Understanding Machine Maintenance For Manufacturing Facilities

Understanding Machine Maintenance For Manufacturing Facilities

How To Tell If The Hydraulic Cylinders On Your Equipment Need Service

by Willie Horton

The hydraulic cylinders on most heavy equipment are under a lot of stress for long periods of time. The seals and internal surfaces will wear with use and require hydraulic cylinder repair, but knowing what to look for can help you avoid a failure in the field and repair or replace the cylinders preemptively.

Daily Inspection

The hydraulic system in any equipment comprises the pump, reservoir, hoses, and cylinders that work together to create a system strong enough to lift weight or exert pressure. The hydraulic cylinders are regularly in motion to facilitate the movement the system needs, and as the seals wear, they can start to seep oil and reduce the pressure in the system. 

If the system pressure falls too low, the system will stop working, so it is imperative that the system is checked before you run the equipment to avoid a failure that could be catastrophic. The best way to head off problems is to check the oil in the system, the lines for any leaks, and the hydraulic cylinders to ensure they are not leaking before starting daily. 

Hydraulic cylinder leaks typically start around the seal on the cylinder body where the ram slides in. The seal rides along the smooth surface of the ram, ensuring the oil that is on it is scraped off and remains inside the cylinder body when the ram is extended. Some light oil coverage on the smooth surface of the ram is normal, but if there is enough oil to run off the ram or drip off the cylinder, the seals are not doing their job and need replacing. 

Hydraulic Cylinder Repair

When you find leaking hydraulic cylinders on your equipment, you can replace them with new ones or take them off the machine and take them to a hydraulic machine shop for hydraulic cylinder repair. If you decide to repair them, the shop will take the cylinders apart and clean all the parts in a solvent to remove all the oil and sludge built up in the cylinder. 

The body and the ram are inspected for damage, and then the cylinder is reassembled with new seals and any other required parts. Rebuilding the cylinders can take a few days, and if you need the machine running during that time, you may not want to wait for them to be completed. The alternative is to purchase new hydraulic cylinders to replace the worn ones, but the cost of new parts is often higher than rebuilding your existing ones.

If you have a restrictive timeline, you may want to drop the old cylinders off at the machine shop for rebuild, then purchase new cylinders to install and keep the rebuilt cylinders as spares for the next time you need one on your equipment. 

For more information on hydraulic cylinders, contact a company near you.


About Me

Understanding Machine Maintenance For Manufacturing Facilities

Owning any kind of industrial manufacturing facility means working with a lot of equipment and machinery. When you're new to this kind of thing, you may be wondering about what kind of ongoing maintenance the equipment will need. If you're lucky, the prior owner has logs and records that will tell you what you need to do. If you're not, that's what we're here for. We're sharing information here to help business owners like yourself to take care of the equipment in your facility today. We will post new information regularly, so check back often for the latest tips and plans.