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P2 - Internship Program - 2003 Projects

Caterpillar Technical Center

Mossville, Illinois

ChaiFunn Phung
Bradley University, Peoria

Caterpillar Inc. is the world’s largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, and industrial gas turbines. The Tech Center is located in Mossville, Illinois. The intern’s tasks were to assist in the development of new welding testing procedures and to investigate the reuse/recycling of lab coats and gloves.


Welding comprises over 30% of Caterpillar’s manufacturing and assembly processes. All welds (both fillet and butt welds) on Caterpillar equipment must meet and pass up to 49 stringent quality tests prior to assembly. If the weld does not pass the specifications, it will either be reworked or scrapped.

The intern created a simplified template for identifying the appropriate number of welding tests. In the case of the candidate part, an excavator boom, the template indicated a reduction to only seven (7) tests. If this proves successful, this has the potential to save Caterpillar millions of dollars in the reduction of scrap and rework material as well as saving labor costs and floor space for testing. Energy efficiency can increase by over 30%.

Both lab coats and gloves were being disposed of after only one use. The intern made arrangements for Libra Industry Inc. to clean off-site all of the lab coats and gloves that could be laundered. The company will provide pickup and delivery services to the Tech Center biweekly. The Tech Center will save approximately $5,000 per year with this arrangement.

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