We know how much talent and knowhow it takes to make the excellent welds on our Cat® machines, but most of those welds will never be seen. In East Peoria, Illinois, our welders showcased their talent and skill by designing and manufacturing one-of-a-kind metal sculptures. The remarkable results included:
Over the course of five weeks, four teams of approximately 15 welders each were challenged to create a sculpture out of scrap metal that met Caterpillar quality criteria and safety requirements. Spending between 40 and 80+ hours on each sculpture after their scheduled production work was complete, the teams designed and built one-of-a-kind works of art that showcased their technical and artistic talent.
In daily work, welding is a solitary job, with each welder performing different tasks at different stations. So, for most, this was the first time they were able to work on a project alongside their fellow welders. “We’re all a team here, but they get my end product,” said welder Tom Wilson. “To get back there and work together was really a joy.”
The sculpture teams made that joy apparent in a very visual way. Across Caterpillar and the local community, people took notice of their pride and passion for what we do every day, and also for our heritage.
The sculptures went on display in the Caterpillar Visitors Center in January 2016, and the fun and positive experience continues to have an impact on the participants. Randy Peters, a welder for 12 years, is grateful for the opportunity and the camaraderie it inspired. “I’m just tickled that these guys had a chance to really get out there and shine. I think the company will talk about this for years to come.”
“The employees came to us with the idea of a fabrication sculpture competition. They formed teams and developed their own visions. All we said was that the finished work had to use scrap metal and fit on a pallet. Their final creations were truly remarkable works of art.”
– Tim Williams, the East Peoria facility manager