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Embedding Sensors in Products

Join us for a conversation about embedding sensors into products and components. Our OEM solutions experts Randy White and Brian Peters will discuss the process of engaging Interface to help with design, engineering, building and testing using our specialty load cells and torque transducers. We build to your specifications, so let’s talk about how to get started. Learn more in this detailed event about OEM market solutions.

Recap of Inventive Multi-Axis and Instrumentation Webinar

Interface’s resident solutions experts Keith Skidmore and Ken Bishop detailed a series of multi-axis products and advanced instrumentation options in our latest ForceLeaders webinar. They topics discussed during this recorded event included detailed features and benefits of the line of 3-Axis and 6-Axis Multi-Axis Sensors available from Interface. In summary, if you are looking for more data, to maximize your return on testing investments and need a compact solution compared to using multiple single load cells, multi-axis load cells may be the right solution for your application or testing project.

Pairing your sensor with right type of instrumentation that is best suited for the device and your data requirements is an important consideration.  During event, Keith shares why the BX8 Data Acquisition System and Amplifier provides 8-channel synchronized sampling and internal calculation of axis load values for 6-axis sensors. The BX8 provides high-speed synchronous sampling that is critical for dynamic measurements. It is high resolution and low noise and comes with our BlueDAQ software for data viewing and analysis. There is an option to also use BlueDAQ PRO! with MathScript. Multiple BX8 can be synchronized for use with 12-channel 6-axis sensors and force plates, which are discussed later during the event. For large capacity 6-axis sensors, you can also use two BX8’s to create a 72-coeffecient matrix. Watch the event to learn more and read about 6-Axis and BX8 powerful measurement solution.

In contrast to the BX8, Keith details the Interface BSC4 and shares important features that make it a good instrumentation choice to use with our model 3A, 3AR 3-Axis load cells. It can be used with up to four mV/V or VDC output sensors. It is a compact and convenient instrumentation option, compared to using multiple single-channel amplifiers. Our BSC4D comes with BlueDAQ software and is LabView compatible. Learn more about 3-Axis and BSC4.

You will also get the first look at our latest instrumentation solution, the BX6-BT Wireless 6-Axis Data Logger.  This new product is miniature in size, offers 7-channels with Bluetooth functionality. It logs to micro-SD card and is BlueDAQ compatible. It also does matrix math.

Further in the webinar, get the latest tips on mounting multi-axis sensors and using mounting plates and why we are seeing more use cases for Interface custom force plates. You don’t want to miss out on these important set-up instructions, frequently asked questions, and tips for ensuring you don’t compromise accuracy and reliability in your testing.

Watch the webinar and you’ll also learn about applications that use multi-axis and advanced instrumentation, including for structural testing, friction testing, seat testing and special condition calibration. We will be posting addition blogs from the learnings of this in-depth expert discussion, including top 10 FAQs, calibrating multi-axis sensors and the future of test and measurement using multi-axis load cells.

Inventive Multi-Axis + Instrumentation Solutions

Interface solutions experts Ken Bishop and Keith Skidmore discussed innovative product solutions utilizing multi-axis sensors and instrumentation, including our 3-Axis, 6-Axis load cells along with BX8 and BCS4 instrumentation. Learn about mounting plate and new force plate options, along with systems and use cases. Watch the recorded event.

Recap of Latest Spin on AxialTQ Webinar

Interface recently hosted a new webinar in our ForceLeaders series that highlighted the revolutionary AxialTQ product.  The event reviewed the bearingless wireless rotary torque transducer design and detailed component specifications, why test engineers prefer the AxialTQ, and use cases for this precision measurement system.

If you were not able to attend the Latest Spin on AxialTQ event, you can watch the entire recording online here.

The revolutionary AxialTQ was first introduced in 2018. The design originated from the popular HRDT product that utilized a rotor stator gap design as a single component. After hundreds of users, we started the product engineering exercise to see how we could advance the soon-to-retire HRDT and evolve it into something that would perfectly fit current market conditions.

As technologies were changing testing protocols and requirements, such as for electric motors, alternative energy hardware, space vehicles and industrial machine automation, we wanted to add new functionality. Jay Bradley and the Interface engineering team began the process by looking at DIN size optimization, shorter stators, additional coupling options, advanced software configurations and simple “drop-in” replacement parts with a modular design.

After thousands of design hours and testing, Interface released the AxialTQ. The specialized product is a unique combination of accuracy, reliability and ease of use that redefines the standard torque measurement device in terms of function and durability.

Engineers prefer the new AxialTQ because of the time-proven sensing element with longer active area providing greater measurement sensitivity while being less vulnerable to shock loads.  The high-resolution digital electronics are state-of-the art. Uniquely, the large gap design up to 6 mm axial and 12 mm radial minimizes contact damage which is important at high-speed testing. It has 120-degree partial loop antenna on the stator to make installation easier.

Specialized design features of AxialTQ make it a great fit for test and production applications.

  • Crash-proof design for maximum reliability
  • Industry-leading gap to prevent damage to rotor stator at full speed
  • Simultaneous analog and digital outputs, enables real-time control and data collection
  • Interchangeable stators and output modules minimize parts inventory
  • Versatile design and wide range of configurations to match any application
  • Hardware is self-configuring
  • New advanced software with added features and logging capabilities
  • Rotor and stator coils designed using printed circuit boards for durability

The AxialTQ rotor sensing element and electronics are the heart of the system. It has a rugged design for all types of torque measurement applications.  It comes in 8 torque capacities. The status assembly matches to the rotor DIN size and is interchangeable with equipment DIN size rotor assemblies, increasing usability.  The USB digital output module has galvanic isolation on all outputs and has standard IP65 ingress protection.  It enables real-time control and accurate data collection.

Keith Skidmore shared several use cases during the presentation, including engine dynamometers, motor test stands and other automotive production line applications.

The AxialTQ is designed for testing anything that spins. It’s ideal in testing and production of hydraulic motors, EVs, helicopters, aircraft, and drones, along with windmills and industrial fans.  It’s great for testing forklifts, off-road and utility vehicles as wells as tractors and watercraft.  AxialTQ is also generally used for measuring torque on industrial motor assemblies, pumps, appliances, braking systems, and motor vehicle accessories.

Watch the entire webinar below to hear Keith and Jay share tips, specifications, frequently asked questions and how to get the most out of your torque measurement applications.

Learn more about AxialTQ here.

Latest Spin on AxialTQ

Our latest webinar, Latest Spin on AxialTQ features Keith Skidmore and Jay Bradley detailing all aspects of AxialTQ including design, features, performance specifications, customizable options, and applications of this revolutionary torque transducer.

Recap of Instructional on Instrumentation Webinar

Interface recently hosted a new ForceLeaders event on the topic of instrumentation.

The webinar experts, Keith Skidmore and Ken Bishop, shared insights and experience in different types of instrumentation. Along with detailing various features, they provided valuable tips for testing engineers, metrologists, and sensor users on how to choose the right instrumentation for your upcoming projects or new systems.

The discussion featured a series of instrumentation types, benefits and uses cases, which you can now watch online by visiting our training and events page here.

The types of instrumentation detailed during the webinar showcases the range of products we offer and that are available to complete any testing solution.  These products range from simple boxes to complete telemetry systems used for field and wireless communication requirements. The webinar highlighted the following range of instrumentation options:

  • Signal Conditioners
  • Indicators
  • Data Acquisition
  • Portable Load Cell Indicators
  • Weight Indicators
  • Junction Boxes
  • USB Interfaces
  • TEDS Ready
  • Wireless and Bluetooth Telemetry Systems

The experts offered guidance on the topic of analog versus digital and wireless versus Bluetooth. They also provided some simple criteria to review when deciding what type of instrumentation fits your exact requirements.

Basic Criteria for Selecting Digital or Analog

  • Is there an existing network you need to connect to?
  • Are you connecting to an existing DAQ device?
  • What is your budget?
  • How many sensors are you connecting?
  • Do you need to communicate through a bus?

For more insights into application use cases, frequently asked questions and top 10 tips, be sure to watch the event.  Here are just a few of the tips shared during the Instructional on Instrumentation presentation:

Tip #1 – Know your power supply requirements, amount of filtering that is fixed or adjustable, input range, scalability and zero adjustment range.

Tip #2 – The output signal from a load cell is expressed in terms of millivolt output per Volt of excitation, at capacity. 

Tip #3 – The output signal is directly affected by input voltage. It’s important to maintain a stable excitation voltage.

WATCH THE RECORDED LIVE EVENT: INSTRUCTIONAL ON INSTRUMENTION

If you have missed any of our ForceLeaders webinars, be sure to visit our YouTube Channel.  We have recorded all the events for your convenience.  Our experts are also here to help you get the exact instrumentation based on your unique requirements. Contact us here for questions or technical assistance.

Additional Resources:

Instrumentation Options in Test and Measurement

Digital Instrumentation for Force Measurement

Force Measurement Instrumentation 101

Recap of New Twist on Torque

In our latest virtual event New Twist on Torque, Randy White and Keith Skidmore shared valuable insights and tips using this type of sensor. With more than 50 different types of torque transducers available at Interface, this webinar highlighted the differences, specifications, use cases and integration advice from our experts.

The ForceLeaders webinar started off with a quick rundown on the history of torque from the first dynamometers measuring the torque and RPMs of motors to the revolutionary Interface AxialTQ. In fact, you can now see how this rotary torque transducer is actually being used in today’s advanced engine dynamometers solution here. The conversation quickly lead to multiple design options and progressed to vital integration tips, considerations and common questions.

By definition, torque transducers convert a mechanical input of torque to an electrical output signal where the signal is directly proportional to the torque input. They consist of a metal spring element like a load cell. The strain gages are bonded to the flexure in a Wheatstone bridge configuration. As torque is applied to the sensor, bending or shear strain in the gaged area, it causes the strain gages to change resistance and generate an output voltage signal proportional to torque. You can read more about torque basics in our Torque Transducers 101 post.

Throughout the event, our experts shared important know-how in using the various types of transducers, including rotary, reaction, miniaturized and even custom-built products. Reaction sensors, also referred to as static, measure torque without rotating. A rotary sensor, also called dynamic, rotates as part of a system. It is merely a reaction sensor that’s allowed to rotate. And yes, you can customize torque transducers to fit your exact requirements. You can see all our torque products here.

Keith detailed four important considerations related to capacity: drive service factors, load service factors, stopping and starting conditions and extraneous loading. There was a robust discussion about fixed and floating mounting options and the importance of couplings. Randy highlighted all the products available and also gave a great recap of several real use cases across various several industries including energy markets, automotive and vehicles, robotics and more.

Be sure to watch the entire event for an abundance of firsthand knowledge and expertise based on working with thousands of customers using torque transducers all types of applications.

WATCH THE ENTIRE RECORDED NEW TWIST ON TORQUE EVENT

There is a lot of information packed in this online event including ten integration tips that will help you define your requirements to get the right sensor for the job. Be sure to check out the FAQs and innovative application highlights, where we showcase everything from ATV and Mountain Bike Testing to Poultry Feeders and Hydrogen Power Generation. You can see all our application notes here.

The topics discussed during this recorded event include:

  • The Evolution of Torque Measurement
  • Interface Torque Transducer Specifications and Designs
  • Useful Application Tips when Using Torque Transducers
  • Review of Couplings and Instrumentation
  • Customization and Calibration
  • Industry Use Cases
  • Frequently Asked Questions

You can watch all of our events on our Interface YouTube channel.

Additional Torque FAQs are here.

Making the Case for Custom Solutions Webinar Recap

Interface application experts and custom solution pros, Ken Bishop and Keith Skidmore provided valuable insights in our latest virtual event as to how, when, and why, you should connect with our team for help in designing, engineering, and building custom sensor solutions.

Making the Case for Custom Solutions, an Interface ForceLeaders hosted webinar, delved into the scope of options across all types of technologies and devices used in test and measurement. The focus of the event highlighted the importance of early engagement in the design and conception process when evaluating whether you needed something beyond a standard product.

Custom Solutions go beyond engineered to order products, where you might need to change a thread adapter, connector, or mounting hole. Interface custom solution can range from single components designed for unique applications to multiple components configured as a system. Custom solutions are most frequently used for OEM products, as embedded pieces.

Interface offers fully designed load cells or load pins to meet the application requirements. Torque transducers‘ options include custom shaft sizes, outputs, temperature ranges, and other configurations to fit the application. Wireless is also a common consideration for custom solutions, giving a wider use for monitoring, reporting, and system support.

If we build it, we can customize it. This also applies to multi-axis sensors and various types of instrumentation. In the webinar, Keith and Ken dive into several systems and use cases that highlight multiple components configured to exact specifications from mobile force testing systems to monitoring bridges seismic activity with special waterproof casings.

Six Custom Solution Design and Specification Recommendations for Getting Started

  1. What do you want to measure?
  2. How will the sensor be used?
  3. Do you need multiple sensors or a single device?
  4. Is this embedded into an OEM application or solely for test and measurement?
  5. Do you have a cost target?
  6. How will you read the results?

The mechanics of getting something custom starts with the scope and determining what needs to be measured. Then our experienced engineers will design the product working with your team. Once designs are approved, the manufacturing process begins. Using our state-of-the-art machine shop world-class assembly and custom solution calibration experts, Interface confidently delivers the products that stand with our seal of quality, accuracy, and performance standards.

Here are the topics discussed in the Making the Case for Custom Solutions event.

  • What is Considered an Interface Custom Solution
  • Differences Between Engineered to Order and Custom
  • Design and Specification Recommendations
  • Customizations Options and Considerations
  • Building Systems
  • Tips for Engaging Custom Solutions Engineers
  • The World of Possibilities
  • FAQs

Watch the entire event here:

The benefits of engaging Interface Custom Solutions Engineers are that we become an extension of your engineering resources along with access to our models, drawings, and assets to help with your project success. Whether we are building solutions with our proprietary strain gages or finding Bluetooth instrumentation for read-outs on custom load cells, we work as your partner with ownership in your project’s success.  It’s what we know, it’s what we do, and we get custom solutions. We’ve been doing custom solutions for force and torque for 52 years.

When you are ready to engage our team, we stand ready to help. We’ve been building small and large volume custom solutions for innovative industry leaders in aerospace, industrial automation, automotive, agriculture, infrastructure, energy, and more.  In Making the Case for Custom Solutions, Keith and Ken Put our experts to the test and let’s explore the possibilities together.

Get started by letting us know what you have in mind.  Request a custom solution here.

Read more in our What’s New in Custom Solutions post.

Additional Events:

Use Cases for Load Pins

Load Cell Basics

 

Recap of Use Cases for Load Pins Webinar

Interface load pins continue to grow in demand as an easy to integrate and cost-effective sensor solution for many diverse applications as direct replacements for clevis or pivot pins. Most commonly used for lifting and rigging mechanisms in construction, structural assemblies and moving devices, load pins are typically used in rope, chain and brake anchors, sheaves, shackles, bearing blocks and pivots.

To provide greater insights and answers to questions asked to our force measurement application experts, Interface hosted a ForceLeaders Forum event, Use Cases for Load Pins. The event, now archived on our YouTube channel, highlights why more and more industries are using load pins include for projects related to infrastructure, aerospace and defense, industrial automation, manufacturing, maritime, and in energy markets such as oil and gas.

Regional Sales Director Elliot Speidell covered a series of topics in this live event, which included:

  • Who is Using Load Pins and Why?
  • Models and Design Aspects of Load Pins
  • Integration Considerations
  • Installation Factors
  • Load Pin Capabilities including Wireless Features
  • Standard and Customization Options
  • New-Found Applications Using Load Pins
  • Differences and Advantages
  • FAQs

WATCH NOW: THE ‘USE CASES FOR LOAD PINS’ ON-DEMAND EVENT

This webinar covers great detail in installation tips, integration considerations, design features and more.  Here are just a few highlights from the webinar.

Load pins measure tensile and compression forces via strain gages that are installed within a small bore through the center of the pin. Two grooves are machined into the outer circumference of the pin to define the shear planes, which are located between the forces being measured. They are made of rugged stainless-steel material and are commonly used for safety applications.  They are easy to retrofit and inherently waterproof by design, making it useful in submersible and adverse environmental conditions. Load pins have multiple bridge options and can be cabled or wireless.

One of the most important features and distinctions of a load pin is the ability to customize the design to fit the application. Due to the nature of requirements and fact most load pins are custom solutions, they often do not have any charges for NRE. Contact our application experts to learn of the possibilities and design options.

When installing a load pin various factors need to be considered which can influence the performance or accuracy. The fit of the pin within a structure is important to the overall performance of the load pin. For an optimal performance, an H7/g6 clearance would normally be recommended; however, this is not always achievable in the field and some slight loss of repeatability and linearity can normally be tolerated to achieve an “easy to fit” requirement.

Load pins are a great sensor to use in a “smart system” application for automated feedback, alarms, and real-time notifications.  They integrate with all types of instrumentation, including digital output options. Though they are simple and easy to use, they are known for hardiness. It is important to understand they are not “precision performance” devices, they are designed for standard force measurement applications that require immediate feedback. Also, they are easy to incorporate with existing actuator set-ups.

Watch the event to learn more about the questions engineers and testing experts asked us about using load pins. For specific industry examples, from bridges to crane regulation use, tune into the recorded event or visit our application notes here. Need us to get started on a custom design?  Contact us today.