Truck News


Cat getting ACERT-ive; In their own words – Part 4

With the 10/02 emissions deadline upon us, a vast amount of misinformation regarding the future of heavy-duty diesel engines still exists. This is the fourth installment in a series giving manufacture...

With the 10/02 emissions deadline upon us, a vast amount of misinformation regarding the future of heavy-duty diesel engines still exists. This is the fourth installment in a series giving manufacturers a chance to explain their solution, in their own words…

Never before has the need for clean burning, customer valued on-highway engines been so strong. Emissions regulations are challenging engine builders’ ability to meet truck owner expectations of reliability, long life to overhaul and fuel economy.

Caterpillar engineers have once again risen to the challenge, producing a technology so innovative that it will set the standard for truck engines for years to come.

Caterpillar has invested nearly one-half billion dollars in response to the new, tougher emissions standards for October 2002 and beyond.

First and foremost, Caterpillar respects and supports the need to protect the environment. Yet at the same time – since more than 90 per cent of goods brought to market are hauled in trucks – we recognize that the environmental solution must also provide customers with affordable, fuel-efficient engines.

In fact, that’s been our challenge ever since the first emissions regulations were developed back in the early ’70s. Fortunately, our technology gains over the past 15 years have allowed us to develop engines that not only meet emissions regulations, but use about 30 per cent less fuel, live about 30 per cent longer and require about 30 per cent less maintenance.

There’s no question that the October 2002 EPA emissions standards have had an impact on engine design. Our new advanced combustion emission reduction technology (ACERT) is laying the foundation to meet EPA standards for particulates and oxides of nitrogen in 2007 and beyond, while maintaining customer value.

Full ACERT technology engines will begin production in early 2003. We’re confident of the environmental benefits of ACERT technology; however, we will not introduce an engine before it has passed our full battery of real-world reliability tests. In the interim, Caterpillar will provide world-class truck engines that are fully EPA-certified in all 50 states and Canada and are value-priced to provide users the same reliability, durability, low maintenance cost and high resale value they have come to expect from Caterpillar.

The October 2002 engine line includes the 3126E, C-10, C-12 and C-15 engine models. All of these models purchased after Sept. 30, will include some of the ACERT technology components. Again, full ACERT technology products will be available beginning in January 2003 starting with the introduction of the C9 engine model. In fact, customer value is the primary driving force in our engine development efforts. Today, Caterpillar is the unquestioned leader in the North American On-Highway heavy-duty engine business, a position held since mid-2000.

Customer satisfaction levels have never been higher. Caterpillar earned the J.D. Power and Associates awards in both the over-the-road and vocational Class 8 customer categories again in 2001. This was the second year in a row Caterpillar received this honor, the only two years these awards have been given in the truck engine market. We are proud of this accomplishment, and appreciate the support and loyalty of our customers that made it possible.

What is ACERT?

To better understand why ACERT technology will provide the best value to truck owners, it’s necessary to review why the technology was developed, how it works and the reasons it is superior to other emissions reduction technologies.

When the time came to explore new emissions solutions, Caterpillar engineers looked at several different technologies, including cooled-EGR. But as testing and evaluation proceeded, it quickly became apparent that cooled-EGR did not meet value expectations Cat was famous for. Our customer base needs a reliable and durable product that operates very efficiently in a variety of applications where reliability is key. Cooled-EGR did not meet our expectations for reliability, durability or fuel economy.

ACERT technology is not a single component, but a total “systems solution.” ACERT technology reduces emissions at the point of combustion by concentrating on four key areas: combustion air technology, fuel injection systems, totally integrated and enhanced electronic engine controls and a simple, yet effective, after-treatment process.

Current ACERT technology development engines are achieving emissions levels below the EPA standard for October and beyond. ACERT technology offers building blocks to meeting future emission regulations while providing greater customer value.

The ACERT technology that will benefit our customers in January is the same fundamental technology they will see in the products that we will develop to achieve 2007 emissions standards. In other words, there will not be a need to validate another new technology five years from now. ACERT equipped engines will provide our end-users with at least the same reliability, durability, service change intervals and fuel economy that they have with Cat engines today – or better! That is the clear advantage of ACERT technology.

It all adds up to lower operating costs, increased driver satisfaction and higher resale value for trucks equipped with ACERT engine technology.

ACERT technology is the most ambitious, the most aggressive, and the most exciting technical breakthrough Caterpillar has ever undertaken.

It will position Caterpillar as one of the few companies in the world to comply with emissions regulations worldwide – all intended for improvement of the environment – while lowering operating costs. ACERT technology is not only good for the environment; it’s good for the bottom line of every Cat customer. Over the past two decades, Caterpillar has reduced on-highway diesel emissions by 90 per cent.

And by the year 2007, ACERT technology engines from Cat will cut emissions by another 90 per cent.

In short, ACERT technology positions us to meet customer needs and the world’s clean air goals – which we strongly support.

Special to Truck News, this story was prepared by Steve Brown, on-highway marketing manager, Caterpillar Power Systems marketing division.


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Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry.
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