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Interface Solutions for Weighing Applications

Interface sensors are used for an extremely wide variety of test and measurement applications. We also supply different technologies and instrumentation for a range of weighing applications, from packaging to waste management. Determining accurate weight is a key data point that manufacturers in all types of industry use cases. Whether they need the information for transporting an object, lifting the object, or just creating a specification sheet, accurate data on weight, accuracy in weight measurements are fundamental for safety and function.

Here is a quick review some of the weighing applications, everything from the food and beverage industry to agriculture and industrial. And it’s important to note, weighing across these different industries doesn’t always involve a simple scale, each object large or small that needs to be weighed has a different method for doing so and different force sensors to get the most accurate data built into machines or used in conjunction with other hardware components.

SNACK WEIGHING AND PACKAGING MACHINE

A snack manufacturing brand wanted to weigh the amount of their snacks that are automatically dispersed into the bags during the packaging process. In this case, they wanted to weigh the potato chips being packaged and ensure the potato chips are at the exact weight needed due to regulatory standards. Interface provided a solution using multiple SPI Platform Scale Load Cells, and installed it to the potato multi-head weigher and packaging machine. The SPI Platform Scale Load cells were installed inside of the mount that attaches the head weigher to the packaging machine. Force results from the potato chips were read by the load cells and sent to the ISG Isolated DIN Rail Mount Signal Conditioner, where the customer is able to control the automated production from their command center. Using this solution, the customer was able to determine the weight of the potato chips being distributed into their bags with highly accurate results. They  were able to control the automated production process with the provided instrumentation. They will use this same weighing method for other snacks that need to be packaged. Read more here.

WASTE MANAGEMENT CONTAINER WEIGHING

When a waste management company wanted to measure the capacity of their waste containers in order to know when it is time to dispose the waste, Interface proposed a solution using Model WTS 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile™ Wireless Load Cells. The load cells can be installed at the bottom of each waste container leg to measure the sum weight of the container. The data is transmitted to the WTS-BS-4 USB Industrial Base Station with the supplied Log100 software. The customer would then be able to determine when their waste container was at full capacity in order to dispose of the waste, or to transfer it. Read more here.

GARBAGE TRUCK ON-BOARD WEIGHING

A garbage disposal company wanted to test the load capacity of their garbage truck bins so they know when it has reached maximum capacity. Interface’s solution is to customize and install four SSB Sealed Beam Load Cells under the garbage box body, on either side. When trash continues to be piled inside the box body, it will push more force down onto the SSB Sealed Beam Load Cells. When maximum load capacity has been reached, the results can be reviewed and displayed when connected to the 482 Battery Powered Bidirectional Weight Indicator in real time. Using this solution, the customer was able to test the maximum load capacity of the garbage bin attached to the truck, so they know when to empty the truck’s garbage at the transfer station. Read more here.

MEDICAL BAG WEIGHING

In the medical industry, it is important to monitor the amount of material in a medical bag carrying fluids for an IV. Medical staff also need to know if a medical bag is empty or if the dispensing tubes are blocked. Force measurements can track this. Using Interface Model MB Miniature Beam or MBP Miniature Beam with built-in overload protection combined with Interface instrumentation, force readings can be captured, displayed and stored for this need. Health Professionals can then review and monitor medical bag weights to ensure medicine is properly dispensed and bag is replaced when empty.

Weighing applications are at the foundation of measurement. The earliest force sensors were designed for this purpose, and they continue to be a large part of application testing today. The only difference between now and then is that Interface has nearly perfected their accuracy across different applications with different types of force sensors measuring very large weight and very small, minute forces.

ADDITIONAL WEIGHING APPLICATIONS

Chicken Weighing

Silo Monitoring and Weighing

Crane Force Regulation

Water Bottle Dispensing and Weighing

To learn more about Interface weighing applications and other applications of our load cells, torque transducers, multi-axis sensors and more, contact us today.

 

 

 

Interface Helps to Move Agriculture Innovation Forward

The agriculture industry is the backbone of most economies, as food production and farming are essential to everyone’s existence around the world. Advancements and innovations in this market are core to growing a sustainable food supply as well as for safety and productivity management across the agriculture supply chain. Interface is proud to support a range of customers developing innovative sensor-based tools and equipment used in the field.

As a complete solutions provider, we provide standard and engineered to order measurement products that are designed for modern agricultural testing projects and as components for OEMs. Our Interface expert application engineers can also help in the design of customized solutions for all types of applications using our products in harsh environments, for material handling, within complex agricultural machines, and for extreme weather conditions, and engine testing. These are typical use cases that rely upon the quality, accuracy and reliability of measurement solutions from Interface.

Our customers are in a range of agriculture submarkets, from heavy machinery to food production. The common products Interface supplies to these segments include our precision load cells, torque transducers, multi-axis sensors and miniature load cells, along with the popular tension links, load shackles, and wireless instrumentation. We also provide advanced sensor technologies and digital monitoring equipment for agricultural-based manufacturing, farm and field management, inventory monitoring, equipment testing, livestock weighing and ranching, as well as food processing and grain monitoring.

In the application use cases below, we provide a few examples of agricultural solutions that are using various Interface force measurement products.  To review a larger series of applications, visit our Interface Agriculture Solutions here.

Silo Monitoring and Weighing

For customers who need to weigh and monitor the content inside their silos, Interface can offer our A4200 Zinc Plated or A4600 Stainless Steel Weigh-check Load Cells, paired with 1280 Programmable Weight Indicator and Controller. Using these products, the customers can monitor the amount of content by weight in their silo. In this application example, the customer was provided a customizable solution to monitor and weigh their silo. Results from the 1280 Programmable Weight Indicator and Controller were sent to the customer’s control center. Read the entire application note here.

Tractor Linkage Draft Control

A large commercial farmer group wanted to measure to measure the forces applied on their tractor’s draft control, between the tractor and any linked-on attachments. Measuring the force will help the farmer be able sense any strains on the hitch of the tractor and will be needed to apply any specific settings to the draft control when the tractor encounters rough terrain. Interface supplied a WTSLP Wireless Stainless Steel Load Pin, which is a wireless load pin that can be installed directly in the hitch, replacing the normal shear pin of the tractor. Force results are transmitted wirelessly to the WTS-BS-4 USB Industrial Base Station, where the farmer can view the results on their PC computer or laptop with the supplied WTS toolkit. The customer can also view results on the WTSBS-1-HS Handheld Display for Single Transmitters in real-time. Using these products, the farmer can determine the specific draft control settings for their tractor. Read more about the tractor application here.

Poultry Feeder Monitoring

A customer wanted to monitor the motor that operates their poultry feeders. The poultry feeders must give out an equal distribution of feed per poultry house. We provided a solution using the T5 Standard Precision Pedestal Mount Shaft Style Rotary Torque Transducer, with the speed and angle options, which will be attached between a poultry feeder and a motor with Interface’s couplings. Torsion measurements can be graphed and logged sing the 9850 Torque Transducer and Load Cell Indicator. With this solution, the customer was able to monitor their poultry feeders and ensure that every feeder got the same amount of food distributed to it.

Interface load cells, torque transducers, and data acquisition systems are ideal for a wide variety of agricultural applications. These products can be paired together to measure and ensure efficiency, sustainability, and proper production planning. Interface products can also regulate through harsh weather conditions such has humidity and unbearable temperatures while still maintaining a high testing and measurement performance. Our custom solutions application engineers will work alongside you to create the most effective and efficient solution based on your needs if standard does not fit your exact requirements. Read more here.

To check out additional application examples related to the agriculture, and other industries, please visit our website at www.interfaceforce.com/application-notes/.  Be sure to check out these great new farm applications.

LIVESTOCK WEIGHING

 

 

 

 

 

CHICKEN WEIGHING

 

 

 

 

 

 

EQUINE REIN TESTING

Load Shackles 101

A load shackle is a u-shaped, load-bearing connecting device designed to be used with a removable pin. Load shackles can be used in a number of different rigging and load securement applications to provide sensor technologies in the connection of different types of lifting slings, chains or ropes to an object or to each other.  A load shackle is essentially the installation of a load monitoring pin into the shackle body allowing you to replace existing rigging hardware with a load cell for force measurement and weighing data.

Load shackles are rugged in design and are used to provide accurate and reliable measurement of tensile loads, as well as support applications for harsh and challenging environments. The industries that most regularly take advantage of our load shackles include industrial, aerospace and defense, agriculture, and construction. Applications for lifting, moving and weighing objects can be monitored as well as optimized for performance using load shackles. They are often designed into engineered structures or for use with cranes, winches or other robust lifting mechanisms.

Interface offers a wide variety of load shackle designs for different environments and force measurement needs, ranging from 2.2K to 2205K lbf. Our load shackles come in both cabled and wireless, as well as environmental resistance options including flameproof and IP67. Visit our overview here.

Load shackles come in many standard shapes and sizes, including customization options to meet a specific design or use requirement. Some of our shackles are exclusively designed to meet the needs of applications in hazardous environments like the oil and gas industry, or marine industry where they’ll be submerged in water during testing and for continuous use, or in areas with high heat and flames. Some of our most popular load shackles are listed below:

WTSSHK-B Wireless Crosby™ Bow Load Shackle  – Suitable for use in a wide range of industrial and marine weighing applications, these load shackles are robust, reliable and easy to install. The unique telemetry housing is manufactured from tough high-performance polyamide resin making it strong yet light, resulting in a better-balanced load shackle when compared to others available on the market.

ISHK-B Bow Type Crosby™ Cabled Load Shackle – The Interface range of ISHK-B load shackles are designed for lifting and weighing in rugged or harsh environments, including submersible applications. The shackle pins are forged from high tensile stainless steel to 6.5 MT (14.3K lbf) and high tensile carbon steel from 9.5 MT (20.9K lbf), and are machined to an exacting specification. The basic shackle uses the Crosby G2130 (1 to 25 MT / 2.2K to 55.1K lbf), G2140 (40 to 120 MT / 88.2K to 265K lbf) and GN Rope H10 (150 to 1K MT / 331K to 2205K lbf).

Flame Proof Bow Type Crosby™ Cabled Load Shackle – The Interface range of flameproof load shackles is designed for lifting and weighing in rugged or harsh environments, and also meet the requirements for operation in Zone 1 and 2 hazardous areas. The shackle pins are forged from high tensile stainless steel and are machined to an exacting specification. The basic shackle uses the Crosby G2130 (1 to 25MT or 2.2K to 55.1K lbf) and G2140 (40 to 400MT or 88.2K to 882K lbf) series.

Load Shackle Application:

Load shackles are commonly used in the construction industry to measure heavy machinery. For cranes outfitted with a lifting attachment such as a claw, a tension sensing load shackle is used on the pulley mechanism to measure the weight lifted by the crane. The tension sensor can provide real-time data to the construction crew to help monitor the lifting process and provide the operator with the information necessary to refrain from lifting weights that are too heavy for the crane to handle. If the claw arm lifts more than the crane is able to withstand, the attachment could break off, or worse, the crane could topple over.

In a recent example, Interface’s customer used a WTSSHK-B Wireless Load Shackle connected to load-bearing strings and a WTS-BS-1-HA Wireless Handheld Indicator to gather data. The customer was able to successfully lift and read the weight (wirelessly) on a handheld display while the material was being relocated.

Learn more in this product video

To learn more about our wide variety of load shackles and their many applications, please contact our application specialists today.  You can see all of Interface’s Load Pins, Load Shackles and Tension Links here.

This post is part of our Interface 101 series where we provide a basic overview of the wide variety of product lines we offer here at Interface. In this series, we explain our force measurement product line and its benefits and then provide a few examples of our product’s in real-world situations. Here are some of our other popular 101 posts.

 

Force Measurement Solutions for the Construction Industry

In the world of heavy machinery, the ability to protect these investments is critical to an efficient and cost-effective worksite. This is especially true in the construction industry, where any type of damage or disruption to onsite equipment can significantly delay project timelines and cost a construction company hundreds of thousands of dollars, or more.

Protecting equipment is important in the industry; however, the safety of people is paramount. Severe failures of the equipment can be dangerous to machine operators. One way construction companies are protecting people and their material investments is through the use of force sensor technologies with Interface’s precision load cells, torque transducers, load pins, tension links and load shackles, as well as data acquisition instrumentation.

The use of force measurement is a growing trend in construction because companies realize that they can use force sensors to track performance data on a wide variety of heavy machinery. This data can inform machine operators when they were pushing the machines past their respective limits.

Applications of Force Measurement Products Used in the Construction Industry

One of the key use cases of force sensors used in the construction industry is on heavy machinery attachments. Construction sites frequently utilize a crane, which is used to lift large bundles of material such as wood or steel with a grabbing type attachment, or used to transport construction workers to large heights with a basket or platform attachment.

For cranes outfitted with a lifting attachment such as a claw, a tension sensor can be used on the pulley mechanism to measure the weight lifted by the crane. The tension sensor can provide real-time data to the construction crew to help monitor the lifting process and provide the operator with the information necessary to refrain from lifting weights that are too heavy for the crane to handle. If the claw arm lifts more than the crane is able to withstand, the attachment could break off, or worse, the crane could topple over.

Another example of a crane attachment that can benefit from a force measurement sensor is the basket or platform type attachment used to transport workers to great heights. In this use case, a rotary actuator between the basket attachment and crane can be outfitted with a pressure transducer. This type of sensor will help measure the force placed on the attachment point to help rotate the basket in multiple directions and provide force data to ensure the basket isn’t over-rotated or carrying too much weight.

The final example of sensor technology used in construction is with a smart clamp. This is a use case that can be seen in multiple industries, in addition to the construction industry. A smart clamp, or soft-touch clamp, uses a compression load cell attached to a gauged piece of metal on both ends of the clamp. The clamp attachment is often placed on the end of a forklift type machine and used to transport delicate materials, packages, and other materials.

The compression load cell works by providing data back to the operator, letting them know how much force can be used to grab the object without breaking it. This used case is often found in the consumer packaging industry but can also be applied to the construction industry when transporting delicate building materials.

For many years, construction companies used this type of equipment and heavy machinery without the use of force sensors, making it harder to keep the equipment and workers safe. Today, more companies that develop attachments and heavy machinery have begun exploring force sensors to optimize the use of these machines. This creates a safer, more efficient and cost-effective environment for construction companies and protects their workers.

To learn more about specific construction industry use cases, review our detailed application notes below:

Lifting Heavy Objects

Harness Durability Testing

Interface is engaging with a number of customers in these industries to develop solutions to keep equipment safe and performing at optimal efficiency. To learn more about how force sensors can be used to protect your investments, contact our specialized application engineers and representatives of Interface products and solutions.

Contributor: Dan McAneny, co-founder and sales engineer at Tritek Solutions, one of Interface’s sales representatives covering the Pacific Northwest.