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Interface Validates Trends in Automotive Test and Measurement

As a trusted supplier to automotive testing labs and automakers of precision sensor technologies for force, torque, and weighing applications, the depth of our product line is vital to support research, testing, and innovation in the industry. In particular, there is a high increase in the use of Interface torque transducers for automotive test and measurement use cases.

We strive to provide the latest sensor technology to help our customers move at the pace of automotive innovation. Over the years, we have developed new products for testing and monitoring advancements in all vehicles and supporting R&D into new automotive types like electric vehicles (EVs) and autonomous vehicles. Learn more in the case study: Accelerating Automotive Excellence with Interface Testing Lab Solutions.

Growing Demands for Torque Transducers in Auto Testing

Based on current demands for Interface measurement solutions, the auto industry is experiencing a high upsurge in using torque transducers. Specifically, EV manufacturers and parts makers are using torque measurement in testing the performance of electric motors and powertrains.

EVs have become a significant force and torque measurement sensor technology user, including our popular AxialTQ™ Rotary Torque Transducer product line. Many of our transducer models are also being used to test EV battery technology, including storage, capacity, and more.

Another growing use case requiring cutting-edge torque transducers is testing advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) performance. ADAS systems rely on various sensors, including our torque transducers, to measure and control the vehicle’s dynamics. In these use cases, automotive engineers rely on supreme accuracy due to the critical nature of this safety feature. These types of use cases are pushing the requirement for accuracy further.

Finally, our torque transducers are being used in experiential automotive technologies such as fully autonomous and driver-assisted vehicle innovations. The accuracy of measurement is instrumental in bringing these inventions to market. Size, weight, and power (SWaP) is also a premium factor in these types of sensors. As more and more sensor technology is added to autonomous vehicles, the sensors must become more compact and efficient.

Specific products that Interface is supplying for these types of testing programs include high-accuracy reaction and rotary torque transducer technologies. This includes more miniature lightweight torque transducers to make integrating into test machines, production lines, and vehicles easier. Our expansion of Interface Mini Torque Transducers is helping with this requirement. We also provide more wireless torque transducer capabilities, eliminating the need for cables and wires and making testing more convenient and efficient.

Use Interface’s Torque Transducer Selection Guide to find the right product for your application requirements. Join Interface at the next Automotive Testing Expo to see live demonstrations of Interface measurement solutions.

Automotive Industry Applications Using Torque Transducers

Tire Force And Moment Using Contactless Force and Torque Transducer

A tire production company wants to put their tires under a stress test. They want to research the dynamic control capabilities of their tires. They want to measure both the torque and lateral force of the tire. Interface suggests using the AT105 Contactless Force and Torque Transducer to measure the tire lateral force and torque. 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 could record and log the measurements of the torque and lateral forces implemented on their tires. Read Tire Force and Moment App Note

Vacuum Testing Using Rotary Torque Testing to Optimize Automotive Performance

The vacuum pump in a car plays an integral part in several systems, such as power brakes, HVAC, and sometimes even in the turbocharger or emissions control systems. Its primary function is to create a vacuum or negative pressure within a specific system. A torque test needs to be performed to ensure it is performing correctly. Interface’s T2 Ultra Precision Shaft Style Rotary Torque Transducer with torque couplings can be attached to the vacuum pump during performance testing. It will measure the amount of torque that is being used on the pump’s motor or drive system. When connected to the customer’s computer, results can be displayed, recorded, and logged using the SI-USB4 4-Channel USB Interface Module. Read Vacuum Testing for Automotive Performance

Torque Measurement For Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicle manufacturers need a torque measurement system for motor testing. These motors run at significantly higher rotational speeds than their internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts and have much higher power densities due to their small size and lightweight. The system would be used to test the torque and speed of their electric motors to achieve and ensure optimum instant peak torque performance. Interface’s AxialTQ™ Wireless Rotary Torque Transducer is highly accurate with the highest quality torque measurement. This product comes with the AxialTQ™ Output Module and the provided AxialTQ™ Assistant software that can be installed on a test bench. Data results are calculated and collected in real time. Read Torque Measurement for Electric Vehicles App Note

Motor Test Stand Using Torque Transducer

In the quality control lab at a major automotive manufacturing company, a test engineer needed to test, record, and audit the torque produced by a new motor design under start load. Interface supplied our AAxialTQ™ Wireless Rotary Torque Transducer connected between the motor and the differential on the drive shaft that could measure and record these torque values. Based on the data collected using the AxialTQ, AxialTQ Output Module, and customer laptop, the Test Engineer recommended optimizing the torque of the new motor design.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Anniversary of Interface Miniature Torque Transducers

Fuel Pump Optimization and Rotary Torque

Choosing the Right Torque Transducer

A Comparison of Torque Measurement Systems White Paper

Advancing Auto Testing with Interface Measurement Solutions

Automotive Window Pinch Force Testing

Automotive Head Rest Testing

Trends in Torque Transducer Applications in the Auto Industry

Torque transducers are crucial in force measurement testing, especially in the automotive industry. A torque sensor is a transducer that converts a torsional mechanical input into an electrical output signal.

Interface’s experience suggests the automotive industry’s most frequently used torque transducers are rotary torque transducers, like our AxialTQ, which measure dynamic force. These transducers are necessary for applications where the torque transducer must rotate when attached to a spinning shaft. A rotary torque transducer provides a method of getting the signal off the rotating element without an attached cable.

Automotive testing labs also commonly use a fixed-style mount instead of a floating style. This is because fixed types are ideal for high-speed applications. Fixed and supportive mounting is often mandatory. Fixed mounts apply only to sensors with bearings, which involves attaching the sensor housing to fixed support for added stability.

Torque plays a critical role in automotive testing, and Interface has more than 50 transducer models with multiple capacities and sizes. Use our Torque Transducer Selection Guide to help define the suitable model for your specific application.

Interface will demonstrate the range of torque transducer solutions at the upcoming Auto Test Expo. You can get your free pass online.

Top Trends in Torque Transducer Applications

Torque transducers create faster, more efficient, and safer vehicles. Interface transducers are designed to meet the growing demands of the auto industry.

  • Interface recognizes the growing use of torque transducers to measure the performance of electric vehicles (EVs). Torque transducers are essential for testing the performance of their electric motors and powertrains. Torque transducers are used to measure the torque output of electric motors, which is critical for ensuring that they meet their performance specifications. Read Torque Measurement for Electric Vehicles.
  • Interface torque transducers are helping to assess advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) performance. ADAS systems rely on numerous sensors, including torque transducers, to measure and control the vehicle’s dynamics. Torque transducers measure the torque applied to the steering wheel and brakes, which ensures that ADAS systems function correctly.
  • Torque transducers measure the torque applied to the wheels, which ensures that autonomous vehicles can safely navigate their environment.

Torque transducers are essential research, design, testing, and manufacturing tools. As emerging automotive technologies evaluate new components, materials, and vehicle capabilities, torque transducers provide vital measurement data to assess performance. We see this in the use cases for torque transducers in all phases of developing autonomous and self-driving vehicles, including the transition to flying cars.

Automotive Applications Using Interface Torque Transducers

AxialTQ™ Engine Dynamometer

One of our customers needed to measure the torque and the speed (RPM) produced by an engine and calculate it simultaneously. Using the Interface AxialTQ Wireless Rotary Torque Measurement System, which was developed in direct collaboration with over 30 end-users who shared their wish lists for operational priorities, user interface, design, features, real-world field issues, and more, the customer was able to measure and calculate the torque and rotational speed (RPM) of the engine in real-time while collecting the data accurately and simultaneously.

Lug Nut Assembly

Proper lug nut assembly is critical to a quality vehicle and meeting strict quality and safety requirements. Interface’s customer wants to increase productivity for automobile wheel installation while ensuring the lug nuts are installed to the proper torque values for safety. Interface supplied five T33 Spindle Torque Transducers for use in the customer’s wheel installation assembly machine, which comes standard with +/-5VDC analog output for torque measurements and a 360 pulse, 2-track encoder for speed/angle measurement. The customer could perform five simultaneous torque measurements during wheel installation in seconds using this solution.  The T33 Spindle Torque Transducer provided a +/-5VDC signal for torque and a TTL signal for angle measurement to the customer’s control system for logging, evaluating, and recording the results.

Another important consideration for testing torque with these sensors is the coupling. Couplings are a critical component of the torque transducer that ensures the isolation of torque loads. Couplings should be used in all applications, and the selection of the coupling type is based on the speed of the application. For higher-speed applications, you will want to look for high-quality couplings. The coupling helps to prevent error and damage from extraneous loads. You can learn more about selecting the proper coupling in our new blog, Torque Transducers and Couplings are the Perfect Pairing.

Every industry segment has numerous priorities as they compete to design, engineer, build, and supply new and innovative vehicles. From the focus on the extreme performance of racing vehicles to the safety focus of consumer automobiles, Interface can provide force and torque measurement solutions to help you today and in the future.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Tire Force and Measurement

Fuel Pump Optimization & Rotary Torque

Engine Head Bolt Tightening

Dual Motor Dynamometer

Accelerating Automotive Excellence in the Test Lab

Force Measurement Solutions Demonstrations at Automotive Testing Expo

 

Accelerating Automotive Excellence in the Test Lab

The automotive industry has many regulations and requirements in place to ensure vehicle safety and reliability of all vehicles. The responsibility for validating these standards of quality primary falls on the automotive original equipment manufacturer, who often rely on test labs to assess product specifications, safety, quality, and durability. Working together, the OEM and test labs are responsible for confirming regulations and requirements are met on every vehicle, part, component and sub-component that hits the market.

Interface understands that test labs need the very best in terms of testing devices and equipment. Interface, a supplier to automotive testing labs for decades, has a broad range of products used in all types of torque, force, and weighing applications. Accelerating Automotive Excellence With Interface Testing Lab Solutions is a new case study that details common challenges and solutions offered by Interface to fit the requirements of today’s modern automotive industry testing lab.

Our products are used all types automotive testing lab applications. These products include:

  • Load Cells and Various Force Measurement Devices
  • Rotary and Reaction Torque Transducers
  • Weight Measurement Equipment
  • Calibration Grade Devices
  • Test Stands and Load Frames
  • Analog and Digital Instrumentation
  • Data Acquisition Systems

Quality, accuracy and durability are key considerations for the type of measurement device selected for different tests, whether it is for brake caliper testing or in airbag connector tests.

General Automotive Lab Test Types

  • Component and Sub-Component Level Testing
  • Suspension Testing, including component level, such as shocks, springs and subframes and multi-post shaker rigs
  • Durability Testing, such as seats, window frames, material
  • Safety Testing such as crush, seat belt testing, and airbag mounts
  • Crash Walls

For general automotive testing solutions, key considerations for auto testing lab requirements are high cycle count capabilities and load cell integration in actuation systems. Our products are used for off-axis and impact loading and measuring test article failure net results. The equipment can be exposed to many environmental challenges so load cell ruggedization is very important to lab professionals.

Automotive Driveline Test Types

  • Engine and Motor Performance and Durability Tests
  • Engine and Motor Efficiency Testing
  • Power Analyzation (Electric)
  • Driveline Durability and Efficiency
  • Component Testing
  • Accessory Drive Testing

For automotive driveline testing, considerations on equipment include peak torque ratings, rotating torque capabilities. Easy transducer integration with couplings matters for these tests. Additional factors for equipment include signal requirements, environmental conditions, noise levels, both electrical and mechanical and vibration. The devices used in testing article failure are very important for evaluating net results.

Test labs also prefer precision sensors for critical tests, which include our 1200 Series LowProfile™ Load Cells with their special moment compensated design. Popular ruggedized Interface products used in automotive testing include our 2400 series and 3200 series Stainless Steel LowProfile™ Load Cells and our WMC Miniature Load Cells

With a wide range of automotive vehicle load cell sensors, force and torque measurement capabilities and features such as moment compensation, temperature compensation, and mechanical overload protection, Interface can help you design a solution perfect for your automotive application. We also offer custom one-off sensors and special application-specific designs.

To learn more about testing lab solutions, be sure to tune into our Interface Testing Lab Essentials Webinar.

Accelerating Automotive Excellence with Interface Testing Lab Solutions Case Study

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

Force Measurement Solutions Demonstrations at Automotive Testing Expo

Interface experts are returning to Novi, Michigan, to demonstrate new and popular force measurement solutions at the Automotive Testing Expo.  The focus of this year includes our multi-axis sensors, axial torsion and torque transducers, miniature load cells, wireless and testing rig solutions, instrumentation, along with our precision load cell technologies for all types of automotive testing and equipment used in the industry.

New SuperSC for Automotive Industry

One of the demonstrations will be Interface’s new SuperSC S-Type Miniature Load Cell. This new product is an economical general purpose load cell with a compact design that measures tension and compression in one unit. It offers high performance capacities in a form factor 80% smaller and 50% lighter than other models of s-type shear beam load cells.

The SuperSC is an ideal product in end of line validation testing for automotive, individual automotive component testing, and fatigue or life cycle testing. It is versatile for machines, component tests, integration into a manufacturing or assembly line for real-time force monitoring.

Many automotive testing labs rely on an actuator for fatigue or lifetime expectancy testing. Without force measurement, testers can only tell when the product reaches failure. The SuperSC can provide early warnings on component performance and life degradation.

SuperSC comes in 12 capacities ranging from 25 to 1K lbf and 100 N to 5 kN. Six designs for international standards of measurement (metric) and six for imperial standards. They are environmentally sealed with an IP66 rating and offer high stiffness with low detection and is insensitive to off-axis loading.

AxialTQ Demonstration

Another product that will be a focus is the revolutionary AxialTQ™ Wireless Rotary Torque Transducer. Designed for the automotive industry, this transducer is common for advanced torque tests and in the electric vehicle markets. Interface presented a new white paper that provides comparative research related to the AxialTQ product, demonstrating its performance related to other offerings. Read AxialTQ Technical White Paper Details Comparative Testing.

To learn more about AxialTQ, watch this video demonstration.

Automotive Testing Applications

Interface will also be showcasing brake pedal load cells, our robot using multi-axis sensors, digital and portable instrumentation and custom solutions designed specifically for auto test engineers. One of these solutions that we will be sharing is our Electric Vehicle Structural Battery Testing application.

EV Battery Structural Testing

Structural EV battery testing is core to optimization as innovation drives electric vehicle battery design and sustainability. Automotive manufacturers and component testing engineers need to validate structural battery pack design for life expectancy against design targets, as well as crash test compliance and survivability. Working with the EV battery maker, Interface’s recommendation is our 1100 Ultra-Precision LowProfile Load Cells for use in-line with hydraulic or electromechanical actuators within the test stand. Interface’s 6A Series 6-Axis Load Cells are also used to capture reactive forces transmitting through pack structure. Multi-axis measurement brings greater system level insight and improved product success.

Bluetooth® Brake Pedal Animated Application Note

Additional Automotive Solutions and Resources

EV Battery Testing Solutions Utilize Interface Mini Load Cells

Electric Vehicle Battery Monitoring App Note

Torque Measurement for Electric Vehicles

Automotive Head Rest Testing App Note

Fine-Tuning Testing Solutions for Championship Racing Vehicles

Automotive Window Pinch Force Testing

Automotive Head Rest Testing Animated Application Note

Automotive + Vehicle Brochure

 

EV Battery Testing Solutions Utilize Interface Mini Load Cells

Automotive components undergo rigorous testing to meet regulatory standards, guarantee performance, and ensure consumer safety. These components continually require investment in innovation to meet the expressed governmental, consumer and commercial use requirements.

One of the vehicle components that is undergoing intense change is the battery. The market is heavily focused on increasing mileage use and life, which includes the shift from single-use lithium batteries to lithium-ion batteries which are rechargeable.

These customer sentiments are noticeable in the growing global electric vehicle (EV) and hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) demands for sustainable and longer-lasting battery solutions. Customer satisfaction and commercial applications are closely intertwined with a vehicle’s ability to travel longer distances without refueling or charging. The demands and changes drive robust test and measurement programs to bring new battery models and designs to market.

In 2021, it is estimated the EV battery market exceeded 38% of total battery sales. As technology continues to improve the lifecycle and reducing battery costs, Precedence Research estimates 32% CAGR through 2030. This translated to $46B in the US alone of market share, while Asia Pacific is leading the production of EVs and overall demand for the EV batteries. Based on global adoption of electric vehicles, supported by government initiatives and an intense focus on reduced carbon emissions, the EV battery market is expected to continue expanding around the world.

The testing of batteries is growing in complexity with the increase in number of cells, modern designs, materials, cycles, installation, vehicle models, certifications and charging equipment to name a few. Battery simulation and real battery integration testing are two examples of commonly used T&M programs used to validate battery adaptability and use requirements. In battery testing, accuracy and quality of the measurement devices are vital. The following are the most common battery types today:

  • Lithium-ion Battery
  • Lead-Acid Battery
  • Sodium-ion Battery
  • Nickel-Metal Hydride Battery
  • Others

Due to the market shift to EVs, the lithium-ion battery is the number one battery type today. The domination of the lithium-ion battery exceeded all other battery types in 2021. Manufacturers of EVs prefer partnering with OEMs of newer model Li-ion batteries because they are lighter in weight and have higher energy density. The following details one of many Interface solutions offered to automotive component and battery manufacturers.

Electric Vehicle Battery Monitoring

The EV battery manufacturer required a system to monitor their lithium-ion batteries. Normally, lithium-ion batteries are measured through voltage and current measurements or (ICV) to analyze and monitor the battery life. In consultation with the design and testing engineers, Interface recommended a solution that required installing the LBM Compression Load Button Load Cell in between two garolite end plates, and measuring the force due to cell swelling or expansion. Instead of monitoring through voltage (ICV), this method is based on measured force (ICF). To monitor the testing, the load cell was paired with the 9330 Battery Powered High Speed Data Logging Indicator. This instrumentation solution provides the ability to display, record and log the force measurement results with supplied software.  To review the results and complete application note, go here.

Interface has long partnered with auto manufacturers and suppliers of various parts and components to provide a large range of automotive industry test and measurement solutions.  This includes sensors and instrumentation solutions for the development, testing and performance monitoring of all types of batteries, with growing interest for lithium-ion battery testing.

Interface will be discussing this and other force measurement solutions at the upcoming Auto Test Expo in Europe. Join us in Stuttgart or contact our application engineers to collaborate on a testing solution that works for your next project.

Additional Automotive Industry Resources

Interface Automotive Force Measurement Solutions

Driving Force in Automotive Applications

Test and Measurement for Electric Vehicles

The Future of Automotive is Electric

AxialTQ Technical White Paper Details Comparative Testing

WTS Brake Pedal Force Testing

Automotive + Vehicle Brochure

Automotive Window Pinch Force Testing App Note

Automotive Head Rest Testing App Note

Advancing Auto Testing with Interface Measurement Solutions

Interface Automotive Force Measurement Solutions

Interface introduced our load cells to the auto and vehicle industry more than five decades ago. Quality and precision sensor technologies are essential to manufacturing and production for vehicles.

Interface force measurement devices are used for critical testing in both commercial and industrial vehicle design and production to ensure safety and reliability in the automotive industry.

As the industry has evolved and transformed, so has the products we supply to our customers in this market. Our range of solutions continues to expand in functionality and capabilities as complexities of testing throughout the entire journey, from component design and prototyping to rigorous safety testing of every piece of equipment progresses.

By creating highly responsive, critically accurate, and safer load cell and torque sensors, we are seeing our products used in all types of test and measurement applications, including:

  • Engine dynamometers
  • Lug nut assembly
  • Airbag connector testing
  • EV battery testing
  • ICE and EV motor torque testing
  • Equipment fatigue testing
  • Motor test stands
  • Brake and clutch pedal force
  • Engine head bolt tightening
  • Vehicle crash test walls
  • Race car suspension testing
  • Transmission gear box and gear mesh
  • Autonomous vehicle tests

Research and development facilities with precision application requirements favor our 1200 Series LowProfile™ Load Cells with their special moment compensated design. These are used in auto manufacturer assembly lines in a variety of production monitoring and verification applications. Our exceedingly accurate LowProfile™ Load Cells have even been used in NASCAR and IndyCar garages for testing individual springs and entire vehicle suspensions.

Preview Interface products used in the automotive and vehicle markets in this new solutions video.

Here are two highlights of automotive application notes.  You can find more about automotive and vehicle solutions here.

Tire Testing

A top tire manufacturer needed a solution that would provide data analysis for stress testing.  The research would provide advancements to their product by defining the tire’s dynamic control capabilities. In review with our application engineers, they detailed they need to measure both the torque and lateral force in their testing.

Interface recommended the new AT105 Contactless Force Torque Transducer. With the torque and lateral force testing requirements, they determined that the best option to review the results by display as well as with graphing is to connect the transducers to the 4-Channel USB Interface Module SI-USB4.  You can see the entire solution and results in the Tire Testing App Note.

MDPS Testing

A manufacturer wanted to test the power steering for their vehicles. They want to test the linkage tension and compression between the rack and pinion. On a test frame, Interface’s 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile™ Load Cell was installed at the end of the rack and pinion actuator. As the wheel is turned, the load cell tests the push and pull forces. Force measurements can be displayed in real time using the highly accurate 9870 High-Speed High Performance TEDS Ready Indicator. The 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile Load Cell successfully measured the tension and compression between the rack and pinion of the customer’s MDPS system. You can see the entire solution and results in the MDPS testing App Note.

Additional Resources:

Driving Force in Automotive Applications

Advancing Auto Testing with Interface Measurement Solutions

Automotive Window Pinch Force Testing

Test and Measurement for Electric Vehicles

 

Force Measurement Solutions for Mobility Markets

One of the tenets in addressing urban mobility is innovation.  As populations grow around the world, addressing how people get from here to there is part of a challenge and opportunity.  Investments are growing in this sector, as experts and designers look to how to increase efficiency and performance in vehicle markets.

Interface has long been a supplier of test and measurement solutions to industries that play a critical role in mobility, from vehicle manufacturers to infrastructure planners and builders. In our latest case study, we look at some of the innovative ways our solutions are being used to advance technologies and capabilities in transportation.

If something moves, it likely needs force and torque testing for reliability, safety and performance. With the evolving trends in urban mobility, Interface is working with makers and builders of all types of transportation solutions for unmanned vehicles like drones and autonomous vehicles, as well as alternatively fueled and electric vehicles.

READ OUR NEW CASE STUDY: INTERFACE’S CRUCIAL ROLE IN VEHICLE AND URBAN MOBILITY MARKETS

Interface customers utilize our standard and custom products in the vehicle and mobility markets to:

  1. Test the force and torque of components for validation or for design improvements
  2. Integration of sensor technology into a component or product for functional real-time performance data

These products include Interface load cells, mini load cells and subminiature load button load cells, rotary and reaction torque transducers, instrumentation, and accessories. For the growing trends for digital requirements in testing and OEM solutions, our wireless and Bluetooth solutions are commonly used in these markets.  Interface is also frequently engaged on specific customer requests for engineer-to-order products and customized solutions.

Here are four use case scenarios of Interface solutions used in the vehicle and mobility markets:

Brake Pedal Testing

Interface’s Brake Pedal Load Cell BPL-300-C was installed on a brake pedal and then connected to a BTS-AM-1 Bluetooth Low Energy Strain Bridge Transmitter Module, which collects and transmits data to our BTS Toolkit Mobile App. This solution allowed the customer to record and review data from a mobile device while out on a test track. READ MORE HERE.

Drone Delivery Systems

Interface supplied four WMC Sealed Stainless Miniature Load Cells to measure the payload weight and  for the detection of in-motion shifting and uneven distribution of the package weight. As the load cells detect this data, it provides a signal to the propeller to increase RPMs on the propellers and adjust balance and weight distribution inflight. WATCH HERE.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Battery Testing

Compression testing performed on EV batteries is critical for performance and safety. As an EV battery is charged and stores more electrons, it swells. If the packaging housing the batteries does not compensate for this swelling in the design, failure is likely. Interface can supply a 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 the future of EV markets and testing here.

Engine Performance Testing

Force and torque sensors are used with a dynamometer, which isolates the engine’s power output to help quantify its overall performance.  In this application, a  precision SSMF Fatigue Rated S-Type Load Cell is attached to a torque arm to “feels” the torque from an engine loading system. The fatigue rating on the load cell allows it to accurately measure performance for extended cycles. A signal conditioner is used to connect out from the load cell to a computer to ensure clear transmission of data to accurately measure torque being produced by the engine. Engineers analyze power transfer through the data output to tune the engine performance. Check out this engine dynamometer application note here.

Contact our experts to learn more about these types of testing applications, use cases and products used in urban mobility projects.

Evolving Urban Mobility Sector for Test and Measurement

Every day it seems we are inching closer to the Jetson’s utopia of flying cars, floating cities and robot butlers. Technology is evolving to the point where robotics and computers control most aspects of travel and mobility. That requires a lot of testing and dependency on accurate measurements for what is on the road and what is flying up above.

Interface has been long been working with leading manufacturers and suppliers of all types of vehicles traveling on the ground, across the skies, and into aerospace. As innovations are removing old boundaries, one thing that remains constant is the need for test and measurement programs.

In the urban mobility sector, we are seeing growth related to rigorous T&M projects for everything from autonomous vehicles to manned rockets, as well as unmanned aircrafts and drones. Interface is proud to be a solutions provider to the engineers and innovators of these growing applications and sectors.

Arizona, the home to Interface’s headquarters, is considered a hub for new technologies and inventions in urban mobility, including autonomous automobiles, alternative-fueled vehicles, rockets and unmanned vehicles. There are dozens of companies with testing and research facilities located throughout Arizona, with countless self-driving vehicles testing and mapping streets throughout the state. In fact, the Institute for Automated Mobility (IAM) in partnership with Intel, Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, University of Arizona, and other public and private organizations, is collaborating on state-of-the-art research in Arizona. The goal of IAM is to advance all aspects of autonomous vehicles from science to safety to policy.

Nearly every company currently testing and innovating autonomous vehicle technology in Arizona is a customer of Interface. We are providing everything from instrumentation to torque transducers, along with a large range of our standard precision load cells for all types of testing projects. Our custom solutions team also has been working with leaders in these markets.

Being on the forefront as a solutions provider for this sector gives us visibility into many of the applications. What we have learned is demand is related to advancing urban mobility to solve for increasing congestion and diminishing inner-city air quality. The 2019 Urban Mobility Report published by The Texas A&M Transportation Institute with cooperation from INRIX notes:

“Connected vehicles “talking” to each other, such as traffic signals and other systems, and providing this information to decision‐makers will provide unprecedented data and insights to identify and fix mobility problems. Newer model vehicles sense and adjust to their surroundings, increasing the safety and efficient movement of goods and people. Other technologies, such as The Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printers, Blockchain, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will impact transportation systems of the future.”

As technology leads the way in urban mobility, the safety and performance of the vehicle are of utmost importance. There is no room for failure. The point is, the advancement of robotics, sensor technology, and computing power are becoming a driving factor behind a fully autonomous world in terms of how people and products move about the world.

Another area of increased T&M product demand at Interface is coming from the application of our force measurement products for moving objects in unmanned vehicles above ground. The advancement of drone technology for commercial purposes is seen through the adoption across diverse applications such as mapping, logistics, and surveillance. Interface load cell technologies have been used for flight and wing testing, load testing and a variety of force measurement projects. The drone market, for commercial applications,  is expected to grow to more than $7B through 2022.

Interface is well known throughout key global industries as the premier manufacturer of the most accurate and reliable force measurement products on the market. For urban mobility, accuracy is critical to maintaining safe, pilot and driverless, vehicles and with the advancement of high-quality robotics.

Our load cells and torque transducers are used to test and measure key data points such as balance and weight distribution, thrust and lift, and to optimize movement on robotic arms and legs.

Here are a couple of application examples where Interface is providing critical components to advance innovation in urban mobility

Aerospace and Defense

The aerospace and defense industries are among the earliest adopters of urban mobility technology. The defense sector has utilized drones for surveillance, tactical advantage and battle since the advent of the technology. Aerospace manufacturers have also implemented autonomy into many of their commercial and defense planes. Interface has been a longtime partner of the aerospace and defense sector, working with some of the largest OEM’s across the U.S., as well as internationally. Some of the capabilities of our products in the aerospace and defense industry include thrust tests, wing and fuselage balance, weight distribution and fatigue testing, landing gear tests and parcel delivery weight testing for drones.

Automotive

In the automotive industry, autonomous vehicles have been a critical focus for the past 10 years. The technology really exploded onto the scene over the past five years with key players like Google, Tesla, GM, and others making significant investments in the development and testing of autonomous vehicles. Interface products are used by most of the major automobile OEM’s throughout the world. In 2018, we released one of our most advanced products to date, the Axial TQ™, which includes capabilities uniquely designed for autonomous vehicle testing. Our services in automotive include bolt fastening, brake pedal force testing, engine torque testing and more.

Here are a couple of application notes and a case study that outlines how Interface products are used in this sector:

As the urban mobility sector continues to grow, more advanced travel and delivery systems will require precise weight and torque testing to ensure unwavering reliability. The less control humans have over land and air vehicles, the more we need to trust the construction and design of these vehicles using proper force testing. Interface will continue to grow as a key player in the space as more OEM’s turn to our services to optimize the development of drones, autonomous vehicles, and other urban mobility innovations.

Contributor: Kim Williams, Interface Business Development Manager