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Interface Solutions for Production Line Engineers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6-Axis Force Plate Robotic Arm

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

Press Load Monitoring

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

Snack Weighing and Packaging Machine

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

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

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

IoT Industrial Robotic Arm App Note

Quality Engineers Require Accurate Force Measurement Solutions

Vision Sensor Technology Increases Production Reliability

Force Measurement Solutions for Advanced Manufacturing Robotics

Robotics and Automation are Changing Modern Manufacturing at Interface

Industrial-Automation-Brochure-1

 

Interface and Green Energy Innovation

Green energy has been part of the energy sector for decades. The demands to rapidly commercialize types of green energy at scale requires significant R&D, testing and production to increase global supply. As the world looks to address climate change, green energy takes center stage. Investment into infrastructure and tools for alternative energy production is on the rise. This impacts all types of innovations across various industries, as seen in electric vehicles and solar-powered consumer products.

As corporations and consumers are taking a closer look at how they can reduce their carbon footprint, green energy innovation is an essential element. Energy is complex, with market players that span from scientific researchers to production engineers. With advanced sensor-based technologies in demand to manage different segments of the energy cycle, testing equipment used to design and validate new products within the energy industry grows. Among those testing technologies, force measurement devices and instrumentation offered by Interface play a key role.  Interface is a supplier of choice for the energy industry, see some of the solutions we provide in our Energy Overview.

Interface has developed both off-the-shelf products along with custom solutions and OEM designs for a wide variety of clean energy innovations. Our load cells, torque transducers and more can be found within a wide variety of testing and monitoring systems used in production of wind, water, solar, and hydrogen energy. The accuracy of measurement is critical for capture and storage systems. We also understand the unique requirements for these industries and can collaborate directly with customers to create custom solutions for the newest technologies.

To outline the challenges found in this industry, as well as the various force measurement solutions available from Interface. In Interface Solutions for Growing Green Energy, we showcase how our products are used in the green energy markets. In the case study, you will find a variety of application notes showing how Interface solutions have been used to enable critical green energy applications for wind, hydrogen, solar and more.

Here is a quick preview of what you learn as we discuss the solutions, challenges, and results of using Interface products for green energy innovation.

Interface Solutions for Growing Green Energy Case Study

Interface provides the industry’s most accurate and reliable force sensors, and we have been working with organizations in the energy industry, both traditional and alternative. We understand the unique requirements of green energy and have developed a widening line of products uniquely suited for these innovations.

We have recently worked with multiple types of components for electric vehicles including batteries, engines and more, as well as with alternative energy sources like wind, solar, and hydrogen power. Interface brings the accuracy and reliability, in addition to having an expert engineering team that can quickly develop customized solutions.

Interface solutions are cost effective and can often end up saving critical dollars overall. Take for example a recent case study we developed in which we outlined our role in harnessing hydrogen power using an electrolyzer. In this case, force sensors were used to significantly reduce downtown by creating an automated monitoring system that replaced regularly scheduled maintenance that was often unneeded but caused downtimes. And with that process came significant losses in energy and money. Interface helped to create an autonomous monitoring system that reduced downtime and estimated the customer would break even on their investment on the force monitoring system in one year.

Additional Green Energy Applications Using Interface Products

Windmill Energy

Wave Energy Generator

Solar Panel Strength Testing

More Resources

Interface Supports Renewable Energy Innovation

Demands for Quality Energy Measurement Solutions

Interface Most Promising Energy Tech Solution Provider

Ruggedized Test and Measurement Solutions Webinar

 

Faces of Interface Special Edition Featuring Human Resources

We have a special edition of Faces of Interface featuring our Human Resources team members. As a people-centric organization, our HR team is instrumental in creating our culture and bringing us all together to meet the needs of our customers.

Our vision, mission and purpose are solidified by the work of our HR team. Core to our tremendous growth, is a team of people committed to ensuring from day one our team members have the resources and support they need to get the job done.

As with all things related to people, change is constant. That is why our HR team has spent the last few years upgrading our employee experience and HR processes. As a 54-year-old company, the HR team continually evaluates where we can effect change and positive outcomes. There are some original processes that have withstood the test of time and some that need constant refreshing. It is the focus of our team members in the HR department that are putting those plans into action.

Some instrumentation changes our HR leadership have deployed includes updating Interface’s leadership development programs, revamping performance reviews for production employees, and renewing employee recognition programs.

From a recruiting standpoint, the team has implemented a new training program in the critical onboarding process. Benefits have changed as well, including a brand-new benefits package introduced this year to all team members. The HR team designs and orchestrates these changes to maintain Interface’s efficiency in the recruiting process and improving retention to keep the company’s growing and experienced staff together, so everyone that interacts with Interface benefits.

Our team members in the HR department are excited with these changes and look forward to how the new recruitment strategy, as well as the new employee benefits and recognition programs demonstrate Interface’s commitment to the team members, our value chain and represent us as one of Arizona’s best places to work.

Get To Know Our HR Team Member Gabby Simpson

Gabby has lived in Arizona all her life, growing up in Scottsdale and raising her family here. She worked in property management when she initially met Interface, as she helped to work on our expansion in the early 2010s. She joined us in 2014 to help assist with the HR, accounting, and our sales department for three years. In 2017, she got back into real estate doing HR for a brokerage firm while also selling homes as an agent.

We are thrilled that Gabby rejoined Interface after she stopped by to say hello to some old work friends, and we presented her the opportunity to join our HR team. She mentioned that she loved the company and the people, so she was excited for the opportunity to return.

In Gabby’s role as HR Administrator, she helps to facilitate employee needs regarding benefits, payroll, and daily support. She is also part of Interface’s Navigators. This group of peers works to offer ideas for process improvements that help Interface become more efficient and innovative.

Our HR team plays a crucial role in improving the people side of Interface. From process to engagement, our HR is key to accounting for the company’s continued growth.

If you are interested in joining your team, please go to our online to apply for open positions.

Interface Solutions for Machine Builders

No matter the industry, if products are being made chances are industrial machines are involved in some part of R&D, testing, production, and distribution.

Engineers involved in the design and manufacturing of these machines require the highest quality sensors, tools and equipment. In addition, humans often lean on machines for very precise or repetitive tasks, this means that precision and reliability is key for every aspect of these machines.

Machine builders are the backbone of product development and production. They are responsible for building, assembling, and integrating components for stand-alone and multi-station automated machine tools and systems. These automated machine-tool systems are used in all sectors of manufacturing, including assembly, processing, and fabricating systems.

Interface plays a critical role for machine builders, for those that design one machine or manufacture machines at scale for users around the world. We supply machine builders with precision load cells, torque transducers, instrumentation, data acquisition devices and accessories. They lean on Interface because of our experience in supplying the world solutions utilized for industrial product testing and production across all kinds of industries from agricultural machinery to medical testing machines.

The accuracy and quality of our products is why machine builders rely on Interface. In addition, our experience and diversity of product has led machine builders and engineers to choose Interface force measurement sensors throughout their careers. In fact, Interface has served machine builders for more than 50 years. It is a relationship and role we know very well.

The world of machine building has also changed over the years. In the past, machine builders used force sensors primarily to test products before going out to the market. This is still a prominent use case amongst product engineers. The fast-rising use cases over the past decade comes from the demand for smarter machines, automation and miniaturization of products.

Today, more machines builders and OEMs are designing force sensors directly into machines to allow users to activate components, monitor data on the machines in use for real-time feedback and adjustments. This type of innovation using sensors has opened opportunities for Industry 4.0 connectivity between machines.

To get a better idea of how machine builders are using force sensors, Interface has developed a wide range of applications notes to provide real world examples of force measurement in action in the machine building world. We have included a few of those examples below.

Metal Press Cutting Machine

A customer wanted to test the amount of force it takes to cut through different thicknesses of metal on their metal press cutting machine. They also wanted to ensure their metal press cutting machine is working properly and understand its maximum limitation. Interface suggested installing their 3AXX 3-Axis Force Load Cell underneath the plate where pieces of metal are placed to be cut, or punched holes in. When connected to the BX8-HD44 BlueDAQ Series Data Acquisition System, the force results of different metals being cut will be displayed, graphed, and recorded on the customer’s PC. It also has an analog output that can connect to the machines PLC in case of an overload. Using this solution, the customer was able to determine the different number of forces it took for their metal press cutting machine to cut through different types and thicknesses of metal. Read more here.

Snack Weighing and Packaging Machine

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

Tablet Forming Machine

A pharmaceutical company needs to precisely monitor the forces applied by the tablet (pill) forming machine to understand the relationship between raw material, die set, forming force, and motor cycle speed. Optimizing the equipment will improve productivity and efficiency of the tablet forming process, while reducing losses. For maximizing production and monitoring the process, Interface suggested a WMC Sealed Stainless Steel Mini Load Cell (10K lbf Capacity) be mounted in the section of the downward press bar. The load cell was then connected to a 9320 Portable Load Cell Indicator to collect the needed data. Read more here.

Machine builders require the best test and monitoring equipment. Interface has backed professional machine builders, machine design engineers, machine manufacturers and those that utilize the equipment for many years with top-of-the-line force sensing solutions.  Whether you are looking to build a machine, design machine tools and equipment or embed sensors into machines, we are here to help.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Proving Theoretical Cutting Forces of Rotary Ultrasonic Machinery App Note

Force Solutions for Testing Machines

Interface Sensors Used for Internet of Things

OEM: Industrial Robotic Arm

Fitness Equipment and Machines

Ice Machine Weighing

GS-SYS04 Gold Standard® Portable E4 Machine Calibration System

Laser Machine Cutting Force App Note

Demands for Quality Energy Measurement Solutions

Powering the world is no simple task, especially as research and innovation into alternative energy sources are at an all time high. Across the energy supply chain there are soaring demands from engineers, scientists, equipment makers and suppliers to provide quality and accurate market solutions.

The energy market is constantly evolving to power our infrastructure as well as finding new ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Interface is a key differentiator when it comes to test and measurement. We play an important role in the development and deployment of effective energy market solutions as our sensor technologies are used to test and monitor energy equipment, sources and methods for extraction and containment. As well, Interface is center in supplying devices used in the development of fueling alternatives and introducing new energy solutions.

To explain our role in the energy market and how are products can be used by engineers in these industries, Interface Energy Solutions Overview details the types of products and examples of applications used by industry market leaders and innovators.

Interface force measurement solutions are used in all types of energy related applications to produce oil, gas, wind, coal, solar, hydrogen, nuclear, geothermal and emerging energy sources around the world. We are recognized as a provider of choice for our reliability and accuracy in designing, engineering, testing, innovating, and manufacturing precision sensor-based solutions for the energy industry.

One of the industries where Interface’s experience and knowledge of force measurement is vertically integrated into production and manufacturing processes is in the energy industry. The conditions energy professionals work in can be harsh. They are often in hazardous environments extracting oil and natural gas, wind, or coal to fuel our world’s dependencies for power. The equipment our energy sector customers use must be rugged and provide the most accurate results possible. If the equipment fails, our customers risk steep losses and exposure to safety hazards.

Based on market requirements, we recently introduced the new Interface Pressure Compensated Downhole Load Cell solution specifically designed for the energy sector. The downhole environment poses many challenges for well-drillers, operators, tool-string designers, and other engineers in the oil and gas industry. This innovation eliminates the need for “wet” load cells to monitor forces on their downhole load strings, which don’t hold up for extended use where there are extreme pressures and temperatures in a caustic environment. Interface created a dry load cell with an innovative protective design that reduces the number of sensors required in any downhole load string, extending the life of the load cell by a decade or more.

The types of products the energy market demands from Interface for these applications include standard LowProfile load cells, various torque transducers, multi-axis sensors and all types of instrumentation. We supply engineered to order and custom products for various energy testing environments and OEM solutions. The range of options include uniquely designed torque transducers, load washers, tension and compression load cells, load pins, wireless gear and more.

ENERGY APPLICATIONS USING INTERFACE PRODUCTS

  • Solar panel design and testing
  • Wireless monitoring devices
  • Submersible and hazardous environment products
  • Hydrogen electrolyzer devices
  • Storing and transporting crude oil and natural gas
  • Windmill testing and management
  • Wireline spool tension control
  • Oil and gas equipment
  • Hydro power generation
  • Hook load tension
  • Torque tong monitoring
  • Tool recovery and fishing
  • Wave energy
  • Downhole OEM parts
  • Calibration and equipment maintenance

Interface force measurement solutions are used in components, machines and field equipment for energy R&D and production. From prototyping to monitoring equipment, our durable load cells and torque transducers assist suppliers of parts along with energy industry leaders and innovators to fuel the world. You can find more energy applications here.

Energy-Brochure-1

To learn more about our work in the energy industry or to inquire about how our force sensors can benefit your next project, contact our application engineers today.

Additional Resources

Interface Helps Power the World

Interface Most Promising Energy Tech Solution Provider

Announcing the Launch of the Interface Pressure Compensated Downhole Load Cell

Fueling Global Demand for Interface Solutions

 

Force Sensing Keeps Factories Running Feature in Fierce Electronics

In the recent article, ‘May the force be with you: Force sensing keeps factories running, product quality high’ Dan O’Shea at Fierce Electronics writes about the growing demand for sensors in industrial automation applications.

Following his interview with Interface’s Keith Skidmore, Dan writes:

‘While some sensors are more focused on monitoring equipment or measuring environmental conditions around a manufacturing process, force sensors measure mechanical forces occurring in the equipment and processes, and the products being manufactured. They measure things like load, tension, resistance, weight or total pressure applied. By employing this kind of sensing technology, manufacturers can monitor the health of their equipment and improve quality assurance for their products.’

“Testing things by applying a force to them is super common. Many products in lots of industries get tested this way, from aerospace to automotive, through to consumer goods. Chairs, furniture, mattresses, ladders–basically, anything that’s being manufactured, there can be a desire to figure out how strong the various parts of those products are.” Keith Skidmore, engineer and regional sales director at Interface

Read the entire Fierce Electronics article here.

Interface provides industrial automation and IoT solutions to manufacturers, equipment makers and factories around the world. Sensors play a pivotal role in production and optimization through tools and process improvements.

Industrial Robotic Arm

Robotic arms are frequently used in production facilities throughout the manufacturing process. Suppliers of these devices heavily rely on accurate and quality sensors to provide feedback. In this application, the designer needed to test the force of the arm apparatus to ensure it could safely secure packages on a moving conveyor belt without damaging any materials or products. This automated function helps to improve quality of packaging and increase productivity on the line.

Interface provided the model 6A40A 6-Axis Load Cell with model BX8-HD44 Data Acquisition Amplifier instrumentation. The 6-Axis load cell provides measurement of all forces and torques (Fx, Fʏ, Fz, Mx, Mʏ, Mz) and the BXB-HD44 Data Acquisition Amplifier logs, displays, and graphs these measurements while sending scaled analog output signals for these axes to the robot’s control system. Customer installed 6A40 6-Axis Load Cell between robot flange and robot grabber. The extensive data outputs from the multi-axis sensor provided the exact detailed measurements needed for the industrial robotic application.

Faces of Interface Featuring Tin Nguyen

Today’s Faces of Interface features a person who might possibly hold the most titles in the company, and for good reason. Tin Nguyen is our calibration engineer, manufacturing engineer and business unit manager for calibration. Tin has earned all these titles along with the important responsibility through his relentless ability to take on and excel in new tasks, as well as his desire to learn. Check out his story.

Since he was about the age of eight years old, Tin had a proficiency for learning how to design and build things. It all started growing up on his grandparent’s farm where he would theorize ways to make tools and machines around the farm easier to use or more efficient. He vowed then that when he grew up, he would find a way to build things to make life easier for people.

Tin went on to attend Arizona State University (ASU), where he received a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering and in technology in 2000. He really enjoyed the ASU engineering school experience because it was hands on and he got to work with the latest technology, preparing him for the real world. While attending school, Tin also served as an auto mechanic for racing cars to earn some extra money on the side and because he really enjoyed the work.

Tin joined Interface in September 2001. He began his career as a calibration associate in the calibration lab. After a few years in the lab, Tin was then promoted to manufacturing engineer. A year later, he was promoted to calibration supervisor followed by the calibration departments business unit manager. His success in each of these roles allowed him to retain some of his titles and work throughout the company to lend his skills and expertise.

Today, his role covers quite a bit of what we do here at Interface. His day-to-day responsibilities include developing and maintaining tooling for calibration, fixturing, improving production processes, auditing equipment, figuring out ways to reduce costs, training calibration techs, maintaining calibration standards, looking after 20 different rigs, to highlight a few. His depth of experience and expertise lends to supporting and helping the company meet the growing demands for Interface’s quality products.

What Tin enjoys so much about working at Interface and continuing to take on new roles is that he loves to learn everything there is to know about the company and serving customers. Tin noted, there are a lot of talented people around him to provide that knowledge and support. After more than 20 years with the company, Tin still feels that he has more to learn. He’s also very honored by the trust that Interface and its leadership have placed in Tin to take on all of his important roles.

In his free time, Tin loves to travel and explore the great outdoors. He enjoys hiking, camping, fishing, boating and more. And, as if he doesn’t already have enough projects in his work life, Tin is also very fond of upgrading and remodeling his home. He takes a lot of ownership over the process and will do everything that he can before hiring somebody to help.

With all the hats Tin wears, he knows Interface inside out and we’re thrilled to have him and his cross-departmental expertise as part of the Interface family! We hope you enjoyed the newest entry into our Faces of Interface and if you’re looking to learn more about our talented staff, visit our ForceLeaders feature here.

Users of Interface Test and Measurement Products

Interface has a long history working with several types of users that rely on our products for test and measurement.

From pioneering engineers working in campus labs to ground-breaking scientists and innovators finding solutions to complex problems. We often share insights about the many industries that Interface serves and how our extensive line of products are used in a wide variety of applications within these industries.

In this Interface IQ Blog, we want to highlight individuals who use our products and discuss how they are used in various projects, programs, and testing environments.

We recently asked our customers how they utilize our products and here are their responses:

  • Calibration Equipment – 36%
  • Product Testing and Use in a Test Lab – 30%
  • New Product Design and Engineering Solutions – 25%
  • Products Manufactured into Original Equipment or Devices – 25%
  • Fatigue Testing – 20%
  • As Components of Other Products -16%
  • Experimentation – 14%
  • Education and Training 7%

Note that each responder chose all that applied in the survey.

Interface Product and Service User Types

Product Design Engineers

Product design engineers are involved from the very beginning of new production introduction (NPI). They are theorizing new products or product improvements, drawing designs, and developing prototypes. Force measurement plays a key role in NPI, enabling many different capabilities including automation, in-product performance monitoring, and more. These engineers benefit from Interface products because we offer top-quality performance, and we can uniquely customize our products and complete solutions to meet new product designs. Read our recent profile: Why Product Design Engineers Choose Interface.

Product Test Engineers

Product testing remains Interface’s largest user profile across industries. Interface provides various load cells, torque transducers, data acquisition instrumentation of all capabilities and capacities to create small and large testing solutions. We offer solutions for testing products, manufactured parts, prototypes, consumer goods, devices, OEM solutions and embedded components. We work directly with product testing engineers and test lab experts to supply standard, engineered-to-order, and customized solutions to fit into a test machines, rigs, and test benches. Often our products are designed right into the product to provide instant user feedback. Interface products are used to test everything from the structural integrity of an airplane to the minute forces of heart valve clamps used in open heart surgery. Product Test Engineers choose Interface due to the reliability and quality of sensors, along with precision accuracy.

Metrologists

Metrology is the science of measurement, embracing both experimental and theoretical determinations at any level of uncertainty in any field of science and technology. Therefore, it is all too common to find many Interface products within a metrology lab. Metrologists use Interface products to calibrate the machinery and tooling that will is frequently used during production and manufacturing. The relationship between Interface, metrologists and manufacturing engineers is an important one because each role in partnership ensures the quality of the products that leave the manufacturer’s doors.

Manufacturing Engineers and Production

Interface products can also be found within many of the machines, equipment, and tools on a manufacturing floor. These engineers will often use Interface products as embedded sensors or for process monitoring. With industrial automation, our sensor technologies are used to enable a machine to ensure certain robotics or automated functions are tuned correctly to provide the right amount of force. Some examples include packaging lines, bolt fastening, bottle capping machines in a soda factory or stamping machining that mark the minute symbols or logos on a pill. Manufacturing facility attendants also use force measurement to monitor machines in use. When force data is observed outside of a safe range, a manufacturing attendant may determine that a machine on the floor needs calibration or repair.

Educators

Another major customer of Interface are professors and lab techs in higher education facilities. Colleges and universities, specifically engineering departments often have Interface blue load cells and testing equipment onsite. Force measurement’s role is growing rapidly in STEM, as workforce demands seek out students experienced in R&D, engineering, design, mathematics, science and proving concepts. Therefore, professors are purchasing our products to give students hands-on experience with sensor technologies in early and advanced education. In fact, many young students today have exposure to products tested or using active sensors as part of their functions, like tablet displays, planet rovers, sports equipment, robotics, gaming brake pedals, rockets, and drones. Working together with academic institutions, we understand that having access to the best components helps develop future engineers as innovators.

This is a concise list of different people and titles we have worked with over the years. There are many more out there. Also, the use of force measurement sensors is growing rapidly in product design and development, so we expect this list to continue to expand. We are proud to serve such a diverse range of individuals, industries and applications and we look forward to what the future of force measurement holds.

Interface Solutions for Testing Tools

Interface load cells, torque transducers and instrumentation are commonly used in the test and measurement of different tools and fasteners used in testing products and actual production of various machines and components. The sensor data received in measuring assembly tools and fixtures used in securing nuts, bolts, and screws, is critical in making safe and reliable products.

For example, the ability to measure torque on screws and the force output of a screwdriver or wrench is very important when there are tight tolerances involved like in engineering and build of automotive or aerospace and defense machines and parts.

As we did for the machine testing blog, we’ve detailed a few examples of how Interface force and torque solutions are used in measuring tools performance for both design and assembly.  You can find additional application notes on these examples and more by visiting our industry solutions.

Bolt Fastening Force and Torque

An aerospace company was working on a test plan that involved taking torque and compression measurements on fasteners with varying joint materials. The system required both high and low sampling rates, in addition to the capability of precisely measuring force and torque simultaneously. They required reliable accuracy and long-term stability. The test plan intended to provide verification of required force and torque specifications for fasteners, to ensure safety without compromising installation. Interface suggested a LW or LWCF Load Washer in conjunction with a  T12 Square Drive Rotary Torque Transducer. With this solution, the customer was able to align force and torque measurements to desired levels. This was accomplished by combining the sensors with the high sample rate of the data logging and graphing capabilities of the SI-USB, capturing real-time force and torque levels for examination. The fasteners were tightened to the specified force and torque requirements and were safely installed without impairment to themselves or the joint material. The customer was able to measure the rapid event effectively and accurately. Read more about this bolt fastening solution here.

Aircraft Screwdriver Fastening Control

An airplane manufacturer needed a solution where they can control the torque when fastening screws on their airplane models. They didn’t want to create any damage to materials or apply too much torque when plane components are being fastened together. Interface suggested a T15 Hex Drive Rotary Torque Transducer, which can be attached to the fastening work bench, measuring and recording torque, rotational speed, and angle of the screwdriver. The LWCF Clamping Force Load Cell is installed, measuring the forces applied on the screw being fastened. Results are sent to the SI-USB4 4-channel USB Interface Module, which is connected to the customer’s PC or laptop where data is logged, graphed, and displayed. This solution allowed the airplane manufacturer to calibrate their screwdriver by measuring its torque, rotational speed, and angle, when attaching materials together for their airplane. They were also able to measure the forces being applied to the screw, to ensure it was not applying too much torque to the components. You can learn more about the aircraft screwdriver application here.

Ratchet Wrench Torque Verification

A customer wanted to perform regular torque testing on his ratchet-type torque wrench while recording these values for future examination. Interface supplied a model TS15 Square to Flange Reaction Torque Transducer with the INF-USB3 PC Interface Module for the customer to use. The customer mounted TS15 to work bench through flange and inserted the ratchet-type torque transducer into the TS15. Using this product, the customer was able to accurately perform their calibration checks and view the results while logging them to their PC Computer.  Learn more about this wrench torque verification testing here.

While not nearly as complex as machine testing applications, tools testing is equally important to the outcome of a project. The tools and fasteners used, even those as simple as a bolt and wrench, need to be accurately measured and assembled to avoid loose connection or overtightening that can damage the product. Interface provides a host of tool testing solutions for nearly anything that outputs force or torque. To learn more about our tool testing solutions, visit us at www.interfaceforce.com.

Additional Resources

Force Measurement Solutions for Bolt and Screw Fastening

Bolt Fastening- Force

Fastening Work Bench

Engine Head Bolt Tightening