If you use and maintain hydraulic equipment on a regular basis, you’ve more than likely found yourself running into a repair job that could have been easily fixed if you or your technicians had the right parts on hand. 

Instead, you’ve probably found yourself scrambling to find a vendor with the right part(s) in stock, rush ordering, and holding onto hope they’re able to get it to you sooner than later. Sound familiar?

While storing an excess of hydraulic spare parts does not make a whole lot of sense, having the right ones to keep your equipment up and running plays a big role in having an effective maintenance plan. But where do you start?

Here is a closer look at how to effectively manage your part inventory and what hydraulic parts you may want to keep around in case a machine goes down. 

Analyze & Identify Hydraulic Parts

One of the toughest challenges of managing an effective part inventory is having the right type of parts available when you’re troubleshooting your system and have to stop production.

Knowing your machinery and which parts are critical to its operations is the first step in creating an effective spare part inventory. This can include having everything from extra cylinders, pumps, and motors to extra valves, hoses, seals, and even o-rings. 

So how do you figure out which parts you should keep handy? 

To get a good idea, you should begin by analyzing past equipment and part data. Everything from past maintenance records, inventory adjustments, purchase orders, and downtime logs will provide invaluable insight into what spare parts will be the most beneficial and economical to have available at a moment’s notice. In addition, it doesn’t hurt to talk to your maintenance technicians and purchasing agents to see if they have any further insight or recommendations based on their experience with the equipment. 

Having this information will help you better forecast and identify exactly what type of parts to have on hand in case a machine’s hydraulic system fails

Here are a few spare hydraulic parts and components we recommend keeping in stock: 

  • Pumps
  • Hoses
  • Valves
  • Filters
  • Cylinders
  • Belts
  • Gaskets
  • Actuators
  • Fan Motors
  • Seals and O-rings

Remember, it is often more cost-effective to repair old hydraulic parts and keep them as spares than it is buying new ones. If you have old broken parts lying around, working with an experienced hydraulic repair technician can help you salvage them so they’re good as new and ready to use. 

Not sure whether to repair, rebuild or buy new hydraulic equipment? Check out this article we wrote. 

Maintain Your Hydraulic Part Inventory

If you have a solid maintenance plan in place and are taking care of your hydraulic equipment on a regular basis, ideally spare parts should not have to be used too often. However, as the saying goes – it’s better to be over-prepared than under. 

That said, you don’t want a cluttered inventory full of unnecessary spares taking up space. 

To manage your part inventory and help determine the most economical quantity of parts to order there is a formula known as the Economic Order Quantity Formula (EOQ).

The EOQ Formula can help you prevent both loss and waste in your inventory by calculating an annual order quantity that minimizes costs and maximizes your order efficiency. You can find out more about the EOQ Formula here

EOQ Formula

Here is a simplified example:

Annual Demand: 200 units
Order cost: $5.00
Holding Cost: $1.25
Calculated Order Amount = 40 units

While having a formula is helpful, there is no equation that will help you maintain a perfect inventory at all times. There are too many variables and unforeseen circumstances that come with maintenance and repairs. That’s where having a reliable hydraulics vendor comes into play. 

A reliable vendor will effectively help you manage your part inventory by understanding your equipment needs, help you save time and money, and be able to get you out of a pinch when circumstances call for it. 

When it comes to hydraulics, a reliable vendor should have hydraulic repair experience and a diverse inventory of products available. They should be able to supply you with a wide variety of high-pressure hydraulic products, including pumps, cylinders, valves, clamping components, and also any related hydraulic products, including pneumatic and lubrication products.

Overall, maintaining the proper inventory of spare hydraulic parts can be the difference between extensive unscheduled downtime or same-day repairs. Analyzing and identifying these parts, keeping up on routine maintenance, managing your inventory, and having a reliable go-to hydraulic shop will all help you speed up repair times, minimize downtime, and eliminate excessive costs when equipment goes down. 

Need help finding the right hydraulic parts?

At Yarbrough Industries, we have a large selection of hydraulic products and offer diagnostic, testing, repair, and replacement services to help get your operations back up and running in no time.

Hydraulic Cylinders often do work in places that people cannot reach. Because of the tendency to use them in harsh environments, it is common to see additional wear and tear on the hydraulic cylinder, its mounts, components, and seals. Routine maintenance of hydraulic cylinders can prevent failure, increase the longevity of the hydraulic cylinder and improve safety. An inspection and maintenance schedule should be followed to decrease unplanned downtime, and ensure operational functionality.

The best thing you can do to achieve long life, and optimum performance, is to ensure that the right hydraulic cylinder is being used for the application. Anytime a piece of equipment or machinery is brought down for inspection, maintenance, and repair, it should be evaluated for job effectiveness.

Identify potential issues and prevent unscheduled downtime with your hydraulic cylinder:

  • Ensure an adequate filtration system for the hydraulic fluid. Check for dirt or foreign materials in the fluid with regularly scheduled samples taken and analyzed. Inspect the filter on the hydraulic fluid system for any clogs or debris.
  • Inspect the hydraulic cylinder rod for signs of weakness, stress, or wear. A rough, bent, or scored rod will damage seals or allow for leaks. A hydraulic cylinder with an improper mounting configuration can bend a rod and possibly bend or break amount as well.
  • Inspect sealed areas of the system components and fluid lines for evidence of leaks. Examine all lubricated areas and replenish them as needed. If there is fluid leaking from around the head of the hydraulic cylinder and the rod does not appear to be scored or damaged, you may have a broken or severely worn seal.
  • Examine the hydraulic cylinder barrel for signs of ballooning and/or machine interference which can cause serious leaks, damage and even cylinder failure.
  • Check for sideloading, which if not corrected, can lead to misalignment, tube scoring, bearing wear, and damaged beyond repair. Sideloading is when the cylinder has a sideways force applied to it, that is not linear to the cylinders functioning motion.

A simple inspection can go a long way to keeping your equipment up and running and preventing downtime. Even when you have the right hydraulic cylinder installed, and use the equipment properly, any of these maintenance issues can still occur from unstable loads or a shift in the equipment’s center of gravity. If you find you need a replacement seal kit, component part, or an entire replacement hydraulic cylinder, our hydraulic cylinder specialists are happy to help you demolish downtime and get your equipment back up and running again quickly. Contact Yarbrough Industries to get the parts you need, today!

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