Caterpillar’s G3600 Gas Compression Engines: A History of Reliable Performance
Caterpillar introduced their gas compression line of 3600 industrial engines in 1991. These diesel engines quickly earned a reputation as being robust, reliable performers with low maintenance in high horsepower applications.
The first G3606 featured a horsepower range of 150om0‐1666 bhp and NOx level of 0.7 g/hp‐hr. Over the course of the next three years, the line was expanded into a complete series with three additional models: the G3608, G3612 and G3616.
30 Years of Reliability
Ken Davis a former Foley Service Manager out of Dodge City, KS, now retired, remembers the start-up of the very first prototype of a Cat 3606-gas compression engine. The engine was installed north of Syracuse, KS with on-site support from Foley Equipment’s Service team from day one.
While it took some time to get the first system operating at full capacity, the customer was impressed with the output, ordering more production models of the G3606.
While these G3606 production engines have had an overhaul, 30 years later, the same engines are still in operation today. Davis says, “Cat’s 3600 series has the highest reliability of any engine in the gas compression industry. There isn’t a better engine out there.”
Without a doubt, the G3600 series has become synonymous with reliable performance and was a game changer for the gas compression industry.
There are more than 4,500- G3600 series engines in operation, logging over 150 million hours in the field. Cat 3600 engines are not just made to last for a lifetime but are also designed for a second life. These engines can be rebuilt at a fraction of the cost of an engine replacement making them the preferred solution for the gas compression providers.
Foley Equipment Engine Rebuild Center
The need to rebuild Caterpillar’s series of 3600 engines is what led to the creation of Foley Equipment’s 127,000 square foot Rebuild Center in Park City, Kansas in July of 2008.
“At that time, there were very few shops in the United States that had the capability to work on Cat’s family of 3600s engines,” said Jon Robinson, Vice President of Parts & Engine Rebuild at Foley Equipment. “We recognized the need and put the infrastructure in place to accommodate these large engines, building all new dyno rooms from the ground up.”
While Foley Equipment is the Cat dealer for Kansas and NW Missouri, the rebuild center has served the entire United States for over a decade.
Because of the Rebuild Center’s central location, most engines, regardless of location can get to the facility overnight and be in the shop the next day for an evaluation followed with a recommended repair solution and timeline for completion.
According to Robinson, quality is the driving factor for Foley Equipment. “We strive for safety and quality throughout this entire organization,” said Robinson. “This is a great shop, it’s well laid out, and we have advanced tooling. But ultimately, it’s not the tooling or the shop itself that sets us apart, it’s the people. We have the best people, who are top-notch, quality technicians with years of knowledge and experience who understand oil & gas.”
In 2015, Caterpillar unveiled the G3600 ADEM A4 engine across all four gas compression configurations.
The updates made to the ADEM control system allowed for additional automation, processing power and I/O enhancing control capabilities and interfacing options.
Enhancements were also made to the G3600’s iron to improve emission controls, fuel tolerance and provide smarter package integration. The combined enhancements of the G3600 A4 resulted in an improved version of an already powerful engine.
It’s been 30 years since the introduction of the first Cat 3600 engine prototype supported by Foley Equipment Service. We are proud to celebrate the anniversary of this formidable engine and its contribution to the gas compression industry.
Thank you to our many customers, employees and Cat partners for making this a very inspiring journey that has only just begun.
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