The Future of Turbocharger Technologies in the Off-Highway Sector

Turbo components

The debate around turbocharger and engine technologies in the off-highway sector has historically been one that focuses on reliability and durability. Operators in these markets need to minimise the downtime of their equipment to ensure there isnt a commercial impact on their businesses.

For example, mining companies face the challenge that they consistently need to identify and prevent issues in advance and pre-schedule periods of repair to mitigate against equipment failures, which may then impact on the ability of other stations to operate effectively. Although this remains a vital consideration for the sector, there are likely to be other changes in the market that Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) of mining machinery need to prepare for, to ensure that their customers are ready for the future. Other off-highway applications face similar issues with equipment downtime having a direct implication on their operational efficiencies.

Where turbochargers for the off-highway market have focused on creating the most reliable and durable solutions previously, a bigger priority for the on-highway market in contrast has been compliance with environmental legislation. Government legislation has been in place for many years to ensure that vehicles are continually improving their fuel emissions and turbocharger technology is a primary consideration in meeting those targets. Although different regions around the world are at varying stages of this, the legislation does exist at a global level and turbocharger manufacturers have been preparing for this for a number of years.

This has led to an increase in focus for governments who will need to assess the off-highway market and analyse how machinery and equipment can achieve a greater reduction in their emissions to bring them in line with on-highway. With increasing costs of fuel, turbocharger manufacturers also need to address how their technologies can increase the efficiency of fuel in both on and off-highway. Thankfully we have reached the point at which turbocharger technologies can reduce emissions without reducing quality or workability in the off-highway sector.

Fuel Emissions & Off-Highway

As governments continue their efforts towards a low carbon community, it is only natural that other vehicles and fuel-consuming machinery (whether diesel or gas) will need to be addressed more rigorously. Although legislation exists for off-highway sectors, especially where equipment is in use on a 24/7 basis, they will need to look at all aspects of the engine to determine ways of reducing emissions by a more significant percentage. It may seem that all the hard work has been done from years of on-highway practice, but inevitably there are challenges to applying technologies designed for on-highway into an off-highway environment the demands and usage of the equipment is so different and it isnt a simple case of deploying the same solutions.

Fuel efficiency is the new priority

Fuel consumption is determined by the way that the fuel is burned in the cylinder and there are a number of ways that we can adapt the turbocharger to create both a cleaner and more efficient exhaust. Fuel efficiency is the new priority for the on-highway sector and, while previous emissions legislation drove new technologies, future emissions legislation and rising fuel costs will drive fuel economy by changing the constraint to CO2 reduction rather than NOx. This will naturally be a priority for off-highway as well, particularly when sectors such as mining use their equipment for continuous periods of time without a break.

The elements that can determine the amount of fuel consumed within such equipment include the variation in speed and load. In the high horse power market there is usually a variation in one or the other, and in mining this is likely to be in the load.

Supplementary systems installed on engines often work well when either the speed or load of the vehicle is stable. Examples of this are turbocompounding and Waste Heat Recovery, which may offer targeted and significant fuel savings but we are yet to see how cost effective they will be. There is no one size fits all solution though and OEMs need to ensure that they select the right solution for the right type of use.

Research and development experts at Cummins Turbo Technologies have spent many years developing these solutions, and we are already looking ahead to the future requirements of the market so that we are able to meet future demand as soon as it is required.

Rigorous testing in a range of environments

At Cummins Turbo Technologies, we rigorously test and trial technologies in a range of environments throughout the design phase to ensure that they are fit for market and meet stringent emissions standards while retaining their reliability and durability. We also spend time getting under the skin of how the equipment will be used so that technologies suit the operators usage. Operating as part of Cummins Components group, we are uniquely positioned to to design, test and supply integrated system solutions to optimise efficiency of turbo machines with aftertreatment and filtering, which helps deliver performance, emissions reduction and robustness in harsh environments.

New generation of turbochargers for 16 litres and above

Cummins Turbo Technologies have been able to utilise the technologies from our on-highway product to optimise for the off-highway market and therefore achieve greater savings on emissions and fuel efficiency. For example, the new generation of turbochargers for 16 litre and above applications, series 800/900/1000 has incorporated the latest turbocharger componentry, which will improve the efficiency of the turbocharger by 10%* and are engineered to meet the diverse duty cycles of this engine range.

Using such advances in technologies has allowed us to achieve the highest levels of turbocharger efficiency to date:

  • Vaned and vaneless compressor stages allows tailoring of performance for various applications, pressure ratios, map width requirements
  • Inverse impeller design uses state of the art software to develop the optimised blade shape resulting in the most efficient wheel for the chosen application
  • High efficiency turbine design improves fuel economy and cost savings to the customer
  • Super Map Width Enhancement improves drivability, improves fuel economy and improves map width by up to 15%

Preparing for regulations and rising costs

Although we dont need to go back to the drawing board on the technologies that we could use to reduce emissions, we do need to undergo a period of bespoke testing for sector specific uses often the turbocharger is put under far greater strain and is used continuously in the off-highway market - and it is inevitable that adjustments will need to be made.

OEMs for the off-highway sectors can prepare for this by starting to have those discussions now and by working collaboratively with their turbocharger partner to assess the options available before new legislation becomes imminent.

In essence, Cummins Turbo Technologies anticipates many changes ahead for engine manufacturers for the off-highway markets. We need to be prepared for future legislation and consider the challenges these sectors will face when developing these technologies. We need to consider the cost implications for mining operators in ensuring their machinery ticks the emissions box, while fuel costs continue to soar. More importantly, we must not lose sight of the core fundamental concern of the sector to continue to minimise downtime. Our job, and challenge for the future as turbocharger manufacturers, is to create technologies that address these trends in the sector, but continue to perform robustly and remain reliable and durable.

* Figure is based on improvement against previous turbocharger products available

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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