100% Employee Owned, Founded 1954

Case Study: Anderson UnderBridge

Cross helps Anderson UnderBridge improve functionality, safety, and efficiency of their equipment

Anderson UnderBridge, located in York, SC, is an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of equipment used to access the underside of bridges for inspection, repair, and construction. They have partnered with Cross Mobile System Integration on hydraulic and control projects for nearly 15 years. In that time, their control system did not change dramatically. However, when new ANSI A92 standards required that the platform have loadsensing technology, Anderson UnderBridge used it as an opportunity to redesign and improve the entire machine.

Latest Videos

Loadsensing Technology

The primary challenge for the design team was to find a way to accurately measure the weight on the platform without making any major structural changes to the already developed equipment. For this project, Cross brought in the engineering team from J.A. King, another division of Cross Company. “Our engineering team works every day to create custom solutions for complex measurement challenges, so this project was a perfect fit,” said Kevin Hatch, Director of Engineering at J.A. King.

The project required that they measure the distributed weight of the platform to monitor for and prevent an overload which would pose a safety risk. Kevin and his team developed a straightforward yet elegant solution to sense the load. “We went through other solutions before, but the idea that Kevin came up with was simpler, lower cost and more accurate,” said Ben Smith, Director of Engineering at Anderson UnderBridge.

Aside from being simple and low cost, this loadsensing solution design is one that could easily be retrofitted into older units if a customer desired to add this safety feature.

Case Study: Anderson UnderBridge 11

Control System Improvements

In order to support the new loadsensing technology, the entire control system had to be updated. “Through the new software and PLC, the Cross team was able to do more with the controls. The sky is the limit,” remarked Smith. The Cross team moved from the analog switches to an HMI screen that can provide significant feedback to the operator. Smith went on to say that “The user interface is much improved. A seven-inch display graphically identifies system messages and function errors.”

Included in the new system were a range of diagnostics with remote monitoring capabilities for troubleshooting. This is a significant benefit to the service team at Anderson, as it allows them to remotely troubleshoot issues with the machine as well as get alerts when the equipment is due for service. For customers with a rental fleet of these vehicles, it will allow them to better monitor use and maintenance of their equipment.

(Click image to enlarge)

Added sensors and controllers allowed the Cross team to automate some functions such as auto-stops at set tower positions, and automated outriggers. “The outriggers are standard and intuitive in how they work which eliminates some opportunities for human error,” said Smith of the automated additions.

As an added safety feature, the new control system gives the option to have a platform camera that can be monitored on the HMI by the operator. This gives them visual contact with the person under the bridge in case they experience an emergency but aren’t able to communicate verbally.

Case Study: Anderson UnderBridge 12

Improved Hydraulic Control

Another major improvement made by the Cross Mobile Systems Integration team on this project was the move to proportional hydraulic valves. Of the update, Chris Vrettacos, lead project engineer at Cross, said that it “gives the user better control over all functions, and allows you to feather critical functions such as easing up next to a pillar.” Being able to better control movements on these crucial and sometimes tricky maneuvers can help operators to place the tower and platform exactly where they need to be without bouncing around which could potentially cause damage to the equipment or the bridge.

From improved control systems and hydraulic control to added loadsensing capabilities and onboard diagnostics, Cross Company partnered with Anderson UnderBridge to develop a better vehicle for their customers. When asked about his experience overall Ben said “the process was seamless from development through testing. Our companies have a really good relationship, and the overall support from Cross has been a huge factor in our longtime partnership.”

See how our team can help improve quality, increase efficiency, and reduce risk in your operation

Browse our Latest Case Studies and Application Notes

Cross Hose & Fittings Helps Highland Brewing Add Hop Cannon to Brewing Process Highland Brewing, based in Asheville, NC, is the largest independent, family-owned brewery native to the Southeast. For the past several years, the craft brewing industry has seen increased demand for hop-forward Indian Pale Ales, or IPAs. These…

Cross Helps Tactical Fabrication Upfit Facility for Smisson-Mathis Biodiesel Production Cross was engaged by Tactical Fabrication, the main contractor of Smisson-Mathis Energy Solutions (SMES) responsible for the construction and commissioning of new facilities, to help with the safety equipment needed for their new flagship facility in Dublin, GA. SMES is…

Cross Helps HRSD Measure Flow Ultrasonically in Concrete Pipe Application Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) is responsible for wastewater treatment in Southeast Virginia. They have nine large treatment plants and eight small plants in Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore. They also have over 100 pump stations, and many remote…

Cross Process Solutions Helps Paper Mill Reduce Risk with Draeger Gas Detectors A Virginia paper mill was struggling with their chlorine dioxide fixed gas monitors. The devices were regularly breaking down and the maintenance team at the facility was, in turn, having to dedicate significant time to repairing the gas…

Hang Tight! We're Searching... Searching... Searching...

We’re looking through thousands of pages to find the most relevant information.

In the meantime, enjoy these fun facts…

Did you know... the precision measurement group at Cross was founded in 1939 by our current CEO's grandfather, Jim King. That's a whole lot of calibration!
Did you know... A fingerprint weighs about 50 micrograms. We know, we weighed it! The residue left from a finger can actually make a difference in weight results which is why we wear gloves when we calibrate weights. For reference, a sheet to paper is about 4.5 grams, that’s 4.5 million micrograms.
Did you know… Cross Company is an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). Our ESOP started in 1979 and as of 2006, we are a 100% employee owned! Learn more about our ESOP and how that benefits both team members and our customers.
Did you know… Cross Company has grown significantly since our start in 1954. Over the years we've acquired 26 companies! Today, our five groups have expertise in everything from industrial automation to precision measurement, and industry knowledge going all the way back to 1939.