• VIDEO: Episode 7: Just Add FeedbackJosh Zimmerman discusses his role in dialing in the performance of Project Minotaur, and the important role that feedback plays in how the controls of the machine are refined.
  • VIDEO: Episode 6: Customer Clinic DocumentaryContractors from around the country come to a customer clinic in Arizona to be the very first to operate Project Minotaur.661
  • VIDEO: Episode 5: Lift the CurtainProject Minotaur team members discuss the work and planning that goes into developing a customer clinic for a new piece of construction equipment, and what they have in store for the first wave of contractors to operate the machine. 642
  • VIDEO: Episode 4: Break ThingsDan Seacat discusses the hours of testing put on equipment at the Wichita proving grounds, and what operators and testers are looking for as Project Minotaur comes closer to reality. 615
  • VIDEO: Episode 3: Heat, Data, Dozers, LoadersAir-to-boil testing puts equipment through extreme environmental and workload conditions before a new machine is ever seen by contractors.592
  • VIDEO: Episode 2: ConnectionsEngineers at the CASE manufacturing plant in Wichita, Kansas, discuss the first seeds of the idea that grew into Minotaur, and the core principle behind the frame design and blade/attachment interface. 568
  • VIDEO: Episode 1: Spare PartsCASE unveiled Project Minotaur at CONEXPO 2017 — a new machine category that brought together the performance attributes of a compact track loader and a dozer to create the industry's first ever Compact Dozer Loader, the DL450. CASE has since evolved the concept and is taking it into the next stages of development. This series will follow along the development process — Episode One details the steps taken since initial tests and focus groups after CONEXPO, the pieces of the original design left behind, and hints at the directions it is taking moving forward.511

The Origin Story

Making the Monster

In the Dirt

Aug 05, 2019

Back To Air-to-Boil

When Project Minotaur was first put to the air-to-boil test, the development team knew it wouldn’t be the last.

“Our normal procedure is to test, make improvements, and then test again,” explained Eric Hensley, Project Engineer. “Air-to-boil is intended to validate that customers won’t have issues operating a machine hard on extremely hot days.”

“Testing calibrates our design models with real-world data,” added Josh Morton, Senior Lead Test Engineer. “We’re ensuring that the customer is able to run the machine consistently without having to stop and allow the machine to cool down.”

In the case of Project Minotaur, this meant mapping the temperatures, heat gain, and heat rejection through a machine design that incorporated a first-ever combination of dozer and CTL functionality into a single unit.

The company’s deep expertise in each category of equipment informed that test, but Project Minotaur’s radiator stack had to support both. So, the hydraulic controls needed to be variable to support heavy-duty CTL and dozer applications.

“We needed to make sure Project Minotaur’s innovative setup didn’t just deliver on the high torque required by dozers, but also met the extreme load requirements needed for cold planning in asphalt applications that we’d observed in key markets,” said Morton.

The result was more than encouraging: the upgraded main equipment pump and dynamometer load capacity met the test thresholds, and the team saw opportunities to improve the overall cooling of the machine through modifications to the loader valve and adjustments to the hydraulic plumbing to pump inlet. The set number of coolant fins could be reallocated, too.

The vehicle was subsequently torn down and rebuilt with these modifications in mind. The return to the air-to-boil lab will be augmented by field testing, leading to additional incremental refinements and, ultimately, functional validation.

“We’re using extreme testing to maximize power and cooling performance,” said Morton. “In many cases we’ll load the machine for longer and put more stress on all the systems than customers will ever do in their applications.”

“Practical innovation is a process and we continue to draw on our years of experience in working with these systems,” added Hensley.