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Interface and Infrastructure Markets Form a Perfect Partnership

Infrastructure projects are growing, as investment continues to climb for projects related to rebuilding, renewing and innovating applications in this sector. These global investments come from public and private organizations as demands to address roads, bridges, water supplies, transportation, energy systems, and broadband requirements for the 21st century grow.

Experts who focus on infrastructure acknowledge these are means for civil existence and prosperity. Interface understands that our role in supporting the design, testing, manufacturing, constructing and maintenance required in infrastructure needs a top supplier of force measurement solutions.

Interface force measurement solutions have and are currently used around the world for infrastructure projects including bridges, generators, dams, waterways, transportation structures, construction projects, cranes and lifting apparatus, and heavy machinery.

Interface supplies durable and accurate sensor technologies used in testing equipment, technology, vehicles, tools and machines used in all types of infrastructure subsectors. We also find our products often designed into structures for regulatory and safety monitoring, whether that be to maintain tunnels or support wind generating farms.

Interface details force measurement products we commonly provide to those working and supporting the infrastructure sector in our Infrastructure Solutions Brochure. You can see some of these products in our Infrastructure Solutions video.

Interface load cells, load pins, instrumentation, multi-axis sensors, and torque transducers are top choices for those engaged in infrastructure projects and testing. Sensors are commonly used in measuring the related hardware used for industry products and structures. The types of infrastructure projects that Interface has supplied measurement solutions for includes transportation systems, communication structures, water and electrical facilities, and numerous inventions that are used to build, support, and maintain them, as outlined in Infrastructure Projects Rely on Interface.

Our expert engineers can help design customizable force measurement solutions for all types of applications that require sensors for OEMs and to be used in the actual structure for continuous measuring and monitoring. We have engineered sensor products used for civil engineering designs and infrastructures used in structural monitoring, vibrational monitoring, load bearing testing, tunnels, bridges, and road construction. The range of projects are broad, so we are highlighting a few below that highlight our capabilities when accuracy, quality and reliability matter in design, testing, construction, and assessing current and limitations for safety requirements.

Hydraulic JackHydraulic Jacking System Testing

An equipment manufacturer needed to test their hydraulic jacking system’s ability to lift heavy loads and objects, like a bridge during construction. They wanted to monitor the forces being applied to ensure the hydraulic jack is not only safe to use, but works well enough to avoid any potential structural issues. Interface’s 1200 Standard High Capacity Load Cell can be attached in between the hydraulic jack and a heavy load. The load cell measures the forces of the hydraulic jack as it lifts the load cell located in between the jack and the object. With the 9890 Strain Gage, Load Cell, & mV/V Indicator, the customer is also able to see the results in real-time. Read more here.

Aerial Lift Overload Control

A manufacturing company for aerial lifts wanted to test its self-propelled boom lift to ensure it can operate at heavy capacities when in use, and at different angles. They also wanted to prevent any accidents in case of a lifting overload, for the safety of any working individual who uses it. Interface’s solution was to attach the 3A160 3-Axis Force Load Cell to the bottom of the bucket of the boom lift. The multi-axis sensor provides high accuracy results, which were displayed using the 920i Programmable Weight Indicator and Controller in real time. The manufacturing company tested their aerial boom lifts and determined it was safely operable when maximum capacities has been reached in use. Read more here.

Truck Weighbridge Monitoring

A transportation company needed to record the weight or loads being carried by their vehicles. They would like a wireless weighing bridge that is able to transmit, log, and display the results in real time. Interface suggests installing multiple WTS 1200 LowProfile™ Load Cells under a weighbridge. When a truck drives over it, the load cells will transmit the force results wirelessly to the WTS-BS-4 Industrial Base Station connected to the customer’s PC with provided Log100 software. The WTS-LD2 Wireless Large LED Display can also display the weight inside for the driver to see in real time. The customer was able to measure, log, and graph the different loads their trucks carried wirelessly onto the weighbridge with success, providing for safe passage across transportation ways. Read more here.

Hydropower Turbine

Hydropower Turbine Generator Monitoring

A customer wanted to monitor and detect any turbine generator faults in their hydroelectric power plant located on a river. Interface’s solution was to use the T2 Ultra Precision Shaft Style Rotary Torque Transducer and attach it to the turbine generator with Interface’s Shaft Style Torque Transducer Couplings. When water from the river pushes through the penstock to the outflow, it moves the turbine blades, creating electricity through the generator shaft. Torsion measurements can be graphed and logged with the 9850 Torque Transducer and Load Cell Indicator catching any unusual fluctuations and vibrations. Using this solution, the customer was able to monitor, graph, and log the torque measurement results of the turbine generator. Read more here.

Bridge Seismic

Bridge Seismic Force Monitoring

A customer wanted to monitor seismic activity that occurs to a bridge by using force sensors and then continuously monitoring bridge forces before, during and after earthquakes occur. The customer also preferred a wireless solution so they would not need to run long cables on the bridge. Using Interface’s LP Load Pin custom made to fit their needs along Interface’s WTS Wireless Telemetry System for continuous force monitoring the designed solution was able to take place without long cables. The solution allowed the customer to monitor continuous loads, log information to the cloud and review information. Read more here.

Interface’s work with all facets of the infrastructure industry spans far and wide. Interface is a supplier of choice and key partner for providing reliable sensors and instrumentation solutions used in testing and monitoring of both the infrastructure and the equipment used to upgrade and refine it.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Infrastructure Industry Relies on Interface Force Measurement

Infrastructure Projects Rely on Interface

Interface Solutions Designed for Infrastructure Challenges

Monitoring the Seismic Force of a Suspension Bridge

 

 

 

Choosing the Right Torque Transducer

Interface offers an extensive line of torque transducer models in different designs and capacities to fit all types of torque measurement testing requirements.  The first thing to understand when choosing the right torque transducer is how an actual torque transducer works in order to then determine the best type, style, model, mounting, capacity and special features for your requirements.

A torque transducer, like a load cell, consists of a metal spring element, or flexure. Strain gages are applied to the flexure in a Wheatstone bridge configuration. Torque applied to the sensor causes bending or shear strain in the gaged area, generating an output voltage signal proportional to torque.

To assist you in choosing the right torque transducer, get a copy of our Torque Measurement Primer for reference in your selection process.

Reaction or Rotary Type

There are also two different types of torque transducers: reaction and rotary. A reaction, also known as static, torque transducer measures torque without rotating, while a rotary torque transducer rotates as part of the system. A rotary sensor, also sometimes called dynamic torque, is merely a reaction sensor that is allowed to rotate. Normally, a reaction style sensor has a cable attached to it for supplying excitation voltage to the strain gage bridge and for output of the mV/V signal. Spinning of these sensors is prevented by the attached cable. To get around the issue of the attached cable, a variety of methods have been used for rotary sensors Some of those methods include slip rings, rotary transformers, rotating electronics, rotating digital electronics and radio telemetry.

Shaft or Flange Style

Torque transducers typically come in one of two major mechanical configurations, shaft or flange style. Shafts can be either smooth or keyed with keyed shafts coming in either single or double-keyed versions. Flange style sensors are typically shorter than shaft style, and have pilots on their flange faces as a centering feature.

Smooth shafts offer some advantages over their keyed counterparts, including more uniform introduction of the torque into the measuring shaft, ease of assembly and disassembly and zero backlash. A coupling designed for use with smooth shafts will have some method of clam ping to the shaft. This is commonly accomplished with split collars or shrink-disk style hubs. Shrink-disk style hubs usually include features to aid in their removal from the shaft.

Hubs for keyed shafts are simpler than those for smooth shafts and cost less but can suffer from wear due to backlash, especially in reciprocating applications. To prevent backlash, the hub must be installed on the keyed shaft with an interference fit, which is usually accomplished by either heating the hub before installation or pressing the hub onto the shaft.

Fixed or Floating Mount

There are also two main methods of mounting rotary torque transducers, fixed or floating. Fixed mount applies only to sensors with bearings and involves attaching the sensor housing to a fixed support. In floating installations the sensor is supported only by its drive and load side connections, which are typically single-flex style couplings. A flexible strap keeps the torque transducer housing from rotating. By definition, bearingless sensors are always floating mount.

Fixed mounting requires that the sensor housing have a means to attach it to the support. Sometimes the mount is an option on the sensor and sometimes the foot or pedestal mount is built as part of the sensor. The simplest fixed mount design sensors include a flat machined surface on the housing with threaded mounting holes. In fixed mount installations, double flex couplings must be used.

Capacity

Once you have determined the type, style and mount, how do you choose the right transducer for your project? One of the primary considerations is selecting the right capacity. On one hand, if you choose too large a range, the accuracy and resolution may not be enough for the application. On the other hand, if you choose too small a size, the sensor may be damaged due to overload, which is an expensive mistake. No manufacturer wants you to overload the sensor.

To select the proper size, first determine the amount of torque you want to measure. This can be easy or hard, depending on your application. An easy example would be a fastener torque application, where a certain amount of torque is to be applied to a fastener. A more difficult application might be trying to figure out how much torque is required for a new design wind turbine.

This is just a brief overview, there are many other variables to consider when choosing a torque transducer. To get a full rundown, check out our white paper Torque Measurement Primer. And as always, give us a call to speak directly with our applications engineers to learn more at 480-948-5555.

With more than 36,000 product SKUs in Interface’s extensive catalog, it can be a daunting task choosing the sensors that fit your exact needs. Fortunately, we’re here to work you through it! There is an abundance of content, including product brochures, white papers, case studies and application notes, for easy comparing of different product types and categories . These resources, as well as our model product datasheets with specifications can help navigate the options and along with common solutions by industry.

Our application engineers are just a phone call away and can help you determine the off-the-shelf products or custom solutions needed for your specific application. To learn more about our torque transducer selection, you can also visit www.interfaceforce.com/product-category/torque-transducers/.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

New Twist on Torque Webinar

AxialTQ

Latest Spin on AxialTQ

A Comparison of Torque Measurement Systems White Paper

Rover Wheel Torque Monitoring

Aircraft Yoke Torque Measurement

Insights in Torque Testing Featured in Quality Magazine

Torque Measurement for Electric Vehicles

 

Top Interface Products in 2021

What Interface products were test and measurement professionals favorites this year? The 2021 product that took the number one spot of most interest was our blue load cell. The reliable and trusted Interface LowProfile Load Cells have been a staple in the T&M industry for more than fifty years. The top choice of Interface customers in 2021 is the 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile, in both high and low capacities.

The category of products Interface offers has increased significantly as we drive toward helping our customers with complete force and torque solutions. The count of Interface products, in all their configurations and capacities, is well over 30,000. This does not include engineered-to-order or custom solutions, specialties that Interface offers to meet the exact requirements of our customers.

We expanded our line of offerings dramatically in 2021 with wireless solutions, instrumentation, miniature load cells, along with new digital products like the BX6 and expanding our BX8 to match the expanding interest in our growing multi-axis sensors line of 3 and 6-Axis Load Cells. Our new 2021 Catalog provides you a glimpse of what you have available from Interface.

Even with the all-time favorite Interface load cells remaining as the #1 product category in 2021, winning by a large margin with the most interest, there are many product families taking a run for a top position, including instrumentation, minis load cells, and multi-axis sensors.

TOP 10 PRODUCT CATEGORIES FROM INTERFACE IN 2021

  1. Load Cells
  2. Torque Transducers
  3. Instrumentation
  4. Multi-Axis Sensors
  5. Mini Load Cells
  6. Digital Instrumentation
  7. Accessories
  8. Calibration Systems
  9. Load Pins
  10. Wireless Telemetry Systems

You can read our latest review of the WTS system and why it is growing in popularity.

TOP 10 INTERFACE PRODUCTS IN 2021

Diving into the numbers, here are the top 10 product models that gained the most interest this year:

  1. 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile® Load Cell
  2. 1000 Fatigue-Rated LowProfile® Load Cell
  3. SSM or SSM2 Sealed S-Type Mini Load Cell
  4. 3-Axis Force Multi-Axis Load Cell
  5. SGA AC/DC POWERED SIGNAL CONDITIONER
  6. WMC Sealed Stainless Steel Miniature Load Cell
  7. SMS-Type Load Cell
  8. 1100 Ultra Precision LowProfile® Load Cell
  9. 6-Axis Standard Capacity Load Cells
  10. 1600 Gold Standard® Calibration LowProfile® Load Cell

In the runner-up category, the products that made the second half of our top 20 list include the LBM Load Button Load Cell, 9840 Multi-Channel Indicator, Calibration Systems, Torque Transducer Models T2 and T4, Model 1500Low-Capacity Load Cell, SML Low Height Mini, 9320 Portable Indicator, 2400 Standard Stainless Steel Load Cell and our famous MB Miniature Beam Load Cell.  With such a large catalog, it’s quite a distinction to get to the top 20.

We are excited to learn what products will get your attention in the new year. Of course, we appreciate your interest!

If you have questions about any of our product categories or specific models, you can always contact our application engineers, representatives and distributors around the globe. We are here to make your 2022 a great success!

Interface Calibration 101

Calibration of force and torque sensors is critical to receiving accurate data from measurement testing.  Calibration is the comparison of the instruments output against the known standard of measurement. For a load cell, it is the comparison of the load cell output against the standard test loads.

The calibration ensures the sensor is performing accurately and set for ideal output based on the capacity and configuration of the design. A standard calibration tests repeatability and linearity, which are both used to determine the accuracy. Calibration tests are run to identify any potential measurement errors caused by zero offset, non-linearity, hysteresis, non-repeatability, and shifts from zero.

The team of calibration experts at Interface are specifically trained to provide this specialized service as part of our quality and lab standard requirements of operations. Interface is ISO/IEC 17025:2017 and A2LA Accredited for Torque and Force Calibration in accordance with the recognized International Standard ISO/IEC 17025:2017.

Interface certifies all our load cells with accredited calibration before releasing the product for shipment. Certificate information includes tabulated measurement variables data, zero balance, computed nonlinearity and hysteresis, and traceability statements. We are often recognized as the most complete calibration certification in the industry

In a recent customer survey, we found that one of the most important roles that Interface force measurement solutions play is for our calibration services. This is due to the accuracy, reliability, and dependability over long periods of time of the load cells we manufacture and service.

Why Calibrate?

Calibration is important based on many different factors, including continued performance, safety, and compliance with ISO or industry specific standards. Interface’s standard recommended calibration interval is to recalibrate every 12 months. The frequency of calibrations should be determined by the following use case factors that may affect measurement accuracy:

  • Measurement quality and allowable tolerance range
  • Level of stress to which the equipment is subjected
  • Stability of past calibrations
  • Required measuring accuracy
  • Quality assurance requirements

Interface Calibration Services

Interface provides calibration and repair services on load cells and torque transducers, including devices made by other sensor manufacturers. In fact, Interface performs more than 100,000 calibrations every year. This includes new products as well as devices sent to Interface for recalibration and repair. Repairs include a complete evaluation of the device prior to repair and calibration upon completion.

In addition, here are some other benefits for choosing Interface as your calibration services partner:

  • ISO 17025 Accredited
  • Scheduled Repairs for Ongoing Inventory Management
  • Custom Calibration Services
  • RMA Tracking and Permanent Archive of Test Data
  • NMI Certified Gold and Platinum Standard Reference Load Cells
  • Interface Gold Standard Calibration Software Used for Data Collection and Analysis
  • Full-Service Machine Shop for any Mechanical Requirements

Calibration Services Process

The Interface calibration team consists of a team of professionals dedicated to an optimized calibration and repair process for timely management of our customer’s requests. We begin the calibration service process with our technical services group who manage the request and RMA process, in addition to evaluation and troubleshooting.

We evaluate all products at our headquarters with our team of experts. The sensor goes through a thorough inspection process to identify any necessary repairs and to ensure device is in working condition in preparation of a calibration. This includes an electrical test. Based on the extensive evaluation, if the device is found to be unrepairable, there is no charge. We also will work to find a replacement unit. All work beyond the evaluation is sent to the customer for approval.

The final step in our calibration services process is the actual calibration. Our calibration team is considered the most experienced in the industry due to the sheer volume of work product they calibrate every day.  Interface also is heavily invested in conducting all our calibrations with the most advanced equipment, including our proprietary Gold Standard® and Platinum Standard® systems. These machines ensure that the transducers are calibrated to the most accurate ability possible before returning to the customer.

Even the most high-end manufactured load cells and finely tuned components endure accuracy degradation over continued use. To ensure your sensors are always ready for peak performance, check out our calibration services request form. We also provide a full range of calibration grade products for metrology and testing labs. You can also give us a call at 480-948-5555 to discuss your specific calibration needs.

 

Recap of Latest Spin on AxialTQ Webinar

Interface recently hosted a new webinar in our ForceLeaders series that highlighted the revolutionary AxialTQ product.  The event reviewed the bearingless wireless rotary torque transducer design and detailed component specifications, why test engineers prefer the AxialTQ, and use cases for this precision measurement system.

If you were not able to attend the Latest Spin on AxialTQ event, you can watch the entire recording online here.

The revolutionary AxialTQ was first introduced in 2018. The design originated from the popular HRDT product that utilized a rotor stator gap design as a single component. After hundreds of users, we started the product engineering exercise to see how we could advance the soon-to-retire HRDT and evolve it into something that would perfectly fit current market conditions.

As technologies were changing testing protocols and requirements, such as for electric motors, alternative energy hardware, space vehicles and industrial machine automation, we wanted to add new functionality. Jay Bradley and the Interface engineering team began the process by looking at DIN size optimization, shorter stators, additional coupling options, advanced software configurations and simple “drop-in” replacement parts with a modular design.

After thousands of design hours and testing, Interface released the AxialTQ. The specialized product is a unique combination of accuracy, reliability and ease of use that redefines the standard torque measurement device in terms of function and durability.

Engineers prefer the new AxialTQ because of the time-proven sensing element with longer active area providing greater measurement sensitivity while being less vulnerable to shock loads.  The high-resolution digital electronics are state-of-the art. Uniquely, the large gap design up to 6 mm axial and 12 mm radial minimizes contact damage which is important at high-speed testing. It has 120-degree partial loop antenna on the stator to make installation easier.

Specialized design features of AxialTQ make it a great fit for test and production applications.

  • Crash-proof design for maximum reliability
  • Industry-leading gap to prevent damage to rotor stator at full speed
  • Simultaneous analog and digital outputs, enables real-time control and data collection
  • Interchangeable stators and output modules minimize parts inventory
  • Versatile design and wide range of configurations to match any application
  • Hardware is self-configuring
  • New advanced software with added features and logging capabilities
  • Rotor and stator coils designed using printed circuit boards for durability

The AxialTQ rotor sensing element and electronics are the heart of the system. It has a rugged design for all types of torque measurement applications.  It comes in 8 torque capacities. The status assembly matches to the rotor DIN size and is interchangeable with equipment DIN size rotor assemblies, increasing usability.  The USB digital output module has galvanic isolation on all outputs and has standard IP65 ingress protection.  It enables real-time control and accurate data collection.

Keith Skidmore shared several use cases during the presentation, including engine dynamometers, motor test stands and other automotive production line applications.

The AxialTQ is designed for testing anything that spins. It’s ideal in testing and production of hydraulic motors, EVs, helicopters, aircraft, and drones, along with windmills and industrial fans.  It’s great for testing forklifts, off-road and utility vehicles as wells as tractors and watercraft.  AxialTQ is also generally used for measuring torque on industrial motor assemblies, pumps, appliances, braking systems, and motor vehicle accessories.

Watch the entire webinar below to hear Keith and Jay share tips, specifications, frequently asked questions and how to get the most out of your torque measurement applications.

Learn more about AxialTQ here.

Solutions Provider for Aerospace & Defense

Interface has developed highly innovative force measurement solutions for a variety of complex and highly regulated industries. These industries require the most accurate and reliable test and measurement equipment on the market because bad data and unknown variables can spell disaster. This fact has never been truer than it is in the aerospace and defense sector.

For our worldwide customers in www.interfaceforce.com/solutions/aerospace, Interface supplies a variety of sensor solutions, including load cells, tension links, load shackles, wireless instrumentation and more. And Interface is a proud supplier to some of the world leading manufacturing aircraft, spacecraft, military, and defense organizations such as the U.S. Government, NASA, Lockheed, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Bombardier, Embraer, Boeing, Airbus Gulfstream, Cessna and more of the world’s most prominent (and well known) rocket builders.

To further highlight our work in the aerospace and defense industry, we’ve also put together a case study outlining, in detail, some of the specific applications in which force measurement sensors can be used. The case study dives deeper into three specific applications highlighting the products used for aircraft wing fatigue, aircraft engine hoist, and parachute deployment and deceleration testing.

READ: The new Aerospace & Defense Case Study can be read in full here.

As a premier partner to these and many other leading global aerospace and defense companies, we’ve seen a lot of high-profile applications which require both off-the-shelf and custom manufactured force solutions. Our engineers and application experts partner with our customers to ensure they get the product that fits the exact requirements, weather it’s a submersible sensor or built for extreme compression and fatigue condition tests.

Our precision load cells have been used on thousands of different projects, both big and small. From aircrafts to ground vehicles and infrastructure, here are a few examples of the projects we’ve supplied various load cells, from jumbo to mini, various torque transducers, multi-axis sensors, customized load pins and as well as wireless telemetry testing systems:

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Exploring Aerospace Force Measurement Solutions Blog

Launching into Orbit with Interface

Force Measurement for Space Travel

 

Recap of New Twist on Torque

In our latest virtual event New Twist on Torque, Randy White and Keith Skidmore shared valuable insights and tips using this type of sensor. With more than 50 different types of torque transducers available at Interface, this webinar highlighted the differences, specifications, use cases and integration advice from our experts.

The ForceLeaders webinar started off with a quick rundown on the history of torque from the first dynamometers measuring the torque and RPMs of motors to the revolutionary Interface AxialTQ. In fact, you can now see how this rotary torque transducer is actually being used in today’s advanced engine dynamometers solution here. The conversation quickly lead to multiple design options and progressed to vital integration tips, considerations and common questions.

By definition, torque transducers convert a mechanical input of torque to an electrical output signal where the signal is directly proportional to the torque input. They consist of a metal spring element like a load cell. The strain gages are bonded to the flexure in a Wheatstone bridge configuration. As torque is applied to the sensor, bending or shear strain in the gaged area, it causes the strain gages to change resistance and generate an output voltage signal proportional to torque. You can read more about torque basics in our Torque Transducers 101 post.

Throughout the event, our experts shared important know-how in using the various types of transducers, including rotary, reaction, miniaturized and even custom-built products. Reaction sensors, also referred to as static, measure torque without rotating. A rotary sensor, also called dynamic, rotates as part of a system. It is merely a reaction sensor that’s allowed to rotate. And yes, you can customize torque transducers to fit your exact requirements. You can see all our torque products here.

Keith detailed four important considerations related to capacity: drive service factors, load service factors, stopping and starting conditions and extraneous loading. There was a robust discussion about fixed and floating mounting options and the importance of couplings. Randy highlighted all the products available and also gave a great recap of several real use cases across various several industries including energy markets, automotive and vehicles, robotics and more.

Be sure to watch the entire event for an abundance of firsthand knowledge and expertise based on working with thousands of customers using torque transducers all types of applications.

WATCH THE ENTIRE RECORDED NEW TWIST ON TORQUE EVENT

There is a lot of information packed in this online event including ten integration tips that will help you define your requirements to get the right sensor for the job. Be sure to check out the FAQs and innovative application highlights, where we showcase everything from ATV and Mountain Bike Testing to Poultry Feeders and Hydrogen Power Generation. You can see all our application notes here.

The topics discussed during this recorded event include:

  • The Evolution of Torque Measurement
  • Interface Torque Transducer Specifications and Designs
  • Useful Application Tips when Using Torque Transducers
  • Review of Couplings and Instrumentation
  • Customization and Calibration
  • Industry Use Cases
  • Frequently Asked Questions

You can watch all of our events on our Interface YouTube channel.

Additional Torque FAQs are here.

Making the Case for Custom Solutions Webinar Recap

Interface application experts and custom solution pros, Ken Bishop and Keith Skidmore provided valuable insights in our latest virtual event as to how, when, and why, you should connect with our team for help in designing, engineering, and building custom sensor solutions.

Making the Case for Custom Solutions, an Interface ForceLeaders hosted webinar, delved into the scope of options across all types of technologies and devices used in test and measurement. The focus of the event highlighted the importance of early engagement in the design and conception process when evaluating whether you needed something beyond a standard product.

Custom Solutions go beyond engineered to order products, where you might need to change a thread adapter, connector, or mounting hole. Interface custom solution can range from single components designed for unique applications to multiple components configured as a system. Custom solutions are most frequently used for OEM products, as embedded pieces.

Interface offers fully designed load cells or load pins to meet the application requirements. Torque transducers‘ options include custom shaft sizes, outputs, temperature ranges, and other configurations to fit the application. Wireless is also a common consideration for custom solutions, giving a wider use for monitoring, reporting, and system support.

If we build it, we can customize it. This also applies to multi-axis sensors and various types of instrumentation. In the webinar, Keith and Ken dive into several systems and use cases that highlight multiple components configured to exact specifications from mobile force testing systems to monitoring bridges seismic activity with special waterproof casings.

Six Custom Solution Design and Specification Recommendations for Getting Started

  1. What do you want to measure?
  2. How will the sensor be used?
  3. Do you need multiple sensors or a single device?
  4. Is this embedded into an OEM application or solely for test and measurement?
  5. Do you have a cost target?
  6. How will you read the results?

The mechanics of getting something custom starts with the scope and determining what needs to be measured. Then our experienced engineers will design the product working with your team. Once designs are approved, the manufacturing process begins. Using our state-of-the-art machine shop world-class assembly and custom solution calibration experts, Interface confidently delivers the products that stand with our seal of quality, accuracy, and performance standards.

Here are the topics discussed in the Making the Case for Custom Solutions event.

  • What is Considered an Interface Custom Solution
  • Differences Between Engineered to Order and Custom
  • Design and Specification Recommendations
  • Customizations Options and Considerations
  • Building Systems
  • Tips for Engaging Custom Solutions Engineers
  • The World of Possibilities
  • FAQs

Watch the entire event here:

The benefits of engaging Interface Custom Solutions Engineers are that we become an extension of your engineering resources along with access to our models, drawings, and assets to help with your project success. Whether we are building solutions with our proprietary strain gages or finding Bluetooth instrumentation for read-outs on custom load cells, we work as your partner with ownership in your project’s success.  It’s what we know, it’s what we do, and we get custom solutions. We’ve been doing custom solutions for force and torque for 52 years.

When you are ready to engage our team, we stand ready to help. We’ve been building small and large volume custom solutions for innovative industry leaders in aerospace, industrial automation, automotive, agriculture, infrastructure, energy, and more.  In Making the Case for Custom Solutions, Keith and Ken Put our experts to the test and let’s explore the possibilities together.

Get started by letting us know what you have in mind.  Request a custom solution here.

Read more in our What’s New in Custom Solutions post.

Additional Events:

Use Cases for Load Pins

Load Cell Basics

 

Couplings 101

One of the biggest challenges in the force measurement is dealing with misaligned loads. Misaligned loads can result in bad data and damaged test equipment. Therefore, it’s important to understand the affect these types of loading conditions can have on a force test and know of the ways to fix or account for it.

For every force test, there is typically a piece of equipment designed to deal with misaligned loads. Whether it’s simply applying the force device properly or if misaligned loads are unavoidable, using the right tools to reject misaligned load. Learning more about couplings is a great place start in knowing how to this power tool is designed to deal with misaligned loads in torque testing.

Couplings are a critical component to be used alongside torque transducer that ensures the isolation of torque loads. A coupling is a mechanical element that connects two shafts together to accurately transmit the power from the drive side to the driven side while absorbing the mounting error of misalignment of the two shafts. Essentially, they allow and compensate for misalignment in a torque test. It is one of the topics we discuss in our online webinar, New Twist on Torque.

For instance, if two shafts are coupled together and the center shafts aren’t aligned, measuring torque without a coupling may ruin the test, affecting the longevity of the parts and the performance of the measurement. With a coupling, the shafts don’t have to be perfectly aligned in length and can still provide an accurate torque test.

There are two main categories of couplings used in force measurement and the biggest difference in the two is the degree of freedom needed for the application. The categories are single-jointed and double-jointed. A single-jointed coupling allows for angular and axial misalignment, while double-jointed coupling allow for an additional radial misalignment. For floating mount installations, Interface recommend single-flex disk couplings. For fixed mount installations, double-flex disk couplings are required.

Couplings should be used in all applications and the selection of the coupling type is based on the speed of the application. For higher speed applications, Interface recommends a high-quality coupling with a flexible, yet sturdy construction made from premium metals.

Interface offers a wide variety of torque transducers and can provide couplings off the shelf or in a custom solution when necessary. One of our most popular torque solutions, which includes a coupling, is the Interface Model T1 Torque Coupling Rotary Torque Transducer. This solution integrates torque measurement with a robust double flex coupling.  The coupling and sensor are completely hollow, allowing the shortest possible distance between the coupled shaft ends. On-board digital electronics provide a ±5V output, low-noise signal. Powered by 12-28V DC, the strain gage based T1 Torque Coupling offers precision rotary torque measurement in a bearing-less, contact-free design. Covering ranges from 50 to 1000 Nm (443 to 8.85K lbf-in), the T1 ships with factory bored hubs to mate precisely with the customer’s shaft ends.  Both smooth and keyed shaft style hubs are available.

Examples of a torque solutions using a coupling in the field can be found in our application notes section of the website. We’ve provided an example of one such application below.

Fuel Pump Optimization – Rotary Torque

A nationally renowned race team was using a flow bench to measure fuel pump performance. They wanted to determine if they could reduce the power consump­tion of the pump by further analyzing the precise torque it produced. An Interface Model T25 High Speed Rotary Torque Transducer was integrated into the pump drive to directly measure the torque required to spin the pump. Interface Shaft Style Torque Transducer Couplings we’re also used to marry the shafts to the T25. Using this data collected from the T25 in conjunction with the pressure and volume measurements of the fuel flow, the race team was able to characterize fuel pump performance versus drive line torque, and then minimize the required drive power while maintaining the needed pressure and flow for efficient fuel delivery.

Couplings are an integral part of any torque test project. To learn more about couplings and their application in a wide variety of projects, reach out to Interface at 480-948-5555 or contact us here. We can suggest a combination of off-the-shelf transducers, couplings and data acquisition devices or work with you to develop a custom solution necessary for your goals.

ADDITIONAL READING: TORQUE TRANSDUCERS 101

Source: Keith Skidmore