A 40+ Year Habit We Just Can’t Break!


No one loves customer feedback more than AY so when the opportunity arose to stop in and chat with Allen Carrick of Hydraulics Unlimited, of course we jumped at it!Hydraulics_Unlimited_Cylinder_Repair

Hydraulics Unlimited has been a loyal customer since 2010 and we were not only curious how they genuinely feel about our seals & service but we were also enthusiastic to see our seals in action and get a thorough understanding of what we can do to better support their needs.

Allen was a good sport about answering our standard customer service and quality questions and affably showed us around the hydraulic repair shop; showcasing some of the more interesting repair requests.


20170505_110153_HDRThe demand for a fast turnover of hydraulic repairs places the importance of receiving assorted sealing components promptly in the high-priority category.  Often, their repairs are assured a two day turnaround so Allen needs to receive his order within that small window to ensure his customers’ satisfaction.  AY Seal & Packing understands this is crucial to their productivity and takes measures to safeguard the accuracy and expedition of all of the Hydraulics Unlimited orders.




“Why did I switch from Hercules to AY?
Pricing, reliability & service!”

 We have always prided ourselves on our knowledgeable and friendly, (and never automated), customer service and that resonated in Allen’s responses to our service questions. On the occasion that a component is not available, our staff quickly assesses a customer’s sealing needs to offer a suitable alternative part and that is something many customers, including Allen, appreciate when calling AY.Hydraulics_Unlimited_Part_Request

We are always striving to improve convenience and utility for our customers so we
asked Allen if there is a component, not readily available, that would help to consolidate his seal orders. His request was that we carry self-aligning bushings & bearings.  Our sales manager, Bruce MacIntyre, is currently researching the most efficient options for distributing these items so that Hydraulics Unlimited and other hydraulic cylinder repair shops can also benefit from the accessibility.



When our customers speak, we listen!
It’s a fundamental quality that AY has practiced for over 40 years!

What solutions can we engineer for your company?

A VP for AY: Please Welcome Travis Thoman to the AY Family!


Travis Thoman returns to Allegheny York as Vice President.  His responsibilities include overseeing all operations for the company’s quality, manufacturing, engineering, accounting, sales and marketing departments.   Travis is a US Navy Submarine Veteran.  After leaving the military in 1998, he began his civilian career with Allegheny York working in the Engineering Department.

“I am really excited to be back with the company.  It’s amazing to see how many friendly faces are still familiar after 20 years, and to see the tremendous growth the company has experienced.”

Travis is expected to leverage the knowledge of his past business successes in building teams of people to perform as a unit to rapidly exceed revenue expectations.

“There is no doubt that we have the personnel, experience and manufacturing to capture significant market share within the next 3-5 years,” says Travis.


Cooper-TThomanWhen he is not focused on work, he enjoys riding his motorcycle, hunting, playing guitar and singing, and walking his dogs, Zip, Cash and Cooper, around his farm in Thomasville, Pa.





The typical hydraulic repair requires a variety of manufacturer specific components; but how do you know if you will really need a Seal Kit or just a seal or backup? There’s nothing worse than realizing halfway through a project that you should have purchased another component. Use this guide to find out if a Hydraulic Replacement Seal Kit is your best bet for a proper & effective repair.


Use separate seal components when:

  • You don’t trust your kit source
  • You have knowledge of the cylinder and why it requires repairs
  • There are components you prefer that aren’t found in the kit
  • You fear a running change by the oem might effect a kit’s viability
  • You suspect the cylinder is already out of oem spec, especially on bore size


Use seal kits when:

  • You trust your seal kit source
  • You don’t trust your seal component source to provide you with knowledge and inventory to get the job done
  • You haven’t broad knowledge of the cylinder’s failure mode
  • You don’t have a component preference
  • You doubt there’s been an oem running change or have no such knowledge
  • You are in a hurry when ordering seals
  • You’re certain the cylinder hasn’t been bored-out during prior repairs


by: Bruce MacIntyre   ~ AY Sales Manager
Seal Replacement Tips

Tech Tips: Hydraulic Cylinder Seal Replacement

Seal Replacement Tips

  • Open the ports and drain the cylinder’s hydraulic fluid.
  • Secure the cylinder on a bench vise, then fully extend the piston rod.
  • Remove the retaining nut, head nut, snap-ring or other device that holds the rod end in place using snap-ring pliers, a spanner wrench, a flat-head screwdriver or etc.
  • Pull the rod completely out the cylinder barrel to expose the piston.
  • Secure the rod end assembly in a soft-jawed vise, unscrew the nut holding the piston in place, and remove the piston and any other parts attached to the rod.
  • Lay the piston, rod, and any other parts on a clean work area and remove all the seals, preferably with a seal removal tool.
  • Clean the inside of the cylinder barrel, the piston rod, piston and other attaching parts with a petroleum-based solvent.
  • Inspect the inside of the cylinder barrel, piston, rod and other polished parts for burrs and scratches and repair as necessary.
  • Install new seals in the same manner as the seals that you removed. The piston seal on some cylinders may require special installation steps. Piston seals installed in closed grooves must be expanded or stretched into position. Seals with step cut slide rings are relatively easy to expand into position. Non-split profiles should not be expanded to a material deformation of more than 20% for TPU or 30% for rubber. Over-expansion may result in permanent deformation too great for adequate recovery. Heating the seal in an oil bath decreases the required expansion force without permanent material deformation. Piston seals with a TPU slide ring can usually be installed by hand or with simple tools. PTFE seals or those with thicker radial sections may require special assembly tools to save time or avoid seal damage.
  • Place the rod back into the soft-jawed vice, and install all the parts back onto the cylinder rod in the reverse order of how they were removed. Install the piston last, then tighten the piston nut to its specified torque with a calibrated torque wrench.
  • Coat the assembled piston rod and resealed parts with hydraulic fluid, using a clean shop rag or a gloved hand. Insert the piston rod back into the cylinder barrel.
  • Reinstall the retaining device to the rod end of the cylinder. Screw a gland nut or spanner nut securely onto the cylinder. If the cylinder is secured with a snap ring, compress the ring with snap ring pliers and insert it into the groove at the rod end of the cylinder.

From a Wing & a Prayer to an AY Trust Fall

Recently, our sales manager spoke to a new AY Seal & Packing customer who AAEAAQAAAAAAAAVTAAAAJDI2NTY2YmJlLTUxNmYtNDgwYy1hZmJmLWM3ZWVlZTM3NzRmOArepairs German-built Liebherr cranes. Our new customer routinely tells his customers that he  reserves the right to amend his standard lead-times due to the unknowns he encounters when ordering seals from Liebherr. Our customer said that seal-kit lead-times for Liebherr vary dramatically and when they do arrive they are frequently incomplete, inaccurate, and very expensive.


He knew of us from previous experience. One day he had enough of occasionally trying to run his business on a wing and a prayer just because a Liebherr job walked thru his door. He decided to call AY Seal & Packing, and guess what happened next?



We had the Liebherr components he needed, on the shelf and at a fair price. We also have all the standard parts he uses all the time.

So another hydraulic repairer has learned to ‘Call Us First’ and is confident he can rely on AY to help his repair business be more productive and increase his own customer satisfaction!

New Seal kits are added to our inventory daily!

Check it out for yourself! 



Respect. Something you’d better pay forward as you use your hydraulic equipment.

Hydraulic equipment is intended to take a beating and it usually does. You and your equipment both work hard work, sometimes under less-than-ideal conditions; and both deserve some respect.

When something goes wrong with your equipment and you take it to a repairer, you should make sure you are getting the right replacement parts, especially the seals. Make sure your repairer is using only high-quality replacement seals, preferably Made in USA.

American manufacturers still the lead the industry in high quality materials made to exacting standards. At AY Seal & Packing, we work hard to provide only the best seals for the job, many of them made right here in York, PA since 1972.

We respect the hard-working men and women who rely on their equipment and the repairers who bring it back to good working condition after it takes a beating.

Respect always escaped from Rodney but resonated from Aretha. It resonates with AY Seal & Packing too.


~ by Bruce MacIntyre, Sales & Marketing Manager @aysealnpacking

Is AY a True Seal Superhero?



Last year, several Wall Street Journal articles discussed the shrinking advantages of outsourcing to offshore manufacturers vs remaining domestic. Who didn’t see this coming?

Mexican manufacturing isn’t what it used to be.

According to the article, “The competition for employees, both finding and retaining them, is nudging up labor costs.” The rising cost of labor, “is an unexpected sticker shock, labor is one of the few costs manufacturers can control, and threatens both profitability and production quality.”

Wages are only a portion of the costs associated with an extended manufacturing supply chain. Issues with quality, inventory carrying costs, and cultural differences were also added expenses and headaches that were hard to quantify at the time when American manufacturers were so eager to lower labor costs.

Not coincidently, about 10 years ago during the recession, some Chinese workers returned to farming after cutbacks in manufacturing ruined their chances of quality-of-life improvements in the big cities like Shanghai, Beijing, and Shenzhen. When the economy rebounded, many workers refused to return to cities, opting to remain on their farms for good. The resulting worker shortage acted as expected; it raised wages in China.

And don’t overlook logistics

Another Wall Street Journal article discussed the challenges of freight stuck in containers either on ships or in a port. A longshoremen strike several years ago only buttressed fears that originated after 9/11 about what happens when logistics are interrupted. Another article noted the bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping and explored how ships and containers owned by the South Korean company are being denied port entry or unloading. Subsequently, the ports and logistics companies are afraid they won’t get paid.

Insourcing is now fashionable

And so now we’ve come full circle. Industry squeezed what it could out of labor costs by out-sourcing overseas, and the so-called advantages are no more. In-sourcing is replacing out-sourcing.

AY Seal & Packing manufactures and distributes around the globe; we’ve always done it from the United States. For more than 45 years our family-owned company has never experienced language barriers, time zone issues or unusual holiday shutdowns. Nor do our employees head to their farms when the going gets tough.

Before you consider out-sourcing your product overseas, think carefully about the unknowns and hidden challenges yet to come. Be a hero! In-source instead!

You too can save time,  money,  hassle & US jobs!