Caterpillar Shares Their Latest Next Gen Excavator Technology

As the new decade unfolds, Caterpillar has accelerated the pace of innovation, adding new and improved technology – all designed to improve job site safety and machine productivity.

The Next Generation of Cat® excavators are built to accommodate a wide range of job requirements and help owners to stay competitive. Cat Construction Technology offers productivity advantages, improved efficiency, and greater levels of on-site safety. Caterpillar Technology Application Specialist, Chris Barrett explains the latest developments.

“Programmable electronic hydraulic valves, smart sensors, electronics, and GNSS (Global Satellite Navigation Systems) systems are at the heart of the Next Gen Machines DNA,” Mr Barrett said.

Sharing some of the latest technologies worthy of further exploration, Mr Barrett explains; “This enables an infinite number of solutions to meet modern job-site requirements.”

  1. Standard Cat Grade with 2D – Cat Grade with 2D helps operators reach grade faster. Operators cut and fill to exact specifications without overcutting. No grade checkers are needed, so the work area is safer
  2. Standard Cat Grade with Assist – Automated boom, stick and bucket movements deliver more accurate cuts with less effort. The operator simply sets the depth and slope via the monitor and activates single-lever digging
  3. Standard Cat Boom Assist – Stay grounded when you dig, lift, swing and load. Prevents the machine from lifting, ensuring the machine stability.
  4. Standard Cat Bucket Assist – Makes levelling much easier and consistent. Maintains the angle of the bucket to the ground when the stick and/or boom is moved
  5. Standard Cat Swing Assist – Simplify your work cycle with less effort and lower fuel consumption. Automatically stops swinging motion of the machine at a pre-set point
  6. Standard Cat Lift Assist – Simply engage the Lift assist feature through the monitor and safely lift to the machine’s rated load. If you exceed the rated load at any position the Lift Assist feature will sound an audible alarm as well as display flashing lights to alert the operator to adjust the stick/boom to come back to a safe position within the rated load of the machine. Simple as that
  7. Standard Payload – Cat Payload technology delivers precise load targets with on-the-go weighing, which helps prevent over/under-loading and maximises efficiency. Automated tracking helps manage production and lower cost

While these standard factory fitted tech-nologies set the new benchmark, there is also a range of additional factory fitted options to increase productivity.

Cat Grade with 3D for excavators helps the operator grade to complex designs on multiple machines across the jobsite. Grade with 3D works with GPS and GLONASS systems to know the machine’s exact location and ensuring the operator digs to plan.

Cat Grade with 3D adds an additional 10-inch high-resolution touchscreen monitor allowing the operator to see a full 3D view all the time.

“3D designs in-cab, automatic grade control and elimination of the need for continual grade staking and checking are well proven with productivity gains making well over 50 per cent compared with traditional methods,” he said.

“A combination of powerful graphics and customizable 3D views brings the job-site design to life giving operators the ability to hone in on the right perspective, and there is a range of intuitive embedded features to help them be more productive,” Mr Barrett said.

The new Cat GRADE with 3D system has the ability for operators to quickly create in-field 2D and 3D designs if a job-site design is not available.

“This enables customers to utilise Cat GRADE with 3D on smaller projects to build designs such as swale drains, trenches, pads, basement cuts and finishing,” Mr Barrett said.

“The in-field design can use the cutting edge as a survey tool, or operators can input the exact plan, elevation and profile of the design which improves work quality and prevents rework.

“The factory 3D option also means operators can start work quickly and safely with no need to install or remove 3D system components and eliminating cable connections adds to the reliability,” he said.

Launching in the Australian market in 2022, Cat® Command for Excavating provides remote-control operation for select Cat excavators. Cat Command enhances safe machine operation, while reducing operator fatigue to increase productivity.

This technology can enhance safety in hazardous work environments by controlling machines from a safe distance, eliminating safety risks, and reducing injuries from climbing on and off machines.

Command also offers a solution to workforce shortages by opening opportunities to those with physical limitations that prevent them from climbing into the equipment, attracting a new generation of operator, and increasing the longevity of experienced operators.

The Command system includes two different remote operating options. Ideal for temporary or emergency remote operation with no on-site communications infrastructure required, the Command console offers line of-sight machine control through a lightweight, compact console, supported by a comfortable shoulder harness. Offering machine control from up to 400 m away, the console controls all excavator functions with virtually no response delay. Built-in safety features stop all excavator movements if the remote shutdown switch is pressed, wireless communication is lost, or the console is tilted more than 45 degrees from normal operating position.

The new Command station provides non-line-of-sight operation from the comfort of an air-conditioned office on-site or many kilometres away, as distance is limited only by the capabilities of the wireless network. Reducing downtime for shift changes or the need to travel to the jobsite, operators can easily control up to five different machines at a single or different sites from one station.

Cat Construction Technology makes operators and machines more productive. It improves efficiency, saves fuel, and reduces operating costs across the jobsite. Cat technology helps owners and operators get more done every day and pays for itself time and time again.

To find out more about technology on Cat® Next Generation machines contact your local Cat dealer.

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