Case D Series excavators feature the company’s Intelligent Hydraulic System with four integrated control systems working together to optimize performance. Andrew Dargatz, brand marketing manager, provides this overview of the feature: “The system actively manages and controls hydraulic power throughout the production cycle to maximize speed and efficiency while reducing fuel consumption by minimizing unnecessary hydraulic flow.” Playing supporting roles to the Intelligent Hydraulic System are a new electronically controlled pump, larger control valve and new sensors. Hardware improvements include a more robust boom and track and undercarriage design.

Four systems are involved in Intelligent Hydraulic Control. Boom Economy Control drops engine speed and uses gravity during boom down and swing. Auto Economy Control lowers engine rpm after controls are in a neutral state for 10 seconds and will do an auto shutdown, when enabled, after a preset idle period. Swing Relief Control regulates pump flow at the onset of the swing cycle. Spool Stroke Control monitors operator inputs and adjusts flow during dig cycles to optimize machine performance.

The sum of the parts is shorter cycle times, less rework, fewer overcorrections, greater precision for lift and placement, higher breakout forces and improvements in fuel economy of up to 14 percent.

Caterpillar has been getting a lot of attention for their new excavators, and rightfully so. When they introduced the 320 GC, 320 and 323 models last year, it had been 25 years since the last major redesign of the product – that would be 1992 – and they pulled out all the stops this time. Specifically, these three Next Generation models were built for digital connectivity, ease of use and semi-automated functionality.

Read more: The Smarter Excavator: Burst of tech brings intelligent control to new mid-size models