Australia hailed ?world leader? in construction tech innovation

Phillip Pollock, Caterpillar’s Asia Pacific general manager of sales and marketing, was speaking at the launch of the 323FL and 336FL XE hybrid excavators and the 962M wheel loader at Cat dealer William Adams in Melbourne on 9 September.

Experts on excavator and wheel loader technology from Cat were at the event to provide a technical briefing as well as a practical demonstration of the excavators.

Visitors also had the chance to experience a computerised in-cab experience of the machines with 3D virtual reality headsets.

Pollock said the Australian market typified the complexity of the modern job site, and underlined the importance of technology which made it the perfect market to demonstrate the critical value of innovation and connectivity.

“The modern job site is complex, and contractors are faced with tighter deadlines, increasing labour shortages and need to manage vital natural resources, particularly here in Australia,” Pollock said.

“Australia is the global leader in construction equipment technology adoption, more than that of the US and Germany, which certainly reflects those conditions.”

{{image2-a:r-w:200}}He added Cat’s “strong” network of independent dealers down under demonstrated the value the company placed on the local market.

Pollock emphasised that The Age of Smart Iron – a concept unveiled by Cat at the Bauma construction machinery exhibition in Munich, Germany, earlier this year –  was “here and … now”.

“The Age of Smart Iron is about making equipment smarter – introducing new levels of digital and connected capability that helps us solve our customers’ most pressing challenges through innovative technology solutions,” Pollock explained.

“Our technology takes sophisticated data and analytics and transforms them into tangible, tailored solutions for our customers – making them safer, more productive and more profitable.”

Pollock went on to say that an estimated 20 per cent of international equipment is sitting idle at any one time but through technology, fleet management can be optimised and managers are able to know to where their equipment is and what it’s doing from the “palm of their hand”.

Pollock said the newly launched products were examples of how technological innovation had changed the way machines worked for the customer.

“The new F-series excavators carry some outstanding new features, for example, the Cat 323FL with grade assist allows for semi-autonomous grading that’s faster and more accurate, and the payload measuring technology on the M-series wheel loaders has a major bearing on operator experience.”

He added there was an emphasis on safety in the way technological innovation had changed how machines worked for the consumer and fields such as object avoidance and fatigue management that continue to be high priorities.

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