SAP and Caterpillar: Connecting Live Engineering And Predictive Maintenance | Automation.com

SAP and Caterpillar: Connecting Live Engineering And Predictive Maintenance

SAP and Caterpillar: Connecting Live Engineering And Predictive Maintenance

April 12, 2018 - From 2016 to 2017, the number of connected devices increased 31% to 8.4 billion. By 2020, that number is expected to grow to 20.4 billion.

Increasingly in today’s environment, businesses are realizing the game-changing capabilities they can gain through the power of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Caterpillar creates machinery that powers businesses, builds communities, and enriches lives, from diesel-powered engines and gas turbines to hydraulic excavators and agricultural tractors.

For as long as it’s existed, Caterpillar has worked to remain at the cutting edge of technology. In the current era, the organization is on a digital transformation journey – one centered around leveraging IoT to drive better business outcomes.

Marty Groover, Operational Technology Leader at Caterpillar, described how his company has been co-innovating with SAP to ultimately create a self-compensating, automated factory.

“We’re creating a digital thread from our products in the manufacturing facility to our customers with our live factory that uses SAP Digital Manufacturing Insights and Vehicle Insights, and the SAP Digital Boardroom,” said Groover. “Sensors on forklifts are just the beginning. We’re also doing predictive maintenance using sensor collected data from our machines.  

Caterpillar has manufactured heavy-duty equipment with IoT sensors for several customers. Some of these efforts include:

  • D/N Excavating increased machine efficiency by nearly 28%, while Strack Inc. saved 40% on fuel costs.
  • Boyce Excavating doubled its grading capacity from 1,500 tons to 3,000 tons, while IGA achieved a 90% equipment uptime rate.
  • Eagle Excavating saved $15,000 by meeting one project deadline two weeks early, while McAninch Corp accelerated road pavement processes, achieving its target densities in 75% fewer passes.

While other companies operate their equipment, Caterpillar collects data from the connected products and turns it into actionable insight. Now, these operators know precisely when to bring their machines in for routine maintenance, allowing them to increase product uptime and extend the product life cycle.

IoT-connected products also enable Caterpillar to provide organizations with better service management. If employees at Caterpillar spot a potential issue with a company’s equipment, they can send the organization a replacement part before the machine malfunctions.

Finally, by analyzing how businesses are using their products, Caterpillar engineers can redesign equipment to better meet customer preferences. If a product feature is being neglected, for instance, Caterpillar can remove that feature from future models.

IoT is transforming Caterpillar from a manufacturing company to a technology company – one that focuses heavily on innovation.

With live engineering and predictive maintenance enabled by IoT, any business can learn to do the same.

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