For the Cat Racing team, simulation means faster, safer real-life performance. Drivers use it to train, refining their skills on different tracks. Engineers use it to test variables in a controlled environment. Pit crew members use data collected during simulations to make decisions during the race. All that contributes to lower costs.
“Every time our engine makes a lap, every time we use a set of tires, it’s very expensive,” says Luke Lambert, crew chief for the No. 31 car. “When we use simulation, we can run lap after lap after lap at a fixed cost.”
Caterpillar and Cat customers reap similar benefits. Using simulation, it’s much faster — and less expensive — to manipulate, assemble and disassemble virtual products than real iron. It also speeds product design and testing, so machines get to market more quickly and cost-effectively, and helps engineers replicate extreme conditions.
“We’ve got customers working in negative 40 degrees,” says Chad Cremeens, operations supervisor at the Edwards Demonstration and Learning Center. “They have to get the job done despite the temperature. We’re able to test the machine — make sure it’s going to start, make sure the hydraulics work, make sure it’s still safe, make sure the structures are going to last.”