Posts

Regular Calibration Service Maintains Load Cell Accuracy

Even under ideal conditions with normal use, some new load cells can exhibit a slight improvement in accuracy over a period of time. In contrast, load cells are subject to performance degradation due mistreatment, drift, or aging. Throughout the life of a load cell, Interface recommends that regularly scheduled calibration and inspection to monitor performance and minimize uncertainty.

Calibration is a set of operations that compares the accuracy of a measuring instrument of any type, such as a load cell or torque transducer, against a recognized standard. It is often referenced as load cell characterization.

Calibration service ensures the transducer is performing to listed specification. It helps to avoid costly impacts resulting from invalid data or a load cell shutting down a test in progress. Confidence in data is critical in test and measurement. The calibration assures that measurements gathered within the valid calibration period are reliable, trustworthy, and defensible. To maintain  any sensor and minimize cost of poor quality, it is best practice that calibrations are scheduled annually to confirm accuracy to specifications.

There are times when loading conditions and use case environments necessitate the need for more frequent evaluation and calibration cycles. The process of calibration can include adjusting the measuring instrument to bring it in alignment with the standard.

Use Cases for Frequent Calibration Services

  • Harsh environmental conditions can cause corrosion and electrical failures
  • Loading forces that exceed the load cell rated capacity can cause shifting of the zero-load output of the load cell
  • Moment loading of the load cell can cause zero shifts and other undesirable behavior
  • High cycle rates or fatigue applications can cause premature failure

Many of these symptoms can be repaired or mitigated if they are identified early during appropriate evaluation and calibration cycles.

Interface standards for calibration are world-class. Our calibration labs are managed by experts in diagnostics, testing and repair with engineering and metrology grade equipment designed by the leaders in force measurement. Interface’s range of calibration service capabilities:

FORCE

  • NMI Traceable Calibration
  • 50g – 1 Million lbf Capacities
  • 11 Hydraulic and 6 Dead Weight Test Stands to Support Calibration Demand

TORQUE

  • .022 – 100K in lbf Capacities
  • NIST Traceable to 2.2K in lbf
  • NMI Traceable 2.2K – 100K in lbf

Why Interface Calibration Services?

  • ISO 17025 Accredited
  • 50+ Years of Calibration Experience
  • 100,000+ Calibrations Performed Annually
  • Permanently Archived Test Data
  • Highly Trained Professional Technicians
  • Quick and Timely Response
  • Calibrations Running 24/6

Our guidance is to schedule regular maintenance with an annual check-up. Interface offers world-class diagnostic, repair, and calibration services. You can schedule your calibration service online here.

 

Faces of Interface Featuring Sean Malone

In today’s Faces of Interface, we talked with Sean Malone who is responsible for calibrating and repairing our customer’s force measurement equipment. As our esteemed warranty coordinator, his important role requires extensive knowledge of force measurement technologies. This is because not only do we support the products we make, we also calibrate and repair force measurement products from a wide variety of other manufacturers.

Throughout his life, Sean has always had a propensity for working with his hands. Hi family owned a locksmith business, so he grew up to become very mechanically proficient. In fact, Sean worked for the 35-year family-run business for 25 years before the family decided to sell it. Sean also went to school at ITT Tech during that time and received his associates in computer networking and science.

After leaving the locksmith business, Sean investigated a new role where he could continue to work with his hands every day. This desire led him to Interface. He began his career at Interface as a repair technician in our production facility, then he moved on to become a calibration finalist, and the manager of the service department before settling into his current role as warranty coordinator.

His journey through Interface’s service department gave him a great deal of knowledge about the business and the ins and outs of a load cell. This allows him to perform his current role to the highest degree and aptitude. He’s also a great resource for questions and support for our team members and global network. His position today includes being a single point contact for service customers, performing root cause analysis, fixing load cells, calibrating them, and ensuring items sent in for services get back to the customer in premium working order.

Sean says that he’s caught his professional stride at Interface and really enjoys the fact that he is learning something new every day. He also remarked that the people he comes to work with make the job and the company that much more enjoyable. We’re glad to have you here too Sean, as you represent the best in ForceLeaders.

In his free time, you won’t find Sean anywhere else but at the golf course. Being an Arizona native, he has grown up with a passion for the U.S. golf capitol of the world and all it has to offer for an avid golfer. His skills in the sport also extend to a little bit of frisbee golf from time to time. All things golf, all the time. That’s the way Sean winds down.

We’re incredibly honored to have Sean on the team and his work is critical to keeping our customers products operating at the highest standards of accuracy and reliability, today and for many years to come.

To learn more about the outstanding team at Interface, check in to our blog each month for our Faces of Interface series.

Interface Calibration 101

Calibration of force and torque sensors is critical to receiving accurate data from measurement testing.  Calibration is the comparison of the instruments output against the known standard of measurement. For a load cell, it is the comparison of the load cell output against the standard test loads.

The calibration ensures the sensor is performing accurately and set for ideal output based on the capacity and configuration of the design. A standard calibration tests repeatability and linearity, which are both used to determine the accuracy. Calibration tests are run to identify any potential measurement errors caused by zero offset, non-linearity, hysteresis, non-repeatability, and shifts from zero.

The team of calibration experts at Interface are specifically trained to provide this specialized service as part of our quality and lab standard requirements of operations. Interface is ISO/IEC 17025:2017 and A2LA Accredited for Torque and Force Calibration in accordance with the recognized International Standard ISO/IEC 17025:2017.

Interface certifies all our load cells with accredited calibration before releasing the product for shipment. Certificate information includes tabulated measurement variables data, zero balance, computed nonlinearity and hysteresis, and traceability statements. We are often recognized as the most complete calibration certification in the industry

In a recent customer survey, we found that one of the most important roles that Interface force measurement solutions play is for our calibration services. This is due to the accuracy, reliability, and dependability over long periods of time of the load cells we manufacture and service.

Why Calibrate?

Calibration is important based on many different factors, including continued performance, safety, and compliance with ISO or industry specific standards. Interface’s standard recommended calibration interval is to recalibrate every 12 months. The frequency of calibrations should be determined by the following use case factors that may affect measurement accuracy:

  • Measurement quality and allowable tolerance range
  • Level of stress to which the equipment is subjected
  • Stability of past calibrations
  • Required measuring accuracy
  • Quality assurance requirements

Interface Calibration Services

Interface provides calibration and repair services on load cells and torque transducers, including devices made by other sensor manufacturers. In fact, Interface performs more than 100,000 calibrations every year. This includes new products as well as devices sent to Interface for recalibration and repair. Repairs include a complete evaluation of the device prior to repair and calibration upon completion.

In addition, here are some other benefits for choosing Interface as your calibration services partner:

  • ISO 17025 Accredited
  • Scheduled Repairs for Ongoing Inventory Management
  • Custom Calibration Services
  • RMA Tracking and Permanent Archive of Test Data
  • NMI Certified Gold and Platinum Standard Reference Load Cells
  • Interface Gold Standard Calibration Software Used for Data Collection and Analysis
  • Full-Service Machine Shop for any Mechanical Requirements

Calibration Services Process

The Interface calibration team consists of a team of professionals dedicated to an optimized calibration and repair process for timely management of our customer’s requests. We begin the calibration service process with our technical services group who manage the request and RMA process, in addition to evaluation and troubleshooting.

We evaluate all products at our headquarters with our team of experts. The sensor goes through a thorough inspection process to identify any necessary repairs and to ensure device is in working condition in preparation of a calibration. This includes an electrical test. Based on the extensive evaluation, if the device is found to be unrepairable, there is no charge. We also will work to find a replacement unit. All work beyond the evaluation is sent to the customer for approval.

The final step in our calibration services process is the actual calibration. Our calibration team is considered the most experienced in the industry due to the sheer volume of work product they calibrate every day.  Interface also is heavily invested in conducting all our calibrations with the most advanced equipment, including our proprietary Gold Standard® and Platinum Standard® systems. These machines ensure that the transducers are calibrated to the most accurate ability possible before returning to the customer.

Even the most high-end manufactured load cells and finely tuned components endure accuracy degradation over continued use. To ensure your sensors are always ready for peak performance, check out our calibration services request form. We also provide a full range of calibration grade products for metrology and testing labs. You can also give us a call at 480-948-5555 to discuss your specific calibration needs.

 

Engaging Interface Calibration and Repair Services Expertise

A high-quality load cell is a critical piece of technology for the design and testing of products throughout various, highly regulated industries including medical, aerospace and defense, automotive, and industrial automation. To get the most out of a load cell, just like anything else, you need to understand how to care for and maintain it. A poorly maintained load cell can lead to inaccurate data and poor performance.

Interface Calibration and Repair Services provide a valuable function for our customers in recalibration and technical support for the thousands of products manufactured by the leader in force measurement.  When cared for properly, a load cell should to be calibrated once a year or at least every two years under regular use. There are also certain circumstances where a load cell is damaged in use and needs immediate repair. Interface can handle calibration and repair of any load cell on the market, whether we build it or not.

A key differentiator for Interface is the fact that our calibration lab is ISO 17025 and A2LA accredited. These accreditations are typically for major calibration labs, not in a manufacturer’s facilities like ours. Our deep expertise in the development of load cells allows us to provide the highest quality calibration and repair services on the market because we know the product inside and out.

Interface’s Industry Leading Calibration and Repair Process

The Interface calibration team consists of 10 individuals dedicated to an optimized calibration and repair process that gets our customer’s load cells in and out as quickly as possible. The process begins with the front-end team, who manages the customer’s request, goes through the RMA process, and troubleshoots any additional concerns with the customer.

Once we review the product in-house at our Arizona headquarters, the load cell goes through a thorough inspection process to identify any necessary repairs and to ensure the load cell is in working condition for calibration. This includes an electrical test to evaluate if the load cell is in proper condition to calibrate. It’s also important to note that if the load cell can’t be repaired, there is no charge to the customer, and we work to find a replacement unit. The customer also approves any repairs that are necessary before work begins.

The final step in the process is the actual calibration. Our calibration team has many years of experience and know load cells inside and out. We also work with the most advanced equipment, including our proprietary Gold Standard® and Platinum Standard® systems. These devices ensure that the load cells are calibrated to the most accurate capability possible before returning to the customer. More information about Interface Calibration Systems can be found in our Calibration Systems 101 blog here.

Our commitment to building quality calibration systems is evident by the customers who also use them to do calibration in-house. In fact, in nearly every major manufacturing testing lab, you will find an Interface Gold Standard Calibration System and Gold or Platinum Standard Load Cells. This is because our customers are working on some of the most advanced hardware in their respective industries and fields. Engineers and testing labs trust Interface for accuracy, performance and quality.

Interface customers not only need to ensure their measurements are as accurate as possible to avoid product failure, they also need to prove the accuracy of their testing equipment for those products to pass inspection and make it to the market. We provide both our expert calibration services in our calibration lab, or through high-quality, high-reliability systems available that we build for our customers.

Interface Calibration and Repair Services

  • 50+ Years of Calibration Experience
  • Calibration of All Manufacturers Load Cells
  • 100,000+ Calibrations Performed Annually
  • Custom Calibrations
  • IPerform Service Software for RMA, Tracking and Permanent Archive of Test Data
  • NMI Certified Gold and Platinum Standard Reference Load Cells
  • Interface Gold Standard Calibration Software Used for Data Collection and Analysis
  • Full-Service Machine Shop for Mechanical Requirements

Force Capabilities:

  • NIST/NMI Traceable Calibration
  • 2 gf – 1 Million lbf Calibration Capability
  • (9) Hydraulic & (5) Deadweight Test Stands to Support Your Calibration Requirements

Torque Capabilities:

  • 0.022 – 100K in-lbf Capacities
  • NIST Traceable to 2.2K in-lbf
  • NMI Traceable 2.2K – 100K in-lbf

Interface calibration and repair services are designed with the customer in mind. Our process is fast, reliable and will ensure premium accuracy for our customer’s most complex and high-quality data-dependent design and test projects. Our team of experts work with every customer to ensure personalized world-class service.  It starts with engagement, how can we help?

For more information on Interface calibration and repair services, please visit /calibration-repair/.

Click here to schedule a service today.

Contributor:  Chris Brandenburg, Technical Services Manager at Interface

Faces of Interface Featuring Ken Bishop

From the very beginning, force measurement has been a major part of Ken Bishop’s life. Growing up in Anaheim, California, his father worked for a company called Ormond, Inc., which produced load cells, rocket thrust stands, weighing products and scales. He got to know the people his father worked with and the cool technology they were working on. Therefore, it was no surprise that Ken would follow in his father’s footsteps shortly after graduating high school and working for Ormond himself.

Ken worked with his father at Ormond for five years. He held positions as a driver, an assembler, and then eventually worked his way into a technical management position. After Ormond, he took a brief break from the force measurement industry to join the expanding computing field. He worked at General Micro Systems, where he focused on single board computers. However, his true calling pulled him back and he rejoined the force measurement industry when he was hired at Sensortronics.

Sensortronics then became the first load cell company acquired by Vishay in 2002. Vishay is a global manufacturer of semiconductors and passive electronics and in the early 2000s they would end up acquiring three more load cell manufacturers after Sensortronics. Ken’s job became to work as a team member to consolidate the four companies in the Americas and create Vishay’s transducer group as the Operations Manager for the America’s. Ken oversaw this group for several years afterwards.

During his working career, Ken also began to focus on his post-secondary education. He took night classes for quite a while to earn several degrees. He started with an Associates of Science from Fullerton College. He then received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management, followed by a master’s degree in Business Administration, from the University of Redlands, in California.  His post-secondary education allowed Ken to excel faster in his career path.

After Vishay, Ken took a brief hiatus from the engineering world to get away from it all. He picked up and moved to Montana to enjoy the wide-open spaces and outdoor lifestyle. However, it was not long before the itch to make things returned. In 2006, Ken moved to Arizona and joined Interface.

Ken began his career at Interface on the sales team as an application engineer focused on the West territory. His job was to work with customers to deliver force measurement solutions for a wide variety of test and design challenges in the aerospace, industrial, medical, metrology and automotive sectors. He eventually worked his way up to become a senior application engineer.

During his time as an application engineer and senior application engineer, Ken realized that there were many customer challenges that could not be solved with an off-the-shelf solution. While Interface had worked on custom projects previously, there was no official department to head up the growing demand for custom solutions.

When the department was created, Ken was given the opportunity to become the custom solutions director. He jumped at the opportunity and created a solutions team that could meet the growing demands of Interface’s customers for systems and specialized products. Ken leads the development of custom force measurement solutions designed to meet the unique challenges of an evolving technology and manufacturing ecosystem.

If all this was not enough, Ken also leads the repair and recalibration services department with fellow Interface technical service manager, Chris Brandenburg. And, he has spent some time working on the marketing team. Ken has truly done and seen it all in the force measurement industry.

Introducing Interface Tiered Calibration Services Program

Interface understands our customers have thousands of applications for more than 16,000 Interface force measurement products. We also know many customers have specific needs for calibration and repair services.

How do we know? We are the preferred provider for calibration services in the market, performing more than 100,000 in-house calibrations every year for thousands of customers. Interface even calibrates load cells manufactured by others.

Choosing Interface for calibration and repair ensures that industry certified experts perform the work, guarantee and certify the calibration service, and provide a detailed report with a warranty on all our work. Basically, we design it, build it and service it. It is the true meaning of one-stop-shop.

We are now taking it to the next level. Today, we are introducing the new Interface Tiered Calibration Services Program. 

Our Tiered Calibration Services Program is designed with the customer in mind. It allows customers to pick and choose their exact calibration requirements, fast and easy. This means that if a customer needs a basic service, a fully-customized service solution, or anything in between, Interface is capable to fulfill and exceed expectations.

We are excited to announce that we have found additional ways to extend our services through tailored programs that are designed to meet the exact needs of our valued customers.” Michael Cobb, Director, Interface Service

Quality matters—and we excel at this. However, we know what matters just as much as quality to our customers is the speed of services. Speed isn’t just shipping, it’s the actual time from leaving the customer’s location to returning a fully calibrated or repaired product to them. To meet the “local” needs for expedited services, while offering the highest quality and largest range of service options, our new Tiered Calibration Services Program provides in-house turnaround times ranging from 7-10 days, and as fast as 24-hours for urgent requests. We can even build a program tailored the exact requirements of the customer.

The Interface Tiered Calibration Services Program is now available for all our customers, providing four distinct service tiers: Standard, Gold, Platinum, and Custom.

Standard Calibration Service

  • Expert Calibration Services Performed at In-House at Interface Headquarters
  • Accredited and ISO 376 and ISO 17025 Certified Calibration
  • Detailed Performance Evaluation
  • Easy Online RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization) Creation with Interface’s IPerform Service software
  • IPerform Service Data Archive
  • Real-Time Tracking Online through IPerform Service for All Requests
  • Interface Guarantee and Warranty
  • 7-10 Business Day In-House Calibration Time

Gold Calibration Service

  • Everything Standard PLUS priority service turnaround and free return 2-day shipping
  • Maximum of 5 Business Days In-House Calibration Time
  • IPerform Service Software for RMA, Archive plus Asset Management
  • Return Shipping in Interface Specialized Packaging for Safety and Storage
  • Free 2-Day Express Return Shipping for Non-Freight Weights (US Only)

Platinum Calibration Service

  • Everything Standard and Gold PLUS expedited​ ‘front of the line’ service for fastest turnaround and free 2-day shipping in both directions
  • Maximum 3 Business Days In-House Calibration Time, Able to Request 24-Hour Rush Turnaround
  • IPerform Services RMA, Asset Management, Data History, Scheduling, and Tracking
  • Return Shipping in Interface Specialized Packaging for Safety and Storage
  • Free 2-Day Express Bi-Directional Shipping for Non-Freight Weights (US Only)
  • Concierge Pick-Up and Delivery Options for Non-Freight Weights

Custom Calibration Services

  • All Standard, Gold and Platinum Services PLUS 
  • Managed Inventory
  • Expedited Repair
  • Automated Service Requests
  • IPerform Software
  • Maintenance Programs
  • Discounts

Note, all turnaround times are calculated by time in-house at Interface headquarters.

To learn more about how Interface’s NEW Calibration Tiered Services Program can help your company, visit /calibration-repair/tiered-calibration-services-program/.  To schedule a calibration or repair from Interface, submit a request here.

Interface Defines the Gold Standard in Calibration Systems

Interface understands that when companies are designing and testing complex structures like airplanes, space shuttles, automobiles, and oil & gas rigs, failure is not an option. In order to reduce uncertainty and guarantee the safety of these systems, the highest levels of accuracy in the testing process is an absolute requirement before any structure is moved to final production.

For more than a half-century, Interface has set the standard for reliability in force measurement products. Each load cell that leaves our doors is precisely calibrated to the highest standards available on the market.

In fact, we are maintaining standards of accuracy acceptable by the world’s leaders in aerospace, energy, rockets, medical devices, infrastructure, automobiles and more. Assurance of accuracy and quality are supported through our proprietary Gold Standard® Calibration System, which is the defining ‘gold standard’ in our industry.

Years ago, our customers started asking how we could help them do an in-house calibration. We knew we had to ensure the same quality we used ourselves, no exceptions. So we built our system for commercial use, making it the first of its kind calibration system available to our valued load cell customers.

Interface is the only major load cell company that also sells calibration systems. In fact, many calibration labs and other load cell makers calibrate their load cells with Interface Gold Standard Calibration Systems.

GS-SYS Gold Standard Calibration System Load Frame

GS-SYS Gold Standard Calibration System Load Frame

Interface Load Cell Calibration Systems are available for a wide range of rigid and portable systems and configurations. The Interface GS-SYS Gold Standard® Calibration System Load Frame uses the Interface Gold Standard® Load Cell to ensure a metrology system of the highest accuracy and lowest uncertainty available. It consists of a four-post rigid load frame, proprietary load feedback loop, signal conditioning hardware, and fully-automated calibration software. It also comes in a desktop and portable system for more effortless mobility.

Additional features of the Interface Gold Standard® Calibration System include:

  • 2 channels (options available for up to 8 total channels)
  • SCB1 measurement board featuring <0.003% FS Nonlinearity
  • Less than 0.04% RDG uncertainty
  • The fully-automated system will reduce calibration time by 50% to 90%
  • Automated calibration run can be completed in less than 5 minutes
  • Innovative fixturing allows for tension and compression calibration without changing the setup
  • 12 in. clearance between posts allows for easy load cell installation and removal
  • Accurate and reliable load control achieved by proprietary load feedback design
  • Testing and reporting per ASTM E74 and/or ISO 376 standards
  • Automatically produces standard reports, graphs, and performance parameter calculations
  • Ability to customize reports and graphs
  • Automatically archives data

We also offer training on our systems for new users.  There are additional features that can be customized into calibration systems.  Contact our expert customer solutions application engineers here.

The Gold Standard Calibration System is the preferred choice for companies that value accuracy and reliability. If you prefer that Interface does all your calibration and repairs, contact our trusted service and cal experts today at /calibration-repair/.

 

 

Present and Future Interface Calibration Product Family

Calibration of force measurement tools is integral to accuracy and success in product design and development. As a follow-up to our feature on our expert calibration services, here is a quick introduction to some of our current and future calibration products.

The calibration product family includes five calibration systems that are designed for various needs and force measurement parameters. These systems include:

  • 55K lbf and 110K lbf Automated Calibration System and 2K lbf Automated Calibration System
  • 2K lbf Load Cell Verification System
  • Next Gen High-Resolution Signal Conditioning Board (HRSBSC)
  • 4 Channel 9840-400-1-T Intelligent Indicator

55K lbf and 110K lbf Automated Calibration System and 2K lbf Automated Calibration System

The 55K lbf and 110K lbf Automated Calibration Systems are Interface’s most popular systems because two capacities represent the two most popular capacities requested by customers.

“These systems allow customers to speed up their calibration process because rather than outsourcing calibration, it can all be done in-house.”  Ted Larson, VP of Product Development

The systems are unique in the industry because unlike competitor products, they feature a fully automated system that can measure both tension and compression in a single setup. These systems are designed to satisfy the calibration needs of the test and instrumentation, automotive, aerospace and metrology industries.

The 2K lbf Automated Calibration System, which is on track for release in Q2 of 2019, will offer the same level of accuracy, consistency and excellence as the 55K lbf and110K lbf Systems, but is designed for low-end capacity load cells. This system will serve as a bench top unit and integrate with the same software as the 55K lbf and 110K lbf Systems. It is being designed to serve the medical and automation industries.

The 2K lbf, 55K lbf and 110K lbf Systems will be able to be integrated to work as a dual range system for customers who need to calibrate a wide range of load cells.  Both systems utilize our industry-leading gold and platinum standard load cells, which provide the highest accuracy in the industry.

2K lbf Load Cell Verification System

The 2K lbf Load Cell Verification System is another calibration product that is on track for a Q2 2019 release. This system is being designed as a direct response to OEMs who deal with large volumes of load cells and need a quick, low-cost way of verifying load cells used in equipment. Currently, customers who suspect a calibration issue are often forced to remove load cells from equipment and be sent in to be repaired, recalibrated or to receive a new load cell. This process and the resulting downtime costs money due to lack of production, and there is often no issue present with the load cells.

The 2k lbf Load Cell Verification System can identify a calibration or performance issue, allowing the customer to accurately determine if the load cells need to be replaced or need a tune-up, significantly reducing unnecessary downtime.

Next-Gen High-Resolution Signal Conditioning Board (HRSBSC)

The High-Resolution Signal Conditioning Board, which Interface pioneered more than three decades ago, will be receiving an innovation update to improve performance and capabilities. The HRSBSC is designed for use with Interface Gold Standard Calibration Systems and can be provided in a single or dual channel solution. This product’s primary industries include test and instrumentation and metrology. The development of Interface’s Next-Gen HRSBSC is slated for Q4 of 2019.

4 Channel 9840-400-1-T Intelligent Indicator 

Interface recently introduced a new version of the 4 Channel Model T which features a more modern display with additional channels available. It’s now easier to use and has the same high stability and industry-leading performance as the older version of the 9840. Although the quality is the same, the updated version can be integrated with Interface’s Gold Standard® system and frames, as well as with Windows 10.

The 4 Channel Model T 9840-400-1-T Intelligent Indicator allows single loads with three measurements to directly compare outputs to Interface’s Gold Standard load cell, and all measurements can be captured through Interface’s Gold Standard software. This allows users to compare multiple load cells and gather data on whether the load cells are accurate or uncalibrated. The 4 Channel Model T solution also has the option for high-level input channels.

Stay tuned for updates on current and upcoming additions to our family of innovative calibration products.

Contributor: Ted Larson, VP of Product Development and Marketing, Interface