Trimble Navigation Ltd., Dayton, Ohio, has signed an agreement with Caterpillar Inc., Peoria, Ill., to develop the next generation of advanced electronic guidance and control products for earthmoving machines. The joint venture, called Caterpillar Trimble Control Technologies LLC, is expected to begin operations in Dayton on April 1. It will be owned half-and-half by the two companies.
"The market for machine guidance and control products has seen relatively low penetration rates to date," said Mark Nichols, general manager of the joint venture, formerly the division vice president of machine control for Trimbles Engineering and Construction Division. "Over the past three years, customers who have adopted the new 3D machine control technology have realized significant benefits, which include productivity enhancements of up to 30%, reduced re-work and the virtual elimination of certain steps in the construction process."
Starting with the existing technologies of the two companies, the joint venture will develop on-board systems that improve productivity and further modernize the construction and mining markets.
Initially, the venture will supply products to Trimble and Caterpillar. Caterpillar will offer products as a fully integrated, factory-installed option, while Trimble will continue to address the aftermarket with products through its global dealer channel.
"Over the past five years, there have been over 300,000 machines sold in the United States alone that can potentially benefit from the use of this technology," said Karl Ramstrom, senior vice president and general manager of Trimbles Engineering Construction Division. "By combining the strengths of Trimble and Caterpillar, the venture will enable us to reach a larger part of this customer base and accelerate the growth and acceptance of these productivity-enhancing systems in the construction market."
"The joint venture brings tremendous synergistic benefits to both Caterpillar and Trimble," said Mark Pflederer, Cat Electronic Business Unit manager. "It gives both organizations the expertise and platform to develop more long-term strategies to serve the evolving on-machine control market than was possible under our previous OEM-customer relationship."