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Exploring: How Caterpillar Skid Steer Loaders & Multi Terrain Loaders Work
an article by: Karim  Nice

The Article below can be found in it's original form at  Howstuffworks.com

by: Karim Nice  From at  Howstuffworks.com
Special thanks to Jeff Lind and the rest of the Caterpillar® team for their support in creating this article!
Pages: {sec.1 intro} {sec.2} {sec.3} {sec.4} {sec.5} {sec.6 } {sec.7 end.}

7.The Powertrain
Building the Skid Steer Loader and Multi Terrain Loader
Caterpillar takes every bit as much care in the building of loaders as it does in the building of the much larger, more expensive machines it manufactures. Great measures are taken to ensure that the loaders leaving the assembly line meet the high expectations of Caterpillar's customers:

  • Several layers of corrosion-resistant coatings are applied to most metal components.
  • Quality validation takes place throughout the process, not just afterward.
  • Electronically controlled torque tools for tightening bolts are utilized.
Corrosion-Resistant Coatings
One of the most impressive things about the Caterpillar Skid Steer Loader and Multi Terrain Loader assembly plant is the coating and painting operation. Caterpillar has contracted with a company called Metokote to build an electrocoating and painting facility that is in the same building as the assembly line.

All of the metal parts, including the frame, roll cage, loader arms, buckets and most brackets on the machine, are sent though this process, which starts with a thorough cleaning. The parts are then coated with zinc phosphate and sealed with a chrome sealant. This gives them a base layer of protection in case the paint and electrocoat are scratched.

skid steer coating
Photo courtesy Caterpillar

After the zinc phosphate and sealant are applied, the parts are electrocoated. They pass through a tank of water filled with paint particles. The tank and particles are electrically charged to 200 volts, and the hangers that hold the parts are grounded. This attracts the charged paint particles to the grounded parts, coating the parts uniformly. After the parts come out of the tank, they are cured in an oven until the coating hardens.
skid steer paint
Photo courtesy Caterpillar

fter the electrocoat is cured, any of the parts that are going to be exposed to sunlight are painted in a spray booth. This multi-layer protection makes the parts rust resistant -- so resistant that if a scratch were to penetrate all of the coatings down to the bare metal, the zinc phosphate would keep any rust from spreading.

In-Process Validation

Caterpillar tests the loaders during the manufacturing process. For instance, they test for leaks in the hydraulic systems before the body is attached to the frame of the machine.
skid steer thermal cycle test
A robotic operator exercises the hydraulics during a thermal cycle test.

If a problem is found at this point, it's much easier to fix than after the machine is fully assembled.
<<< .. Back one page      Continued .. >>>


How Caterpillar Skid Steer Loaders & Multi Terrain Loaders Work
by: Karim Nice  From at  Howstuffworks.com

Table of Contents for this Article:

  1. Introduction to How Caterpillar Skid Steer Loaders & Multi Terrain Loaders Work
  2. What They Can Do
  3. Drive System
  4. The Powertrain
  5. The Loader
  6. Work Tools
  7. Building the Skid Steer Loader and Multi Terrain Loader


 
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