Caterpillar: What Continuous Innovation Looks Like

    With our wheel loader. the 966 KXE, we’re using a new drivetrain that is the first of its kind ever in construction equipment. It offers a 25% fuel savings and a significant reduction in CO 2 emissions. And our excavator is a hybrid, which generates 25% to 35% more fuel efficiency.

    Our Tier 4 engines are very clean. No longer will you see smoke or smell diesel fumes. And you’ve heard of driverless cars? We’re already doing that with a 350 ton mining truck. In western Australia, it runs around a mining site 24 hours a day without an operator.

    Cat Connect connects our customers to dealers. It monitor everything our machines are doing, so engineers can see whether it has a high exhaust gas temperature or is it running low on oil—all the things the engineer needs to know to run that machine in his fleet more efficiently.

    Similarly, I visited a master control room in Atlanta monitoring almost all the machines in their territory. All of this involves software and technology. By the time I got done with that Fortune audience, I felt pretty good about where we were and how we fit in.

    I concluded my presentation with a little robot that shot baskets for about 5 minutes and never missed one. It was all computer controlled.

    I can’t imagine a job site or canal that doesn’t require iron, engines and fuel, but I wonder if that’s the same a way a farmer felt 100 years ago about a mule and a plow.

    Yes, we move dirt. We move a lot of dirt. But this company started on innovation and that continues to be what drives us. When I arrived in 1975, we had a handful of competitors. Today, we have more than 100. The environment has never been more competitive. Disruption and competition are coming and we can’t predict it. [We all need to be ready.]”