Interface’s technical webinar Engineered Solutions for Lifting details measurement devices used in lifting equipment, machines, and vehicles to improve operations. Interface load cells and instrumentation are used in operating cranes, for hoisting heavy objects, and measuring forces in infrastructure projects. Interface experts will provide answers as to how load cells are used in safety monitoring for lifting equipment. Learn about Interface sensor products suited for integration into existing equipment, as well as for test and measurement projects.
Interface recently hosted an online technical seminar that detailed product specification basics, key values, terms to know, how to read a datasheet, what specs matter most in force measurement applications.
For Interface, specifications are detailed descriptions that outline the characteristics, features, and qualities of our products, systems, or services. Product specifications are included on all datasheets, detailing product performance, capabilities, capacities and dimensions. Products have internal specifications that are tested against during manufacture, typically with full traceability.
Throughout the webinar Demystifying Specifications, Brian Peters and Jeff White offered important tips on what to consider for high-speed, durability, precision, and specialty product requirements. They highlighted what to look for on the product datasheet when choosing a load cell or instrumentation device. This includes variables in specifications related to expected performance of transducers and instrumentation based on frequency, environment, and other critical testing application considerations. They also answered the most frequently asked questions of our applications engineers related to specifications and datasheets.
Demystifying Specifications Webinar Topics
- Specification Basics
- Specifications and Values in Force Measurement
- Decoding Datasheets
- Detailing Product Specs for Load Cells
- Detailing Product Specs for Instrumentation
- Detailing Product Specs for Specialty Sensor Products
- Applying Specifications to Applications
- Specification Tips
- FAQs and Resources
Four Types of Specifications
Interface provides four types of specifications for every product we make and sell: functional, technical, performance and design.
- Functional specifications describe the intended functionality or behavior of a product, whether a sensor, instrument or accessory. They outline what the product or system should do and how it should perform its tasks. Functional specifications typically include applications, product requirements, and expected use case results.
- Technical specifications provide detailed information about mechanical aspects of a product or system. They may include information about the materials, dimensions, technical standards, performance criteria, capacities, and other technical details necessary for the design, development, and implementation of the product or system
- Performance specifications define the performance requirements and criteria that a product or system must meet. This is critical in force and measurement. They specify the desired performance levels, such as speed, accuracy, capacity, efficiency, reliability, or other measurable attributes. Performance can be defined by a specific range, with maximum standards for peak performance. Performance specifications help ensure that the product or system meets the desired test and measurement goals.
- Design specifications outline the specific design criteria and constraints for a product or system. These specs provide guidelines and requirements related to the visual appearance and can also reference the model details found in a product’s engineering CAD STEP file.
Specifications Commonly Found on Interface Product Datasheets
- Models based on Form Factor
- Measuring Range (Capacity)
- Measurement Units: US (lbf) Metric (N, kN)
- Accuracy (Max Error)
- Temperature: Operating Range, Compensated Range, Effect on Zero and Effect on Output (Span)
- Electrical: Rated Output, Excitation Voltage, Bridge Resistance, Zero Balance and Insulation Resistance
- Mechanical: Safe Overload, Deflection, Optional Base, Natural Frequency, Weight, Calibration and Material
- Connector Options
Key Force Measurement Specification Terms to Know
Nonlinearity: The algebraic difference between OUTPUT at a specific load and the corresponding point on the straight line drawn between minimum load and maximum load. Normally expressed in units of %FS.
Hysteresis: The algebraic difference between output at a given load descending from maximum load and output at the same load ascending from minimum load. Normally expressed in units of %FS.
Static Error Band (SEB): The band of maximum deviations of the ascending and descending calibration points from a best fit line through zero output. It includes the effects of nonlinearity, hysteresis, and non-return to minimum load. Expressed in units of %FS. SEB Output is a best fit straight line output at capacity.
Nonrepeatability: The maximum difference between output readings for repeated loadings under identical loading and environmental conditions. Expressed in units of %RO. In practice there are many factors that affect repeatability that ARE NOT included in the nonrepeatability specification.
Creep: The change in load cell signal occurring with time, while under load and with all environmental conditions and other variables remaining constant. Expressed as % applied load over specific time interval. Logarithmic effect that is also symmetric on load removal. Stated specifications may differ and are not for the same time interval.
Eccentric and Side Load Sensitivity: Eccentric Load – Any load applied parallel to but not concentric with the primary axis. Results in moment load. Side Load – Any load at the point of axial load application at 90° to the primary axis. Error influences are reported in terms % and %/in.
Watch the event to understand why these specification details matter and some of the important variables to consider when comparing, using or troubleshooting different measurement products. During the event, we provided a list of resources that are helpful when looking for specification information or definitions. The complete list is below.
Interface Load Cell Field Guide (Free Copy)
Interface’s technical force measurement webinar Demystifying Specifications details descriptions, terms, values and parameters found in product datasheets for load cells, torque transducers, instrumentation and specialty products. Learn from our experts what specifications need critical review, recommendations based on product categories, and the insider point of view on what is most important in terms of specifications for different use cases and tests.
Interface hosted a technical seminar on the topic of data acquisition systems. With the demands for more data and faster processing with requirements to connect multiple devices in testing environments, there is an increasing need for high accuracy DAQ systems. Keith Skidmore and Dave Reardon detail the basics of DAQ, trends, products, software options and answer to questions in the webinar, Unlocking the Power of DAQ.
To start, a data acquisition (DAQ) system consists of hardware and software components designed to collect, process, and analyze data from various sources and convert it into digital format for further analysis and storage.
Components of DAQ Systems
- Input: Sensors (Ex: Force, Torque), Digital Signals (Ex: DIO, Counters), Timing Signals (Ex: IRIG, GPS) and Serial Streams (Ex: RS-232, RS-422)
- Signal Conditioning Circuitry: Excitation, Amplifier, Voltage Offsets, and Filters
- Analog-to-Digital Converters (ADC)
- Digital-to-Analog Converters (DAC)
- Hardware and Software for processing, analyzing, display and recording
- Output Signal: prior to ADC, after DAC, or even after processing
Analog data acquisition systems acquire and process analog signals. Analog signals can include sensors that measure load, force, torque, strain, temperature, pressure, voltage, current, and many other physical or electrical qualities. Digital data acquisition systems acquire and process digital signals. Digital signals can include on and off states, counters, serial streams, text data, video, GPS signals, and other advanced options.
Key Considerations for DAQ Systems
- Supported range of inputs mV/V, VDC, mA, partial bridge, encoder, pulse, frequency
- Included software and related functionality
- Form factor
- Bench top, rack mount, portable, ruggedized and others
- Sample rate
- Power supply
- Channel count and cost per channel
Interface DAQ Products
Interface offers a range of solutions for DAQ systems. The top products for DAQ include:
- BX8-HD15 BlueDAQ Series Data Acquisition System for Discreet Sensors with Lab Enclosure
- BX8-HD44 BlueDAQ Series Data Acquisition System for Multi-Axis Sensors with Lab Enclosure
- BX8-AS BlueDAQ Series Data Acquisition System with Industrial Enclosure
- BSC4D Multi-Channel Digital PC Interface and Data Acquisition Instrument
- BX6-BT Portable 6-Channel High Speed Bluetooth Data Logger
- BSC4D Multi-Channel Digital PC Interface and Data Acquisition Instrument
- 9330 battery powered high speed data logging indicator
- 9825 General Purpose Indicator
- SI-USB4 4 Channel USB Interface Module
During the webinar, Keith and Dave detail a series of product groups for the Interface Data AQ Packs.Data AQ Pack Brochure
Watch the webinar and learn more about product options, software, applications and best practice tips.
Interface webinar Unlocking the Power of DAQ details trends, best practices and considerations for using data acquisiton in force measurement applications. We explore DAQ instrumentation options, trends and set-up options. Learn why data acquisition systems are growing in popularity for all types of use cases. We also detail the new Interface Data AQ Packs and system options for capturing critical data. Watch the online technical seminar for recommendations on equipment, plus we answser the most frequently asked questions about DAQ in test and measurement.
Interface experts detail standard measurement devices that are essential to all testing labs. They highlight calibration standards and calibration grade equipment, along with instrumentation and data acquisition systems. What types of equipment do you need in the lab to meet the testing demands of today and in the future? Watch this in-depth seminar for recommendations on equipment, best practices, tips, test lab applications and frequently asked questions.
Interface’s first event of 2023 focuses on a growing line of miniaturized load cells and torque transducers. The presentation by Brian Peters and Justin Walker emphasizes that though the form factor is small for Interface Minis, accuracy and measurement capacities are high.
Through out the event Taking Measure of Miniature Load Cells, Interface product experts detailed specific applications and use cases for miniature force measurement devices. Interface’s Minis are commonly used across all types of industries from medical device testing to embedded sensors in machines to provide real-time system health and performance data.
After inventing the LowProfile load cell more than five and half decades ago, Interface engineers and founder first introduced the miniature s-type load cells in 1974. How does Interface classify a miniature load cell?
- Miniature load cells are engineered for use in applications for light touch, light weight, or for less space.
- Miniature load cells provide exceedingly accurate measurements similar to our full-size load cells with proprietary alloy strain gages.
- Miniature load cells can measure both tension and compression.
- Miniature load cells and torque transducers are available in a wide range of capacities and models.
- Miniature load cells are not just small in physical size, they also have a range to test minimal forces with extremely high accuracy
- Interface defines our trademarked Mini™ Load Cells as anything that isn’t a low profile load cell
The team also covered new products that provide extremely high accuracy measurement in very small envelopes, including our new SuperSC, ConvexBT, the popular WMC and MRT, along with our new Pillow Block Load Cells. They also highlight some of the special options, including wireless and submersible products. Throughout the recorded event, products were introduced to showcase the range and options available for miniature load cells and torque transducers, including:
- Miniature beam load cells
- Miniature load button load cells
- Miniature load washers
- Miniature tension and compression, compression only load cells
- S-type load cells
- Miniature sealed stainless steel load cells
- Column rod end miniature load cells
- Torque transducer miniatures
You can watch the entire event online on the Interface YouTube Channel. You don’t want to miss out on the answers to our most frequently asked questions, like do you can you calibrate a load button or can you make a mini load cell without cables (wireless)? They also give you the details on the smallest measurement capacity for a miniature load cell and the largest measurement capacity for an Interface miniature. Can you imagine a million lbf mini? Tune in to learn more and a special section on do and don’t tips.
Interface force measurement engineers and solution experts host an online discussion focused on products used to withstand one or more conditions related to temperature, cycling, moisture, environmental stresses. Learn about Interface’s stainless steel load cells, environmentally sealed options, submersible test and measurement products, enclosures, wireless capabilities, load pins, intrinsically safe products. We detail solutions used for all types of applications used in industries that include medical device, aerospace and defense, industrial automation, infrastructure, maritime and general test & measurement. We discuss sensors models, capabilities, features and FAQs. We dive into use cases, tips, measurement know-how and OEM products.
Interface’s event, Ruggedized Test and Measurement Solutions, details various transducers, instrumentation and accessories that are designed to withstand environmental stresses and harsh conditions.
The types of testing use case that require ruggedized solutions are material testing, high and low temperature environments, structural and fatigue tests, high cycle count tests, any test for products exposure to moisture or humidity, pressure tests, as well as underwater and in-fluid tests. As noted, this applies to every industry, including maritime, aerospace, food packaging, consumer products, construction, medical devices and automotive.
Interface considers ruggedization as force measurement solutions designed and fabricated for use in extreme environments and applications, ability to operate within accuracy specifications while withstanding one or more environmental stresses or harsh conditions.
During this event, Ken Bishop and Elliot Speidell details the top factors when evaluating test and measurement products used in extreme environments, such as exposure to high or low temperatures, depth of submersion, moisture and water concerts, dust, and other harsh conditions. They present key questions to answer when evaluating your testing requirements, as well as top considerations.
These important evaluation subjects and ruggedized product factors are based on years of experience in collaborating with companies around the world. They define use cases and actual examples of Interface load pins, instrumentation, stainless steel load cells, enclosures and accessories used in all types of harsh and even hazardous environments.
Here is a quick preview of all the topics thoroughly discussed during this event.
- Environmental Stresses and Harsh Condition Categories
- Standards and Ratings
- Structural and Material Options
- Ruggedized Test and Measurement Devices
- Sealed Products and Enclosures
- Extreme Temperatures and Cycling
- Exposure to Moisture and Submersibles
- Test & Measurement Applications Using Ruggedized Products
The entire online seminar is now available on-demand. Watch it here.
- 2400 Standard Stainless Steel High Capacity Load Cell
- 3200 Precision Stainless Steel Load Cell
- 3410 Intrinsically Safe LowProfile® Load Cell
- 3420 Coil Tubing Intrinsically Safe Load Cell
- JB104SS 4-Channel Stainless Steel Junction Box
- LP Stainless Steel Load Pin
- ISHK-B Bow Type Crosby™ Cabled Load Shackle
- 2000 High Precision Canister Load Cell
- SSM-FDH Sealed High Temperature S-Type Load Cell
- WMC Sealed Stainless Steel Miniature Load Cell
- IPCD Pressure Compensated Downhole Load Cell
These types of products follow strict certification standards and ratings. During the online seminar, Interface product experts detail the standards and ratings related to intrinsically safe products, sometimes referred to as hazardous location use, as well as solutions designed to meet safety, regulatory or compliance requirements.
The standard ensures that an intrinsically safe device is incapable of triggering combustion or igniting any gasses or vapors. The device is safe to use around dust and gas without risking static electricity or heat discharge from the device igniting the surrounding volatile gasses, powders, and liquids. Explosion proof applies to a device enclosed in a case that can withstand a gas or vapor explosion. Should there be an explosion, it will be contained within the enclosure.
Interface offers products with different IP ratings, including IP66, IP67 and IP68 applied to different transducers and instrumentation. Ingress protection (IP) ratings, which grade the resistance of an enclosure against the intrusion of dust or liquids ingress protection (IP) ratings, which grade the resistance of an enclosure against the intrusion of dust or liquids.
- IP65 – Dust-tight, protected against water jets
- IP66 – Dust-tight, protected against powerful water jets
- IP67 – Dust-tight, protected against the effects of temporary submersion in water
- IP68 – Dust-tight, protected against the effects of continuous immersion in water
What is the difference between IP66 and IP68? IP68 enclosures also provide dust-tight performance against solids. However, they are also rated for significantly better defense against water ingress than an IP66 enclosure. An IP68 enclosure can withstand submersion for over 30-minutes at up to a specified water depth.
Interface also has a range of instrumentation products that are NEMA, and IP rated based on the enclosure and housing designs. These include:
- 920I Programmable Weight Indicator (NEMA 4)
- 1280 Programmable Weight Indicator (NEMA 4)
- 480 Bidirectional Weigh Indicator (NEMA 4)
- BX8-AS 8-Channel DAQ and Amplifier (IP67)
- CSC Inline Signal Conditioner and Amplifier (IP67)
- CSD Embedded Load Cell Converter and Digitizer Module (IP67)
- JB1100 Junction Box (NEMA 1)
Interface offers standard and customized solutions. Contact our application engineers to discuss your options and how to ensure you have the right product to match the conditions of our test and measurement environment.