Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) News

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Caterpillar C15 (ACERT™) engine evaluated for SwRI benchmarking program; new engines to be added in 2004

San Antonio -- January 13, 2004 -- The Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) heavy-duty diesel engine benchmarking program has begun work on the last of the seven engines originally scheduled for testing, a Caterpillar C15 (ACERT™) engine. Following the release of test results for the Caterpillar engine scheduled for February 2004, a new engine, a Detroit Diesel MBE 4000 is scheduled for evaluation.

"In our program to date, we have a better understanding of the wide variety of technologies being used, including different fuel system capabilities and combustion systems," said Bob Burrahm, program manager in the Engine, Emissions and Vehicle Research Division. "Our findings also show how each engine affects the engine lubricant."

The program is divided into testing heavy and light heavy-duty diesel engines. Along with the Caterpillar C15 (ACERT™) diesel engine, the heavy heavy-duty engines include a Detroit Diesel Series 60 (14 liter), Cummins ISX and Volvo D-12. The light heavy-duty engines are Cummins ISB, Ford/International 6.0 liter V-8 and Caterpillar C9 (ACERT™). The data sets for the first six engines are already available online to program subscribers. Results are accessed through a secure web server, which requires a user ID and password.

To meet federal emissions regulations, heavy-duty diesel engine manufacturers are using new emission control technologies. The benchmarking program tests and evaluates the performance, emissions and durability of the two classes of diesel engines.

"By subscribing to this program, engine manufacturers and component suppliers will be able to learn about the state-of-the-art technology that is being used in these engines," Burrahm said. "We offer subscribers detailed photographs of the engines and their components as well as performance, emissions and heat rejection data."

As an independent, multidisciplinary research, development and testing organization, SwRI provides an unbiased, third-party perspective. The SwRI Engine, Emissions and Vehicle Research Division achieved certification to ISO 9001, an internationally recognized quality standard, and ISO 14001 certification, an internationally recognized standard for environmental management systems.

SwRI plans to continue its benchmarking program with new engines selected every few months. Interested clients may still join this program. For more information or to subscribe, visit the SwRI website at or contact Burrahm at (210) 522-3064 or

For more information, contact Tracey M.S. Whelan, Communications Department, (210) 522-2256, PO Drawer 28510, San Antonio, TX 78228-0510.

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