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Interface Releases New Website with Added Resources and New Digital Product Catalog

Interface, Inc., the world’s trusted leader in technology, design, and manufacturing of force measurement solutions, today announced a completely refreshed website design which includes featured new products, new application and industry solution use cases, and expanded technical references available at www.interfaceforce.com.

The company also released a comprehensive 500-plus page Interface Product Catalog that is published in an easy to view format on Issuu, an online content creation platform designed to turn PDFs into virtual magazines. The first publication of this type in the industry, this web format makes it easier to browse tens of thousands of product specifications and application content digitally. The goal of the new website is to spotlight Interface’s focused customer experience with engaging expert content, while also creating a more user-friendly experience for visitors.

“The demand for our products continues to accelerate as more innovators, product designers, engineers and testing professionals turn to Interface for reliable, accurate and quality sensors, with supporting technologies,” said Jamie Glass, CMO, Interface.

“We’ve invested in the developing an online experience that demonstrates our depth of capabilities and showcases our skilled team members, partners, reps and distributors who work every day to help our customers get the best solution for the exact requirements. This new site will empower the user to find what they’re looking for faster and introduce them to new ideas and configurations using our expansive line of products and services,” said Glass.

Our increasing industry solutions features outline a variety of application examples across the recently added agriculture, infrastructure, and maritime sectors as well as industrial automation, energy, aerospace, medical, automotive, along with test and measurement. Interface takes part in supplying all types of load cells, torque transducers, instrumentation and services to industry leaders and engineers around the world. Our industry solutions highlight a few examples of many use cases our customers share with us every day.

A few of our latest application notes added to the new solutions section of the site include:

The addition to our expansive support resources including a PDF library of brochures, product specifications and design files, the new Issuu allows Interface to create a unique capability for users to browse Interface products and application note catalogs digitally to find what they’re looking for more quickly online.

Our team of experts are here to assist you find exactly what you need. If you need help, please call or contact us for assistance.

Faces of Interface Featuring Richard Snelson

Richard Snelson, president of Measurements Incorporated, is the leader of our outstanding manufacturers’ representative firm serving the Mid-Atlantic coast of the US. The origin of the company, that supports customers in this region with application solutions for structural, material, and environmental testing, is an intriguing story.

In this new Faces of Interface feature, Richard highlights one of his favorite projects and provides his thoughts on representing the most reliable and accurate force measurement products in the industry from Interface.

Richard grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was brought up hearing all about his ‘old man’ and the incredible work he got to do with customers across the technology landscape. His father and two partners started Measurements Incorporated in 1976. The company had spun out of another company called Micro Measurements. At that time, they sold a limited range of product lines to a wide range of customers. Some of the most memorable customers Richard would hear about from his dad included those that worked with bridges, battle tanks and even cadavers.

After high school, Richard attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he would go on to earn a split degree in business, marketing, and management. During his college years, Richard also received a ton of career experience working multiple jobs. His summers were spent as a technician in the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, where his role include working on a reactor. He also worked on the Brooklyn Bridge, replacing cables on the massive structure, as well as working for a friend of his dad in the oil and gas industry. These jobs not only put Richard through college, but they also exposed him to hands-on experience working with organizations and on projects like what his dad would talk about at home when he was growing up.

The experiences and incredible stories he was told throughout his youth pushed Richard to accept a role working for his father’s company. He started out selling one product line, XY plotters, to major test labs and facilities across the Mid-Atlantic. After finding a great deal of success, Richard was given the entire state of Delaware to sell every product line in the company’s portfolio. This eventually expanded into Pennsylvania and Maryland.

As he grew his expertise as a sales rep at Measurements Incorporated, Richard also began buying out the other two owners as they retired and eventually retained sole ownership of the company in 2003. Today the company carries an ever-expanding product line of test and measurement equipment and serves some of the most reputable organizations across multiple industries including, aerospace, defense, medical, industrial, and more.

I put myself in the customer’s place and offer a complete solution, sometimes reminding them of things they might not initially think of and the end result is that we are all successful.” Richard Snelson, president of Measurements, Incorporated.

Like his father, Richard has also collected many of his own fun, interesting, and sometimes incredibly nerve-racking stories. Among his favorite are the two times he was asked to head over to One World Trade Center to oversee installation equipment and then later assess a challenge with a sensor on the building’s enormous spire on the very top. Richard and few other men from the company charged with some of the tower’s maintenance and caretaking went up to the top together. During the assessment, Richard and the maintenance company’s president were tasked with repelling up the spire to identify and fix the sensor. Richard enjoyed an unforgettable experience and got a sweat-inducing picture in the process that you can see in his photo above!

Richard has a long-time relationship with Interface that began in 2006. He raves about the quality of the brand and the confidence he and his customers have in the accuracy and reliability of our force measurement sensors. He has great respect for the people he works with regularly, including his Regional Sales Director, Elliot Speidell. Richard often finds himself identifying the signature blue paint job on our load sensors during customer facility tours. He’s proud that he’s able to offer the industry’s leading force measurement solutions to some of the world’s most prominent organizations.

When he’s not dangling off one of the tallest buildings in the world or helping solve key customer challenges with a bevy of critical instrumentation, Richard enjoys time spent with family, his wife of 36 years Tracey, their two children Courtney and Derek, and their grandson Everett. The family loves to spend their time outdoors and can often be found sailing on the Chesapeake Bay.  Richard also enjoys recreational shooting and cruising around on his motorcycle.

We couldn’t have asked for a better partner in Richard and his team at Measurements Incorporated. We are happy to share his story. Looking for more Faces of Interfaces? Go check out our ForceLeaders here.

 

Faces of Interface Featuring James Richardson

Born in Arizona but growing up in the rural area of Cotton City, New Mexico, James Richardson was only exposed to the opportunity of a career in engineering after moving back to Arizona. After graduating as his high school class Salutatorian in 1995, he started college in Eastern Arizona.

He later moved to Mesa in 1999 where he took a job working for his uncle at Dewitt Equipment fixing restaurant and cooking equipment like ovens, fryers and microwaves, and along with refrigeration equipment including air conditioning units, freezers, and ice machines. It was also during this time he learned to braze, solder and TIG weld.

At Dewitt, his on the job training for fixing equipment built up his foundation for engineering. The spark that really kicked it off came on a sweltering Arizona summer day when James was repairing an A/C unit on a restaurant’s loose gravel rooftop. The temperature was so high that the gravel began to sink, melting the soles of his shoes. At this point, James realized he enjoyed working with his hands and on advanced equipment; however, it was time to finish his formal education in engineering and pursue a job that included more time inside where there was ample air conditioning.

By this time James had already completed an Associate Degree at Maricopa Community College and he was about 18 months from completing a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree at Arizona State University. Completing this degree, he later earned a Master’s in Engineering Management from Ohio University. Towards the end of his bachelor’s degree, he got an internship at Honeywell Aerospace. His first job after earning his degree was with Enertron Inc., a leading provider of thermal management solutions for the aerospace, military, medical, telecommunications, and IC fab equipment industries. In this role, he designed heat sinks for circuit boards used for lasers, lighting and computers.

After three years with Enertron, he moved to Cleveland Electric Laboratories where he served as an applications engineer working on turbine engine instrumentation. This is where James got his first hands on experience with force measurement equipment. His job was to design instrumentation for strain, temperature, and pressure measurements. At one point he even designed a load pin for a customer.

In his role, he was also introduced to Interface. The company he was working for owned several Interface products and he became familiar with their high-quality and premium accuracy. Then in 2015, a headhunter called him out of the blue to offer him a chance to work for Interface. James was excited about the prospect of working for a company that put quality first. In fact, the thing that hooked him about Interface was the declared focus of “Quality is Our Driving Force,” and the fact that each of the four interviewers reiterated the importance of this statement in their interview.

James joined Interface as a production engineer. He remained in this role for about four years before being promoted to Senior Engineer, and then to his current role as Mechanical Engineering Manager where he leads a team of five other engineers. In this leadership position, James is responsible for overseeing development efforts for some of Interface’s most important product lines including the specialized 1923 and 1925 wireless custom solutions and our downhole products for the energy markets. James was instrumental in the latest new product release, the new ConvexBT Load Button Load Cell.

In addition to this critical role, James also loves to learn about the many ways that Interface products directly affect him and people close to him. This includes how measuring systems ensure the proper weight of food in nutritional planning and packaging, measurement of things like blood donations, and safety test systems for airplanes. The work done at Interface is incredibly important to everyday life and many people don’t even realize it.

In his free time, James can be found spending time with his wife of 21 years and their four children, two sons and two daughters. The family enjoys the outdoors together, partaking in activities like bike rides and hikes. He also brings some of his passion for engineering home. He’s intrigued by the possibilities of 3D printing and owns a printer himself. He’s designed and printed things like bowties, wallets, wall-mounts for various gadgets, and even toys for the kids. In case you missed it, the photo of James is his own 3-D printed bowtie. It was a big hit at the Interface holiday party.

Another interesting fact about James is that throughout his career he’s tried to connect with co-workers from different countries by learning their language. Throughout his life he’s learned a little bit of Polish and German, and is fluent in Spanish, which he learned while spending two years as a missionary in South America.

We asked James to describe his thoughts on his career in engineering in another language. He responded, “Un dicho o una frase que a mí me gusta pensar, cuando algo no sale buenisimo, es: “Siempre hay una manera mejor.” This translates to a saying or phrase that I like to think of when something doesn’t turn out great, “There is always a better way.”

To learn more about the ConvexBT, check out the datasheet here:

ConvexBT

Interface is a Critical Solutions Provider for OEMs

The hardware industry is rapidly making its way into taking advantage of the Industry 4.0 and Big Data eras. The idea that data insight can cut costs, increase efficiency and reduce downtime is spreading like wildfire throughout major OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) across the world. These organizations are adding more and more sensors and other data collection devices to their products to receive deeper analytics on the health and efficiency of various in-action processes.

One of the most important tools in this mix of data tracking and collecting devices are force measurement sensors. Load cells and torque transducers are being added to products across industries to not only optimize individual product processes, but also to ensure that the product remains in proper working conditions.

As an example, the aerospace industry is putting force sensors all over airplane components. Everything from landing gear to the wings may include a sensor. These force sensors can then be used to constantly collect data on the well-being of these components. If landing gear needs to be fixed or adjusted, you don’t want to find that out while your 30,000 feet in the year. You want data that helps you track performance and potential degradation over time so you can solve problems before it puts lives at risk.

To serve OEMs in automotive, aerospace, robotics, medical and consumer product industries, force measurement companies like Interface must be able to manufacture sensors in high volumes and at affordable price points. Load cells and torque transducers used in test and measurement can be reused over and over, so the demand for higher volumes is lower. However, when the sensor is integrated into the final product, force measurements manufacturers need to be able to deliver a high enough volume to meet the OEM’s demand for production of the specific product the sensor will be integrated into for continuous use.

Interface holds a unique position in the OEM marketplace for custom sensor technologies. Our decades of success has allowed us to make critical investments towards streamlining our own production and manufacturing of industry-leading components to serve OEM customers. Over the last few years, we’ve implemented better, more efficient processes and have added automation to improve consistency, repeatability and time to market. This also benefits our customers by lowering costs for large scale, continuous production to meet the growing demands and use cases in the OEM market.

A huge benefit is that Interface controls the design and development of our load cells and torque transducers. We build everything from the strain gauges to the product packaging. This allows us to rapidly iterate and customize our designs to meet the needs of a wide range of OEM customers. Our engineers work hand-in-hand with our OEM partners to design the exact requirements into our sensor technology.

This is critical to being a top solutions provider serving OEMs because force measurement products must fit the design and specifications of the OEM application, as well as potentially removing unnecessary features to fit a certain price point for volume production. OEM applications can also be exposed to more extreme conditions in industries like aerospace, automotive or medical, so the sensor might need a specific material or treatment to withstand certain environments.

One of the essential benefits we provide our customers in the U.S. is the fact that our products are manufactured in country, and our engineering, sales and support staff is also local. This enables easier communication with our customers, as well as faster shipping times. When a customer needs to adjust the specifications on a device or troubleshoot a challenge, they know that they’ll get the support they need during their own working hours.  We are extending this value globally as we continue to create solutions that meet our demands worldwide.

The demand for big data and automation is growing rapidly among OEMs. It is also one of the most competitive markets in the world. To serve our customers with unique engineered to order designs and solutions, we work every day to stay on top of manufacturing trends and find new ways to optimize production to meet their cost and volume needs.

To learn more about Interface and our custom solution capabilities for the OEM market, please visit us at www.interfaceforce.com.

Contributor:  Brian Peters, Interface Regional Sales Director for the US

Setting the Standards in Innovation

Interface continues to advance our business to meet the growing demands and requirements of our expansive line of products. As it pertains to product development, the focus is heavily placed on innovating to enable our customers to depend on Interface solutions for evolving technology trends to design and test next-generation products. This fundamental prioritization at Interface over the past decade is centered on the way we serve our customers and by enhancing our product development process.

How does Interface take a customer challenge or key technology trend from an idea to a scalable product? 

Interface does not follow a standard product development process with a team dedicated to coming up with new ideas. New product development is a culmination of input from every facet of our company, from sales to engineers. We leverage the outstanding talent we have built at Interface across the board to identify what is next in terms of solving force measurement challenges.

New product ideas are mainly identified from three different areas:

  1. Trend Research: We are continually looking at technology trends to determine how we solve problems in an evolving technology world.
  2. Customer Requirements: Many product ideas are born from working face-to-face with customers to discover their precise needs. Occasionally, a custom product built for a specific customer will present a wider market appeal and turn into a larger product line.
  3. Product Gaps: We are always reviewing our core products to try and identify gaps in our ability to solve customer needs.

Once we have identified specific challenges that Interface can solve with a new solution, we begin to look internally to ensure that we have the right talent and expertise to deliver an industry-leading force measurement product.  If not, we may search externally for the right talent or partners to collaborate on the project.  We utilize tools like the SWOT analysis to evaluate our technical, business, and competitive position in the market.

Upon determining that the product is in high demand with our customers or in new markets, we then further define our product concept, as well as the business case for development and going to market. We perform thorough research to determine potential applications and conduct a risk analysis on the product. This is followed by a timeline for development and assigning resources to the development project.

Interface uses either an agile or phase-gate approach depending on the type of project. This allows Interface to make better decisions throughout the development process and quickly adjust when we determine there is a better or more efficient way of doing something.

If the technology we will be working with to develop the new product is something we have never worked with before, we assess the technology readiness level (TRL). This process helps to determine if we are equipped to handle the new technology or if we need to invest in additional R&D and, in some cases, expertise to carry out the project.

Following the detailed development plan, risk analysis, establishing a timeline and allocating resources to the development of the new idea, we begin the concept phase. This involves some discovery and often includes designing and manufacturing a prototype of the product, to begin testing with customers and gaining feedback for additional iterations.

These steps lead us to deciding if a minimum viable product (MVP) or minimum valuable product is the best way to proceed to market. Utilizing this approach, we can quickly develop a fully functioning product with minimal bells and whistles and get it into a customer’s hands. This also freezes the design and allows production to prepare for the product launch.

Concluding the process is a new product introduction (NPI) and lifecycle management. During NPI we are focused on two key aspects – internal planning and external communication. Our internal planning involves setting up manufacturing and educating the sales staff on the final product. External communication is the process of creating a marketing plan, developing content and data sheets, as well as planning events and demonstrations for exhibits.

During the lifecycle management phase, we are taking orders, managing service on the product, and evaluating both the product and the launch. All these initiatives help drive future product development and launch strategies for innovative solutions.

This part of the process is where our technical sales team is critical. These individuals, with strong relationships with our customers, are constantly collecting feedback and reporting back to our design and engineering teams. This helps us determine the best way to proceed in adding additional features and technology to the product.  This in turn, leads to post launch releases and enhancements to the product, which help fuel the product’s growth.

Our product development process is constantly evolving as we continue to add new capabilities and work towards providing our customers with an all-encompassing suite of force measurement solutions to handle the challenges of today and into the future. Interface has thousands of products, standard, modified, and custom.  It is critical in our approach to stay ahead of trends, predict needs, and most importantly listen to our customers to make sure our products are exactly what they need from a leader in force measurement.

To learn more about Interface and our industry-leading lineup of force measurement products providing premium accuracy and reliability contact our Application Engineer experts. Be sure to watch for new product updates by subscribing to our InterfaceIQ blog here: /blog/.

Contributor: Ted Larson, Vice President of Product Management and Marketing

Recent Articles: The Future of Force Measurement, Metrology News

Faces of Interface Featuring Randy White

Randy White’s passion for the engineering and aerospace industry began to grow at an early age. His father served in the United States Air Force, where he was the Chief Mechanic on a B52 in Vietnam. Growing up in Princeton, Illinois, Randy’s father imparted his mechanical and technical wisdom upon his son, which was developed during his time serving in the USAF, as well as in his post-military career as a mechanic for a steel company. His father told stories of the planes he worked on, and the two could often be found working together on cars, remodeling their home or solving various other projects around the house.

When Randy left for college, he decided to follow the passion that his father had helped to instill in him and received an Associate Degree in electronics from ITT Technical Institute. This degree, in addition to his early childhood background in engineering, helped him land a job at Rockford Corporation. He worked as a repair technician, working on car audio amplifiers. He was eventually promoted to the manager of the customer service and repair department.

Randy stayed with Rockford for nine years moving into the electronics and sensors industry. His first position in the electronics industry began at Vishay, a large components company. Randy worked on variable resistors at Vishay. This was the position that got him into the sensor industry. After several years working as an applications engineer and eventually a product manager, they closed the office in Tempe, Arizona. This is when he got into distribution sales. It wasn’t until he worked at TTI as a field sales representative, that he really understood the culture and importance of a good sales team. TTI’s relationship-focused sales culture and value-add selling really resonated with Randy and helped to build his foundation as a team player and solutions provider.

Randy’s final stop before joining Interface was at BEI Duncan, in the sensor department, which eventually became known as BEI Sensors. He moved into a sales role because he realized that he loved being in the field and helping customers solve challenges in person, rather than doing it from behind a desk. After five years with BEI and a promotion to regional sales manager, Randy began to explore a career at Interface.

He knew about Interface by reputation, and upon learning more about the company he realized he wanted to get into the force measurement industry. Specifically, he wanted to solve the test and development challenges for aerospace customers. He joined Interface as Regional Sales Manager, servicing the Western US. He remained for four years and then left to join HITEC Sensors Solutions Inc., for two years as their western regional sales manager.

Staying in touch with his Interface comrades and hearing of opportunities ahead, he was recruited back with a promise from the sales management team that they were on the verge of taking Interface to the next level. Randy knows of the potential that Interface has to really take the industry by storm with the biggest differentiator over the rest of the world. When asked what that differentiator was, he simply replied the people.

Randy rejoined Interface in 2019 because he believes in the people and enjoys the wide variety of aerospace companies he was able to work with that are already loyal customers. He also loves that he gets to see some of this technology in its the early stages of development while playing a key role in finding force measurement products to fit the evolving needs of these projects.

“One of the most exciting things about my role is the ability to work with aerospace companies that are creating new and innovative technologies.” Randy White, Regional Sales Director, Western Region, US

Even in his personal life, Randy is surrounded by aerospace. Not only with his father being in the U.S. Air Force, his mother, wife, daughter and one of his two sons all work in the airline industry as flight attendants or as an air traffic controller in his sons’ case. His youngest son is a CPA and even though he is not directly in the aerospace industry, he gets to reap the rewards and benefits from the rest of them. The passion truly follows Randy wherever he goes. In his free time, he and his wife spend time working on their retirement plan, which is flipping houses while they are living in them. He moved into a sales role professionally and has never lost the itch to work with his hands and build things!

To learn more about all of the people who make up Interface and carry on our more than 50 year legacy of force measurement engineering and manufacturing excellence, please follow our blog and watch for our Faces of Interface’s profiles at www.interfaceforce.com/blog.

 

Faces of Interface Featuring Ted Larson

When Ted Larson, VP Product & Project Management at Interface, has a passion for something he devotes his time and energy to mastering it, whether it is innovating industry game-changing products or discovering new tequila.

This pursuit of excellence has served Larson well during his 30-plus year career in product design and engineering. His expertise has helped Interface establish itself as one of the premier innovators in the force measurement industry. Larson credits his success to being mindful of customer needs.

“I believe the most important aspect of product development is listening to the customer and discovering the most difficult issues they face every day.” Ted Larson

Larson started his journey at the University of San Francisco in 1979 where he would go on to earn a B.S. in Business and Organizational Behavior. Shortly after graduating, he quickly realized that he had a desire to become an engineer and wanted to bolster his skills as a maker. In 1987, Larson earned a B.S. in Electronics from Chapman University in Orange, California.

His education and skillset boosted Larson’s career in the aerospace and defense industry where he held positions with Boeing and SYMVIONICS. Over the next 20 years, Larson would hold various management and executive level positions in manufacturing and engineering, initially starting in mechanical and eventually moving into electronics. He worked in a diverse range of industries including software, automotive, chemical and lighting.

In 2015, Larson joined Interface to head up new product development. This position was unique to Interface because in the company’s 50-year history its focus centered around improving its industry-leading load cells, as opposed to creating new products. Larson was tasked with creating products that take the company into its next 50-years, what Interface coins as the 2nd 50, as a leading innovator of force measurement technology solutions for the automotive, aerospace and defense, medical, industrial industries and metrology.

In the four years that Larson has been with Interface, the company has released some of the industry’s most innovative products including ConvexBT and AxialTQ. Larson’s propensity for fresh ideas and new ways of thinking have propelled Interface’s capability to solve complex customer problems.

“Engineers thrive when they are attacking a specific problem, and without customer input, new ideas wouldn’t change a thing.”

When Larson isn’t developing new ideas for Interface, he enjoys traveling to Mexico to be with family. In Mexico, he can spend time discovering and collecting new and delicious tequilas. Each year, Larson will bring back a few unique bottles of añjeo tequila to taste with family and friends.

For more information Interface’s new products and innovations, visit www.interfaceforce.com.

 

Interface Goes Above and Beyond with Custom Solutions

For clients in need of customized force measurement solutions, look no further than Interface. We excel in providing customers with specialized load cells and torque transducers that can’t be purchased off the shelf—and we have a robust solutions design team to back it up.

Our dedicated engineers and measurement experts, company resources, and advanced engineering lab give Interface the competitive advantage to make any force measurement application work.

Starting the Customization Process

To create these specialized force measurement solutions, we start by assessing our customers’ fundamental requirements.

  1. Does the solution need to be customized from the ground-up?
  2. Does the solution already exist, and it needs to include some custom features?

From there, we determine what the load cell needs to mount to and what specifications it needs to perform in its intended environment. Interface also can transmit load cells wirelessly to our customers’ networks.

“We can customize the load cell, the torque transducer, or we can provide a total system solution. Essentially, if we can make it, we can customize it!” – Ken Bishop, Sales Engineering Director at Interface

Building Custom Solutions: Food Industry Sensors

To best understand how we approach a custom solution, consider this real-world example. A meat processing plant needs a custom load cell solution to weigh its product during processing. With this scenario, there were 225 sides of beef that needed to be accounted for on each trolley. Keeping track of all that meat is no easy task. That is until Interface deployed an intuitive wireless sensor network to make monitoring simple.

Interface addressed this task by engineering a wireless base station to talk to the customer’s network. The base station transmitted a signal that was converted to Ethernet. In this case, the solution also needed to be water resistant to withstand the intense water pressures for cleaning. By using a custom wireless network, the sensors could easily communicate with staff members to alert them of critical information without failure or disturbances.  Read more about our custom solution case studies here.

Engineers at the Ready

What allows [user_id] Even prototyping at Interface is faster on average than any other provider in the market. We also have access to a host of strategic partners that give us breadth and depth in all components and technologies. If a technological requirement extends outside of Interface’s capabilities, we have the partners in place to fully optimize the solution to meet the exact custom requirements.

Going back to the start, if you have a need with specific requirements that fall outside our standard products, contact us and let our specialized engineers identify the possibilities. You can also detail your requirements in our easy to use request for custom solutions. Don’t hesitate to contact us about developing a custom force measurement solution. We’re excited to hear about your unique challenges!

Contributor: Ken Bishop, Sales Engineering Director, Interface