Caterpillar opening 1st permanent office in downtown Chicago

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Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago. (Frank Fujimoto/Flickr)

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — The Peoria-based construction and mining equipment company Caterpillar Inc. is opening its first permanent office in Chicago.

The (Peoria) Journal Star reports that the Caterpillar office will have 45 employees and be located in the downtown Merchandise Mart building along the Chicago River. The new Chicago "Digital and Analytics Hub" expands on operations already housed in Peoria.

Specifically the company's Analytics and Innovation Division takes information from sensors embedded in heavy equipment and relay it to Caterpillar and others. The division was created in April 2015.

Caterpillar made the announcement during the recent "Chicago Ideas Week" event.

Caterpillar chief analytics director Morgan Vawter says Chicago "is an ideal location for continuing to cultivate and grow a diverse, creative digital and analytics work force."