In light of the number of industrial systems that rely on hydraulics, it's a near certainty that most businesses that depend on such setups will need to have rebuilds performed. The job is highly specialized, and technicians and machine shops that handle it often deal solely with such projects, much the same as there are automotive places that exclusively take on transmission work. It's important, therefore, to know what you might be getting into before you try to address a situation.
Inspection and Reporting
Before you get too involved in the process of fixing a cylinder, your company will likely need to have the machine involved inspected and a report filed. Finding a technician who can produce quality work on a hydraulic cylinder rebuild while also being able to do good inspections and filed detailed reports is beneficial. Not only will it make it simpler to justify costs, but you may be able to identify repetitive problems across multiple machines that ought to be addressed.
Can Your Machinist Do It?
The simplest answer is, "Probably not." While you might have a top-tier machinist working in a properly equipped shop, a hydraulic cylinder rebuild is work that's often highly specialized. It's generally advised to develop a long-term relationship with someone who is qualified and experienced, but you may be able to save some expenses by having your own guys remove the piece before shipping it to a professional.
There are a number of potential points of failure in any hydraulic cylinder, including issues with O rings, pistons, rods and release valves. In some cases, the job may be as simple as replacing a few components. A major challenge, however, arises when it's impossible to get replacement parts for a hydraulic cylinder rebuild. Working with a professional will make a difference in this case since they can machine parts in order to complete the task.
It's wise to not engage in disassembly of the cylinder before handing it off to someone qualified. There are a number of ways valves and springs may snap if not handled properly. You'll also avoid being responsible if anything happens, such as the piston rod falling into the dirt.
A full hydraulic cylinder rebuild should include remounting the repaired component to your equipment. It may be more cost-effective to do this yourself, but having a professional involved is the best way to be sure.