Just Two Years Post Launch, the G3600 Was Already Leaving Its Mark

G3600 Engine Design
G3600 Engine Design


As part of our 30th anniversary celebration of the Cat® G3600, we’re digging back in the archives — and we dug up a printed copy of an internal “G3600 Engine Program Status” document published in June 1993. That’s just two years into the life of this engine platform. The 20-page paper was created to “describe the design, test work, and results of early production units operating in the field.” Check out these interesting nuggets of information from nearly three decades ago.

On leveraging the 3600 diesel platform:

“To take maximum advantage of the latest technology for a new gas engine, Caterpillar started with its modern 3600 Family of Diesel Engines. It was concepted in the late 1970s to accept all foreseeable future fuels. It was also designed with the robust features required to operate on the worst of heavy diesel fuels…. The Family was introduced in 1985 and to date more than 600 engines are operating in marine, marine auxiliary generator sets, stationary generator sets, and industrial applications. The engines have a total of over 3½ million hours of operation. Several have reached the 40,000 hours to overhaul objective with excellent parts inspection results.”

On the initial objectives for the G3600:

“G3600 program objectives covered a broad spectrum and were aimed to meet or exceed industry standards for:

·       High Thermal Efficiency

·       Low Emission Levels

·       High Power Output

·       Potential for Future Growth

·       Product Reliability

·       Low Owning and Operating Cost

·       Overhaul Life

·       Ease of Service”

On early performance in the field:

“At the end of May 1993, a total of 16 engines are on site and in operation with an accumulation of 66,000 operating hours. The introduction of the new product appears to be normal for its stage of maturity…. As to be excepted with a new product at first introduction, some of the applications have experienced availability problems and are receiving rapid response from a Factory Field Follow team. Other applications operating in essentially the same environment have achieved availability approaching 100%. Overall, the introduction has been relatively smooth and as predicted.”

On plans for future development:

“During the engine development program, new ideas have been generated for future improvements, and additional functional requirements have become apparent for various applications. Future work will further develop the higher compression ratio version and include significant improvements in fuel economy, fuel system modifications to allow the use of low Btu fuels, and rating increases to use the robust components shared with the diesel version. Work will also continue to introduce an arrangement for higher temperature heat recovery capability.”

The paper’s conclusion:

“The G3600 Engine has demonstrated the capability to provide required performance, emissions, durability, reliability, and owning and operating cost at first production. Plans are in place for further product enhancements for long-term product leadership in the 1000-5300 horsepower range.”

Big thanks to Bobby Runnels for keeping this document in his files all these years and sharing it with us!

The Best Engines in Gas Compression

Al Hunt stopped counting after visiting 100+ sites to commission G3600 engines. Walk down memory lane as this retired dealer employee celebrates 30 years of the G3600.

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G3600 Engine
G3600 Engine

Celebrate 30 Years of the G3600

First launched in 1991, the Cat® G3600 platform set a new standard for gas compression. Take a look back at its history and a look ahead at what’s to come.

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G3600 Engine
G3600 Engine



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