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Force Measurement Sensors are Essential to Modern Industrial Machinery

 

Industrial machinery plays a vital role in the global economy. It helps to improve productivity and efficiency, and it is essential to produce many of the goods we rely on daily.

Industrial machinery use cases range from equipment used in manufacturing and construction to transportation and robotics. Force measurement sensors and instrumentation play a critical role in ensuring industrial machinery’s safe and efficient operation.

Interface sensor technologies, including our load cells and multi-axis sensors, provide critical data for various machinery designs and functions. Interface analog and digital instrumentation products are available to amplify, condition, and display the signals from force measurement sensors.

The accuracy of force, torque, and weight measurements guide industrial machinery’s design and performance mechanisms.

What types of industrial machinery are using Interface measurement products today?

  • Machine tools used for grinding, drills, and lathes
  • Fabrication apparatus used for bending, shearing, and welding
  • Assembly equipment for production environments that include conveyor belts, robotic arms, and picking devices
  • Testing, quality control, and safety inspection equipment
  • Heavy equipment operational controllers for forklifts, cranes, and hoisting gear
  • Construction machinery such as loaders, bulldozers, and lifts

Industrial machinery is prevalent in manufacturing vehicles, aircraft, consumer goods, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals. Heavy-duty machinery is standard in energy production, mining, forestry, agriculture, and transportation.

The machines’ quality heavily depends on the accuracy of measurements used in the initial design, retrofitting, production, and practice. Interface products provide the products that enable machines to operate at peak performance safely and efficiently. Learn more in our new Interface Industrial Machinery Solutions, a part of Industrial Automation market offerings.

How Interface Measurement Solutions Used in Industrial Machinery

Machine Safety Monitoring

Interface products are used for monitoring the performance of machines and for management in sensing potential problems before they cause a failure. Interface measurement technologies are used in construction machinery to enable operators to gauge the force applied to materials, preventing overexertion and potential damage. Read Interface Solutions for Safety and Regulation Testing and Monitoring

Heavy Machinery and Lifting Equipment

In material handling equipment, force sensors help prevent accidents and injuries. Interface load cells, including load pins and shackles, monitor loads, weight, and distribution. Learn more about lifting solutions in our Engineered Solutions for Lifting Webinar.

Manufacturing and Production Machines

Manufacturers rely on Interface sensor solutions in industrial machines such as injection molding machines to monitor the force applied to the mold or how they are used in machines to ensure correct product packaging. The efficiency of machines is enhanced by correctly measuring the forces applied during different operations. Force sensors help ensure products are assembled correctly and within tolerance on production lines.

Industrial Automation Machines and Robotics

Interface sensors in industrial machines such as robots allow for more precise and delicate tasks that measure force at touch and throughout the entire operation. In machine tools, load cells assist in monitoring cutting forces and prevent damage to tools and workpieces. In robotic arms and automated assembly lines, force sensors provide precise force application during welding, riveting, and material handling.

Benefits of Using Interface Products in Industrial Machinery

  • Improved safety: Load cells can help prevent accidents and injuries by monitoring the weight and distribution of loads and ensuring that machines operate correctly.
  • Increased productivity: Force measurement sensors can help improve machines’ efficiency by optimizing the force applied during different operations. Force measurement sensors can help reduce machine downtime and enhance the quality of products with accurate data, helping to make intelligent decisions.
  • Reduced waste and operating costs: Measurement devices can help to reduce costs by preventing machine failures and improving the quality of products.

Force measurement sensors and instrumentation are essential components of modern industrial machinery. They ensure the safe, efficient, and productive operation of these machines. Contact Interface application engineers to evaluate the best sensor technologies for your specific test and measurement pe failures and improving the quality of products.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Hydraulic Press Machines and Load Cells

Sanding Machine Force Monitoring

Interface Solutions for Machine Builders

Metal Press Cutting Machine

Laser Machine Cutting Force App Note

Ice Machine Weighing

Force Measurement Testing Improves Products and Consumer Safety

Cobot Safety Programming

Crane Capacity Verification App Note

Wireless Telemetry Systems 101

A wireless telemetry system enables the remote measurement and transmission of data from one location to another without the need for physical wired connections.  As technology advances, wireless telemetry systems are becoming increasingly sophisticated, reliable, and secure, enabling them to be applied in various industries and use cases for test and measurement applications.

Interface offers a wide range of wireless telemetry products. Components in wireless telemetry systems typically include sensors, transducers, instrumentation, communication modules, transmitters, displays, and printers.

The sensors measure tension, compression, weight, torque, or any other measurable quantity. Interface utilizes proprietary strain gage sensor technologies. Transducers convert analog signals from sensors into digital data that can be processed and transmitted to instrumentation.

Load cells are commonly used with wireless telemetry systems to measure and transmit data about the force or weight applied to an object. The load cell converts the force exerted on it into an electrical signal, which can then be wirelessly transmitted to a remote monitoring system.

The most popular Interface wireless load cells are our WTS 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile® Wireless Load CellWTSTL Wireless Tension Link Load Cell, WTSLP Wireless Stainless Steel Load Pin and WTSSHK-D Wireless Crosby™ Load Shackle. Interface works with our customers to develop engineered-to-order wireless solutions by request.

The analog output from the load cell may require signal conditioning to ensure accuracy and compatibility with the wireless telemetry system. Signal conditioning can also be required for amplification, filtering, and analog-to-digital conversion to convert the analog signal into a digital format.

Wireless communications modules are responsible for transmitting the data over wireless channels. It can use various communication technologies like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, depending on the application’s requirements. The transmitter is responsible for wirelessly communicating the load data to the receiving end of the telemetry system.

There are various options for data collection. Data acquisition instrumentation is preferred in force measurement applications to collect vast amounts of data from sensors and transducers and prepare it for transmission.

At the receiving end of the telemetry system, another wireless communication module receives the data from the load cell’s transmitter. Once the data is processed, it can be analyzed, logged, and displayed on a user interface, such as a computer dashboard or a mobile app. This allows operators, engineers, or users to monitor the load values in real-time and make informed decisions based on the data

Interface Wireless Telemetry System (WTS) Solutions

The Interface Wireless Telemetry System (WTS) offers flexibility by eliminating physical connections, making deploying sensors in remote or challenging environments easier. Wireless telemetry systems offer more flexibility in sensor placement and system configuration.

The absence of physical wires allows for easier repositioning or adding new sensors without significant infrastructure changes. This setup is particularly useful in scenarios where it is challenging or impractical to use wired connections, such as in large-scale industrial applications or when monitoring moving or rotating machinery.

Wireless Telemetry System Components

Wireless Transducers

Wireless Transmitters

Wireless Receivers

Wireless Output Modules

Wireless Displays and Instrumentation

This is a list of what types of products are available. The Interface WTS offering continues to grow with added products to the line. Check out the Wireless Modular System Overview for more system details.

Wireless Telemetry System Benefits

The Interface WTS is a wireless telemetry system that transmits high-quality data to single and multiple devices. It offers a wide variety of benefits, including:

  • High accuracy: The WTS offers measurement accuracy of ±0.02% of full scale, ensuring you get accurate readings from your sensors.
  • High speed: A high-speed system can transmit data up to 1000 Hz.
  • High resolution: The WTS has a resolution of 10,000 counts, which means that you can measure even slight changes in force.
  • Multiple configuration options: The WTS can be configured to meet a wide variety of needs. You can choose from a variety of transmitters, output modules, receivers, antennas, and displays.
  • Easy to use: It is a modular system that can be easily expanded to meet the needs of your application. It is supported by our powerful WTS Toolkit configuration software, making it easy to set up and use.
  • IP-rated enclosures: The WTS transmitters and receivers are available in two different-sized enclosures that are rated to IP67, making them dustproof and waterproof.

A major benefit of wireless telemetry systems is the ability to adapt and expand by adding additional sensors or devices without the constraints of wires and cables. They are easy to integrate, and installation is fast for immediate benefits.

Wireless telemetry integrates with the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud-based platforms, enabling centralized data storage, analysis, and easy access from multiple devices.

Read: Interface Wireless Telemetry System Review

Applications Using Interface Wireless Telemetry System Solutions

Aerospace: Wireless options are preferred for large projects that require careful movement and testing of aircraft, components, and systems. Providing flexibility in real-time data without the cable is a huge benefit. See these WTS solutions for Aircraft Engine Hoist and Airplane Jacking System

Industrial Automation: Load cells with wireless telemetry are commonly used in industrial environments for weighing large objects, such as in material handling, manufacturing, and logistics. Check out IoT Lifting Heavy Objects.

Medical and Healthcare: Wireless medical telemetry systems, such as wearable health devices, are used for patient monitoring. In medical settings, wireless load cells are used in patient lifts and hospital beds to monitor patient weight and movement. Learn more in our Patient Hoyer Lift application.

Agriculture: The agriculture industry uses WTS to monitor crop management programs and measure the weight of produce, animal feed, or livestock. Check out this use case: WTS Equine Bridle Tension System App Note.

Energy: The energy industry utilizes wireless load cells and telemetry products to remotely monitor oil wells, pipelines, and storage facilities. Check out Tank Weighing and Center of Gravity

Infrastructure: Civil engineers use WTS to assess the health and integrity of structures like bridges and dams. Monitoring loads on bridges and cranes to ensure safety and structural integrity. Check out Road Bridge Lift Monitoring.

Manufacturing: There are many examples of manufacturing WTS use cases. Wireless load cells are being used to monitor the weight of products as they move through the production line. This information can be used to ensure that products meet quality standards and identify any potential problems early on by fully utilizing the wireless telemetry capabilities.

Construction: In the construction industry, wireless load cells and telemetry systems monitor the load on beams and columns during construction to ensure that structures are safe and stable and to detect any potential problems before they cause an accident. Check out Jib Crane Tension Monitoring.

Transportation: In the transportation industry, wireless load cells are being used to monitor cargo weight on trucks and trains to ensure that loads are not overloaded and to comply with regulations. Read IoT Waste Management Container Weighing.

Automotive: The industry utilizes several machines and systems to test components used in the making of automobiles. Read how WTS is used in this brake testing application: WTS Brake Pedal Force Testing.

Entertainment: Protecting the artists, equipment, and attendees is top of mind for all venues. Wireless systems monitor environmental conditions, rigging, display mounts, and more. Read Multi-Stage Load Monitoring.

Integrating load cells with wireless telemetry systems provides a convenient and efficient way to monitor force or weight data remotely, allowing for real-time data analysis and enhancing the automation and safety of various processes.

If you are looking for a reliable and accurate wireless telemetry system, the Interface WTS is a great option. It is a powerful and versatile system that can be used in various applications. and industry use cases.

Heavy Truck Test and Measurement Solutions

Interface is a trusted supplier to the vehicle industry. Manufacturers of vehicles and components rely on our sensor technologies for measuring force, torque, and weight. In the vehicle subsector of trucks, there are three main classifications of this type of vehicle based on weight: light, medium and heavy trucks, sometimes called heavy-duty.

Interface devices are commonly used in heavy-duty truck design and testing for various purposes, from structural to aerodynamic testing. Manufacturers use our load cells, torque transducers and instrumentation in testing labs to ensure vehicles meet regulatory and performance standards. Component and parts makers utilize our sensors and instrumentation for research, design, development and production, whether they are making brake pedals or tires.

Heavy Duty Truck Test and Measurement

  • Structural Testing: Interface products are used to evaluate the structural integrity and performance of truck components and systems. Load cells may be installed at critical points such as suspension mounts, chassis connections, and body attachments to measure forces and stresses experienced during static or dynamic testing. This helps engineers understand the load distribution, identify weak points, and optimize the design for enhanced durability.
  • Brake System Testing: Force measurement devices play a crucial role in assessing the performance and efficiency of a truck’s braking system. Load cells are commonly employed to measure the forces exerted on the brake pedal during braking maneuvers. This data helps evaluate braking performance, optimize braking force distribution, and ensure compliance with safety standards. Wireless load cells are growing in use for these types of tests. See: WTS Brake Pedal Force Testing
  • Tow and Haul Assessments: Determining a heavy-duty truck’s towing and hauling capabilities requires measuring the forces. Interface measurement devices are used to quantify the forces experienced by the vehicle during towing or hauling tasks. Load cells installed at key attachment points, such as trailer hitches or cargo beds, are used to measure the forces applied under different loads. This data aids in establishing safe operating limits and optimizing the truck’s design for maximum payload capacity.
  • Suspension Testing: Strain gage based sensors are frequently utilized to evaluate the performance of a truck’s suspension system and its impact on ride comfort. Load cells or accelerometers may be used to measure forces, vibrations, and accelerations experienced by the vehicle under various road conditions. This helps engineers optimize suspension settings, tune shock absorbers, and design suspension components that provide a balance between load-carrying capacity and ride quality.
  • Crash Testing: High-accuracy load cells and instrumentation are integral to crash testing heavy-duty trucks to evaluate occupant safety and structural integrity. Sensors are used to measure impact forces, accelerations, and deformations during controlled crash simulations. This data helps engineers assess the effectiveness of safety features, such as crumple zones and restraint systems, and improve the truck’s crashworthiness. Read: Vehicle Crash Test Load Cell Wall
  • Aerodynamic Testing: Measurement tools are employed to assess the aerodynamic performance of heavy-duty trucks. Load cells and systems used to measure the forces acting on the vehicle’s body, including drag and lift forces helps optimize the truck’s shape, reduce aerodynamic resistance, and improve fuel efficiency.

Another force that Interface has a great deal of experience measuring and helping our customers to monitor is load pulled or hoisted by components attached to trucks or other heavy machinery. As an example, Interface can measure the load capacity of a truck hitch to test the maximum capacity of an object it is pulling. It can also monitor the hitch in real time to ensure the load combined with the velocity of the vehicle or the gradient of a roadway is not creating a risk of failure.

In addition to testing the vehicles, safety standards exist for large, long and short haul trucks regarding their weight limits for most highway systems. It is why you often see weigh stations across the highway on road trips. Force sensors are often used in these types of weigh stations due to our product’s high capacities, accuracy, and reliability. Adversely, we also measure these types of vehicles capacity prior to hitting the open road to ensure the vehicle is designed to manage the amount of load in transport.

 

Suspension Testing for Heavy Duty Trucks

It is important to heavy duty track manufacturers to thoroughly test suspension. Automotive suspensions require fine tuning for best performance on various roads and conditions. Simulation of bumps, banking and other road conditions result in off-axis loading. Interface’s 1200-series load cell were mounted on top of each post in a 4-, 5-, or 7-post rig, which allowed them to measure forces during simulated driving. Moment compensating design of 1200-series load cells provide accurate readings during off-axis loading. This solution provides highly accurate (0.04%) measurement of loads applied to individual suspension points.

Truck Weighbridge

A customer owns a truck company and needs to record the weight or loads being carried by their trucks. They would like a wireless weighing bridge that is able to transmit, log, and display the results in real time. Interface suggested installing multiple WTS 1200 LowProfile™ Load Cells under a weighing bridge. When the truck drove over it, the load cells transmitted 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 also displayed the weight inside for the driver to see in real time. Using this solution, the customer was able to measure, log, and graph the different loads their trucks carried wirelessly onto the weighbridge with success.

Tire Testing for Semi-Trailers

A typical semi-trailer truck consists of a tractor unit with two front wheels and two sets of tandem axles at the rear, each with two wheels, resulting in a total of 18 wheels. By trade, 60,000-pound trailers needed at least three axles and 12 tires. Testing tires and mounting requires precision for these vehicles that are responsible for trucking goods and materials across the interstates and highways. A tire production company wants to put their tires under a stress test to research the dynamic control capabilities of their tires. Interface suggests using the AT105 Contactless Force and Torque Transducer to measure both the lateral force and torque of the tired being tested. Torque and force results can be displayed and graphed when connected to the SI-USB4 4 Channel USB Interface Module. After conducting a stress test on their tires, the tire production company was able to record and log the measurements of the torque and lateral forces implemented on their tires.

These are just a few examples of the types of test and monitoring solutions provides for trucks and other heavy duty vehicles. To learn more about our sensor’s capabilities in the automotive test and measurement markets, visit Automotive and Vehicle Solutions.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Truck Weighbridge

Weighing

Garbage Truck On-Board Weighing App Note

Electric Vehicle Structural Battery Testing

Torque Measurement for Electric Vehicles

AxialTQ Engine Dynamometer App Note

Bluetooth® Brake Pedal Animated Application Note

Interface Powers Smart Transportation Solutions

Smart transportation refers to integrating advanced technologies and intelligent systems in the transportation sector, including infrastructure and vehicles, improving efficiency, safety, and sustainability.

The transportation industry is getting smarter with advancements in autonomous driving and electric vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles, electric airborne vehicles, high-speed trains and light rails, and transportation ways. Behind these innovations are critical test and monitoring solutions that help engineers ensure absolute safety and quality during development and in use for real-time monitoring.

Interface transducers measure force, torque, or weight for testing and integration into smart transportation systems. Our load cells, torque transducers, scales, load pins, tension links, and multi-axis sensors provide vital measurement data for design, development, testing, and performance monitoring in various smart transportation applications.

A few examples of smart transportation inventions and use cases that utilize Interface advanced sensor technologies include:

  • Smart Cargo Monitoring: Load cells are installed in trucks, trailers, or shipping containers to monitor the weight and distribution of cargo. These load cells provide real-time data on the load’s weight, ensuring compliance with weight limits and preventing overloading, which can lead to safety hazards and increased fuel consumption.
  • Structural Testing of Vehicles: During physical testing, load cells and torque transducers measure forces and loads applied to vehicle structures. This includes crash tests, structural integrity evaluations, and load capacity assessments. The data obtained helps engineers analyze vehicles’ structural performance and safety characteristics, enabling improvements in design and manufacturing processes for smart transport.
  • Infrastructure Load Data Acquisition: Load cells can be employed in roads, bridges, and other transport infrastructure as part of the load data acquisition systems. These systems measure the dynamic forces and loads experienced by vehicles. By attaching load cells to strategic points on the vehicle, such as suspension components or the chassis, engineers can capture data related to acceleration, braking, cornering forces, and road-induced vibrations. This information aids in vehicle development, durability testing, and optimization of suspension and chassis designs. They also help design durable civil engineering projects and infrastructure.
  • Intelligent Weighing Systems: Load cells can be incorporated into weighing systems at weigh stations or toll booths. By measuring the weight of vehicles passing through, these systems can accurately determine toll fees, enforce weight restrictions, and gather data for traffic management and planning purposes.
  • Smart Suspension Systems: Load cells are integrated into suspension systems of vehicles, such as trucks and buses, to monitor load distribution and adjust suspension settings accordingly. This helps optimize vehicle performance, enhance stability, and improve ride comfort.
  • Load Sensing Axles: Load cells can be installed in axles to measure the weight of individuals or sets of wheels. This information is crucial for load balancing, tire pressure monitoring, and detecting potential axle overload situations.

Since the beginning of “Smart Mobility,” Interface has supplied force-sensing solutions for electric or self-driving vehicles. Specifically in automotive, Interface has developed and supplied precision force and torque test and measurement systems that meet all components’ demands for superior testing requirements. The automotive market is subjected to extremely strict regulations. Therefore, testing and measurement are critical for safety, reliability, durability, and overall smart vehicle performance.

In the context of smart rail transport and railways, force measurement is crucial in testing and evaluating rail vehicles, including locomotives, passenger trains, and freight wagons. Load cells and force sensors are utilized in numerous ways. Load cells are used in braking systems to measure the forces exerted during braking maneuvers. This allows design engineers to assess the effectiveness of automated braking systems and ensure compliance with safety standards. The same types of sensors can be used to measure the vertical, lateral, and longitudinal forces acting on the bogies (wheelsets) of rail vehicles enabling smart operating conditional adjustments.

Smart Transportation Sensors for Stopping Train Derailment

Force measurement systems can measure the contact forces between the wheels and the track. This enables the assessment of wheel-rail interaction, including wheel-rail forces, lateral forces, and rolling resistance. Such data helps optimize track design, wheel profile selection, and maintenance practices to ensure safe and efficient railway operations. Our Pillow Block Load Bearing Load Cell is a great solution for monitoring trains on a track in motion. When our PBLC1 is installed on a track, and the train runs across it, the sensor can provide a signal to a station elsewhere in the world. If any force indicators suggest that there could be a problem with the weight the train is holding or the train itself, the sensor can also trigger an automatic shutdown of the train. These sensors could prevent major damage from train derailments and other train-related incidents by detecting errors before they inflict damage. This is a critically important application as innovators begin to release high-speed trains for cross-country travel.

Smart Trucking Weighing Solution

In this use case, a smart transportation trucking company truck company needs to record the weight or loads being carried precisely. They would like a wireless weighbridge to transmit, log, and display the results in real-time. Interface suggests installing multiple WTS 1200 LowProfile™ Load Cells under a weighing bridge. 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 the provided Log100 software. The WTS-LD2 Wireless Large LED Display can also display the weight inside of the driver monitor at all times.

Smart Vehicle Crash Walls

Improving vehicle safety is smart. Interface suggests using multiple 3A400 3-Axis Force Load Cells for this use case and attaching them to the back of a cement crash wall. When connected to the BX8-HD44 Interface BlueDAQ Series Data Acquisition System, force result measurements will be recorded and displayed on a computer. The sensors measure the force of impact for all their different vehicle crash testing demonstrations, providing high-accuracy data to make the vehicles safer.

Electric Vehicle Structural Battery Testing

As electric vehicles push advancements in efficiency gains, structural battery packaging is at the forefront for optimization in smart transportation. This drives the need to validate structural battery pack design in terms of life expectancy against design targets and crash test compliance and survivability.  Interface’s solution to this challenge included the 1100 Ultra-Precision LowProfile Load Cells in line with hydraulic or electromechanical actuators in the customer’s test stand. Also utilized were 6A 6-Axis Load Cells to capture reactive forces transmitting through pack structure. Multi-axis measurement brought greater system-level insight and improved product success. The structural tests validated the battery pack’s strong structural design using this solution.

Interface solutions for smart transportation are growing alongside the pace of innovation as we work with industry demands to provide solutions for what comes next.

Read more in our case study Interface’s Crucial Role in Vehicle and Urban Mobility Markets

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Making Products Smarter with Interface OEM Solutions

Testing Labs Choose Interface High Accuracy Products

Modernizing Infrastructure with Interface Sensor Technologies

Interface’s Steering Role in All Types of Transportation

Interface Weighing Solutions and Complete Systems

EV Battery Testing Solutions Utilize Interface Mini Load Cells

Bridge Seismic Force Monitoring Solution App Note

IoT Drone Parcel Delivery

Testing for Commercial Drones and Parcel Delivery

 

Innovative Interface Lifting Solutions

Interface sensors are utilized in lifting applications to accurately measure the weight or force being exerted on the lifting equipment of all sizes. Our lifting solutions include load cells, load pins, tension links and shackles, wireless technologies, and instrumentation. It is common to see our sensors integrated into hoists, cranes, and lifting devices to provide precise load measurements.

Interface lifting solutions apply to a wide range of industries and settings, including construction sites, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, transportation, healthcare facilities, maritime docks, aircraft testing and assembly, and more. Lifting applications can vary, such as loading and unloading goods, positioning heavy equipment or machinery, transferring patients in healthcare settings, or lifting materials for construction purposes.

Our load cells, load pins and shackles assist in monitoring loads for heavy lifting equipment operators to remain within safe working limits and prevent overloading. Interface tension links and tension load cells are used for measuring lifting or pulling heavy loads with chains, cables, or ropes. The sensors measure the tension in the lifting element, providing feedback on the load being lifted and ensuring it remains within safe limits. Check out our Lifting Solutions Overview for complete details.

Top Interface Lifting Solutions

References of lifting equipment include cranes, hoists, forklifts, aerial work platforms, lifts, jacks, and various types of rigging and slings. These equipment types are designed to provide mechanical advantage, leverage, or power to lift, suspend, move, or position loads safely and efficiently. By leveraging sensor technologies, the benefits include increased safety for the operator, enhanced productivity, and efficiency optimization of load management. Additional benefits include predictive maintenance, plus smart and innovative utilization for modernization of projects and equipment.

Rigging engineers, whether working in testing environments from concert venues to rocket testing sites, use high-accuracy sensor technologies to ensure the safe and efficient movement of heavy equipment, machinery, and materials using cranes, hoists, pulleys, and other lifting devices. They are involved in the entire rigging process, from the initial assessment and design of rigging systems to overseeing the actual lifting operations.

Safety is of utmost importance in all lifting applications due to the potential risks associated with heavy loads, heights, and moving parts. The use of load monitoring devices such as load cells, tension links, load pins, or load shackles are critical to ensure the safe execution of lifting operations.

When Interface defines lifting applications, we are referring to the actions of objects, materials, or loads that are raised, lowered, or moved vertically or horizontally using lifting equipment or mechanisms. For use of our measurement solutions, these lifting applications involve the use of specialized equipment designed to safely and efficiently handle various types of loads.

In the construction industry, Interface load cells and load pins are integrated into smart cranes and construction equipment to provide real-time monitoring of the loads being lifted or carried. Lifting beams and spreader bars need high-accuracy measurement on the site. These sensors accurately measure the weight or force exerted on the equipment and provide data on the load’s status, ensuring safe operation within specified limits. This information can be used to prevent overloading, optimize load distribution, and enhance operational safety and prevent failure of any machinery.

Infrastructure demands durability, quality and accuracy of measurement. Interface load cells, tension links, load pins, and load shackles are employed in load testing applications to verify the strength and capacity of various lifting structures and equipment. They are used for a range of applications, including crane verification and safety monitoring, hoist monitoring, winch measurements, elevator suspension systems, lifting cables, overload alarms, and load testing. These tests measure the applied load and assess the structural integrity. Load cells or load shackles are often temporarily attached to lifting points or incorporated into the testing rig to capture accurate load data.

The maritime industry uses Interface measurement devices in crane systems, winches, and lifting equipment onboard ships, on offshore platforms, or vessels. These ruggedized and often submersible sensors ensure that loads are properly managed and controlled, enabling safe and efficient lifting operations in challenging marine environments. Check out this Boat Hoist application note.

Warehouses and logistics use load cells or load pins for shipping container handling, pallet weighing, conveyor systems and freight and cargo monitoring. The sensors can be easily integrated into forklifts to measure the weight of the lifted load, ensuring safe lifting, and preventing overloading.

Interface load cells and sensor technologies are also being used in applications for patient lifting and transfer. Load cells or load shackles can be integrated into patient lifting and transfer equipment, such as hoists or patient slings, hospital beds and therapy equipment. These sensors help monitor the load and ensure safe and comfortable transfers for patients and caregivers.

By integrating Interface solutions into lifting applications, the result is enhanced safety, improved efficiency, and optimization of load management. Real-time data from sensors allows for precise control, early detection of anomalies, and preventive maintenance, ensuring smooth and secure lifting operations, whether that is for a patient in a hospital or a cargo load moving from dock to ship.

Interface offers standard products for lifting, as well as custom and OEM lifting solutions.  Contact our application engineers to learn more about what type of lifting solution is best for your requirements.

Lifting Solutions Brochure

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Aircraft Engine Hoist

Theater Rigging System

Patient Hoyer Lift

IoT Lifting Heavy Objects App Note

Interface Solutions for Lifting Applications

Cranes and Lifting

Aircraft Lifting Equipment App Note

Aerial Lift Overload Control

Detailing Pillow Block Load Bearing Load Cells

A pillow block bearing is usually used to create a rolling system. This bearing type is often used for industrial rolls for textiles, paper, and materials. It is also used on conveyor belts in manufacturing facilities. Other common use cases in various industries include transportation, medical device design, and aerospace.

Interface offers specialized load cells that measure and monitor weight and other forces on pillow block bearings, aptly known as Interface Pillow Block Load Bearing Load Cells. The force measurement is performed for this load cell between two supports.

Pillow Block Bearing Load Cell Spans Multiple Industries

Pillow block bearing load cells are important in all industries where accurate load measurement is required during production and use of small and large rollers. Some examples include:

  • Steel industry: Pillow block load cells can be used in roller mills to measure the force required to crush or shape steel.
  • Textile industry: Pillow block load cells can be used in textile machines such as looms and knitting machines to measure the tension on the yarn.
  • Packaging industry: Pillow block load cells can be used in packaging machines to measure the force required to cut or seal packaging materials.

Pillow block load cells are valuable in building and enhancing infrastructure. Our PBLC1 is a great solution for monitoring trains on a track in motion. When our PBLC1 is installed on a track, and the train runs across it, the sensor can provide a signal to a station elsewhere in the world. If any force indicators suggest that there could be a problem with the weight the train is holding or the train itself, the sensor can also trigger an automatic shutdown of the train. These sensors could prevent major damage from train derailments and other train-related incidents by detecting errors before they inflict damage.

These weights are important to measure or monitor as they can tell you if you run out of material on a roll or if a production line conveyor belt is holding too much weight. An example of the feed roller system using our wireless options is below.

Manufacturing Feed Roller System

Feed roller systems are common in production and manufacturing. In this example, a feed roller system needs to monitor the forces of both ends of the rollers to maintain a constant straight feed. This reduces waste and ensures quality in the product use. They would also prefer a wireless system. Interface suggests installing two PBLC Pillow Block Load Cells at both ends of the bottom roller to measure the applied forces. The measurement output is sent to the instrumentation device, our WTS-AM-1E Wireless Strain Bridge Transmitter Module. The data is then transmitted wirelessly to the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station and the WTS-BS-1-HA Wireless Handheld Display for multiple transmitters, where data can be displayed, graphed, and logged a computer. Learn more about this type of use case in our Feed Roller System Application Note.

In addition to this use case, here are a few other ways Pillow Block Load Cells are used to measure weight and force:

  • Material handling: Pillow block load cells are commonly used in conveyor systems to measure the weight of transported materials.
  • Automotive industry: Pillow block load cells are used in assembly line applications to measure the weight of assembled parts and components.
  • Heavy machinery: Pillow block load cells are used in cranes, bulldozers, and other heavy machinery to measure loads and monitor the equipment’s performance.
  • Manufacturing: Pillow block load cells are used in material testing machines to measure the force required to break or deform materials.
  • Aerospace: Pillow block load cells are used in aerospace applications to measure the weight and balance of aircraft and spacecraft.
  • Medical industry: Pillow block load cells are used in medical equipment such as patient lifts and hospital beds to measure patients’ weight.
  • Food industry: Pillow block load cells are used in food processing and packaging equipment to measure the weight of ingredients and finished products.

Pillow Block Bearing Load Cells Product Overview

This type of force sensor is suitable for measuring forces under pillow block bearings for diameter Ø 20mm (Ø 0.79 in) and for measuring axle weight in test stands for trains and vehicles. Our system is compatible with INA Pillow Block Bearings and is installed underneath the bearing to measure force. There are three model versions, with the options for additional multi-axis measurements for engineers to order products.

PBLC1 Pillow Block Load Bearing Load Cell

PBLC2 Pillow Block Load Bearing Load Cell

PBLC3 Pillow Block Load Bearing Load Cell

Features and benefits of our Pillow Block Load Cell include:

  • Capacities from 5 to 30 kN (1.1K to 6.7K lbf)
  • Compatible with INA pillow block bearings
  • IP65 moisture protection
  • Rugged electro-galvanized surface

In addition, our Pillow Block Load Cell is also available in multi-axis versions, allowing more force data from your test application. This helps measure forces such as the center of gravity, tension across a load-bearing beam, and more. These multi-axis versions come in two and three-axis models. If you want accurate measurements for your pillow block-bearing use cases, contact our specialized application engineers.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Interface Manufacturing and Production Solutions

Quality Engineers Require Accurate Force Measurement Solutions

Interface New Product Releases Winter 2023

Infrastructure Industry Relies on Interface Force Measurement

Interface Solutions for Production Line Engineers

Industrial Automation

 

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 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 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 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

 

 

 

Infrastructure Industry Relies on Interface Force Measurement

The safety and stability of the structures and facilities that are used by towns, cities, organizations, governments and countries are essential to their successful operations. In the design and construction, it is a requirement to ensure that every component measures up to the standards that protect those that depend on their functionality.

Test and measurement are critical in every stage of any infrastructure project. Civil engineers, project managers, institutions, construction companies utilize sensor technologies today. This includes load cells, torque transducers, instrumentation, multi-axis sensors, load pins and load shackles and wireless technologies.  The infrastructure industry has long depended on Interface’s durable and reliable products for all types of projects, from early conception through maintenance.

Where are Interface infrastructure industry measurement solutions used today? Interface has been a supplier to entities around the world that are involved in every type of infrastructure projects including complex transportation systems, versatile communication structures that cross all types of terrain, water and electrical power sites, as well as new inventions that are used to build, support, and maintain various structures around the world.

Infrastructure Case Study

In our recent infrastructure case study, Infrastructure Projects Rely on Interface, we detail different use cases in the multi-trillion dollar global industry. There is no shortage of opportunity to invest in infrastructure and ensuring that every project meets the rigid regulatory requirements means a test plan is essential throughout the entire process.  Every test plan needs accurate and quality measurement solutions that are capable of structural monitoring, load bearing testing, vibrational monitoring, construction equipment and material testing use cases.

Here are just a few of the project types that depend on Interface solutions:

  • Roads, Streets and Highways
  • Waste Management
  • Mass Transportation Vehicles
  • Energy and Power Generation
  • Bridges and Tunnels
  • Railways
  • Airport Structures and People Movers
  • Dams and Water Supply
  • Telecommunications and Satellite

Beyond construction, Interface is supplying equipment manufacturers for use in construction and infrastructure maintenance projects. In the application note, Aerial Lift Overload Control, we provided a top manufacturing company for aerial lifts precision tools to test its self-propelled boom lift. The solution needed to ensure the lift could operate at heavy capacities when in use, and at different angles. The lift required a design that was proven to prevent any accidents in case of a lifting overload, for the safety of anyone working on or near the equipment. Interface proposed used our three multi-axis sensor model 3A160 3-Axis Force Load Cell to the bottom of the bucket of the boom lift. The 3A160 3-Axis Force Load Cell provides high accuracy and the measurements could be displayed using the 920i Programmable Weight Indicator and Controller in real time. The company was able to use these products to test their aerial boom lifts and determined it was safely operable at maximum capacities

You can get more insights on how we play a pivotal role in the infrastructure industry in these application notes and references:

Concrete Dam Flood Monitoring App Note

Hydropower Turbine Generator Monitoring App Note

Interface Solutions for Waste Management Applications

Force Measurement Solutions for the Construction Industry

Interface Crane Use Cases and Application Notes

Seismic Application for Interface Load Pins

Interface Solutions Designed for Infrastructure Challenges

Interface Infrastructure Case Study

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

 

 

 

 

 

An 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.