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Load Cells 101: What You Need to Know

Posted by Sensing Systems on May 2, 2016 11:28:23 PM

In engineering, load cells are often used to create electrical signals directly proportionate to the force in which they are measured. Designed to work in anywhere from -452 degrees F to 450 degrees F, load cells and torque sensor units are very resourceful.

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Topics: Basic Fundamental Facts

Driving the Robotics Revolution with Custom Load Cells

Posted by Sensing Systems on Apr 2, 2016 5:56:43 PM
The robot-driven world imagined by 1950s sci-fi masters is quickly turning into reality. In March 2016, Amazon hosted a top-secret robotics conference in Florida, which was not so subtly named MARS (Machine-Learning, Home Automation, Robotics and Space Exploration). The conference explored two of Jeff Bezos' most diverse ambitions, dominating the home goods market and conquering the infinite mysteries of space.

According to one report, 'one unnamed UCLA professor posted photos from the event that showed attendees making their own axes to split wood (for some reason), trying virtual-reality devices, and eating grapes and drinks served on tables set on top of Amazon’s Kiva robots.'

Today, robotics are revolutionizing a variety of fields, like improved automation techniques, shepherding over our troops, exploring the ocean depths, and taking selfies on Mars.

And whether the public realizes it or not, so many of these incredibly complex machines would be next to useless without high-quality strain gage based load cells of all kinds. Although strain gage sensors have been in use for 40 years, they remain a highly accurate tool for measuring a variety of forces in real time. High quality, well-calibrated load cells regularly achieve accuracies of around 0.03 to 1%.

How Load Cells Make Robots More Precise

There are two main ways of controlling a robot's movements. First, a roboticist could give a machine a series of precise positioning measurements, using x-y-z coordinates. Of course, this method has its limits and fails to account for the complications of any real world environment. A roboticist could also program the machine to apply the movements and torque forces required for the task, based on measurements from the environment and real-time feedback.

For this to work, robots of all kinds require custom torque sensors and digital load cells positioned throughout their body. For instance, automation robots can be programmed for a series of exact movements, but robots cannot live on visual input alone. Without load cells and custom torque sensors measuring forces as they happen, these movements lack any practical precision. In a way, these measurement devices are the robot's nervous system, sending the same tactile and strain feedback humans rely on when engaging in any physical activity.

Fortunately, as robotics have evolved, so have force measurement services. Today, many roboticists don't just rely on custom torque sensors for their creations, but the latest multi-axis load cells. These measurement sensors allow us to measure multiple types of forces and movements using a single load cell, an incredible feature for a robot. By measuring forces along the x-y-z axis at the same time, custom multi-axis load cells are helping make robots more precise than ever before.

Plus, modern custom load cells are more durable than ever, standing up to the increasingly harsh environments we subject our robots to. In the past, hydraulic load cells were used in remote, harsh environments. Today, our custom load cells come with capacities ranging from 360,000 lbs.in to 3,000,000 lbs, all with NIST traceable calibrations. Plus, custom torque sensors can withstand temperatures of -452 degrees F to 450 degrees F, making them ideal for submersibles and space applications alike.

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Topics: Basic Fundamental Facts

Strain Gaging Installation Services

Posted by Sensing Systems on Mar 21, 2016 9:16:44 PM

Sensing Systems technicians perform professional strain gage installation services on a variety of parts and materials in-house and at locations across the globe. The methods and techniques employed by Sensing Systems set the standard for high quality strain gage installation, wiring, and encapsulation.

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Topics: Basic Fundamental Facts

Fast Facts About the Impressive New Capabilities of an Everyday Engineer's "Go-To" Tools

Posted by Sensing Systems on Mar 7, 2016 7:22:48 PM
Engineers are the people who design the world around us -- and the tools they use are ever-important. They're tasked with making the most accurate measurements and assessments possible when designing and engineering smart solutions to the problems we face in our everyday lives. While the olden days may have limited society's most vital individuals to taking hand-made measurements with conventional tools, today's marketplace is an entirely different beast. There are some serious pieces of equipment available today that should make the life of any engineer much, much easier.

Below are a few fast facts about the capabilities of some of the most impressive or most emergent technologies in the marketplace today. Some of the capabilities boasted about here are flat out impressive, even for a non-engineer or individual with a layman's understanding of engineering. Let's begin:
  • Hydraulic load cells are able to operate at temperatures of -60 degrees C, or -76 degrees Fahrenheit. That's quite impressive! The human body certainly cannot operate in environments that are that cold.
  • The five different types of load cells are: strain gauge load cells, hydraulic load cells, diaphragm load cells, spool type load cells, and ring type load cells.
  • Precise measuring equipment is calibrated by comparing the measurements of two instruments. One of the instruments has a known magnitude or correctness, against which you would measure the capabilities of a new device under test.
  • Torque sensor units are able to operate in a wide temperature range. Some professional grade equipment is able to operate between temperatures of -450F and 450F. That's hotter and colder than what our bodies can deal with.
  • Load cells and similar sensors are frequently used in many weighing systems, because they offer a non-intrusive method of achieving a highly accurate load measurement. Properly installed and calibrated sensors can achieve an accuracy of up to 0.03%.
It seems that we certainly have come a long way in a very short amount of time. Some of these tools are incredible!
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Topics: Basic Fundamental Facts

3 Tools For Torque Measurement

Posted by Sensing Systems on Feb 27, 2016 6:44:40 PM

Virtually every sector of the economy requires custom load and torque measurements to function. The automotive, medical, power generation, and construction sectors are some of industries that require special measurement products and services in order to maintain functioning infrastructures.

When maintaining and repairing these essential systems, it is important to know what tools for torque measurement will deliver accurate and exact information needed to proceed with repairs.

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Topics: Basic Fundamental Facts

Improving  Efficiencies for Manufacturing Facilities with Strain Gauge Technology

Posted by Sensing Systems on Jan 29, 2016 9:56:14 AM

As an owner or manager in a manufacturing facility, you are likely always looking for ways to improve your production, and your business overall. Technology can most certainly be a key role in improving your production processes. Like any other manufacturing operation, you may have machinery designed to handle a specific task of the overall process. These tasks may include the need of measuring weight or force. And to measure this data you need technology such as strain gauging and custom load cells. Strain gauge technology has been around for about 40 years, and is therefore well established and proven, which is why most load cells use that technology. If you have never considered calibrating your machinery to support this technology, you may want to reconsider. Below is a basic explanation of what this technology can do for you

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Topics: Basic Fundamental Facts

3 Things You Need to Know About Load Cells

Posted by Sensing Systems on Dec 11, 2015 2:25:48 PM
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Topics: Basic Fundamental Facts

How Strain Gauge Technology Can Help You

Posted by Sensing Systems on Nov 12, 2015 1:09:29 PM

With numerous torque measurement products and weighing options in the technology fields, it is essential to know what will work best for your business. Strain gauge technology is known for its versatility and accuracy, which will allow you to be confident in your company's work. Since it's been around for years, it is well established, and can easily fit into your business needs. Read on for why you should consider investing in this great technology.

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Topics: Basic Fundamental Facts

Little Known Facts About Measurement Tools

Posted by Sensing Systems on Nov 9, 2015 3:42:57 PM

Unless you are in a field that does a ton of technical work, it is likely that you won't know a lot of the ins and outs of measurement tools. However, knowing at least basic technical information can help you out, whether you choose to go into a field that uses measurement tools, or you just need them for a home project. Read on for some things you should know!

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Topics: Basic Fundamental Facts