Our engineers spend all day designing parts and engines, collaborating with suppliers and testing durability in testing cells. However, they don’t often get the opportunity to operate the machines that they design.
Caterpillar Engineering Manager, Takayuki Yuasa, came up with an idea to help operators gain experience by developing an “E-Pit” where they can turn inexperienced individuals into skilled operators.
They decided to develop this training environment at the Akashi campus in Japan. The employees at the facility constructed the field themselves and they kicked off the program by using six female employees from Caterpillar’s Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) as the first trial run operators.
The decision to use the all-female team was twofold: to solve an operator shortage by increasing the number of female operators in the industry, and to support Akashi WIN’s goal to help victims of natural disasters. By teaching members how to operate Caterpillar machines, they can contribute to habitat reconstruction by operating machines themselves.
“E-Pit was the first opportunity I have had to operate excavators in a real field and I enjoyed it very much.”- Risa Baba, designer A
Overall, the project reached its goal to contribute to customer satisfaction, cost efficiency and machine development improvements while developing skilled operators.
“The E-Pit project allowed our employees to experience and understand our customers’ work firsthand,” said EXD Chief Engineer Wayne Supak, “The E-Pit project is a great success and has proven our unprecedented teamwork again.”
Want to get closer to the customer and develop your skills? Search and apply for jobs today!