The Big Yellow Machines

Driving down many highways in the United States as well as passing by construction sites a familiar name stands out as the true benchmark of heavy machinery, that name is Caterpillar. As the largest manufacturer of heavy equipment in the world, Caterpillar has been creating the machines that have shaped the landscape and made the world more useable for all of us for several decades. If you love heavy equipment, and for those men out there, who didn’t love to wonder about the backhoe or bulldozer as a kid, you will love the look inside a factory that builds the engines to power these awesome machines.

In the heartland of America, in a small town in Indiana, the Marine Engine Factory of Caterpillar resides in Lafayette. In close proximity to Purdue University you may think there was some part of this factory and the hard working people of Lafayette that had something to do with the mascot of the Boilermakers, but that would be just a story. The factory opened in 1981 and offers well over 1 million square feet of space for fabrication, assembly, paint and testing.

Each engine that is produced in this factory is put through a rigorous testing process to ensure it is going to perform perfectly when installed on the machines that it powers. If you love engines, large machines, and are awed by the production process for some seriously heavy equipment, this is the factory to visit. Checking out this video will give you an idea of just how large some of these engines can be and what it takes in order to produce one of these monstrosities and make sure it is ready for use in the heavy equipment Caterpillar produces every day.

While viewing the video it’s easy to see the need for a partnership between robots and humans working to ensure these engines are perfect. For anyone who has ever worked on an engine you can certainly understand the difficulty and care that must be taken in order to have an engine that functions correctly. Each and every part must be meticulously machined and fit exactly right in order to handle the high pressure, high temperature combustion that takes place inside each cylinder. Multiply that several-fold and you have an inkling as to what this team at the Caterpillar plant must work with on a daily basis.

Even if you are not overly familiar with engines but have an interest in an assembly process, this is a really cool video to see. These massive engines are built to handle the wear and tear put on them and continue to perform through many long and arduous projects. This is one of the main reasons Caterpillar puts each engine through a testing process, to ensure it is perfect and will be up to the task required of it. Enjoy this video and wonder what would it be like to put one of the massive engines in a car, I’m not sure the road could handle such a load, but maybe one that is about one-tenth the size of these huge power plants.

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