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Insights in Torque Testing Featured in Quality Magazine

With the explosive growth in industrial automation and advanced manufacturing, torque measurement is a hot topic for test and measurement applications across a multitude of industries. We see demand rising due to the use in electric and autonomous vehicle testing, as well as in building components used in robotics and for spacecraft. Demand for torque transducers is so popular, Quality Magazine asked Interface’s product and custom solutions expert Keith Skidmore to contribute an article all about torque testing and how to get the most out of the transducer’s testing data.

Interface has a deep line of innovative torque transducers used where torque measurement is critical to the success of engineering and manufacturing products and components. We provide both an extensive array of standard transducers and custom torque solutions to be used in applications as large as rocket ships, to as small as measuring the torque on a bolt wrench.

Included below is a brief overview of Keith Skidmore’s contributed article in Quality Magazine outlining the basics of torque testing and providing examples of real-world applications of Interface products used to test and measure torque.

Getting The Most Out of Torque Testing

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 across a wide variety of industries where machines, vehicles, components and parts include a spinning or rotating motion. It’s critical to understand how to measure torque if you’re doing product development with these types of systems such as engines, crankshafts, gearboxes, transmissions, and rotors.

The incredibly wide variety of torque transducers, different types of devices and tests and the accompanying accessories necessary for different projects can make it difficult to determine what is needed for each individual application. For instance, torque tests are often used in the automotive industry to assess engine torque and speed, but the products used can differ between a typical gas vehicle and newly introduced electric vehicles. Torque is also frequently used to test the tightness of a variety of lug nuts and screws, which is an entirely different measurement solution.

This article provides a brief overview of the key considerations when planning for a torque test. It includes the different types of torque testing, the different torque sensor styles, accessories, mounts, and other tips and tricks. It also provides a brief overview of the potential applications of torque tests with pictures.

The article goes on to provide the basics of torque testing, as well as providing real world applications of torque test and measurement. Here is a preview of one of the applications included in Keith’s contribution to Quality Magazine. To read the article in its entirety, please click the link here.

Engine Dynamometer Testing

Engine DynamometerIn this application example, a rotary torque transducer is used to measure the speed and torque of an engine. This rotary transducer can sense the torque of the engine with high precision and provide an electrical output that is converted from an analog to a digital signal. A rotary transducer is necessary due to the spinning element involved in the engine. It’s paired with a very high-quality coupling and is mounted in a fixed position. Both are necessary to account for the high speeds used in the test. This application would allow the user to measure both torque and speed of the engine simultaneously, which will provide valuable data in confirming the design of the engine or determining if it needs to be adjusted for the vehicle it will drive.

To see the range of torque products offered by Interface, download our Interface Torque Transducers brochure.

Additional Resources

New Twist on Torque Webinar

Torque Measurement for Electric Vehicles

Dental Handpiece Torque Check

OEM: Torque Verification

AxialTQ™ Wireless Rotary Torque Transducer

 

Interface Solutions for Testing Tools

Interface load cells, torque transducers and instrumentation are commonly used in the test and measurement of different tools and fasteners used in testing products and actual production of various machines and components. The sensor data received in measuring assembly tools and fixtures used in securing nuts, bolts, and screws, is critical in making safe and reliable products.

For example, the ability to measure torque on screws and the force output of a screwdriver or wrench is very important when there are tight tolerances involved like in engineering and build of automotive or aerospace and defense machines and parts.

As we did for the machine testing blog, we’ve detailed a few examples of how Interface force and torque solutions are used in measuring tools performance for both design and assembly.  You can find additional application notes on these examples and more by visiting our industry solutions.

Bolt Fastening Force and Torque

An aerospace company was working on a test plan that involved taking torque and compression measurements on fasteners with varying joint materials. The system required both high and low sampling rates, in addition to the capability of precisely measuring force and torque simultaneously. They required reliable accuracy and long-term stability. The test plan intended to provide verification of required force and torque specifications for fasteners, to ensure safety without compromising installation. Interface suggested a LW or LWCF Load Washer in conjunction with a  T12 Square Drive Rotary Torque Transducer. With this solution, the customer was able to align force and torque measurements to desired levels. This was accomplished by combining the sensors with the high sample rate of the data logging and graphing capabilities of the SI-USB, capturing real-time force and torque levels for examination. The fasteners were tightened to the specified force and torque requirements and were safely installed without impairment to themselves or the joint material. The customer was able to measure the rapid event effectively and accurately. Read more about this bolt fastening solution here.

Aircraft Screwdriver Fastening Control

An airplane manufacturer needed a solution where they can control the torque when fastening screws on their airplane models. They didn’t want to create any damage to materials or apply too much torque when plane components are being fastened together. Interface suggested a T15 Hex Drive Rotary Torque Transducer, which can be attached to the fastening work bench, measuring and recording torque, rotational speed, and angle of the screwdriver. The LWCF Clamping Force Load Cell is installed, measuring the forces applied on the screw being fastened. Results are sent to the SI-USB4 4-channel USB Interface Module, which is connected to the customer’s PC or laptop where data is logged, graphed, and displayed. This solution allowed the airplane manufacturer to calibrate their screwdriver by measuring its torque, rotational speed, and angle, when attaching materials together for their airplane. They were also able to measure the forces being applied to the screw, to ensure it was not applying too much torque to the components. You can learn more about the aircraft screwdriver application here.

Ratchet Wrench Torque Verification

A customer wanted to perform regular torque testing on his ratchet-type torque wrench while recording these values for future examination. Interface supplied a model TS15 Square to Flange Reaction Torque Transducer with the INF-USB3 PC Interface Module for the customer to use. The customer mounted TS15 to work bench through flange and inserted the ratchet-type torque transducer into the TS15. Using this product, the customer was able to accurately perform their calibration checks and view the results while logging them to their PC Computer.  Learn more about this wrench torque verification testing here.

While not nearly as complex as machine testing applications, tools testing is equally important to the outcome of a project. The tools and fasteners used, even those as simple as a bolt and wrench, need to be accurately measured and assembled to avoid loose connection or overtightening that can damage the product. Interface provides a host of tool testing solutions for nearly anything that outputs force or torque. To learn more about our tool testing solutions, visit us at www.interfaceforce.com.

Additional Resources

Force Measurement Solutions for Bolt and Screw Fastening

Bolt Fastening- Force

Fastening Work Bench

Engine Head Bolt Tightening

Interface’s Steering Role in All Types of Transportation

Interface serves a wide variety of industries that design and manufacture movers of people and objects. The transportation sector consists of companies that assist in the movement people or goods, as well as supporting infrastructure. Whether it is automobiles or planes, trains or helicopters, spacecraft or water vessels, Interface provides solutions to help test and measure force, weight, torque, lift and more.

The safety, quality and reliability of the overall transportation industry are all important considerations in design, build and performance. Human safety being the most critical requirement of any transport vehicle or structure.

This means that stringent testing is necessary to confirm the design of every part and system on a vehicle. Force measurement sensors can used to test a wide variety of factors on every type of invention that moves or transports a person or thing. From the torque of an electrical vehicle engine to the weight distribution of an aircraft, these types of tests help to refine the designs of components, vessels, and vehicles, confirming safety and dependability.

All Interface product categories have a role in the testing of all these transportation entities.  Many of our sensor technologies are also ideal for performance monitoring and integration into product designs, whether it’s for ongoing measurement of weighing ship cargo with load pins, load shackles and tension links or using our torque transducers for engine testing on e-bikes, automobiles, trucks, buses, and other transport vehicles.  If it moves, it needs to be measured. Our force and torque solutions are ideal for every segment of this market sector.

Let’s take a quick tour of a few application examples that demonstrate the different products we provide that are helping get people and objects safely moving down the road, on the rails, in the air and even into space.

Wind Tunnel Testing

A major aerospace company was developing a new airplane and needed to test their scaled model for aerodynamics in a wind tunnel, by measuring loads created by lift and drag. Interface offered a Model 6A154 6-Axis Load Cell which was mounted in the floor of the wind tunnel and connected to the scaled model by a stalk. A Model BX8-AS was then connected to the sensor to collect data. The wind tunnel blew air over the scaled model creating lift and drag, which was measured and compared to the theoretical airplane models. Software in the PC converted raw data signals to actual force and torque values at the stalk. Using this solution, the company was able to analyze the collect data and made the necessary adjustments in their design to improve the aerodynamics of their theoretical airplane models. Read more.

Garbage Truck On-Board Weighing

A garbage disposal company wanted to test the load capacity of their garbage truck bins so they know when it reached maximum capacity. Interface’s solution was to customize and install 4 SSB Sealed Beam Load Cells under the garbage box body, on either side. When trash continues to be piled inside the box body, it will push more force down onto the SSB Sealed Beam Load Cells. When maximum load capacity has been reached, the results can be reviewed and displayed when connected to the 482 Battery Powered Bidirectional Weight Indicator in real time. With this system, the customer was able to test the maximum load capacity of the garbage bin attached to the truck, so they know when to empty the truck’s garbage at the transfer station. Read more.

Engine Head Bolt Tightening

Enging Bolt TighteningAn industrial automation company was building an automated assembly machine for an auto manufactur­ing plant. They needed to tighten all head bolts on an engine on their assembly line to a specific torque value. Having the head bolts precisely and consistently tightened to the engine block is critical to the operation of the engine. Several Interface Model T33 Spindle Torque Transducers were installed in their new machine to control torque, angle, and ensure the head bolt was properly tight­ened. The square drive of the T33 allowed the customer to fix their tool directly to the end of the torque sensor, streamlining the installation. When the machine comes down and screws on the engine head bolts the torque and angle profile are sent to the customer’s machine controller. Based on the feedback received by the machine controller, the automation will pass the engine to the next step in the assembly line or fail and have the engine evaluated further. This allowed the customer to ensure the head bolts were correctly installed according to manufacturer specifications, producing an engine that meets performance and reliability expectations of the auto manufacturing plant. Read more.

Bicycle Load Testing

A mountain bike manufacturing company wanted a system that measures their bike frames load capacities and vibrations on the frame. They also want to ensure the bike’s high quality and frame load durability during this final step of the product testing process. Interface suggested installing Model SSMF Fatigue Rated S-Type Load Cell, connected to the WTS-AM-1E Wireless Strain Bridge, between the mountain bike’s seat and the bike frame. This will measure the vibrations and load forces applied onto the bike frame. When a heavy load is added to the seat, the SSMF Fatigue Rated S-Type Load Cell measures the vibrations and load forces applied to the bike to indicate any stress points through a number of cycles. The results will be captured by the WTS-AM-1E and transmitted to the customer’s PC using the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station. This solution helped the mountain bike manufacturing company gather highly accurate data to determine that their bikes met performance standards through this final testing cycle. Read more.

These are just a brief example of the work we do in transportation. Interface systems have been involved in projects with boats, races cars, construction vehicles and even rocket ships. Manufacturers turn to Interface because of our track record for accuracy and the transportation industry relies on this data to keep its customers safe.

For additional insights and ideas related to transportation solutions, here are a few more posts to read.

Interface Plays a Role in Testing Bicycles

Evolving Urban Mobility Sector for Test and Measurement

Interface’s Crucial Role in Vehicle and Urban Mobility Markets

Measurement Technologies for Boats, Yachts and Watercraft

Interface and The Race to Space

Driving Force in Automotive Applications

To review more application notes pertaining to transportation or to talk to an application engineer about your next project, contact us or call us at 480-948-5555.

Why Machine and Equipment Manufacturers Choose Interface

For innovators in the equipment and components manufacturing industry, data is everything. Quality data can make the difference between average and high-quality products and every bit of information gathered allows OEMs to make improvements that go a long way in performance and accuracy.

This is especially true in the design, test and evaluation of high-volume manufacturing where an increasing number of companies are implementing automation. To ensure consistent and repeatable quality, it’s important that there are capabilities to constantly gather data to monitor automated systems. If a machine is about to break or needs calibration, an automated system should be able to notify them without any human intervention.

How does an organization get more performance measurement data to improve its manufactured products? The answer we know best is with precision sensors. Sensors of all types, sizes, and shapes are being integrated into a wide variety of machines, equipment, and products to gather analytics that improve design and manufacturing. Interface is proud to contribute to this growing wave of big data requirements through our force and torque sensors.

Force sensors can be used in a number of different applications to help enable automation of certain process and systems. Essentially, force sensors are used as part of a controlled feedback loop. When a force is placed on a part within a product, the sensor can tell an electronic system to make something else happen.

As a simple example, force sensors could be placed inside of a large industrial dumpster outside of a manufacturing plant. When the dumpster nears full capacity, a signal could be sent to an automated compactor within the dumpster to make more space. It could also merely notify a waste management company to come and empty the dumpster.

Interface has worked on a number of what we call “OEM Solutions.” This term basically refers to our products that are typically high volume and have Interface sensor technologies integrated into the design and production. We often custom engineer and engineer these solutions to fit the exact requirements of the innovators and product design teams.

As a end-to-end manufacturer, we build to spec, manage the supply chain of sensors, and inventory for our OEM customers. When engineered-to-order requires thousands of products, they can rely on Interface as a trusted partner. Included below are a few examples of products that we provided our products to advance use, performance and quality. Read more about our custom OEM solutions and capabilities here.

Interface OEM Solution Examples

This first example is the design of force sensors in prosthetic limbs. An Interface force transducer provides feedback from a knee or elbow joint and tell an electric motor to move the limb in certain ways. This would allow someone without an arm or leg to have a wider range of movement and enjoy a variety of new capabilities.

Another example is the use of force sensors in the energy industry. Interface sensors can be used to optimize the process of energy production and extraction. In this scenario, a force sensor measures the rate at which the machine removes the source and provides data that tells the operator the most effective rate for getting the most most volume without overloading the mechanics. Not only does this allow for a more efficient process, it also adds another layer of safety to people and the environment. Interface was selected as the top energy solutions provider.

An interesting consumer packaged goods application example we provided a solution for included multiple Interface SPI Platform Scale Load Cells installed on a machine that filled potato chips into a bag. Force results from the potato chips are read by the load cells and sent to an ISG Isolated DIN Rail Mount Signal Conditioner. The supplier is then able to control the automated production from their command center. Using this solution, the manufacturer can determine the weight of the potato chips being distributed into their bags with highly accurate results – meaning every bag of chips is consistent in the amount of chips and total weight.

These are all examples of OEM solutions that turn data into better efficiency or additional capabilities across three industries, while there are countless other applications for OEM solutions from Interface used in consumer goods, robotics and medical devices. From automation to quality control and safety, force measurement helps manufacturers create better products and better production facilities, resulting in a great customer experience.

Interface has invested a great deal of resources into our manufacturing processes and technologies to serve this market. We’ve improved automation in our facilities to lower costs and work directly with our customers to develop the perfect force sensor for every project that can be produced at volume. Not to mention, our propensity for developing the most accurate force sensors on the market mean high quality data and results every time.

To learn more about our OEM solutions, contact our OEM experts and let us know how we can help!
OEM Brochure Web

Interface Supplies Agriculture Industry with Sensor Technologies

The global agribusiness industry is estimated to be $5 trillion and growing rapidly. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) notes that agriculture innovators and product development are contributions to quality of life, economic growth, employment, and environment in a big way. Interface is proud to be a supplier of sensor solutions, from load cells to instrumentation, to the agriculture industry.

Any time you are manufacturing tractors, self-propelled harvesting combines, robotics, silo structures, monitoring technologies and other equipment used for crop production and farm animal management, test and measurement has an important part. T&M is essential in validating performance, functionality, and safety. Interface load cells, torque transducers, multi-axis sensors, instrumentation and data acquisition systems are essential for these different kinds of agricultural applications. These products can be paired together to ensure efficiency, sustainability, and proper production planning. Interface sensors can also regulate through harsh weather conditions often experienced on a farm such has rain, humidity and unbearable temperatures, both low and high, while still maintaining a high testing and measurement performance.

In the case study Interface Solutions Used in Growing Agriculture Innovation, we outline how our sensors and data acquisition devices are designed to provide engineers with high-quality force and torque data to monitor and confirm the design and in-action processes of a wide variety of equipment. Interface products are ideal for manufacturers that develop agricultural machinery. Load cells and torque transducers, as well as DAQ and instrumentation solutions provide accurate force and torque data to monitor and confirm the design and in-action processes. This applies to a wide variety of agriculture equipment used to push, pull, lift, contain, and move things ranging from seed to cattle. To perfect these inventions and ensure safety, Interface sensors play a pivotal role.

If you would like to dig into a series of use cases that for the agriculture industry, we’ve included links below:

Faces of Interface Featuring Jeff Boyd


Interface Regional Sales Director Jeffrey Boyd has a long history in the force measurement industry and is an incredible addition to the Interface sales team. You see, force measurement runs in Jeff’s blood!

Jeff originally got into the industry because he watched and listened to his dad talk about his experience at another force measurement manufacturer, Sensor Development. In fact, his dad actually helped start the company when he joined the owner shortly after the company was founded. You could say that Jeff was somewhat groomed for success in this field.

To prepare for his destined career, Jeff spent a few years at Oakland University. After that, he quickly joined up with his dad at Sensor Development. Jeff started in the calibration department, learning the ins and outs of strain gages, load cells, torque sensors and everything in between. After a few years, he was leading both the calibration services and customer service department. Jeff was in charge of ensuring customer satisfaction when products came in for repair, service or calibration.

After several years getting hands on with the products and developing critical expertise in the various sensors the company sold, Jeff decided it was time to transition into a sales role. He originally began as a sales engineer helping to develop customer quotes and working directly with the engineering department on custom applications. His success in sales lead him to become a regional sales manager in 2014.

From 2014 to 2017, Jeff served as regional sales manager for Sensor Development until it was bought out by HITEC Sensors and was renamed to HITEC Sensors Development. Jeff remained with HITEC for another four years before it was time for exploring new opportunities.

Due to his experience in the industry, Jeff was familiar with the Interface brand and our product’s reputation for quality and accuracy. Right about the time Jeff’s time with HITEC was coming to end, Interface had an opening for a Regional Sales Position due to Keith Skidmore‘s promotion to our specialized Custom Solutions team.

Jeff joined Interface in the Spring of 2021 and is a perfect fit, technically and professionally. Not only because of Jeff’s years of experience, also because he continues to live in Michigan and will be covering Interface’s Central U.S. region working with our manufacturer’s representative firm, Stress Analysis Services. He’ll be working with our sales reps, including John Guy, and our customers to ensure they get exactly what they require from Interface. He knows the area and knows the needs of the industry well.

As for why Jeff chose Interface, he says it’s because of the people. Throughout the interview process and during these first few weeks, Jeff mentioned how supportive and friendly his teammates and the leaders of the company are working to ensure his success. He also sees the trajectory that Interface is currently on and knows that he will have an opportunity to grow and thrive alongside Interface.

When he’s not helping customers find the perfect product or customer solution for their test and measurement needs, Jeff is spending time with his wife and his five grown sons and granddaughter. Living through the cold Michigan winters make vacationing to the warmth a must. Jeff and his wife frequently travel to Las Vegas and Arizona or any other warm state to escape. Though, they also like to spend some of their time cheering on their favorite football teams. Notably, the household is a bit divided when it’s game time. Jeff is also an avid golfer and spends a lot of his down time on the course.

We’re so glad to have Jeff on our team as our new ForceLeaders member and we can’t wait to see what we’ll achieve together in interest of our valued Interface customers.

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

Faces of Interface Featuring Mark Bliss

For our newest edition of Faces of Interface, we had the opportunity to talk with Mark Bliss, senior application engineer, with our manufacturer’s representative, Minnesota Measurement Engineering.

Minnesota Measurement Engineering (MNME) works across a wide variety of industries throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Western Wisconsin, and Iowa. They help engineers specify sensing, testing, and measuring products that best fit their needs and the needs of their application. In addition, MNME builds and integrates custom test and measurement systems for customers. We are thrilled to have them as a partner and are proud to feature Mark Bliss and the team at MNME.

Mark is proud to be a career learner, especially as it pertains to science and engineering. Mark’s mother was a librarian, and his father was involved in science. His upbringing led both himself and his brother to pursue a career in engineering.

Mark attended the University of Minnesota, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. During his time in school, he also engaged in several high-profile internships with Thermo King Corporation, Ecolab, Inc., and Honeywell. This experience helped him get hired at Boeing shortly after college.

Mark spent a year and two months with Boeing as a mechanical design engineer before he and his wife decided they wanted to return to Minnesota. With the move, Mark joined MTS Systems Corporation where he served as a mechanical engineer and program leader within the Systems Product Development R&D Group.

Mark also started his own engineering consulting services company 2RM, LLC. Mark’s passion for engineering pushed him to moonlight as a consultant for everything from OEMs to startups. Some of the work he conducted included custom machine design, structural finite element analysis and optimization, reverse engineering, prototyping, component and material sourcing, in addition to boosting his skill set in sales, accounting, marketing and customer service.

In 2015, Mark was looking for a new challenge and saw an opportunity to take on a sales role at MNME while still applying his passion for engineering through the custom systems side of the business.

As a Senior Application Engineer at MNME, Mark is responsible for assisting customers with force, torque, pressure, acceleration, position, flow, vibration, data acquisition, and custom solutions for R&D, industrial, and OEM applications. His role includes supporting customer product information and quoting requests, visiting customers to understand and identify needs, following up on leads and principal contact reports, identifying sales opportunities and maintaining relationships with customers of all sizes.

Mark mentions that the best part about his position with MNME is the fact that he gets to see and work with new technology every day. Some days he might be working with a medical device manufacturer and the next day he is selling solutions for an autonomous vehicle. The diversity of his customers keeps him on his toes and ensures he’s always learning something new.

He also loves the fact that he gets to continue getting hands on with technology. One of the unique capabilities of MNME is the fact that they act as both a manufacturer’s rep, as well as a solutions provider. Many of Mark’s customers leverage him to develop custom systems or help integrate systems in their test and measurement process.

So where does Interface fit into all this? Going back again to MTS Systems, Mark would often interact with Interface. He developed a fondness for our force measurement products and systems because of their accuracy, durability and reliability. When he moved to MNME, he continued that relationship on the sales side and now acts as one of our top reps!

He, his wife and their two girls are also highly active. The family enjoys downhill skiing, boating, fishing and camping, as well as traveling the world. When we spoke to Mark, he discussed a many skiing trips he had taken in Austria, Germany, and Canada. Finally, if he wasn’t already involved in enough, he also enjoys investing in stocks and bonds. The man certainly keeps himself busy!

We are proud to have Mark at MNME representing Interface products and services. Working alongside Josh Sebasky, both provide Interface customer’s a great depth of experience and knowledge whether it is finding the right load cells or torque transducers for a test project or customizing a verification load frame solution for test and measurement programs.

To locate a representative or distributor in your area, please visit here.

Driving Force in Automotive Applications

Among the most highly regulated industries in the world, automotive is up there with the likes of medical and defense. Every component and system needs to be thoroughly tested and deliberately analyzed to ensure that the final product is safe for the driver, other vehicles and pedestrians. Any mistakes or failures can cause catastrophic damage and put lives at risk.

There are hundreds of thousands of different tests that car parts and software go through before they are approved for the road. Among them is force measurement testing. Force and torque tests are integral to the structural and mechanical design and build of the car. Gathering data on the build quality and safety of materials and components found within cars, trucks and more is done through a wide variety of different force measurement testing.

Interface has been a partner to the automotive industry for more than 50 years, from the major OEMs to smaller parts manufacturers and test labs. We build force and torque sensors and acquisition devices designed to provide automotive engineers and manufacturers with high-quality data to monitor and confirm the design and in-action processes of a wide variety of vehicles.

Force testing applications for the automotive industry involve everything from structural, engine, brake, seat belt and suspension tests, all the way down to individual lug nut torque testing.

Recently, Interface has also been supplying solutions to those in the growing electrical vehicle (EV) market. EV cars and other motor vehicles present a wide variety of unique challenges for engine torque and battery technology testing.

As an example of some of the products we offer to the industry, we are highlighting Interface expertise in different automotive applications. This will include specific examples of work we’ve done for our customers recently or in the past.

BRAKE PEDAL TESTING

One of the largest areas of automotive test and measurement we are involved in is brake pedal testing. Our customers need to ensure that applying certain amounts of force to the brake will slow and stop the vehicle as intended.

In this application note, Interface supplied our customer with a BPL-300-C Brake Pedal Load Cell, which was installed on the brake pedal. As the user depressed the brake pedal, force data was transmitted by our BTS-AM-1 Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Strain Bridge Transmitter Module to the BTS Toolkit Mobile App and displayed on a mobile device. This allowed our customer to view and graph the data in real-time.

Read the application note for Brake Pedal Testing here.

EV BATTERY TESTING

In the EV market, one of the most integral pieces of technology is the battery used to run every piece of hardware and software in the car. One of the critical tests that’s performed on EV batteries in compression testing. As an EV battery is charged and stores more electrons, it swells. If the packaging that houses the batteries is not intelligently designed to compensate for this swelling, you could have a major problem.

For this challenge, Interface can supply the popular WMC Miniature Load Cell. The load cell will measure compression force as a battery goes through charge cycles on a test stand to determine the force given off as the battery swells. This allows our customers to design the proper packaging for the batteries.

Read more about Interface’s role in the The Future of Automotive is Electric.

SUSPENSION TESTING

A personal favorite of the Interface team is a suspension test we performed on a race car. As you can imagine, race car components need to be finely tuned for optimal performance. The suspension is one of the most significant factors in the tuning process.

Using an Interface Model 1200 Standard Load Cell, we were able to measure simulated motions of a racetrack including bumps, banks and other track conditions. This allowed the customer to gather highly accurate (0.04%) measurements of loads applied to individual suspension points. This type of suspension testing technology can also be performed on a regular commercial automobile, but the race car example is much more fun!

View the race car suspension testing application here.

MOTOR TESTING

In this motor test stand application, it was used in the quality control lab of a major automotive manufacturing customer that needed to test, record and audit the torque produced by a new motor design under start load.

Interface supplied a Model AxialTQ Rotary Torque Transducer that connected between the motor and the differential, on the drive shaft, which could measure and record these torque values. Based on the data collected using the AxialTQ, AxialTQ Output Module, and customer laptop, the test engineer was able to make recommendations to optimize the amount of torque created by the new motor design.

You can read more about the AxialTQ in this post.  

The wide variety of applications for automotive force testing that Interface has been involved in is significant. We have many published application notes beyond those highlighted, including Seat Testing, Engine Head Bolt Tightening and one for an Engine Dynamometer (dyno for short) use case. The examples listed above just scratch the surface.

Interface is a preferred partner to the automotive industry.  To review some of the automotive application notes we have published, please check out our website at /solutions/automotive-vehicle/. You can also give us a call to learn more about the various solutions we offer for customers in the automotive industry at 480-948-5555.