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For our Customer in Focus, we look at the wonderful team at Cross Hydraulics.

Cross Hydraulics is a global leader in the distribution and manufacturing of customer and application specific hydraulic system solutions for mobile and industrial applications. Their extensive inventory includes pumps, motors, valves, power units, transmissions, and controls. Since 1976, their proficiency, the quality of our individual components, and their operational dependability have garnered market recognition.

Through ASA’s partnership with Okuma Australia, Cross Hydraulics came to ASA looking for a machine tending solution to tend to an Okuma LT3000 EX 3T3MY. ASA designed the complete automation cell after consulting with Cross Hydraulics to determine the existing pain points and desired outcomes for this investment, Including a Modula Vertical Storage System and Hi-Tech Metrology Shop Floor Co-ordinate Measuring Machine (CMM).

Cross Hydraulics adheres to environmentally responsible production practices and were looking for ways to reduce raw material, minimise emissions and waste as well as increasing productivity and reduce customer lead time. They were looking for a solution that not only offered an ability to add a second machine to the cell in the future, but also capability for 24-hour lights out operation. Michael Finck, Senior Engineer  ‘From the get go, I was blown away by ASA and the knowledge and experience with machine tending systems and their overall professionalism.’

Pat Green, Director of ASA chose a FANUC R2000iD/100FH, Hollow Wrist robot with a reach of 2605mm and a payload of 100kg for this bespoke solution. ‘The hollow wrist robot allows for a neat and compact machine tending solution, which mitigates the need to manage externally routed cables to the dual handed gripper.’ The cell included robot, dual handed gripper, guarding, PLC and safety control system as well as a vertical storage system to store billets and finished goods for long periods of unmanned production.

A two-handed gripper with integrated quick change adapters was specifically designed for the system to complement the FANUC R2000iD/100FH robot. ASA supplied 14 grippers and a gripper change station that allows seamless transition between billets and finished goods of different sizes.

What was the solution?

As the robot entered the machine at the end of a cycle, one gripper was already holding a raw billet to insert into spindle 1 while the other gripper was empty and prepared to receive the finished part from spindle 2, after commencing the next cycle, the robot would offload the completed parts into the Modula Storage System which featured 17 individual trays to handle the Cross Hydraulics parts or place it to the CMM for inspection and Quality assurance.

ASA’s HMI software enables the selection of different types of tending sequences such as loading billets and unloading finished parts from the integrated machine bar feeder. ASA’s HMI software makes setting up new parts a breeze and walks the operator through the process while at all times, logic checking the input values to avoid potential collisions. Michael Finck observed ‘The HMI is so easy to use and flexible to accommodate all our different machining operations and part configurations, including the different loading and unloading sequences.’

The result? Cross Hydraulics and ASA were able to reduce cycle time, increase overall productivity as well as enhance safety and flexibility. Michael Finck mentioned that ‘This automation project, being a combination of the purchase of the Okuma machine serviced by a FANUC robot, has increased our productivity by three times on some parts, and up to around 6.5 times on others.’

If you’re looking for hydraulic system solutions, contact Cross Hydraulics, or visit

If you’re looking for an automation solution for your machine, contact ASA today or visit

machine tool tending, robotics, cnc mills