Komatsu: Converting Data for Intelligent Construction and Mining

May 20th, 2018 Posted in News

SAP customer Komatsu America is transforming its construction and mining business. Colin Boyd, CIO of Komatsu America, spoke to CXO Talk’s Michael Krigsman about the advances in technology and operations shaping the industry.

“You talk about autonomous vehicles; the mining industry has that already. Some of the technology that’s going into the construction products, they’ve had the same technology coming out. We have a product called Smart Construction,” Boyd tells Krigsman. “You can map a three-dimensional model of your construction site. You can then map out the three-dimensional model that you want it to look like when you’re finished. Here’s where the material is, and here’s what it has to look like. We want a six percent grade slope. Press the button, and let the excavator deliver.”

On his role as the CIO:
“I think it’s evolving. The distinction for me between a CIO role and the CTO role is kind of starting to blur, what traditionally used to be your CIO role, your infrastructure, applications. When you get into the product technology, IT then becomes part of the solution, so you’re integrated with the engineers designing the product and the people servicing the product. Really, you become a de facto CTO even if you’re not officially a CTO.”

On translating tech data to business information:
“We are close to a position where the machine can start to call for maintenance. Machine to machine is coming. Collision avoidance will be an initial place to start… and imposing operational parameters that would stop a machine operator taking it out of the safety envelope of the machine, overloading a truck. The trucks all have tonnage sensors on them, and they’ll tell you to stop if you’re trying to overload them.”

“We know where the half a million machines are,” he continues. “We know how much they’re being used. Therefore, we know how many hours they’re going through in terms of operations. This gives us direction on when their scheduled maintenance is coming up. So, if we know that you’re hammering the machines really hard in one country, the spare parts inventory will move in. If we see that your market has declined in your country and a lot of those machines are parked, we’ll move that inventory elsewhere.”

“You have to shift the culture in your organization,” he says. “You have to move from we are a manufacturer of machines to we are a provider of solutions.”

Watch the full interview above to learn more about Komatsu and how they are converting operational data into business data.