• Automating Signal Conditioning Setup Through Integration with Sensor Information

      Tate, Jeffrey J.; Caterpillar Inc. (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1997-10)
      Caterpillar Inc. has been testing construction and mining equipment using Computerized Analysis Vans for two decades. During our latest van upgrade, we chose to move to PCM/FM from FM/FM mainly to increase the channel count. We also replaced our old signal conditioning that used span and balance potentiometers with computer programmable signal conditioning. This new signal conditioning requires that the gain and balance point be calculated for every channel on each test. The formulas for these calculations depend on the sensor, the signal conditioning card used, and the test requirements. Due to the number and variety of machines tested at the Caterpillar Proving Grounds, these calculations needed to be automated. Using a few initial parameters and the information from our sensor calibration database, each channel’s balance point, gain, and expected slope are calculated. This system has increased productivity, accuracy, and consistency over manually calculating these parameters. This paper covers the sensor database, the calculated parameters and an overview of the way the system works.
    • The Design of Telemetry Acquisition and Analysis Vans for Testing Construction and Mining Equipment

      Jury, Owen T.; Caterpillar Inc. (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1997-10)
      Caterpillar Inc. has over 25 years of experience using instrument vans equipped with telemetry to support product testing. These vans provide the capability to instrument the product, to acquire telemetered data, and to analyze the data. They are being used in tests performed on construction and mining equipment at Caterpillar's proving grounds and at customer job sites throughout North America. This paper presents a design summary of the newest generation vans. It starts with an overview of the major subsystems and concentrates on the Caterpillar developed software that tightly integrates the various hardware and software components. This software greatly enhances the productivity of the system and makes it possible for the van to perform a large variety and quantity of tests required by our internal customers.
    • The Use of Telemetry in Heavy Equipment Testing at Caterpillar Inc.

      Chapman, James E.; Caterpillar Inc. (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1997-10)
      Caterpillar has for many years used telemetry as a key component in the data acquisition and analysis systems used to test and develop heavy equipment. The testing of construction and mining equipment at Caterpillar presents several unique challenges, such as the operating environment of the test machine, the large number of models in the product line, the need to change test machines on a daily basis, and the need to test machines at job sites throughout North America. These challenges have resulted in the development of telemetry, data acquisition and data analysis systems that have been highly customized to meet all of our requirements for construction equipment testing. This paper describes the past history of telemetry use at Caterpillar, from early FM/FM systems to our current PC/Unix based PCM/FM system, the criteria used to develop these systems, and how our current telemetry system is being used today to help develop and test product.