Cat designs its 336F L XE Hybrid excavator with building-block technologies

  • 15-Jun-2015 10:28 EDT

Three building-block technologies enable the Caterpillar 336F XE to provide improved performance and fuel-consumption numbers over its predecessors: the electronic standardized programmable pump, which smoothly transitions between the hydraulic hybrid power sources, the engine, and the accumulator to conserve fuel; an adaptive control system valve that optimizes performance by intelligently managing restrictions and flows to control machine motion; and the hydraulic hybrid swing system, which pressurizes the accumulator to stop the machine and then uses that pressure when needed to accelerate the machine later.

Caterpillar says its 336F L XE Hybrid delivers an estimated fuel savings of up to 20% compared with its standard 336 counterpart with no compromise in performance and no added maintenance costs.

The 308-hp (230-kW) C9.3 engine meets U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final emissions regulations via proven electronic, fuel, air, and aftertreatment components. The inherent fuel efficiency of the C9.3 is further enhanced with automatic engine speed control, a programmable engine idle shutdown feature, and an ECO mode that allows operators to tailor machine performance to the application. The engine also runs efficiently on biodiesel blends up to B20.

Three building-block technologies enable the 336F XE to deliver fuel savings and enhance performance. The Cat ESP (electronic standardized programmable) pump "smoothly transitions" between the hydraulic hybrid power sources, the engine, and the accumulator to conserve fuel. The Cat ACS (adaptive control system) valve optimizes performance by intelligently managing restrictions and flows to control machine motion. Instead of wasting kinetic energy during swing braking, the Cat Hydraulic Hybrid Swing System pressurizes the accumulator to stop the machine and then uses that pressure when needed to accelerate the machine later.

That said, Caterpillar considers the key ingredient the ACS valve, which it says "is exclusive to Cat brand." It is the “brain” of the system—one that independently controls machine functions and directs hydraulic energy where operators need it precisely when they need it.

Because the ACS valve is fully integrated with the pump and hybrid system, operators will experience the same control, hydraulic power, and lift capacity as from traditional Cat machines, with the added benefit of reduced fuel consumption. That’s one reason why the valve is also now standard on larger machines like the 374F and 390F.

Caterpillar offers several connected technologies as standard on the 336F L XE. Grade technologies provide real-time bucket tip elevation guidance to help operators stay on grade and finish work more quickly, accurately, and productively. The latest technology addition is payload, and it provides real-time weighing as the boom swings for fast, efficient loading, and optimum payloads.

Operators can view load weights on the in-cab display and know when target payload is achieved, maximizing the productivity of the entire fleet. Productivity can be tracked from the cab—with quick access to payload weights, load and cycle counts, and daily totals. Site managers can wirelessly access payload data and machine operating data such as location, hours, idle time, fuel usage, and events via Link technologies through the VisionLink web portal to measure production, monitor efficiency, and optimize performance.

The 336F L XE's massive frame, heavy-duty extended-length undercarriage, and standard and heavy counterweight options combine to form an exceptionally strong, stable work platform for digging, lifting, or attachment use. The heavy-duty reach boom can be paired with either a 10.5-ft (3.2-m) 12.8-ft (3.9-m) stick. A mass boom and 8.4-ft (2.55-m) stick combination are also available. So are multiple Cat Work Tools and a state-of-the-art tool control system.

The 336F L XE also provides the ultimate in operator comfort and convenience, featuring Cat says it didn't go short on the operator's environment, with an in-cab sound level of only 73 dB(A). Air suspension and heated and cooled seat options are available as well as joystick controls adjustable to suit operator preferences and an automatic climate control system that continually maintains a stable, comfortable environment.

Serviceability features include ground-level access to major maintenance points, an electric fuel system priming pump, remote fuel tank drain, and a fuel level indicator to help avoid overfilling. Safety features include a ROPS (roll-over protective structure) cab, anti-skid surfaces, programmable halogen working lights, easily stored upper and lower windows, and large skylight that can be removed for an emergency exit.

It is also augmented with the new Cat Production Measurement system, which enables operators to load trucks with just the right weight while allowing managers to remotely monitor the machine’s productivity.

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