When it comes to overseeing complex construction sites and operations, a proactive approach to machine and component integrity management gives Caterpillar customers the edge. By closely monitoring machine health, customers can avoid costly repairs and ensure optimal performance, potentially saving millions of dollars in project completion times.
Today, we help customers increase uptime and operational efficiency using machine learning and advanced analytics. These technologies enable Caterpillar to provide unique insights backed by engineering expertise and data, enabling customers to prevent component failures and create added value across all assets.
Over the past five years, Caterpillar has more than doubled our network of connected resources, creating a unique digital ecosystem that leverages data from over 20 data sources. Examples include maintenance consultations, reseller work order invoices, and product reviews. Together, they allow us to provide real-time health and performance updates that owners and operators can access from a laptop, tablet, or phone.
OFFERS DIGITAL TOOLS THAT MAKE MACHINE CONTROL EASIER THAN EVER
Virtually all new machines today have built-in connectivity, and we have also developed digital solutions for unconnected assets. Our easy-to-use Cat Inspect app is a popular tool for both connected and offline assets, allowing users to download and perform detailed equipment inspections. Like visiting a doctor, inspecting equipment is an important tool for diagnosing and resolving potential problems. The application provides a simplified approach to general equipment management with the ability to track changes, create custom reports, and take notes on the fly. Customers can also share photos and videos on online checkout forms, giving dealers and service technicians the information they need to provide best-in-class support.
As of February 2022, resellers and customers have completed over 6 million app reviews and we continue to see an increase in usage. One of the benefits of this tool is its ability to build deeper relationships between resellers and customers. Using the information provided through the app, resellers can provide easy access to the parts and services customers need.
Likewise, the Cat Service Information System (SIS) gives customers and dealers access to valuable resource information. We recently completed a SIS digitization called SIS 2.0 which we have optimized to make it easier than ever. The digital system contains more than 40 years of repair and troubleshooting information for Cat products. With 2 million service schedules and 1.5 million parts, this tool is a good example of how we can add value by digitizing historical service information.
SIS 2.0 also includes new remote troubleshooting capabilities and seamless e-commerce integration so customers and service technicians can easily access repair instructions and order parts. In 2022, we will launch a mobile app called SIS2GO and share this amount of information with customers and service professionals.
INVESTING IN TECHNOLOGIES FOR PREDICTION AND ERROR PREVENTION
As we continue to invest in the digital space, we are focusing on building advanced analytics tools that, through machine learning, allow us to create unique “failure models.” These models can detect patterns in equipment data and identify potential issues, helping customers avoid component failures before they happen.
For example, one of our failure models focuses on engine oil dilution, which can cause engine damage if not detected. Using machine learning, we reduced the dilution detection time for a client from 10 days to 2.4 hours. This saved the customer about $360,000 in maintenance costs and allowed him to continue with his projects. Another type of failure can reveal wheel slip, which can lead to brake failure and shortened tire and axle life. Using condition monitoring, we informed the dealer of the customer’s wheel slip problem, who then informed the customer. Our analytical models allowed us to identify poor road conditions as the likely cause, saving the customer about $500,000 in downtime costs.
Another way to create value with our digital ecosystem is to create Priority Service Events (PSEs) that improve the ability of retailers to proactively connect with customers and provide the right service at the right time. Depending on how PSEs are defined, they can take many forms. For example, the condition of the equipment is determined, such as the need to rebuild the engine, in which case we can call the customer’s responsible dealer in time so that they can quickly get in touch. PSEs are also a great tool to help customers maintain customer value agreements (CVAs) and keep products in line. For example, if we notice that a vehicle needs preventative maintenance, we may submit a request for an oil and filter kit, or we may submit a request for a CVA extension if we find that a customer contract is expiring.
Ultimately, the product lifecycle is all about building strong relationships. These next-generation services provide a more integrated experience so Caterpillar and Cat dealers can meet the specific needs of each customer. They also allow customers to seamlessly manage asset health and performance, reducing downtime and adding value for years to come.