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Advancements in Instrumentation Webinar Recap

Interface experts recently hosted a conversation about what is changing in the world of instrumentation, as it related to sensor technologies and force measurement.  The new event, Advancements in Instrumentation is a continuation of our ForceLeaders Interface Instructional on Instrumentation Event.

The conversation began with a focus on what has changed in the last five years and why instrumentation is such an important topic in T&M. 

TRENDS IN ADVANCED INSTRUMENTATION

The number one change in test and measurement that we have identified is the omnipresent use of sensors in things that didn’t use to have sensors. This includes consumer products, home healthcare medical devices, EVs, factory equipment, tools, robotics, just to name a few. With the demands for more feedback, more data, and more required performance monitoring, instrumentation requirements are growing in functionality. 

We are getting smarter in our applications and uses cases, which means we need smarter devices to capture all the information to make intelligent decisions in product design, engineering, and manufacturing. We see this with smart factories, smart vehicles, smart agriculture, smart tools, smart medical technologies, these innovations and advancements need more data to make smart decisions, in design, test, build and use.

Other trends we discussed include the infusion of IoT into test and measurement. As we connect more instruments and devices into our networks, it requires advanced instrumentation and changes in what has been used as basic and standard instruments in the past. We also see customization and programmability needs changing and movement towards more digital interfaces.  Specifically, during this hour-long discussion we dive into digital outputs, amplifiers, communication protocols and advancements in software options, including a quick MathScript demo. Watch the video here.

TYPES OF INSTRUMENTATION HIGHLIGHTED IN WEBINAR

  • Signal Conditioners
  • Data Acquisition Systems (DAQ) 
  • Indicators
  • USB Interface Modules
  • Wireless and Bluetooth Telemetry Systems
  • Portable
  • TEDS Ready

Interface highlighted a series of new instrumentation solutions in great detail. This includes recent releases like our BX8 DAQ Series, Wireless Telemetry System Additions, 9850 Torque and Load Cell Indicator and SI-USB4. We also shared what we are bringing to market this year, including new portable indicators, a DAQ systems designed specifically for torque transducers, advanced multi-channel solutions and new USB indicators for wireless sensors. We also talked about custom instrumentation solutions when you need something designed for a unique use case or OEM application.

Throughout the webinar, instrumentation selection criteria were highlighted to help make the right decisions in pairing your measurement devices to the available instrumentation options. We addressed common questions, do’s and don’ts, and tips that are helpful in evaluating what will work with your project, in your lab or at your factory.

ADVANCEMENTS IN INSTRUMENTATION WEBINAR TOPICS

  • Types of Advanced Instrumentation
  • Selection Criteria for Advanced Instrumentation
  • Recap Digital Versus Analog Options
  • What’s New in Wireless + Bluetooth Telemetry Systems 
  • New Instrumentation Solutions from Interface
  • Trends in Test Data Management + Systems
  • Applications + Uses Cases
  • FAQs

You can watch the entire conversation to learn more.

WHY INTERFACE FOR INSTRUMENTATION

With so many options available, we want to make it easier in choosing the right instrumentation. Here are a few reasons why Interface is a provider of choice when it comes to instrumentation for force measurement.

  • Interface is a single point of contact for measurement device and instrumentation
  • Interface offers a range of solutions from USB Interface Modules to Multi-Channel and Wireless DAQ Systems
  • Interface can partner to design and build complete systems
  • Interface has expertise for technical support
  • Interface has deep use case experience across all the sensors we offer, from load cells to wireless load pin technologies
  • Interface instructional videos, literature, software demonstrations and manuals available online in your Support area of the website
  • Interface provides software with our instrumentation

Additional Resources

Interface Instructional on Instrumentation Event

Recap of Inventive Multi-Axis and Instrumentation Webinar

Instrumentation Analog Versus Digital Outputs

Instrumentation Options in Test and Measurement

Force Measurement Instrumentation 101

Measurement Technologies for Boats, Yachts and Watercraft

Interface has been a long-term supplier of force and torque measurement solutions for the maritime industry. This explains how our products play a big role in a wide variety of waterborne vessels, maintenance and safety equipment, and offshore products found at docks and in the open water. We have captured some of these specific use cases of how our sensor technologies and instrumentation are used in the building and maintenance of boats, yachts, and watercraft of all sizes.

Our load cells and sensors work well in vehicles that are used in water. For example, we offer technologies that can wirelessly transmit data underwater and in harsh weather conditions, making them perfect for a variety machines used in water. These specialized load cells operate in underwater submersions at different capacities, and reliably relay information to those at the surface level for accurate sensor readings. Interface load cells of various designs can regulate harsh maritime situations in use cases such as underwater tension lines, underwater oil drilling, as well as storm and tsunami monitoring. Read more about offshore and near shore solutions here.

The applications we are highlighting below provide real-world examples of force measurement products used in boat, yacht and watercraft related products. The uses of force measurement range from testing fishing wire to yacht rigging inspection. Here’s a closer look:

Wireless Telemetry System (WTS) for Yacht Rigging Inspection

For a customer who wants to have a complete yacht rigging inspection to make sure the mast, still lines, and all movable hoisting lines are functional, Interface offers our robust WTS products line. These various wireless sensor technologies and components are designed for use to meet the proper specifications for sailing, test the tension of the forestay, shroud, and backstay cables, and to test the tension of the movable lines when sailing.

With Interface’s WTSSHK-B Wireless Crosby™ Bow Load Shackle paired with the WTS-BS-1 Wireless Handheld Display for Unlimited Transmitters, the customer can switch and view between multiple shackles being tested. The WTS-BS-4 USB Industrial Base Station can also be attached to the customer’s computer to display real-time measurements from the shackles and log data. With this solution, the user is able to conduct both a running and standing rigging inspections of their ship or vessel, and determine if all lines were functional and met safety standards. Read the entire WTS solutions used on this yacht here.

Commercial Fishing Wire Rope Testing

When a commercial fishing owner wanted to measure the force tension of the wire fishing rope connected to the fishing cage or net when their vessel goes to catch and ensure the wire rope is strong enough and safe enough to hold the maximum capacity of fish caught in the cage or net, they can turn to Interface.

Using a WTSTL Wireless Tension Link Load Cell attached between the end of the cable, and the end that hooks onto the fishing net, the tension link will be able to measure the forces of the full net of fish, or a heavy load at maximum capacities. The data information can be transmitted to both the WTS-BS-1-HS Handheld Display for Single Transmitters, or to the customers computer laptop through the WTS-BS-4 USB Industrial Base Station. Utilizing this solution, the customer was able to determine if the fishing cable on their vessel was strong enough to hold the fish cage or net at maximum capacity when out catching.

Mooring Line Tension Testing

Due to changing environmental conditions, mooring cable lines undergo wear and tear. A customer wanted to ensure all mooring lines for ships and large commercial vessels are securely docked at the same loading tension, so that they do not risk the mooring lines to break or cause damage.

We provided a WTSLTL Lightweight Wireless Tension Link, which can be attached to each mooring cable in use. Results are sent to the customers through the WTS-BS-4 USB Industrial Base Station when connected to the customer’s supplied PC computer/Laptop. Data can also be transmitted to the WTS-BS-1-HA Handheld Display for Multiple Transmitters, giving the customer the option to view multiple mooring cable line tensions. The customer was able to verify the tensions to multiple mooring cable lines. Thus, resulting in the security of their ship being safely docked.

If you’re interested in learning more about our maritime solutions, call 480-948-5555 to contact an application engineer about your project requirements.

Testing the Reins

Think of nearly any piece of hardware, especially those with moving components, and chances are a force measurement device was used in its development and testing.

Interface supplies load cells, torque transducers, load pins, tension links, and data acquisition devices utilized in testing hardware components for automobiles, drones, rocket engines, medical devices, bridges, watercraft, and everything in-between including for horses.

The applications for our products grow broader every year, so much so that we are rarely surprised with the ingenuity and innovation abound. There are no limitations, including in the equipment utilized in core agriculture markets, which comprises of products used in the equine industry.

In one customer’s project, were able to provide valuable sensor technology for a test and measurement project for products used with horses. Included below is a brief preview of the two new applications notes we developed based on the specific requirements for this equine industry design.

A customer came to Interface needing to quantify the poll pressure on the bridle of a horse. We created a solution using both a Wireless Telemetry System (WTS) and a Bluetooth® Telemetry System (BTS) Equine Bridle Tension System, with two SMA Miniature S-Type Load Cells in both the line of the reins and that of the cheekpiece on one side of the horse to study the dynamic response of the cheekpiece tension to rein tension in the ridden horse. Utilizing the WTS or BTS, the valuable data can be displayed and recorded in real time.

Within the real experimental system these sensors were used to test the tension resulting from the rider’s hands, the horse’s mouth and the bit, the elasticity of the equine mouth provides a “floating” fulcrum and a potential source of time-lag and decoherence between the dynamic rein and cheekpiece tensions. Because the cheekpiece is directly attached to the headpiece, we we’re able to assume that forces seen in the cheekpiece are those that are applied to the poll of the horse.

Want to learn more about this agriculture industry solution?  Be sure to read the Equine Industry WTS and BTS Bridle Tension System application notes.

Interface Bluetooth Telemetry System Provides Measurements Viewable on Mobile Platforms

The new Interface Bluetooth Telemetry System features a free iOS and Android app to allow users to view data from multiple sensors in real-time on a smartphone or tablet.

Providing its customers with a more accessible solution for viewing and downloading force measurement data, Interface has introduced its new Bluetooth® Telemetry System (BTS) solution. At the heart of Interface’s BTS solution is the powerful Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) strain bridge transmitter module that provides access to high-quality measurements on a mobile platform such as a phone or tablet. BTS features high measurement resolution, simple integration into iOS and Android Apps, achievable ranges of up to 90m line of sight, extended battery life and the ability to view data from multiple sensors all at once.

“Interface is well-known in the industry for accuracy, and the BTS combines precision with innovative Bluetooth technology to provide the most user-friendly experience possible. The ability to receive critical data in real-time will greatly improve our customer’s product development efficiency in the digital age.” Joel Strom, CEO at Interface

The BTS features high measurement resolution, which produces a noise-free resolution of 1 in 92,000 counts (16.5 bit) when used with a 3mV/V sensor and 1 in 184,000 counts (17.5 bit) when used with a 6mV/V sensor. The system also allows for advert format and encoding as well as details on connected services to facilitate simple integration of the device within custom apps for OEM applications.

The BTS free iOS and Android apps are available for download and enable users to create dashboards with varying degrees of detail based on application requirements. The BTS sensor data output can be visualized on mobile devices with a variety of digital displays, gages, tanks, and charts. Displayed data can be defined as mathematical expressions consisting of readings from multiple transmitters, functions, and constants. The apps also facilitate Interface’s BTS module configuration and calibration.

The BTS solution continues to showcase the growing line of wireless technologies offered by Interface that are used for accurate force measurement. BTS joins Interface’s Wireless Telemetry System (WTS) in the growing demand by manufacturers and integrators who need flexibility and freedom from the restraints of wired systems. The Interface BTS is available now and details of the solution can be found here.

PRESS RELEASE

For more information on Interface and its innovative wireless force measurement solutions WTS and BTS, click here.  You can also compare the solutions in the overview below.  

WTS BTS Brochure

Advanced Testing with Telemetry Systems from Interface

In product development, flexibility is a crucial facet of creating efficient workflows. Having a diverse set of flexible tools and testing instruments allows engineers and manufacturers to approach their work from a wide variety of angles and environments.

Interface is keenly aware of the growing demand for manufacturers and integrators to have advanced systems that easily replace hard-wired systems, reducing installation and maintenance costs. Based on these needs, Interface offers a variety of off-the-shelf and custom force measurement wireless solutions, in multiple capacities, capabilities, ranges, and dimensions for all types of applications.

Case in point is Interface’s two advanced telemetry systems, the Interface Wireless Telemetry System (WTS) and the new Interface Bluetooth® Telemetry System (BTS). These telemetry systems transmit high-quality data from load cells to single and multiple devices. Both the WTS and the BTS offer a wide variety of benefits, including high accuracy, high resolution, IP-rated enclosures, and multiple configuration options. The quality of Interface load cell performance is fully realized utilizing the convenience of these systems, which are acting as a data bridge between the load cell and a display device.

The WTS and BTS products are designed to provide OEMs, labs, and engineers with flexibility in where and how they conduct product testing using load cells. The WTS was designed for a controlled lab environment or engineering facility with access to Wi-Fi® or ethernet data. The BTS solution was created to allow for field testing in areas with little to no access to the internet. Included below is a more in-depth breakdown of the features of Interface’s industry-leading telemetry systems.

WTS-BS-4 Wireless Base Station with USBWireless Telemetry System (WTS)

The WTS is a high-speed, modular system that allows for data collection from long ranges. It is powerful and easily expandable for measuring multiple sensor types and can connect with up to 100 sensors within a half-mile range. The device is supported by powerful configuration software with data logging and visualization for local or remote access. It comes in a wide variety of different model types, including integrated transmitter models, repeater models, output models, display models and antenna models. It can connect with up to 100 sensors up-to a half a mile range.

To see the range of wireless WTS products, go to /product-category/wireless-telemetry-system.

Bluetooth® Telemetry System (BTS)

The BTS features high measurement resolution, which produces a noise-free resolution of 1 in 92,000 counts (16.5 bit) when used with a 3mV/V sensor and 1 in 184,000 counts (17.5 bit) when used with a 6mV/V sensor. The system also allows for advert format and encoding as well as details on connected services to facilitate simple integration of the device within custom apps for OEM applications. BTS can connect up to 12 sensors to a single mobile device or to multiple mobile devices.

The premium advantage of the BTS, above the long battery life, low cost and mobile apps visualization resources, is its ability to connect directly to mobile devices to collect data on-the-go without an internet connection. This allows engineers to complete field testing in remote locations or hard to access areas. Free iOS and Android apps are available for download and enable users to create dashboards with varying degrees of detail based on application requirements. The BTS output can be visualized on phones and tablets by using digital displays, gages, tanks, and charts.

To learn more about the new Bluetooth Telemetry System (BTS) offered by Interface, go to /products/instrumentation/bts-bluetooth-telemetry-system.

For more information on Interface’s WTS and BTS products read below.  You can access a detailed spec sheet comparing the products along with individual datasheets online by registering online at Interface.com.

WTS BTS Brochure

 

Interface Highlights New Products at the 2019 Automotive Testing Expo

Interface is showcasing three innovative solutions for advanced test and measurement at the 2019 Automotive Testing Expo that highlight the range of capabilities for the long-recognized leader in force measurement solutions.

The products include the AxialTQ™, as well as Interface’s new Bluetooth® Telemetry System (BTS), Wireless Telemetry System (WTS) and the soon-to-be-released ConvexBT™ Load Button technology.

“The Interface innovations on display at the Automotive Testing Expo demonstrate our continued commitment to advancing technologies utilizing our decades of engineering prowess in force measurement,” said Joel Strom, CEO, Interface. “Our customers will enjoy the hands-on experience they can take part in at the expo.”

The new products feature expanding capabilities and emphasize the future in force measurement. Experts and engineers from Interface will demonstrate AxialTQ’s latest abilities, along with various applications for BTS and WTS. Visitors of Interface’s exhibit will also see a sneak preview of soon to be unveiled ConvexBT Load Button technology.

The revolutionary AxialTQ is the first of its kind in precision wireless rotary torque transducers with simultaneous analog and digital output options that enable real-time control and data collection with high accuracy. With stator and output module mounting flexibility, there are infinite configurations available to meet the various vehicle and industrial testing requirements.

Interface is also be showcasing its advancements in telemetry systems with both Bluetooth and wireless features. Interface’s BTS and WTS solutions enable torque transducers, load pins, load cells, and multi-axis sensors to transmit output to a device, display, PC or other systems. It wirelessly communicates with different types of receivers such as mobile devices, displays, handheld readers, analog outputs, relay modules and computer interfaces for easy configuration of the application.

The new products, along with interface’s industry-leading LowProfile® Load Cells, Mini Load Cells, instrumentation and calibration systems, are on display at the Automotive Testing Expo 2019.

PRESS RELEASE

 

Interface Exhibits at Automotive Testing Expo 2019 Europe

Innovative force measurement solutions will be on display from Interface at the Automotive Testing Expo 2019 Europe taking place on May 22-24, 2019, at the Messe Stuttgart in Germany

Interface, the world’s trusted leader in technology, design, and manufacturing of force measurement solutions is exhibiting the revolutionary AxialTQ wireless rotary torque transducer and the Interface Wireless Telemetry System (WTS) in hall 8, stand #8042 at the Automotive Testing Expo 2019 Europe.

Interface supplies the best in quality, accuracy and reliability force measurement solutions, including load cells, torque transducers, multi-axis sensors, calibration systems, services and more to help the world’s largest automotive companies and engineers design and test vehicle systems. During the Automotive Testing Expo, Interface will be providing demos of its newest flagship products.

AxialTQ
At the heart of AxialTQ’s innovation is the rotor and high-precision sensing element technology, which when combined with next-generation electronics, produces industry-leading accuracy.

Unique features of AxialTQ that allow the system to be fully customizable and flexible include its ability to use simultaneous analog and digital outputs to enable real-time control and data collection. AxialTQ was developed in direct collaboration with end-users who shared their wish-lists for operational priorities, user interface, design, features, real-world field issues and more. AxialTQ 6 Page

Wireless Telemetry System
Interface’s WTS 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.

Learn more in this complete overview of Interface products and services.Company Brochure 6 Page

For the complete Automotive Testing Expo 2019 Europe show guide, click to view here.

IoT Solution That Monitors Rigging and Lifting in Real-Time Showcased at OTC50

Interface, the world’s trusted leader in technology, design, and manufacturing of force measurement solutions is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) by exhibiting at the global event.

In coordination with the event theme, The Next 50 Years of Offshore Developments, Interface will be highlighting their latest innovations that are advancing force measurement solutions specifically for the oil and gas industry. We will be gathering input from participants in our next-generation of downhole load cell and strain gage technology.

During OTC 2019, Interface is showcasing its proprietary wireless telemetry system (WTS) that measures force capacity in heavy machinery used by oil and gas support service. This innovation connects to software on a PC to handle enormous amounts of weight, preventing damage to both humans and equipment.

Interface’s solution is part of the most exclusive line of integrated wireless products on the market.” Ken Bishop, Director, Sales Engineering

Interface will also be discussing its line of ATEX approved products for use in extremely harsh environments, including its most popular product, the Interface LowProfile® load cell.  The company’s products are customizable to meet any customer specification.

Interface force measurement solutions are used in every facet of energy production from research and exploration to monitoring equipment. You can read more about Interface innovation in dry load cell technology here.  This advancement in force measurement provides unparalleled accuracy in a ruggedized package that will stand up to the harsh environments of a deep oil well. These design iterations increase product lifespans, with cost savings and consistency of using a single force measurement solution.

Attendees of OTC 2019 can find Interface team members at booth #7551, Hall C at NRG Park in Houston, May 6-8 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and May 9 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. CST.