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Innovative Interface Load Pin Applications

A load pin, which often replaces a standard clevis or pivot pin, is a strain gage sensor that measures the force applied across the device. The strain gages are installed within a small bore through the center of the pin. Interface load pins have been used in a wide variety of projects across many industries.

Load pins are a simple, but highly powerful sensor that provides data collection for accurate and frequent measurement. The load pin can replace a bolt, clevis, sheave, and an equalizer pin, as well as other load-bearing components to measure tensile and compression forces.

Machined from high tensile stainless steel, Interface load pins are suitable for exposed situations including seawater. We offer standard sizes of load pins between 1.1K lbf to 3.3M lbf (500kgs to 1500 MT). We also offer wireless load pins. Interface load pins are custom manufactured to meet specific dimensional requirements for each application, as detailed in our Use Cases for Load Pins webinar.

The most commonly referenced applications for load pins are for overhead equipment like cranes and lifts. Through ingenuity of engineers and our customers, load pins are rapidly expanding in popularity for infrastructure, aerospace, maritime, agriculture, and industrial use cases. The load pins of today are used to test and measure force, load, and weight in a much larger variety of applications. They are also growing in demands due to their wireless capabilities for both short and long distances. This includes uses not only for cranes and lifting devices, as well as construction equipment, industrial machines, nautical craft and equipment, aerospace structural environments, and civil engineering applications.

Infrastructure investment and projects around the world are on the rise. Investments in transportation ways like highways, waterways, bridges, mass transit, water supplies and power generation are frequently in demand of load pin solutions for use in all phases of the projects, from construction to maintenance and real-time monitoring.  Some of these examples are highlighted in Infrastructure Projects Rely on Interface.

Interface has a great deal of experience supplying ruggedized and standard use load pins for testing. Our load pins are highly demanded in the infrastructure industry not only due to the accuracy and reliability of our sensors, but also due to the fact that we offer a myriad of communication channels to offer both wired and wireless solutions. As requirements are made to repair and rebuild public infrastructure resilience, equity, and safety for all users are key criteria in design and build stages.  This is where Interface load pins are key to the solution, for durability, accuracy, quality, and ease-of-use.

Interface captured a few application examples of how our load pins are used for different types of projects, from maritime submersibles to monitoring new bridges during earth’s constant shifting.

AEROPSPACE:  Landing Gear Joint Testing

A global manufacturer in aerospace needs to test their new assembly and design by testing its landing gear joints. They want to ensure there are no flaws in the gear shock absorber design and can handle the applied forces when the craft lands from a flight. Interface’s WTSLP Wireless Stainless Steel Load Pins can be installed and replace the normal pin joints. The aircraft undergoes multiple drop tests at different heights, where the forces are applied on the load pins which then transmits the measurement data. The force results are transmitted wirelessly to the WTS-BS-4 USB Industrial Base Station and the WTS-BS-1-HA Handheld Digital Display for multiple transmitters. Read more about this load pin use case here.

MARITIME: Quick Release Hooks (QRH)

A customer wanted to test their quick release hook (QRH) system when their vessels are docked. They wanted to ensure the mooring lines are secured, but also, the quick release hooks were able to be easily and safely released. Interface’s WTSLP Stainless Steel Load Pin was installed into the quick release hook, where forces from the mooring lines can be measured and displayed when paired with the WTS-BS-4 USB Industrial Base Station. The load tension forces were displayed in real-time on the customer’s PC or laptop. The WTS-RM1 Wireless Relay Output Receiver Module alarm could also be triggered for the customer when maximum safety work load capacities have been reached or are overloaded. Using this solution, the customer was able to determine if their quick release hooks worked effectively within the safe working limit specifications, and was aware of any potential overload situations. Read more here.

INFRASTRUCTURE: Bridge Seismic Force Monitoring

A customer wanted to monitor seismic activity that occurs to a bridge by using force sensors and then continuously monitoring bridge forces before, during and after earthquakes occur. The customer preferred a wireless solution so they would not need to run long cables on the bridge. Interface helped to develop its LP Load Pin, which were custom made to fit their needs along Interface Inc. WTS Wireless Telemetry System continuous force monitoring was able to take place without long cables. Using this solution, the customer was able to monitor continuous loads, log information to the cloud and review information. Read about this solution here.

AGRICULTURE: Tractor Linkage Draft Control

A farming operation needs to measure the forces applied on their tractor’s draft control, between the tractor and any linked on attachments. Measuring the force helps the farmer sense any strains on the hitch of the tractor, and will be needed in order to apply any specific settings to the draft control when the tractor encounters rough terrain.  Interface’s WTSLP Wireless Stainless Steel Load Pin 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 they can view the results on a computer using Interface’s WTS toolkit. The customer can also view results on the WTS-BS-1-HS Handheld Display for Single Transmitters in real-time. Read more about this IoT Agriculture solution here.

 

INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION: Crane Block Safety Check

A customer wanted a system to detect if their crane block can lift heavy loads securely, in order to keep working conditions and personnel safe. If lifting capacities are exceeded, the customer wanted a system to alarm them in real-time. Interface’s WTSLP Wireless Stainless Steel Load Pin replaced the existing load bearing pin in the crane block in order to measure the force being applied by the heavy load. The data was transmitted and displayed through both the WTS-BS-4 USB Base Station (when paired with the customer’s supplied PC computer/Laptop) and the WTS-BS-1-HA Wireless Handheld for real-time results. The WTS-RM1 Wireless Relay Output Receiver Module could also trigger an alarm when maximum capacity has been reached. The WTSLP Wireless Stainless Steel Load Pin, combined with the WTS products, was able to measure and determine force applied the moment a heavy load is lifted. The results were transmitted wirelessly, and ensured the customer whether or not the crane block was safely operational during production.

Are load pins the right solution for your project? Contact our load pin application engineers to learn more.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Load Pins, Tension Links, and Shackles

Uses Cases for Load Pins

Recap of Use Cases for Load Pins Webinar

Applications Catalog

Load Pins 101

LP-TL-Shackles-Brochure

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