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Cat Rocks the IoT with Cat Connect

In the digital age, the world is transforming at a rapid pace, especially with the deployment of the Industrial Internet of Things. That’s exactly why Caterpillar, www.cat.com, a manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives, is uniquely responding to its customers and to the industries they serve. Caterpillar is merging deep domain expertise with digital technologies to create a suite of solutions that help customers improve their business operations, creating actionable insight from data which helps to reduce costs and better manage risks.

Caterpillar, along with its global dealer network, announced Cat Connect for Energy and Transportation in Paris this last week. The new suite of digital service offerings enables insight from data collection and provides customers with greater visibility into their operations and on their equipment that will change the way they operate.

Ultimately, this new view into customers’ businesses will enable enhanced productivity, reliability, efficiency, safety, and sustainability for asset owners in all industries. Caterpillar is providing a range of digital services from telematics to on-equipment efficiency optimization analytics to predictive technologies, from single assets to complex vessels with multiple assets from multiple manufacturers. Caterpillar is focused on providing the data, as well as leveraging advanced prescriptive analytics, automatically analyzing data, and providing realtime actionable information.

Think of it this way, it’s all about the digital world and mining data in the Internet of Things. Industries of all sizes are collecting data from every piece of equipment, enterprise applications, and connected devices that are being transformed by this ever-expanding rapid pace of change. The real opportunity for any business is to capitalize on this tsunami of information. How can you derive real value from all this data to improve bottomline profitability? How can you find the digital services and partners that can help you improve your business operations and better manage your risk?

For Caterpillar, leveraging digital technologies can increase customer support by delivering services that improve equipment management. And for Caterpillar, that means helping customers take full advantage of mastering the digital transformation by identifying digital trends, technologies, and services that connect disparate systems and establishing relationships between them to manage critical assets to solve problems, all while generating new business opportunities by providing key data analytics.

The investment in digital tools and capabilities by Caterpillar and its dealers in industry-specific solutions to enhance customer interactions is starting to lead to significant dividends. For dealers, the effort helps support customers well beyond its traditional products and services.

This has led to Caterpillar being able to take a significant step forward in unearthing hidden gems in predictive analytics, machine learning, and augmented reality/virtual reality. Caterpillar and its dealers are fostering key decision making resulting in faster and smarter customer interactions. Now with a deeper understanding of equipment operation through use of analytics, customers can remotely monitor, locate, manage, and maintain critical assets from vessels, to generator sets to natural gas compressor stations throughout their entire fleet.

They can assess past trends to make decisions about the present trends, and to act accordingly for future events. This allows them to look at what is needed and to make intelligent decisions about current events and the future.

This has led to Caterpillar being able to take a significant step forward in unearthing hidden gems in predictive analytics, machine learning, and augmented reality/virtual reality. Caterpillar and its dealers are fostering key decision making resulting in faster and smarter customer interactions. Now with a deeper understanding of equipment operation through use of analytics, customers can remotely monitor, locate, manage, and maintain critical assets from vessels, to generator sets to natural gas compressor stations throughout their entire fleet.

They can assess past trends to make decisions about the present trends, and to act accordingly for future events. This allows them to look at what is needed and to make intelligent decisions about current events and the future.

By gleaning these new insights in the form of data relationships, decisions can then be used to make predictions that can have a significant impact on long and short-term business opportunities based on equipment uptime, predictive analytics, and even condition monitoring.

For example, if a company determines that a particular engine is misfiring, data analysis can look at all key parameters and provide essential insights for a customer to help them make essential business decisions. It might not be apparent to the customer because the occurrence is happening in the evening. The value of preventing an unplanned shutdown from occurring will actually save the customer an estimated $20,000. As a result, this can help the company refocus its efforts on intelligent repair decisions.

Predicting future experiences can help identify bottlenecks, increase uptime, enhance site performance, boost production with increased efficiency, obtain account information on daily operations, track equipment locations, reduce risk of injuries, apply remote controls in harsh or challenging environments, reduce downtime, enhance efficiencies, maximize the value of the equipment, simplify compliance reporting, eliminate idle time, and make overall tweaks to everyday processes.

Simply, with Cat Connect, Caterpillar is using knowledge to make improvements gleaned from the insights gained from the processes and trends, via all the machine learning that is taking place from information on all the equipment and data off the equipment, like oil sample results. That means putting the right data in the right hands to make the necessary decision at the right time.

Caterpillar’s Terri Lewis, Energy & Transportation director of Digital and Technology, says Caterpillar takes great pride in the fact that it started its journey of digitization in the early ‘90s when the Internet changed the way its employees started to imagine how they would be able to support their customers.

Since then, she explains, “Our success starts with the capabilities of our people and our dealers. Each of our industry groups has a dedicated digital organization whose people combine deep expertise in the industry and in digital. We’ve complimented that foundational capability with investments. We’ve invested in R&D, made acquisitions of best-in-class companies, and strengthened our partnerships. There is a particular emphasis being given to data management and cybersecurity. Our Data Principles can be summarized as Your Data, Our Values.”

She emphasizes that unplanned downtime is not an option for Caterpillar customers as its dealers are creating custom reports, dashboards, and integrating other data sources in this ever-changing digital age. And as a result, Caterpillar is making the necessary investments in Cat Connect analytics to not only detect failures, but predict them before they even happen.

Lewis continues, within the Energy and Transportation businesses, “Caterpillar has been active in honing its capabilities and partnering with customers to refine technologies, and developing digital services to deliver real business results. And, with our Cat dealer network, we are truly transforming the way we help customers succeed in the IoT.”

She points to the following Industrial IoT Caterpillar numbers to support her comments:

  • More than 500,000 connected assets, the largest connected industrial fleet in the world.
  • More than 200,000 electronic inspections are performed annually through the Cat Inspect Mobile App.
  • More than 5 million fluid samples are analyzed annually through the S.O.S Services program.

As part of its initiative, Caterpillar has been working to help customers retrofit older machinery with sensors and analytics with its AssetIQ™ kits. These kits actually put the smarts into older equipment by making them connected to the Internet and capturing data that was not previously captured.

Intelligence is essential, especially when is provides predictive diagnostics, prescriptive optimization, role-based performance metrics, and management reporting that continuously maximize asset performance and utilization boosting customer satisfaction.

While everyone is eager to connect the latest and greatest devices today, companies still operate using older equipment with limited electronics. Via the advice of its dealer network, Caterpillar quickly recognized the need to connect and monitor customers’ older engines and equipment in the field that was not being captured.

This opened the door for Cat to connect existing machines. So Cat engineers designed and developed sensor kits that could be installed in the field to monitor and read critical engine data in realtime. Caterpillar created AssetIQ™ Kits, a solution that allows dealers to monitor customers’ engines and equipment that fall short of advanced electronics. The solution gives owners key insight and visibility into assets, helping them better manage operating and maintenance costs.

Cat AssetIQ™ Kits make engines smarter by providing insight into the performance of electronically and mechanically controlled assets. Cat created a selection of customizable sensor kits for generator sets and basic engines that can read engine parameters never before seen from mechanical and limited-electronic engines and equipment. These parameters include engine speed, oil pressure, coolant temperature, and operating hours.

Looking at the current health of the machine could not be understated for customers. This forward prognostic analysis gives customers greater intelligence into their operations. By adding connectivity customers are seeing the real value of connected machines. This in turn is leading to more advanced benefits and to descriptive intelligence, exception reporting, role-based performance metrics, management reporting, quantitative analysis, predictive diagnostics, and prescriptive optimization, and so much more.

The key in the digital race is mining the right data. That means making sure the information is complete, accurate, reliable, and certainly secure. And if Caterpillar and its global network of dealers have anything to say about it, they are more than off to the races.

They are doing more than just identifying trends. They are predicting future trends. They are predicting behaviors and performance. They are helping their customers learn from those experiences to make bottomline improvements. And that’s what Cat Connect is all about and more, helping Cat customers be successful.

Further Reading and Listening:

Episode 523 Segment 3, Sara Lupien, Caterpillar

Episode 528, Segment 3, Magy Kramer, Caterpillar

Taking the IIoT Journey with Caterpillar

By |2017-10-05T22:56:44+00:009/19/2017|

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