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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

2022 Test and Measurement Industry Trends

Interface continues to experience significant growth in demand and fulfillment of our precision measurement products and services. Despite the ongoing challenges in supply and overall health and economic concerns, our focus has remained steadfast to serve customers with innovative solutions, facilitated requests for specialized engineering and production requests and expeditiously working to meet the delivery schedules aligned to our customers’ requirements.

As the overall T&M industry grew, so did the demand for engineers and manufacturers across all industries to have proven solutions from their test and measurement equipment, expanded capabilities from sensor technologies, as well as explore new ways of optimizing products with real-time, accurate measurement.

As we look ahead to 2022, we are also investing in new and existing trends and exploring how they will shape the overall market next year and beyond. To help prepare our customers, here are our predictions for the new year, along with what is hot and trending in force measurement. The following provides some insights from our experts on how Interface is prepared to address these trends, while continuing to serve our customers at the highest level of satisfaction. Here is Interface’s viewpoint on market trends and predictions for 2022 and beyond.

Big Data Continues to Rule Product Design and Test

Over the last few years, we’ve shared our view on the Industry 4.0 revolution and how Interface customers are demanding more data from their T&M tools to give exactness in accuracy and all-encompassing performance data at the earliest phases of product design. Not only will this continue, but it will expand rapidly. In the force measurement world, Interface has responded by serving our customers with new innovations in multi-axis sensors that provide more force data on more axis. Interface offers a wide variety of multi-axis sensors including 2, 3 and 6-axis sensors. We certainly anticipate a continued growth in demand for multi-axis sensors as our product line expands to meet the requirements.

In addition, Interface is seeing more requests from manufacturers and product designers to embed sensors and measurement capabilities within their products. To enable continuous improvements and advancements in smart manufacturing and product designs, sensors are being used to provide real-time feedback on machines, components, equipment, and consumer products. These sensors are often designed in or embedded into the OEM product to predict the health in each type of use case, as well as notify users when a repair or adjustment is needed for safety, user satisfaction, and controlled maintenance. In the manufacturing applications, this capability significantly reduces facility downtime. To meet this demand, Interface is investing in more automation capabilities within our own manufacturing facilities to produce high volume sensor solutions for OEM customers. This market is growing rapidly, and Interface is working hard to meet the needs of our customers that need our products in volume.

New Advancements in Strain Gages

Another trend that Interface is actively investing in is new strain gage technologies and manufacturing techniques to better serve the high-production and OEM markets. Interface uses proprietary strain gages for all products we manufacture. When OEMs are making high-volume product orders and need sensors that fit their exact needs without breaking their budget, Interface is ready to meet the demand. One of the ways that force sensor manufacturers can meet OEM cost needs is through innovation in strain gages, the heart of any measurement device. Interface deploys a team of resources to design and build custom strain gages when a unique solution is part of the design requirements. Interface has expanded our specialization and expertise in mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, and metallurgy to meet this specific trend and need. We are currently undergoing critical R&D to find new ways to develop these components and working directly with customers to meet their data requirements. Check out this post on strain gages.

Growing Demand for Wireless Solutions

Another trend that is continuing to gain momentum is the growing need for wireless measurement solutions. Wireless systems are helping manufacturers simplify the integration process and create a cleaner safer test environment with far less wiring. Wireless communication is also playing a major role in advanced manufacturing and smart products. By connecting systems wirelessly, users can monitor testing and in OEM applications, review the health of a system, from a central point. This includes for components used in the field, underwater or via remote locations for assembly and test.

These wireless systems also help improve accuracy significantly. Wireless technology has gotten to the point where we can receive more accurate readings when converting from an analog to a digital signal. This is especially important in highly complex and regulated industries like aerospace, energy, or medical. Wireless solutions will continue to grow, and Interface continues to develop new wireless total system solutions for our various product lines.

Faster, More Efficient Calibration Services

One of the most critical facets of working in manufacturing and technology is meeting the demands of our clients in an extremely timely manner. Innovation, advancements and testing demands slows down for no one, and our customers are no exception. This also requires regular maintenance and servicing of our devices. Interface recommends annual calibration services to ensure your force and torque measurement products are performing as designed. We understand they need our products and services fast. As part of our commitment to customers, Interface provides high quality calibration services that are key to long lasting and accurate force sensors. This service has grown rapidly alongside the force measurement industry and we’re receiving more re-calibration orders than ever before. To meet this demand, Interface is investing heavily in both people and technology to further expedite this process and meet our promise of expeditious turnaround times for calibration services. Read more about calibration here.

Complete Systems

Sometimes out-of-the-box meets the exact requirements, sometimes it’s in the box.  Interface continues to expand our product mix to include advanced instrumentation, accessories, sensors and unique housing for full systems due to growing demands. Our team of solution engineers partner with our customers to identify the specifications and understand the application to build completely custom solutions, from single sensors to complete systems. These systems can be used within lab testing environments or as remote testing solutions.  Learn more about the capabilities of our custom solutions team here.

These are just a few of the many trends occurring in test and measurement into 2022 and beyond. Technology is progressing at a rapid pace. Our customers need more data, that’s abundant and accurate. Our sensors are seeing new application and use cases, ranging from testing unmanned space vehicles to smart agriculture components.

Rest assured, Interface is deeply invested in addressing these trends and serving our customers in the new year and beyond with critical innovation. It’s what we’ve been doing since 1968. We see an abundance of opportunities and possibilities in working with our customers to get the best products for their projects, programs, and OEM products. Whether they need our standard, engineered-to-order, and custom solutions, we are here to serve and ready for 2022. How can we help you?

Additional Resources

Interface Multi-Axis Sensor Market Research

Interface All-In-One Custom Test Systems

Additional Interface Calibration Grade Solutions

 

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

Recap of Instructional on Instrumentation Webinar

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
  • Indicators
  • 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.

Additional Resources:

Instrumentation Options in Test and Measurement

Digital Instrumentation for Force Measurement

Force Measurement Instrumentation 101

Solutions Provider for Aerospace & Defense

Interface has developed highly innovative force measurement solutions for a variety of complex and highly regulated industries. These industries require the most accurate and reliable test and measurement equipment on the market because bad data and unknown variables can spell disaster. This fact has never been truer than it is in the aerospace and defense sector.

For our worldwide customers in www.interfaceforce.com/solutions/aerospace, Interface supplies a variety of sensor solutions, including load cells, tension links, load shackles, wireless instrumentation and more. And Interface is a proud supplier to some of the world leading manufacturing aircraft, spacecraft, military, and defense organizations such as the U.S. Government, NASA, Lockheed, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Bombardier, Embraer, Boeing, Airbus Gulfstream, Cessna and more of the world’s most prominent (and well known) rocket builders.

To further highlight our work in the aerospace and defense industry, we’ve also put together a case study outlining, in detail, some of the specific applications in which force measurement sensors can be used. The case study dives deeper into three specific applications highlighting the products used for aircraft wing fatigue, aircraft engine hoist, and parachute deployment and deceleration testing.

READ: The new Aerospace & Defense Case Study can be read in full here.

As a premier partner to these and many other leading global aerospace and defense companies, we’ve seen a lot of high-profile applications which require both off-the-shelf and custom manufactured force solutions. Our engineers and application experts partner with our customers to ensure they get the product that fits the exact requirements, weather it’s a submersible sensor or built for extreme compression and fatigue condition tests.

Our precision load cells have been used on thousands of different projects, both big and small. From aircrafts to ground vehicles and infrastructure, here are a few examples of the projects we’ve supplied various load cells, from jumbo to mini, various torque transducers, multi-axis sensors, customized load pins and as well as wireless telemetry testing systems:

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Exploring Aerospace Force Measurement Solutions Blog

Launching into Orbit with Interface

Force Measurement for Space Travel

 

Making the Case for Custom Solutions Webinar Recap

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

  1. What do you want to measure?
  2. How will the sensor be used?
  3. Do you need multiple sensors or a single device?
  4. Is this embedded into an OEM application or solely for test and measurement?
  5. Do you have a cost target?
  6. 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
  • FAQs

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.

Additional Events:

Use Cases for Load Pins

Load Cell Basics

 

Tension Links 101

A tension link load cell is commonly used in lifting, both for short and long distances, and weighing applications. This type of load cell sensor generally has capacities ranging from 2.2K lbf to 1.1M lbf (5 to 500 metric tons). All tension links are available in custom versions and large capacities based on the customer’s project requirements.

Interface’s Tension Link series is manufactured from high tensile aluminum and stainless steel. Matched to shackle sizes, the load links have a rugged design for uses in harsh environments on the surface and in water. The tension links are environmentally sealed to IP65, IP66 or IP67. There are higher ratings available upon request.

A major benefit of Interface tension links is the option for custom designs in dimensions, ratings and capacities. The tension links are easy to install and are highly accurate.  They are compact in size and light weight. Another benefit is the options available, which include standard, wireless and self-indicating, giving the operator a variety of application use cases for quick measurement readings.  Self-indicating tension links have a built-inaudible alarm, which can be set by the operator to warn when an applied weight or force is met.

Often, customers will integrate the tension links with an Interface Crosby styled load shackle for robust applications that require accurate and reliable force measurement used for lifting, weighing, hoisting or towing apparatus that need sensors for safety and monitoring.

Wireless options are growing in acceptance for all types of uses. Interface provides wireless tension links that are compact and reduce the overall product weight based on the casing used to house the small alkaline batteries, which can be easily accessed by removing the telemetry housing cover while the internal electronics remain completely sealed. The antenna is also internally mounted, protecting it from accidental damage during use and handling, which is ideal for harsh environments.

Watch this discussion to learn more about the wireless features of the Interface Tension Links and Load Shackles.

Interface’s most popular tension links include:

WTSTL Wireless Tension Link Load CellDesigned for lifting applications requiring short or long distances. This product can transmit wirelessly up to 600 meters in distance (clear line of sight) to a handheld display or USB base station. Model WTSTL is available in capacities ranging from 11K lbf to 220K lbf (5 to 100 metric tons). Custom versions and larger capacities are available upon request.

WTSLTL Lightweight Wireless Tension Link – This smaller version ranges from 1 to 300 MT (2.2K to 661K lbf) and uses a lightweight aluminum construction, with an internal antenna and 1200 hours batter life using standard AA batteries.  It has high accuracy and uses license free 2.4GHz radio. There is an option to use this with telemetry and/or software for readout and reporting.

ISITL Self-Indicating Tension Link Load CellManufactured from high tensile aluminum to minimize weight, the ISITL is great for lifting and weighing in rugged or harsh environments.  The self-indication tension link load cell is ideal for mobile use cases.  It is simple to install and is matched to standard shackle sizes. They have a built-in display for applied weight or force in tons, kgs, lbs or kN. Interface can also offer a custom software to meet any specific application requirements for digital display or readouts.

ITL Tension Link Load Cell – This basic tension link can be amplified with 5VDC, 10VDC or 4-20mA Outputs. It can also be made to meet ATEX requirements. Model ITL is available in capacities ranging from 11K lbf to 220K lbf (5 to 100 metric tons). Custom versions and larger capacities can be requested at no additional charge, based on the exact specifications needed by the customer.

To learn more about our wide variety of load pins, load shackles and tension links, please visit www.interfaceforce.com/product-category/load-pins-tension-links-and-load-shackles/.

 

 

What is New in Custom Solutions

Here at Interface, we make it a priority to adapt to the needs of our customers in any way possible. Each year we gather vast amounts of data and feedback to address changes in the marketplace and advancements in technology. Often, this comes in the form of new product releases developed specifically with our customer’s most significant needs in mind. However, new product releases take time for development, testing and release. When customers need to address a challenge quickly, we turn to our innovative custom solutions team.

No matter the project, chances are there is a customized force measurement product to fulfill the requirement. We work directly with our customer’s engineering and testing teams to understand the challenge and offer alternative solutions to off-the-shelf products. Our dedicated engineers and measurement experts, along with supporting company resources, and advanced engineering lab give Interface the competitive advantage to make any force measurement application work with what we have to offer.

We provided a brief overview of our custom solutions offerings and process a past blog. Today’s post provides an update on what’s new in custom solutions:

New Custom Solutions Offerings

Among the most significant changes to custom solutions is our growing engineered to order offerings for OEM customers. To best serve these customers and testing engineers with premium and affordable force measurement solutions for use in components or products, Interface now offers engineered to order capabilities for the masses. Engineered to order means Interface can deliver force and torque measurement solutions from our massive catalog that are modified to meet the features, specifications, and cost that our customers require, while still retaining the premium accuracy, quality and reliability Interface is known for across every industry we serve.

Another exciting capability that Interface has recently added is the addition of more digital instrumentation communication options for collecting data from our products. We’ve added Models INF1 and INF4 signal conditioners with field bus capability that include CANopen, DeviceNet, CC-Link, Profibus, Profinet, Modbus, and EtherCAT. By adding this capability, our products can interface with networks that customers already have installed in their facilities.

Custom Solutions Applications

Interface customers continue to turn to our experience Custom Solutions Engineers to build systems that utilize a range of sensor technologies, communication devices and even frames and cases to provide a complete structure.  This includes a growing demand for uniquely pairing force and torque components that work remotely through wireless and Bluetooth technologies as well as delivering entire testing units that re mobile or can be used in the field. The possibilities are unlimited with the amount of products Interface in our catalog, including the possibilities of using new designs.

Every year we engage in a host of unique custom solutions projects with our customers. We would like to share of a few of our favorites with you.

Airplane Maintenance – Wireless Customization

When an airplane comes into the shop, engineers often must jack it up to perform maintenance. When you lift a plane, there is always a risk because you can’t put too much stress on the wings and fuselage. To ensure that the maintenance team members weren’t stressing the plane beyond its limits, Interface developed a solution to measure the lifting force of each individual jack used to lift the plane. The solution included a number of Interface Model 1200 Series Load Cell that would transmit the forces applied back to a base station. However, the customization came in the way data was transmitted to the base station. Typically, wires are used for transmission, but in this case, there were 21 load cells used on the lifting equipment. To avoid having 21 wires get in the way, Interface added custom capabilities to the 1200 series to allow it to communicate with the base station wirelessly.

Crane Application – Custom Programming

Lifting heavy objects can be a dangerous job for onsite workers, not to mention, pushing a large industrial crane too far can result in expensive damages and downtime. Therefore, when an Interface’s industrial customer needed to intelligently monitor a crane in the process of lifting, we helped create a custom program to do so. The custom application included a model 1280 and force measurement activated program. Whenever the crane was nearing a weight that was unsafe, an alert was triggered based on the force measurement reading that could either sound an alarm or shut the system down. This created an automated safety system using force data.

Additional Custom Solution Applications and Use Cases are available here. 

Custom solutions are key to Interface’s broad offerings that we provide when off-the-shelf solutions don’t provide exactly what is required. Our design engineers and manufacturing team is ready to work directly with our customers to provide a solution that is right for your project. To learn more, visit us at /custom-solutions/.

Contributor: Ken Bishop

 

 

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.