Caterpillar begins unprecedented production of transmissions for medium-sized Cat® machines made in Brazil
Assembly lines built at the plant in Piracicaba-SP increase production capacity, boost the supply chain and increase competitiveness. Project relies on the support from Investe São PauloInveste São Paulo
With an investment of R$ 55 million, Caterpillar will start producing in Brazil transmissions for heavy machinery, such as motor graders, loaders and crawler dozers, manufactured by the company to serve the local market and exports.The assembly lines are already in operation and were officially opened during an event at the plant in Piracicaba, on Tuesday, July 31.With this, Caterpillar becomes self-sufficient in the production of transmissions for the equipment it manufactures in Brazil.Before, these components were imported.
The local assembly of transmissions increases the competitiveness of the machines produced by the company in Brazil, benefiting exports and contributing positively with the Brazilian balance of trade.It also fosters the Brazilian supply chain with products of high value-added, assists the industrial development policy and promotes the direct and indirect generation of jobs, which accounts for 70 and 350, respectively.
The lines currently produce six different arrangements of planetary and countershaft transmissions.This number will increase to 17 arrangements by March 2019. In total, there are 1,800 different components among all the arrangements to meet the local production of crawler dozers, motor graders and wheel loaders.
“The production of transmissions in the domestic market introduces innovations and new technologies to Brazil’s capacity to assemble these complex components for self-propelled machines.It reduces supply chain response time by up to 20 days.And, when the lines are fully operational, we will have 70 direct jobs added in our factory, with the expectation of generating five times more jobs considering the entire supply chain,” said the president of Caterpillar Brazil, Odair Renosto.
To make this project possible, Caterpillar relied on the technical support provided by Investe SP, the investment promotion agency of the state of São Paulo.“The investment reinforces the confidence in the potential of the state of São Paulo.We are very pleased with Caterpillar’s contribution to the industrial sector in the state and the country, says Sérgio Costa, director of Investe SP.”
About the process
For being a highly complex component of great importance for our machines, the transmission has brought several technologies from Industry 4.0 to the plant in Piracicaba.Among them are production management systems that identify possible mounting failures in the process before they occur and Bluetooth torque wrenches for application and tracking of 100% of torques and guaranteed perfection to the application.
The Engineering team also developed the conveyor system that moves the transmissions being assembled on the line.Equipped with electric-hydraulic technology, the system adjusts the height of the transmission according to the stage of assembly and the height of each assembler, while optimizing process agility and ergonomics.
The test cell validates 100% of the transmissions using high reliability technology to test the valve body, check the correct gear coupling, torque ratio, oil pressure, temperature, noise level as well as the existence of leaks, contaminants, vibrations and all the functionalities of the transmission.“This equipment perfectly simulates a machine in operation, allowing us to ensure that all the transmissions we produce are fully within Caterpillar’s quality standards,” says the manufacturing engineer, Carlos Carraro, one of the leaders in the implementation of the transmission lines.
The transmission assembly lines cover an area of 5,200 square meters in one of the industrial buildings of the Unit in Piracicaba-SP.To accommodate this new operation, the company transferred its small component storage area to a new building, specially built for this purpose, covering 2,800 square meters, in an area within the same unit.
The multifunctional team that makes up this project includes manufacturing engineers, specialists in processes, quality control, validation testing, logistics and maintenance.Leaders of the production teams and operators are also part of the team.Most team members participated in the transfer activities at the plant in Dyersburg-US, including multi-week operator training, to ensure the final product quality to our customers.
For nearly 90 years, Caterpillar has been making sustainable progress possible and driving positive change on every continent.Customers turn to Caterpillar to help them develop infrastructure and generate the energy they need. With sales and revenues of $ 45.5 billion, Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, industrial gas turbines, diesel and natural gas engines, electric power generator sets and diesel-electric locomotives.The company also provides financing and related services through its Financial Products segment.It has been operating in Brazil for 63 years, with 5,200 employees, and is the main Brazilian exporter of its segment.