Caterpillar has a long history of and a strong process for innovation in research and development.
We develop products that are efficient, safe and designed for remanufacture. By continually improving the performance of our products, we meet customer demand to make their operations more sustainable, while driving our industry to improve.
Our strategy continues to move beyond traditional iron product offerings to include job site connectivity, which unlocks even more operating efficiencies. Our Job Site Solutions team, for example, works with Cat® dealers to help customers improve their operations and be more competitive. Solutions often deliver sustainability benefits, such as extending a machine’s life, which in turn reduces raw material consumption. When customers require new machines or components, we offer remanufactured and rebuilt products that not only provide cost savings, but also help customers extend life cycles and use materials more efficiently. This life cycle approach allows us to provide sustainable solutions that help customers build a better world.
Wildfires are increasing in number and intensity around the world, causing devastation and damage. Alongside forestry management and firefighting agencies on the front lines of these fires are Cat® D6N Fire Suppression Tractors, which have helped protect forests, property and lives for decades. Firefighters and first responders count on the D6N to move combustible material, clear fire lines, open roadways and assist firefighting equipment over challenging terrain. Although the dozer, built for construction and land clearing, is ideally suited for these tasks, the harsh environmental conditions presented by fires such as falling trees, ash-filled air and extreme temperatures require extensive modifications.
In 2018 in the United States alone, 8.6 million acres of land burned. The cost of fighting wildfires has increased more than 500% over the past 20 years.
We now offer comprehensive, factory-installed equipment on the D6N for fire suppression applications. It includes extensive heat and fire insulation on fluid and electrical lines, machine guarding, enhanced cab air filtration and additional powerful lights. Maintaining an operator’s safety and keeping the tractor running is paramount. Machines can run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with several operators alternating until every last flame is extinguished.
Our customers want to reduce energy costs and associated emissions – but they can’t afford to sacrifice power in the process. With new Cat® machines for a range of applications, they don’t have to compromise.
The new 320 Next Generation Hydraulic Excavator reduces fuel consumption to levels comparable to our full hybrid system, without a hybrid system’s complexity. The system optimizes lever commands, reducing fuel consumption by up to 25 percent compared to previous models without compromising the machine’s performance or cost. Once the technology is deployed across our entire excavator product line as planned, it could lead to carbon dioxide emission reductions of up to 2.2 million metric tons per year.
The C9.3B diesel engine is used to power applications from agriculture and forestry to excavation. Designed to be a worldwide platform, it is certified to U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final and EU Stage V emission standards and is prepared to achieve emerging new standards like China NonRoad Stage IV. This platform update offers up to 4 percent fuel economy improvement and up to 18 percent increased power density when compared to the C9.3 ACERT, allowing original equipment manufacturers to downsize their engine platforms, lower installation costs and maximize uptime.
RoTechBooster from Solar Turbines addresses a concern we hear frequently from customers: the need for compressor dry gas seals to provide a clean and consistent supply of gas, without frequent depressurization, which releases methane. With input from a multidisciplinary team, Solar Turbines designed a new system that needs to be depressurized only once per month on average, rather than every few hours. The new compressor will reduce methane emissions by roughly 13.5 tons a year per unit sold.
An even more sustainable cruise isn’t far off in the future – it’s here today, and Caterpillar is helping find ways to reduce the emissions footprint of marine transport, which has historically depended on heavy fuel oil for power.
As natural gas has become more affordable and the shipping industry takes steps to further reduce emissions, the marine transport sector has begun to embrace liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a fuel source. Ports for LNG refueling are growing in number worldwide, and Caterpillar is meeting this demand with our MaK™ brand dual-fuel engines. The dual-fuel engines are designed for continuous operation on LNG, marine diesel oil and heavy fuel oil.
These engines have been at sea for several years aboard cargo vessels and are now being used inside a wider variety of ships. In 2018, the AIDAnova of Carnival Corporation’s German cruise line AIDA Cruises set sail as the world’s first cruise ship enabled to operate at sea and in port on LNG, which burns cleaner than heavy fuel oil. Inside the ship, which is longer than three football fields set end-to-end, are four of Caterpillar’s MaK 16 M 46 dual-fuel engines and a complete LNG handling system.
The ship’s maiden voyage lasted for seven days with more than 7,000 passengers and crew aboard, releasing minimal soot or sulfur oxides and less nitrogen oxides or carbon dioxide than oil-burning ships. Caterpillar will supply Carnival Corporation with dual-fuel engines for additional ships as part of its new class of cruise vessels spanning multiple Carnival brands.
The milestone is good news for the cruise industry. Companies are under pressure to further reduce their impact, particularly as they travel through environmentally sensitive areas. Increasingly, ship owners are placing orders for new ships to be equipped with engines that can use LNG as the primary fuel. And, the cruise industry utilization of LNG will help extend the infrastructure for distribution of LNG as a marine fuel, enabling other ship owners to consider use of LNG and helping the shipping industry progress toward their emissions reduction goals.