Lincoln Turnage of Boyd Cat talks to marine industry customers about Whayne Supply changing its name to Boyd Cat but retaining the same ownership. Boyd Cat hosted a digital workshop at the 1857 Hotel in Paducah to introduce customers to Caterpillar’s available digital services. (Photo by Shelley Byrne)

Cat Connect Workshop Shows Off Digital Capabilities

More than a dozen executives from the inland marine industry learned about technological advancements in business analytics March 3 at the Cat Connect For Marine digital workshop at the 1857 Hotel in Paducah, Ky.

Hosted by Boyd Cat, the workshop was also a chance to introduce customers to the new name for the former Caterpillar distributor Whayne Supply. The company is based in Louisville but with branches in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia.

“It’s the exact same team,” said Lincoln Turnage, marine sales representative for the newly named Boyd Cat. “Nothing has changed externally for anybody. It’s just the shirts look different, and when you get an invoice it will look a little different.”

The company changed its name in early February, although the Boyd family purchased the now 106-year-old company, then called Whayne Supply, in 2008. As the Boyd family also purchased Charleston, W.Va.,-based Caterpillar distributor Walker Machinery in 2010, the name change helps to bring all aspects of the company together into a cohesive unit, Turnage said. As a whole, Caterpillar provides main engines, diesel generators and propulsion drives to the marine industry.

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Jeff Mauntel, senior digital technical specialist for Caterpillar Asset Intelligence, presented a session on the business’ digital services, including platforms that help river companies improve maintenance practices, fuel economy and reliability.

“It’s an introduction to the customer of what we have to offer and how it can be of benefit to them,” he said.

Examples given include alarm technology indicating mechanical failure, more extensive analytical tools that indicate when a piece of equipment drops below an expected threshold and could be in imminent danger of failing or long-term analyses that monitor equipment usage and efficiency for weeks or months at a time, indicating trends and providing notice well in advance of mechanical failure in some cases.

“We can look at fuel efficiency and the operations of the vessel, and provide you with business intelligence reports,” Mauntel told the audience.

In another example, he showed a video indicating how Caterpillar’s digital services indicated days in advance that a fuel pump on a vessel was about to fail, preventing more costly repairs and avoiding downtime. Such tools are often cloud-based for easy accessibility and can include data reporting, analysis and recommendations, asset intelligence and risk/gain sharing, Mauntel said.