Metrology Lab Knows Their Microns from Their Millimeters

Cummins' Randy Franklin in the Company's Department of Metrology uses a Laser Tracker to take a three-dimensional picture of a turbocharger. It's one of the tools Cummins has to make extremely exact measurements.

Consider it a professional hazard, but Bob Rother, manager of the Corporate Measurement Center of Excellence at Cummins’ Columbus Engine Plant (CEP), can tell you precisely how small a micron is.

“A micron is almost indescribably small – it’s a millionth of a meter,” he says, holding his hands about shoulder-width apart. “So if I were to take a meter, which is about this far, and divide it into a million pieces, one piece would be a micron.

“A good way to think about that is to consider the main aisle here at the Columbus Engine Plant, which is almost 300 meters long,” he continues. “If I were to stretch this meter the length of that main aisle, one micron, one millionth of that meter, would still only be the width of two pieces of paper. So, measuring something that small presents a lot of challenges.”

Rother and his staff deal with microns all the time. Using tools capable of making extremely precise measurements, they check engine blocks and parts for small variations that might impact performance.

“The increased demands on our products today, the increased horsepower requirements, the decreased emissions requirements, all of that is driving us to push things closer,” he said.

The metrology lab – metrology is the study of measurement – has a number of high-tech tools that not only measure the dimensions of something but also the roundness of an object, its surface finish, its weight and even its temperature.

One of the newest tools is a laser scanner that allows the laboratory to scan over a part or an engine block without touching it to create a 3-D computer model. Engineers can use the model to check their designs against what actually comes off the production line.

The lab has a number of new tools in part because its former location in the basement of the CEP was flooded in 2008 when nearby Haw Creek left its banks after record rains. The lab is now located in freshly renovated space on the first floor.

“We have a beautiful, large facility now,” Rother said. “I guess the flood, as awful as it was one benefit is that we have all new equipment here. Nothing here is older than four-years old.”

Rother has been involved in metrology for more than 30 years and he loves his work.

“Metrology is involved with everything,” he says. “We’re not just working on one component, one part, all the time. One day we might be working and measuring a piston, the next day we might be measuring a crankshaft, the next day we might be measuring turbo parts.

“The range of parts is phenomenal; the things we’re asked to measure... We’re constantly surprised here by what comes in the door for us to measure.”

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. [email protected]

 

Machine of the Month: Oxbo 9240 Coffee Harvester

Oxbo 9240 Coffee Harvester

Worldwide, more than 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed daily. On average it takes around 70 beans to brew each cup. Each bean starts its life as a coffee cherry that must go through a process which includes harvesting, processing, drying, milling, tasting, exporting, roasting, and grinding to become what you would recognize as coffee.   

From hand picking to mechanical measures, there are several ways to harvest the cherries that contain coffee beans. For almost two decades, Oxbo has been a leader in producing high quality coffee harvesters that mechanically pick the cherries. The next generation of these harvesters is the Oxbo 9240.  

Oxbo 9240 Coffee Harvester

Designed to harvest in rugged terrain, the Oxbo 9240 has a wide wheel base and 3-wheel design to improve maneuverability. The machine is manufactured for the South American market and features a low mounted Cummins QSF2.8 Tier 3 engine rated at 72 horsepower (hp). The engine position helps the harvester maintain a lower center of gravity for greater stability. 

To harvest the cherries, a picking head uses a horizontal shaking action to remove the cherries while a high-density, low-loss catcher gently surrounds the tree to provide greater retention. Once the coffee cherries have been picked, the 9240 has both a cleaning system that effectively removes leaves and small sticks. 

Who knows, the next coffee you drink might have been picked with Cummins power! 

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.

Harbor Harvest: Sustainability and small business on The Sound

Harbor Harvest

A retail center, a transport company, a boat builder and an engine manufacturer walk into a bar... Oh, wait. That was supposed to say they start shipping locally sourced produce across the Long Island Sound using a one-of-a-kind sustainable hybrid vessel to provide  environmentally friendly access to goods during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meet Harbor Harvest: Connecticut’s innovative solution bringing the farm to the harbor, and then to your table. 

Bob Kunkel has lived in Norwalk, Connecticut for 27 years. A man with a unique background who loved spending time on the water, but also in the kitchen. This duo of passions led him to marry a food market dedicated to selling quality foods and a Marine Highway program on the northeast coast. 

Harbor Harvest HybridFirst, what is this hybrid vessel? Kunkel is the President of Alternative Marine Technologies, which specializes in projects outside of normal propulsion history or ship design. Upon connecting with BAE Systems (an advanced technology company), the two organizations thought to convert BAE’s electric vehicle bus system into a marine project. After working with an initial engine manufacturer, Kunkel and BAE found Cummins Inc.’s fully integrated marine system to be the final piece of their million-dollar idea. Using two QSB6.7 hybrid-ready engines and a display package to monitor the engines, hybrid components and energy storage system, the diesel-electric catamaran was born. 

The hybrid carries approximately 28 pallets of locally sourced goods, 10 of which are positioned in a fully refrigerated and protected walk-in space. The ship acts as a transport channel for family farms and agriculture systems bringing their sustainable goods to the big city. Kunkel mentioned that a local farm’s market generally only achieves a 10-mile radius. With Harbor Harvest, the marine highway allows them to extend their reach without increasing their costs. 

From a sustainability standpoint, the benefits are clear. A trip that Harbor Harvest can complete from Norwalk, Connecticut to Huntington, New York in about an hour takes their trucking counterparts anywhere from 6-12 hours to accomplish. But emissions on the highway aren’t the only thing Harbor Harvest is saving; they’re also improving efficiency of local farmers. Family farms aren’t having to dump their milk or discard their produce because they can’t make it to market. Harbor Harvest is providing their food a reliable and profitable route to people’s tables. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Norwalk-based organization has thrived. While the boat has only been running one or two days a week due to decreased demand from restaurants and retail, they have certainly not run out of essential items.

Harbor Harvest 1st Location

"Large meat processing plants were having issues with closures," Kunkel said. "We’re direct to the farms and custom slaughterhouse, so we didn’t have any problems supplying meat, fish and other products." He followed that local vendors could respond better to the local emergency, saying this accentuated "what 'buy local' and 'support local' really means.”

Harbor Harvest is a perfect storm of sustainability, small business and innovation. Improving the relationship between the farmer, the harbor and the customer is no small task, yet Kunkel and his corporate partners seem to have concocted a flawless operation. Harbor Harvest looks toward the future, hoping they will continue to expand their business with additional hybrid vessels.

With a casual tone but the most serious of intentions, Kunkel concluded, "I think we’re pretty close to changing the world." 

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Katie Yoder - Cummins Inc.

Katie Yoder

Katie Yoder is a Marketing Communications Specialist. New to Cummins in 2018, Katie joined the marketing operations team where she supports trade show initiatives in North America. As a University of Wisconsin alumna, Katie enjoys watching Badger sports in her free time.

What does the future hold for the construction sites of the world?

Worksite of the Future

Introducing our 'Worksite of the Future' series of articles, where we look at the trends that will shape the future of the construction industry. 

For the construction site of the future, equipment and site managers could be checking on their dozers and excavators before they ever leave home. Using a dashboard on their laptop or phone, they could check to see what maintenance has been performed overnight and what maintenance will be needed to maximize uptime over the next few days. Some predict a time will come when equipment and site managers never have to leave their home, performing their jobs remotely. Their autonomous equipment could be controlled remotely, too.

It may be a while before any of this happens. But as the construction industry evolves, Cummins Inc. will partner with construction customers to develop innovations that work for them. In fact, some of these advancements are around the corner.

We want to share our vision of the future worksite, how we see the evolution affecting our customers and what we are doing to evolve with it. We will bring this information to you through a series of short articles over the next several weeks. 

A natural starting point is understanding the driving force behind a technology shift and how these advancements can address the challenges facing this critical industry. By outlining a few key elements driving change around equipment powertrains, we will explore how we are adapting current technology to meet the need of today’s construction industry.

We believe advanced diesel power has a long future in the construction space, but there are alternative power solutions available that make sense for certain applications. Beyond technology advancements with the equipment powertrain, we can deliver productivity improvements with digital products, through the internet-of-things (IoT) and machine learning.    

As the series progresses we will explore the power solution technologies of the future and even showcase some current test cases. We will look at specific job tasks each application performs on the site, and how that duty cycle aligns with the strengths of some future technologies. With any new advancements, the rate of adoption will depend on many factors, so we will discuss these items and how they might adjust the way construction projects are planned. 

Today, equipment managers are projecting things like fuel consumption, filter replacements and lubrication changes. In the future, those same equipment managers might be considering electricity consumption, charge schedules and how that might impact infrastructural support. For example, will portable charging modules be required, or should the site install charge towers tied directly into the electrical grid or a series of generators?       

As the power solutions used to move construction equipment evolves, so will the support that is required. Our service tools and support models will evolve with emerging technologies. Digital technologies that monitor and automate service actions across multiple worksites and product lifecycles will contribute to keeping construction sites running efficiently. The same prime mover technologies that will be showing up on the site will also be used in service vehicles to deliver energy storage and replacement parts, maybe by leveraging predictive algorithms.

We are excited to share this evolutionary story, we hope you will tag along and enjoy.

Learn More and Join the Conversation

Join the conversation with #Cummins on your social platforms or visit https://www.cummins.com/engines/construction to learn more about our current and future product solutions. We also have Cummins experts around the world happy to answer your questions. Find your nearest Cummins professional by visiting care.cummins.com or calling 1-800-Cummins.  

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.

Five boating safety tips to remember before you hit the water this season

Boating safety tips

From filing a boat plan to scheduling a vessel safety check, here are five tips to help ensure your time on the water is memorable for all of the right reasons. 

Summer is right around the corner. Many of us have been yearning for the long days, warmer weather and time spent on the water. Whether you’re headed out in your pontoon on the lake, fishing boat in the gulf, or sailboat on the ocean, safe boating starts on shore.  

"At Cummins, our daily lives revolve around safety," says Jennifer McQuilken, who works for Cummins marine but is also a U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain. "From wearing proper protection equipment to taking appropriate precautions when installing our product into applications, ensuring the safety of our team members and customers is top priority. That is why all of us at Cummins marine want to remind you of a few easy things to do before you head out onto the water for the first time this season." 

Without further ado, here are five boating safety tips to remember as you prepare for your voyage. 

Wear a life jacket

Boat and water safety tips - life jackets
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, wearing a life jacket is recommended for every boater. 

No matter what activity you have planned on the water, you should always have a life jacket. It is also important to ensure your life jacket is approved by the U.S. Coast Guard or another authorized agency, is appropriate for your water activity and fits properly. There are life jacket styles available for almost any adventure – cruising, hunting, fishing, paddling, watersports, etc.  

Safety first

Make sure you have the proper safety equipment on your boat. There are many items that need to be checked on any boat, some which expire. Valid registration, running lights, flares, and approved fire extinguishers are among some of the things needed for a safe trip on the water. Don’t forget sunscreen, water, and proper clothing for the elements. Not sure if you have what you need? Schedule a free Vessel Safety Check with your local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadrons before you hit the water. 

File a float plan

Inform someone you trust of your float plan, which includes details about the trip, boat, persons, towing vehicle, communication equipment and emergency contacts. Should you not return or check-in as intended, a float plan will ensure someone has the information they need to help. Find out more at http://floatplancentral.cgaux.org/

Follow navigation rules

Adhering to these rules is like following the traffic laws. As the operator, you are responsible for the safety of your boat and passengers. Knowing what to do in situations such as meeting head-on, overtaking another vessel and understanding aids to navigation (signs, buoys, etc.) is essential for safe operation of your boat. Be aware of your surroundings and always travel at an appropriate speed for the environment.

Know your local boating laws

Rules and laws can differ by state, region or country. Violations can result in ticketing, fines or jail time. Minimum operator age, towing restrictions and boating licenses and insurance all vary. Ensure to check in with your local guidelines before hitting the water.  

“Being on the water is a fun way to connect with your friends and family,” says Captain McQuilken.

"From active pursuits such as fishing and tubing, to relaxing on a sailboat or cruising around, we want you to have fun, safe day on the ocean or lake." 

Regardless of whether you are an experienced boater, or just getting your feet wet, there are resources available to help you, family or friends learn more about being safe on the water. Consider taking a safe boating course, either in-person or online.  

"See you out there!"

Katie Yoder - Cummins Inc.

Katie Yoder

Katie Yoder is a Marketing Communications Specialist. New to Cummins in 2018, Katie joined the marketing operations team where she supports trade show initiatives in North America. As a University of Wisconsin alumna, Katie enjoys watching Badger sports in her free time.

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