Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Plant Trek: CAT

The first stop of the plant trek was Caterpillar in Peoria, Illinois. The CAT team did a wonderful job hosting us. When we arrived Sunday night, they gave us a reception where we got to meet and greet with CAT executives. The surf & turf + open bar weren’t a bad addition. J

The site visit on Monday included a plant tour, a few presentations, simulations, product demonstration, and a panel discussion. It was a perfect mix of activities! The highlight definitely had to be the product demonstration. The operators did some crazy stuff with GIANT machines. Who knew a bulldozer could be so entertaining! At the end of the demo they let us climb all over the machines. I didn’t want to leave!

It will be very hard to top this first stop on the plant trek!

Fun CAT Facts
  • CAT’s name was almost ‘Mud Turtles’
  • The top 5-6 executives have 200+ years of CAT experience - CAT employees stay CAT employees and they like to promote from within
  • The operator’s choice of music is piped over the loud speakers to alert supervisors of issues on the floor and a text message sent to the supervisor in addition to standard andons
  • One of their bulldozers has a 550 gallon tank and it takes only 12 hours of use to deplete it
  • Their floors are reinforced with steel to support their machines, one of which is 250,000 lbs- the floors vibrated when it drove by
  • Built to be rebuilt – parts are made modular and with such quality that it can be reused over and over again
  • 70% of the product manufactured in the facility we visited is shipped internationally; each machine has a magnetic flag attached to it indicating the country to which it would be shipped
  • They are the largest consumer of steel
  • Customer focus is 1) uptime/equipment availability, 2) productivity, and 3) fuel efficiency

And finally,
  • “The key message is, ‘We want you.’” – CAT Executive

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