Rock Products

OCT 2018

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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22 • ROCK products • October 2018 Caterpillar is using artificial intelligence in its product-development process to simulate how operators might use a machine, cutting time out of the entire process, said chief analytics director Morgan Vawter in a recent Cat podcast. Caterpillar uses virtual reality in its design engineering, Vawter said, and the AI tool uses "reinforcement learn- ing" to simulate how an operator might use a machine instead of telling the design model how the machine might perform. "Ultimately, that model gives us the power to reduce some of the steps in the product-development process and also makes sure we're hitting better (product) quality because we're seeing the full landscape of how an operator might use a machine without physically having to test it," she said. "Analytics is truly enabling our business end-to-end in many different ways," Vawter said. "It's aligned closely to the profitable growth goals of our business units and industry segments. When we say growth, it's all based on the ROI we see on the value and the potential ROI that we see in the future from all the data that we're collecting." Vawter described value from the per- spective of Cat's customers and the corporation itself. Customers benefit from data analytics with lower total cost of ownership, improved productivity, and improved safety. "For Caterpillar, it helps us get closer to customer needs, be more responsive and adaptive, make more data-driven decisions, and improve processes like (product development)," she said. Vawter said the company has increased its talent pool in the analytics arena by 20 to 25 percent in the past couple of years, citing the opening of its down- town Chicago office as a means to attract talent and work with local partners. Virtual Reality in Design Engineering Electric vehicles (EV) are a growing trend both on and off the jobsite – and now manufacturers are offering new equipment, while users are demonstrating how fleets can go green. More often, manufacturers are offering new electric fleets for industries such as construction. Case in point: Mack Trucks, a part of the Volvo Group, plans to have a fully electric refuse vehicle in 2019 equipped with an integrated Mack electric drivetrain. While this is one example, electric vehicles can also provide value in construction. Mack Trucks explains that benefits of fully electric vehicles include zero emissions, reduced noise and environmental sustainability, and the ability to operate quietly in urban areas. Consider this example: Catalina Pacific, a CalPortland Co., is now beginning to use Redeem renewable natural gas on 118 ready-mixed concrete trucks, which will operate throughout southern California. By converting these trucks, the organization will operate a clean concrete fleet, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 70 percent and smog-causing NOx emissions by more than 90 percent. Now with the renewable natural gas, Catalina Pacific is able to achieve zero emissions from its fleet vehicles, while saving millions of dollars a year in fuel costs. The concrete mixers are expected to consume an average of 75,000 gal. of Redeem fuel per month, which displaces roughly 8,365 metric tons annually of GHG emissions. The organization is already dedicated to monitoring and improving the functionality of energy across its operations, which includes 65 ready-mixed plants, 25 aggregate quarries and 16 cement plants/terminals. Electric Vehicles: More Fleets Going Green

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