Additive Manufacturing - A Revolutionary Approach to Turbine Wheel Development and Production

turbine

With this emphasis on the term ‘Next Generation’ it is often easy to lose sight of the fact that we are not necessarily talking about new technologies but enhancements and improvements to existing often simple technologies. The Electric Wastegate Turbocharger is a perfect example of this.

The Additive Manufacturing Approach

The prototyping industry utilises additive manufacturing to generate 3D parts using plastic media. This technique is a recognised approach for providing a visualisation aid so that key considerations such as ease of manufacture can be assessed, for example. The manufacturing method reduces the time taken to develop new products and improves the collaboration and knowledge sharing between cross functional groups such as engineering, manufacturing and supply chain. However, there are limitations to this additive manufacturing approach, most notably when the parts are due to be produced from metal in a volume production environment. In such instances, although the plastic prototype components act as visual representations of the finished parts, they do not possess the mechanical, metallurgical or physical properties of their metal counterparts.

A recent trend has therefore been to produce metal components using additive manufacturing, in order to generate parts which bear greater resemblance to those produced through conventional methods. Such components have the potential to be utilised within research and development validation testing and act as a source of hardware for customer testing purposes. However, as the field of metal-based additive manufacturing is in its relative infancy, there is a limited knowledge base in terms of the mechanical, topographical and metallurgical characteristics of additive manufactured components, alongside minimal comparisons made against conventionally produced counterparts. Hence, a vast amount of research and development is being conducted by the aerospace, medical and automotive industries in order to gain further knowledge in this important future manufacturing area.

Cutting Edge Research

Cummins Turbo Technologies is conducting cutting edge research in conjunction with a UK University in order to develop the technical information behind generating, characterising and developing metal-based additive manufactured turbine wheels which are suitable for use within modern diesel turbocharger applications.A turbine wheel, as shown in Figure 1, is a highly stressed component, with very stringent aerodynamic performance criteria and is subjected to extreme operating conditions. Therefore, when produced using conventional manufacturing methods, a turbine wheel is investment cast from an appropriate nickel superalloy in order to achieve specific metallurgical characteristics and mechanical properties within the generated component. The casting process has been consistently developed by Cummins Turbo Technologies using over 60 years of product development knowledge.

Figure 1 - Turbocharger Turbine Wheel

Additive-Manufacturing-Thumb.jpg

The systematic approach to the additive manufacturing research conducted by Cummins Turbo Technologies is stated in Figure 2. The first part of the research has produced a comprehensive assessment of additive manufacturing technology, which includes a detailed understanding of the machines, powder-based materials and key future developments within the topic field. This stage of the research has provided a foundation from which further technology and innovation can be developed.

Figure 2 - Approach to Additive Manufacturing Research employed by Cummins Turbo Technologies

additive-manufacturing-research-approach-by-CTT.jpg

Cummins Turbo Technologies has subsequently started to produce turbine wheels using additive manufacturing and has been critically assessing the generated components in terms of dimensions, surface topography, mechanical properties and metallurgical characteristics using cutting edge techniques. As there are a limited number of materials which have been developed for use within additive manufacturing, the suitability of specific turbine wheel superalloys for the manufacturing process will also be evaluated. Documentation of all of the relevant additive manufacturing processes and procedures will be completed, in order to ensure the accurate and repeatable production of turbine wheels. Once the technical knowledge behind the production and characterisation of turbocharger turbine wheels has been developed, the information will be utilised to develop novel product designs.

A New Generation of Innovative Technologies

As the field of metal-based additive manufacturing is rapidly growing in terms of knowledge base and technical capability, it is important to develop a business case for the application of additive manufacturing to turbocharger turbine wheels. Such a business case will encapsulate the information acquired throughout the aforementioned research process and determine the most appropriate approach to the use of additive manufacturing of turbocharger turbine wheels.

The research being completed by Cummins Turbo Technologies in the field of additive manufacturing is affording a revolutionary approach to turbine wheel development and production, therefore acting as a catalyst to the generation of innovative products and technology.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Cummins continuing to supply critical filtration material for personal protective equipment

Cummins Filter Media
To date, Cummins has provided more than 14 tons of its filtration media to mask manufacturers across the globe.

In this Q&A, Amy Davis, Vice President of Cummins Filtration, shares an update on the company's progress to provide filter media to mask manufacturers around the globe. 

As the world began to grapple with COVID-19, employees at Cummins were working on innovative solutions to help supply PPE that was in high demand. On April 6, Cummins announced plans to use their filter technology to supply critical materials for N95 respirator masks, an essential piece of personal protective equipment for front-line healthcare workers.

Following the N95 announcement, on April 14, Cummins announced an additional partnership with 3M, which would include the utilization of equipment typically used for producing diesel engine filters to manufacture high-efficiency particulate filters for use in 3M’s powered air purifying respirators (PAPRs).

To date, Cummins has provided more than 14 tons of its filtration media to mask manufacturers across the globe, which has been used to produce more than eight million masks. Amy Davis, Vice President of Cummins Filtration, recently shared an update on the company’s progress to date.

Cummins Filter Media -  Covid - By the Numbers - 1
View the full infographic

Q: First, can you share more about the Cummins Filtration business and your core products?

DAVIS: Our core expertise is designing, manufacturing and selling air, fuel, hydraulic and lube filtration, as well as chemical technology products for diesel and gas-powered equipment around the world. 

Q: How did Cummins Filtration get involved in supplying media for masks?

DAVIS: The need for masks, especially N95 respirator masks, skyrocketed in March and April in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We learned that many of the world’s leading mask manufacturers needed the critical materials to assemble masks and were struggling to meet demand. We realized that the NanoNet® and NanoForce® Media technology typically found in filtration products for diesel engines could also be used in surgical masks and N95 respirator masks worn by healthcare professionals to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Once we made that connection, we began exploring partnerships to apply the filter material to masks. 

 

Cummins Filter Media - Covid - By the Numbers - 2

Q: How has Cummins been able to partner with 3M in an additional effort to meet the surge in demand for PPE due to the COVID-19 outbreak?

DAVIS: We needed to move fast and saw an opportunity to use our existing workforce at our Neillsville, Wisconsin facility to meet this demand. We acquired, commissioned and tested a new pleater in a matter of weeks and have already produced more than 41,000 filters for 3M’s PAPRs since mid-April. Internally, we talk a lot about employee empowerment and decision making and this project is a testament to our employees’ ability to adapt quickly to fill an important supply void in a totally different market. 

Q: What has the response been like from mask manufacturers?

DAVIS: Demand has been strong – in fact, it’s getting to the point where demand will exceed our capacity. Seeing so many organizations inquire about the media reinforced how critical the need for masks was globally. We’ve talked with Universities, health care systems, other automotive companies and mask manufacturers large and small about our media. To date, we’ve supplied 6 tons of the complete composite multilayer media that can be used in N95 masks, and we’ve shipped 8 tons of a simpler polypropylene media that can be used in surgical masks. 

 

Cummins Filter Media - Covid - By the numbers - 3

Q: Do you plan on selling media for masks long-term, or is this a temporary measure to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic?

DAVIS: We’ve added manufacturing capacity and capability to our plants and plan on continuing to supply media for masks as long as there is demand and a need to protect our communities from COVID-19.  

Q: What has been the most interesting thing about this project for you?

DAVIS: Our employees always want to help, and it wasn’t a surprise when they demonstrated how quickly we could pivot from supplying filters for diesel engines to supplying the media that is critical to manufacturing medical PPE. It only took us one month to go from concept to production on this project! Cummins Filtration employees across the globe have taken immense pride in being part of the solution to help our communities, and the entire initiative is a great example of how Cummins embodies our mission of making people’s lives better by powering a more prosperous world.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Counterfeit turbos turn dream cruise into a nightmare

Rick Renfroe spent years diligently planning for a dream cruise. Little did he know, he had been deceived by counterfeit parts that were going to cause his trip to go horribly wrong.

Rick Renfroe had been planning a cruise to Key West and the Bahamas for well over a decade. The day he finally got his keys to a Sundancer 440 with twin Cummins diesels, that dream was on its way to becoming a reality.

No stone was left unturned in his boating preparations. Every mechanical element was checked and tested ahead of time, and if there were any doubts about a part’s reliability, it was replaced. 

This included the Holset® turbochargers mounted to the Cummins 6BTA5.9-M2 engines. Right before the big trip, Renfroe was wrapping up months of trouble-free performance sea trials when smoke started to appear from the port engine. 

Rather than taking any risks, Renfroe and his diesel mechanic decided to replace the turbochargers in both engines. 

The Start of a Vicious Cycle 

Counterfeit TurboThe local marina did not have the correct turbo model in stock, so Renfroe searched online and found a dealer in Atlanta, 600 miles (965 km) away, that did. With the trip fast approaching, he quickly drove to Atlanta to pick up the turbos and brought them back to be installed immediately by his trusted technician. 

The new HX40M turbos were advertised as “genuine Holset.” They looked right. They fit right. However, when the owner fired up the engines for a shake-down cruise in nearby waters, it took less than two minutes for the turbo on the port engine to have a significant failure. 

Assuming a manufacturing defect was the issue, Renfroe got back in his car, drove to Atlanta and exchanged it for another unit. He shrugged it off as an anomaly. Little did he know, this was only the beginning of his troubles. 

With the second replacement turbo installed, the family embarked on the first leg of the journey. All was going according to plan, and they spent a delightful week cruising the Bahamas and back to Key West. They started up the western coast of Florida, and just as they were leaving a fuel stop in Venice, the turbo on the starboard engine died, forcing them to idle for 14 miles (about 23km) to the nearest marina. 

A postmortem on the turbo revealed a seal failure and oil leak in the turbo, which caused the shaft to snap. The family rented a car to get home and a slip for their boat. Renfroe once again drove back to the dealer who sold him the first three units to get yet another replacement. Finally, back at his home port, Renfroe noticed oil seeping out of the housing. Fed up, he sent the turbos to Holset, where it was discovered the entire lot of turbos were counterfeit.

Hurricane Michael 

An ugly situation took a disastrous turn when Hurricane Michael suddenly started bearing straight down at the port. With no turbo on one side, there was no way to escape the hurricane’s path in time. Renfroe had no other choice but to remain docked and hope for the best. Unfortunately, the entire Panama City Marina took a direct hit and was completely destroyed – including Renfroe’s Sundancer 440. 

Hurricane Michael
During Hurricane Michael, the entire Panama City Marina took a direct hit and was completely destroyed - including Renfroe's Sundancer 440. 

Despite the situation, Renfroe appreciated the Holset team that made every effort to remedy the situation once they were contacted. He learned firsthand that to be absolutely positive you are getting a Genuine Holset turbocharger, with Holset reliability, durability and performance, you must always buy from an authorized Holset distributor. 

To learn more about Genuine Holset turbochargers and parts, visit Holset.com to find your local authorized Holset distributor
 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Cummins Turbo Technologies launches exhaust throttle valve

Cummins Exhaust Throttle Valve - ETV

A new Exhaust Throttle Valve (ETV) for aftertreatment thermal management and exhaust braking has been developed by Cummins Turbo Technologies (CTT). ETV helps engine manufacturers meet stringent emission requirements.

"With more than 60 years of experience in engine air handling innovation, CTT is uniquely positioned to integrate ETV with engine systems that provide customers with a complete system level solution. Cummins’ knowledge of air handling systems combined with experience in control systems technology has achieved a cost effective, high performing ETV to meet the needs of our customers," commented Matt Franklin, Director – Product Management & Marketing.

Initially, the launch of the ETV was developed for medium-duty engine applications in India and China, and has since grown to Brazil, Europe and Mexico. ETV applications include on-highway truck, transit bus, refuse and tipper trucks. 

The ETV not only helps engine manufacturers meet stringent emission requirements, but also offers flexible design needs. Cummins’ Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) have options to configure the product with heat shields, coolant fittings and locator features. Bespoke ETV products can be designed with customized flap diameter for tailored pressure control and unique end connections for easy integration. These flexible design offerings help OEM’s meet their packaging and performance requirements. 

"We have validated the product extensively on more than 130 applications with five different engine families. At the end of 2019, the total field mileage accumulation exceeded ten million kilometers - equivalent to circling the earth 250 times. The extensive engine and vehicle validation pursued by CTT has ensured a reliable and durable product," explained Brett Fathauer, Executive Director, Research & Engineering. 

A modular service strategy was also put in place to allow selected components to be serviced, rather than replacing the entire ETV. Thus, lowering the total cost of ownership. Additionally, CTT has leveraged its global supply chain to minimize product costs and support global market needs. The ETV is currently in production and is available now for customers.
 

Cummins Turbo Technologies News

Stay up to speed on the latest turbocharger technology by signing up for the Cummins Turbo Technologies quarterly newsletter.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Cummins Turbo Technologies breathes new life into the HE600 Holset Turbocharger

Cummins Holset HE600WG Turbocharger
Cummins Turbo Technologies (CTT) has revitalized the HE600 Turbocharger (pictured) platform

With an all-new compressor stage and turbine housing, the HE600 Holset Turbocharger from Cummins Turbo Technologies (CTT) offers a class-leading product for its customers. 

Strengthening its product catalogue, CTT has revitalized the HE600 platform by delivering significant improvements on performance and durability. By combining years of engineering experience in turbine wheel and impeller design, overall turbocharger efficiency has increased more than four percent while offering a product that is more robust.

"We have used advanced aerodynamic techniques to design a new impeller and compressor housing that offers up to five percent higher efficiency in the flow range of our key customer applications. In addition, a new turbine stage was developed and designed with the benefit of analysis tools that enhance performance, while still optimizing thermal stress and improving fatigue life," explained Charles King-Cox, Compressor and Turbine Stage Director for Cummins Turbo Technologies.

The performance results of the upgraded HE600 have been met with enthusiasm from customers in both on-highway and off-highway applications who describe the Holset product as "class leading."

The turbochargers have increased the flow range to have an overlap with the larger HE800 series. Customers using HE800 can now switch to a more compact HE600 that has increased map-width, higher performance and improved durability to help meet downsizing requirements to save on costs. 

Aerodynamic efficiency is a critical element of turbocharger design and the team at CTT has used the latest design practices to ensure the new product beats the competition and drives value for customers. 

The new product design incorporates aerodynamic efficiency, surpassing the competition with high efficiency and durability. Production for the new HE600 will begin in 2020 and cater to a wide range of customer applications, including on-highway trucks, generators, industrial markets and marine markets. 

"We are continuously working to improve our product line - and the HE600 is no different. This product will exceed performance expectations and provide increased value for our customers across the globe," commented Matt Franklin, Director - Product Management and Marketing at Cummins Turbo Technologies.
 

Cummins Turbo Technologies News

Stay up to speed on the latest turbocharger technology by signing up for the Cummins Turbo Technologies quarterly newsletter.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Redirecting to
cummins.com

The information you are looking for is on
cummins.com

We are launching that site for you now.

Thank you.