G20 Executive Talk Series
Branded Story / Caterpillar
Authored by: Neil Hare, President and CEO of Global Visions Communication
Caterpillar introduces “The Age of Smart Iron”
As the digital transformation of the world continues at a rapid pace, the construction, mining, energy and transport sectors are proving no exception to the vast opportunities technology has to offer. Caterpillar, an industry leader in the transformative technology revolution, recently introduced “The Age of Smart Iron” at the baud 2016 trade show in Munich, Germany.
The Age of Smart Iron describes Caterpillar’s approach to maintaining its position as industry leader in the delivery of digital solutions to industry which contribute to productivity, safety, efficiency and profitability.
Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman said while Caterpillar had always been a leader and innovator around the iron – the machinery and equipment, “we do that better than anyone and now we’re going to lead innovation in smart iron, too”.
The Age of Smart Iron not only defines Caterpillar’s future, but grounds its past and present, he said.
Importantly, The Age of Smart Iron positioned Caterpillar differently to its competitors because much of its business was already leading industry in the digital technology and connectivity sphere.
While economic conditions and the competitive environment add to the challenge of the quest, Mr Oberhelman said Caterpillar would lead the transformation by accelerating its digital technology focus and helping customers succeed by offering powerful solutions to improve their capabilities, productivity and operating margins.
Mr Oberhelman said every new Caterpillar product release had become more sophisticated, productive and efficient and the company would accelerate work on integrated approaches to analytics and applications to deliver results.
In this regard, Caterpillar’s competitive advantage is its foundation of an existing, worldwide asset base and strong dealer network.
“We have approximately 400,000 connected assets and an installed base of three million machines and engines at work around the world today,” Mr Oberhelman said.
“That foundation gives us a head start, and we’re building on it.”
The extensive worldwide dealer network gives Caterpillar the unique opportunity to combine data from all Cat machines onto a common platform, and share the analytics to provide multiple solutions to meet customer needs in construction, mining, energy and transport.
“When you combine the expertise and experience of our people with our unmatched dealer network, you see Caterpillar’s great competitive advantage,” Mr Oberhelman said.
“We know how to build solutions, and we have the distribution network to deliver and service those solutions.”
He said Caterpillar had been dedicated to helping customers succeed since 1925.
“Visit just about any country in the world and you’ll see Caterpillar yellow iron at work, building and delivering the infrastructure and energy that brings higher standards of living.
“Think about the benefits when all of that yellow iron is smart iron, too.”
To summarize The Age of Smart Iron, Mr Oberhelman said the vision was to enhance the company’s Cat Connect Technology and Services offerings.
“Entire fleets and job sites – every machine, engine, truck, tablet, light tower, smart device and drone – will eventually share data on one common technology platform and speak the same language.
“I can’t wait to see what that means for our customers – and for us.”
The strategy was evident recently at the world’s largest construction industry trade show, baud 2016, as Caterpillar featured more than 60 products, a large selection of work tools and a full range of dealer-delivered support services.
Caterpillar Group President, Rob Charter said it provided a suitable platform for Cat technology.
“While we always love to showcase our machines and engines, we’re equally excited about what’s at the centre of our exhibit: Caterpillar technology,” he said.
“This is not technology for technology’s sake.
“It is technology that’s focused on solving, and even anticipating, customer problems.
“We’re taking the machines, locomotives, engines and parts we’re so well known for and making them smarter, while also equipping the people who operate them with data that makes them more productive, enhances safety and improves sustainability.”
Some of the main attractions of Caterpillar’s digital technologies and connected iron at baud 2016 included Cat Connect Technology specific to the construction industry.
Cat Connect is hardware and software available for Cat or competitive equipment that delivers information to customers and is designed to help optimise their operations.
Cat Connect is hardware and software available for Cat or competitive equipment that delivers information to customers and is designed to help optimism their operations.
Technologies in the Cat Connect suite specific to the construction industry segment include LINK, GRADE and COMPACT and PAYLOAD.
LINK is a solution to capture vital performance and product health data and makes that data available on the web to guide operational decision-making.
GRADE and COMPACT are two productivity solutions to help operators move material faster, more accurately and with fewer passes of the machine in order to improve efficiency and productivity on the job site.
PAYLOAD, an on-board system for haul trucks and loading tools, such as a wheeled loader, drives higher efficiency by shortening the time of each loading cycle and lowering the cost per tonne of material moved.