Wood Business

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Cat links forestry machines

Sept. 17, 2014 - Cat Product Link, Caterpillar's machine monitoring system, is now standard on all forestry machines. When installed at the factory, the system comes with a three-year subscription to VisionLink, the user interface, at no charge.

Product Link is an advanced — but user friendly — remote monitoring technology for equipment. With Product Link, customers know where their equipment is, what it's doing and how it's performing. Armed with this information they can maximize efficiency and lower operating costs.

The system has been in use on many forestry products since 2007. Expanding availability and offering the service at no cost, will allow more forestry customers to experience the advantages of Product link on all their Cat harvesting and extraction machines.

"We know our forestry customers can benefit greatly by using Product Link. This is a tool that can improve their profitability," said Caterpillar Forest Products President Kevin Thieneman.

Product Link is integrated with the Electronic Control Modules (ECMs) on Cat equipment to collect and deliver valuable information. Because logging sites tend to be in remote areas, information will be transmitted via satellite for more consistent communications. Customers will have remote access to equipment information over the web at any time and any place. With Product Link customers can:

• Know the location and status of equipment, including alerts if their equipment is moved without their knowledge
• Track fuel use and idle time
• Monitor equipment efficiency and health, including fault codes
• Access fluid analyses results and online parts ordering
• Access model-specific daily safety and maintenance inspection checklists.

"You want to know what's going on on your jobsite? Punch it up and find out. It's that easy. You get a replacement warning on a filter? Click over to the Cat Parts Store and have filters delivered to you the next day. We're working to better serve our customers in the coming years and Product Link is the key," Thieneman said.

As part of orientation on a new machine, Cat dealers will provide training on Product Link. Caterpillar also offers online webinars.

"Not long ago people had basic mobile phones and didn't think they needed anything else. Now everyone's got a smartphone and can't live without it. Telematics like Product Link will be mainstream in the near future," Thieneman concluded.

For more information, talk to your local Cat dealer.


September 17, 2014
By Amie Silverwood


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