Cummins First Electric Vehicle Inspires Next Generation of Engineers

Greenpower Electric Car and team

In order to help fulfill its future technology needs, Cummins Turbo Technologies is educating and developing next generation engineers through a project to design and build an electric race car. This is the first in-house developed Cummins electric vehicle.

With the advancement of new electric and hybrid technologies picking up pace such as electrification and stop-start technologies to improve commercial vehicle fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions, Cummins Turbo Technologies needs to understand what the impact of these new automotive technologies will be on their air handling technologies.

Through this project Cummins Turbo Technologies is developing the skills of the next generation of engineers as well as inspiring and motivating engineers of the future, ensuring that the company is in a position to meet the future technology needs of the automotive market.

Developing the Next Generation of Engineers

The project was conceived, as part of the UK Greenpower Education Trust, to help attract, train and develop the skills of Cummins engineers by competing in a national engineering competition as well as inspire and motivate the next generation of engineers to study science, mathematics, engineering and technology (STEM subjects) at school.

The Greenpower competition, which has been running for 15 years and holds 30 events per year, has attracted over 500 schools and 10,000 school children to compete by building and racing their own electric car. Cummins has been involved for a number of years helping school teams in various locations around the UK.

Cummins will continue to support the various school teams near its UK sites in Darlington, Huddersfield, Daventry and Stamford but are now extending into the 'Corporate Challenge' to compete against other engineering companies.

New Product Development

The Corporate Challenge Vehicle Project was approached using the Cummins Value Package Introduction (VPI) process to give new Cummins employees the best opportunity to learn about the tools and processes involved in developing a new product as well as giving the project a successful structure. Apprentices from Cummins Turbo Technologies completed the project during their first year of training and by taking on this project, the apprentices have not only developed their knowledge and practical skills - but helped to promote engineering as an interesting career.

Cross Functional Engineering Expertise

A cross functional project team from across Cummins Turbo Technologies was first put together, which consisted of engineers from Advanced Engineering, Aerodynamics, Mechatronics, Actuators and Sensors, Sub Systems Engineering, Current Product Support and Service. Benchmarking was carried out on the competition, then simulations were run to understand what the critical design parameters were for success. From this input, the design was created with the objective of having a vehicle capable of winning the event outright. Design tools used included 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) modelling, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) predictions of aerodynamic performance and finite element analysis of suspension parts to improve stiffness. Rapid prototyping was used for bodywork visualisation and manufacture of several car parts. Mechatronics engineers advised on the integration of the 22kg 24 volt battery power pack, 500W drive motor and associated motor control systems for the electric vehicle. They supported the performance monitoring of the electric vehicle via an in-house developed networked, modular fault tolerant on board data logging system with integrated GPS tracking and remote telemetry capability.

In-House Designs Developed

Seven first year Advanced Mechanical Engineering apprentices then took the designs and with the support of their college tutors learnt the skills to machine, fabricate and assemble the vehicle over a four month period. Cummins engineers advised and guided when roadblocks arose and redesigned parts where improvements were identified during early testing – just as we would for a prototype turbocharger design. The final design included various interesting features such as an aluminium honeycomb sandwich panel chassis for a lightweight yet strong structure, minimal rolling resistance from high pressure tyres, glass fibre body giving an ultra-low drag coefficient of 0.22 Cd and in-house designed data logging and telemetry to provide live data during the events.

Greenpower Championships

Before the Corporate Challenge championship race on 23 September 2015, the team had the opportunity to display the car at the Croft Motor Circuit round of the Greenpower championship. This allowed them to demonstrate to up to 300 school children what they had designed and developed as well as allow the apprentices to talk to the students about what a career in engineering involves. Staff from Cummins Engine Plant, Darlington were also supporting the event and school teams competing. At a recent global technical event at Huddersfield, the apprentices also stepped forward to give presentations to 30 Senior Cummins’ Technical Leaders, creating interest in the project around the world.

greenpower-electric-car-on-track.jpg

Delivering Future Cummins Engineers

During the project the first year apprentices have not only had the opportunity to develop their knowledge and practical skills, but it has enabled them to get to know Cummins people and processes before they start working at the Huddersfield site to complete their four year apprenticeship program. Part of the knowledge gained by the apprentices has been seeing how engineers solve problems and understanding that good communication is necessary to help ensure the project delivers the right result, as well as delivering engineers for the future. One of the apprentices, Eddy Killoran commented, "This is the first fully electric vehicle to be completely designed and manufactured by Cummins, so to be part of this project is a huge privilege. The project has got the Cummins apprentices thinking about sustainability from a young age as they are the future of the engineering."

As the industry shifts to improve commercial vehicle fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions, Cummins Turbo Technologies is developing its next generation of engineers to understand and fulfil the future technology needs of the company through the Greenpower project.

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
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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.

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