My work at Caterpillar

My work at Caterpillar

I worked for Caterpillar for a few years. My team in charge of a part of Caterpillar® MineStar™ Solutions.

Caterpillar® MineStar™ Solutions

Caterpillar Inc.’s MineStar application is a comprehensive suite of mining technology solutions, specifically designed to enhance mine safety and productivity. It is used in many mine site with billion dollars worth of mining materials.

Here are its main features:

1. Fleet: This feature tracks, manages, and enhances the operations of all mining equipment, regardless of the manufacturer. It provides real-time machine tracking, as well as assignment and productivity management.

2. Terrain: It enables high-precisions management of drilling, shovelling, grading, and loading operations through the use of guidance technology. It increases machine efficiency and provides real-time feedback for improved efficiency.

3. Detect: This feature improves on-site safety with a system designed to alert the operator about potential hazards and avoid collisions. It uses technologies like radar, cameras, and in-cab displays.

4. Health: It utilizes analytics and predictive diagnostics to improve the efficiency and availability of equipment, optimize maintenance and avoid unnecessary downtime.

5. Command: This feature allows for the remote control, semi-autonomous, or fully autonomous operation of mining equipment, boosting safety and productivity.

6. Proximity Awareness: It uses advanced detection and communication technology to alert personnel and equipment of possible collisions.

7. Reporting Capabilities: The MineStar application provides insightful reporting capabilities, which helps to identify trends, analyze data, generate comprehensive reports, and optimize operations based on insights.

8. Fully Integrated System: The application is fully integrated, providing end-to-end, real-time visibility into mining operations.

9. Customizable: MineStar can be customized to meet the specific needs of any operation, regardless of the size, complexity, or location.

10. 24/7 Customer Support: Caterpillar offers round the clock customer service to ensure uninterrupted operations.

MineStar’s features

If MineStar Solutions is consider as a whole for the whole mine site, each machine in the machine will be installed an embedded software called Cat® Terrain.

Project 1

Each machine in the mine site has very accurate GPS onboard.

Cat® Terrain has GPS playback logging’ feature. Where the operator can select how many second to be recorded, while each second contains 100 data point. ( For example, 2 min GPS playback will have 2 * 60 * 100 ( data point ) * 2 ( number of GPS ) = 24000

One of the biggest problem is that if the embedded Cat® Terrain software crashed, it lack the last few seconds of the ploybock, which is the most important part, for debugging.

Project 2

Caterpillar® MineStar software has a feature called route, it can group different semi-autonomous trucks and large dozers/loaders together.

The route can make sure maximum productivity when comes to mining materials in a specific area.

One of my project is to make sure the mining data across machines in this route is in sync, and wth as low latency as possible, so interactive dashboards featuring reports, charts, and maps that enabled machine operators to make a better and accurate decisions.

Project 3

Caterpillar® Terrain is actually already has 7 versions, across 15 years by the time i was working in the team.

Across the year, newer code and newer code is added.

One of my project is to upgrade all the million lines of code to C++11 standard, a massive refactor.

This refactor successfully identifying and resolving critical, concealed memory leaks, thereby reinforcing system stability.

Project 4

In a mine site, there are dozers and loaders who are doing the work of getting materials, while semi-autonomous trucks delivering materials from point A to B.

One of my project is to trying to predict the shortest path for each semi-autonomous trucks, while also limiting the machine stopping time.

Project 5

In a mine site, mining machine is very huge, safety is very important.

One of my project is to work on upgrading the machine proximity awareness, a detection and communication technology to alert personnel and equipment of possible collisions.

One of the biggiest challege is to making sure peer-to-peer machine communication is in sync, and handle the edge case when tepmeory lost of connection.