For innovators in the equipment and components manufacturing industry, data is everything. Quality data can make the difference between average and high-quality products and every bit of information gathered allows OEMs to make improvements that go a long way in performance and accuracy.
This is especially true in the design, test and evaluation of high-volume manufacturing where an increasing number of companies are implementing automation. To ensure consistent and repeatable quality, it’s important that there are capabilities to constantly gather data to monitor automated systems. If a machine is about to break or needs calibration, an automated system should be able to notify them without any human intervention.
How does an organization get more performance measurement data to improve its manufactured products? The answer we know best is with precision sensors. Sensors of all types, sizes, and shapes are being integrated into a wide variety of machines, equipment, and products to gather analytics that improve design and manufacturing. Interface is proud to contribute to this growing wave of big data requirements through our force and torque sensors.
Force sensors can be used in a number of different applications to help enable automation of certain process and systems. Essentially, force sensors are used as part of a controlled feedback loop. When a force is placed on a part within a product, the sensor can tell an electronic system to make something else happen.
As a simple example, force sensors could be placed inside of a large industrial dumpster outside of a manufacturing plant. When the dumpster nears full capacity, a signal could be sent to an automated compactor within the dumpster to make more space. It could also merely notify a waste management company to come and empty the dumpster.
Interface has worked on a number of what we call “OEM Solutions.” This term basically refers to our products that are typically high volume and have Interface sensor technologies integrated into the design and production. We often custom engineer and engineer these solutions to fit the exact requirements of the innovators and product design teams.
As a end-to-end manufacturer, we build to spec, manage the supply chain of sensors, and inventory for our OEM customers. When engineered-to-order requires thousands of products, they can rely on Interface as a trusted partner. Included below are a few examples of products that we provided our products to advance use, performance and quality. Read more about our custom OEM solutions and capabilities here.
Interface OEM Solution Examples
This first example is the design of force sensors in prosthetic limbs. An Interface force transducer provides feedback from a knee or elbow joint and tell an electric motor to move the limb in certain ways. This would allow someone without an arm or leg to have a wider range of movement and enjoy a variety of new capabilities.
Another example is the use of force sensors in the energy industry. Interface sensors can be used to optimize the process of energy production and extraction. In this scenario, a force sensor measures the rate at which the machine removes the source and provides data that tells the operator the most effective rate for getting the most most volume without overloading the mechanics. Not only does this allow for a more efficient process, it also adds another layer of safety to people and the environment. Interface was selected as the top energy solutions provider.
An interesting consumer packaged goods application example we provided a solution for included multiple Interface SPI Platform Scale Load Cells installed on a machine that filled potato chips into a bag. Force results from the potato chips are read by the load cells and sent to an ISG Isolated DIN Rail Mount Signal Conditioner. The supplier is then able to control the automated production from their command center. Using this solution, the manufacturer can determine the weight of the potato chips being distributed into their bags with highly accurate results – meaning every bag of chips is consistent in the amount of chips and total weight.
These are all examples of OEM solutions that turn data into better efficiency or additional capabilities across three industries, while there are countless other applications for OEM solutions from Interface used in consumer goods, robotics and medical devices. From automation to quality control and safety, force measurement helps manufacturers create better products and better production facilities, resulting in a great customer experience.
Interface has invested a great deal of resources into our manufacturing processes and technologies to serve this market. We’ve improved automation in our facilities to lower costs and work directly with our customers to develop the perfect force sensor for every project that can be produced at volume. Not to mention, our propensity for developing the most accurate force sensors on the market mean high quality data and results every time.