas industry.

Interface’s new IPCD product is best suited for tension head applications of wireline services, particularly useful in deviated or horizontal wells where topside measurements are no longer reliable. Many applications include conveyance, pump down, perforating, tractor, and high pressure high temperature deep offshore use.

The key benefit the IPCD provides over existing solutions, commonly referred to as “wet” load cells, is its method of compensation. Wet load cells have a hydraulic compensation mechanism that uses pistons and seals, requiring frequent maintenance. Hydraulic compensation is complex for smaller tool providers and performance was suboptimal. For the IPCD, Interface developed a proprietary technology that compensates for that pressure influence and allows for bridge isolation. This means that the IPCD is far more rugged, needing little to no repairs, and it can be used downhole without risk of damage, a first of its kind in the industry.

It provides accurate measurement of downhole tension conditions in both vertical and horizontal wells and the proprietary internal compensation actively measures only the portion of the load caused by axial force, ignoring the portion of the load caused by pressure. Since it is an inherently passive system with no active pressure measurement being made or using a separate transducer, it is a completely analog solution for reliability and temperature stability.

We also test the IPCD heavily before it leaves our doors. The oil and gas industry can be extremely volatile, so we understand that our load cells need to be at peak performance for every use. Each load cell is tested individually on force, creep, temperature and pressure.

Advantages of the new proprietary Interface Pressure Compensated Downhole Load Cell include:

  • IPCD is a standard product from Interface and available today
  • IPCD offers maintenance-free service with significant long-term payback by eliminating disassembly, downtime, calibration, and instrumentation configuration
  • Interface’s new product is a precision with unmatched performance
  • IPCD has minimal thermal and pressure error, combined with world class linearity and hysteresis
  • It has field proven reliability and was designed based on a decades of engineering and force measurement experience

To learn more about the IPCD, we recently published a white paper that goes deeper into how the unit works, the specifications of the solution, as well as providing additional information on our testing process. You can read more about the IPCD in our new technical overview, Interface Pressure Compensated Downhole Load Cell White Paper available online for download.

We also issued a press release announcing the launch of IPCD.

This new product launch is a collaborative effort involving many of our team members in engineering, production and sales.

 

Hazardous Environment Solutions from Interface

There are hundreds of thousands of engineers and manufacturers that spend their days working in hazardous environments. Whether its operating inside of facilities with large machines with intricate moving parts, working hundreds of feet in the air repairing a bridge, or deep within a mine shaft, these professionals put themselves in danger every day by the nature of their work. As engineers and manufacturers, many of us are also tasked to solve for safety challenges and keep these professionals protected in any environment.

At Interface, one of the ways we contribute to industrial safety is with the development of our Interface Ex Rated Load Cells, also known as Interface Intrinsically Safe Products. These specialized load cells and force measurement solutions are designed and manufactured so that the materials and electronic components are safe for use in hazardous gas and dust environments when installed per applicable installation instructions. These components play an integral role in the safety of the men and women working in dangerous environments in particular industries like oil and gas, mining, aerospace, automotive and more.

These hazardous environments are categorized by the amount of explosive risk that is present in the environment. These levels include:

  • Zone Zero – explosive presence is always there
  • Zone One – explosive presence is close and is sometimes there
  • Zone Two – explosive presence is nearby, but is rarely present other than in some type of leak or other catastrophes

In order for force measurement products to operate safely in these environments, companies must design the devices in accordance with a regulatory body. These products must also be inspected for approval and then it is marked with the certification code that displays the zone and temperatures it’s safe to operate in. In addition, the manufacturing process needs to be highly controlled. Manufacturers must keep documentation for each product, which includes how the product was made and where it went. And they are required to keep that documentation for 10 years in case of a product recall.

There are a number of different regulatory bodies focused on product safety throughout the world, and each has different specifications for explosiveness that need to be met based on the area in which the product is sold. Locations in which Interface can sell its Ex Rated products include countries in North America, Europe, Asia, and Brazil in South America.

The regulatory bodies that develop the specifications and approve products include:

  • International Electrotechnical Commission Explosive Atmospheres (IECEx) is given after a manufacturer proves compliance through a quality assessment report (QAR).
  • ATmospheres EXplosible or ATEX is a European Union(EU) examination certification. In order to receive ATEX certification, the manufacturer must obtain a quality assurance notification (QAN) to sell products in certain EU areas.

Interface develops a host of Ex Rated force measurement products that are certified by both IECEx and ATEX. These products have been used in a wide variety of applications within the energy and automotive industries. Included below are a few examples of the products we sell and the applications using our Ex products

ATEX 3400 Series Load Cells

The 3400 series of load cells are rated for Zone 1 and include the 3416 and 3430 Coil Tubing Intrinsically Safe Load Cells, the 3420 Coil Tubing Intrinsically Safe Load Cell and the 3410 Intrinsically Safe LowProfile® Load Cell. These products are hermetically sealed and have been used in the oil and gas industry to measure the force of coil tubing as it goes down an oil well. The 3400 Series is used in the space industry to help develop hydrogen-powered vehicles because of the threat of explosion with hydrogen power. The 3400 Series Load Cells have also been used in a distillery for a custom whiskey-making application.

ATEX, IECEx, ETL, Inmetro 1923 Series

The 1923 Series Load Cell is used in the oil and gas industry. These load cells include designs rated for both Zone 0 and Zone 2 applications. This load cell measures the force in which the pump jack is operating to avoid allowing the pump to go too fast and interrupt the capillary flow of oil. We also recently developed and released the 1923 Wireless Series load cell. Our 1923 Wireless Series innovation provides the same accurate, real-time data readings with little to no fuss over wires, which can create more hazards for the user.

ATEX SSMH Sealed Hazardous Environment Intrinsically Safe S-Type Load Cell

Our Zone 1 rated SSMH S-Type Load Cell is our only load cell that is certified for dust, so it is most often used in mining operations. This product is a tension and compression load cell that is environmentally sealed at an IP65 rating. It also has a high-temperature rating of up to 290° F for dust environments.

ATEX IECEx Bow Type Crosby™ Cabled Load Shackle

The Interface range of ATEX IECEx load shackles is designed for lifting and weighing in rugged or harsh environments, and also meet the requirements for operation in Zone 1 and 2 hazardous areas. The shackle pins are forged from high tensile stainless steel and are machined to an exacting specification. This range of load shackles is proof loaded to 150% of the normal rated load and is available in a range from 3.25 to 400 MT (7.17K to 882K lbf). The product is internally gaged and the whole instrumented area is sealed to IP67 to protect it in service.

When operating in explosive environments, our customers need to know that their products are safe and reliable. Here at Interface, we stand by the quality of our work and the safety of our Ex Rated products. For more information on Interface’s Intrinsically Safe and Ex Rated products, please visit /product-category/intrinsically-safe/.

Contributor:  Ken Vining, Chief Engineer at Interface

Interface Most Promising Energy Tech Solution Provider

Interface is proud to be recognized as one of the ‘20 Most Promising Energy Tech Solution Providers” of 2020 by CIO Review Magazine.

As a pioneer of load cell technology, Interface has long been recognized around the world for providing the most accurate and reliable force measurement solutions on the market. Accuracy matters for safety and reliability in test and measurement projects, engineering and product design and in the original equipment manufacturing of products that require precision sensor technology capabilities.

“The key ingredient to our product’s quality is our more than 50 years of experience and the fact that we have vertically integrated the entire manufacturing process from design to production. Because of this, we have a deep understanding of the materials and product capabilities necessary to suit every industry, application and customer need.” Brian Peters, Director US Sales, Interface

One of the industries where our knowledge of force measurement is vertically integrated processes is in the energy industry. The conditions energy professionals work in can be harsh. They’re often in dangerous environments extracting oil and natural gas, wind, or coal to fuel our nation’s need for power. The equipment our energy sector customers use must be ruggedized and provide the most accurate results possible. If the equipment fails, our customers risk steep financial losses and their staff is more exposed to safety hazards.

Interface has a special line of intrinsically safe solutions for harsh environments. These low profile load cells with loop-powered intrinsically safe amplified output are designed for use in the oil field and other hazardous locations. These load cells are specifically designed from Interface models by adding high resistance strain gages for low-current loop power and shielded internal amplifier for extra low emissions and minimal EMI susceptibility. Interface’s S-type load cell provides a suitable force measurement sensor for applications in coal mining and transfer and other heavy industries where explosive dust and environment conditions are potentially explosion-hazard rated.

Often times, our energy customers come to us needing a custom force measurement solution to deal with these unique challenges for all energy types including thermal, radiant, chemical energy, nuclear, electrical, motion, sound, elastic, and gravitational energy. Innovation in the energy is also heavily dependent upon accuracy in performance, whether it is advancing in the capabilities in the extraction of oil or measuring forces in solar and geothermal. Interface is relied upon by the energy industry leaders and OEM solution providers for their vast ranges of standard and customized load cells, torque transducers, digital instrumentation products and expanding wireless technologies. Read more here about our innovative solutions for the energy industry.

Upon selection for this recognition, Interface application expert Brian Peters contributed to an article for CIO Review Magazine detailing our work developing a custom downhole rig solution for an oil and gas customer. He also explains how Interface has evolved to meet the rising challenges of an industry that is addressing the need for more sustainable energy sources. Click this link to be redirected to Brian’s article online to share.  If you would like to speak with Brian or an application engineer about your test and measurement project or requirements for sensor technology, contact us here.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Interface_H

IoT Solution That Monitors Rigging and Lifting in Real-Time Showcased at OTC50

Interface, the world’s trusted leader in technology, design, and manufacturing of force measurement solutions is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) by exhibiting at the global event.

In coordination with the event theme, The Next 50 Years of Offshore Developments, Interface will be highlighting their latest innovations that are advancing force measurement solutions specifically for the oil and gas industry. We will be gathering input from participants in our next-generation of downhole load cell and strain gage technology.

During OTC 2019, Interface is showcasing its proprietary wireless telemetry system (WTS) that measures force capacity in heavy machinery used by oil and gas support service. This innovation connects to software on a PC to handle enormous amounts of weight, preventing damage to both humans and equipment.

Interface’s solution is part of the most exclusive line of integrated wireless products on the market.” Ken Bishop, Director, Sales Engineering

Interface will also be discussing its line of ATEX approved products for use in extremely harsh environments, including its most popular product, the Interface LowProfile® load cell.  The company’s products are customizable to meet any customer specification.

Interface force measurement solutions are used in every facet of energy production from research and exploration to monitoring equipment. You can read more about Interface innovation in dry load cell technology here.  This advancement in force measurement provides unparalleled accuracy in a ruggedized package that will stand up to the harsh environments of a deep oil well. These design iterations increase product lifespans, with cost savings and consistency of using a single force measurement solution.

Attendees of OTC 2019 can find Interface team members at booth #7551, Hall C at NRG Park in Houston, May 6-8 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and May 9 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. CST.

Interface Leads Innovation in Oil and Gas Force Measurement

The oil and gas industry is among the most dangerous and expensive industries in the world. There’s also the inherent risk of ecological harm that can be caused by faulty machinery. Because Interface is able to address these challenges, the company’s products have become the heavy favorite among oil and gas companies.

Interface is recognized by oil and gas companies for product reliability, accuracy, and innovative design.

For several years, the oil and gas industry has used “wet” load cells to monitor forces on their downhole load strings. These downhole load strings are equipped with a variety of sensors, and they travel down thousands of feet during exploratory drilling operations. These load cells provide data to the user that measures the forces on the load string to ensure it doesn’t break due to forces greater than th[user_id]e string has been designed to. When one of these strings breaks, it leaves up to a million dollars’ worth of equipment trapped underground until it can be fished out using expensive recovery techniques.

The problem with wet load cells is that they don’t hold up for extended use in wells that extend several thousand feet underground where there are extreme pressures and temperatures in a caustic environment. These wet load cells typically only last about a year or two before they are damaged beyond further use. The turnover rate of these products becomes extremely expensive and can also cause critical inconsistencies in measurements, or the complete loss of measurement feedback.

The reason these wet load cells break down after a year or two is that the sensors on this product are exposed to the harsh underground environment. To address this issue, Interface created a “dry” load cell that protects the sensitive parts with innovative design, reduces the number of sensors required in the customer’s downhole load string, and allows the load cell to last 10 years or more.

“Our dry load cell technology provides Interface’s signature accuracy in a ruggedized package that will stand up to the harsh environments of a deep oil well. These design iterations that allow for longer product lifespans are critical to our customers because of the cost savings and consistency of using a single force measurement solution.” Ken Vining, Chief Engineer at Interface

Interface initially developed this technology as a custom solution to address a customer’s challenge of constantly replacing wet load cells. Based on the positive feedback Interface received, the company has begun development on a standard version of the dry load cell. The standard load cell will be more cost-effective than wet load cells and custom design dry load cells.

For more information on the products that Interface provides for the oil and gas industry, click here.  For details on all Interface solutions, please visit www.interfaceforce.com.

Contributor:  Ken Vining, Chief Engineer at Interface

 

 

 

The Power of Teamwork Drives Interface Success

At Interface, teamwork is a critical element to our success—and no one understands collaboration better than our team. We recently delivered a highly-critical assignment for the oil and gas industry. Robert Fuge, a design engineer at Interface, and his team of experts were tasked with delivering an emergency order that required the typical lead time for a new design to be cut by 30 percent.

The delivery entailed prototyping, machining, assembly, and calibration, and the order was incredibly high-end and complex. What motivated the team to deliver above and beyond results despite the short notice was its unapparelled desire to please both the customer and support one another.

Although the team was successful in completing the order on time and within budget, it wasn’t without its fair share of challenges. Some of the key machine parts were behind schedule from the supplier, and technical issues didn’t make it any easier. On top of that, the most crucial part arrived a week and a half late. However, despite these circumstances, the team implemented plans to combat tasks as they arose. Nothing ever sat or waited, and each part of the process had a clearly-defined plan. Fuge attributes this success to effective communication.

“Everything was communicated ahead of time, and each team member knew exactly what was expected of them. No amount of information ever fell through the cracks, leaving all team members and customer contacts fully equipped to deliver their best work.” – Robert Fuge

The team immediately started drawing designs and building fixtures ahead of time and on top of the normal workload. Purchasing got everything ordered quickly, and the team inspected all parts right as they arrived from outside vendors. Interface’s quality department worked with machinists to get all repairs completed and continue moving through the process. As parts continued to go through, supervisors scheduled and planned for all equipment, and employees were trained and prepped before parts even arrived.

What makes this effort particularly successful is the passion demonstrated by both Interface and the customer. Completing this project wasn’t easy and it required sacrifice, but the team learned a valuable lesson in how to facilitate a proactive, company-customer partnership. By the end of the project, the team reinforced the notion that if concrete and well-communicated plans are put in place from the very beginning, there’s no limit to what can be achieved.

Meet the Interface Team

We’d like to thank Robert Fuge and his team of experts who made it all happen:

Drafting: David Connacher facilitated the quick turnaround of flexure, fixture, wiring, outline drawings and designs.

Engineering: Jim Schafer helped with the fixtures design, as well as evaluated how to repair and modify a fixture later. Rick Haun modified a fixture to work properly for the new part—and did so on top of his normal workload. Wrote the programming and stayed late to assist the machine operator in his work.

Purchasing: Tim Combs placed fixtures and hardware on the order right away to have everything in time for the rapid delivery schedule.

Quality: Kevin Armstrong executed immediate inspection of flexures when they arrived from the outside vendor and worked with machinists to repair a damaged thread on two parts.

Machine Center: Daniel Shipman repaired a damaged fixture in between jobs to keep parts moving throughout the process.

Production: Rob Udink scheduled, planned and configured production equipment for new parts ahead of time to mitigate delays in the parts. He also ensured all of his employees were trained on the new parts before they even arrived and drove these parts through at the end.

DLC Production Team: Tiger Singharath, Manny Castro, Doug Konkler, Dung Nguyen and Chris Balland came together to keep parts moving forward to meet the customer deadline.

Interface is a leader in providing custom, standard and modified force measurement solutions to the energy industry. To learn more about our applications, visit our applications page.