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Making Products Smarter with Interface OEM Solutions

Products need to be smart in today’s world. Whether it is consumer or commercial, people expect added functionality in everything. From coffeemakers and exercise equipment to large industrial machinery used in massive infrastructure projects, sensors play a crucial part in making these products smarter.

Sensor technologies allow smart products to collect and manage important user data, monitor products usage for durability and safety, enable automation, and personalize user applications and experiences. Original equipment manufacturers of these smart products and their components are eager to find quality sensors that provide robust features ideal for modern day user requirements.

Force sensors are key to making products smarter, performing with greater accuracy, and enhancing overall quality. Force sensors have the unique ability to perform multiple tasks at a time, including real-time monitoring and executing automation features with precision.

Interface partners with engineers and product designers to offer OEM solutions intended to be directly implanted into a product, or retroactively installed to make products smarter. With our unique assortment of custom and off-the-shelf load cells, torque transducers and instrumentation options, including wireless components, our force sensors are created to help enhance the smart products of today and tomorrow.

Interface’s white paper Turning an Active Component Into a Sensor details of how Interface works with OEMs to design sensors into products or retrofit them into existing products. To further illustrate the range of options available with Interface’s sensors and instrumentation, we have detailed additional application notes to give you a broader perspective of utilizing force sensors for OEM solutions.

Robotic Surgery Arm

A biomechanical medical company wanted to gather force, torque, and tactile feedback from their robotic arm during invasive surgery. The surgeon’s movements are mirrored by the robotic arm during surgery, and it is essential all haptic force feedback is measured to ensure safety during invasive surgery. Several of Interface’s force and torque measurement products were used in this OEM robotic arm. These include the ConvexBT Load Button Load Cell, SMTM Micro S-Type Load Cell, and the MRTP Miniature Overload Protected Flange Style Reaction Torque Transducer. Force results were collected when connected to the 9330 Battery Powered High Speed Data Logging Indicator and viewed via a laptop. Each one of Interface’s load cells and torque transducers played a part in the ensuring the safety and functionality of robotic arms during invasive surgery. The force feedback that was measured from the robotic arm ensured that the robot used the perfect amount of force when using surgical tools that create incisions during surgeries. It also measured the torque being produced, ensuring the robot arm was moving smoothly and at the right speeds.

PRV (Pressure Relief Valve) System

A manufacturer wanted to conduct a PRV test (pressure relief valve test) on their valve installation and monitory equipment when under a full pressure load. The purpose was to ensure safety and reliability for customers while the product was in use. They also wanted to be able to record and graph the results. As part of an OEM system that is used by their customers, Interface suggested installing the 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile™ Load Cell to a test frame on top of the pressure relief valve. As pressure is increased onto the spring in the valve, it pushes forces onto the load cell. Results can be recorded using the 9330 Battery Powered High Speed Data Logging Indicator. Using this solution, the manufacturer’s customers are able to successfully determine the exact amount of force it requires for their valve to release when under a pressure load, increasing longevity and safety of the product overall.

Bolt Tension Monitoring

A customer wanted to monitor the tension of the bolts used in installation of industrial pipes. Interface suggested installing multiple LWCF Clamping Force Load Cells, each connected to WTS-AM-1E Wireless Strain Bridge Transmitter Modules. The load cells are installed under the tightened bolts on the pipes as part of the technology solution to measure forces. The load cells measure the compression forces from the bolts, and the real-time results are transmitted wirelessly from the WTS-AM-1E’s to the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station. Real-time results from the LWCF’s are displayed using provided Log100 Software. Interface’s load cell monitoring system successfully monitors the compression forces of the bolts in real-time, which is an important installation solution for the OEM.

Smarter products, connected factories, and higher efficiency are all made possible through sensors. Interface force sensors are the leading solutions for enabling automation, real-time monitoring and accurate data collection for OEM applications.

Interface force sensors make consumer and commercial products smarter. Learn why OEMs choose Interface to activate products with sensor technologies and more about Interface’s capabilities and solutions for OEMs here.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Interface OEM Solutions Process

OEM: Candy Stamp Force Testing

OEM: Medical Bag Weighing

OEM: Prosthetic Foot Performance

OEM: Snack Weighing and Packaging Machine

OEM: Tablet Forming Machine Optimization

OEM: Industrial Robotic Arm

OEM: Chemical Reaction-Mixing

Contact our OEM specialists and let us help you to make your products smarter and more equipped to meet the demands of tech-savvy users.

Embedding Sensors in Products Webinar Recap

Interface recently hosted a live virtual event, Embedding Sensors in Products, where Brian Peters and Randy White detail the processes, products and uses cases for using Interface load cells, load pins, and torque transducers as a stand-alone sensor solution or a component within a product.

Interface has been providing custom engineered and manufactured solutions for more than 50 years to equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and product engineers to meet unique specifications and requirements.

Interface sensor technologies are frequently being used medical devices, machines and equipment, industrial automation robotics, material extraction and pumps, weighing and monitoring devices, vehicle production and components and more. Building any custom OEM solution to exact specifications is a team sport.  Working together with Interface engineers, we partner with the customer through ever stage: Design, Test, Build and Supply.

The typical uses cases for Interface OEM Solutions include:

  • Products requiring sensor technology components
  • Instrumenting components
  • Utilizing sensors to measure force, weight, or torque
  • Managing test and measurement processes and protocols
  • Precision performance requirements and testing 

The entire recorded Embedding Sensors Event is available to online to watch at your convenience.

The best tip for success is to engage early with Interface. Our experts have the experience and know-how of product capabilities, applications, configurations, and a history of what works and potential risks. When getting started, details matter. Our OEM Applications Engineers will work with you to ensure we have answer to important questions, including: 

  • What are you measuring?
  • Why are you measuring?
  • What signal or connectivity is needed?
  • Measurement range and potential loading conditions
  • Envelope and mechanical integration
  • Environment
  • Calibration – relative vs absolute measurement
  • What are you trying to solve #1?

Be sure to watch the new ForceLeaders event to gain insights into the process, tips for success, industry use cases and the range of products available for embedding sensors into products. There are many products Interface has available that are great options for engineered-to-order and customization. These Interface products include low and high capacity load cells, compression load cells, miniature load cells and load buttons, load pins, s-type and beam load cells, sealed load cells, torque transducers, digital communication devices, multi-axis sensors and more. Several product options are discussed in detail during this informative presentation

You can watch the presentation below, where our experts discuss the following topics:

  • Interface OEM Solutions
  • How to Get Started
  • Dialing in on Specifications and Requirements
  • Process: Design, Test, Build and Supply
  • Common Sensors Used for OEM
  • Trends in OEM 
  • Applications + Uses Cases
  • FAQs

If you have questions about how to get started or need further information about our OEM Solutions, go here. Our experts are ready to help with your exact requirements.  Additional information is also available in our white paper, New Interface White Paper Highlights Turning an Active Component into a Sensor.

New Interface White Paper Highlights Turning an Active Component into a Sensor

The most common uses of force measurement in OEM (original equipment manufacturer) applications are when a force sensor is designed into a product that will be produced at mid to high volumes and provides real-time force feedback on certain product functions in use. Utilizing sensors as a feature enables data acquisition over time to monitor forces and understand how those forces effect product efficiency, safety, quality or all of these performance metrics. This ultimately is used to design a better product, in the current state and for future enhancements or to know when a product is performing best or risks breaking down.

Did you know that there is another application of force sensors in OEM applications that is playing a large role in the factory of the future? This is when we turn an active component into a sensor and use that data to create automated actions. This solution is used when there is a desire to take a moving component within a system and make it smarter, ultimately allowing it to make data-based decisions on its own.

For example, the manufacturing industry is using force sensors on machines within a production line that are responsible for picking components up for visual inspection. The sensor is integrated into the grabbing component and can tell the machine the exact force to use when picking up the component as not to damage it. This is a critical capability when dealing with expensive and delicate components that can break under too much force. In the past, a force measurement sensor would have been used only to test this functionality. When the sensor is designed directly into the machine, the user can both test beforehand and monitor and automate processes in real-time.

The need for this type of capability is growing rapidly amongst manufacturers across a wide variety of industry including aerospace and defense, industrial, medical, automotive, industrial automation, assembly and more. To further outline the potential for these types of solutions, Interface developed a new white paper that details  how sensor solutions for OEMs work with specific examples of the benefit of turning an active component into a sensor.

Included below is a brief intro to the recently released white paper. Get your copy by clicking on the link here. Additionally, if you’re interested in learning more about Interface solutions for OEM applications go here, or call us to speak to our OEM application experts at 480-948-5555. Ready to get started, let us know how we can help here.

WHITE PAPER EXCERPT

OEM SOLUTIONS: TURNING AN ACTIVE COMPONENT INTO A SENSOR

The age of industrial automation and big data is upon us. Manufacturers that fall behind in equipping their facilities and products with innovation that allows for automated processes, remote monitoring and better efficiency through technology, will quickly fall behind. This is due to the fact that automation helps to significantly improve process quality because it eliminates human error. It also creates long-term cost savings by speeding up several processes, or by helping to monitor products in use and in real-time to optimize performance and stability over time through better data collection.

Get your copy of the white paper to read more.

Special note, contributors to the white paper are Interface and sensor engineering experts, Brian Peters and Rob Fuge.

Additional Resources for OEM

Interface is a Critical Solutions Provider for OEMs

Making the Case for Custom Solutions Webinar Recap