Sound of Silence is Music to Neighbors' Ears

With its curved roof and sound-absorbing acoustical wedges, Cummins Acoustical Testing Center in Fridley, Minn. is the largest facility of its kind in the industry.

There was no brass band or wild applause when the doors to Cummins’ Acoustical Testing Center (ATC) first swung open to the public last fall. Instead, visitors were greeted by silence.

Silence is precisely the point of the Company’s new sound-testing facility in Fridley, Minn., built next to the Cummins Power Generation (CPG) plant. With its curved roof and sound-absorbing acoustical wedges lining the walls and ceiling, the distinctive-looking center is the largest facility of its kind in the industry.

The facility is expected to significantly change how Cummins does its sound testing. By working in a controlled, indoor environment, unwanted noise is eliminated leaving just the sound from the generator itself to be precisely measured.

Noise is an environmental issue that is becoming increasingly important as customers and government regulators demand quieter power systems. For instance, the electrical industry publication Electrical Products & Solutions chose a Cummins Onan residential generator as one of its Top Products in 2010, noting that the RS20A/AC model was the quietest of four competitive models.

In the United States, the first federal law regarding noise control was enacted in 1972, though noise is regulated at the local level today. The European Union has specific noise limits through a 2002 directive, and a recent report to the European Parliament and Council called environmental noise a “significant environmental problem across the EU” due to its health impact.

“Noise really is an emission because it influences the environment in which people live,” explained Martin Myers, Cummins Director of Global Applied Technology and the primary user of the new facility which opened in October of 2011.

He says the new building is also making the surrounding neighborhood a quieter place.

“We really want to be a good neighbor,” Myers said. “By building this building, by putting the investment in, we are no longer affecting our neighbors when we are running generator tests.”

The black, red and white wedges that line the center’s interior chamber are filled with sound-absorbing insulation material and enclosed in a perforated metal shell. The ceiling is curved to allow sound to dissipate rather than be reflected as it does off flat surfaces.

“The chamber itself is basically an instrument,” said Kevin Wiese, the project manager who oversaw the construction.

The testing center also allows for greater opportunities in research and development. Pinpointing the sources of noise in a generator helps Cummins Power Generation design quieter products.

“It will deepen our knowledge of noise sources and help us design quieter, more cost-effective products for our customers,” said Tony Satterthwaite, CPG President.

The facility was built in accordance with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines for green building design. The heating system is 82 percent efficient and electrical consumption is less than the LEED requirement.

More than three-quarters of the construction materials have been recycled or salvaged. The building materials include recycled or partially recycled metal paneling, fly ash concrete and locally sourced materials such as steel made from ore mined in northern Minnesota.

In addition, the center was built on a site that qualifies as a brownfield redevelopment by the U.S. Green Building Council. Brownfields are land previously used for manufacturing that can be difficult to redevelop. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency promotes cleaning up brownfields and finding new uses for them.

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]

 

Home Prep Tips for Snowbirds Soon to be Flying South for the Winter

Ditching the snow for warmer climates this winter?

Donna Hull from the blog “My Itchy Travel Feet,” shares her advice on how to get your home ready for an extended departure. Donna’s tips cover everything from scheduling maintenance checks, keeping pests out and everything in between. 

Equipping your home with a standby generator will give you peace of mind if the power goes out while you are away. Ensuring your home’s power is always on allows home appliances and security systems to stay connected, even keeping the heat running so nothing freezes! 

Check out Donna’s article on home preparation for snowbirds and visit homegenerators.cummins.com to learn more about home standby generators. 

If you’ll be staying put this winter, check out our winter preparedness tips to ensure you, your family and your home are ready to brave the cold.
 

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.

Life Imitates Art: A Look at a Generator Installation

What would you do if the power went out at your home? Respondents in a 2016 survey conducted by Cummins revealed they would pass the time by napping, playing games, reading, connecting with someone special, or simply enjoying the quiet.

Unlike most homeowners, Chad and Ariane Jester of Broken Arrow, OK never have to worry about how to pass the time during a power outage ever again. 

In late July, the Jesters had The Generator Guy, a local Cummins-certified dealer, install a home standby generator. A home standby generator turns on automatically, the moment an outage occurs, ensuring vital appliances (or even your entire home) remain on. 

“We have a very active household with two kids in their 20s and a dog,” said Jester. “In addition to core appliances, the ability to have laptops for work and school, as well as TVs and devices for entertainment, during a power outage is a bonus for our family.”

The Jesters wanted a whole home generator, so everything from the air conditioning and kitchen appliances to the pool pump would stay on in the event of a power outage. Based on those requirements, the dealer recommended a Cummins QuietConnect Series 20 kW generator.  

Chad Jester gets tutorial from “The Generator Guy” during the installation of a Cummins QuietConnect home standby generator in Broken Arrow, OK
Chad Jester gets tutorial from “The Generator Guy” during the installation of a Cummins QuietConnect home standby generator in Broken Arrow, OK.

“I was surprised at how simple the entire process was,” said homeowner Chad Jester. “The dealer came to our home to conduct the assessment and help us decide on the correct size and the best location of the generator. From there, the dealer handled everything.”

A local film crew filmed the installation, which took two days from installing a pre-fabricated mounting pad to digging and laying the gas line, then placing the generator and finally connecting the automatic transfer switch. During filming, the installer cut power to the house to show how quickly a home standby generator turns on. 

“I was amazed at how quickly the power came back on. Every time the power was cut, it came back on in nine seconds,” said Jester. “I was curious to see if we’d see the same results during a real power outage.”

As it turns out, the Jesters didn’t have to wait long to find out. The very next week, the power went out in their neighborhood and, true to form, the generator kicked on in nine seconds and power was fully restored, proving that life imitates art. 

If you live in an area susceptible to severe weather, if a medical condition necessitates a reliable source of power, if you’re living in a high-tech smart home, if you travel frequently or if you simply want life to go on as usual with no interruption, visit our website to learn more about home standby generators and to request your free in-home assessment
 

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.

Aga Khan Hospitals Support Patient Care with Cummins Dependable Power

Cummins authorized distributor Orient Energy Systems (OES) recently partnered with Aga Khan Hospital and Medical College Foundation to upgrade the standby power systems at their hospitals in Karachi and Hyderabad.
Cummins authorized distributor Orient Energy Systems (OES) recently partnered with Aga Khan Hospital and Medical College Foundation to upgrade the standby power systems at their hospitals in Karachi and Hyderabad.

Orient Energy Systems (OES), the Cummins distributor in Pakistan, has supplied three Cummins generator sets to the Aga Khan Hospital and Medical College Foundation for their hospitals in Karachi and Hyderabad. The energy systems ensure dependable backup power so patients can get the care they need, even in the event of a power failure.

The hospitals are part of the Aga Khan network. With a focus on improving lives particularly in the developing world, the Aga Khan Development Network brings essential services to millions of people worldwide, from infrastructure like hospitals, schools and power plants to social and cultural programs like parks and museums. Its agencies operate under three broad pillars: economic, social and cultural development. Within the health services agency, about 1.2 million patient visits occur annually through more than 300 health centers, referral facilities, diagnostic centers, hospitals and rural medical and maternal-care centers. Facility upgrades and expansions have been a primary focus in recent years.

Strong customer support was a key reason the standby power contract was awarded to OES. As a regular customer with previous Cummins power system installations, the Cummins product, technical expertise and aftersales service reinforce Cummins’ brand reputation and The Power of One™ – all system components are seamlessly integrated by a single-source manufacturer through the design, manufacture, installation and support.

The three Cummins generator sets, models C400D5EB, C500D5E and C700D5, are being installed in canopies in an open environment and meet noise level requirements of 85 dBA at 1 meter. OES sales, engineering and product support teams jointly looked after all technical issues, execution and completion of this project.

For more information visit cummins.com/generators.

Anisha George

As a Marketing Communications Specialist, Anisha is part of the Africa Middle East ABO supporting marketing, communications and event management for power generation marketing.

Anisha joined Cummins Middle East in 2009 to support the Administration team in a temporary role. She gained more industry experience working in the event management field before joining back in 2011. Her previous role in Cummins Middle East include Marketing Assistant where she supported special events and marketing activities.

Anisha has a Bachelor’s degree specializing in Commerce & Marketing, followed by a diploma in Event Management & Innovative Marketing.

The Gift of Safety

It’s that time of year. Our inboxes are being flooded with coupons and sales from our favorite brands, which has us all thinking about finding the perfect gift for everyone on our list.

As a natural disaster preparedness expert, I believe there is no better gift than the gift of safety. If “the storm of the century” was forecasted to affect your family or friends, wouldn’t you want them to be prepared? Believe it or not, there are actually some pretty cool preparedness gifts on the market. So, before you head out to the mall, check out my top five gifts to prepare your loved ones for severe weather and power outages:

  1. A water filtration straw can remove dangerous bacteria from water, making it safe to drink. These are a great addition to your family’s emergency weather kit, as well as a great addition to your favorite outdoorsman’s backpack. 
  2. EMTs, fire and police are trained to look for emergency ID bands when responding to medical emergencies. Gift your loved ones (especially seniors or those with special needs) an emergency ID bracelet to ensure important personal and medical information is available for emergency personnel. 
  3. Don’t be left stranded on the side of the road. Invest in an emergency roadside vehicle kit that includes a first aid kit, the tools you need to fix minor vehicle issues such as a dead battery or flat tire, and supplies like a reflective blanket and poncho to keep you safe, dry and warm in the elements. 
  4. Never miss an important weather warning again with a hand-crank NOAA weather radio. Look for one that includes AM/FM weather for local updates like evacuation routes. 
  5. Winter storms, hurricanes and tornadoes leave many people without power for days, weeks or longer. Protect your loved ones from power outages by giving them a home standby generator. A standby generator automatically turns on the second utility power goes out and stays on for the duration of the outage, providing priceless peace-of-mind. Purchase from a Cummins online dealer today. 
     
Cheryl Nelson, Certified Broadcast Meteorologist

Cheryl Nelson

Cheryl Nelson is an Emmy-nominated and AP award-winning Certified Broadcast Meteorologist, TV Host, FEMA-Certified Instructor and Weather and Preparedness Advisor for Cummins. You can visit Cheryl’s website at www.CherylNelson.net and follow her on Twitter and Facebook @CherylNelsonTV. 

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