From Granite to Silicon: Heavy Equipment Goes High-Tech

The phrase, “Heavy Equipment” rarely elicits an involuntary connotation with “High-Tech.”  After all, a bulldozer is like a broom- a simple machine with a simple job.  But on closer inspection, the distance between the Strip Pit and Silicon Valley may not be as great as it initially appears.

Enter Caterpillar
A worldwide leader and household name in construction industry manufacturing, Caterpillar is looking to keep competitors in the rear-view by ushering in, “The Age of Smart Iron.”  The launch pad for Caterpillar’s new age was the 32nd edition of the Bauma machinery show in Munich, Germany, which set a new attendance record of over 580,000 visitors.  These guests were on hand to witness Cat’s game changing digital technology positively alter the productivity, efficiency, and sustainability of construction equipment.

Caterpillar Group President, Rob Charter assured those in attendance that this high tech push was no trivial move, and promised that the company is interested in looking for technology that, “is focused on solving, and even anticipating, customer problems.”

Those who have followed Caterpillar’s progression in recent years will recognize that this investment in innovation goes hand-in-hand with the already established Equipment Management Solutions (EMSolutions) and VisionLink software.  These systems allow an Equipment Management Specialist at the dealer to remotely monitor a client’s equipment and improve optimization by assisting in planned maintenance, tracking heavy equipment location, speed, emissions, and efficiency, as well as engaging in fluid analysis.

The recently unveiled Cat Connect Technology complements the already established EMSolutions software, and further enables owners and/or operators to reduce time and fuel consumption when moving material.  The unique Payload system is an on-board tool that assists operators in meeting exacting targets, as well as providing cycle and daily total counts, thus maximizing job site productivity.

When combined, these innovative systems will allow owners to boost fuel efficiency, address job site challenges from an elevated perspective, and extend the overall life of their machines.  By employing technology that would not seem out of place in a science fiction movie, Caterpillar has effectively given notice of its intention to the construction industry, as well as to challenge Silicon Valley in the sheer volume of tech related jobs creation.