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A lot has happened during our history, so we have put together a timeline to celebrate Cross Manufacturing's achievements and heritage.

The Early Days

1900s

Young Roland Cross

Roland Cross, whilst still at school, was appointed Secretary and Treasurer of the Bath Model Aeroplane Club. On leaving school Roland secured an apprenticeship with the Arrol Johnson Motor Works in Dundee.
Young Roland Cross

1910s

The Story begins.....

Roland joined the British and Colonial Aeroplane Company in Bristol where he designed parts for the Bristol Fighter biplane. After the war he moved to Vickers Aeron to increase his engineering experience.
The Story begins.....

1920s

Branching out

Roland Cross returned to Bath to set up an engineering design consultancy in the building formally used by Patrick Alexander to construct his gas balloons.
Branching out

1920s

Cross Rotary Valve Engine invented

Roland designed his innovative rotary valve engine which proved to be superior in power output and torque to the conventional poppet valve equivalent. The first Cross company was set up to develop the concept.
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Cross Rotary Valve Engine invented

Rotary valve engine

Cross Rotary Valve Engine invented

1930s

Development work continues

Rotary Valve Engine development continued whilst finance to fund the project was gained from other design work.
Development work continues

1930s

A Landmark innovation

Because poor quality cast piston rings failed when stressed by the additional power of the Rotary Valve Engine, Roland designed and manufactured piston rings made from drawn carbon steel wire.
A Landmark innovation

1930s

The liner-less aluminium cylinder block

Roland also demonstrated the advantages of using a liner-less aluminium cylinder block, the benefits of which were enhanced when used with drawn wire piston rings.
The liner-less aluminium cylinder block

1930s

Record breaking performance

Roland was contracted to manufacture a liner-less aluminium cylinder block, piston and rings for a record attempt at Brooklands by a 250cc Cotton motor bike. The bike broke 12 world records in October 1935.
Record breaking performance

1930s

Engines for sports cars

A 4 cylinder Rotary Valve Engine was developed for Aston Martin sports cars. In 1937 the Halford Cross Rotary Sports Car was launched with a 1.5 litre, 4 cylinder Rotary Valve Engine.
Engines for sports cars

The Move to Manufacturing

1940s

Manufacturing begins

The drawn wire ring making process was recognised as a problem solver in many applications. Cross began to grow with manufacturing work for the aircraft industry.
Manufacturing begins

1950s

The Centaurus Rings

Immensely powerful and widely used Centaurus and Hercules sleeve valve engines suffered from excessive oil consumption. The Cross Sleeve Contracting Ring solved this problem and over 300,000 were eventually manufactured.
The Centaurus Rings

1950s

Manufacturing increased...

Manufacturing capacity was dramatically increased with new Ring and Winding Shops built to provide essential additional workspace.
Manufacturing increased...

1950s

New products, in large quantities

The well-known Cross Wire Thread Insert range was produced in large quantities. Other new products included Spring Washers, Retaining Rings and Circlips.
New products, in large quantities

1950s

New alloys, higher temperatures

As new Nickel and Cobalt alloys became available, high temperature sealing rings were developed for aerospace industry gas turbines.
New alloys, higher temperatures

1960s

Second factory opens

The expansion of the company continued with the opening of a second factory in the nearby town of Devizes.
Second factory opens

1960s

Rings for iconic British aircraft

Sealing ring manufacturing included four-foot diameter aluminium rings designed for Concorde and seals that were critically important for the performance of the ground-breaking Harrier jump-jet.
Rings for iconic British aircraft

1960s

A great engineer passes on

Roland Cross died at the end of the decade, having seen his innovation and endeavours grow into a market-leading international engineering company.
A great engineer passes on

Pre Millenium

1970s

Brush Seals introduced

In Devizes the first brush seals for gas and steam turbines were developed and manufactured, introducing an innovative design with significant efficiency improvements over traditional labyrinth seals.
Brush Seals introduced

1970s

The Automotive industry

Automotive industry activity became more important, beginning with the manufacture of piston rings for Formula One racing cars, followed by high temperature sealing rings for the new breed of turbocharged cars.
The Automotive industry

1980s

Turbo Rings in mass production

Mass production of turbo rings began, driven by the burgeoning demand from the automobile industry.
Turbo Rings in mass production

1980s

Aerospace activity ....

Aerospace activity increased to encompass virtually all of the world's major aero engine manufacturers.
Aerospace activity ....

1990s

Brush Seals approved

Cross Brush Seals received certification for use on gas and steam turbines.
Brush Seals approved

1990s

Brand new Devizes factory

The Devizes factory relocated to a brand new facility, driven by increasing demand for turbo rings, which increased to 10 million a year by the end of the decade.
Brand new Devizes factory

Recent Times

2000s

Business in China

Product development included six foot diameter seals for power generation in China.
Business in China

2000s

Turbo Ring production begins to soar

Whilst aerospace activity includes innovative seals for the next generation of gas turbines, annual Turbo Ring production reaches 30 million by the end of the decade.  
Turbo Ring production begins to soar

2010s

A second factory in Devizes

A second factory was opened in Devizes to separate Aerospace and Automotive industry products, as annual turbo ring production climbed to 60 million.
A second factory in Devizes