Caterpillar introduces new air compressor for on-highway vehicles

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Caterpillar has announced it will introduce and distribute a new air compressor to the on-highway market. The Cat 270 air compressor is designed to provide cleaner air along with greater reliability, significantly less vibration and quieter operation than current models. The new air compressor was available on the Cat C13 engine in selected chassis beginning in April 2006, and will be available on all Cat engines in all chassis in 2007.

The Cat 270 uses two cylinders instead of one, resulting in better balance that delivers up to four times less vibration in selected chassis, according to Caterpillar. Noise is up to a full two decibels lower than competitive models, resulting in a much more comfortable ride, according to Mike Powers, product development manager for Caterpillar On-Highway Engines. The new Cat air compressor should provide up to twice the reliability of current air compressors, Powers says.

“Our new air compressor is even more effective at supplying air, while providing a comfortable environment for the driver,” Powers says. “The onboard air compressor is one major source of chassis vibration. Our new Cat 270 air compressor is much smoother than today’s typical compressor.”

Reliability and durability also are enhanced by a cast iron piston that is stronger than the aluminum piston used in several competitive models, according to the company, and fewer parts and hardware are required, simplifying the installation of the compressor to the engine. The Cat air compressor has a high-strength forged steel crankshaft and heavy-duty bearings designed to improve the durability of the air compressor and increase drive-through capabilities on C7 and C9 applications.

The Cat 270 is engineered to offer improved oil control, reducing oil carryover that degrades cleanliness of the air supply. Longer head bolts and the unique full-length water-cooled cylinder bores are designed to provide optimum clamp loading and cooler discharge air, which contribute to reducing bore distortion and improving oil carryover. “When a small amount of oil carries over into the rings, it gets into the air supply and coats the air system, which degrades reliability and requires cleaning,” Powers says. “The Cat 270 design allows significantly less oil carryover, which means air can be up to twice as clean as current air compressors.

“In short, we have introduced the Cat 270 air compressor to deliver all the air required, while providing significantly improved reliability, better durability, better engine performance and a smoother, quieter ride for the driver,” Powers says.