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A Great Force for Crane and Hoist Solutions

In June 2023, Interface announced our acquisition of UK-based LCM Systems, broadening our international reach, significantly improving our capacity, and adding critical expertise to Interface for specialized measurement solutions designed for cranes and hoist equipment.

Interface and LCM offer our customers robust and diverse measurement devices for hoisting, winching, lifting, subsea, infrastructure, and industrial manufacturing applications.

The LCM-made products in Interface’s 35,000-plus catalog include Load Pins, Tension Links, and Shackles. This includes options for standard products, engineered-to-order, completely custom, ATEX, submersibles, and wireless solutions.

Sample of Interface Load Pins, Tension Links, and Shackles

 

ILMP Stainless Steel Load Monitoring Load Pin

LP Stainless Steel Load Pin

WTSLP Wireless Stainless Steel Load Pin

ITL Tension Link Load Cell

WTSTL Wireless Tension Link Load Cell

WTSATL Lightweight Aluminum Wireless Tension Link

WTSATL-JR Aluminum Compact Wireless Tension Link

ISHK-B Bow Type Crosby™ Cabled Load Shackle

ISHK-D ‘D’ Type Crosby™ Cabled Load Shackle

WTSSHK-B Wireless Crosby™ Bow Load Shackle

WTSSHK-B-HL Wireless Bow Load Shackle

WTSSHK-B-JR Wireless Crosby™ Bow Load Shackle

WTSSHK-D Wireless Crosby™ Load Shackle

TIP:  Use the Interface Load Pin Configuration Submission to get started in defining your exact pin requirements.

Recently, Ken Bishop, Interace’s senior director of custom solutions, had the opportunity to discuss our acquisition of LCM Systems with Overhead Crane and Hoist (OCH) magazine, specifically focusing on our industry-leading lineup of solutions for this industry courtesy of our expert team at LCM. Included below is a brief preview of the article. To read it thoroughly, please visit OCH’s digital magazine Interface Reveals Motivation Behind Acquisition of Long-Time Partner LCM SystemsHoist Magazine’s Overhead Crane and Hoist Winter 2023.

Highlights from the article in Overhead and Hoist Feature Article

In a move that should provide synergistic growth opportunities for both companies, Interface Inc., a US-based leader in force measurement product technology, design, and manufacturing, has recently acquired UK-based LCM Systems – a company it had already partnered with for the past ten years. In fact, Interface has been LCM’s exclusive distributor in the US market since 2018.

“Interface is a very diverse,” Ken Bishop, Interface’s senior director of custom solutions, declared, noting that it has a very strong reputation for producing high-quality load cells, load pins, load shackles, torque transducers, multi-axis sensors, and related measurement solutions for a variety of market sectors including aerospace, automotive, energy, factory automation, and subsea marine. “Given our ability to make high-precision products that our customers can count on, we have been able to grow our business over the years.”

Bishop said it was when certain new customer requirements emerged, for which Interface didn’t have other options to meet, that it decided to reach out to LCM: “At first, such opportunities came up now and then, but over time, we started to do more business with them as it became more and more apparent that there was a nice fit between the products and services that LCM offers and those offered by Interface.”

LCM was founded in 1984 to provide the yachting industry with precision load cell and readout systems but has expanded to also provide those products, as well as engineering and design services, to such other market sectors as energy, civil engineering, maritime, aerospace, heavy lifting and process engineering, including load cell products suitable for Zone 1 and 2 hazardous area applications…read more.

Load pin, Tension link, and Load Shackle App Note Catalog

Interface New Products Release Winter 2024

Interface proudly presents a selection of new additions to our extensive product catalog designed to elevate your testing and measurement capabilities.

Challenge the limits of force measurement. Interface invites you to explore its Winter 2024 collection, meticulously crafted with testing engineers and technicians in mind. This lineup features pioneering Interface load cells pushing the boundaries of applications, complemented by versatile instrumentation and precision accessories for maximum data fidelity.

Our advanced system offerings and engineer-to-order options offer options for sensors to be tailored to your specific needs. Interface is your partner in precision testing innovation.

NEW INTERFACE PRODUCTS

IF500 LOAD CELL SIMULATOR

The model IF500 instrument is a 5V or 10V excitation-only load cell simulator with a state-of-the-art microprocessor-based design. The instrument excitation supply powers the IF500 and requires no batteries. The IF500-NIST is an added NIST Traceable Calibration Certificate.

Primary IF500 Load Cell Simulator features and benefits:

  • Set “ANY” mV/V value within ±5mV/V
  • State-of-the-art, microprocessor-based design
  • Sleep mode eliminates digital clock noise
  • Powered by instrument excitation supply… No batteries
  • Buffered Ratiometric output
  • 350-ohm bridge configuration
  • Stores up to 10 settings with sequential recall
  • Digital zero trim and storage
  • Low noise, low quiescent current, low-temperature coefficient, high stability amplifiers
  • Compatible with instruments using 5V or 10V excitation, including but not limited to Interface’s instrumentation models 9820, 9840, 9860, 9870, 9890, CSC/CSD, DMA/DMA2, DCA, INF1/INF4, ISG, SGA, and VSC.

ILMP STAINLESS STEEL LOAD MONITORING LOAD PIN

The ILMP Load Pin is machined from high-tensile stainless steel. Our load pins are built to exacting standards and are proof-loaded to 150% of the normal rated load. Interface load measurement pins are versatile and used in various applications, including cranes, winches, hoists, load shackles, and bearing blocks. They are easily installed into machines by replacing any existing load-bearing pin to provide accurate, real-time monitoring of load forces. The load pin can be supplied independently or combined with our extensive range of instrumentation to provide a complete load monitoring system.

Primary ILMP Stainless Steel Load Monitoring Load Pin features and benefits:

  • Capacities range from 1.1K lbf (500 kgs) to 3,307K lbf (1500 MT)
  • Keeper plate supplied
  • Environmentally sealed to IP67
  • Stainless steel construction

Options for engineered-to-order:

  • Integral connector
  • Submersible versions available
  • Integral signal conditioning providing 0-10V, 0-5V, 4-20mA, RS485 outputs
  • Hazardous area certified
  • Special electrical connectors
  • TEDS option

9812-WTS WIRELESS PANEL MOUNT DISPLAY FOR SINGLE TRANSMITTERS

The 9812-WTS Wireless Panel Mount Display For Single Transmitters displays data from any WTS wireless transmitter modules. It is part of the extensive Interface WTS 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 standard industrial power supplies and are available in robust IP-rated enclosures with internal antennas optimized to give outstanding coverage.

Primary 9812-WTS Wireless Panel Mount Display features and benefits:

  • Point-to-point connection to a single transmitter
  • Bipolar
  • 6-digit LED display (-199999 to +999999)
  • Four SPST mechanical relay alarms (2A@250VAC)
  • Peak and valley monitoring
  • Wireless communication and compatibility with all WTS products

 3411 INTRINSICALLY SAFE COMPRESSION-ONLY LOWPROFILE® LOAD CELL

The Interface 3411 Intrinsically Safe Compression-Only LowProfile® is a specially designed low-profile load cell with loop-powered intrinsically safe amplified output for use in hazardous locations. These load cells are derived from other proven Interface models by adding high resistance strain gages for low-current loop power and a shielded internal amplifier for extra low emissions and minimal EMI susceptibility.

Primary 3411 LowProfile Load Cell features and benefits:

  • Capacity is 10k lbf
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Sealed connector
  • IP68 environmental protection
  • Internally amplified 4-20 mA output, loop-powered
  • Unipolar compression only
  • The spherical loading surface provides minimal off-axis loading

For more information about this product, acquire a datasheet or a CAD file, and please get in touch with an application engineer.

3450 SEALED COLUMN LOAD CELL WITH INTEGRAL CABLE FOR HAZARDOUS ENVIRONMENTS

The Interface 3450 Sealed Load Cell is an intrinsically safe sealed column-style rod end load cell available in standard 55K lbf. Specially designed low profile load cells with loop-powered intrinsically safe amplified output for use in hazardous locations. These load cells are derived from other proven Interface models by adding high resistance strain gages for low-current loop power and a shielded internal amplifier for extra low emissions and minimal EMI susceptibility.

Primary 3450 Sealed Column Load Cell features and benefits:

  • Tension and compression
  • Environmentally sealed IP65 and IP67
  • Certified for use in hazardous locations when installed per installation instructions
  • 8 ft (2.4 m) standard cable length

For more information about this product, acquire a datasheet or a CAD file, and please get in touch with an application engineer.

NEW PRODUCTS WEBINAR ALERT!

Interface experts Ken Bishop and Brian Peters offer a detailed technical discussion about new products with added use cases and engineering tips for each. This one-hour technical online event highlights the latest product additions in our 35,000+ catalog of force measurement solutions, including load cells, wireless devices, instrumentation, and specialty sensors. MORE INFO.

ADDITIONAL PRODUCT RESOURCES

Be sure to visit our online selection tools to help you choose the best load cells, miniature load cells, multi-axis sensors, torque transducers, accessories, and instrumentation for your specific projects.

Our application engineers, genuine experts in force measurement, are eager to assist. Don’t hesitate to tap into their vast knowledge. They appreciate the opportunity to solve your toughest challenges.

Interface Cable Assemblies 101

Force measurement cables and connectors are far more integral than a cable. Unlike cables for many electronics, they are not just power or data transfer sources. Instead, cables and connectors play a significant role in the total force measurement systems.

Specific cables and mating connectors are used for different applications, environments, frequency and power requirements, and paired measurement devices. This includes sensor considerations as well as instrumentation.

What are cable assemblies? 

A cable assembly for a load cell essentially acts as the lifeline between the load cell and the analog output instrumentation, transmitting the electrical signals generated by the load cell to be interpreted and measured. It’s not just a simple cable but a carefully constructed unit designed to maintain signal integrity and protect against external interference.

Interface cable assemblies are used for connecting transducers to instrumentation. Our cable assemblies are designed for easy integration with Interface measurement devices and instrumentation. Interface cables maintain the specification of the product. We provide standard cable assemblies and custom lengths, depending on your application. Shielded cables are available from Interface. Our line of cables is part of the diverse line of Interface Accessories.

Cable Assembly Basics

  • Shielding protects the signals from noise and ensures accurate readings.
  • Twisted pairs are individual conductor pairs twisted together to reduce noise interference and crosstalk between signals.
  • The material and gauge are chosen to minimize voltage drop and signal loss over the cable length.
  • Durable jackets protect the internal components from physical damage and environmental factors like moisture and abrasion.
  • Mating connectors should be compatible with the load cell and instrumentation, often sealed to prevent moisture ingress.
  • Strain relief prevents damage to the cable near the connectors from pulling or moving.
  • Proper shield grounding is crucial for effective noise mitigation.

In essence, a load cell cable assembly is engineered to ensure the fidelity and accuracy of the load cell’s signal, ultimately contributing to reliable and precise measurements in your system. Remember, the specific design and features of the cable assembly can vary depending on the type of load cell, application requirements, and environmental considerations. C

Essential Tips for Selecting a Cable

  • Length: One of the most critical considerations when selecting the suitable cable for your application is cable length. Minimize cable length to reduce signal loss and maintain accuracy. Consider the extra length needed for routing flexibility; however, it is not recommended to use extra long cables if it is not necessary.
  • Temperature range: Ensure the cable is rated for your environment’s expected operating temperature range.
  • Moisture resistance: Consider waterproof cables for outdoor or wet environments to prevent corrosion and signal degradation.
  • Flexibility: Choose a cable with appropriate flexibility for your installation. Stiffer cables are more durable but more challenging to maneuver in tight spaces.
  • Shielded or unshielded? Choose shielded cables in environments with electrical noise from motors, power lines, or radio frequencies. Unshielded cables are sufficient for cleaner environments.
  • Twisted pair or single conductor? Use twisted pairs for improved noise rejection, especially in long cable runs. Single conductors are cheaper but more susceptible to interference.
  • Number of conductors: Match the number of conductors to your load cell configuration. 4-wire for basic setups, 6-wire for advanced measurements. Consult with your application engineer to define your requirements.

TIP: For constant voltage excitation, two effects of significance can affect accuracy. An effect on the sensitivity due to voltage drops over the cable length.  An effect on the thermal span characteristics of the load cell due to the change of cable resistance with temperature.

Cable Length Effects

If the load cell is purchased with a cable of any length, the sensitivity is determined with the installed cable in calibration, and this is not a problem. For load cells with connectors, or if a cable is added that is not designed for the exact use, there will be a loss of sensitivity of approximately 0.37% per 10 feet of 28 gauge cable and 0.09% per 10 feet of 22 gauge cable. This error can be eliminated if a six-wire cable is run to the end of the load cell cable or connector and used with an indicator with sense lead capability.

Temperature Effects

Since cable resistance is a function of temperature, the cable response to temperature change affects the thermal span characteristics of the load cell cable system. For 6-wire systems, this effect is eliminated. For 4-wire cables, the effect is compensated for in the standard cable lengths offered with the load cells if the load cell and cable are at the same temperature simultaneously. For non-standard cable lengths, there will be an effect on thermal span performance. The impact of adding 10 feet of 28 gauge cable is to cause a decrease in sensitivity with a temperature equal to 0.0008%/°F. For an added 10 feet of 22 gauge cable, the effect is to decrease the sensitivity by 0.0002%/°F. In some cases, it is tolerable to degrade performance since Interface standard specification is extremely tight. However, this can be a significant factor for long cable runs or high-accuracy applications. The best way to eliminate the problem is to run six wires to the end of the standard cable length and sense the excitation voltage.

Wireless Versus Cable Key Considerations

  • Type of Sensor – is there a wireless option?
  • Type of Sensor Output
  • Communication Protocol
  • Accuracy Impact 
  • Types of Errors Subject to Wireless Devices
  • Servicing Limitations with Power (Battery)
  • Line of Sight for Wireless
  • Data Rate Can Decline with Wireless Transmissions
  • Synchronization of Data

With a growing demand for wireless solutions, it is crucial to consider the results and environment before cutting the cable.

The application is vital in your cable evaluation. With a growing demand for wireless solutions, it is essential to consider the results and environment before cutting the cable. With an increasing demand for wireless solutions, it is vital to consider the results and environment before cutting the cable. Not all cables are the same. We can look at the oil and gas industry as an example of specific cable considerations. We have many oil and gas industry customers who need force measurement solutions to deal with the heat and pressure in a downhole application. The cables and connectors for this project often need custom braiding and coating to ensure the wiring won’t melt or corrode in this environment. We also have submersible solutions in which the connection between the submersible load cell and the connector must be sealed tightly to prevent water damage to the components.

At Interface, our accessories use only the highest-quality components and materials. Our engineers will also work with you to find the accessories that fit your needs. We can work with you to create a custom solution if we don’t offer the necessary connectors and cables in-house. We also provide various options depending on the data requirements, whether permanent monitoring or portable solutions, and different cables based on data type for the type of instrument.

To learn more about our cables, visit our accessories.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Understanding Cable Length and Temperature Effects

Force Measurement Accessories 101

Accessories-Brochure-2

Exploring New Measurement Products Webinar

The Interface Exploring Capabilities of New Measurement Products Webinar details new products, including sensors, instrumentation, and accessories. Our experts will cover dozens of new additions to the extensive 40,000-plus product catalog of force measurement solutions. Interface engineers highlight product features, capacities, use cases, and technical tips in the fast-paced new technical online seminar.

Top 10 Trends in Test and Measurement

As a leader in force measurement, Interface is privy to the evolving landscape of test and measurement. These top 10 trends also shape our future.  Interface constantly invests in new sensor designs, technology, and tools to support our market-defining, high accuracy, quality products.

Interface offers various standard and custom sensors, instrumentation, technical support, and services for customers across various industries worldwide. The feedback we gather from the market and customers defines our priorities.

Based on the current demands of our products, requests for solution support, and incoming inquiries to our application experts, we compiled some key trends for 2023.

  1. Miniaturization: Demand for smaller, lighter sensors is increasing across industries, from robotics and drones to medical devices and lifting technologies, and continues to be the top trend in T&M. Interface’s miniature load cells enable precise measurements in compact spaces. There is also a growing use of embedding our Mini sensors into OEM products for real-time feedback, like surgical robots and fitness equipment.
  2. Multi-Axis Measurements: Analyzing forces in multiple directions is becoming essential for complex testing scenarios. Interface’s Multi-Axis Sensors facilitate comprehensive data collection and a deeper understanding of force interactions.
  3. Wireless Data Acquisition: Eliminating cables simplifies testing setups and improves data access. Interface’s wireless load cells and data acquisition systems enhance data portability and streamline testing processes. These wireless systems, including sensors like our wireless load pins and tension links, provide immediate system monitoring and maintenance technologies without cables for machines, equipment, components, and consumer products.
  4. Smart Sensors and IoT Integration: The use of sensors to make smart decisions is rising, from use in smart city projects to automating production. Interface measurement devices with easy connectivity are revolutionizing test and measurement. Interface’s sensors with digital outputs and compatibility with IoT products enable real-time data analysis, remote monitoring, and predictive maintenance.
  5. Material Characterization: Interface’s force measurement solutions are increasingly used to characterize the mechanical properties of materials, crucial for optimizing product design and performance in industries like aerospace, automotive, and construction. Material testing is also used in circular economy applications, using old materials for new inventions.
  6. Testing in Harsh Environments: Interface’s rugged and environmentally sealed sensors are finding more applications in extreme conditions, from subsea exploration to high-temperature testing. These ATEX, submersible, high-temp, and stainless steel products allow testing in critical real-world scenarios.
  7. Complex Measurement Analysis: Advanced software tools and data analysis platforms are essential for effectively interpreting and utilizing force measurement data. Interface provides software packages such as our Log100 and BlueDAQ Software to facilitate deeper insights and decision-making.
  8. Efficiency and Cost Optimization: Test and measurement processes are refined for efficiency and cost savings in product designs, building new products, and retrofitting existing machinery and equipment. Interface’s solutions contribute by facilitating faster setup, accurate data collection, and improved product quality, leading to reduced testing costs and faster time to market.
  9. R&D Driving Sustainability and Efficiency: Interface has seen an increase in customers using our sensor technologies for products and processes that positively impact the environment. This includes using Interface sensors for applications that include recycling and waste management, restructuring infrastructure, renewable energy production, electric vehicles, and battery development. Interface devices are commonly used in designing long-lasting, low-maintenance consumer products.
  10. Advancing Possibilities in Measurement with Customized Solutions: The need for customized force measurement solutions with diverse industry applications is growing. Interface’s engineering expertise and wide range of products allow it to cater to specific testing requirements and develop bespoke solutions. This includes engineered-to-order load cells, transducers, and complete system configurations like Interface Data AQ Packs.

These are just some of the trends we are observing in 2023. These trends are in addition to priority of providing industry-leading technical expertise and application support to help every customer.

With our commitment to collaboration, innovation, and accuracy, we are well-positioned to work with you as we shape the future of force measurement and contribute to the advancements in various testing and measurement projects across industries.

Interface looks forward to helping you with your inventions, research, testing, and product designs requiring precision measurement technologies in the coming year. Let’s continue the journey together.

 

The Wonderful World of Wireless Webinar Recap

Interface recently hosted an online technical seminar, The Wonderful World of Wireless, discussing cable-less sensor technologies.

The ForceLeaders event began with a quick highlight of the history of wireless, starting with Heinrich Hertz demonstrating the existence of electromagnetic waves in 1988 through the 21st-century developments of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, plus 4G and 5G cellular networks.

These inventions have advanced test and measurement devices to the point where wireless sensors and instrumentation are commonplace. What does today and the future of wireless look like?

  • Extensive Wireless Components in the Lab
  • Network Connectivity and Cloud-Based Data (IoT)
  • Expanding Use for Different Environments
  • High-accuracy and Precision Measurement Capabilities
  • Enabling Advancements in Automation
  • Continuous Monitoring of Measurement Data
  • Safety and Alarm Systems Based on Key Measurements
  • Component Activation without Cables

During this technical discussion, Interface experts Keith Skidmore and Jason Graham detailed the benefits of using wireless components for test and measurement programs in addition to OEM products. The top five benefits of going wireless include:

  • Easier installation and maintenance
  • Reduced wiring costs and easier to integrate
  • Increased flexibility and scalability
  • Reduced risk of electrical interference and noise
  • Improved safety (no cables)

Sensor systems become significantly more flexible and adaptable by removing the need for physical wires. This translates to easier repositioning of existing sensors and seamlessly adding new ones without major infrastructure modifications. This wireless approach is particularly beneficial when traditional wiring is difficult or impractical. This includes:

Large-scale industrial applications: A sprawling factory floor or a vast agricultural field that requires wiring such expansive areas would be a logistical nightmare regarding cost and implementation. Wireless sensors eliminate this obstacle, allowing data collection across vast distances with minimal setup effort.

Monitoring moving or rotating machinery: Imagine trying to wire sensors onto a constantly spinning turbine or a robot arm in motion. The wires would be a tangled mess, prone to breakage and potentially hindering the machinery’s operation. Wireless sensors provide a clean and efficient solution, capturing valuable data without impeding the movement of the equipment. Interface details this with our system configuration using the BX6 during the webinar.

Remote or hard-to-reach locations: Whether it’s a sensor monitoring environmental conditions on a mountaintop or across the plains for oil field operations, reaching specific locations with wires can be impossible or prohibitively expensive. Wireless sensors bridge this gap, enabling data collection from even the most inaccessible places.

Interface offers wireless LowProfiles, Mini Load Cells, Load Shackles, and Torque Transducers. Interface has the experience and engineering capabilities to design most of our sensors for wireless use. Commonly used Interface wireless load cells are our WTS 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile® Wireless Load CellWTSTL Wireless Tension Link Load Cell, WTSLP Wireless Stainless Steel Load Pin and WTSSHK-D Wireless Crosby™ Load Shackle.

Specification Watch List for Wireless Components

  • Input Range
  • Sample Rate
  • Temperature Range
  • Temperature Errors
  • Linearity of Sensor or System
  • Environmental Rating
  • Battery Life and Power Supply
  • Compatible Output and Inputs of Every Component

Be sure to watch the event, and if you have any questions about the products Interface offers or need help selecting the right system components, contact us. We are here to help you get the right solution.

The event concluded with Interface wireless experts answering these top 10 frequently asked questions:

  1. What impacts the range of WTS?
  2. How reliable are the data results?
  3. What software is provided with the WTS devices?
  4. How many devices can operate on one radio channel?
  5. Can computer software gather data from many devices?
  6. What limits the devices’ radio frequency (RF) range?
  7. What frequency does the system operate on?
  8. Can wireless range extenders be used within the WTS network?
  9. Is the system point-to-point?
  10. What are the sampling rates of the transmitter modules?

Interface Wireless Telemetry System (WTS)

The Interface Wireless Telemetry System (WTS) offers more sensor placement and configuration flexibility. Components in wireless telemetry systems typically include sensors, transducers, instrumentation, communication modules, transmitters, displays, and printers. Use the Wireless Modular System Overview for more system details.

Read: Interface Wireless Telemetry System Review

Applications Using Interface Wireless Telemetry System Solutions

Crane Capacity Verification

Mobile Force System

Inflatable Space Habitat

Gantry Crane Weighing

Robotic Arm

Aircraft Engine Hoist

Airplane Jacking System

Patient Hoyer Lift

Road Bridge Lift Monitoring

Jib Crane Tension Monitoring

Waste Management Container Weighing

Wonderful World of Wireless Webinar

Interface Wonderful World of Wireless Webinar explores using wireless sensors, instrumentation, and accessories to cut the cable. Our experts detail wireless load cells, wireless testing equipment, best practices, and tips. Learn about wireless telemetry systems, key considerations, and challenges. Interface engineers highlight industry applications and frequently asked questions in this new technical online seminar.

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

 

Wireless Telemetry Systems 101

A wireless telemetry system enables the remote measurement and transmission of data from one location to another without the need for physical wired connections.  As technology advances, wireless telemetry systems are becoming increasingly sophisticated, reliable, and secure, enabling them to be applied in various industries and use cases for test and measurement applications.

Interface offers a wide range of wireless telemetry products. Components in wireless telemetry systems typically include sensors, transducers, instrumentation, communication modules, transmitters, displays, and printers.

The sensors measure tension, compression, weight, torque, or any other measurable quantity. Interface utilizes proprietary strain gage sensor technologies. Transducers convert analog signals from sensors into digital data that can be processed and transmitted to instrumentation.

Load cells are commonly used with wireless telemetry systems to measure and transmit data about the force or weight applied to an object. The load cell converts the force exerted on it into an electrical signal, which can then be wirelessly transmitted to a remote monitoring system.

The most popular Interface wireless load cells are our WTS 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile® Wireless Load CellWTSTL Wireless Tension Link Load Cell, WTSLP Wireless Stainless Steel Load Pin and WTSSHK-D Wireless Crosby™ Load Shackle. Interface works with our customers to develop engineered-to-order wireless solutions by request.

The analog output from the load cell may require signal conditioning to ensure accuracy and compatibility with the wireless telemetry system. Signal conditioning can also be required for amplification, filtering, and analog-to-digital conversion to convert the analog signal into a digital format.

Wireless communications modules are responsible for transmitting the data over wireless channels. It can use various communication technologies like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, depending on the application’s requirements. The transmitter is responsible for wirelessly communicating the load data to the receiving end of the telemetry system.

There are various options for data collection. Data acquisition instrumentation is preferred in force measurement applications to collect vast amounts of data from sensors and transducers and prepare it for transmission.

At the receiving end of the telemetry system, another wireless communication module receives the data from the load cell’s transmitter. Once the data is processed, it can be analyzed, logged, and displayed on a user interface, such as a computer dashboard or a mobile app. This allows operators, engineers, or users to monitor the load values in real-time and make informed decisions based on the data

Interface Wireless Telemetry System (WTS) Solutions

The Interface Wireless Telemetry System (WTS) offers flexibility by eliminating physical connections, making deploying sensors in remote or challenging environments easier. Wireless telemetry systems offer more flexibility in sensor placement and system configuration.

The absence of physical wires allows for easier repositioning or adding new sensors without significant infrastructure changes. This setup is particularly useful in scenarios where it is challenging or impractical to use wired connections, such as in large-scale industrial applications or when monitoring moving or rotating machinery.

Wireless Telemetry System Components

Wireless Transducers

Wireless Transmitters

Wireless Receivers

Wireless Output Modules

Wireless Displays and Instrumentation

This is a list of what types of products are available. The Interface WTS offering continues to grow with added products to the line. Check out the Wireless Modular System Overview for more system details.

Wireless Telemetry System Benefits

The Interface WTS is a wireless telemetry system that transmits high-quality data to single and multiple devices. It offers a wide variety of benefits, including:

  • High accuracy: The WTS offers measurement accuracy of ±0.02% of full scale, ensuring you get accurate readings from your sensors.
  • High speed: A high-speed system can transmit data up to 1000 Hz.
  • High resolution: The WTS has a resolution of 10,000 counts, which means that you can measure even slight changes in force.
  • Multiple configuration options: The WTS can be configured to meet a wide variety of needs. You can choose from a variety of transmitters, output modules, receivers, antennas, and displays.
  • Easy to use: It is a modular system that can be easily expanded to meet the needs of your application. It is supported by our powerful WTS Toolkit configuration software, making it easy to set up and use.
  • IP-rated enclosures: The WTS transmitters and receivers are available in two different-sized enclosures that are rated to IP67, making them dustproof and waterproof.

A major benefit of wireless telemetry systems is the ability to adapt and expand by adding additional sensors or devices without the constraints of wires and cables. They are easy to integrate, and installation is fast for immediate benefits.

Wireless telemetry integrates with the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud-based platforms, enabling centralized data storage, analysis, and easy access from multiple devices.

Read: Interface Wireless Telemetry System Review

Applications Using Interface Wireless Telemetry System Solutions

Aerospace: Wireless options are preferred for large projects that require careful movement and testing of aircraft, components, and systems. Providing flexibility in real-time data without the cable is a huge benefit. See these WTS solutions for Aircraft Engine Hoist and Airplane Jacking System

Industrial Automation: Load cells with wireless telemetry are commonly used in industrial environments for weighing large objects, such as in material handling, manufacturing, and logistics. Check out IoT Lifting Heavy Objects.

Medical and Healthcare: Wireless medical telemetry systems, such as wearable health devices, are used for patient monitoring. In medical settings, wireless load cells are used in patient lifts and hospital beds to monitor patient weight and movement. Learn more in our Patient Hoyer Lift application.

Agriculture: The agriculture industry uses WTS to monitor crop management programs and measure the weight of produce, animal feed, or livestock. Check out this use case: WTS Equine Bridle Tension System App Note.

Energy: The energy industry utilizes wireless load cells and telemetry products to remotely monitor oil wells, pipelines, and storage facilities. Check out Tank Weighing and Center of Gravity

Infrastructure: Civil engineers use WTS to assess the health and integrity of structures like bridges and dams. Monitoring loads on bridges and cranes to ensure safety and structural integrity. Check out Road Bridge Lift Monitoring.

Manufacturing: There are many examples of manufacturing WTS use cases. Wireless load cells are being used to monitor the weight of products as they move through the production line. This information can be used to ensure that products meet quality standards and identify any potential problems early on by fully utilizing the wireless telemetry capabilities.

Construction: In the construction industry, wireless load cells and telemetry systems monitor the load on beams and columns during construction to ensure that structures are safe and stable and to detect any potential problems before they cause an accident. Check out Jib Crane Tension Monitoring.

Transportation: In the transportation industry, wireless load cells are being used to monitor cargo weight on trucks and trains to ensure that loads are not overloaded and to comply with regulations. Read IoT Waste Management Container Weighing.

Automotive: The industry utilizes several machines and systems to test components used in the making of automobiles. Read how WTS is used in this brake testing application: WTS Brake Pedal Force Testing.

Entertainment: Protecting the artists, equipment, and attendees is top of mind for all venues. Wireless systems monitor environmental conditions, rigging, display mounts, and more. Read Multi-Stage Load Monitoring.

Integrating load cells with wireless telemetry systems provides a convenient and efficient way to monitor force or weight data remotely, allowing for real-time data analysis and enhancing the automation and safety of various processes.

If you are looking for a reliable and accurate wireless telemetry system, the Interface WTS is a great option. It is a powerful and versatile system that can be used in various applications. and industry use cases.