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.
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.
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.
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 continues to advance, wireless telemetry systems are becoming increasingly sophisticated, reliable, and secure, enabling them to be applied in a wide range of 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 are used to measure tension, compression, weight, torque, or any other measurable quantity. Interface utilizes proprietary strain gage sensor technologies. Transducers convert the 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 related to 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 Cell, WTSTL 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 for the purposes of collecting vast amounts of the data from sensors and transducers and preparing 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 it easier to deploy sensors in remote or challenging environments. 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
- WTS 1200 Standard Precision LowProfile® Wireless Load Cell
- WTSLP Wireless Stainless Steel Load Pin
- WTSSHK-D Wireless Crosby™ Load Shackle
- WTSSHK-B-HL Wireless Bow Load Shackle
- WTSSHK-B-JR Wireless Crosby™ Bow Load Shackle
- WTSATL-JR Aluminum Compact Wireless Tension Link
- WTSATL Lightweight Aluminum Wireless Tension Link
- WTS-AM-1E Wireless Strain Bridge Transmitter Module
- WTS-AM-3 Wireless 4-20 mA Transmitter Module
- WTS-WSS Wireless Wind Speed Transmitter Module
- WTS-BS-1-HS Wireless Handheld Display for Single Transmitters
- WTS-BS-4 Wireless Base Station with USB Interface in Industrial Enclosure
- WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station
- WTS-BS-2 Wireless Base Station with Industrial Interfaces
- WTS-BS-3E Wireless Base Station with USB Interface
Wireless Output Modules
- WTS-BS-5 Wireless Analog Output Receiver Module
- WTS-GW1 Wireless Gateway with Modbus and ASCII Serial Output
- WTS-PR1 Wireless Telemetry Printer
Wireless Displays and Instrumentation
- WTS-LD1 Wireless Large LED Display
- 9812-WTS Wireless Panel Mount Display for Single Transmitters – NEW!
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 that you get accurate readings from your sensors.
- High speed: It is a high-speed system that can transmit data at up to 1000Hz.
- 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 that makes 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 to system, without the constraints of wireless and cables. They are easy to integrate, and installation is fast for immediate benefits.
Wireless telemetry seamlessly integrates with the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud-based platforms, enabling centralized data storage, analysis, and easy access from multiple devices.
Applications Using Interface Wireless Telemetry System Solutions
Aerospace: Wireless options are preferred for large projects like 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 are used for patient monitoring, such as in wearable health devices. 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 for monitoring crop management programs and measuring 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 for remote monitoring of oil wells, pipelines, and storage facilities. Check out Tank Weighing and Center of Gravity
Infrastructure: Civil engineers use WTS for assessing the health and integrity of structures like bridges and dams. Monitoring loads on structures like 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 are meeting quality standards, and to 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 the weight of cargo 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 a number of 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 are used to 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 a wide variety of applications. and industry use cases.
Many of the largest outdoor celebrations around the world are utilizing drone technologies quipped with LED lights working in complete unison to create amazing displays. From coronations and holidays to world sporting events, these incredible lighted airborne spectacles are growing in scale, design and capabilities.
The use of drones for aerial displays are on the rise. Swarms of drones offer new possibilities for creating captivating light shows and visual displays that can accompany or even replace certain aspects of traditional fireworks. They offer a unique aerial perspective by flying at various altitudes and angles. They can be programmed to create specific patterns, shapes, and movements in the sky, allowing for more intricate and tailored displays. Drones can also be equipped with different lighting effects and colors, offering a wide range of visual possibilities.
Drone shows provide stunning visuals and add a new dimension to sky visual arts; however, safety is still primary in design and use. Though drones can be programmed to fly predefined paths and execute specific maneuvers, ensuring that they stay at a safe distance and do not provide risk or harm is critical to use.
Safety and regulation of a flying object is determined by the location and governing bodies. As increased visual arts using drones grows, testing and design is paramount to ensure these objectives are met and held to standards for sake of the manufacturer, operator and the viewing public.
How does Interface take part? Sensor technologies have a big hand in making drone and areial displays due to the necessity of force measurement in designing and evaluating the drones for the launch, precision movements, lighting effects and descent. Interface products are used by drone manufacturers to design these flying machines to conduct different tasks, from deliver packages as well as for testing motor torque and center of balance.
Due to Interface’s experience in supplying measurement devices for aerospace, automotive, industrial automation, we have several load cells, miniature transducers and instrumentation solutions perfect for use in drone application. Our wireless sensors and digital instrumentation are particularly attractive to drone makers because they eliminate the need for wires and facilitate real world testing. For more unique applications, Interface also offers custom solutions and can work with the original equipment manufacturers to understand their specific needs and deliver a sensor suited for those needs.
The use of drones for creating light shows has become a safe and more environmentally friendly alternative to fireworks, often being used at big venues across the country. Force sensors are used in the testing of these types of drones to ensure they can manage the weight of the equipped LEDs.
Drone Show Application
Drone fireworks have become increasingly popular in recent years. During drone firework and light shows, drones are equipped with LED lights, flying in synchronized patterns to create displays in the night sky. A force measuring and monitoring system is needed for the weight of the LED or the forces generated by fireworks explosions.
Interface suggested four of its WMC Sealed Stainless Steel Miniature Load Cells, which were installed to the necessary propeller motors measure the attached LED lights. Each were connected to a WTS-AM-1E Wireless Strain Bridge Transmitter Modules. The WMC’s measure the weight of the LED lights to monitor weight shifting or any uneven weight distributions. Data results were wirelessly transmitted directly to the customer’s laptop through the WTS-BS-4 Wireless Base Station, or to the WTS-BS-1-HA Wireless Handheld Display for Multiple Transmitters. The four WMC load cells accurately measured and monitored the weight of the attached LED light and maintained stability of the propeller motors to when the drone was in air performing the fireworks show.
Interface, a US manufacturer of force measurement solutions, will be closed on July 4th. We will resume our normal business hours the following day.
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 is our priority. 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 of the load cell provides many benefits when used in 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 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 cell’s output signals. When using the load cell and bridge amplifier, the engineers can record the real-world lift and drag forces that the hydrofoils apply 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 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 through the WTS-BS-4 USB Industrial Base Station when connected to the customer’s supplied computer. 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.
CASE STUDY: Serving the Maritime Industry
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Aerospace and Defense Case Study
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
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.
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:
- Miniaturization of Products and Sensors Used in Testing and OEMs
- Industrial Automation and Robotics
- Innovation in Aerospace and Automotive
- 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:
- Medical Devices and Healthcare
- Aerospace and Defense
- Manufacturing (OEMs)
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