Caterpillar has made a minority investment in Uptake, a provider of a "dynamic analytics and insight platform," and will jointly develop an end-to-end platform for predictive diagnostics.
The move follows the opening of Caterpillar's first Innovations Lab at the University of Illinois in Champaign and fits into the strategy outlined by Caterpillar's chief technology officer, Gwenne Henricks. Uptake is located in Chicago; Caterpillar's headquarters are in Peoria, Ill.
“Customers use our current technology for fleet monitoring and to track fuel efficiency, idle times, location and more,” said Doug Oberhelman, chairman/CEO of Caterpillar. “Our existing solutions are effective, but it’s time we take it to the next level. This relationship will combine Caterpillar’s world-class product engineering and design expertise with Uptake’s software, application and data analytics expertise. As a result, we’ll be able to transform the quintillion bytes of incoming data we see every day into useful information we feed back to our customers for on-the-spot decisions and planning purposes to further reduce owning and operating costs.
“Through this agreement, we’ll build a platform to bring the next generation of our technology services and products to market sooner, and will act as a springboard for years of development after that. We want to empower our customers with the insight necessary to shift from a reactive “repair after failure” mode to a proactive “repair before failure” stance. The end result will be more efficient operations and increased fleet availability for our customers. And the more our customers’ machines and engines stay running, the more money they make."
Uptake has been working with Caterpillar since 2014, developing locomotive-related predictive diagnostics and fleet optimization solutions for its Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) subsidiary. The early successes of the locomotive project led Caterpillar to expand its relationship with Uptake into other industries Caterpillar serves. As Uptake’s exclusive partner in various industries, Caterpillar can leverage its data and operational insights with Uptake’s technology and data science platform to provide unparalleled solutions for customers in each of those industries.
“We are at a unique time in history—analytics are enabling insights that are changing the way entire industries work. Uptake is at the front of this evolution,” said Brad Keywell, co-founder and CEO of Uptake. “Our platform takes massive data provided by sensors, combines it with data science to understand signals and patterns and deploys insights in real time that save money, optimize performance and prevent unplanned downtime. Our partnership with Caterpillar has resulted in a cross-industry platform that is informed by the best data and the best operational insights.”
“We’re excited about an optimal platform that will not only increase the value of the information our customers and dealers already receive, but also help them maintain a competitive advantage,” Oberhelman added. “What we’re really talking about is graduating to even smarter, more connected products. We’re working on getting ahead of the curve, because with our knowledge and expertise, there is no one better than Caterpillar to provide the platform and tools necessary to help our customers achieve new levels of equipment availability, productivity and profitability.”
In the coming months, Caterpillar will collaborate with Uptake and the Cat dealer network to roll out the latest predictive analytics and insights through web-based and mobile tools for customers.
The new technology will be available for both Cat products and non-Cat branded products.