CES Now Familiar Territory for Iron OEMs

Dec. 29, 2023
Consumer Electronics Show gives construction OEs a chance to show off tech.

In the last few years, a number of equipment manufacturers have added the high-profile Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to their trade show rotation to show off advancements like electrified machines and autonomous technology.

Companies such as John Deere, Caterpillar, and HD Hyundai have presented as keynote speakers, exhibited, or both.

Although equipment buyers aren’t a large part of the typical CES audience, some tech-savvy managers attend the annual Las Vegas show to learn the very latest developments.

For iron OEMs, they want to be seen as innovators in proximity to consumer goods juggernauts such as Siemens, Nasdaq, and Qualcomm. And, if they’re able to recruit young tech minds and possible tech partners while they are there, even better.

Last year, John Deere chairman and CEO John May delivered one of the keynotes. He told GadgetMatch’s Michael Josh Villanueva about Deere’s purpose at this non-traditional event.

“CES gives us a chance to show how our purpose-driven technology has a huge impact on our customers,” May said. “Our goal is to make our customers more profitable, more productive, and help them do the jobs they do in a more sustainable way. To do that, we’re leveraging the most advanced technologies. CES has had a history of talking about how technology and innovation solves some of the biggest global problems we have, and that fits perfectly with agriculture and feeding the world.”

During the 2023 show, the company announced an electric excavator, the 145 X Tier, powered by a battery from Kreisel, in which Deere has a majority stake. Deere was also named a CES 2023 Innovation Awards Best of Innovation honoree in the Robotics category, and an honoree in the Vehicle Tech & Advanced Mobility category for its fully autonomous tractor.

For this year’s CES (January 9-12, Las Vegas), Caterpillar will have a 9,600-square-foot exhibit featuring the Cat R1700 XE LHD underground loader with a 16.5-ton payload and 11.2 mph top speed. Cat says the zero-exhaust emission loader includes the industry’s only onboard battery eliminating the need to handle or exchange batteries.

It charges quickly—in less than 20 minutes when paired with two of the mobile Cat MEC500 chargers. The Cat MEC500 Mobile Equipment Charger is a standalone charging system designed to charge quickly as needed.

Also on display is the company’s 301.9 mini excavator, the first machine with a Caterpillar battery.

“We are delighted to return to CES to showcase our advancements in energy solutions,” said Rod Shurman, SVP of Caterpillar’s Electrification + Energy Solutions division. “This event is known as the proving ground for breakthrough technologies and global innovators which makes it the ideal place for us to showcase our leadership in power systems and integrated service solutions to help our customers in the energy transition.

“We’re putting our expertise to work on multiple advanced power technologies to enable the energy transition solutions that our customers need to be successful in a reduced-carbon world,” Shurman said. 

One of 2024’s keynotes will come from HD Hyundai vice chairman and CEO Kisun Chung, who will focus on the company’s strategy to create innovation in infrastructure construction.

It is part of HD Hyundai’s “Xite Transformation,” which is its vision to “solve pressing challenges humanity is facing such as safety, security, supply chain issues, climate change, and more.”

XiteSolution has won two CES 2024 Innovation Awards, one in the category of Vehicle Tech & Advanced Mobility and the other in the category of Mobile Devices, Accessories, & Apps.

XiteSolution uses fusion technology to supplement a machine’s cameras and radars to elevate accuracy in detecting obstacles and distance from equipment compared to machines with a single sensor.

XiteSolution also features X-Agent, an AI-based machine-assistance solution for excavators, wheel loaders, articulated dump trucks, and other construction equipment. X-Agent helps advance machine operation and productivity and is created with HD Hyundai’s unmanned automation technology.

This technology self-recognizes and judges equipment information, site environment, and work plan using AI and provides optimized machine operation guidance to the operator. Remote control is optional.

Develon’s Concept-X has demonstrated some of the core automation technology involved.

HD Hyundai’s exhibit at CES 2024 will consist of three main themes: Future Xite, Twin Xite and Zero Xite.

Future Xite will present what the future of next-generation construction machines will look like when utilizing advanced unmanned and automation technologies. Twin Xite will introduce site control solutions and remote-control technologies based on digital twins. Zero Xite will focus on exhibiting the company’s wide experience and technological capabilities for green energy value chains.

“We are committed to being a future builder as we continue to design a brighter world for humanity, from ocean [“Ocean Transformation” was last year’s HD Hyundai presentation] to Xite,” HD Hyundai said in a statement. “We are excited to share our plans for how we are creating a sustainable future through a shift in the industry’s paradigm with those attending the show.”

Chung’s keynote speech will take place on Wednesday, January 10, at the Venetian hotel in the Palazzo Ballroom on Level 5.

About the Author

Frank Raczon

Raczon’s writing career spans nearly 25 years, including magazine publishing and public relations work with some of the industry’s major equipment manufacturers. He has won numerous awards in his career, including nods from the Construction Writers Association, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, and BtoB magazine. He is responsible for the magazine's Buying Files.