Posts

Deeper Dive into Maritime Solutions from Interface

The maritime industry is one that Interface products are uniquely designed for based on the extensive technical requirements and challenges needing ruggedized solutions to perform in harsh environments. Like any industry that manufacturers vehicles and large machinery, the maritime industry requires supremely accurate force measurement systems for performance and safety testing and ongoing infield use. However, the maritime industry has the added challenge of needing measurement technologies and equipment that function in offshore and submersible environments, and that can hold up to intensely cold temperatures while still providing accurate data.

In our new maritime case study, we take a deeper dive into some of the use cases and solutions we provide to the industry.

Interface offers an entire line of products commonly used in maritime applications of all types, including our performance load cells, load pins, load shackles, tension links, wireless instrumentation, miniature load cells and engineered-to-order products. Interface products are used to test and measure continuous performance for waterborne vessels, dock equipment such as cranes and lifting apparatus, submersible devices, and offshore machines. Interface maritime solutions are made to survive in the conditions conducive to the industry, allowing users and component manufacturers to test and operate equipment that guarantee accuracy and reliability in performance.  Read more about solutions for maritime in this post.

To highlight some of the maritime applications and use cases of our products, the recently published case study exemplifies why Interface maritime solutions are aligned to the industry’s high standards and requirements for force and torque test and measurement, and weighing.

New Maritime Case Study

Interface has been a longtime leader in supplying products to the maritime industry. From hydrofoil testing to yacht rigging inspection, and even on the enormous cranes used on shipping docks, we provide solutions for a wide variety of applications in maritime. The U.S. maritime industry employs over 400,000 workers and according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), annual sales of boats, marine products and services were estimated at $42B. This includes organizations that develop hardware to support shipyards, marine terminals, fishing, aquaculture, seafood processing, commercial diving, and marine transportation.

Interface is vendor of choice for maritime, for example we offer load cells that can wirelessly transmit data through underwater applications and harsh weather conditions. These load cells can survive through underwater submersions at different capacities, and still be able to relay information to those at the surface level. Interface load cells can also regulate harsh maritime situations such as underwater tension lines, underwater oil drilling, and storm and tsunami monitoring.

Interface wireless load pins, load shackles, and tension links are ideal for sea applications paired with our different wireless sensor transmitters, receivers, and handheld displays. Our Wireless Crosby Bow Load Shackles are used for mooring line tension testing and rigging inspections. Our load shackles are also inter-changeable with our WTSTL Wireless Tension Link Load Cell. The WTS-BS-4 Wireless Industrial USB Base Station is a popular transmitter that gives outstanding coverage and can be easily paired with one of our handheld displays such as the WTS-BS-1-HA Wireless Handheld Display for Multiple Transmitters, or the WTS-BS-1-HS Wireless Handheld for Single Transmitters.

For the full case study, click here.

Interface Explores Maritime Applications Near and Offshore

Land, air, and sea are all the places where Interface force measurement devices are used to test and confirm product designs and measure real-time functions of equipment. Interface has long been providing an array of sensor solutions for use in the maritime industry.

The solutions are diverse including hydrofoil watercraft testing, yacht rigging inspections, and safety weight monitoring on massive cranes used on shipping docks and offshore. Interface provides various load cells, load pins, tension links, load shackles, instrumentation, and wireless products for splash zone, offshore and underwater sites.

The reason we are a top choice for products in or around the water is because of our line of submersible and rugged load cells and sensors designed for underwater applications and use in harsh weather conditions. From rigs and docks to structural waterways and bridges, our load cells can survive through underwater submersions at different capacities, and still be able to relay reliable and accurate data to instrumentation and receivers at the surface level. Interface measurement technologies are helping customers regulate harsh maritime situations including underwater tension lines for commercial fishing, nearshore hoisting apparatus at shipyards, undersea energy exploration, as well as storm and tsunami monitoring.

Specifically, our wireless load pins, load shackles, and tension links are ideal for marine applications. These products can be paired with our different wireless sensor transmitters, receivers, and handheld displays. Our Wireless Crosby Bow Load Shackles have been used for line tension testing and rigging. Our load shackles are inter-changeable with our WTSTL Wireless Tension Link Load Cell. The WTS-BS-4 Wireless Industrial USB Base Station is also a popular transmitter that gives outstanding coverage and can be easily paired with one of our handheld displays such as the WTS-BS-1-HA Wireless Handheld Display for Multiple Transmitters or the WTS-BS-1-HS Wireless Handheld for Single Transmitters.

Check out a few of our applications notes to see how these products can be used for testing in the maritime industry:

Hydrofoil Testing in a Wave Tank

Hydrofoil design for watercraft is a delicate balance between performance and complexity. Finding the right shape without using overly complex angles to achieve the desired amount of lift is crucial when designing a successful hydrofoil. Once an engineer’s concepts are ready for testing, using the best force measurement equipment is required to sense the subtle differences between hydrofoil designs. Lift and drag are the most important characteristics of a hydrofoil. The Interface Model 3A120 3-Axis Load Cell is needed to read these forces. The Fz senses lift and the Fx and Fy sense the drag. Using a model BSC4D-USB bridge amplifier increases the visibility of the load cells output signals. When using the load cell and bridge amplifier, the engineers can record the real-world lift and drag forces the hydrofoils are having on the watercraft. This data allows a more in-depth comparison of proposed hydrofoil designs to find the best model for the job. Learn more.

Mooring Line Tension Testing 

Due to the changing weather conditions, mooring cable lines undergo wear and tear. Users want to ensure all mooring lines for ships or vessels are securely docked at the same loading tension so that they do not risk the mooring lines to break or cause damage. Interface WTSLTL Lightweight Wireless Tension Link can be attached to each mooring cable in use. Results are sent to the customers through the WTS-BS-4 USB Industrial Base Station when connected to the customer’s supplied PC computer or laptop. Data can also be transmitted to the WTS-BS-1-HA Handheld Display for Multiple Transmitters, giving the customer the option to view multiple mooring cable line tensions. Using these Interface products, the customer was able to verify the tensions to multiple mooring cable lines. Thus, resulting in the security of their ship being safely docked on shore. Check out the app note here.

WTS Yacht Rigging Inspection

For a customer who wants to have a complete rigging inspection to make sure the mast, still lines, and all movable hoisting lines are functional and meet the proper specifications for sailing, Interface has the products to help. To test the tension of the forestay, shroud, and backstay cables, and the tension of the movable lines when sailing, Interface provided a WTSSHK-B Wireless Crosby™ Bow Load Shackle paired with the WTS-BS-1 Wireless Handheld Display for Unlimited Transmitters. This allows customers to switch and view between multiple shackles being tested during the inspection. The WTS-BS-4 USB Industrial Base Station can also be attached to the customer’s PC or laptop to display real time measurements from the shackles and log data. With this combination of technology, the customer was able to conduct both a running and standing rigging inspection of their ship or vessel and was able to determine if all lines were functional and met safety standards. Learn more here.

Dock Crane Safety and Capacity Verification

It is essential that heavy equipment used on the dock can verify that their crane is strong enough to safely lift a heavy load. For productivity and timing, it also is helpful to constantly measure and rate maximum load capacity. In these environments, a wireless solution is needed to avoid long cables, and to have a faster installation time. Using the WTSLTL Lightweight Wireless Tension Link Load Cell, operators can measure the load’s maximum capacity. The WTS-RM1 Wireless Relay Output Receiver Modules also can trigger an alarm that can be set when the maximum capacity of weight and force. The data is transmitted and can be reviewed with the WTS-BS-1-HS Wireless Handheld Display, or, on the customer’s receiving technology. Read more here.

As you can see, Interface has got Maritime covered with a wide variety of products suitable for submersion and the harsh weather that can be found at sea. In addition, if our off-the-shelf products don’t quite meet your use case, Interface’s custom solutions team will work alongside you to create the most effective and efficient solution based on your needs.

Recap of Use Cases for Load Pins Webinar

Interface load pins continue to grow in demand as an easy to integrate and cost-effective sensor solution for many diverse applications as direct replacements for clevis or pivot pins. Most commonly used for lifting and rigging mechanisms in construction, structural assemblies and moving devices, load pins are typically used in rope, chain and brake anchors, sheaves, shackles, bearing blocks and pivots.

To provide greater insights and answers to questions asked to our force measurement application experts, Interface hosted a ForceLeaders Forum event, Use Cases for Load Pins. The event, now archived on our YouTube channel, highlights why more and more industries are using load pins include for projects related to infrastructure, aerospace and defense, industrial automation, manufacturing, maritime, and in energy markets such as oil and gas.

Regional Sales Director Elliot Speidell covered a series of topics in this live event, which included:

  • Who is Using Load Pins and Why?
  • Models and Design Aspects of Load Pins
  • Integration Considerations
  • Installation Factors
  • Load Pin Capabilities including Wireless Features
  • Standard and Customization Options
  • New-Found Applications Using Load Pins
  • Differences and Advantages
  • FAQs

WATCH NOW: THE ‘USE CASES FOR LOAD PINS’ ON-DEMAND EVENT

This webinar covers great detail in installation tips, integration considerations, design features and more.  Here are just a few highlights from the webinar.

Load pins measure tensile and compression forces via strain gages that are installed within a small bore through the center of the pin. Two grooves are machined into the outer circumference of the pin to define the shear planes, which are located between the forces being measured. They are made of rugged stainless-steel material and are commonly used for safety applications.  They are easy to retrofit and inherently waterproof by design, making it useful in submersible and adverse environmental conditions. Load pins have multiple bridge options and can be cabled or wireless.

One of the most important features and distinctions of a load pin is the ability to customize the design to fit the application. Due to the nature of requirements and fact most load pins are custom solutions, they often do not have any charges for NRE. Contact our application experts to learn of the possibilities and design options.

When installing a load pin various factors need to be considered which can influence the performance or accuracy. The fit of the pin within a structure is important to the overall performance of the load pin. For an optimal performance, an H7/g6 clearance would normally be recommended; however, this is not always achievable in the field and some slight loss of repeatability and linearity can normally be tolerated to achieve an “easy to fit” requirement.

Load pins are a great sensor to use in a “smart system” application for automated feedback, alarms, and real-time notifications.  They integrate with all types of instrumentation, including digital output options. Though they are simple and easy to use, they are known for hardiness. It is important to understand they are not “precision performance” devices, they are designed for standard force measurement applications that require immediate feedback. Also, they are easy to incorporate with existing actuator set-ups.

Watch the event to learn more about the questions engineers and testing experts asked us about using load pins. For specific industry examples, from bridges to crane regulation use, tune into the recorded event or visit our application notes here. Need us to get started on a custom design?  Contact us today.

Load Shackles 101

A load shackle is a u-shaped, load-bearing connecting device designed to be used with a removable pin. Load shackles can be used in a number of different rigging and load securement applications to provide sensor technologies in the connection of different types of lifting slings, chains or ropes to an object or to each other.  A load shackle is essentially the installation of a load monitoring pin into the shackle body allowing you to replace existing rigging hardware with a load cell for force measurement and weighing data.

Load shackles are rugged in design and are used to provide accurate and reliable measurement of tensile loads, as well as support applications for harsh and challenging environments. The industries that most regularly take advantage of our load shackles include industrial, aerospace and defense, agriculture, and construction. Applications for lifting, moving and weighing objects can be monitored as well as optimized for performance using load shackles. They are often designed into engineered structures or for use with cranes, winches or other robust lifting mechanisms.

Interface offers a wide variety of load shackle designs for different environments and force measurement needs, ranging from 2.2K to 2205K lbf. Our load shackles come in both cabled and wireless, as well as environmental resistance options including flameproof and IP67. Visit our overview here.

Load shackles come in many standard shapes and sizes, including customization options to meet a specific design or use requirement. Some of our shackles are exclusively designed to meet the needs of applications in hazardous environments like the oil and gas industry, or marine industry where they’ll be submerged in water during testing and for continuous use, or in areas with high heat and flames. Some of our most popular load shackles are listed below:

WTSSHK-B Wireless Crosby™ Bow Load Shackle  – Suitable for use in a wide range of industrial and marine weighing applications, these load shackles are robust, reliable and easy to install. The unique telemetry housing is manufactured from tough high-performance polyamide resin making it strong yet light, resulting in a better-balanced load shackle when compared to others available on the market.

ISHK-B Bow Type Crosby™ Cabled Load Shackle – The Interface range of ISHK-B load shackles are designed for lifting and weighing in rugged or harsh environments, including submersible applications. The shackle pins are forged from high tensile stainless steel to 6.5 MT (14.3K lbf) and high tensile carbon steel from 9.5 MT (20.9K lbf), and are machined to an exacting specification. The basic shackle uses the Crosby G2130 (1 to 25 MT / 2.2K to 55.1K lbf), G2140 (40 to 120 MT / 88.2K to 265K lbf) and GN Rope H10 (150 to 1K MT / 331K to 2205K lbf).

Flame Proof Bow Type Crosby™ Cabled Load Shackle – The Interface range of flameproof load shackles is designed for lifting and weighing in rugged or harsh environments, and also meet the requirements for operation in Zone 1 and 2 hazardous areas. The shackle pins are forged from high tensile stainless steel and are machined to an exacting specification. The basic shackle uses the Crosby G2130 (1 to 25MT or 2.2K to 55.1K lbf) and G2140 (40 to 400MT or 88.2K to 882K lbf) series.

Load Shackle Application:

Load shackles are commonly used in the construction industry to measure heavy machinery. For cranes outfitted with a lifting attachment such as a claw, a tension sensing load shackle is used on the pulley mechanism to measure the weight lifted by the crane. The tension sensor can provide real-time data to the construction crew to help monitor the lifting process and provide the operator with the information necessary to refrain from lifting weights that are too heavy for the crane to handle. If the claw arm lifts more than the crane is able to withstand, the attachment could break off, or worse, the crane could topple over.

In a recent example, Interface’s customer used a WTSSHK-B Wireless Load Shackle connected to load-bearing strings and a WTS-BS-1-HA Wireless Handheld Indicator to gather data. The customer was able to successfully lift and read the weight (wirelessly) on a handheld display while the material was being relocated.

Learn more in this product video

To learn more about our wide variety of load shackles and their many applications, please contact our application specialists today.  You can see all of Interface’s Load Pins, Load Shackles and Tension Links here.

This post is part of our Interface 101 series where we provide a basic overview of the wide variety of product lines we offer here at Interface. In this series, we explain our force measurement product line and its benefits and then provide a few examples of our product’s in real-world situations. Here are some of our other popular 101 posts.