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ForceLeaders Summit Florida

Interface’s exclusive ForceLeaders Summit heads back to the Space Coast on March 14, 2024. We are stopping in Cocoa Beach with new topics, products, and technical tips. Our force measurement seminars bring industry experts and engineers together to talk about load cells, torque transducers, calibration, systems, applications, and, most importantly, answers to questions. These are fast-paced, technical hands-on events. Registration is required, with limited seating. Interface and GenTek force measurement solutions engineers and experts will share valuable tips and experiences using our precision load cells, torque transducers, multi-axis sensors, pressure sensors, and advanced instrumentation. Join us for a two plus hour conversation followed by interactive discussions, demonstrations and lunch.

Ruggedized Test and Measurement Solutions Webinar Recap

Interface’s event, Ruggedized Test and Measurement Solutions, details various transducers, instrumentation and accessories that are designed to withstand environmental stresses and harsh conditions.

The types of testing use case that require ruggedized solutions are material testing, high and low temperature environments, structural and fatigue tests, high cycle count tests, any test for products exposure to moisture or humidity, pressure tests, as well as underwater and in-fluid tests. As noted, this applies to every industry, including maritime, aerospace, food packaging, consumer products, construction, medical devices and automotive.

Interface considers ruggedization as force measurement solutions designed and fabricated for use in extreme environments and applications, ability to operate within accuracy specifications while withstanding one or more environmental stresses or harsh conditions.

During this event, Ken Bishop and Elliot Speidell details the top factors when evaluating test and measurement products used in extreme environments, such as exposure to high or low temperatures, depth of submersion, moisture and water concerts, dust, and other harsh conditions. They present key questions to answer when evaluating your testing requirements, as well as top considerations.

These important evaluation subjects and ruggedized product factors are based on years of experience in collaborating with companies around the world. They define use cases and actual examples of Interface load pins, instrumentation, stainless steel load cells, enclosures and accessories used in all types of harsh and even hazardous environments.

Here is a quick preview of all the topics thoroughly discussed during this event.

  • Environmental Stresses and Harsh Condition Categories
  • Standards and Ratings
  • Structural and Material Options
  • Ruggedized Test and Measurement Devices
  • Sealed Products and Enclosures
  • Extreme Temperatures and Cycling
  • Exposure to Moisture and Submersibles
  • Test & Measurement Applications Using Ruggedized Products

The entire online seminar is now available on-demand. Watch it here.

Top Selling Interface Ruggedized Products

These types of products follow strict certification standards and ratings. During the online seminar, Interface product experts detail the standards and ratings related to intrinsically safe products, sometimes referred to as hazardous location use, as well as solutions designed to meet safety, regulatory or compliance requirements.

The standard ensures that an intrinsically safe device is incapable of triggering combustion or igniting any gasses or vapors. The device is safe to use around dust and gas without risking static electricity or heat discharge from the device igniting the surrounding volatile gasses, powders, and liquids.  Explosion proof applies to a device enclosed in a case that can withstand a gas or vapor explosion.  Should there be an explosion, it will be contained within the enclosure.

Interface offers products with different IP ratings, including IP66, IP67 and IP68 applied to different transducers and instrumentation. Ingress protection (IP) ratings, which grade the resistance of an enclosure against the intrusion of dust or liquids ingress protection (IP) ratings, which grade the resistance of an enclosure against the intrusion of dust or liquids.

  • IP65 – Dust-tight, protected against water jets
  • IP66 – Dust-tight, protected against powerful water jets
  • IP67 – Dust-tight, protected against the effects of temporary submersion in water
  • IP68 – Dust-tight, protected against the effects of continuous immersion in water

What is the difference between IP66 and IP68? IP68 enclosures also provide dust-tight performance against solids. However, they are also rated for significantly better defense against water ingress than an IP66 enclosure. An IP68 enclosure can withstand submersion for over 30-minutes at up to a specified water depth.

Interface also has a range of instrumentation products that are NEMA, and IP rated based on the enclosure and housing designs.  These include:

Interface offers standard and customized solutions. Contact our application engineers to discuss your options and how to ensure you have the right product to match the conditions of our test and measurement environment.

I’ve Got a Load Cell – Now What? Episodes 3 and 4

Continuing our review of the popular webinar series, I’ve Got a Load Cell – Now What?, we are detailing the third and fourth episodes. The focus of these two installments is documentation that you should expect with every load cell and the fundamentals of load cell output.

Digging into documentation is an important subject for anyone that is buying or using load cells for test and measurement. It is also a differentiator in the quality and type of manufacturer that makes your device. The details provided in load cell documentation validates the characteristics and performance, as well as experience and craftmanship used in the engineering and construction of your load cell.

When quality and accuracy matters, documentation and certification are critical verification evidence.

Load Cell Documentation: Datasheets and Calibration Certificates

Interface provides detailed datasheets for every load cell model number. On the top of the datasheet, the Interface model number precedes the description of the load cell’s primary characteristics, such as 1200 Standard Load Cell. The Interface Calibration Certification accompanies every sensor device we manufacturer and ship from our U.S. headquarters, confirming the final condition prior to release. Interface calibrates every load cell we make before it leaves our facilities as part of our performance guarantee.

INTERFACE DATASHEET FUNDAMENTALS

  • Features and Benefits
  • Standard Configuration and Drawings
  • Dimensions
  • Specification Parameters Based on Model and Capacity
  • Detailed Measurement and Performance Data for Accuracy, Temperature, Electrical and Mechanical
  • Options
  • Connection Options
  • Accessories

Special note for datasheet reviews, the models that use the same form factor are often on the same datasheet with varying capacity measuring ranges in U.S. (lbf) and Metric (kN) information.  All Interface datasheets are available for review and download for every product we offer, including load cells, torque transducers, multi-axis sensors, mini load cells, load pins and load shackles, instrumentation and accessories.

INTERFACE CALIBRATION CERTIFICATES DETAILSIQ

  • Model Number
  • Serial Number
  • Bridge and Capacity
  • Procedures
  • Input and Output Resistance
  • Zero Balance
  • Test Conditions: Temperature, Humidity and Excitation
  • Traceability
  • Shunt Calibration
  • Performance Test Data of Test Load Applied and Recorded Readings
  • Authorized Approval

The performance information detailed on the certificate is important for how it was calibrated, how it performed at release, system health checks and troubleshooting. Watch the episode #3 of I’ve Got a Load Cell – Now What? for additional information about datasheets and cal certs.

Fundamentals of Load Cell Output

Load cells are used in one of two ways, either universal (bipolar) or single mode (unipolar). Bipolar is for measuring tension and compression. Unipolar is for measuring either tension or compression. This use type will dictate what output you will get from the load cell. Most Interface load cells are a tension upscale device, which means you will get a positive output when it is placed in tension.

Standard load cells are usually unamplified mV/V ratio metric output. Interface does offer amplification signals for our load cells, which is a common request when pairing with a data acquisition system. In episode #4 of I’ve Got A Load Cell – Now What?, Elliot provides an example of mV/V ratio metric when using a 5000 lbf LowProfile Load Cell with our 9840 Instrumentation.

For questions about datasheets, calibration certifications or performance and capacities, please contact our application engineers.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Interface 1200 Precision LowProfile Load Cell Series Product Highlight

Load Cell Basics Technical Q&A Part One

Load Cell Basics Technical Q&A Part Two

Understanding Load Cell Temperature Compensation

Load Cell Basics Sensor Specifications

 

I’ve Got a Load Cell – Now What? Episodes 1 and 2

Interface has produced more than 100 videos, all available on our Interface YouTube channel.  We provide product videos, industry and application use cases, training, software, and set-up instructions, ForceLeaders webinars, and video discussions with our force measurement solutions experts.

One of our most popular videos is our webinar that answers the question, I’ve Got a Load Cell – Now What? In this online seminar, we discuss some of the basics about load cells, as well as offer tips for checking the health of your load cell, installation tips, usage best practices and monitoring performance.  The series concludes with an in-depth Q&A session. As with all good material, we offer a modern remake to this valuable online resource with a refreshed 7-part series that addresses important load cell topics with visual demonstrations.

In the updated series, I’ve Got a Load Cell – Now What, Interface’s Brian Peters and Elliot Speidell cover the following load cell basic topics:

  • Episode #1 Visual Inspection of Your Load Cell
  • Episode #2 How to Read the Load Cell Label
  • Episode #3 Load Cell Documentation: Datasheets and Calibration Certificates
  • Episode #4 Fundamentals of Load Cells
  • Episode #5 Load Cell Instrumentation Tips and Setup
  • Episode #6 Checking Load Cell Health and Usage Best Practices for LowProfiles, SM S-Type Load Cells and Miniature WMC Load Cells
  • Episode #7 Q&A with Brian and Elliot address incoming questions on what to do

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be highlighting some of the material that is covered in these short clips.  Today’s focus is about visual inspection and how to read a load cell label.

Visual Inspection of Your Load Cell

Visual inspection is critical for all load cells. The good news is that Interface provides quality-controlled inspection of all load cells before they leave our factory. If you are about to utilize a load cell that you have had on the shelf or has not been used for a while, visual inspection is an important first step. In this video, Brian highlights what to look for during your inspection:

  • Thread damage
  • Condition of the exterior load cell
  • Noticeable wear from exposure
  • Check for any rust
  • Inspect connectors and pins

Watch I’ve Got a Load Cell – Now What? Begin with Visual Inspection


Upon your inspection, if you would like Interface to provide a detailed inspection and calibration service before you utilize an existing sensor, contact our services team.

How to Read Interface Load Cell Labels

In this short episode, we highlight how to read an Interface load cell label. Every device we manufacturer has essential information about the sensor detailed on the label. You will find the model number, capacity, serial number and often you find options and option codes that detail the exact sensor features. Labels can also provide output data from time of calibration. To get a complete run-down on what is on Interface labels, watch I’ve Got a Load Cell – Now What? Reading Interface Sensor Labels.

Looking for more videos or resources, be sure to go to Interface’s online support resources. You will find diagrams, installation manuals, technical and troubleshooting details, educational videos and more.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Interface Presents Load Cell Basics
Load Cell Basics Technical Q&A Part One
Load Cell Basics Technical Q&A Part Two
Get an Inside Look at Interface’s Famously Blue Load Cells

Recap of Accurate Report on Calibration

Interface recently hosted an in-depth discussion on the topic of calibration.  As one of the largest calibration labs in the world for force and torque sensors, our team shared insider tips, frequently asked questions, set up techniques and best practices in the lab during this extensive calibration webinar.

The ForceLeaders seminar also covered details about various calibration grade equipment like our 1800 Platinum Standard® Calibration LowProfile® Load Cell, 1600 Gold Standard® Calibration LowProfile® Load Cell, fixtures, load frames, and calibration systems.  We also delved into topics that include instrumentation, verification frames and software.

During the event, we covered a diverse set of subjects due to the range of experiences of our attendees including the top five reasons why calibration matters, the measurement of uncertainty, identifying errors and the parameters of calibration.

You will find the recorded event Accurate Report on Calibration is available to review the technical details related to each of these important calibration subjects.

Elliot Speidell, Brian Peters and Chris Brandenburg covered a wide range of topics, including:

  • The Metrology Perspective
  • Interface Calibration Methodology: What, Why & How
  • Top 5 Reasons Why Calibration Matters
  • Calibration and Measurement Uncertainty
  • What Errors are Characterized in the Calibration Process?
  • System Calibration Considerations
  • Calibration Lab Set Up Best Practices + Tips
  • Optimization + Calibration Applications
  • Fixtures + Standard Equipment
  • Interface Calibration Services
  • Do & Don’t Tips + FAQ

To get things started, we began the event with a quick conversation about metrology, the science of measurement, which embraces both experimental and theoretical determinations at any level of uncertainty in any field of science and technology.

Metrology is the global network standardizing measurement units. Calibration is the action taken at each step in the metrology network.

Metrology is important to Interface because it provides the standards for controlled processes, systems, reliability, accuracy, quality and science. Calibration is the 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. The process of calibration includes adjusting the measuring instrument to bring it in alignment with the standard.

Why is calibration of load cells and torque transducers important?

  • All load cells are subject to performance degradation due mistreatment, drift, or aging
  • You need traceability and quality system requirements
  • Pre and post-test verification is critical for data validity
  • Even load cells manufactured to the highest standards require regular calibration

Interface calibrates every load cell and torque transducer to spec before it leaves our facility. We also provide recalibration services for all types of devices, even those we don’t manufacturer. This results in more than 100,000 calibrations every year by our trained technicians. During this event we shared valuable tips for setting up and operating a world-class calibration lab.

Best practices for calibration labs:

  • Define workspace requirements
  • Qualify measurement types and models
  • Identify suppliers
  • Select calibration grade equipment
  • Assemble lab
  • Train lab techs
  • Create certification and testing protocols
  • Define workflows
  • Utilize software for tracking assets and certificates
  • Know maintenance and recalibration schedules

The Accurate Report on Calibration recorded event is available online to watch at your convenience.

If you need help in defining the best calibration grade systems or equipment for your specific test environment, contact our application engineers.  If you need a calibration service, you can submit your request online.

Advancements in Instrumentation Webinar Recap

Interface experts recently hosted a conversation about what is changing in the world of instrumentation, as it related to sensor technologies and force measurement.  The new event, Advancements in Instrumentation is a continuation of our ForceLeaders Interface Instructional on Instrumentation Event.

The conversation began with a focus on what has changed in the last five years and why instrumentation is such an important topic in T&M. 

TRENDS IN ADVANCED INSTRUMENTATION

The number one change in test and measurement that we have identified is the omnipresent use of sensors in things that didn’t use to have sensors. This includes consumer products, home healthcare medical devices, EVs, factory equipment, tools, robotics, just to name a few. With the demands for more feedback, more data, and more required performance monitoring, instrumentation requirements are growing in functionality. 

We are getting smarter in our applications and uses cases, which means we need smarter devices to capture all the information to make intelligent decisions in product design, engineering, and manufacturing. We see this with smart factories, smart vehicles, smart agriculture, smart tools, smart medical technologies, these innovations and advancements need more data to make smart decisions, in design, test, build and use.

Other trends we discussed include the infusion of IoT into test and measurement. As we connect more instruments and devices into our networks, it requires advanced instrumentation and changes in what has been used as basic and standard instruments in the past. We also see customization and programmability needs changing and movement towards more digital interfaces.  Specifically, during this hour-long discussion we dive into digital outputs, amplifiers, communication protocols and advancements in software options, including a quick MathScript demo. Watch the video here.

TYPES OF INSTRUMENTATION HIGHLIGHTED IN WEBINAR

  • Signal Conditioners
  • Data Acquisition Systems (DAQ) 
  • Indicators
  • USB Interface Modules
  • Wireless and Bluetooth Telemetry Systems
  • Portable
  • TEDS Ready

Interface highlighted a series of new instrumentation solutions in great detail. This includes recent releases like our BX8 DAQ Series, Wireless Telemetry System Additions, 9850 Torque and Load Cell Indicator and SI-USB4. We also shared what we are bringing to market this year, including new portable indicators, a DAQ systems designed specifically for torque transducers, advanced multi-channel solutions and new USB indicators for wireless sensors. We also talked about custom instrumentation solutions when you need something designed for a unique use case or OEM application.

Throughout the webinar, instrumentation selection criteria were highlighted to help make the right decisions in pairing your measurement devices to the available instrumentation options. We addressed common questions, do’s and don’ts, and tips that are helpful in evaluating what will work with your project, in your lab or at your factory.

ADVANCEMENTS IN INSTRUMENTATION WEBINAR TOPICS

  • Types of Advanced Instrumentation
  • Selection Criteria for Advanced Instrumentation
  • Recap Digital Versus Analog Options
  • What’s New in Wireless + Bluetooth Telemetry Systems 
  • New Instrumentation Solutions from Interface
  • Trends in Test Data Management + Systems
  • Applications + Uses Cases
  • FAQs

You can watch the entire conversation to learn more.

WHY INTERFACE FOR INSTRUMENTATION

With so many options available, we want to make it easier in choosing the right instrumentation. Here are a few reasons why Interface is a provider of choice when it comes to instrumentation for force measurement.

  • Interface is a single point of contact for measurement device and instrumentation
  • Interface offers a range of solutions from USB Interface Modules to Multi-Channel and Wireless DAQ Systems
  • Interface can partner to design and build complete systems
  • Interface has expertise for technical support
  • Interface has deep use case experience across all the sensors we offer, from load cells to wireless load pin technologies
  • Interface instructional videos, literature, software demonstrations and manuals available online in your Support area of the website
  • Interface provides software with our instrumentation

Additional Resources

Interface Instructional on Instrumentation Event

Recap of Inventive Multi-Axis and Instrumentation Webinar

Instrumentation Analog Versus Digital Outputs

Instrumentation Options in Test and Measurement

Force Measurement Instrumentation 101