On July 26, Caterpillar celebrated the grand opening of its Clayton Machine Development Center (CMDC), which allows more than 200 engineers, prototype technicians and expert operators to design, build and test machines in one location. Planning and construction of the center, which is now fully operational, has been ongoing for several years.
“Now our team can execute all phases of product development – from working with world-class engineering tools to proving machines in the dirt – all on one site,” said Mary Bell, Caterpillar vice president. “The CMDC allows us to test machines in environments very similar to our customers’ actual job sites. With the hands-on, real-time feedback enabled by the CMDC, our team can develop even more innovative solutions, and get those solutions into the hands of customers much faster.”
Caterpillar invested approximately $30 million in the new facility. The 57,000 square-foot energy and light efficient office building has four system labs, meeting rooms and office space. Outside, the CMDC has dedicated 150 acres for machine development and features a half-mile, high-speed machine track, 10 test and demonstration areas and seven machine operation areas to prove machine reliability and durability. Almost all of the facility’s approximately 200 employees have relocated from Caterpillar’s other locations.
“I am pleased to be at the Caterpillar ribbon cutting here in Clayton,” said North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory. “This facility is a testament to our commitment to helping businesses grow in our state. I’d like to thank Caterpillar for their continued investment in North Carolina and I look forward to continuing a great relationship.”
“This is a long-term investment that will help us better respond to our global customers and shareholder needs,” said Bell. “By bringing our engineers under the same roof in a facility dedicated to design and test functions, we expect innovation to accelerate.”
Caterpillar’s North Carolina operations also include manufacturing facilities in Clayton and Sanford and divisional headquarters in Cary. The Sanford facility manufacturers skid steer loaders, multi-terrain loaders and compact track loaders. The Clayton facility manufactures small wheel loaders and serves as a product distribution center for backhoe loaders.
Caterpillar employs more than 2,000 people throughout North Carolina. In addition to BCP facilities in Clayton, Cary and Sanford, the company also has locations in Charlotte, Franklin, Goldsboro, Morganton, New Bern, Smithfield and Winston-Salem.