It is always a bad day when you hear “that sound,” or find that the temperature of your hydraulic fluid is too high, or your overall equipment performance is just not up to par. When any of these things happen and it’s time to get to the bottom of the issue, there are a number of things to consider when choosing hydraulic equipment repair, rebuilding or remanufacturing.

One of the most pressing considerations involves time.

How critical is it to get the hydraulic equipment back in service right away?

In the vast majority of cases, time is a major decision factor since the saying, “time is money” is never more true than when a machine is down and production is halted. Purchasing and installing a new replacement part may seem like the most expedient path to getting your equipment up and running again. However, the lead time on purchasing new replacement parts can vary from part to part, as some parts have to be manufactured and then you have to factor in delivery time. Having a part rebuilt often takes less time than buying a new replacement part.

The second major consideration is cost. If you are contemplating buying a new replacement part consider all the costs involved. This includes not just the actual part and shipping costs, but also the time and labor needed to remove a failed part from a machine and install a rebuilt one, as well as the lost production costs. Rebuilding and remanufacturing typically is faster and costs less than buying a new replacement part. Almost every hydraulic equipment part can be replaced or repaired, and a repair is justified when it costs less than 60-70% of the price of a new component.1

If you choose to go the repair, rebuild or remanufacturing routes, do your homework and make sure that the firm doing the work is competent. Experience and specialized skills are required to correctly diagnose, rebuild and test hydraulically powered equipment.2 Ask whether all parts are made to OEM specifications and whether parts are crafted from original metals. Choosing a firm that has ISO certification ensures that the company is dedicated to rigorous quality standards.

During the hydraulic repair process the unit will be disassembled and thoroughly cleaned in order to be inspected. All critical dimensions and surfaces will be inspected and measured. Seals, springs, washers and shims will be replaced, as these are not costly items, but the overall job will benefit from their replacement. Bearings will be replaced when warranted. If contamination was present, piston pump surfaces will be lapped if they will remain within suitable tolerances. If suitable tolerances can’t be achieved the technician many need to remanufacture or replace internal parts. These parts can include rotary barrels, pistons, housings, covers, relief valves, controllers and charge pumps.

Where the parts for repair/remanufacture come from is also an important consideration. Ask whether parts are sourced from the original hydraulic OEM or whether they are aftermarket replacement parts. While OEM parts may be the preferred option, they may not be readily available and can lead to lengthier down times. Many aftermarket parts are provided by offshore companies and the quality of these parts can vary greatly, so it is good to know from where the parts are being sourced

Finally, testing and calibration are critical activities to ensure any repair/rebuild/remanufacture is sound. Today’s hydraulics are more complex than in the past, with systems operating at higher hydraulic pressures and having integrated electronics, digital controls and sophisticated software. Thus, an experienced and highly skilled technician is needed to accurately perform testing and calibration. The technician also needs to have the right equipment. Testing and calibration capabilities are another important consideration when determining which repair/rebuild/remanufacturing facility to choose.

Most hydraulic repairs at Servo Kinetics have a five-day turnaround and Servo Kinetics also provides a 24-hour rapid response emergency repair service. Quality products, competitive pricing and on-time delivery have been the hallmarks of Servo Kinetics’ services since the company’s founding over 40 years ago.

Our hydraulic repair services include hydraulic pump and motor repair, Vickers classic factory rebuilds  , hydraulic field piping, flight simulator repair, reverse engineering services and more. Our commitment to consistent high-quality work and expertise has made us a trusted industry leader. Call us to learn more about our services!

1, 2 How are Hydraulic Components Rebuilt, Repaired or Remanufactured? by Ken Korane, 6/27/2016