Caterpillar Technical Center
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
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.