Caterpillar's new testing group, Engine Systems Technologies and Solutions, is inviting other manufacturers of equipment from engines to construction machinery to avail themselves of its services.
The company maintains the machines and the instruments to test engine emissions, noise, and vibration, and has already begun working with engine components suppliers and makers of after-treatment equipment. The facility can perform engine altitude and cold tests, endurance, tilt, and power measuring, along with gathering classic engineering data on engines such as torque, strain, and force. It expects to catch the interest of other engine builders whose data, Caterpillar says, will be kept confidential.
Caterpillar has a history of working on projects with its competitors, says Brent Cluskey, director of sales and marketing. He recalls working a few years back on a fuel system for a competitor's pick-up that took place "down the hall behind lock doors."
The company has extended its expertise into various arenas before, such as manufacturing transmission and hydraulic components for other OEMs or venturing into remanufacturing services. The testing group represents the company's latest effort in sharing its technical expertise.
The 200,000-square-foot facility can test engines from 20 to 9,000 hp both on the bench and in test cells. Various fuel combinations from gasoline to natural gas are available. The facility includes a full size chassis dynamometer into which large construction equipment can be strapped for cooling systems tests in a wind tunnel. Engine heat management is a bigger issue than ever these days as EPA emissions regulations continue to tighten.
An engine undergoes testing in the semi-anechoic dynamometer chamber at Caterpillarís Mossville Technical Center. The Engine Systems Technologies and Solutions group formed recently to offer these same services to other companies.