The next step will be integrating this technology with existing telematics equipment monitoring solutions. “This technology is very portable, so we can put it out via the Internet and put it on a server relatively easily,” says Warner. “Contractors have been making investments in telematics and our goal is to have our systems work seamlessly with those.”
Cooler, Quieter Enclosures
Tier 4 has also focused attention on enclosure design.
“The engines have a much higher heat rejection and that drives cooling,” says Warner. “The radiators are larger and the fans are larger.... We have been able to maintain the existing footprint on all of our machines, but it was a lot of work.
“The package is much more engineered,” he continues, “primarily because we have a hotter engine and we have to make sure the cabinet is cool enough for that engine to be optimized, and the other internal components are not compromised. So air flow and cooling technologies have been critical.”
Nothing has been taken for granted. “With the EPA emission regulations, it helped us to look at just about every part of the way we engineer the packages, and we found areas where we can improve the overall design,” Gearhart comments. “Space, size and increased temperatures have helped us look for more efficient ways to exhaust and cool our equipment. In some cases, it is more efficient coolers; in others, we are looking at variable-speed fans, etc.”
Noise and durability are also key design considerations for today’s compressor packages. “Noise is very important,” says Chartters. “Really, the airend isn’t loud; the diesel engine creates most of the noise. Running at a lower rpm is usually noticeably more quiet.”
One of the advancements at Kaeser has been the introduction of a polyethylene rotomolded (PE) canopy that is lighter, as well as scratch and dent resistant. “It is double walled so it has sound attenuation. Keeping the noise inside the package is key. We try to make a unit that is really well enclosed — just letting air in and out for cooling,” says Chartters. “Obviously, you have to have it open for air flow, but you are just trying to keep as much noise inside the package as possible.”