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Interface Submersible Load Cells

Interface load cells and force measurement devices are designed for all types of environments. Providing solutions to those working in and serving the maritime industry Interface offers products engineered to provide accurate and reliable measurement data near shore, offshore and underwater.

Interface offers a variety of force measurement products that are designed for harsh environments and submersible use cases, both for single tests as well as designed into components and manufactured goods. Often these products are used for continuous regulatory and safety monitoring applications.

Interface submersible load cells and specialized sensors can transmit data through underwater applications and harsh weather conditions. These load cells can survive through underwater submersions at different capacities, and relay information to surface level or underwater devices. Interface load cells are used to regulate harsh maritime situations such as underwater tension lines, underwater drilling, as well as for storm and tsunami monitoring.

Submersible load cells are available in a range of capacities and configurations, from miniature load cells to load shackles. Interface provides standard submersible products as well as custom solutions that are designed to the exact specification. We also provide instrumentation solutions that can be fully sealed with wireless components. Working with our expert engineers, we can provide waterproof housing of sensors, including for our line of LowProfile Load Cells and Interface Multi-Axis Sensors to be used in harsh environments and underwater.

An example of a submersible product is the Interface WMC Sealed Stainless Steel Miniature Load Cell. This is an environmentally sealed tension and compression load cell useful for rugged conditions. The stainless steel construction and small size provide many benefits when using for underwater applications.  This model is available in capacities ranging from 5 to 500 lbf (22 to 2200 N) and utilizes Interface’s proprietary temperature compensated strain gages for precision measurement applications.

Another example of a submersible product is the Interface ISHK-B Load Shackle. It is designed for lifting and weighing in rugged or harsh environments, including submersible applications. The shackle pin is forged from high tensile stainless steel and high tensile carbon steel. Every load shackle is machined to exact specifications. The ISHK-B is internally gaged and the whole instrumented area is sealed to IP67 to protect it in service. The WTSSHK-B is the wireless version.

So, how do we guarantee accurate results even when these products are submerged or splashed? It’s all in the design, similar to the way new iPhones are made to be waterproof, our load cells can be designed to remain water-tight and accurate at a variety of depths. All electronic components are sealed so that data can be recorded and transmitted via waterproof cables or wirelessly.

Below are two examples of real applications that required Interface’s submersible load cell solutions.

Hydrofoil Testing In Wave Tank

Hydrofoil design is a delicate balance between performance and complexity. Finding the right shape without using overly complex angles to achieve the desired amount of lift is crucial when designing a successful hydrofoil. Once an engineer’s concepts are ready for testing, the best force measurement equipment is required to sense the subtle differences between hydrofoil designs. Lift and drag are the most important characteristics of a hydrofoil. The 3A120 3-Axis Force Load Cell is needed to read these forces. The Fz senses lift and the Fx and Fy sense the drag. The 3-Axis Force Load Cell and bridge amplifier are protected in a waterproof housing. The watercraft is placed in a wave tank or current simulator. Using the BSC4D-USB bridge amplifier increases the visibility of the load cells output signals. When using the load cell and bridge amplifier, the engineers can record the real-world lift and drag forces the hydrofoils apply to on the watercraft. This data allows a more in-depth comparison of proposed hydrofoil designs to find the best model for the job. Read more about this solution here.

Mooring Line TensionMooring Line Tension Testing

Due to the changing weather conditions, mooring cable lines undergo wear and tear. A customer wanted to ensure all mooring lines for ships or vessels are securely loaded at the same tension, so that they do not risk the mooring lines breaking or causing damage. Interface’s WTSTL Wireless Tension Link Load Cells can be attached to each mooring cable while 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. Using this solution, the customer was able to verify the tension on multiple mooring cable lines. Thus, resulting in their ship being safely docked and secure. Read more here.

Interface expert engineers can help you design customizable solutions for all types of applications using our products designed for offshore, underwater, and splash zone locations.

Here are a few more examples of products we provide to the maritime industry.

Additional Resources

Maritime Measurement Solutions for Onshore and Submersible Applications

Deeper Dive into Maritime Solutions from Interface

CASE STUDY: Serving the Maritime Industry

Maritime Brochure

Interface Explores Maritime Applications Near and Offshore

 

Interface Instrumentation Definitions

The new Interface Instrumentation Selection Guide is a great way to get started in choosing the right instrumentation for your next project or lab. To serve as additional resources, here are key instrumentation definitions that can also help you make the best decision regarding the type and model of instrumentation that will work best with your sensor.

Instrumentation Selection Guide Definitions

Excitation
A Wheatstone bridge-based sensor, such as a load cell, requires excitation voltage to operate. The excitation voltage is typically 10V; however, many instruments supply lower voltage, an 2.5V, 5V, and others. Since these sensors are ratiometric, Interface instrumentation devices are designed to pair with these types of sensor products.

Signals
The output signal from a load cell is expressed in terms of mV output per V of excitation, at capacity. For example, a 100 lb capacity load cell rated for 2 mV/V output will have 20mV output at 100 lb, when excited with 10V. Because the output signal is directly affected by input voltage, it’s important to maintain a stable excitation voltage, which our instrumentation does.

Signal Conditioners
A signal condition provides stable excitation voltage to the sensor and amplifies the low-level sensor signal to a high-level output such as +/-5V, +/-10V, 0-20mA, 4-20mA, 0-5V, or 0-10V.
Many of our products include filtering, which can help reduce noise in the output signal.

Data Acquisition Systems
A complete data acquisition system consists of DAQ hardware, sensors and actuators, signal conditioning hardware, and a computer running DAQ software. Interface provides DAQ instrumentation that are ideal for completing a sensor-based system. Many data acquisition systems require high-level inputs such as +/-10V and don’t work very well with low level mV signals. Interface instrumentation solutions do work well with DAQ systems. The DAQ doesn’t necessarily supply a stable excitation voltage like the Interface sensors do.

Interface Modules
An interface module converts the low-level mV/V sensor signal to a digital format that can be transmitted to a computer, (PC or laptop). Popular interface modules provide USB, wireless USB, or Bluetooth data transmission. Software is normally provided and allows data display, logging and graphing. The interface modules are commonly used when data needs to be logged to computer and you are not using an existing data acquisition system. The interface module advantages over standard data acquisition is ease of use and they are normally plug-n-play. Considerations when selecting this type of instrumentation include bit resolution, number of channels, sample rate, software features and type of output.

Indicators
Interface indicators provide stable excitation voltage and converts the sensor signal to a digital display. Commonly available features include analog or digital output, selectable digital filtering, peak and valley monitoring and set point outputs. Things to consider when selecting an indicator are internal sample rate and update rate of analog output.

Wireless Telemetry System (WTS)
Wireless is very popular today. Interface’s Wireless Telemetry System is easy-to-use providing wireless data communication between a load sensor and a receiving indicator. The WTS is capable of receiving multiple inputs and is fully compatible will all Interface force sensors. The WTS comes calibrated, tested and ready-to-run. The charge lasts up to three months using AA batteries.  You can see the complete WTS and Bluetooth Telemetry System comparison here.

When selecting the type of instrumentation you need to pair with your measurement device, some additional things to consider are power supply requirements, amount of filtering, fixed or adjustable filtering, input range, scalability and zero adjustment range. Our instrumentation can accommodate these requirements. To get started on picking the instrumentation solution that fits your requirements, go to the Interface Instrumentation Selection Guide.

We’ve provided a quick visual reference of Interface’s instrumentation types and correlating models.

All Interface Instrumentation product details are listed by product model name. You can find product specifications, as well supporting datasheet for each product by going here.

 

Additional Resources

Instrumentation Analog Versus Digital Outputs

Introducing New Interface Instrumentation Selection Guide

Advancements in Instrumentation Webinar Recap

Recap of Inventive Multi-Axis and Instrumentation Webinar

Recap of Instructional on Instrumentation Webinar

Digital Instrumentation Brochure

Instrumentation Brochure

 

Interface Airplane Static Testing Case Study

Interface is a preferred supplier of precision force measurement solutions for the aerospace industry and our products are frequently used to help perform critical testing on all types of commercial, industrial, and military aeronautical vehicles.

During the engineering and manufacturing of all types of aircraft, static testing is commonly used to validate designs and components, measure assembly and affirm performance and regulatory requirements. Accuracy and reliability of any type of sensor and instrumentation used during these tests is vital to the testing programs and ensures the safety for pilots, passengers and the public at large when these vehicles take flight.

What is a static test?

Static testing is a type of structural test which allows engineers to analyze an aircraft’s structural integrity while grounded. This is a useful part of the testing process before taking flight, which helps speed up the certification process as it does not require a completed and fully functional aircraft through the entire manufacturing process for aerospace vehicles.

How does Interface place a role in static testing for aircraft?

Our force measurement solutions such as precision load cells and torque transducers play an important role in static testing as force analysis results are used in nearly all structural tests. Interface manufacturers both off-the-shelf and custom solutions that are used by leading part and aircraft manufacturers. These sensor products are used on a static test stand to test frame structure integrity, endurance, and life cycles, with the goal generally being to validate aircraft design and ensure specified criteria are met. The strict accuracy is necessary because in aerospace, every micrometer and gram make a difference in both the performance and safety of an aircraft design.

Static Testing Applications for Airplane Jacking System and Jet Engine Thrust Tests

In the new Airplane Static Testing case study, we have detailed two application examples and how Interface products are specifically used in in static testing of aircraft. These examples demonstrate how our products are applied and utilized for testing an airplane jacking system and provide a solution for a jet engine thrust test.

In the airplane jacking system static testing application, our WTS 1200 LowProfile® Wireless Load Cells are placed on jack points measuring weights and forces on an aircraft. Our advanced Wireless Telemetry System provided instrumentation to capture real-time data, such as the individual load cells attached to each jack point, or any set alarms that may go off if it has exceeded a certain amount of force.

For the jet engine thrust static testing, Interface’s 1000 High Capacity Fatigue-Rated LowProfile™ Load Cell was best suited for this static testing. The load cell reacted to the thrust forces produced by the jet engine and the signals were collected and recorded to create a “thrust curve” of the engine.

To read the Airplane Static Test case study it in full, go here.

To learn more about the many ways Interface can serve the aerospace industry with premium force products and total solutions, watch this video to see the types of products we supply for static and other test and measurement programs in this industry.

Additional Resources

Examining Interface Aerospace Industry Solutions

Aerospace Brochure

Solutions Provider for Aerospace & Defense

Taking Flight with Interface Solutions for Aircraft Testing

Aircraft Screwdriver Fastening Control

Aerospace and Defense Industry Solutions

Aerospace and Defense Case Study

 

Solutions to Advance Agriculture Smart Farming and Equipment

The agriculture industry is no stranger to technology. In fact, it’s among the most advanced industries in the world. With advancements in IoT, e-agriculture and smart farming are now core operations for most large producers and crop managers, while equipment and components look for more data for work efficiencies and improving production quality.

The global agribusiness industry is estimated to be $5 trillion and growing rapidly. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) notes that agriculture innovators and product developers are contributing to improved quality of life, economic growth, employment, and environment in a big way.  In developing this technology, one of the most critical supporting tools is force measurement sensors.

From heavy machinery used in working the fields to industrial weighing applications for livestock, there is a massive market of manufacturers serving farmers and the supply chains that support agriculture. Interface sensor technologies continue to play an important role in these advancements and use cases in the agriculture industry.

Interface products are a top choice for agriculture technology manufacturers because they provide the accuracy and reliability necessary to enhancing performance and ensuring safety. We have a variety of force measurement sensors that are designed for modern agricultural testing projects and as components for OEMs. Our expert application engineers help customers with standard products as well as design customized solutions for all types of applications using our products that are used for extreme environments, UAV and drone inspections, material handling, complex agricultural machines, and extreme weather conditions, engine testing, all ensuring maximum safety and efficiency.

Interface’s wide range of load cells, torque transducers, and DAQ systems are ideal for all types of advanced and simple agricultural applications, like weigh checking, lifting equipment, electrical and motorized farm vehicles, even drones used during the production and inspection. We have outlined these examples in our case study, Interface Solutions Used in Growing Agriculture Innovation. In this profile, you can see how our sensor technologies are used to ensure efficiency, sustainability, and proper production.

Common Agriculture Use Cases for Interface Products

  • Tractor and equipment testing
  • Production lines
  • Greenhouse facility management
  • Robotics and automation tools for farming
  • Livestock weighing
  • Feed and water monitoring
  • Storage, silo dispensing and weighing
  • EV engine testing
  • Field inspection and drone sensor testing
  • Wireless equipment for field management and remote monitoring
  • Gate and fencing field security solutions

Two very popular product categories in the agriculture industry include torque sensors and wireless products. Torque sensors are used in heavy machinery like tractors, plows and other vehicles that require immense power to move equipment and crops. For torque applications in tractors and other vehicles, we have different USB options for torque transducers such as the T12, T15, and T25 Rotary Torque Transducers. These options allow for easy integration with our numerous instrumentation solutions, including both digital and analog.

Wireless solutions have increased in popularity across all industries, but especially in farming where engineers and manufacturers are running tests in the field and don’t want to run long wires that can get in the way. Interface provides a wide range of wireless solutions including our Wireless and Bluetooth® Telemetry Systems, which include sensor transmitters, receivers, and displays. These systems help our customers create a test network that is more convenient and just as accurate as its wired counterparts.  You can view multiple agriculture applications using Interface solutions online. Here are a few examples.

Interface Applications in Agriculture

Tractor PTO Torque Testing

A customer wanted to measure the torque and speed of their tractor’s PTO (power takeoff test) system, ensure the tractor’s PTO system was functioning properly, and measure the torque being delivered to an implement. Interface’s solution was to use its T27 Bearingless Hollow Flange Style Rotary Torque Transducer to measure the tractor’s torque and speed of their tractor’s PTO system. The T27 Bearingless Hollow Flange Style Rotary Torque Transducer is bolted to the tractors PTO shaft. A dynamometer is attached on the other end and the transducer can measures the tractor’s torque and speed with high accurate results. With the INF3-USB PC Interface Module the customer was able to display, graph, and log the recorded torque and speed of the tractor’s PTO system with the supplied INF3-USB software. Using this solution, the customer was able to successfully and accurately measured the torque and speed of the tractor’s PTO system. Read more about tractor PTO torque testing here.

WTS Equine Bridle Tension System

The customer needed to quantify the so-called “poll pressure.” Bits designed to give strong poll pressure using simple pulley lever principles show a much-attenuated transfer of the rein tension through the bit to the poll. The attenuation is readily understood when the equine mouth is recognized as a “floating” fulcrum degrading the otherwise required fixed pivot point of an ideal lever. Interface provided a WTS Equine Bridle Tension System, with 2 SMA Miniature S-Type Load Cells in both the line of the reins and that of the cheekpiece on one side of the horse. This system was used to study the dynamic response of the cheekpiece tension to rein tension in the ridden horse. The WTS provided the valuable data can be displayed and/or recorded in real time using a PC and/or a handheld receiver depending on the requirements and preferences of the customer. The fundamental operation of the bits could in principle be discovered on the laboratory bench. But in practice of course, the equine mouth is expected to provide the fulcrum. Within the real experimental system comprising 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. Read Testing the Reins for more information.

Interface is a valuable partner to the agriculture industry and has developed a wide range of standard and custom solutions to meet the varying needs of manufacturers. You can read more about our products used in the agriculture industry, as well as some application examples available in our industry Agriculture Solutions Brochure.

Additional Resources

Interface Supplies Agriculture Industry with Sensor Technologies

Interface Helps to Move Agriculture Innovation Forward

Interface Solutions Used in Growing Agriculture Innovation

Tractor Linkage Draft Control

Silo Monitoring and Weighing

Chicken Weighing

Fueling Global Demand for Interface Solutions

Increasing demand for quality, accurate and reliable sensor technologies is global.  Interface products are used on every continent and across all types of industries. As manufacturers and product innovators make advances in what they build and test, there is a direct correlation to the growth in precision test and measurement tool requirements we supply.

The overall sensor market in 2022 is expected to continue its fast past growth, estimated between 8-12% across all types of sensors. In force measurement, this pace is consistent with the experience in the global markets we serve in Africa, Asia, Australia and Oceania, Europe, Middle East, South and North America.

Represented by hundreds of sensors experts around the world, Interface distributors continue to experience growth in market share and Interface product users.  In fact, Interface’s fastest growing markets are represented in our global network.  Solutions that utilize our precision load cells, torque transducers, multi-axis load cells and instrumentation are all experiencing high growth worldwide.

What is impacting the greatest international growth for all types of sensors technologies?  According to market analysis and based on Interface’s experience, it’s being fed by:

  1. Miniaturization of Products and Sensors Used in Testing and OEMs
  2. Industrial Automation and Robotics
  3. Innovation in Aerospace and Automotive
  4. IoT – Internet of Things

Our direct experience in demand for Interface solutions outside of the US is related to these areas and specifically new products and expanding use cases. First, we recently launched our Global G Series products to meet this demand. This specialty product is sold exclusively outside the US. These products are designed and manufactured in the International System of Units (SI), with the same precision and accuracy of all Interface products.

The Global G Series is a global standard product line that is designed for applications that require miniature load cells and for OEM solutions used for automation of machines and components.  The markets that are experiencing the highest growth internationally include:

For example, innovative markets like electric vehicles and hydro-electric energy are growing rapidly domestically and in international markets. These industries rely on force testing to optimize these new technologies.

The Asia-Pacific market is currently our fastest growing market. Interface provides products for this market across all industries including automotive, aerospace, test and measurement and more. As mentioned above, the alternative energy, aerospace and electric vehicle market is a big area for Interface and the Asia-Pacific plays a big role in these areas.

Electric vehicle design and manufacturing requires a precise level of accuracy to improve energy efficiency, minimize weight and maximize vehicle range. For instance, battery technology is a major global focus; therefore, maximizing power output using force testing is the key to improving vehicle design. To achieve this, test and measurement solutions need to be as accurate as possible. Interface also provides high accuracy torque transducers, load cells, load washers and more for two areas of electric vehicle testing: laboratory testing to optimize system performance and production testing to ensure product quality.

Another application for force measurement in Europe is force testing on off-shore hydro-electric power plants. This is a great fit for Interface because we have developed an entire lineup of load cells and other products that are submersible. For this project specifically, we provided submersible WMC load cells. This is one example of an innovative application for renewable energies, and this is another market that is growing rapidly both domestically and internationally.

One of the consistent top selling products in both regions and industries are wireless load cells. In our 2022 Test and Measurement Industry Trends blog, detailed some of this growing demand for wireless force measurement solutions. Wireless systems are helping manufacturers simplify the integration process and create a cleaner safer test environment with far less wiring. It is especially helpful in industries like aerospace or automotive, where large factories want to transmit data across the facility without needing a mess of wires getting in the way.

For wireless needs, Interface supplies its Wireless Telemetry System (WTS) which offers sensor transmitters, receivers, and displays. High accuracy, high quality measurement is interfaced with simple yet powerful configuration and monitoring software and gives sensor manufacturers and integrators the complete flexibility to build their own sensor modules around it. The system easily replaces wired systems, reducing installation and maintenance costs.

One area that Interface is also investing in internally is recalibration services to serve all customers across the world. Many of our customers are becoming more aware of and utilizing these services, as we are continuing to grow this capability amongst international customers who are utilizing Interface products for the first time.

Interface’s presence in the international market is growing quickly. Interface is looking forward to seeing where and how we can supply the best in force measurement solutions to enable innovation around the world.

Source: Tyler Pettit, Application Engineer International Markets

Maritime Measurement Solutions for Onshore and Submersible Applications

Maritime test and measurement applications are some of the most unique because they require specially designed equipment that can handle the often-harsh environments in testing and during ongoing operational use.

The solutions for the maritime industry require technologies that measure force, torque, and weight under extreme and uncommon conditions. Interface provides products that have been used for withstanding the rigorous requirements of monitoring underwater tension lines, seaborne components and material testing, boat and ship engine testing, equipment durability and safety regulation monitoring, lift capacity measurements, energy extraction equipment, and storm and tsunami monitoring.

We have been a long-time supplier of sensor technologies and instrumentation that are applied in building and maintaining boats, yachts, and other water vessels of all sizes. Our force measurement solutions are used for waterborne vessels, maintenance, safety equipment, and offshore products. You can learn more in our maritime case study here.

Interface offers a wide variety of submersible and wireless load cells, DAQ and instrumentation products, and rugged load shackles, load pins and tension links. Maritime manufacturers and field users rely on these quality products as they are designed for test and measurement requirements onshore, near-shore, and completely undersea.

Interface Maritime Capabilities and Solutions:

  • Stainless steel and rugged load cell designs for different temperatures and climates
  • Environmentally sealed products used in harsh environments
  • Wireless telemetry system components
  • Custom solutions based on safety and regulatory specifications
  • OEM engineered products for submersible use cases
  • Bluetooth and Wireless data acquisition and instrumentation for safety monitoring
  • Load pins and load shackles for continuous hoist and lifting applications

Mooring Line Tension

Included below are a few examples of applications our products are used for testing, force measurement, performance monitoring, regulatory and equipment maintenance:

  • Weight and tension monitor
  • Motor and engine testing
  • Submersible equipment tests
  • Commercial fishing wire rope testing
  • Hydrofoil testing in wave tank
  • Crane block safety check
  • Mooring tension testing and quick release hooks (QRH)
  • Crane capacity verification and force regulation
  • WTS yacht rigging inspection
  • Defense submergible tests

Interface understands that the maritime industry has high standards and requirements force and torque testing, measurement, and weighing.  Accuracy in testing is absolutely critical. Interface’s quality measurement solutions provide accurate data needed for all types of maritime equipment used to ensure safety and success. Our Interface expert engineers can help you design customizable solutions for all types of applications using our products designed for offshore, underwater, and splash zone locations.

This is just a preview of our capabilities in the maritime industry. To learn more, check out our maritime solutions. We also recently developed a new maritime solutions brochure, which provides in-depth information on our submersible product offerings, as well as other ruggedized products for maritime applications.

Maritime-Brochure

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

Gaming Hardware Benefits from Force Measurement Solutions

When you think of the video game industry, hardware doesn’t quite get the same attention as the games themselves. Yet, the virtual environments and the software development that goes into creating one of the largest entertainments and now sporting sectors in the world, only operates when you have good hardware solution.

Whether it is the monitor, gaming chair, keyboard, controller, or computer, they all need to endure the enthusiasm of active and competitive gamers. This means each device must go through rigorous testing in the lab before it is ever released to the consumer.

Interface provides a variety of test and measurement solutions for gaming hardware manufacturers, from precision load cells of large and small sizes to wireless instrumentation and digital output modules for integration into simulation components.

One of the most popular gaming genres in the world is racing. It has elevated from single user experiences to the growing and ultra-competitive eSports phenomenon. The physical hardware of gaming pedals, chairs, and steering devices that a gamer uses to move and break the car in a virtual world is critical to creating a true experience.

As an example, the player expects the pedal to provide the feedback and feel of a real race car to not only immerse themselves in the game, but also to improve their performance and accuracy. To create a high-quality gaming pedal, sensors are used in the design engineering and manufacturing of these devices.

Load cells are a key component of a gaming brake pedal. In development and product design, force measurement testing utilizes load cells to help gaming pedal manufacturers perfect the amount of force needed to slow or stop a virtual car in various situations. It also is a benefit for testing durability and reliability.

Testing is also just one application of force measurement. These same sensors are carried over into the actual manufacturing process. Load cells are often integrated into the design of the gaming pedal to measure force in real time during play. This type of OEM solution enhances the overall gamer’s experience because it helps to improve performance of the pedal.

Interface develops a wide variety of highly accurate and reliable force measurement sensors for these types of applications. In addition, we also provide wireless strain bridge transmitters and data acquisition devices, as well as the software needed to create an entire force measurement system for measuring gaming pedals. In fact, we recently had the opportunity to develop a system that would measure brake pedals used for virtual racing.

Included below is an application note we put together to demonstrate the type of system we can develop, as well as the process used to help our customer develop a premium gaming brake pedal.

GAMING SIMULATION BRAKE PEDAL

When a gaming company, our customer, wanted to switch from standard racing pedals to a load cell based pedal system for their racing simulation game, they turned to Interface. Compared to the standard racing simulation pedals, load cell pedals are more advanced and offer more accurate results. Their goal was to find a wireless system that measures the strength of the pressure received by the pedals that will detect the perfect amount of braking power.

Interface provided a BPL Pedal Load Cell, which can be installed onto the gaming brake pedal to measure the force applied when someone puts their foot on it. Forces are measured and recorded using the WTS-AM-1E Wireless Strain Bridge Transmitter Modules, where data is transmitted to the WTS-BS-6 Dongle Base Station when connected to the customer’s PC or laptop.

Using Interface’s BPL Pedal Load Cell, the customer was able to measure and record the pedal forces applied to their racing gaming brake pedals. In comparison to traditional simulation pedals that measure the distance of the pedals when pressed, Interface’s load cell pedal system provided a more realistic experience for gamers.

The applications for Interface load cells grow larger every year. Hardware manufacturers want more data to help improve their products and confirm their designs through test and measurement. Interface is proud to be the world’s leading provider of the most accurate and reliable sensors. From gaming to farming and everything in between, chances are Interface has a solution for that can fit your exact requirements. If we don’t, we have the expertise to work directly with our customers to help develop a custom solution that is guaranteed to fit!

To learn more about Interface and wide range of products and systems built for nearly every industry, call to speak to an application engineer to discuss your next project at 480-948-5555.