Caterpillar Inc. executives and governmental leaders from Wuxi this week signed an agreement to expand the company’s multi-functional research and development center in Wuxi, China. The Wuxi R&D center first opened in December 2009, and currently has more than 500 engineers and support staff developing a variety of new products tailored to the demands of Caterpillar’s rapidly expanding customer base in China and other growth markets.
“China is the largest construction equipment market in the world, and Caterpillar continues to invest in China to help our Chinese customers succeed and to position Caterpillar for long-term leadership in China,” said Caterpillar vice president and chief technology officer Tana Utley, who attended the event in Wuxi. “The Wuxi R&D center is enabling Caterpillar's product development success in China and other growth markets.”
The center is strategically located in Jiangsu Province, near Caterpillar’s component manufacturing campus in Wuxi that began production in 2006, the engine campus in Wuxi that began production in 2009, and the medium wheel loader and motor grader manufacturing facility in Suzhou that began production in 2009. It will also be near the company’s Asia Pacific proving ground and the large wheel loader manufacturing facility with groundbreaking for both on Jan. 5 in Tongzhou. In addition, Caterpillar’s flagship excavator manufacturing facility in China is located in Xuzhou, which is also in Jiangsu Province.
“We are committed to developing sustainable and cost competitive local R&D resources to help Caterpillar compete in China and other growth markets,” said Brian Sun, director of Caterpillar’s Product Development & Global Technology Division with responsibility for China R&D Centers. “The expansion of the Wuxi R&D center will strengthen collaboration among cross-functional engineering teams and with suppliers, enabling integrated product development to ensure Caterpillar provides products with the right value/cost relationship to customers.”
The Wuxi R&D center is being developed in a multi-phased approach. The phase announced this week will add a number of engine test cells for light, medium and heavy-duty, as well as high-horsepower engines. It will also include more labs for fuel systems, electronics, hydraulics, cooling, roll-over protection (ROPS) and virtual reality, as well as other component and system labs. The center will also have extended design capabilities. The implementation of this phase is expected to be completed in June 2012.
The Wuxi R&D center is the headquarters of Caterpillar Research & Development Co. (China), Ltd. CRDC also has a branch in Qingdao, Shandong Province that was established in 2005, and a branch in Tianjin that was established in 2008.
Headquartered in Peoria, Ill., Caterpillar Inc. is a leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives.