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.
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
- 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.
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.
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
- What do you want to measure?
- How will the sensor be used?
- Do you need multiple sensors or a single device?
- Is this embedded into an OEM application or solely for test and measurement?
- Do you have a cost target?
- 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
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.
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
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.
When selecting a load cell, it’s critical to understand the major factors impacting sensor accuracy. These factors are determined by the materials and components used in the construction of the load cell, the calibration, instrumentation, the accessories such as cables, and mounting installation. Each must be considered in the specific use cases for the load cells.
During our virtual event, Load Cell Basics, applications expert Keith Skidmore detailed everything you need to know about load cells and how to choose the right load cell. First, Keith highlighted four vital application considerations:
Mechanical – Dimensions and Mounting
Electrical – Output and Excitation
Environmental – Temperature and Moisture
Performance – Accuracy and Thermals
Taking a deeper dive into performance, an important consideration when selecting your load cell are the sensor specifications and how they impact accuracy. The sensor specifications relate to the max error of various parameters. The specifications are always included in product spec sheets and are expressed using the following values – %FS, %RO, %, %/°F, time-related. Specifications listed relate to the max error for accuracy and temperature.
Interface provides all sensor specification data for our load cells in the product datasheets found on each product page for easy download.
The information we provide for every load cell typically includes:
- Static Error Band
- Side Load Sensitivity
- Eccentric Load Sensitivity
- Compensated Range
- Operating Range
- Effect on Zero
- Effect on Span
SEB Output: The output at capacity based on the best fit straight line.
Non-repeatability: The maximum difference between output readings for repeated loadings under IDENTICAL LOADING AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS. In practice, there are many factors that affect repeatability that ARE NOT included in the non-repeatability specification. It is normally expressed in units of %RO.
Hysteresis: The difference in the ascending versus descending curves. This is normally expressed in units of %F.
Understanding these factors and the maximum error for your specific project is critical to selecting a load cell and getting the best possible data out of it.
To learn more about sensor specifications for load cells, review the product specs on each datasheet or in our product catalogs. For additional help, call to speak with our application engineers at 888-557-2533.
To view additional online events, please go to our events page.
Interface applications and load cell expert Keith Skidmore was the featured presenter at the latest ForceLeaders Forum hosted event, Load Cell Basics. In his comprehensive presentation, he highlights key subjects including fundamentals of load cell design, sensor specifications, use cases, troubleshooting and valuable performance related topics.
The entire event is now available on the Interface YouTube channel.
In this 60-minute virtual event, Keith highlights commonly asked questions from both new load cell users as well as for advanced engineers and force measurement pros.
What will you learn watching the online Load Cells Basics event?
- Load cell designs and how they work
- Capacities, models and how to choose the right load cell
- Factors that can impact sensor accuracy
- Performance, moment compensation, creep, and eccentric load sensitivity
- Calibration and troubleshooting
- Use Cases and FAQs
The team concluded the event by answering a series of questions from the participants. They addressed advanced technical and set-up questions, as well as frequently asked inquiries about common troubleshooting issues.
- Is the temperature compensation achieved using dummy gauges?
- Does Interface offer or have their own software to read the TEDs?
- Can we assume that all load cells are intrinsically safe for hazardous locations?
- What is the IP protection rating for the electrical connection?
- What is better way to tare load cells, by electronics or mechanical preload?
- Which is the frequency measurement limit and how fast does the load cell respond?
- What are recommended amplifier instrumentation brands?
- What is the most frequent problem when installing a load cell?
- Does the cables and amplifiers affect the results of the load cell calibration?
- For an application to 10 kN (2250 lbf), is it too much to use a 2000 lb load cell or should we use the next higher capacity?
- What is the maximum sampling frequency for strain gage load cells?
WATCH THE EVENT AND Q&A HERE: https://youtu.be/_oHvfAzHMig
If you have additional technical questions or would like to talk about your specific application requirements, contact our Interface Application Engineers here.
Our Interface Load Cell Field Guide is also helpful for troubleshooting and advanced technical support references. You can order here.
The Interface ForceLeaders hosted forums are designed to answer frequently asked questions from testing engineers and product designers about new technologies and uses cases. In our recent virtual event, Dimensions of Multi-Axis Sensors, we discussed the considerations for these types of sensors, the test and measurement benefits, products Interface offers and various applications.
Interface recognizes that there are growing demands for multi-axis sensors. In our hosted event, Interface’s Brian Peters kicked-off the conversation by highlighting benefits and reasoning for the use of these types of sensors, including answering some common questions. We’ve provided a recap of the event below or you can watch the event here https://youtu.be/zua1lvTh488.
What is Unique about Multi-Axis Sensors?
Multi-axis sensors have additional bridges to provide output signals for varying axes or types of mechanical loading. They are designed to measure a multitude of forces and moments simultaneously with a single load cell sensor. Fundamentally similar to other force and torque sensors with strain gage bridges bonded to machined “flexures,” each bridge typically defines a measurement axis.
- Axial + Torque
- Axial + Shear
- Axial + Moment
- All 6 degrees of freedom
Should You Use Multi-Axis Sensors?
The largest factor to consider is the accuracy of your test model. In many test applications using standard load cells we often notice side or eccentric load, which can skew your data. While many Interface load cells, particularly mini load cells, have been designed to reject indirect loads, nothing can handle side and eccentric loads quite like a multi-axis sensor. Dedicated multi-axis designs are typically more balanced axis capacity limits with discrete signal outputs. Composite signal outputs are common in 6-axis models.
What are the Benefits of Multi-Axis Sensor Technology?
There are a number of benefits to using multi-axis sensors in addition to accounting for and accurately measuring or rejecting side and eccentric load. These benefits include:
- Consolidate measurement signals, conserve test space
- Measure unwanted system crosstalk
- Quantify reaction loads through test article on “non-measure” side
- More successful fatigue testing through setup and load verification
- More data, more understanding, more complete picture
What Considerations Should Engineer Make When Using Multi-Axis Sensors?
If you’ve made the decision to utilize a multi-axis sensor in your test model, please note the following considerations:
- System-level loads and geometry
- Maximum loading conditions
- Chosen capacity is adequate for measurement loads as well as potential peak or extraneous loads
- Choosing the right sensor based on primary axis measurements
Interface Multi-Axis Sensor Products
Ken Bishop details various types of multi-axis sensor technology from Interface during the highlighted ForceLeaders event you can watch here. Interface offers a wide range of multi-axis sensors, including 3-axis, 6-axis, axial torsion and 2-axis versions. The product options give you the ability to measure forces simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes, with the 6-axis load cells also measuring torque around those axes.
AXIAL TORSION LOAD CELLS
Interface’s axial torsion load cell is used for measuring both torque and force in a single sensor. Typical applications of its axial torsion transducer include bearing test and material test machines. The features of our axial torsion load cell include minimal cross talk, extraneous load resistance, and the load cell is fatigue rated. Customers can also add the following options: an integral cable, compression overload protection, and connector protectors.
2-AXIS LOAD CELLS
The Interface 2-Axis load cells can measure in two directions, X and Y simultaneously. It is commonly used in applications where dual-axis measurement is important in design and testing. They are effective for applications that measure lateral forces and the narrow design fits into compact areas.
2-Axis Interface Products:
- TXY 2-Axis Force Load Cell
- AT101 2-Axis Axial Torsion Load Cell
- AT102 2-Axis Axial Torsion Load Cell
- 2816 2-Axis Axial Torsion Load Cell
- 1216 2-Axis Axial Torsion Load Cell
- 1516 2-Axis Axial Torsion Load Cell
- 5600 2-Axis Axial Torsion Load Cell
- AT103 2-Axis Axial Torsion Load Cell
3-AXIS LOAD CELLS
Interface’s 3-axis load cell measures force simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes: X, Y, and Z – tension and compression. Each axis provides a unique mV/V output and requires no mathematical manipulation. The 3-axis load cell is built to minimize eccentric loading effects and crosstalk between axes. We offer five different models in its 3A Series 3-axis load cell designed for a wide variety of capacities. They are compact in size, provide 3 full bridge mV/V outputs with an IP68 option.
6-AXIS LOAD CELLS
Interface’s 6-Axis Load Cell measures force simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes and three simultaneous torques about those same axes. Six full bridges provide mV/V output on six independent channels. A 36-term coefficient matrix is included for calculating the load and torque values in each axis. An 8-channel amplifier with a USB PC interface is also available which simplifies data analysis. The company offers five different models of 6-axis load cells for a wide variety of capacities. In the end, they provide more data, accuracy, are very stiff and cost-effective for a wide range of testing options.
Keith Skidmore, an application expert at Interface, outlined a number of use cases spanning across multiple industries. They included testing programs using multi-axis sensors in automotive, medical, aerospace and defense, consumer packaging and more. Some of the application notes discussed during this recorded event include:
- Wind tunnel testing
- Aerospace structural and fatigue testing
- Computer model validation
- Friction testing
- Medical device: ball socket testing
- Robotic arm
- Seat testing
- Center of gravity
Be sure to watch the YouTube video below to gain insight into some of the most frequently asked questions about multi-axis sensors.
We had a great time introducing our audience to the possibilities of Interface Multi-Axis Sensors. If you are interested in watching the video on demand of the webinar, you can click on the link below to watch the presentation in its entirety.