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Why Choose a Single Point Impact Cell?

A single point impact load cell (SPI) is a sensor that measures the impact force or load accurately applied to the force or weight exerted on a single point. SPI load cells offer precise and reliable measurements of impact forces or loads, making them valuable tools in various industries and applications.

SPI load cells are used in various industries where precise measurement of impact forces or loads at a single point is required. Here are four common use cases:

  • Material Testing: SPI load cells measure the impact resistance and mechanical properties of materials such as metals, plastics, composites, and rubber. These load cells are employed in impact testing machines to accurately measure the force exerted during impact tests, fracture toughness tests, and other mechanical tests on materials. Most product designers heavily rely on material testing for early-stage concepts to final-stage production.
  • Packaging and Filling Machinery: SPI load cells are utilized in packaging and filling machinery to ensure accurate container filling. These load cells measure the force exerted by the product as it is dispensed into containers, allowing precise control of filling volumes and ensuring consistency in product packaging. It is a way to eliminate waste.
  • Industrial Automation and Robotics: SPI load cells play a vital role in industrial automation and robotics applications, where precise force measurement is necessary for tasks such as material handling, assembly, and quality control. These load cells are integrated into robotic grippers, end-effectors, and assembly fixtures to monitor and control the forces exerted during robotic operations, ensuring accurate and reliable performance.

These are just a few examples of the diverse applications of SPI load cells across industries. Their ability to provide precise measurements of impact forces or loads at a single point makes them invaluable tools in various industrial processes and testing procedures.

Although the SPI resembles what is sometimes referred to as weigh pan cells, the single point impact cell was specifically designed to have greater than normal deflection at full scale to provide for the addition of stops to protect the cell against compression overloads. This was necessary because the usual deflection of 0.001 inch to 0.006 inch of most load cells is too small to adjust an external stop to protect the load cell accurately.

NOTE: A weigh pan cell, also known as a weigh module or load cell assembly, is a type of sensor system used for accurately measuring the weight or mass of objects placed on a platform or pan. It typically consists of one or more load cells mounted within a housing or frame structure. See more about SPIs in our Load Cell Field Guide.

SPI Low Capacity Platform Scale Load CellThe SPI Low Capacity Platform Scale Load Cell is designed to be a high-precision platform load cell. This product is compensated for off-center loading and is available in capacities ranging from 3 to 15 lbf (13.34 to 66.72 N).

Interface SPI cells with capacities of 3 lbf, 7.5 lbf, and 15 lbf contain their internal compression overload stop, which is adjusted at the factory to protect the cell up to four times the rated capacity. These cells have an additional bar under the lower surface to provide a mount for the internal compression stop screw.

The center bar, containing the gages, is a bending beam. It is supported by the outer frame containing four thin flexure points, two on the top and two on the bottom, to provide mechanical strength for side and moment loads. This construction provides the superior moment canceling capability of the SPI, which ensures a consistent weight indication anywhere within the weigh pan size limits.

The SPI High Capacity Platform Scale Load Cell is a high-precision sensor. This product is compensated for off-center loading and is available in capacities ranging from 25 to 150 lbf (111.2 to 667.2 N). These SPI load cells can be protected by placing hard stops under the corners of a weigh pan to catch the pan before excessive deflection damages the SPI cell.

Interface’s popular miniature MBI Overload Protected Miniature Beam Load Cell is a compact-sized SPI. The MBI has better resistance to off-axis loads than similar load cells and is fatigue-rated. This product has capacities from 2 to 10 lbf (10 to 50 N).

Reasons Why You Might Choose Single Point Impact Load Cells

  1. Precise Measurements – SPI load cells are designed to measure impact forces or loads exerted on a single point accurately and precisely. This precision is crucial in applications requiring precise force measurement for quality control, safety, or compliance reasons.
  2. Versatility – SPI load cells can be used in various industries, including material testing, impact testing, product durability testing, and process control. Their versatility makes them suitable for diverse applications requiring precise force measurement.
  3. Compact Design – SPI load cells are typically compact and lightweight, making them easily integrated into different systems and applications. Their small form factor allows for flexible installation and minimizes space requirements.
  4. Durability – SPI load cells are often constructed from robust materials such as stainless steel or aluminum, ensuring durability and reliability even in harsh operating environments. They are designed to withstand impact forces, vibrations, and other challenging conditions encountered in industrial settings.
  5. Cost-Effectiveness – Despite their high precision and performance capabilities, SPI load cells are often cost-effective compared to other load cells, making them a cost-efficient solution for many applications.

SPI load cells are often used in industrial settings for applications such as materials testing, impact testing, product durability testing, and quality control processes where the force exerted at a single point needs to be accurately measured. They are also utilized in various machinery and equipment to monitor loads and ensure safe operation. The SPI is popular with universities and test labs due to its precision and ruggedness.

If you are exploring single point impact cells, contact Interface application engineers to see how we can help you with your project or program.

Force Measurement Solutions Support Innovation in Manufacturing

The manufacturing world is enormous, covering multiple industries and applications for force measurement. The manufacturing sector comprises factories and plants that use machines and equipment to build parts and final goods.

With an estimated 21 million manufacturing companies worldwide, the industry is also becoming more advanced and regulated, with technologies such as AI and automation influencing manufacturing processes to drive efficiency and safety.

There are various types of manufacturing, from repetitive, continuous, batch, job shop, and discrete.  All employ tools, machines, and equipment used through multiple processes. Manufacturers use Interface load cells, torque transducers, multi-axis sensors, and instrumentation to improve products and processes, meet performance requirements, automate machines, protect workers, and test designs. Force measurement supports innovation in manufacturing.

With advancements and process improvements, testing and measuring are primary to every manufacturing stage. It begins with product planning through machine building. Moving to assembly and monitoring production lines, sensors are at work through final distribution. Manufacturing engineers use Interface devices to test assembly line equipment, design and operate robotics, improve machinery, and operate tools like presses.

Manufacturing equipment and processes that utilize Interface load cells and torque transducers:

  • Conveyor Belts
  • Robotics and Cobots
  • Torque Wrenches
  • Tension Testing Machines
  • Weighing Systems and Scales
  • Heavy Machinery
  • Transportation and Moving Equipment
  • Mixers
  • Packaging Equipment
  • Sorting and Picking Devices
  • Material and Stress Testing Labs
  • Fatigue and Compression Testing Equip

How Manufacturers Use Interface Products

  • Research and Development: The measurement data from transducers provides a valuable roadmap to improving the design of products and processes.
  • Testing: Every product undergoes rigorous testing before hitting the line. Interface force measurement devices are essential for this manufacturing phase to validate the use, lifecycle, and materials.
  • Machine and Tool Building:  Machine builders use Interface sensor technologies to weigh raw materials, components, and finished products to ensure they meet the required specifications. Force measurement devices are important in measuring applied force by equipment and processes that help control product quality and prevent accidents. Machine builders frequently use load cells to monitor loads over time to detect and prevent potential machine problems. Read more about why Machine Builders Choose Interface.
  • Quality Assurance: Interface products are used to measure the weight of manufactured products to ensure that they meet specifications. This is important for consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and other products where precise weight measurement is critical for safety and effectiveness.
  • Automation: Force measurement products are valuable in automation. As robotics, cobots, tools, and machinery are designed to automate tasks and processes in manufacturing, load cells like our multi-axis sensors provide valuable analysis data through all phases of automation.
  • Retrofitting Existing Equipment with Sensors: Manufacturers require modern tools and equipment to meet growing demands. Interface products are used to retrofit machines and update tools with sensor-based technologies, such as replacing machine pins with load pins that measure loading and lifting in real-time.
  • Safety and Regulation: Sensors prevent accidents by detecting dangerous conditions in the manufacturing industry. Using measurement systems for alarms, alerts, and monitoring of equipment and tools is critical in manufacturing plants.
  • Process Control: Manufacturing operations monitor the force or weight of materials in a facility to control the process and ensure that products are made to the correct specifications.
  • Productivity and Equipment Maintenance: Using Interface products to monitor the condition of equipment and detect potential problems before they cause downtime helps to prevent costly breakdowns and production delays.

Our depth of force measurement expertise and experience enable us to innovate, engineer, and produce the world’s most accurate, reliable, and quality sensor technology for manufacturers worldwide.  This can be seen through some specific application examples in which Interface solutions have been involved. We have included a few of these examples below.

robotic grinder containing 6A40 6-Axis Load Cell and BX8-HD44 BlueDAQ Series Data Acquisition SystemRobotic Grinding and Polishing During Production

Robotic grinding and polishing are commonly used in manufacturing. Robots or cobots are programmed to grind and polish on varied materials and surfaces. A force measurement system must be implemented to monitor and control the force exerted on the grinding workpiece. Interface’s Model 6A40A 6-Axis Load Cell can be installed between the flange and the grinding tool. When connected to the BX8-HD44 Data Acquisition, the customer can receive force and torque measurements when connected to their control system using BlueDAQ software. The 6A40-6 Axis Load Cell measures all forces and torques (Fx, Fʏ, Fz, Mx, Mʏ, Mz), and our BXB-HD44 Data Acquisition logs, displays and graphs these measurements while sending scaled analog output signals for these axes to the robot’s control system. Manufacturing: Robotic Grinding and Polishing application.

Manufacturing Feed Roller System

A customer has a feed roller system that monitors the forces of both ends of the rollers to maintain a constant straight feed. They preferred a wireless system. Interface suggested installing two PBLC Pillow Block Load Cells at both ends of the bottom roller to measure the applied forces. The forces were measured when connected to the WTS-AM-1E Wireless Strain Bridge Transmitter Module. The data was then transmitted wirelessly to the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station and the WTS-BS-1-HA Wireless Handheld Display for multiple transmitters, where data was displayed, graphed, and logged on the customer’s PC or laptop. The PBLC Pillow Block Load Cells installed at the bottom roller were able to measure and monitor the forces to maintain the straight feed by the rollers. Manufacturing: Feed Roller System app note.

Press Load Monitoring for Material Testing

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

Interface began designing and manufacturing load cells and other force measurement equipment in 1968. These precision load cells are commonly found in factories worldwide in testing equipment, scales, machines, and production line devices. Load cells help bring life to older machines with accurate measurements while in use, ultimately improving maintenance and worker safety in manufacturing.

Our force measurement products are versatile and valuable tools for manufacturers. Our sensor solutions improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of products and the equipment and tools used to make them.

Manufacturing Solutions Brochure

 

Conveyor Belts Use Load Cells to Keep Things Moving

Conveyor belts are incredibly versatile machines with numerous applications across industries, constantly moving materials from one point to another. During some of the busiest packaging and shipment times of the year, it is a good reminder of why measurement solutions keep things moving fast and efficiently.

Critical for automated manufacturing, conveyor belts rely on precise weight distribution, timing, and speed of the conveyor belt operation to keep production in sync.

Conveyors are used for sorting and merging systems, inspection systems, and automated loading and unloading using robotic arms or other equipment to handle materials efficiently. Their versatility and adaptability make them critical in modernizing industries, including construction, mining, manufacturing, logistics, maritime, and agriculture.

Boxes, cans, bottles, and other packages glide smoothly through packaging lines on conveyor belts, ensuring efficient sorting, labeling, and palletizing. These machines efficiently load and unload ships, trucks, and trains with bulk materials, minimizing manual labor and maximizing throughput. Conveyor belts are crucial in sorting and distributing packages in warehouses and postal facilities, speeding up delivery processes.

It is also important to recognize how specialized conveyor belts transport people in public spaces. Conveyor belts seamlessly whisk luggage from check-in counters to aircraft and vice versa, ensuring a smooth passenger experience.

Force measurement can be applied to testing and monitoring conveyor belts in several ways. One of the most common ways is by using load cells to measure the alignment of the belt. Load cells can detect subtle changes in belt behavior, such as uneven loading or misalignment, which can indicate internal damage like cracks or tears. Early identification of these issues allows for timely interventions, preventing further damage and costly repairs.

Testing the conveyor belt rotation or ability to hold weight is a requirement for equipment makers and engineers. Machine builders use Interface sensors in the design of conveyors. In addition to monitoring the system during peak usage, load cells are instrumental in testing the equipment’s quality and durability.

Load cells on the head and tail pulley shafts continuously monitor belt tension for preventative maintenance. This data helps identify deviations from optimal tension levels, leading to premature belt wear, pulley misalignment, and energy inefficiency.  You can prevent costly repairs and downtime by addressing these issues early on.

Conveyor systems often have multiple belts working in tandem. Load cells can monitor the load distribution across these belts, ensuring balanced operation and preventing the overloading of individual components.

Conveyor Belt Adhesion Test

A customer wanted to test the adhesion strength between a conveyor belt’s many layers and textiles. They wanted to conduct a separation test from the rubber of the conveyor belt from the other layers. They also wanted a wireless solution. Interface suggested a SMA Miniature S-Type Load Cell to be installed in the customer’s tensile test load frame, where it measured the forces applied as the test was conducted and the layers were pulled and separated. When connected to the WTS-AM-1F Wireless Strain Bridge Transmitter Module, the data was wirelessly transmitted to WTS-BS-5 Wireless Analog Output Receiver. The WTS-BS-5 then connected to the 9330 Battery Powered High Speed Data Logging Indicator to display, graph, and log the data with the supplied BlueDAQ software. With Interface’s force measurement system and solution, the customer successfully tested the strength of the adhesion applied to their conveyor belts through the layer separation test.

Force measurement sensors can be built into machines as a real-time monitoring system. This type of force application can let engineers know if there is a problem with the system that needs to be taken down for repairs by reviewing data and seeing discrepancies in the normal forces on the conveyor belt. This is particularly important in maintaining efficiency on production lines to ensure minimal downtown.

Food and Beverage Conveyor Belt equipped with PBLC Pillow Block Load Bearing Load Cells and 920i Programmable Weight Indicator and ControllerFood And Beverage Conveyor Belt

Conveyor belts for the food and beverage industry must be maintained and properly aligned to transport products. A load cell is needed to prevent misalignment and to reduce the risk of damage or malfunction of the belt while in operation. Interface suggested installing PBLC Pillow Block Load Bearing Load Cells onto the conveyor belt. They are designed for easy maintenance. The PBLCs measured and monitored the force of the conveyor belt while preventing misalignment. The PBLC Pillow Block Load Cells successfully maintained the proper alignment of the conveyor belt for the food and beverages being transported while also monitoring the forces being implemented.

In automotive, electronics, and other production settings, conveyor belts move components and products along the assembly line, facilitating efficient workflow and ensuring precise positioning.

Conveyor belts easily handle diverse materials, from transporting heavy metal sheets in steel mills to delicate circuit boards in electronics factories. They are the go-to for transporting vast quantities of mined ores, coal, grains, and other bulk materials over long distances and uneven terrain.

Conveyor belts move waste and recyclables efficiently in processing facilities, ensuring efficient sorting and processing. Industrial automation robotics often supports this as part of advanced conveyor systems.

Automating Conveyor Production Lines

Collaborative robots, known as cobots, are used to working alongside humans next to conveyor belts on the production line. Extensive safety measures must be taken for the conveyor and the robot for optimal efficiency and operations. A multi-axis sensor is a tool for this use case. The 6A40 6-Axis Load Cell is installed at the head of the cobot. The 6A40 6-Axis Load Cell interfaces with the BX8-HD44 BlueDAQ Series Data Acquisition System for data collection of force and torque measurements on the line. The customer connected the BX8’s analog outputs to their control system. As a result, the customer can log, display, and graph these measurements during the robot and belt operations. The results are sent to the customer’s control system via analog or digital output.

Interface products are commonplace in these types of applications. Force measurement is integral to advanced manufacturing systems like conveyor belts. Our sensors are utilized to ensure accuracy and repeatability throughout the production line.

We understand manufacturing test and measurement applications, and our custom OEM solutions are ideal for manufacturers who require direct installation to monitor weight, force, and torque into conveyor belt systems.  Contact our application experts to see how we can help you modernize your conveyor systems with advanced sensor technologies.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Manufacturing Solutions

Interface Solutions for Heavy Equipment

Heavy Machinery Solutions

Production Line Solutions

Interface Solutions for Production Line Engineers

Examining Machine Builder Applications

 

Interface Sensors Optimize Food Canning and Production

In the food packaging and production industry, consistency and quality are key. Due to this, many food production and packaging facilities are utilizing automation more than ever. The automation process includes monitoring actions and tasks using force measurement sensors. These sensors collect critical data to maximize food production and packaging efficiency.

Interface provides force measurement sensors and systems for equipment, devices, and machines that produce and package consumable products across various use cases. From harvesting and sorting to processing and packing, force measurements improve quality control, efficiency, and safety in food production and packaging. For example, production line engineers use sensors to detect and reject defective products, monitor equipment performance, and identify potential hazards.

The versatility of Interface sensor technologies provides the ability to innovate and solve challenges related to condition, consistency, and productivity for canning and food production. Whether using a small LBM Compression Load Button Load Cell within a production line machine or deploying multi-axis sensors during production to gather feedback in real-time, Interface has a diverse range of transducer and instrumentation options.

How Interface Products Improve Canning and Food Production

  • Monitoring the pressure applied to a mixer to ensure consistent product quality.
  • Regulating the force applied to a canning line to prevent cans from being damaged.
  • Detecting unknown items in food products.
  • Measuring the force in picking fruit or vegetables without damaging them.
  • Capping with precision to prevent crushing the bottles.
  • Sorting by the size, weight, and firmness of produce ensures it meets quality standards.
  • Controlling the force applied to food during cutting, slicing, grinding, and other processing steps.
  • Ensuring food is packaged correctly and safely, with the correct pressure and cushioning.
  • Weighing food products precisely to ensure accurate packaging.
  • Monitoring the force applied to a robotic arm to ensure safe and efficient handling of food products.

Using Interface load cells, food production and packaging companies can gather instant force measurements from their production line. For instance, when a canned goods company is filling its packaging with any food, a load cell can be used to measure the weight of the food in the can and automatically notify the filling machine when it is complete. This will tell the device to move on to the next can. All this can be done without any human intervention.

Alternatively, force sensors can be used to monitor the health of the production line. Force sensors are often installed in industrial machines to collect data on the operations of devices. This data can be analyzed and used to help predict when a machine might need maintenance or a conveyor belt can be outfitted with force sensors to help keep everything aligned. This contributes to greater food packaging and production quality and less downtime for the production line.

Interface force measurement solutions are used in all aspects of food production, including agriculture equipment, weighing scales, industrial automation robotics, and lifting machines used to transport consumer goods. Here are a few customer use cases.

Commercial Food Processing

A food processing plant wants accurate results of their in-motion check weighing equipment when food is weighted and processed down the belt. They want to ensure production line efficiency and food quality. The customer also wants real-time results of their food being weighed and a load cell that can endure the industry’s highly regulated environment. Multiple Interface scale load cells can be installed in the customer’s in-motion check weigher at the specific points where the food is weighed on the belt. The SPI High Capacity Platform Scale Load Cells deliver precise weighing results. When connected to the 920i Programmable Weight Indicator and Controller, it will give the customer real-time results of food weight, which can read up to four scale channels. Read more: WEIGHING: Commercial Food Processing.

Fruit Weighing and Packaging

A customer owns and operates a fruit packaging plant. They want to weigh the bins full of fruit loaded onto conveyor belts that transfer the fruit to other steps of the distribution process to read the hands of the consumer in grocery stores. Interface suggests installing SPI Low Capacity Platform Scale Load Cells and WTS-AM-1E Wireless Strain Bridge Transmitter Modules in the center of the platforms the fruit bins are loaded on. The WTS-AM-1E wirelessly transmits the data collected from the SPI to the WTS-BS-1-HA Wireless Handheld Display for multiple transmitters and the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station when connected to the customer’s computer. Read more: Fruit Weighing App Note.

Food and Beverage Conveyor Belt equipped with PBLC Pillow Block Load Bearing Load Cells and 920i Programmable Weight Indicator and Controller

Food and Beverage Conveyor Belt

Conveyor belts for the food and beverage industry must be maintained and adequately aligned to transport the products. A load cell is necessary to prevent misalignment and to reduce the risk of damage or malfunction of the belt while in operation. PBLC Pillow Block Load Bearing Load Cells can be installed onto the conveyor belt. They are designed for easy maintenance and will measure and monitor the force of the conveyor belt while preventing misalignment. Using the PBLC Pillow Block Load Cells, Interface’s customer successfully maintained the proper alignment of the conveyor belt for the food and beverages being transported while also monitoring the forces being implemented. Read more: Food and Beverage Conveyor Belt.

Snack Weighing and Packaging Machine

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

As many industries turn to automation to improve productivity and quality while reducing waste, force sensors will play an increasingly critical role in providing accurate and immediate data to optimize equipment and machines. In the food service industry, we are already seeing a significant impact on the quality of production processes using force measurement.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Interface Manufacturing and Production Solutions

Force Measurement for Efficiency in Food Processing and Packaging

Load Cells for Smarter and More Efficient Weighing

Watch how sensors are used in industrial robotics for packaging.

Vertical Farming for Sustainable Food Production on Earth and Beyond

Interface Helps to Move Agriculture Innovation Forward

Chicken Weighing

 

 

 

Interface Solutions Aid Pharmaceutical Industry

Among the many highly regulated and incredibly complex industries, the medical industry is highly dependent on tools and resources that are precise and measure with high accuracy.

The medical industry is a broad, encompassing hospitals, medical professionals, payers, medical devices and pharmaceuticals. In each sector, Interface has a long history of providing precision measurement solutions for R&D, prototyping, testing, manufacturing, packaging and monitoring use.

In every use case, safety of patients and quality of products is predicated on extreme accurateness. Throughout a pharmaceutical product’s life cycle, specialized measurement equipment and sensor technologies are used by scientists, engineers, researchers, lab technicians, regulators, quality groups and manufacturers. These instruments are utilized in design and maintenance to provide unmistakable evidence of process quality and safety.

Medical and healthcare companies, including those specifically in pharmaceuticals, turn to Interface because our high accuracy force measurement solutions are designed for reliable performance test and measurement projects. The science used in the pharmaceutical industry depends on quality measurement of force and weight. Interface load cells are designed for these types of precise requirements. There is also tremendous demand for Interface’s ability to customize solutions that meet the exact measurement requirements of these sensitive applications. Visit our new Interface Pharmaceutical Industry Solutions.

Interface supports a range of pharmaceutical applications including:

  • Weighing and distributing
  • Specimen testing equipment
  • Tablet hardness testing
  • Tablet forming machine optimization
  • Capsule filling machines
  • Quality control and safety
  • Mixing
  • Packaging and filling
  • Bioreactors and fermenters

Interface force measurement solutions are used for a variety of pharma-related products and machines that help biotechnology and pharmaceutical product engineers to design, test, and manufacture their products.  When it comes to equipment used in the manufacturing of medicine, Interface products are used to optimize production and reduce waste. Our miniature load cells are often integrated into machines and equipment to provide precision measurements during operations.

Types of Interface Load Cells Used by Pharmaceutical Companies

Pharmaceutical Tablet Forming Machine Optimization

A pharmaceutical tablet producer wanted to monitor the forces applied by the tablet forming machine to understand the relationship between raw material, die set, forming force, and the motor’s cycle speed. The goal was to improve productivity and efficiency of the tablet forming process, while reducing losses such as cracked tablets or voids, by adding a dimension of feedback that could be used to assign specific press adjustment criterion for given inputs. An Interface WMC Sealed Stainless Steel Mini Load Cell (10K lbf Capacity) was mounted in the section of the downward press bar. The machine was modified to accomplish this. The load cell was then connected to a 9320 Portable Load Cell Indicator to collect the needed data. After analyzing the data, the tablet producer was able to quantify adjustment levels by monitoring which forces produced the most optimal results for a given cycle speed, die set, and raw material. Productivity and efficiency were greatly improved by the enhancement of the data feedback.

Tablet Hardness Testing for Pharmaceuticals

A pharmaceutical producer wanted to test and monitor the hardness of the pills being created in their tablet forming machine. Interface’s SML Low Height S-Type Load Cell was mounted to the hardness device inside the tablet forming machine. The SML Low Height S-Type Load Cell was then connected to the 9870 High-Speed High Performance TEDS Ready Indicator to record the force measurements. The tablet producer was able to verify and test the specific hardness needed for their tablets being produced by their tablet forming machine.

Pharmaceutical Tablet Machine Hardness Calibration

A customer wanted to regularly recalibrate tablet hardness testers. The customer needed a miniature load cell the size of a sugar cube that replaces the tablets and fits horizontally in the tablet test-box. Therefore, a special cable exit was important for the compression only calibration application. In the past, the machines had to be rebuilt for calibrations, or a complex mechanism had to be integrated to enable vertical calibration. However, Interface’s MCC Miniature Compression Load Cell measures forces on its side with a special cable exit on the flat side that attaches to the calibration indicator, such as the Interface handheld indicator and datalogger Model 9330. The MCC load-cell calibration set compared the applied forces with the hardness tester to make sure that the tablet hardness tester uses the correct force for future tablet hardness tests. The BlueDAQ software helped to log and compare the data of the MCC reference load cell. The customer successfully verified and calibrated the tablet hardness tester machine horizontally to conduct accurate hardness testing on tablets in the future. Interface’s MCC Miniature Compression Load Cell was perfect due to its small size, and convenient to measure the forces on its side.

Like medical devices, pharmaceutical machines and products must undergo a variety of mission-critical tests before they are safe for distribution to uses. Interface products are selected by the pharmaceutical industry is due to our product’s accuracy and reliability, in addition to our deep experience in supplying solutions to those in the medical business.

Pharmaceuticals_InfographicPoster

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Spotlighting Medical Device and Healthcare Solutions

Force Solutions for Medical Tablet Forming Machines

Interface Ensures Premium Accuracy and Reliability for Medical Applications

Interface Solutions for Medical Devices and Healthcare

Interface Solutions for Safety and Regulation Testing and Monitoring

Accuracy Matters for Weighing and Scales

 

Force Measurement Testing Improves Products and Consumer Safety

Across every industry, force measurement solutions are utilized to improve product performance, safety and quality. Sensor technologies are used every day to test various consumer products’ weight, torsion, tension, compression, fatigue, impact, and materials.

Force measurement testing is used throughout the product development lifecycle, from concept and R&D, through engineering and testing, to manufacturing and distribution, leading to eventual utilization. Interface load cells are commonly integrated into actual consumer products for activation and to measure performance during use.

Interface force measurement solutions are also used in the testing of equipment, machines, and tools used in the production of all types of products and goods. Our products are used in industrial automation robotic arms as well as within lifting equipment deployed to move materials around a facility.

The key to all force measurement testing is accuracy and reliability of data, as well as selecting the right type of force sensor for the specific product being testing.

Types of Product Testing Applications Using Interface Measurement Solutions

  • Weighing Applications: Interface miniature load cells are often for product testing to measure the exact weight of consumer products, such as food, beverages, and electronics. This information is critical R&D, as well on the production line and to meet the exact product specifications. Our load cells help to ensure that the products are not underweight or overweight, and comply with regulations. Read more about Load Cells for Smarter and More Efficient Weighing
  • Material Applications: Interface LowProfile load cells are often found in product testing labs to assess the strength of materials used in consumer products such as plastics, metals, and mixtures of composites. The measurements gathered during the product testing safeguards consumers and confirms the product’s durability. Read Interface Solutions for Material Testing Engineers
  • Force Applications: Interface load cells, torque transducers, and instrumentation are used in complete test systems that examine the usability of products such as exercise equipment, appliances and electronics. The data acquired in shear, tensile and force testing is important to understand if the product meets design specifications, is easy to use and does not require excessive force to work.
  • Safety Applications: One of the most important product use cases for Interface measurement solutions is to test the safety of products such as furniture, toys and automobile features. It is a requirement for every maker of products that are not hazardous and will not cause injury to consumers. Read Interface Solutions for Safety and Regulation Testing and Monitoring

To give you a better idea of how our load cells and instrumentation are utilized in distinct types of product tests, we have included a few application notes below outlining real-world examples of force testing projects.

Bicycle Helmet Safety and Impact Product Testing

A high production bicycle manufacturing facility set up a product testing lab to measure the impact of the safety of their helmets when dropped from different heights onto a flat surface such as an anvil. This test is necessary to ensure consumer safety and that the products are made with the highest quality materials to protect the rider. Interface suggests installing the 1101 Compression-Only Ultra Precision LowProfile® Load Cellat the bottom of an anvil. The bike helmet is then dropped from multiple heights and at multiple angles onto the anvil. The measurements from impact are then recorded and logged throughout the product testing using Interface’s INF-USB3 Universal Serial Bus Single Channel PC Interface Module with supplied software. Every design or material change runs through the same rigorous testing protocols using these high accuracy measurement solutions.  Read CPG Bike Helmet Impact Test

Product Weighing of Consumer Water Bottles

A manufacturer of glass bottled water needs to dispense the exact amount of fluid into each bottle and then weigh the water bottle to ensure it is at the labeled weight on the product packaging. The product testing of the manufacturing equipment is used to minimize waste and to meet the weight requirements to ensure consumer satisfaction. Interface suggests using the MBP Miniature Beam Load Cell and attaching it under a plate or platform where the water bottle is placed on while it is being filled with fluids. The force weight is measured by the MBP Miniature Beam Load Cell and connected to the 9870 High Speed High Performance TEDS Ready Indicator where results are captured, displayed, and logged for quality control. Read CPG Water Bottle Dispensing and Weighing

Product Test Lab Conducts High Volume Tensile Force Testing

A product test lab is constantly requested to conduct a series of tensile force tests on different samples and materials until failure. These materials include plastic, steel, or woven fabric, and are utilized in the design and manufacturing of several consumer products. The lab professionals want to measure tensile strength, yield strength, and yield stress for every submitted product material sample. For the tensile test stand, we recommend using Interface’s 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile™ Load Cell be installed into the test frame. As the tensile test is conducted, force results captured by the load cell and extensometer are synchronized through the SI-USB4 4 Channel USB Interface Module. The results are displayed on the customer’s computer with supplied software. Learn more by reading Material Tensile Testing.

Interface’s high precision force sensor technologies used in robotics have revolutionized the manufacturing of consumer products. With automated assembly lines and robotic arms taking charge, these machines work efficiently to mass-produce consumer goods. Quality control of all the products we provide you for testing is one of the main focuses of Interface, as we want to keep your customers happy and safe.

Interface’s experienced team are renowned specialists in force, torque and weight measurement manufacturing and technology. Our depth of knowledge and wide range of capabilities create custom solutions of all types, whether special transducers made to your exact specifications or complete customized sensor, instrumentation, and software systems. We collaborate with you to ensure the product specifications you need are designed to match your precise requirements.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Introducing the Interface Consumer Product Testing Case Study

Interface Solutions for Consumer Products

Force Measurement is Reducing Waste and Automating the Consumer Packaging Industry

Applications for Consumer Products and Packaging

Load Cells for Consumer Product Applications

Why Product Design Houses Choose Interface

Testing Labs Choose Interface High Accuracy Products

Interface Solutions for Material Testing Engineers

Why Product Design Houses Choose Interface

When people think of force measurement, they often think that it is a tool for testing products. However, load cells, torque transducers and multi-axis sensors also play a fundamental role throughout the entire product design process. In fact, many products today actually design force sensors directly into products.

Product design houses are companies that fulfill outsourced design work for a variety of industries. These specialized design houses are contracted to develop and bring products to life.

A product design house primarily focuses on designing physical products or tangible goods. The services they offer to product makers, engineers, manufacturers, and innovators typically involve the entire product development lifecycle, from conceptualization and design to prototyping and manufacturing.

Due to our experience and expertise across multiple industries, Interface collaborates with product design houses in identifying the right sensors and systems to use during different stages of the design process. Whether it is for accurately measuring forces for impact and fatigue testing, identifying precise weights for packaging, modeling consumer usability, or testing material strength, Interface products are chosen by design houses based on their range of capabilities, accuracy, versatility and quality.

How Product Design Houses Use Interface Products

  • Concept Development and Prototyping: Product design houses often use Interface product design files when refining their initial product ideas or creating new concepts. When the products move into physical modeling, Interface products are used for testing and validation at this early stage.
  • Industrial Design: Industrial designers use Interface load cells and other sensor products for measuring functionality of the product.
  • Design Validation and Testing: Conducting tests and simulations to validate the product’s performance, durability, and safety are the number one reason why design houses utilize Interface measurement solutions. Design houses put sensor technologies into products to provide force data for user feedback, to optimize performance, safeguard consumers and activate components.
  • Mechanical Engineering: The mechanical engineering team of a design house will connect with Interface when they are working on the technical phases of product design. Our products are used to help ensure the final product can be fabricated efficiently, performs consistently, and meets applicable safety standards.
  • Materials and Manufacturing: Experts at design houses that are versed in materials science and manufacturing processes will consult with Interface in finding measurement solutions that can access and validate material testing and production systems. Within the manufacturing realm, these devices are employed in quality control processes to ensure consistent product standards.
  • Packaging: If a product has packaging that must meet durability, temperature, pressure or fatigue requirements, Interface will provide sensors and instrumentation for design testing.
  • Regulatory Compliance and Certification Support: For products subject to regulatory standards, design houses utilize high accuracy measurement solutions in creating specifications, reporting, and compliance requirements before moving to market.

These services can vary from one product design house to another, and some design houses may specialize in specific industries or types of products.

Product design houses leverage Interface load cells across various industries to measure and monitor forces and weights with precision. For example, in medical device development, Interface miniature load cells are used for patient lifts, ensuring secure and accurate weight measurements.

Whether used in material testing, robotics, or agricultural machinery, load cells enable product design houses to create innovative solutions tailored to specific industry requirements, enhancing overall product performance and reliability. Here are a few examples of house product designers use force measurement solutions during the design phase.

Furniture Fatigue Cycle Testing

To meet safety protocols in relation to the manufacturing of various furniture products, fatigue testing, shock testing, and proof testing must be rigorously performed before diffusion into the marketplace, and into the homes of consumers. Force testing of furniture products is critical in determining the posted max loads to protect manufacturers from liability due to damage that might result from the misuse of those products and overloading. Using Interface’s SSMF Fatigue Rated S-Type Load Cell along with Interface’s 9890 Strain Gage, Load Cell, & mV/V Indicator provided a solution that measures the force being applied in fatigue cycle testing of a furniture product, in this case, testing the rocking mechanism in an office chair. Throughout the testing phase, changes were made to the design to improve the safety and life of the furniture, ensuring product quality and protecting the manufacturer from future liability.

Self-Checkout Kiosk Functional Testing

To assess the design of self-checkout kiosks, part of the development cycle is to ensure the weighing feature is functioning properly with the right amount of sensitivity when customers want to weigh products like fruits or vegetables. The designers also needed a system that measures the force it takes for the self-checkout kiosk to activate a response for consumers. Interface suggested installing SSB Load Beam Load Cells under the plate where items are weighed. When connected to the WTS-AM-1E Wireless Strain Bridge Transmitter Module, force results are wirelessly transmitted to the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station on the customer’s PC. Data can be logged and graphed with included Log100 software. Interface’s wireless force system successfully measured the amount of force it took for the self-checkout kiosk to react and ensure it is functioning properly.

 

Design of a Prosthetic Foot

In the design of this medical device, the product designers need to know how the foot responds as it is loaded during different stances. To measure this, Interface’s 3A120 3-Axis Load Cell was installed between the leg socket and the prosthetic foot. The 3A120 was then connected to the BSC4D Multi-Channel Bridge Amplifier and Computer Interface Module. Using this solution, data was logged for X, Y, and Z axis. The design house was able to review the results and identify premature flat foot and dead spots during foot’s production for consumer use. They utilized this vital information to make improvements to the design.

Interface works with design houses and product design engineers across the continuum of a product’s development through go-to-market. We supply standard measurement sensors like our load cells, along with custom solutions that are uniquely engineered for a particular use case.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Why Product Design Engineers Choose Interface

Interface Solutions for Consumer Products

Introducing the Interface Consumer Product Testing Case Study

Interface Mini Load Cells Growing in Product Use and Testing

Detailing Pillow Block Load Bearing Load Cells

A pillow block bearing is usually used to create a rolling system. This bearing type is often used for industrial rolls for textiles, paper, and materials. It is also used on conveyor belts in manufacturing facilities. Other common use cases in various industries include transportation, medical device design, and aerospace.

Interface offers specialized load cells that measure and monitor weight and other forces on pillow block bearings, aptly known as Interface Pillow Block Load Bearing Load Cells. The force measurement is performed for this load cell between two supports.

Pillow Block Bearing Load Cell Spans Multiple Industries

Pillow block bearing load cells are important in all industries where accurate load measurement is required during production and use of small and large rollers. Some examples include:

  • Steel industry: Pillow block load cells can be used in roller mills to measure the force required to crush or shape steel.
  • Textile industry: Pillow block load cells can be used in textile machines such as looms and knitting machines to measure the tension on the yarn.
  • Packaging industry: Pillow block load cells can be used in packaging machines to measure the force required to cut or seal packaging materials.

Pillow block load cells are valuable in building and enhancing infrastructure. Our PBLC1 is a great solution for monitoring trains on a track in motion. When our PBLC1 is installed on a track, and the train runs across it, the sensor can provide a signal to a station elsewhere in the world. If any force indicators suggest that there could be a problem with the weight the train is holding or the train itself, the sensor can also trigger an automatic shutdown of the train. These sensors could prevent major damage from train derailments and other train-related incidents by detecting errors before they inflict damage.

These weights are important to measure or monitor as they can tell you if you run out of material on a roll or if a production line conveyor belt is holding too much weight. An example of the feed roller system using our wireless options is below.

Manufacturing Feed Roller System

Feed roller systems are common in production and manufacturing. In this example, a feed roller system needs to monitor the forces of both ends of the rollers to maintain a constant straight feed. This reduces waste and ensures quality in the product use. They would also prefer a wireless system. Interface suggests installing two PBLC Pillow Block Load Cells at both ends of the bottom roller to measure the applied forces. The measurement output is sent to the instrumentation device, our WTS-AM-1E Wireless Strain Bridge Transmitter Module. The data is then transmitted wirelessly to the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station and the WTS-BS-1-HA Wireless Handheld Display for multiple transmitters, where data can be displayed, graphed, and logged a computer. Learn more about this type of use case in our Feed Roller System Application Note.

In addition to this use case, here are a few other ways Pillow Block Load Cells are used to measure weight and force:

  • Material handling: Pillow block load cells are commonly used in conveyor systems to measure the weight of transported materials.
  • Automotive industry: Pillow block load cells are used in assembly line applications to measure the weight of assembled parts and components.
  • Heavy machinery: Pillow block load cells are used in cranes, bulldozers, and other heavy machinery to measure loads and monitor the equipment’s performance.
  • Manufacturing: Pillow block load cells are used in material testing machines to measure the force required to break or deform materials.
  • Aerospace: Pillow block load cells are used in aerospace applications to measure the weight and balance of aircraft and spacecraft.
  • Medical industry: Pillow block load cells are used in medical equipment such as patient lifts and hospital beds to measure patients’ weight.
  • Food industry: Pillow block load cells are used in food processing and packaging equipment to measure the weight of ingredients and finished products.

Pillow Block Bearing Load Cells Product Overview

This type of force sensor is suitable for measuring forces under pillow block bearings for diameter Ø 20mm (Ø 0.79 in) and for measuring axle weight in test stands for trains and vehicles. Our system is compatible with INA Pillow Block Bearings and is installed underneath the bearing to measure force. There are three model versions, with the options for additional multi-axis measurements for engineers to order products.

PBLC1 Pillow Block Load Bearing Load Cell

PBLC2 Pillow Block Load Bearing Load Cell

PBLC3 Pillow Block Load Bearing Load Cell

Features and benefits of our Pillow Block Load Cell include:

  • Capacities from 5 to 30 kN (1.1K to 6.7K lbf)
  • Compatible with INA pillow block bearings
  • IP65 moisture protection
  • Rugged electro-galvanized surface

In addition, our Pillow Block Load Cell is also available in multi-axis versions, allowing more force data from your test application. This helps measure forces such as the center of gravity, tension across a load-bearing beam, and more. These multi-axis versions come in two and three-axis models. If you want accurate measurements for your pillow block-bearing use cases, contact our specialized application engineers.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Interface Manufacturing and Production Solutions

Quality Engineers Require Accurate Force Measurement Solutions

Interface New Product Releases Winter 2023

Infrastructure Industry Relies on Interface Force Measurement

Interface Solutions for Production Line Engineers

Industrial Automation

 

Introducing the Interface Consumer Product Testing Case Study

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional consumer products applications utilizing Interface quality measurement solutions include:

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

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