Edit Content

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.


Engineering Optimization: Redesigning A Hydraulic Ram Cradle Support for Enhanced Performance

This case study delves into the technical intricacies and innovative strategies of reengineering a hydraulic ram cradle support for an Automated Hay Press unit. This project was faced with many technical engineering challenges as the weight of the Hydraulic Ram alone comes in at nine tonnes, and its hydraulic pressure capacity spans to an eye watering 700 tonnes.

Our objective for this project was to design and manufacture a new cradle that supported a greater contact area of the cylinder than the manufacturer supplied cradle, to make the support structure stronger and more resilient to withstand extreme loads and pressures to amplify operational efficiency and performance for our client.

The challenges we faced:

During the course of this project we were faced with complex engineering challenges. The most significant challenge we faced was the prevention of the cradle cracking under heavy loading & stress. To resolve this, the project required a meticulous structural overhaul to the cradle. We had to change its structure very carefully to make the support structure stronger and more resilient to withstand extreme loads. Making the cradle bigger created another challenge, we had to ensure that all the holes for mounting it were perfectly placed with impeccable alignment for mounting holes.

Normally, this is a walk in the park for our Machine Shop. However, due to the large geometry of the cradle material, the component extended past our CNC and Manual mill’s measuring capability. We counteracted this hurdle by water jet profile cutting a hole location jig for each side of the cradle’s mounting faces which we then machined slots in to accurately locate each hole by hand within 0.05mm.

Our Execution

Our approach to delivering this project successfully hinged on precision and the use of our Centroid 3-axis CNC Mill and manual Milling machines. The cornerstone of our approach was the precision marking of mounting holes for seamless alignment and developing a creative solution by machining a perfectly balanced custom arbour extension to enable us to use a large diameter cutting head (63mm OD) at depths of over 200mm, specifically designed for this project.

Executing our plan encountered a few technical hurdles. The process of drilling and tapping demanded stringent tolerances which meant precision and technical proficiency was paramount. Addressing irregularities in the hole spacing required expertise of our most qualified precision machinists. The thought, concept, design and build of the specialized tool extension supported this project and enabled us to deliver this successfully and is testament to the team working on this project for their out of the box thinking.


Another contingency we faced was downtime for our client, Kirkpatrick Feed Supplies. Since they supply high quality Gisborne grown grass baleage nationwide, minimal disruption to operations and downtime is paramount to their business model. One of our primary steel suppliers Vulcan, were able to flame cut and supply our 200mm thick billet of plate within days. A couple kilograms of material removal later they had their new, stronger and more reliable cradle that is ready to stand the test of time.

The combination of our precision engineering along with the development of our custom extension tool resulted in the delivery of a successful project. The redesigned hydraulic ram cradle support emerged stronger, more resilient and could withstand significantly more pressure resulting in improved performance and extended the service life.

Re-engineering the hydraulic ram cradle support is a great example of excellent engineering and problem-solving. This study proves how you can push the boundaries of engineering through smart thinking and precision work.

Curious to explore how we can help your business optimise performance and efficiency using engineering innovations?

Join us on our journey of pushing boundaries and advancing precision.

Discover our latest projects and stay updated on our commitment to engineering excellence. Visit projects page to learn more or email our General Manager Dmitrey Carruthers on dmitrey@giseng.co.nz.