As Caterpillar releases its results for the first quarter of 2016, it gears up for a digital future focused on creating smarter products.

During the three months ending March 2016, Caterpillar achieved US$9.46 billion in consolidated sales and revenues, which is an almost 26 per cent fall from the $12.7 billion earned during the same period last year.

Caterpillar chairman and chief executive officer Doug Oberhelman said the company’s first quarter results were expected due to declining sales across construction, oil and gas, mining and rail divisions.

However, Oberhelman said there were positive signals such as recent modest increases in commodity prices. He also mentioned the company’s attendance at the recent bauma trade fair in Munich, Germany had led to higher than expected order activity.

Investing in a digital future.

“While many of the industries we serve are challenged today, we’re looking ahead and investing for the future. We’re investing substantially in R&D, driving forward on our Lean journey, continuing implementation of Across the Table with our dealers and accelerating our digital strategy,” he said.

At bauma in early April, Caterpillar unveiled its new digital strategy: The Age of Smart Iron.

Caterpillar group president Rob Charter said this strategy concentrates on developing technology that solves and, even, anticipates customer problems.

“We’re taking the machines, locomotives, engines and parts we’re so well known for and making them smarter, while also equipping the people who operate them with data that makes them more productive, enhances safety and improves sustainability.”

Some of Caterpillar’s technology on show at bauma, included: Cat Connect, Link, Grade and Compact, Payload, Cat 360° Advantage, Leverage Every Litre and Product Support Services.

caterpillar invests in digital future

According to Oberhelman, part of Caterpillar’s goal is to help its customers make more money with Caterpillar products. The company also strives to offer multiple solutions to meet the varied demands of its customers in construction, mining, energy and transportation.

Additionally, The Age of Smart Iron involves the development of a common technology platform for all data.

“Our vision is that by enhancing our Cat Connect technology and services offerings, entire fleets and job sites – every machine, engine, truck, tablet, light tower, smart device and drone – will eventually share data on one common technology platform and speak the same language. I can’t wait to see what that means for our customers – and for us,” Oberhelman said.

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