September 6, 2019
The “Caterpillar Sixty” is catching a lot of buzz lately as it celebrates 100 years—but Caterpillar’s Advanced Materials Technology team has reason to celebrate as well. August 2019 marks 100 years of “making the metal worthy of the machine” through metallurgical science and engineering.
Metallurgy is one of Caterpillar’s earliest core competencies. Metallurgical teams around the world create and develop new technologies and materials to enable global design and manufacturing groups to deliver world-class customer value. In fact, metallurgical knowledge remains one of our critical core competencies and the numbers speak for themselves. Annually, Caterpillar machines and engines consume millions of tons of castings, wrought steel, forgings, and heat-treated components. Clearly, metallurgy is at the heart of our products and processes.
There is no doubt that steel, casting and heat treat technologies helped establish Caterpillar’s reputation for quality and durability. While a lot has changed over the years, Caterpillar materials and heat treat are still recognized as world-class and used as an industry benchmark.
Today, nearly 600 degreed materials engineers are part of Caterpillar’s workforce. These materials engineers work in a variety of assignments, both directly in a materials engineering role and as part of design, manufacturing and purchasing organizations. This density of materials engineers at Caterpillar indicates the importance of materials to Caterpillar’s business. In 100 years, more than 300 patentable ideas and processes were invented in by the Caterpillar metallurgical community with more than 70 patents and patent applications published in the last five years alone!
Time to Celebrate!
On August 20, 2019 nearly 100 Caterpillar retirees and metallurgical engineers gathered at the Caterpillar Visitor’s Center to celebrate metallurgy and reflect on its history and importance. Speakers at the event included: Vice President Karl Weiss (Innovation and Technology Development Division), Lee Fosburgh (Caterpillar Corporate Archives), Tim Hoefft (Global Materials Manager, Advanced Materials Technology), Mike Hasselbusch (Undercarriage Chief Engineer) and Ric Woldow (Drivetrain Product Manager).