Cat's New Diagnostic Tools Improve Servicing

—Literature Available Diagnostic tools adequate for engine systems designed a decade ago cannot compete with newly designed, more dependable, reliable, and accurate tools. Today's marine propulsion and auxiliary drive systems demand more accurate and technologically sophisticated diagnostic techniques. Caterpillar's new diagnostic tools feature state-ofthe- art electronics and meet these requirements.

Electronic monitoring systems (EMS) were first introduced in Caterpillar products in 1978. The EMS monitors critical functions such as engine oil pressure and temperature, coolant temperature, and air system flow. Operators are alerted to problems that can be corrected before failures occur. Since 1978, numerous diagnostic tools have been added to the service specialist's tool box. Some of these new Cat diagnostic tools with specific marine task orientation are the following.

Temperature Indicators Temperature labels and temperature markers were introduced to assist in the determining when maintenance or repairs are needed.

These low-cost labels and markers indicate when a component or system has exceeded predetermined temperatures. The labels are available in five temperature ranges from 140 to 350 F.

The high-temperature, crayonlike markers cover the temperature range from 390 to 1,240 F. As the chosen critical temperature is exceeded, the mark changes to a different color.

Borescope The release of the borescope has brought aircraft and medical technology to the field of engine and marine system inspection and maintenance management. This device allows the inspection of areas and components that otherwise would be impossible to inspect or required extensive disassembly.

The borescope can be used to inspect gearboxes, turbochargers, engine cylinders, and valves without total disassembly. It can also be used to inspect component passages during rebuild to insure proper cleaning of crankshaft oil, block water, and oil passages.

Fuel Sulfur Analyzer The fuel sulfur analyzer brings the laboratory to the field as a lowcost, hand portable unit that is simple and quick to use. It uses a simple five-minute test that accurately determines the sulfur content of the fuel. A sample of the fuel is burned under controlled conditions, and the resulting sulfur dioxide and trioxide are measured.

The analyzer can be used prior to a load of fuel being accepted, or to verify the contract price based on sulfur content. When there is no choice available in the fuel to be used, the analyzer allows the maintenance manager to select oil with an appropriate total base number that neutralizes the effects of high sulfur content.

Fuel Rate Meter And Management Unit A temperature-compensated, recording fuel rate meter is under development for availability in 1985 to measure fuel consumption rate on all engines from six to 600 gallons per hour. The meter is used during initial sea trials to confirm that vessel load profile matches engine design capability. Any necessary adjustments can be made prior to engine damage and/or inefficient operation of the vessel. The meter can be used periodically during vessel life to determine deterioration of vessel and engine components. As a fuel management system, the unit has a full histogram memory to show load factor and duty cycle data along with detailed data on up to 20 load segments.

Vibration Analyzer Vibration analysis can be used to achieve smoother operation and reduce operating costs through detection of misalignment, out of balance, and roller bearing deterioration.

Development work is being done to bring the skill level necessary to operate the vibration analysis equipment out of the specialty field and into the hands of service technicians. Menu-driven test procedures will guide the technician through the installation of the various transducers, gather the data, and perform the analysis and display the necessary corrective action.

Further use of trend analysis techniques can help project necessary repairs, allowing the maintenance manager to schedule repairs rather than repairing due to failure.

Digital Blowby Tool The digital blowby/air flow indicator is used to measure diesel engine crankcase blowby as an indication of piston ring and valve guide condition. It also measures air flow rates to check for radiator plugging and fan performance. The digital position indicator replaces mechanical dial indicators. Its position probe can be mounted on a diesel engine governor to provide an accurate readout of dynamic fuel settings.

The microprocessor-controlled, hand-held readouts can also be located at the operator station, or communicate via an RS232 link to a computer or recorder.

Infrared Thermometer The infrared thermometer diagnoses hot or cold spots by measuring the surface temperature of any part or component. It is simple to spot a problem such as plugged radiator.

The maintenance technician simply looks through the sight and scans the area under investigation. A sharp temperature increase or decrease may indicate the location of the problem. Other examples of its use are the quick detection of bad fuel injection nozzles, blocked heat exchangers, a leaking or blocked temperature regulator, excessive heat input from the transmission, or to measure keel cooler effectiveness.

The unit is accurate from — 20F to + 2,500F.

For further information and free literature on Caterpillar's diagnostic tools, Circle 17 on Reader Service Card

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 42,  Mar 1985

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Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.