One key reason, according to Paint Manager Jeremy W. Lee, "CIS test facilities are excellent – and have always allowed our management team to be certain that what was designed would produce an excellent final result."
Caterpillar has multiple CIS cure oven systems in operation worldwide,
walk in ovens ranging from 10' to 25' tall and up to 150' long.
According to Lee, the operational advantages of the CIS
curing systems are fourfold: overall reliability, small footprint, energy efficiency, and accelerated ramp-up technology that brings part temperature to what's optimum for curing, very fast.
"The power companies love electric IR, but we prefer the CIS technology," Lee explains. "CIS
cure ovens go from ambient to 200 degrees in 10 minutes. And that's whether we are processing 200 lb. parts, or 4000 lb. weldments. These
industrial ovens are highly energy-efficient as well: I cure 57,000 lbs. per hour and it costs me $54 –with the
curing oven running wide open! That's under one cent per pound."
Another positive feature of catalytic gas IR, according to Lee, "we cure all parts in the same process, and whether the material is ¼" plate or a 4" thick welded fabrication, the heat conducts evenly, and does not burn the coating." Lee and his team also appreciate the CIS easy to operate HMIs and flexible programming. Caterpillar paint facilities operate 3 shifts daily.
(At right) CIS catalytic gas IR ovens cure finishes at Caterpillar manufacturing locations worldwide. Caterpillar is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial turbines and diesel-electric locomotives.
The assembly line at the Caterpillar factory near Bogart, GA during its 2013 grand opening. The factory uses CIS gas infrared cure ovens, and is Caterpillar's global source for "small-track" bulldozers and mini hydraulic excavators.