Caterpillar Inc. employees Jim Weber and Scott Leman were recently named National Inventors of the Year for 2004 by the Intellectual Property Owners Association.
Weber and Leman were team members of the extended group of Cat employees who created the company’s ACERT Technology, which significantly reduces Caterpillar diesel engine emissions. The company has reduced on-highway diesel emissions in trucks and buses by nearly 90 percent since 1988 and will reduce those emissions another 90 percent by 2007 with ACERT Technology.
“When we formed the ACERT team, Jim Weber was one of the first people we called. Jim is a leader, a mentor, a brilliant engineer and scientist. He went back to the basics of physics in combustion for inspiration,” said Tana Utley, Caterpillar’s Director of Engineering for ACERT. “Scott Leman is also a gifted engineer with an extensive background in fuel system technologies. In this case, he specialized in variable valve actuation, knew what was possible and how it could fit with the other technologies in forming ACERT.”
Weber and Leman invented a new air management system combined with precise valve control to reduce emissions at the point of combustion rather than downstream in the exhaust. An advanced air system with series turbochargers and a novel variable valve actuation device provides the optimal quantity of cool, clean air into the combustion chamber at various engine speeds and loads. This enables more complete combustion and superior fuel economy.
Rich Thompson, recently retired group president who manned the helm during the creation of ACERT, said the award highlights Caterpillar’s leadership in technology. “We are more than yellow iron today. We are a high-tech company with brilliant engineers and scientists on the job creating new products and increasing value for our customers,” Thompson said.
All Caterpillar on-highway truck and bus engines now in production are equipped with ACERT technology. The technology is the foundation to meet future emission regulations for the company’s entire diesel engine product line, including construction and mining machines and power generation units.
For more information, visit www.cat.com.