Mitutoyo hard and fast rules at Cross

Cross.jpegSince the 1920's the Cross Manufacturing Company has specialised in the design and manufacture of heat resisting wrought alloy sealing rings and associated products. Cross’ expertise within its chosen fields has resulted in the company becoming a leading supplier to the aerospace, automobile and power generation industries throughout the world. Currently, more than 90% of Cross’ output is directly or indirectly exported. Operating from two adjacent hi-tech facilities in Devizes, Wiltshire, Cross manufactures two distinct product groups. A dedicated factory makes brush seals for aerospace and steam turbine applications, in addition to aircraft piston rings and custom seal rings for aircraft engines.

With annual production running into tens of millions of units, a second factory produces sealing and retaining rings for virtually every passenger car and truck turbocharger OEM. In-house manufacturing, quality control and advanced materials testing techniques have been developed by Cross to provide high performance, cost effective sealing in all areas of turbo systems, resulting in Cross becoming the world's leading manufacturer within this specialised sector.

Cross specialises in the manufacture of rings made from wrought materials. Custom designed production equipment and sophisticated process control techniques ensure superior sealing performance and consistent high quality. As a global leader in its chosen fields, Cross constantly strives to remain at the forefront of technology and administers a progressive regime of investing in the most up-to-date production and test equipment. A case in point was the recent up-grade of the company’s critical hardness testing function.

Graeme Newell, Cross Manufacturing Brush Seals and Aerospace Products, Quality Manager explained. “At Cross Manufacturing we combine technology with innovation to achieve world-class standards of precision and quality. Adhering to these values has enabled us to earn a global reputation for the delivery of high quality parts. In addition to multiple customer approvals from many multinational Aerospace companies, the premium quality of our systems has enabled us to gain several NADCAP Process approvals. The adherence to specification of the materials that we use is crucial to their performance. Given the demanding environments and the challenging operating temperatures, up to 1000°C, our brush seals operate in, they are manufactured from a range of advanced materials and alloys.

“Also, when considering the automotive side of our business, to ensure that our turbocharger sealing rings deliver lasting performance under arduous conditions, they are made from materials ranging from high speed and stainless steels to Nickel and Cobalt alloys. Because of the need to verify our products’ material properties, accurate material hardness measurement is a vitally important company quality function. Therefore, in accordance with our quest for continuous improvement, we recently replaced our previously used material hardness testing equipment. Having conducted a search for suitable equipment that would match, and further enhance our precision standards, in addition to improving our speed and ease of use, following an impressive demonstration we concluded the HV-110 Automatic Vickers Hardness Tester from Mitutoyo represented the ideal instrument for our demanding needs.

“We placed an order for three of the advanced Mitutoyo testers, two for use on our turbocharger sealing rings and one for use in our NADCAP approved heat treating and non-destructive testing facility, for use on aero-engine sealing rings. Following a trouble free installation and excellent training from Mitutoyo’s staff, our operators quickly became proficient in the use of the new Vickers hardness testers. In addition to the HV-110s’ speed and accuracy of operation, Mitutoyo’s intuitive AVPAK-20 software has helped us to increase productivity. Although our previously used hardness testers were accurate and within specification, the advanced new Mitutoyo instruments have aided us in further raising the precision of our material testing functions and shorten inspection times. Within our aerospace related South Site, as well as tests such as goods inward material hardness checks, we use our new Mitutoyo equipment to measure the hardness of sealing rings following heat treatment procedures. Not only do our new hardness testers help us to preserve our high quality standards and to maintain our crucial approvals, they also enable our important traceability records to be kept up to date.”

The recently launched Mitutoyo HV110 is ideal for accurate yet fast Vickers hardness testing. The innovative new testers provide a wide range of test forces, ranging from 1kgf – 50kgf. The tester’s precise load system allows load durations to be set between 5 and 99 seconds in 1 second increments, enabling the accurate testing of a wide variety of materials. The additional AV Pak hardness testing software offers computer based measurement of indentations by a simple mouse click. To enable the rapid generation of records, operating and smart report functions allows the production of professional reports using templates created in Microsoft Excel.