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Force Measurement Testing Improves Products and Consumer Safety

Across every industry, force measurement solutions are utilized to improve product performance, safety and quality. Sensor technologies are used every day to test various consumer products’ weight, torsion, tension, compression, fatigue, impact, and materials.

Force measurement testing is used throughout the product development lifecycle, from concept and R&D, through engineering and testing, to manufacturing and distribution, leading to eventual utilization. Interface load cells are commonly integrated into actual consumer products for activation and to measure performance during use.

Interface force measurement solutions are also used in the testing of equipment, machines, and tools used in the production of all types of products and goods. Our products are used in industrial automation robotic arms as well as within lifting equipment deployed to move materials around a facility.

The key to all force measurement testing is accuracy and reliability of data, as well as selecting the right type of force sensor for the specific product being testing.

Types of Product Testing Applications Using Interface Measurement Solutions

  • Weighing Applications: Interface miniature load cells are often for product testing to measure the exact weight of consumer products, such as food, beverages, and electronics. This information is critical R&D, as well on the production line and to meet the exact product specifications. Our load cells help to ensure that the products are not underweight or overweight, and comply with regulations. Read more about Load Cells for Smarter and More Efficient Weighing
  • Material Applications: Interface LowProfile load cells are often found in product testing labs to assess the strength of materials used in consumer products such as plastics, metals, and mixtures of composites. The measurements gathered during the product testing safeguards consumers and confirms the product’s durability. Read Interface Solutions for Material Testing Engineers
  • Force Applications: Interface load cells, torque transducers, and instrumentation are used in complete test systems that examine the usability of products such as exercise equipment, appliances and electronics. The data acquired in shear, tensile and force testing is important to understand if the product meets design specifications, is easy to use and does not require excessive force to work.
  • Safety Applications: One of the most important product use cases for Interface measurement solutions is to test the safety of products such as furniture, toys and automobile features. It is a requirement for every maker of products that are not hazardous and will not cause injury to consumers. Read Interface Solutions for Safety and Regulation Testing and Monitoring

To give you a better idea of how our load cells and instrumentation are utilized in distinct types of product tests, we have included a few application notes below outlining real-world examples of force testing projects.

Bicycle Helmet Safety and Impact Product Testing

A high production bicycle manufacturing facility set up a product testing lab to measure the impact of the safety of their helmets when dropped from different heights onto a flat surface such as an anvil. This test is necessary to ensure consumer safety and that the products are made with the highest quality materials to protect the rider. Interface suggests installing the 1101 Compression-Only Ultra Precision LowProfile® Load Cellat the bottom of an anvil. The bike helmet is then dropped from multiple heights and at multiple angles onto the anvil. The measurements from impact are then recorded and logged throughout the product testing using Interface’s INF-USB3 Universal Serial Bus Single Channel PC Interface Module with supplied software. Every design or material change runs through the same rigorous testing protocols using these high accuracy measurement solutions.  Read CPG Bike Helmet Impact Test

Product Weighing of Consumer Water Bottles

A manufacturer of glass bottled water needs to dispense the exact amount of fluid into each bottle and then weigh the water bottle to ensure it is at the labeled weight on the product packaging. The product testing of the manufacturing equipment is used to minimize waste and to meet the weight requirements to ensure consumer satisfaction. Interface suggests using the MBP Miniature Beam Load Cell and attaching it under a plate or platform where the water bottle is placed on while it is being filled with fluids. The force weight is measured by the MBP Miniature Beam Load Cell and connected to the 9870 High Speed High Performance TEDS Ready Indicator where results are captured, displayed, and logged for quality control. Read CPG Water Bottle Dispensing and Weighing

Product Test Lab Conducts High Volume Tensile Force Testing

A product test lab is constantly requested to conduct a series of tensile force tests on different samples and materials until failure. These materials include plastic, steel, or woven fabric, and are utilized in the design and manufacturing of several consumer products. The lab professionals want to measure tensile strength, yield strength, and yield stress for every submitted product material sample. For the tensile test stand, we recommend using Interface’s 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile™ Load Cell be installed into the test frame. As the tensile test is conducted, force results captured by the load cell and extensometer are synchronized through the SI-USB4 4 Channel USB Interface Module. The results are displayed on the customer’s computer with supplied software. Learn more by reading Material Tensile Testing.

Interface’s high precision force sensor technologies used in robotics have revolutionized the manufacturing of consumer products. With automated assembly lines and robotic arms taking charge, these machines work efficiently to mass-produce consumer goods. Quality control of all the products we provide you for testing is one of the main focuses of Interface, as we want to keep your customers happy and safe.

Interface’s experienced team are renowned specialists in force, torque and weight measurement manufacturing and technology. Our depth of knowledge and wide range of capabilities create custom solutions of all types, whether special transducers made to your exact specifications or complete customized sensor, instrumentation, and software systems. We collaborate with you to ensure the product specifications you need are designed to match your precise requirements.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Introducing the Interface Consumer Product Testing Case Study

Interface Solutions for Consumer Products

Force Measurement is Reducing Waste and Automating the Consumer Packaging Industry

Applications for Consumer Products and Packaging

Load Cells for Consumer Product Applications

Why Product Design Houses Choose Interface

Testing Labs Choose Interface High Accuracy Products

Interface Solutions for Material Testing Engineers

Are Load Cells Used in Vacuum Environments?

Vacuum testing labs are essential for ensuring that products and materials are safe and dependable in vacuum environments. A vacuum environment is an area where there is little or no matter. This means that there are very few gas molecules present, and the pressure is incredibly low. Vacuum environments are often created using vacuum pumps, which remove gas molecules from an enclosed space.

Vacuum environments are used to simulate the conditions that products and materials will experience in space or other high-altitude environments. These types of testing labs typically have a vacuum chamber that can be evacuated to an incredibly low pressure. The vacuum chamber is then used to evaluate products and materials for a variety of properties. Engineers use vacuum environments in testing for reduced contamination, improving heat transfer, and to reduce the weight of products.

Tests performed in vacuum labs are used to determine the rate at which gases are released from a product or material and the ability of a product or material to withstand a vacuum without leaking. Thermal cycling tests are done to assess the ability of a product or material to withstand changes in temperature in a vacuum environment. Other tests are done to understand how the test article withstands exposure to radiation.

Vacuum testing labs are used by a variety of industries, including aerospace, medical, and defense. These labs are common for material process testing and used in R&D. Vacuum testing helps to identify potential problems with products and materials before they are used in a real vacuum environment. Engineers use this type of testing to improve the performance of products and materials and ensure they meet the required standards. Contact Interfaced to explore your options.

Can load cells be used in a vacuum environment?

Load cells can be used in a vacuum environment. However, not all load cells are created equal or suited for this specialized use case. Some load cells are designed that make them appropriate for vacuum environments, while others are not. Load cells that are not engineered to perform in vacuum environments may not be able to withstand the low pressures and outgassing that can occur in a vacuum. Using quality load cells that are manufactured by force measurement experts in sensor technologies is important in any consideration. It is critical to review the specifications and requirements with a qualified applications engineer.

Key considerations when choosing a load cell for a vacuum environment:

  • Outgassing: Load cells that are used in vacuum environments will have low outgassing rates. This means that they will not release gases into the vacuum chamber, which can contaminate the environment and interfere with measurements.
  • Mechanical strength: Load cells must be able to withstand the low pressures that can occur in a vacuum. They will also be able to withstand the conditions that can be generated by vacuum processes, such as outgassing and condensation. Form factor and model material of the load cell are important in choosing a load cell for this use case.
  • Temperature range: Load cells will need to operate in a wide range of temperatures. This is important because vacuum chambers can be very cold, especially when they are first evacuated, or when they are used to simulate high altitudes or space.

If you are looking for a load cell that can be used in a vacuum environment, please review with Interface application engineers to determine if the model fits your test requirements. We also can offer custom solutions to ensure that the load cell maintains the accuracy and performance specifications based on your exact test plan.

Can a load cell be vented for use in a vacuum testing lab?

Technically yes, you can vent a load cell to be used in vacuum. This allows the internal cavity of the load cell to equalize with external vacuum. However, this does not prevent outgassing and can cause the gages and wiring to be subject to humidity and condensation.

Cabling is extremely important when using any sensor in this environment. There are options to make the load cells wireless using Bluetooth technology.

Caution: Interface recommends that all our products used in this type of environment are designed, built, and calibrated for use in this environment. Venting an existing load cell can alter the performance and damage the cell.  By designing the load cell with venting for use, we can ensure that it will meet the vacuum test range.

Interface also can install thermocouples to work with the sensor to detect temperature in this type of testing environment. In fact, our engineers have designed load cells to package the thermocouples inside the form factor for convenience and performance benefits.

Interface engineers have worked with testing labs for decades. We are available to assist with any use case requirements to determine the best measurement solution.

Accelerating Automotive Excellence in the Test Lab

The automotive industry has many regulations and requirements in place to ensure vehicle safety and reliability of all vehicles. The responsibility for validating these standards of quality primary falls on the automotive original equipment manufacturer, who often rely on test labs to assess product specifications, safety, quality, and durability. Working together, the OEM and test labs are responsible for confirming regulations and requirements are met on every vehicle, part, component and sub-component that hits the market.

Interface understands that test labs need the very best in terms of testing devices and equipment. Interface, a supplier to automotive testing labs for decades, has a broad range of products used in all types of torque, force, and weighing applications. Accelerating Automotive Excellence With Interface Testing Lab Solutions is a new case study that details common challenges and solutions offered by Interface to fit the requirements of today’s modern automotive industry testing lab.

Our products are used all types automotive testing lab applications. These products include:

  • Load Cells and Various Force Measurement Devices
  • Rotary and Reaction Torque Transducers
  • Weight Measurement Equipment
  • Calibration Grade Devices
  • Test Stands and Load Frames
  • Analog and Digital Instrumentation
  • Data Acquisition Systems

Quality, accuracy and durability are key considerations for the type of measurement device selected for different tests, whether it is for brake caliper testing or in airbag connector tests.

General Automotive Lab Test Types

  • Component and Sub-Component Level Testing
  • Suspension Testing, including component level, such as shocks, springs and subframes and multi-post shaker rigs
  • Durability Testing, such as seats, window frames, material
  • Safety Testing such as crush, seat belt testing, and airbag mounts
  • Crash Walls

For general automotive testing solutions, key considerations for auto testing lab requirements are high cycle count capabilities and load cell integration in actuation systems. Our products are used for off-axis and impact loading and measuring test article failure net results. The equipment can be exposed to many environmental challenges so load cell ruggedization is very important to lab professionals.

Automotive Driveline Test Types

  • Engine and Motor Performance and Durability Tests
  • Engine and Motor Efficiency Testing
  • Power Analyzation (Electric)
  • Driveline Durability and Efficiency
  • Component Testing
  • Accessory Drive Testing

For automotive driveline testing, considerations on equipment include peak torque ratings, rotating torque capabilities. Easy transducer integration with couplings matters for these tests. Additional factors for equipment include signal requirements, environmental conditions, noise levels, both electrical and mechanical and vibration. The devices used in testing article failure are very important for evaluating net results.

Test labs also prefer precision sensors for critical tests, which include our 1200 Series LowProfile™ Load Cells with their special moment compensated design. Popular ruggedized Interface products used in automotive testing include our 2400 series and 3200 series Stainless Steel LowProfile™ Load Cells and our WMC Miniature Load Cells

With a wide range of automotive vehicle load cell sensors, force and torque measurement capabilities and features such as moment compensation, temperature compensation, and mechanical overload protection, Interface can help you design a solution perfect for your automotive application. We also offer custom one-off sensors and special application-specific designs.

To learn more about testing lab solutions, be sure to tune into our Interface Testing Lab Essentials Webinar.

Accelerating Automotive Excellence with Interface Testing Lab Solutions Case Study

Testing Labs Choose Interface High Accuracy Products

Specialists focused on testing applications work in a variety of testing lab environments. In each lab, technicians rely on the tools to collect and report on data that is used to make products safer, guarantee performance, ensure quality, and to meet the strict industry standards and requirements. Accuracy in testing data is dependent on the precision measurement devices and instrumentation used to capture the results.

We supply lab engineers with high-accuracy sensor technologies used to complete rigid test requirements. Interface is the top provider of test and measurement products used for structural and material testing, static and fatigue testing, torsion effects, tension tests, calibration testing, and environmental testing. Read more in Types of Force Measurement Tests 101.

Our standard high precision load cells, torque transducers, multi-axis sensors, and instrumentation are used on every continent for T&M. Based on our quality and performance, we are the chosen supplier to calibration and testing labs. We see our products used today for continuous improvement programs, advancements in smart manufacturing and new product designs.

If it must be measured, Interface has a solution. Our products are designed for small and large testing facilities, including calibration-grade load cells, load frames and test stands, along with data acquisition systems. The wide variety of our force measurement solutions designed for testing labs means we play a role in every industry that is making a physical product and the test labs that validates the products performance.

Testing Labs and Types of Testing Using Interface Solutions

General Automotive Test Labs:

  • Component and Sub-Component Level Testing
  • Suspension Testing
  • EV Battery Testing

Automotive Driveline Testing:

  • Engine Performance and Durability Tests
  • Motor Efficiency Testing
  • Power Analyzation (Electric)

Aerospace Testing:

  • Full Scale Structural Static Testing
  • Component Fatigue Test
  • High Precision Thrust Testing
  • Simulators
  • Wind Tunnel Testing

Geotechnical and Civil Testing

  • Concrete or Asphalt Core Testing
  • Soils Testing

General Structural and Component Testing

  • General Push and Pull
  • Design Proofing
  • Life Cycle Fatigue Validation

Medical Device Testing:

  • Prototyping
  • PPAP Validation and FDA Certification
  • Device Lifecycle Testing

Consumer Product Testing Labs:

  • Design Validation
  • Material Testing
  • Fatigue and Failure Tests

Interface recently highlighted testing lab applications in our Test Lab Essentials Webinar. Here you can see the lab use cases and products as they are reviewed by our applications experts.

Each of these testing types requires different force testing equipment, and our experts work directly with testing lab professionals to determine the products or systems they need for single and ongoing test requirements.

As testing technologies becomes increasingly complex, off-the-shelf products may not meet the needs of every Interface customer. We lend engineers expertise in test and measurement to support unique and custom requirements to get the right sensor, instrument, and system in place.

Since our first load cells were designed five decades ago, we have built millions upon millions of load cells and torque transducers used in testing labs around the world. Our products are built to withstand the rigor and requirements needed for high quality and reliable data collection in test and measurement. Our test customers depend on us for proving accuracy, consistency, and reliability in performance.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Interface and Testing Lab Applications

Testing Lab Essentials Webinar

Engine Dynamometer App Note

Consumer Product Testing Case Study

Interface Solutions for Safety and Regulation Testing and Monitoring

Metrologists and Calibration Technicians 101

Motor Test Stand

GS-SYS04 Gold Standard® Portable E4 Machine Calibration System

Electric Vehicle Structural Battery Testing

Furniture Fatigue Cycle Testing App Note

Regular Calibration Service Maintains Load Cell Accuracy

 

Interface and Testing Lab Applications

Test and measurement impacts nearly every industry.  At Interface, we classify Test and Measurement (T&M) as it’s own solutions market. Though testing is generally a service, the accuracy and quality equipment and tools that are required for performing these T&M services has created an industry in itself.

Throughout the Test and Measurement industry, there are several different classifications and testing lab types. Each of these different testing labs provide unique equipment for different forms of testing depending on the application, system or component. These different types test labs include:

  • Structural testing labs perform tensile, compression, bending, fatigue and hardness testing on materials, components, or assemblies.
  • Environmental testing labs evaluate the impact of environmental factors on products, components, or materials performing temperature, humidity, salt spray, and vibration testing.
  • Electrical testing labs determine the electrical properties of components or products using insulation resistance, electrical continuity, and dielectric strength testing.
  • Chemical testing labs determine the composition and purity of materials using chromatography, spectroscopy, and elemental analysis.
  • Product safety testing labs ensure that products meet safety and regulatory standards with flammability, toxicity, and durability testing.
  • Calibration testing labs ensure that measuring instruments and equipment are accurate and reliable. Common disciplines include force, torque, pressure, temperature and physical calibration. Read more: Interface Calibration 101
  • Non-destructive testing labs evaluate the integrity of materials with ultrasonic testing, magnetic particle inspection, and radiography.

Here at Interface, we are deeply ingrained in supplying nearly every type of testing lab out there with precision T&M devices, from the world’s best force measurement sensors to advanced instrumentation. Interface offers one of the most diverse force, torque, and weight related force sensor product lines in the market. It is why labs prefer Interface. In addition to our expanding line of  data acquisition systems, software and accessories, T&M engineers and lab pros find Interface as a one-stop-shop for simple and complex testing projects.

Testing Lab Applications Using Interface Products

Material Testing Lab – Press Form Monitoring

Customer Challenge: Press forming is a method to deform different materials. A force measurement solution is required to monitor the forces being applied by the press forming machine to ensure quality control and traceability during the production process.

Interface Solution: For large press forming machines, Interface recommended installing the 1000 High Capacity Fatigue-Rated LowProfile™ Load Cell. When the material was placed under the punch plate to form a shape, the force applied was measured and results were sent to the INF-USB3 Universal Serial Bus Single Channel PC Interface Module, where results can be graphed and logged.  Read: Press Forming and Load Monitoring

Medical Testing Lab – Specimen Research Linear Test Stand

Customer Challenge: Medical experts need the best equipment during research of multiple specimens. In this case, a medical researcher needed to monitor the load force of their linear actuator that uses a needle to collect material from the desired specimen.

Interface Solution; Interface’s SuperSC S-Type Miniature Load Cell was easily installed into the linear test stand. A needle with a gripper on the end was installed on the lower end of the SuperSC. As the needle is pushed to collect material of the specimen, the load feedback is captured using the 9330 Battery Powered High Speed Data Logging Indicator.  Read: Specimen Research App Note

Safety Test Facility – Bike Helmet Impact Test

Customer Challenge: A company wanted to test the impact of a bike helmet when dropped from different heights, onto a flat surface such as an anvil. This test is necessary to ensure consumer safety, and that their products are made of the highest quality until sold to the public.

Interface Solution: Interface suggested installing our 1101 Compression Only Ultra Precision LowProfile™ Load Cell at the bottom of an anvil. The bike helmet was then dropped from multiple heights, at multiple angles, onto the anvil. The measurements from impact were then recorded and logged using our INF-USB3 Interface Module.  Read: CPG Bike Helmet Impact Test

Product Test Lab – Touch Screen Force Testing

Customer Challenge: Touchscreen kiosks used in restaurants, retail and entertainment venues all need various tests to be performed to ensure functionality and sensitivity. One of those tests are force tests that touch screens to withstand high use by all types of consumers.

Interface Solution: Interface’s SMTM Micro S-Type Load Cell was installed on the customer’s force testing machine. The touchscreen was laid flat under the machine, and force tests were conducted in different locations of the touchscreen. With supplied BlueDAQ software, results are captured and reviewed using the 9330 Battery Powered High Speed Data Logging Indicator through an SD card.

These are just a few examples of where Interface products are involved in a wide variety of different testing labs and how T&M engineers are utilizing them. To learn more, check out our new Testing Lab Essentials webinar, which can be found here.


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Testing Lab Essentials Webinar Recap

Introducing the Interface Consumer Product Testing Case Study

Interface Solutions for Safety and Regulation Testing and Monitoring

Electric Vehicle Structural Battery Testing

 

Testing Lab Essentials Webinar

Interface experts detail standard measurement devices that are essential to all testing labs. They highlight calibration standards and calibration grade equipment, along with instrumentation and data acquisition systems. What types of equipment do you need in the lab to meet the testing demands of today and in the future? Watch this in-depth seminar for recommendations on equipment, best practices, tips, test lab applications and frequently asked questions.