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Measurement Solutions for Harnessing Aquaculture Innovation

Aquaculture is pivotal in meeting the escalating global demand for seafood while addressing environmental concerns and wild stock limitations.  As this maritime industry burgeons growth for all edible aquatic organisms, regardless of whether they inhabit freshwater or saltwater environments, innovative solutions become imperative for sustainable development.

Interface offers sensor-based products that, by design, can aid in advancements, research, and modernizing various facets of aquaculture. Interface load cells are used in applications that regulate harsh maritime situations, such as fish farm mooring lines, salmon cage monitoring, hatcheries and feed management structures, and scales used in real-time seafood weighing.

With an estimated worth of $200B, the aquaculture industry is a significant global blue economy force and a crucial source of sustenance worldwide. Interface recognizes the pressing need for precise measurement solutions to navigate the sector’s challenges and bolster its growth.

Interface’s collection of submersibles, subsea and ruggedized load cells, load pins, tension links, and instrumentation is meticulously designed to cater to diverse applications, including aquaculture applications. These cutting-edge tools empower aqua culturists to make informed decisions and drive efficiencies.

Interface’s load cells 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.

Aquaculture Applications Leveraging Interface Products

Aquaculture aims to restore habitats and wild stocks and rebuild endangered species and populations. It also aims to cultivate aquatic plants for food, pharmaceuticals, and other purposes.  Aquaculture depends on critical line monitoring at sea. Mooring lines use Interface wireless load cells for tension monitoring in anchor lines. The sensor data enhances structural safety integrity, especially in adverse weather.

Commercial Fishing Operations

A commercial fishing operation wants to measure the force tension of the wire fishing rope connected to the fishing cage or net when their vessel goes to catch. They want to ensure the wire rope is strong and safe enough to hold the maximum capacity of fish caught in the cage or net. Interface’s WTSTL Wireless Tension Link Load Cells are attached between the end of the cable and the end that hooks onto the fishing net. This tension link measures the forces of the full net of fish and heavy loads at maximum capacities. The data is transmitted to the WTS-BS-1-HS Handheld Display for Single Transmitters. You can see the full application here: Commercial Fishing Wire Rope Testing.

Here are some additional application highlights that use different load cells and instrumentation to support success in aquaculture.

  • Aquaculture Structural Testing: The integrity of aquatic structures, including nets, cages, tanks, large farms, and large civil engineering projects, use precise force measurement from load cells.
  • Cleaning Systems and Equipment: Sensors, such as miniature stainless steel load cells, can assist in optimizing cleaning processes while safeguarding delicate fish nets. Ensuring effective biofouling removal without damaging fish nets is an important process that requires quality measurement controls.
  • Biomass Research: Estimating fish stock biomass to inform feed management and harvest predictions is an ongoing measurement requirement. Accurate weight measurement using sensor technologies aids in managing feed costs and predicting harvest yields.
  • Harvesting and Food Production: Ensuring precise feeding schedules in aquaponic systems can depend on force measurement solutions. Wireless load cells and instrumentation can enhance efficiency and precision in aquaculture operations.
  • Feeder System Monitoring: Tracking feed dispensation for optimal feeding effectiveness and monitoring fish health is another way to utilize load cell devices. Balancing nutrient delivery for sustainable aquaponic systems requires quality measurement tools. These devices leverage data for proactive health management and stock optimization in fresh and saltwater farms.
  • Scales: Providing accurate weight measurement in the water and on docks for various aquaculture applications.
  • Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) Tank Monitoring: Facilitating biomass estimation and growth monitoring. Using load cell technology for precise weight measurement for successful stock management.
  • Pump Monitoring: Force measurement devices provide great tools for optimizing pump performance and detecting anomalies by promptly detecting pump malfunctions or blockages.
  • Aquaponics: Monitoring feed distribution and nutrient balance for sustainable cultivation needs good sensor-based technologies to sustain harsh environments.
  • Environmental Remediation: Addressing environmental concerns through data-driven approaches is another application use case for load cells.

Interface’s force measurement solutions emerge as indispensable tools in propelling the aquaculture industry towards sustainability and efficiency. Aquaculture engineers, researchers, and managers can navigate challenges, optimize operations, and pave the way for a thriving future by harnessing the power of precision measurement.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Maritime Measurement Solutions for Onshore and Submersible Applications

Deeper Dive into Maritime Solutions from Interface

Maritime Solutions

Crane Safety Requires Precision Measurements Ship to Shore

A Great Force for Crane and Hoist Solutions

In June 2023, Interface announced our acquisition of UK-based LCM Systems, broadening our international reach, significantly improving our capacity, and adding critical expertise to Interface for specialized measurement solutions designed for cranes and hoist equipment.

Interface and LCM offer our customers robust and diverse measurement devices for hoisting, winching, lifting, subsea, infrastructure, and industrial manufacturing applications.

The LCM-made products in Interface’s 35,000-plus catalog include Load Pins, Tension Links, and Shackles. This includes options for standard products, engineered-to-order, completely custom, ATEX, submersibles, and wireless solutions.

Sample of Interface Load Pins, Tension Links, and Shackles

 

ILMP Stainless Steel Load Monitoring Load Pin

LP Stainless Steel Load Pin

WTSLP Wireless Stainless Steel Load Pin

ITL Tension Link Load Cell

WTSTL Wireless Tension Link Load Cell

WTSATL Lightweight Aluminum Wireless Tension Link

WTSATL-JR Aluminum Compact Wireless Tension Link

ISHK-B Bow Type Crosby™ Cabled Load Shackle

ISHK-D ‘D’ Type Crosby™ Cabled Load Shackle

WTSSHK-B Wireless Crosby™ Bow Load Shackle

WTSSHK-B-HL Wireless Bow Load Shackle

WTSSHK-B-JR Wireless Crosby™ Bow Load Shackle

WTSSHK-D Wireless Crosby™ Load Shackle

TIP:  Use the Interface Load Pin Configuration Submission to get started in defining your exact pin requirements.

Recently, Ken Bishop, Interace’s senior director of custom solutions, had the opportunity to discuss our acquisition of LCM Systems with Overhead Crane and Hoist (OCH) magazine, specifically focusing on our industry-leading lineup of solutions for this industry courtesy of our expert team at LCM. Included below is a brief preview of the article. To read it thoroughly, please visit OCH’s digital magazine Interface Reveals Motivation Behind Acquisition of Long-Time Partner LCM SystemsHoist Magazine’s Overhead Crane and Hoist Winter 2023.

Highlights from the article in Overhead and Hoist Feature Article

In a move that should provide synergistic growth opportunities for both companies, Interface Inc., a US-based leader in force measurement product technology, design, and manufacturing, has recently acquired UK-based LCM Systems – a company it had already partnered with for the past ten years. In fact, Interface has been LCM’s exclusive distributor in the US market since 2018.

“Interface is a very diverse,” Ken Bishop, Interface’s senior director of custom solutions, declared, noting that it has a very strong reputation for producing high-quality load cells, load pins, load shackles, torque transducers, multi-axis sensors, and related measurement solutions for a variety of market sectors including aerospace, automotive, energy, factory automation, and subsea marine. “Given our ability to make high-precision products that our customers can count on, we have been able to grow our business over the years.”

Bishop said it was when certain new customer requirements emerged, for which Interface didn’t have other options to meet, that it decided to reach out to LCM: “At first, such opportunities came up now and then, but over time, we started to do more business with them as it became more and more apparent that there was a nice fit between the products and services that LCM offers and those offered by Interface.”

LCM was founded in 1984 to provide the yachting industry with precision load cell and readout systems but has expanded to also provide those products, as well as engineering and design services, to such other market sectors as energy, civil engineering, maritime, aerospace, heavy lifting and process engineering, including load cell products suitable for Zone 1 and 2 hazardous area applications…read more.

Load pin, Tension link, and Load Shackle App Note Catalog

Accurate Force Measurement Data Under Any Conditions

Interface’s Keith Skidmore recently detailed the growing demands for more data in the product development process to create better products in the February 2023 edition of Quality Magazine. In his contributed article, Measuring Force Data in Extreme Conditions, he expertly highlights how this demand comes with the added requirements for measurement and sensor solutions that can perform in any condition.

As makers of products, machines, and components can attest, they need more testing and performance data to make critical design and smart production decisions. The added requirement to secure this data with precision, requires quality measurement solutions that can perform under extreme conditions.

Interface has long been attuned to these demands, with an increasing product line of ruggedized products. These products, including our submersibles, intrinsically safe and stainless steel load cells help to fulfill the requirements. Examples of these products include:

Noted in the article, Keith writes: As technology has progressed, test and measurement systems are becoming more advanced and capable for a wide variety of applications and industries. This is because manufacturers want more data in the product development process to create better products, and they need solutions that can perform in any condition, especially when running field testing. This is increasingly important in force measurement as real-world testing is paramount to a safe and reliable product. And with the need for real-world force testing comes the need for sensors that can work effectively in hazardous environments including rain, wind, underwater, explosive environments, and exposed conditions.

Read the complete article here to learn more about Interface’s popular ruggedized force measurement solutions, sensor materials used to perform in harsh environments, extreme temperature options and various submersible options.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

High Temperature Load Cells 101

Hazardous Environment Solutions from Interface

Interface Submersible Load Cells

Stainless Steel Load Cells 101

Coil Tubing Load Cells

Crane Safety Requires Precision Measurements Ship to Shore

VISIT QUALITY MAGAZINE

QM0223 - Keith Skidmore Article 2-23

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.

Demands for Quality Energy Measurement Solutions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ENERGY APPLICATIONS USING INTERFACE PRODUCTS

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

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

Energy-Brochure-1

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

Additional Resources

Interface Helps Power the World

Interface Most Promising Energy Tech Solution Provider

Announcing the Launch of the Interface Pressure Compensated Downhole Load Cell

Fueling Global Demand for Interface Solutions

 

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 the 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.