LAS VEGAS, Sept. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) opened MINExpo International 2008 today with the largest and most comprehensive state-of-the-art indoor exhibit in the history of the exposition. The event, which runs September 22-24 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, will highlight Caterpillar's mining products, services, technology and people. With over 40,000 square feet of floor space, the Caterpillar exhibit is the largest at the event.
"MINExpo is an important event for Caterpillar because mining is such an important part of our business," said Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Jim Owens. "The mining industry is experiencing unprecedented growth and demand. Mining equipment continues to represent a growing portion of our sales."
Sponsored by the National Mining Association, MINExpo International 2008 is the mining industry's premier exhibition of mining equipment, technology and services. More than 1,200 exhibitors will be showcased throughout roughly 600,000 square feet of exposition space -- attracting nearly 40,000 visitors from around the world. Approximately 100 Caterpillar dealerships from around the world will have representatives at the event.
Caterpillar's theme -- "Mining safely. Mining more. Mining right." -- embraces Caterpillar's commitment to mining efficiently and productively while doing the utmost to protect the health and safety of miners, the environment and the communities where mining companies operate.
Responding to customer requests, Caterpillar has made a number of advancements in improved equipment safety. The exhibit features an operator- centered theme showcasing the enhanced safety features and initiatives engineered into Cat mining products.
The machines on display demonstrate significant ergonomic and safety- related improvements to the cabs and operator stations. For example, the innovative controls highlighted on the new M-Series motor grader reduce operator hand and arm movement by more than 80 percent, leading to less fatigue and improved production.
Advancements in machine access are highlighted with new integrated ladder, stairway and lift systems demonstrated on the 797F, 795F, 777F, 993K and D11T models exhibited on the show floor.
Updated engineering designs provide ground level access to the regular service and maintenance points on the machines-helping to improve the safety of operators and maintenance personnel.
Caterpillar's exhibit also provides an overview of the company's current and future approach to automation and technologies for mining.
Caterpillar was the first original equipment manufacturer to successfully develop an autonomous mining truck, having demonstrated this capability in the mid-1990s. Since that time, Cat has been developing the building blocks that will make up the most comprehensive autonomous truck system in the world.
In July 2008, Caterpillar announced a groundbreaking alignment with BHP Billiton to develop an autonomous mining haulage system. In addition, the company recently announced a multi-year program for the development of autonomous capabilities for blasthole drills. These announcements are another step in realizing the Caterpillar vision of an autonomous mine site, where such machines will enhance safety, increase productivity and reduce process variability, which will benefit both productivity and machine health.
"The men and women of Cat Global Mining along with our associates in the dealer organization are well positioned to provide solutions that make our customers more successful," said Caterpillar Group President Stu Levenick. "The group has initiated positive change all over the world and as a result, we're helping our customers meet their objectives for mine safety, sustainability and profitability."
The display will also feature the DARPA Urban Challenge winner, Boss. The robotic vehicle is a 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe robotic that was developed by Carnegie Melon University and sponsored by Caterpillar.
Autonomous systems for large track-type tractors and underground mining equipment will also be on display.
Expected to be the highlight of the Caterpillar exhibit, the company will unveil its next generation of mining trucks designed to help mining customers produce more, including the 777F and 797F mechanical drive trucks and the new 795F AC electric drive truck.
"Caterpillar will produce mining trucks for every application -- uphill, downhill, flat or extreme conditions -- and now with electric as well as mechanical drive," said Chris Curfman, president of Cat Global Mining and vice president of Caterpillar Inc. "This puts our customers in a unique position to evaluate and select the best fit for their operations."
Caterpillar's next generation of mining trucks represents its largest ever investment into this important product line. Completing the updated mining truck line will be new versions of the 785 and 789 mechanical drive trucks, as well as a new 793, which will be available in both mechanical drive (793F) and electric drive (793F AC) versions.
The exhibit will also showcase the new 993K wheel loader, a product designed specifically for the mining industry, and highlight Caterpillar's underground mining product line and technologies. Virtual training simulators, designed to improve operator performance and safety, will be located throughout the exhibit.
Beyond its products, Caterpillar's exhibit will showcase the company's mining offerings for electric power generation, financial products, world trade and other product support services.
Caterpillar's ongoing commitment to sustainability -- and how it is integrated into mining -- is another important aspect of the MINExpo 2008 program.
The company will preview its latest industry film, "Ground Rules -- Mining for a Sustainable Future," in a theater on the exhibit floor. The film, shot in high definition in locations around the world, focuses on educating the public about mining's intrinsic value to society and illustrates how mining companies are doing it in a sustainable manner.
Advancements in engine and emissions technology will be displayed as the company introduces its latest engine line-up, including the new C175 engine for its largest mining trucks. Every machine on the exhibit will include Caterpillar's patented ACERT(R) Technology, designed to reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency.
On September 20th Caterpillar's Global Mining Division hosted a forum in Las Vegas to address the mining industry's interest in health, safety, environment and community. The forum attracted more than 400 participants, including sustainability experts who offered practical concepts and best-case solutions in environment and social responsibility.
"By pursuing sustainable development and sustainable progress -- in every aspect of our business, we strengthen our ability to meet the emerging sustainability requirements of both our domestic and international customers," said Curfman.
For more than 80 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making progress possible and driving positive and sustainable change on every continent. With 2007 sales and revenues of $44.958 billion, Caterpillar is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines. The company also is a leading services provider through Caterpillar Financial Services, Caterpillar Remanufacturing Services, Caterpillar Logistics Services and Progress Rail Services. More information is available at http://www.cat.com.
Certain statements in this release relate to future events and expectations and as such constitute forward-looking statements involving known and unknown factors that may cause actual results of Caterpillar Inc. to be different from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. In this context, words such as "will", "expect", "anticipate" or other similar words and phrases often identify forward-looking statements made on behalf of Caterpillar. It is important to note that actual results of the company may differ materially from those described or implied in such forward-looking statements based on a number of factors and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, changes in economic conditions; currency exchange or interest rates; political stability; market acceptance of the company's products and services; significant changes in the competitive environment; epidemic diseases; changes in law, regulations and tax rates; and other general economic, business and financing conditions and factors described in more detail in the company's Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 1, 2008. This filing is available on our website at http://www.cat.com/secfilings. We do not undertake to update our forward- looking statements."
SOURCE Caterpillar Inc.