• VIDEO: Episode 11: The Journey BackWichita preps Project Minotaur as it leaves for its journey back to CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020.
  • VIDEO: Episode 10: LearningsFrom the first focus groups at CONEXPO 2017 to customer clinics and jobsites throughout North America, Project Minotaur has evolved through extensive voice of customer feedback and traditional field testing.746
  • VIDEO: Episode 9: The First BuildersCASE builds a new line for Project Minotaur and implements World Class Manufacturing (WCM) principles as the company looks to retain the specially crafted design of the machine while also optimizing worker engagement with the machine and the workspace. 727
  • VIDEO: Episode 8: The First JobsChad Eaton of Grapes & Sons Excavating was one of the first operators at our customer clinic in Arizona earlier this year, and became one of the first contractors to put Project Minotaur to the test on real jobsites in the mountains of Colorado.712
  • VIDEO: Episode 7: Just Add FeedbackJosh Zimmerman discusses his role in dialing in the performance of Project Minotaur, and the important role that feedback plays in how the controls of the machine are refined. 685
  • VIDEO: Episode 6: Customer Clinic DocumentaryContractors from around the country come to a customer clinic in Arizona to be the very first to operate Project Minotaur.661
  • VIDEO: Episode 5: Lift the CurtainProject Minotaur team members discuss the work and planning that goes into developing a customer clinic for a new piece of construction equipment, and what they have in store for the first wave of contractors to operate the machine. 642
  • VIDEO: Episode 4: Break ThingsDan Seacat discusses the hours of testing put on equipment at the Wichita proving grounds, and what operators and testers are looking for as Project Minotaur comes closer to reality. 615
  • VIDEO: Episode 3: Heat, Data, Dozers, LoadersAir-to-boil testing puts equipment through extreme environmental and workload conditions before a new machine is ever seen by contractors.592
  • VIDEO: Episode 2: ConnectionsEngineers at the CASE manufacturing plant in Wichita, Kansas, discuss the first seeds of the idea that grew into Minotaur, and the core principle behind the frame design and blade/attachment interface. 568
  • VIDEO: Episode 1: Spare PartsCASE unveiled Project Minotaur at CONEXPO 2017 — a new machine category that brought together the performance attributes of a compact track loader and a dozer to create the industry's first ever Compact Dozer Loader, the DL450. CASE has since evolved the concept and is taking it into the next stages of development. This series will follow along the development process — Episode One details the steps taken since initial tests and focus groups after CONEXPO, the pieces of the original design left behind, and hints at the directions it is taking moving forward.511

The Origin Story

Making the Monster

In the Dirt

Nov 11, 2019

A Test That Connects Virtuality To Reality

Project Minotaur has existed in virtual reality for a long time, but now that customers are testing real units the development team is also collecting data. One area in which they’re particularly interested in is the structural stress caused by various duty cycle operations.

“We put our deep experience in CTL and dozer performance into our CAD-CAM software, and then modeled our customers’ primary use cases,” explained Layne Ostmeyer, Test Engineer.

“The first test revealed that most of that planning was right on point,” added Eric Waters, Lead Test Engineer. “So now we’re focused on optimization.”

The test that connects these two versions of Project Minotaur is called “field load reconstruction” and involves placing hundreds of sensors, or gauges, at key points on a unit, as defined by the virtual model.

“These sensors allow us to determine the stress levels during primarily used operations and use the data to estimate the fatigue life of the various components within the machine,” said Ostmeyer.

The key unit of measurement, called “strain,” is an expression of stress arising from linear displacement of a material within an area. The real-world data is collected with data acquisition equipment and then fed into the virtual model.

“We can look at data from different aspects of the system, like the coupler, H-link, and undercarriage and see how the individual components interact with the whole system,” said Waters. “After we process the field data we can see strain levels across the entire structure and not just where we placed the gauges.”

This also means that the team can iterate subsequent virtual models of stress performance informed with that real-world data, which is especially useful now that customers are giving them feedback on how their units work.

“Field load reconstruction is another testing regime that helps give us high confidence that Project Minotaur will be ready for operations in the real-world,” Waters added.