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Universal Load Cells 101

In the force measurement testing world, versatility has tremendous value. That is why some of Interface’s most popular products are designed to provide adaptability for a broad spectrum of testing and force monitoring processes.

These products are engineered for universal use cases, from standard tension and compression LowProfile Load Cells to Interface’s multi-axis sensors that can measure up to 6 axes for additional data.

Universal load cells can measure both tension and compression forces in testing and monitoring applications. Universal load cells provide the ability to capture data on both forces. They are designed for a broad scope of force or weight measurement applications such as weighing scales, material testing machines, and industrial automation equipment.

These load cells are ideal for installations where the load may change from tension to compression. Universal load cells also suit various product and material destructive testing as they are robust and easily mounted in various applications.

Top Benefits of Universal Load Cells

Range of Standard Capacities: Universal load cells are diverse in dimension and capacities. From miniatures like our model ULC, which is the world’s most accurate ultra-low capacity tension and compression load cell measuring loads from 0.1 to 2 N (10.2 grams to 500 gmf) to 1000 Series High Capacity Fatigue Rated LowProfile Load Cell capable of measuring tension and compression over a million pounds of force, Interface has a range of universal options. The requirements of any testing program will define the type of load cell.

Versatility: Universal load cells can measure force in multiple directions, including compression, tension, and shear forces.

Adaptable Accessories: Universal load cells can be used with various accessories and fixtures to suit specific applications. This includes bases, mounting hardware, adapters, cables and protective enclosures. Wireless sensor options are in high demand for universal load cells.

Engineered to Order: Interface offers engineered to order and customization of our load cells to further the application use and flexibility of use.

Products such as universal load cells appeal to highly regulated industries like aerospace, defense, automotive, and industrial automation. In controlled testing, engineers must meet stringent performance measurement standards for components, equipment, and machinery.

Another area in which universal load cells stand out is in material testing. Measuring tension and compression provides critical force data when testing a material that will be used in system that needs to be both strong and flexible for safety and quality purposes.

One of Interface’s most popular load cell model, the 1200 series, is universal. For example, Interface’s Model 1200 and 1201 Series IO-Link Universal Load Cells are pancake style load cells which are IO-Link compatible with an open standard serial communication protocol that allows for the bi-directional exchange of data from sensors and devices.  We also offer a 1200 and 1201 Series 3-Wire Amplified Universal Load Cell.

Features and benefits of the 1200 and 1201 Series IO-Link Universal Load Cell include:

  • Proprietary Interface strain gages
  • Temperature compensated
  • Eccentric load compensated
  • Low deflection
  • Shunt calibration
  • Tension and compression
  • Compact size
  • 3-wire internal amp choice of 4-20 mA, ±5V, ±10V, 0-5V, 0-10V

Patient Hoyer Lift

A Hoyer lift is used to move patients. A medical equipment manufacturer would like a force system to weigh disabled patients and measure the maximum force when using the equipment. Interface’s WTS 1200 Precision LowProfile Wireless Load Cell is attached to the top of the Hoyer lift. The tension and compression force results are wirelessly transmitted to the medical personal’s computer through the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station. Interface’s wireless force system was able to measure the amount of weight a patient while also clarifying the maximum capacity the Hoyer lift can hold during use. Read more about this application here.

If you need a little more flexibility in your testing and monitoring system, Interface universal load cells may be a great option for you.  The choice of a specific load cell will depend on factors such as the required load capacity, accuracy, environmental conditions, and signal compatibility with the rest of the measurement or control system.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Interface 101 Series

Wireless Telemetry Systems 101

Load Cell Sensitivity 101

LowProfile Load Cells 101

ITCA Tension and Compression Load Cell

 

Interface Wireless Telemetry System Review

Interface is world renowned for our ability to engineer and manufacture the most accurate and reliable force measurement products on the market. Most in the the test and measurement world know us for our suite of off-the-shelf and custom load cells and torque transducers. We have been supplying these products to some of the most complex and highly regulated industries in the world for over a half century.

Though most people instantly recognize our blue load cells, many test engineers and labs are finding our total system solutions are a valuable compliment to our line of precision products. It is why Interface has greatly expanded our instrumentation and accessories products to meet the demands of our customer’s specific test and measurement project requirements that need wireless and Bluetooth capabilities.

One of the most popular products in our systems-supporting product line is Interface’s Wireless Telemetry System (WTS). This solution group provides our customers with easy to use and full-featured wireless data communication capabilities between a force or torque sensor and a receiver. The WTS line includes sensor transmitters, receivers, displays, accessories and free software, which operates on a standard 2.4 GHz signal making it FCC compliant.

WTS works with torque transducers, load pins, load cells, multi-axis sensors and other inputs with the goal of connecting to a display, PC or the customer’s system.  It wirelessly communicates with different types of receivers including displays, handheld readers, analog outputs, relay modules and computer interfaces for easy configuration of the application. WTS is also easily expandable for measuring multiple sensor types. It connects with up to 100 sensors up to half a mile range and is supported by powerful configuration software with data logging and visualization for local or remote access.

Within the WTS product suite, we have wireless options for sensors, handhelds, transmitter modules, antennas, printers, displays and more. Included below are a few of our WTS and BTS Telemetry Systems product options highlighted:

WTS-AM-1E WIRELESS STRAIN BRIDGE TRANSMITTER MODULE

The WTS-AM-1E Wireless Strain Bridge Transmitter Module connects to strain bridge transducers such as load cells, torque sensors, strain gauges and pressure modules and forms part of the WTS modular telemetry system. The data transmitted by the WTS-AM-1E can be received by multiple WTS receivers that include displays, handheld readers, analog outputs, relay modules and computer interfaces.

WTS-BS-1 WIRELESS HANDHELD DISPLAY FOR UNLIMITED TRANSMITTERS

The WTS-BS-1 is a roaming handheld allowing the operator to cycle the display between all available transmitter modules and forms part of the WTS modular telemetry system. The data sent by transmitter modules can be utilized by multiple receivers such as displays, handheld readers, analog outputs, relay modules and computer interfaces. Receivers support common industrial power supplies and are available in robust IP rated enclosures with internal antennas optimized to give outstanding coverage.

WTS-AR WIRELESS REPEATER MODULE

The WTS- AR Wireless Repeater Module which will allow the WTS telemetry system modules to span around obstacles, increase range and coverage by retransmitting received messages. The data sent by transmitter modules can be utilized by multiple receivers such as displays, handheld readers, analog outputs, relay modules and computer interfaces. Receivers support common industrial power supplies and are available in robust IP rated enclosures with internal antennas optimized to give outstanding coverage.

WTS 1200 STANDARD PRECISION LOAD CELL

Interface’s most popular load cell is available with wireless capabilities. The WTS 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile® Wireless Load Cell is designed for general purpose applications requiring a wireless load cell that is compensated for eccentric loads. This load cell can transmit distances up to 2000 feet (610 meters) to a number of different base stations including a USB version and a handheld display. There are higher capacities available, along with options for 2nd, 3rd Bridge and Overload Protection.

WTSLP WIRELESS STAINLESS STEEL LOAD PIN

This specialized Wireless Stainless Steel Load Pin is great for lifting applications in use cases of transmitting measurement data both short or long distances. This product can transmit wirelessly up to 600 meters in distance with clear line of sight to a handheld display or USB base station. This Interface load pin is available in capacities up to 3,000K lbf (1,360 MT) for custom versions.

WTSSHK-B-JR WIRELESS CROSBY™ BOW LOAD SHACKLE

WTSSHK-B-JR Wireless Crosby™ Bow Load Shackle range of telemetry load shackles are manufactured using the Crosby™ G2130 shackle. Suitable for use in a wide range of lower capacity industrial weighing applications, these load shackles are accurate, reliable and simple to install. They are particularly popular in theatrical applications for measuring the loads on rigging, hoists and stage lifts. The IP67 rated telemetry housing is manufactured from ABS plastic making it strong yet light, and the telemetry housing is manufactured from ABS plastic making it strong yet light, and the telemetry electronics contained within are powered by two AA batteries. The unit also features an internal antenna for maximum protection from damage.

This is just a preview of the products offered within the WTS Suite. In addition, we’ve developed a number of applications notes highlighting the capabilities of our WTS solutions. For more information about our full WTS (Wireless Telemetry System) products, please click on this link Wireless Telemetry System. Included below is a unique example of how the wireless capabilities of the WTS system was necessary to measure a golf club’s swing accuracy, see below:

GOLF CLUB SWING ACCURACY

A golfer wanted a system that will monitor and record their striking accuracy and swing movement. To meet this need, Interface created a custom made SSB Sealed Beam Load Cell that can be attached in line with the golf handle. When the golf ball is struck, force measurements are recorded, logged, and graphed using the WTS-AM-1E Wireless Strain Bridge Transmitter. The results are transmitted directly to the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station when connected to the customer’s PC or laptop. Using this solution, the customer was able to successfully record, graph, and log a golf player’s striking accuracy and swing movement with Interface’s wireless force system.

Interface WTS Products

  • Acquisition Modules
  • Repeater Modules
  • Telemetry Antennas
  • Base Stations
  • ASCII Serial Output
  • LED Displays
  • Repeater Modules
  • Modbus
  • LED Displays
  • Wireless Telemetry Printers
  • Relay Output Receivers
  • Wind Speed Transmitters
  • Load Cells
  • Load Pins
  • Tension Links
  • Shackles

In design and engineering, the need for flexibility is paramount today. Interface’s WTS solutions provide our customers with a host of wireless force measurement systems that allows for an easier way to test and measure force in a wide variety of environments, on site and in the field.  Let us know what we can do to help you get the right wireless solutions for your project.

Additional Resources

WTS Yacht Rigging Inspection App Note

WTS Equine Bridle Tension System App Note

WTS Brake Pedal App Note

WTS and BTS Telemetry Systems Brochure