The man responsible for integrating Caterpillar's and Bucyrus's parts divisions

While Caterpillar's existing parts division manages 800,000 serviceable parts, acquiring Bucyrus added an additional 1.3 million part numbers, says Dave Faber, General Manager Mining Parts & Product Support, Caterpillar Global Mining.

"A couple of years ago when we did the Bucyrus integration we really acquired 10 different product lines and many different companies," says Faber who spoke to MINING.com at the Global Mining Forum in Tucson earlier this month.

The forum is a Caterpillar hosted event that is held annually near the company's testing grounds in Tinaja Hills. Select customers and dealers attend.

"As you know Bucyrus had acquired a number of companies in building their mining organization, from drills to longwall and room and pillar. They also added their Terex hydraulic mining shovels."

Faber must manage the existing parts inventory structure but is also spearheading integration. Faber says the advantages are many.

"You start thinking about the common use of tooling—the common use of part stocking advantages. You are able to focus and really deliver repair options and customized solutions at the dealer level while taking advantage of a broader inventory process."

Customers are eager to see integration completed.

"Customer are asking us when are you going to get there. When are going to be done, and obviously not soon enough for them.

"We've made really strong progress, and we are going back to the fundamentals of the product structure and doing the releasing work, the engineering work, laying the foundation for the rest of Caterpillar to really to take advantage of all the offerings we have.