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Cummins: Focus on total customer value; ‘name of the game’ still fuel efficiency

Jennifer Rumsey, vice president engineering, Cummins engine business, discusses a shift to total customer value, fuel efficiency, reliability and alternative fuels. (Photo: Aprille Hanson)

By DOROTHY COX
The Trucker Staff

3/25/2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Prior to 2013, engine technology was centered on achieving near-zero NOx and particulate emissions, but the focus for  now and beyond has shifted to total customer value, greater fuel efficiency, reliability and alternative fuels, said Cummins officials here prior to the Mid-America Trucking Show.

Cummins Inc. March 25 confirmed its commitment to customers in the heavy-duty truck market with the announcements of fuel-efficiency improvements, a new engine rating and Connected Diagnostics — a tool which will enable customers to monitor fuel consumption, track maintenance, understand fault codes more easily and get other engine-related information via their tablets, smartphones and laptops.  

Cummins flagship ISX15 and its entire lineup of on-highway engines are on display at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, March 27-29. Also on display are related products from Cummins fuel systems, emission solutions, turbo technologies, filtration, and generator technologies, as well as new and recon parts.

Cummins offers optimized ratings for its 15-liter ISX15 engines to meet customer needs  and provide fuel efficiency in a variety of applications. The ISX15 is available with ratings of 400 hp to 450 hp, which deliver peak torque at 1000 rpm. All ratings can be uniquely tailored with electronic features like Load-Based Speed Control (LBSC), Gear-Down Protection (GDP) and Vehicle Acceleration Management (VAM) to maximize fuel economy and reduce overall operating costs.

Since 2010, numerous improvements have been made to the ISX15 to deliver up to 7 percent better fuel efficiency, noted Jeff Jones, vice president for Cummins North American engine business.

“The name of the game is fuel economy.”

Customers moving from a pre-2010 engine could experience up to 10 percent improvement, he added.

“Over the past three years, combustion optimization, reduced parasitic loads, enhanced low-end torque to support downspeeding, Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) optimization and the addition of a naturally aspirated air compressor have contributed to the significant gain in fuel economy.” 

ISX15 SmartTorque2 (ST2) ratings are available with the SmartAdvantage Powertrain, which delivers an additional 3 percent to 6 percent fuel-economy improvement. Jointly developed by Cummins and Eaton, the SmartAdvantage Powertrain integrates the Eaton Fuller Advantage™ Series automated manual transmission and Cummins ST2 ratings to operate the engine in the fuel-economy “sweet spot” and deliver excellent low-end torque and precise shifting, to help every driver perform like the best driver in the fleet.

Cummins also announced the introduction of the new ISX15 560 hp rating, ideally suited for customers operating with heavy loads or on routes with steep grades, where pulling power and effective engine braking are critical. The ISX15 rating with 560-hp and

1850 lb-ft of peak torque provides prolonged low-end torque, delivering peak power sooner and over a wider rpm range, Jones said.

Connected Diagnostics is a new application being designed to work seamlessly with leading telematics systems. It will provide customers with expert recommendations for the best action to take when a driver is alerted to an engine system fault. Connected Diagnostics is the first of several telematics-assisted applications that Cummins is developing. 

“Cummins is excited to announce Connected Diagnostics as part of its larger initiative to integrate our engine expertise with existing telematics,” said Jones. “Within moments of a fault code being presented, Cummins will be able to analyze fault information, identify the most likely root cause and provide a recommended action for the customer. In conjunction with the breadth and capability of the Cummins-authorized service network, our ability to understand issues immediately allows us to provide the right level of support at the right time for our customers.” 

Cummins Connected Diagnostics will be available in limited production later this year, with full production release planned for 2015.

Cummins Inc., a global power leader, is a corporation of complementary business units that design, manufacture, distribute and service engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems.

Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana, Cummins employs approximately 48,000 people worldwide, and serves customers in approximately 190 countries and territories through a network of more than 600 company-owned and independent distributor locations and approximately 6,500 dealer locations.

Cummins earned $1.48 billion on sales of $17.3 billion in 2013.