Caterpillar highlights equipment and connectivity at ConExpo-Con/Agg

| Published on March 2, 2014

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At a media event prior to ConExpo-Con/Agg, Caterpillar highlighted a number of new machines for the aggregates market and highlighted four areas of major focus for its Cat Connect program: equipment management, productivity, safety, and sustainability.

“We’re trying to simplify how we talk to our customers and make it less intimidating,” says John Thomas, Cat’s construction technology marketing and strategy manager. “Instead of just going and peddling a technology, we want to have conversations with our customers and learn what they want to do.”

Related: PHOTOS: Cat introduces new track drill

Thomas notes that Cat and Trimble are working together to allow the use of technology on its older machines, as well as equipment from other manufacturers so that its solutions work for mixed fleets. “This stuff doesn’t just work for the big guys,” he says. “No matter a customer’s size, one machine, 50 machines, 1,000 machines, no matter their application, we can find a mix of these technologies and services to deliver value.”

At ConExpo-Con/Agg, 85 percent of the machinery in Cat’s various exhibits will feature at least one type of Cat Connect technology on it.

In addition to underscoring its ability to aggregate data that can drive business results, Cat shared with the media the results from some of its dozens of studies regarding fuel efficiency of its machines. “Fuel efficiency is a key metric to machine performance,” says Jim Stettner, who manages Cat’s global construction and infrastructure group. “It’s a long-term strategy for Cat.”

According to Stettner, Cat conducted 75 fuel efficiency studies and, 95 percent of the time, Cat machines were more fuel efficient. Cat shared the results of 12 of those studies. Those results can be found here.

Here are some of the equipment highlights that can be found at Cat’s North Hall exhibit, in booth 10915.

New Tier 4 Final wheel loaders

Cat 980MWhen it comes to quarry workhorses, check out Cat’s new 980M and 982M wheel loaders. Equipped with Tier 4 Final ACERT engines, the loaders boast a combination of proven electronic, fuel, air, and after-treatment components.

The 982M is a new all-purpose machine that will load on-highway trucks in two passes; however design changes to the frames, linkage, horsepower, and powertrain extend its application to sand and gravel and earth bank excavation, as well as face loading in shot rock applications. It also has longer standard lift arms than the 980M, making it suitable for rail car loading.

Like other M series loaders, powertrain updates have improved both performance and fuel efficiency. The hydraulic service center is virtually identical across the M series, with a consistent layout simplifying maintenance for service technicians.

For operator ease, a switch has been added to the electronic service center to unlatch the door remotely, while the angle of the steps has been increased to 15 degrees, which enables operators to walk up as if they were using stairs. New roll-formed ROPS posts, larger convex mirrors, and integrated spot mirrors all improve safety. A new multi-purpose touch screen simplifies operator interface with machine controls, rearview camera, and a fully integrated Cat Production Measurement system.

Specifications:

980M

982M

Engine

Cat C13

Cat C13

Net power

386

392

Operating weight

65,698-75,663 pounds

75,398-79,829 pounds

Bucket capacity

5.5-15.7 cubic yards

6-18.3 cubic yards

Bucket pin height (std/high lift)

178/186 inches

186 inches

More powerful artics

Cat 730C Articulated TruckThe new Cat C-Series articulated dump trucks, 725C, 730C, and 730C EJ ejector, feature new engines with more power, advanced transmission control, enhanced operator amenities, new serviceability features, and — for the 730C and 730C EJ models — automatic traction control.

ConExpo-Con/Agg attendees can see the 730C on the show floor. The artic’s design centers on customer requests for increased productivity, lower operating costs, superior availability, long-term durability, added rimpull/retarding capability, ease of operation, and high resale value.

The 725C has a rated payload capacity of 26 tons and is powered by a Cat C9.3 ACERT engine rated at 314 horsepower. The 730C and 730C EJ are rated at 31 tons and are powered by a Cat 13 ACERT engine rated at 367 horsepower. All three models are available in Tier 2, Tier 3, or Tier 4 Final configurations. A diesel particulate filter and selective-catalytic-reduction system provide exhaust after treatment for Tier 4 Final models.

Compared to prior models, the 725C has a 4-percent gain in gross power and a 20-percent boost in gross torque; the 730C and 730C EJ models have nearly 16 percent more power and more than a 30-percent gross torque improvement. To control speeds on downhill grades, 730C models employ a new engine-compression brake that provides 60 percent more retarding power than predecessor models. The 725C uses a fluid retarder with four operating modes.

Upgraded off-highway trucks

Cat 772G Off Highway Truck 2The new Cat 770G and 772G off-highway trucks were redesigned with major advancements in emission technology, transmission, and traction control systems; frame, drive-train, and cooling system enhancements; added operator amenities; and serviceability improvements.

Available in Tier 2, Tier 3, and Tier 4 Final configurations, the engines can be programmed to achieve the customer’s specific fuel economy goals. Two programmable modes are available, Economy and Adaptive Economy, while a new auto neutral idle feature automatically places the transmission in neutral gear after the brake is applied for more than 15 seconds while in a forward gear.

A new transmission control system, Advanced Productivity Electronic Control Strategy (APECS), offers improved shift quality, faster acceleration, better speed on grade, and faster cycle times. Also new is a four-post ROPS/FOPS structure that is integral to the cab, and the cab is resiliently mounted to the frame to dampen sound and vibration.

Operator safety is enhanced with handrails, lighting, and a low-effort stair step system. Both trucks come standard with VIMS 3G, Cat’s Vital Information Management System, Truck Production Management System (TPMS), TMPH (Ton Mile Per Hour) / TKPH (Tonne Kilometer Per Hour) tire management system, and Product Link. See the 772 at ConExpo-Con/Agg.

Specifications:

770G

772G

Engine

Cat C15

Cat C18

Net power, hp

477

550

Peak torque, lb ft

1,711

1,988

Gross operating weight

157,000 pounds

181,000 pounds

Nominal payload, metric tons

40

52

Body capacity, cubic yards

33.9

40.8

Top speed (mph), loaded

45.7

49.2

New F Series excavators

Cat 374F Hydraulic ExcavatorCat highlights its new Tier 4 Final excavators appropriate for the aggregates market, including the 56,438-pound 323F, 87,949-pound 335 compact radius unit, 86,796-pound 336F, and 202,873-pound 390F.

As Cat worked to meet new emission standards, it also focused on incorporating customer feedback to add value. “What they tell us repeatedly is that they want to do more with less,” says Brian Stellbrink, product specialist for hydraulic excavators.”

While building on the success of its 2011 E Series machines, Cat also incorporated some of the “building blocks” it developed for its hybrid unit, including the electronic standardized programmable pump, the adaptive control system main valve, and the hydraulic hybrid system in various models as appropriate.

“We’re starting to apply some of the technology from the 336 hybrid into our standard machines,” Stellbrink explains. “We’re doing this when and where it makes the most sense in lowering operating costs for our customers. It’s not across the line up.” For example, the 390F focuses on production so it incorporates the adaptive control system main valve. This targets the hydraulic flow to where and when it is needed, allowing for improved fuel efficiency. The 336F, on the other hand, uses the electronic standardized programmable pump. It runs at a lower engine speed. By mid-year, this machine will also be the first in the lineup to feature the Production Measurement system.

The 336F’s hybrid counterpart is expected to yield greater fuel efficiencies than its predecessor through engine technology and adaptive control system enhancements.

Stellbrink says that the payback period between the premium machines and hybrid machines typically ranges from 12 to 24 months, depending on hours of use, application, and fuel costs.

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