Caterpillar Announces Grand Opening of 3D Printing & Innovation Accelerator.
As the world’s leading manufacturer of construction equipment, Caterpillar provides an incredibly diverse range of products through its global network of suppliers. Given the huge number of items across its catalogue, it is no surprise to see the company highlighting a few areas of production which could potentially benefit from additive manufacturing. Although the company is unlikely to build 3D printed bulldozers anytime soon, it has acknowledged the huge cost-saving potential of additively manufactured castings and small parts, and has announced a willingness to explore other potential uses for the burgeoning technology.
To improve its additive manufacturing capabilities, the Illinois-based company has opened a suite of three additive manufacturing-focused spaces that will each contribute to the fast and effective incorporation of additive manufacturing technology within the company framework. The grand opening of the three spaces was celebrated on March 31 at the company’s Global Research & Development Center in Mossville, Illinois, where two of the three spaces have been established.
The two new facilities built at Caterpillar’s Mossville, Illinois premises are the new Innovation Accelerator and new Additive Manufacturing Factory. At the Innovation Accelerator, a two-story space, Caterpillar staff are able to “let their imaginations run wild, dreaming up and modeling that next great innovation in a setting that inspires creativity,” stated Hasit Vibhakar. The upper floor of the building will host meetings and brain-storming sessions, with the lower floor functioning as a Maker Space where employees can experiment with materials and rough-model new concepts.
Caterpillar’s all-new Additive Manufacturing Factory, the other new space at the Mossville location, sits right across the hall from the Innovation Accelerator. The AM Factory will contain both commercial and high-end prototype 3D printers, suitable for a range of 3D printing tasks. Staff can use these new machines to perform research and explore new technological possibilities.
The third of the three new spaces is the Cat MicroFoundry, established within the existing larger Caterpillar foundry in nearby Mapleton, Illinois. The new MicroFoundry will be used for the rapid creation of low-volume castings using sand 3D printing technology. Castings—machine parts that created by pouring liquid material into a mold—are used in a number of Caterpillar products, and the new MicroFoundry could drastically reduce costs involved in the production of certain prototypes and slow-moving parts.
“Our 3D printing future is exciting—from castings to parts to other larger possibilities," said Hasit Vibhakar at the grand opening of the innovation suite. "The Accelerator is going to move us farther even faster with so many innovations. I can't wait to see the results—for Caterpillar and for our customers.”
About Hasit Vibhakar
Hasit Vibhakar is a proactive, performance-driven middle market executive with 20 years + progressive expertise in C-level leadership and problem solving for additive manufacturing, advanced CNC manufacturing, Additive Manufacturing, 3D Printing, supply chain, technology services, and startup operations. Proven track record of enhancing enterprise value and shareholder value. Experienced at building small cap and middle market companies.
Hasit Vibhakar is an Industrialist specializing in strategic direction and growth. A seasoned c-level business executive with many years of proven track record of building enterprise value and shareholder value. He has successfully started eight technology, industrial and manufacturing enterprises and all have been successfully acquired at premium multiples in the industry. Prior to being a serial entrepreneur he has been employed with leading aerospace, telecom, technology, industrial and supply chain based companies.
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