Caterpillar has entered into a technology agreement with Uptake, the provider of a dynamic analytics and insight platform for a wide array of industries.
The move is expected to help customers around the world better understand the health of their equipment and optimise machine availability,
Caterpillar has made a minority investment in Chicago-based Uptake and will jointly develop an end-to-end platform for predictive diagnostics to help Caterpillar customers monitor and optimise their fleets more effectively. The new technology will be available for both Cat products and non-Cat branded products.
"Customers use our current technology for fleet monitoring and to track fuel efficiency, idle times, location and more," said Doug Oberhelman, Chairman and CEO of Caterpillar.
"Our existing solutions are effective, but it's time we take it to the next level. This relationship will combine Caterpillar's world-class product engineering and design expertise with Uptake's software, application and data analytics expertise.
"As a result, we'll be able to transform the quintillion bytes of incoming data we see every day into useful information we feed back to our customers for on-the-spot decisions and planning purposes to further reduce owning and operating costs."
Oberhelman continued, "Through this agreement, we'll build a platform to bring the next generation of our technology services and products to market sooner, and will act as a springboard for years of development after that.
"We want to empower our customers with the insight necessary to shift from a reactive "repair after failure" mode to a proactive "repair before failure" stance. The end result will be more efficient operations and increased fleet availability for our customers. And the more our customers' machines and engines stay running, the more money they make."
Since 2014, Uptake has been developing locomotive-related predictive diagnostics and fleet optimisation solutions for Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD), a subsidiary of Caterpillar. The early successes of the locomotive project led Caterpillar to expand its relationship with Uptake into other industries Caterpillar serves.
As Uptake's exclusive partner in various industries, Caterpillar can leverage its data and operational insights with Uptake's technology and data science platform to provide unparalleled solutions for customers in each of those industries.
"We are at a unique time in history—analytics are enabling insights that are changing the way entire industries work. Uptake is at the front of this evolution," said Brad Keywell, Co-Founder and CEO of Uptake.
"Our platform takes massive data provided by sensors, combines it with data science to understand signals and patterns and deploys insights in real time that save money, optimise performance and prevent unplanned downtime. Our partnership with Caterpillar has resulted in a cross-industry platform that is informed by the best data and the best operational insights."
Caterpillar selected Uptake as its partner based on the capabilities the company witnessed following the agreement with EMD. Uptake's location in Chicago, which is near Caterpillar's headquarters in Central Illinois and the company's largest concentration of U.S. engineers and factories, was also a key factor.
"We're excited about an optimal platform that will not only increase the value of the information our customers and dealers already receive, but also help them maintain a competitive advantage," Oberhelman added.
"What we're really talking about is graduating to even smarter, more connected products. We're working on getting ahead of the curve, because with our knowledge and expertise, there is no one better than Caterpillar to provide the platform and tools necessary to help our customers achieve new levels of equipment availability, productivity and profitability."
In the coming months, Caterpillar will collaborate with Uptake and the Cat dealer network to roll out the latest predictive analytics and insights through web-based and mobile tools for customers.