Interface’s Sustaining Role in Arizona and the Global Business Ecosystem During COVID-19

For more than half a century, Interface has had the privilege of serving a wide variety of industries and helping our customers test, design, and manufacture products and infrastructure essential to everyday life. Our purpose at Interface defines our commitment to our customers. It simply says, “We enable innovation that improves people’s lives and keeps them safe.” 

Following our commitment to purpose and in adherence to the Arizona Governor’s Executive Order 2020-18, Interface is open for business as a classified essential business. We are working hard to remain your trusted leader in force measurement solutions during these challenging times. We are building products at our Arizona manufacturing headquarters, supporting our representatives and distributors, and shipping products to our customers every day. We are doing so with safety at the forefront in everything we do.

On March 23, 2020, Arizona’s Governor Doug Ducey issued an executive order outlining essential business services here in the state of Arizona. The list included businesses centered around certain imperative functions such as infrastructure operations, businesses critical to the national supply chain, transportation services and manufacturers. Interface force measurement technologies, tools, and systems touch just about every physical product or system that consumers and businesses use every day. Our products are used to support many of the business operations and products manufactured that are included in this essential services list.

Interface is committed to maintaining our business operations and ensuring our customers continue to receive the highest quality product and service without disruption. Our force measurement solutions are essential to the development of a countless amount of critical hardware across many key industries, from energy to healthcare. We are proud to be an enabler of the products and infrastructure that keeps our global economy running.

The essential market leaders and industries that Interface serves include aerospace, defense, automotive, construction and infrastructure, industrial automation, energy, medical and healthcare. Here is how we are helping some of these industries and why Interface is a key member in the supply chain that keeps these essential businesses operating, designing, engineering, testing, innovating and producing during these challenging times.


Interface products play a crucial role in the most highly regulated industry in the world – medical. Our force measurement solutions are used to test devices and instrumentation which keep patients safe and healthy. Interface’s accurate mini load cells are designed to measure medium to small forces. Our torque transducers provide rotary and reactive measurement for movement tracking, blood weighing, robotic surgery, eye surgery, and prosthetic testing. For example, we developed a custom solution that is used to test a prosthetic limb for force and torque capacity. We even provide OEMs with sensor technologies to measure force in use of their medical products. Our load cells are featured in applications used for the heart, as well as implanted devices designed to perform well-beyond the lifespan of the patient. We’ve also engineered and created custom solutions for a wide variety of medtech devices, as well as for leading bio and pharmaceutical companies. All of these applications serve as critical and essential to our existence. We are honored to help our customers with their life sustaining critical applications.

Aerospace & Defense:

Interface load cells and torque transducers are used to test everything from rocket engines to wing strength, flexibility and structural integrity for aircraft. Our product’s industry-leading accuracy and reliability are important to the aerospace industry because the longevity of our load cells are financially durable and our precision products ensure that measurements are precise. For example, one tiny inaccuracy in the measurement of an airplane wing’s force capacity can cause critical failures and have devastating effects. Innovation is core to this industry segment, from urban mobility to unmanned vehicles. Testing is fundamental in getting these products to market, while protecting all of us. These industries count on us and we continue to supply them with the products they need to keep us safe.

Infrastructure & Construction:

In construction, one of the key considerations in building a skyscraper, hospital or a home is the materials used to keep the structure sturdy in regular use or even a natural disaster. Material testing that uses Interface load cells is common. Our products are used in cycle testing on various metal and wood-based materials to ensure they hold up over time and through the elements. Our load cells can be used on cranes and other construction equipment to prevent overloading and weight testing. We also recently provided the materials for project using custom load pins to measure and monitor standard force from regular traffic and the seismic force of earthquakes.

Vehicle & Automotive:

The most important factor in automotive design and development is the safety of the driver. One of the ways that we serve the automotive industry is through products used in safety tests. One common application that uses Interface force measurement tools is brake pedal testing. Our load cells are used to measure, test, and optimize the force required to depress the brake pedal. Another application use case of Interface’s products helps in the need to increase productivity for automobile wheel installation, while ensuring that the lug nuts are installed to the proper torque values for safety purposes. These measurements need to be performed with the utmost care and accuracy, which is why many of the world’s most prominent automobile manufacturers turn to Interface for their force measurement solutions. These applications are used in testing of vehicles of all sorts and sizes, from large capacity trucks that move our food supply to farming equipment that harvests that supply. They even keep all our high-demand delivery drivers safer on the road. They count on us, as we count on them.

Industrial & Automation: 

Throughout factories across the world, producing everything from furniture to paper products, Interface load cells and torque transducers can be found on machines along the production line. Our products are featured in robotics, consumer packaging equipment, and even the machines that screw the cap on bottles, stamp logos and apply labeling. Force measurement tools are used to ensure the proper force is being used to complete these processes with minimal waste, while ensuring safe and secure packaging for the consumer. We see growing innovative ways to utilize load cells, multi-axis sensors and torque transducers to help accelerate production for vital products that are critical to our everyday life.

We are serving our purpose and mission to be part of supply chain for these industry applications, as a reliable supplier, expert manufacturer and dedicated community member. To learn more about Interface and the various industries and applications we serve, check out our application notes.

We are here to help! Stay safe and stay well.

Our COVID-19 response is here.


Interface Products Available to Buy Online with QS48 E-Commerce Service

The new QuickShip48® e-commerce service from Interface provides customers with an easy way to get the industry-leading force measurement products quickly and shipped within two business days.

The new QS48® Now service brings hundreds of Interface’s highest in-demand load cells, mini load cells, torque transducers, multi-axis sensors, indicators, and signal conditioners to customer’s doorsteps within a few days for their important test and measurement projects.

“As the pace of innovation continues to accelerate in the digital age, our customers need reliable and accurate test and measurement tools quickly. Our new online QuickShip48 e-commerce service guarantees fast access to in-demand products to meet our customer’s urgent development schedules and helps them get their innovations tested and to market faster.” Joel Strom, CEO, Interface

QS48 TruckInterface has hundreds of in-stock force measurement products available with the one-stop online shopping experience. The QuickShip48 accelerated e-commerce service offers a wide range of Interface’s readily available products that can be purchased with a credit card and shipped within two business days. All QS48 Now products ship from the company’s manufacturing headquarters in Arizona and are sent with expedited shipping to arrive within three to five days within the U.S.

Popular Interface products in multiple capacities and models are now available for online purchase at new QS48 e-commerce store, including:

For a complete list of QuickShip48 Interface products that are available for online purchase and 48-hour shipment, visit our new QS48 store at

If you need a quote or a custom solutions request, contact our experienced Application Engineers or connect with our local Representatives and International Distributors for assistance.


Torque Frequently Asked Questions

Torque is an incredibly important factor to understand and measure when designing products in the automotive, aerospace and defense, industrial, and even the medical sector in some cases. In order to arm our customers with critical information on torque and torque measurement, we created a Q&A of frequently asked questions from our resident experts and contributor to this post, Keith Skidmore.

How can you tell the direction of rotation from the output voltage?

The output of a torque sensor is most often bi-polar, which means the output reverses polarity as you cross through zero in your measurement. This has nothing to do with the direction of rotation, it only affects the direction of the torque. You cannot tell the direction using the voltage; however, in many cases, torque sensors can have an encoder installed in them in order to assess the direction of rotation.

What contributes to uncertainty for a torque calibration?

Often it is the actual application of the torque. When you are testing and doing comparison calibration, there are a lot of factors that can affect the results. You might think you are controlling for variances, but subtle differences can affect results.

How do you address unknown issues such as “start-up torque” and unknown torque transient spikes?

In general, start-up torque can be minimized by using a “soft start” on a motor and controlling the startup process. If there is a lot of inertia involved, you must be careful as starting up or powering down quickly can damage the torque sensor. Transient spikes would be factors that arise during testing such as compressor cycling or pulses from an engine.

It is most important to remember that torque sensor capacity should be selected so everything falls within a capacity range, and which sometimes means making an educated guess. Torque sensors always have a safe overload range. The overload range should be reserved only for accidental use. In addition, torque sensors have limits on how high they can go in terms of measurement, and that might be a lot less than their safe overload range.

You must size the sensor to measure appropriately. You can make estimates using horsepower, rpm, and some other factors to calculate torque to come up with an average and then you can factor in spikes. Just remember that starting conditions and spikes can be up to 10x running torque, so it’s very important to consider these.

When designing a rotary torque transducer into an application, do you think the pedestal-mount or the general-purpose floating rotary torque transducer is the best approach?

Generally, we would recommend floating-mount installations. The sensor should always be protected by appropriate couplings. On a floating installation, there should be single-flex couplings on each end of the sensor, and on pedestal or foot-mount, there should be double flex couplings at each end. The sensor is never intended to be used as a bearing block. In some applications, such as high rpm or when test setups need to be changed often, a pedestal-mount will make more sense. Additional design elements and considerations must be factored in.

How do you minimize slippage at the mating surfaces for torque cells that measure in both directions?

This is an issue that is not always considered but can be a big deal. It can affect the measurement and damage the hardware. There are really two considerations. First is the effect on measurement and second is damage to the mating surfaces, and they both need to be considered.

Ultimately, it depends on the types of couplings used and the types of sensors. For example, in flange connections, it’s not the bolts themselves that prevent slippage, but the friction between the mating surfaces. Surfaces must be clean and dry, and hardware torqued to spec.

Are there sensors available that can measure both applied load and torque simultaneously?

Yes. Interface calls these types of sensors axial torsion. In most cases they are static or reaction type torque sensors. Typically, they do not rotate or only rotate within a limited range.

Is there any reason to use a load cell over a torque transducer to measure torque?

Yes, there are several reasons. The main one is that a load cell is often less expensive. In some cases, you can get better accuracy (or the same) with a load cell. The downside is mounting considerations. Measuring torque using a load cell can be easy in some cases or in some cases prove difficult or impossible. Some applications will require a torque sensor for accurate measurement.

Is there any protection in case the test torque goes over the expected capacity?

Certain torque sensors have protections built-in, and that would be a mechanical stop that protects them. Those are typically lower capacity reaction style sensors.

Have additional questions regarding torque?

The Interface team is always here to help with all your torque needs! And to end 2019, Interface is offering a special discount to all our valued customers. We are offering a 10% discount on Interface Rotary Torque Transducers and Reaction Torque Transducers. We have multiple models and capacities in stock and ready to ship now. Contact our Application Engineers today and mention the promo code TORQUE2019.

*Please note that Interface’s AxialTQ Rotary Torque is not part of this promotion. Orders must be placed by December 31, 2019. 

CONTRIBUTOR:  Keith Skidmore, Regional Sales Director

Torque Brochure


Torque Transducers 101

Torque is defined as the rotational equivalent of linear force. It’s a measure of how much a force acting on an object causes that object to rotate. This is one of the key measurements for engineers doing design, test, and manufacturing. It’s critical to understand how to identify torque if you’re doing product development with rotating systems such as engines, crankshafts, gearboxes, transmissions, and rotors.

Interface develops more than 50 different kinds of reaction and rotary torque transducers, as well as custom transducers for our customers. All our torque transducers also referred to as torque sensors, are precision-machined and use our proprietary torque sensors for the most accurate data possible, quality and reliability.

Here are some frequently asked questions and details about torque transducers, including key terms and descriptions of reaction versus rotary, shaft and flange style torque, couplings, and floating and fixed mounts.

What is a torque sensor (transducer)?

A torque sensor is a transducer that converts a torsional mechanical input into an electrical output signal.

Reaction versus Rotary

There are two types of transducers that Interface sells, reaction and rotary transducers. Reaction torque transducers measure static torque, or torque without rotating, and are widely used in process control and testing. Rotary torque transducers like AxialTQ measure dynamic force and are used in applications where the torque transducer must rotate when attached to a spinning shaft. A rotary torque transducer provides a method of getting the signal off of the rotating element without an attached cable, while a reaction transducer uses an attached cable.

Shaft and Flange Style Torque

The shaft or flange is the component taking the torque measurement. Shaft style torque offers convenient mounting and has a longer installed length than flange style. It comes in two different versions, smooth and keyed shafts. A smooth shaft provides ease of assembly and disassembly, with zero backlash. Keyed style shafts are simple and less expensive; however, they can suffer from wear due to backlash. The flange style is typically shorter than the shaft style and has pilots on its flange face as a centering feature. This style has better resistance to overhung moments and can be more convenient to mount.


Couplings are a critical component to the torque transducer that ensures the isolation of torque loads. 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, you will want to look for high-quality couplings. The coupling helps to prevent error and/or damage from extraneous loads.

Floating and Fixed Mounts

Floating Style

There are two common types of torque transducer mounts, floating and fixed mounts. For high-speed applications, fixed and supporting mounting is mandatory. For safety reasons, floating mounts should only be used for low-speed applications. In floating mounts, the sensor is supported only by the drive and load side connectors, and a flexible strap keeps the sensor from rotating. Fixed mounts apply only to sensors with bearings, and it involves attaching the sensor housing to fixed support for added stability.

For more information on Interface’s wide selection of torque transducers, please visit

The Future of Automotive is Electric

Interface has been a longtime provider of force measurement solutions that help engineers develop the technology of tomorrow. One of our main areas of expertise during our 50 plus years in business has been in solutions for the automotive industry.

Interface has helped to revolutionize design and efficiency in this industry using our high accuracy test and measurement solutions. With the increased need for sustainable electric vehicles, we have set our sights on advancing this high-growth area in automotive.

“Less than 5 percent of vehicles sold in 2016 were equipped with EV power trains. Major OEMs have announced that they’re aiming to bring that number above 50 percent by 2021.” McKinsey Quarterly, February 2019

Electric vehicle design and manufacturing requires a precise level of accuracy in order to improve energy efficiency, minimize weight and maximize vehicle range. Battery technology has only come so far; therefore, maximizing power output is the key to improving vehicle design. To achieve this, test and measurement solutions need to be as accurate as possible.

Interface provides high accuracy torque transducers, load cells, load washers and more for two areas of electric vehicle testing: laboratory testing to optimize system performance and production testing to ensure product quality.

Interface’s Role in Vehicle Testing

Laboratory Testing

In laboratory testing, Interface force and torque measurement products are used to achieve high-efficiency in component and system designs. While electric vehicle designs are already very efficient, minimal design adjustments can make a difference to increase total range from a single charge. Making small incremental changes in efficiency, therefore, requires very accurate measurement capability.

Applications of our products in the laboratory environment include maximizing the system performance of electric vehicle drivetrain components, such as motors and gearboxes. As well as performance in auxiliary systems, such as air conditioning compressors and motors, power steering motors, and even brake systems. Accurately measuring the force of dynamic systems like suspension components allow the designer to minimize weight to improve overall vehicle range and performance.

Production Testing

Once the components are moved into the vehicle production phase, Interface solutions are used to ensure the product has been built per the design.  Our products can be used to measure the steady state, as well as the dynamic performance of components and systems.  Using measurement systems they can trust gives customers the confidence that the components and systems meet the performance and dependability expected for the vehicle design.

The key to electric vehicle design is balancing the relationship between efficiency, performance, and cost.  The further we can make electric vehicles go on a single charge, the more attractive these vehicles become for mass markets.

Optimized efficiency requires the most accurate measurements available to our customers and this is where Interface excels. Jake Shaffer, Senior Product Manager

In October 2018, Interface released AxialTQ, specifically designed to help in the transforming vehicle market, including electric and autonomous vehicles. You can read about AxialTQ and view this revolutionary next-generation torque measurement system in action here:

If you are interested in scheduling a demonstration of the product or inquiring about Interface’s precision solutions like AxialTQ that we are providing for force measurement testing of electric vehicles, contact us today.

Contributor:  Jake Shaffer, Senior Product Manager at Interface