Cummins Marine Power Moving Up To 4000 HP


Cummins Vessel Reference #647

One of the first QSK95 engines with another in the test bed.

“This is the most powerful high speed diesel in the world,” was the recurring statement at the unveiling of the new Cummins QSK95 engine in Seymour Indiana on the First of November. Development of the new engine has been a carefully guarded secret so that the assembled guest were duly impressed when the big new engine rose out of the floor to the heraldry of drum rolls. Speaking to nearly 200 assembled global customers at the surprising launch of the new engine, Tom Linebarger Cummins Chairman and CEO, showed a graph of industry statistics of the phenomenal growth of high-speed diesels greater than 1000 horsepower relative to their medium speed competition. Since surpassing the number of engines delivered in the late 1970s the number of high-speed engines delivered has grown from about 5000 units to about 35000 today while the medium speed engines business has continued at the 1970s levels.

Tom Linebarger speaks to growth in high speed diesels.

Customer-demand for higher horsepower coupled with ever more stringent emissions limits are both addressed in the Cummins announcement of the new 95-liter engine. A dramatic increase from the current largest engine in their marine line up, the 60-liter QSK60, this will take the marine versions of the Cummins line-up from 2700 horsepower to a 4000 horsepower range.

Mark Levett, V-P and GM of the HHP Engine business for Cummins,

The result of extensive interviews with world-wide customers, architects and shipyards in all segments, both medium and high speed, of the marine industry pointed out the need need for more horsepower. Now after hundreds of millions of dollars spent on engineering, the QSK95 is scheduled for prototype in-vessel testing in 2013 and full production in 2015. Work on the engine by a team of 153 engineers and 20 technicians over the past three years under the code-name Hedgehog, has been kept under wraps. Now, with the first engines clocking hours in the new test cells that, together with a new production line, are at the factory in Seymour Indiana, Cummins has unveiled the engine so that work can continue with customer input from rail, mining, power generation, offshore and marine customers.

The newly unveiled QSK95 at the Seymour Indiana factory.

Mark Levett, Cummins Vice-President and General Manager for the High-Horsepower engine business, explained at the launch that marine customers have been asking for more horsepower and increased bollard pull with a smaller footprint than is available from the medium speed manufacturers. The QSK95 will be one third smaller than a medium speed engine of the same power. As a 16-cylinder engine it will be significantly less costly to maintain and more powerful than competitors’ 20-cylinder engines.

While customer interviews led to the development of the base QSK95 engine, work remains to bring it to a production marine engine. Geoff Conrad will bring 15 years as General Manager of Cummins Marine Business, to lead the team developing the marine engine. His well-established relation with large and small marine operators, shipyards and naval architects will enable the Cummins team to deliver exactly what the marine market requires.

Extensive work on the existing line of Cummins engines in both on and off-highway applications has made Cummins a leader in meeting the progressively more stringent environmental requirements of both the US EPA and the IMO standards. Leveraging proven technologies developed for these challenges to the QSK95 allows the new engine to meet the EPA Tier 3 and IMO Tier II emission standards. With the addition of Cummins own after treatment the engine will meet the Tier 4 standards for marine that are to be phased in starting in 2016. The marine industry has been concerned about the fitting of aftertreatment devices into the confined spaces of most vessels. The Cummins solution uses in-cylinder clean combustion technology to reduce Particulate Matter (PM) emissions and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) aftertreatment to reduce Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) emissions. The compact design of the Cummins SCR is such that it will do the work of and fit into a similar space to that of a typical marine muffler.

At the engine launch Rachel Bridges, Marine Marketing and Product Manager, explained that the QSK95 will be integrated with the value-added options to reduce maintenance currently available for other Cummins High Horsepower engines. The Centinel™ Oil Management System eliminates oil changes by burning and replacing small amounts of lube oil. The Eliminator™ Filter utilizes a centrifuge in rather than replaceable spin on filters. C-Command Panel systems can be configured to display all aspects of engine operation including fuel consumption. Other vessel systems, such a bilge states, can also be integrated into the display.

The QSK95 platform has been designed, like other Cummins engines, for a long life with no mid-life rebuild. Among the extensive presentations over the two-day event, were references to the future fuel technologies. With natural gas seen to be gaining a larger place in marine power, the new engine has been designed with alternate fuel capabilities. The engineers have pre-engineered the engine platform to add four cylinders to make a 120-liter 5000 horsepower engine. Engineering options also exist to reduce the 16-cylinder QSK95 platform to 12 cylinders.

“The QSK95 will allow Cummins to meet our customers’ growing power requirements, while meeting increasingly more stringent global emissions,” explained Jenny Bush, General Manager – Cummins Commercial Marine Business, “It also strengthens Cummins position as a global player in the commercial marine industry by allowing us to enter new market segments.”

For more information:

Geoff Conrad
QSK95 Account Executive
Cummins Commercial Marine Business
4500 Leeds Ave. suite 301
Charleston, South Carolina, 29405-8521
Phone: 843 745 1585
E-mail: [email protected]

Alan Haig-Brown

Alan Haig-Brown

Over 30 years as an author for global commercial marine and fishing publications backed with hands-on experience on commercial fishing boats and coastal freighters makes Alan Haig-Brown uniquely qualified to provide vessel reference articles for Cummins Marine. You can find him in shipyards around the world, and on his own website,

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