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Caterpillar India Ltd.


On a pleasant October morning last year in Pune, Cranedge Help Desk was flooded as usual with calls. A few minutes later there was a moment’s quiet. Just as the person at the desk reached out to pick up her coffee mug, the phone rang. Glancing at the Caller ID, she noticed the Chennai STD code. The caller politely introduced himself and asked to be connected to a decision maker at Cranedge. He was quickly put through to Mr. Raj Shrivastav, our CEO. Pleasantries were quickly exchanged and the conversation was short and crisp.

An immediate conference call ensued between our Technical Services Team at Pune and our Chennai Office. Anxious to know why they were summoned at such short notice, our Pune and Chennai team came on line, expecting the worst. In fact, what they heard set their adrenalin rushing. The purpose was explained to them very simply: "Ensure zero down time of the cranes installed at CAT, Chennai works for the next 3 months - starting within the next day". This was a huge business opportunity and actually a litmus test for Cranedge since the world’s largest construction equipment manufacturer CAT had turned to us for critical help! Only a few hours were available at hand for preparation. Quickly, a mission-specific core group was formed. Tasks were listed out and deadlines set. Everyone was made aware and mentally prepared for a long-haul operation which would stretch for the next couple of months.

The scorching sun and dusty locale did not deter team Cranedge. The march began towards Melnallathur, in Tiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu, about 45km from Chennai. At 14:30 sharp, the Cranedge team was in front of a large gate of the massive factory whose facia read, 'Caterpillar India Ltd.' The team was already briefed on the new task - Ensuring zero down time of their cranes installed in the assembly shop of heavy construction equipment till, at least, the end of December 2009. Caterpillar was heavily booked with orders and only uninterrupted production round the clock could help meet their target. Elaborate discussions were held with the CAT production team and Cranedge maintenance team to ascertain and reconfirm their production cycle and the crane usage cycle - all of which was highly demanding. This ruled out the possibility of any major repairs. Cranedge team quickly carried out the Health Assessment of cranes. The crane history sheets were analysed with clear identification of the associated working risks. A resource plan and daily maintenance and preventive plan were worked out in consultation with CAT team to ensure 100% up time. This also called for arranging spares immediately. Minimum essential quantities of parts were organized and our engineers were deployed on two-shift basis at the works. A core team consisting of CAT and Cranedge engineers was formed to focus on these cranes. The first target was achieving at least 120 shifts without any breakdown! We started an exercise in routine and preventive maintenance. With a constant vigil and monitoring of the crane operations, the core group worked round the clock at times, to ensure that not a single hour of production time was lost.

January 01, 2010. The Cranedge team proudly submitted a blank paper to CAT management. It was titled 'Downtime record of cranes on assembly shop II'. Indeed, by the end of December 09, Cranedge could successfully achieve its target, but more importantly, CAT production team could accomplish their commitment to the management of meeting the targeted production, ensuring zero down time for the last three months on the shop-floor and being well within their cost target for usage of spares. However, the real appreciation for the Cranedge team came in the form of an extended service contract further till the end of March 2010. Once again, the highly motivated and professional Cranedge team was entrusted with a new challenge!