Caterpillar Inc. is a US corporation which develops, designs, engineers, produces, markets and sells insurance, financial products, engines, and machinery to customers via a global network dealership. Caterpillar is a top producer of diesel-electric locomotives, construction and equipment, mining, diesel and natural gas engines, and industrial gas turbines.
Belonging to the industrials sector means this company will be affected directly and indirectly by a number of disruptive opportunities and challenges over the coming decades. While described in detail within Quantumrun’s special reports, these disruptive trends can be summarized along the following broad points:
*First off, by 2050, the world population will rise above nine billion, over 80 percent of whom will live in cities. Unfortunately, the infrastructure needed to accommodate this influx of urbanites does not currently exist, meaning the 2020s to the 2040s will see an unprecedented growth in urban development projects globally, projects supported by construction equipment companies.
*By the late 2020s, construction scale 3D printers will significantly reduce the time needed to build houses and highrises by using additive manufacturing principles to ‘print’ housing units.
*The late 2020s will also introduce a range of automated construction robots that will improve construction speed and accuracy. These robots will also offset a forecasted labor shortfall, as significantly fewer millennials and Gen Zs are choosing to enter the trades than past generations.
*Advances in nanotech and material sciences will result in a range of materials that are stronger, lighter, heat and impact resistant, shapeshifting, among other exotic properties. These new materials will enable significantly novel design and engineering possibilities that will impact the manufacture of a vast swath of current and future products.
*The shrinking cost and increasing functionality of advanced manufacturing robotics will lead to further automation of factory assembly lines, thereby improving manufacturing quality and costs.
*3D printing (additive manufacturing) will increasingly work in tandem with future automated manufacturing plants drive down the costs of production even further by the early 2030s.
*As augmented reality headsets become popularized by the late 2020s, consumers will begin replacing select types of physical goods with cheap-to-free digital goods, thereby reducing general consumption levels and revenue, per consumer.
*Among millennials and Gen Zs, the growing cultural trend towards less consumerism, towards investing money into experiences over physical goods, will also lead to a minor reduction in general consumption levels and revenue, per consumer. However, a growing global population and the increasingly wealthy African and Asian nations will make up for this revenue shortfall.