• 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

Feb 04, 2019

Virtual Stress

“It needs to survive what customers throw at it, since we’re part of a tough, oftentimes grueling industry. We need to get at the durability of the thing,” said Eric Waters, Lead Test Engineer.

Virtual Stress

He’s describing FEA testing, a go-to tool used to develop new products, which is playing a key role in the continued development of Project Minotaur.

He continued: “We start out with an estimate of the load we think the machine can withstand, which is the static load. Then we want to look at how much stress does that generate and, you know, how much is something going to bend?”

“We want to understand cycle count and loading, so the static test turns into a dynamic one, from which we can estimate the durability of the machine under real world conditions,” added John Moffitt, Design Engineer.

FEA, which stands for Finite Element Analysis, is a proven methodology for studying the properties of machine components. The Minotaur team combines experts in product validation, product engineering, and design analysis to pull together tests that mirror real-life. The challenge is that Minotaur is the first of its kind.

“They’re complex models,” John continued, “modeled with the material and weld classifications defined, and we use a lot of actual field load data to look at not just one load case, but what’s happening in may-be a hundred different static loads in a series over time.”

“Really, what we’re talking about is virtual fatigue analysis,” Eric said.

The team is implementing cutting edge analysis tools for simulation to test a completely new machine, but it stays grounded in their deep expertise in building site-ready equipment. It’s an approach we call practical innovation.

“There are things customers do with our machines that we never could have imagined,” Eric added. “So while we may be surprised by the reality of what our machines are put through, we’re testing to account for the unexpected in our dynamic loading.”