Caterpillar team members in Research & Advanced Engineering (R&AE) within the Product Development & Global Technology (PD>) division continuously work to develop new technologies that bring the greatest value to our customers. This work doesn't happen in a vacuum. R&AE draws on enterprise-wide expertise and collaborates with many divisions and work groups. Throughout the year, teams within the three R&AE Themes — Energy & Power Systems, Machine & Machine Systems and Automation & Enterprise Solutions — come together to showcase the technologies and system solutions these collaborations produce.
In 2013, eight technology demonstrations were held in Illinois and U.K. locations. The demos highlighted the teams' new technologies, all of which carry benefits for the customer and many of which allow for corporate savings in the millions (USD). The demos drew attendees from all corners of the Caterpillar technical network - from the Executive Office to the shop floor. As attendees interacted with the work groups, the teams demonstrated the technologies' capabilities and highlighted their value, an important step in the process for technology adoption. In many cases, the teams had spent months rolling several different technologies into actual machines to showcase how the separate entities work together as an integrated whole.
Joel Feucht, a demo attendee and manager in Large Power Systems Division, said, "This was an excellent approach, and I particularly appreciated the connection between the technology and competitive advantage. The engagement and passion for leading the market through technology was evident. I left feeling even more convinced that we're on the right track."
R&AE Director Lou Balmer-Millar found the demos both effective and representative of the nature of R&AE as a whole. She explained, "Our team is successful when we develop technologies that make their way from research into commercialization and bring value to our customers. We do this through enterprise alignment, technology leverage, collaboration and assurance of technology readiness upon transfer to product groups. We're thrilled to be part of the global Caterpillar team working together to achieve common enterprise technology goals."
Chief Technology Officer and PD> Vice President Gwenne Henricks was impressed with both the technologies and teams' efforts to deliver the demonstrations. She said, "These technology demos show the best of what Caterpillar's technical community has to offer: deep expertise, innovative minds and eagerness to collaborate internally and externally to deliver value for both the customer and the corporation. Teams like these propel our Technology Strategy forward and are the key to our success."
So far, six tech demos are tentatively planned for 2014, with more likely taking place as technology developments progress.