Hydraulic Cylinder Rod Position Sensing Method

A method for detecting a position of a cylinder rod includes depositing a plurality of welds substantially along the length of a steel rod and depositing a corrosion resistant material onto the steel rod by laser cladding. The cylinder rod is then placed proximate to a sensor assembly. One of the cylinder rod and the sensor assembly are moved relative to the other. The sensor assembly detects a change in properties between the steel rod and the welds and generates a corresponding signal. A change in position of the cylinder rod or damage to the cylinder rod can be detected by analyzing the number and strength of the signals.