Doug Oberhelman, chairman and CEO of Caterpillar proclaimed “The Age of Smart Iron” in an address to the media at Bauma 2016 last week, saying that accelerated digital technology capability will improve productivity, efficiency, safety and profitability for customers.

“Caterpillar is the world’s leading innovator around iron,” Oberhelman said. “We’re going to lead innovation in smart iron, too.”

Caterpillar and Zeppelin Cat combined for more than 12,000 square meters of exhibit space at Bauma. Caterpillar featured more than 60 products, a large selection of work tools and a full slate of dealer-delivered support services.

“While we always love to showcase our machines and engines, we’re equally excited about what’s at the center of our exhibit: Caterpillar technology,” said Caterpillar group president Rob Charter. “This is not technology for technology’s sake. It is technology that’s focused on solving, and even anticipating, customer problems.”

Some of the main attractions of Caterpillar’s Bauma displays included:

  • Cat Connect Technology: Hardware and software available for Cat or competitive equipment that provides customers with information to help them optimize operations with technologies such as Link, a solution that captures vital performance and product health data and makes it available online to guide decision-making.
  • Grade and Compact, two productivity solutions that help operators move material faster, more accurately and with fewer passes;
  • Payload, an on-board system for trucks and loading tools that drives higher efficiency, shorter cycle times and lower cost per ton;
  • Cat 360 Advantage: a collaboration between Caterpillar and Cat dealers to deliver a full complement of expertise, technology-enabled equipment and support services that address customers’ onsite challenges;
  • Leverage Every Litre, an educational initiative with tools, tips and resources that help Caterpillar customers improve fuel efficiency and increase revenue.

Oberhelman also outlined how Caterpillar is using digital technology and connectivity. “We have approximately 400,000 connected assets and an installed base of three million machines and engines at work around the world today,” he said. “That foundation gives us a head start and we’re building on it. We know how to build solutions and we have the distribution network to deliver and service those solutions.”

Summarizing his Age of Smart Iron concept Oberhelman added: “Our vision is that by enhancing our Cat Connect Technology and Services offerings, entire fleets and jobsites – 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.”

Products on display at the Caterpillar stand included the 966M XE wheel loader featuring advanced power train design and deep systems integration for higher efficiency and lower total operating costs. Three new pavers were offered with intuitive, accessible technology and a quick-heating screed system that increases productivity and reduces idle time.