Partnership Produces Results for Customers and the Environment
Engineers at Cummins’ Darlington Engine Plant in the U.K. and their counterparts at the Hyster-Yale Group (HYG), a leading manufacturer of materials handling equipment, have produced some pretty impressive gains in fuel efficiency over the past six years.
Working together on nearly 20 projects, the partnership has delivered annual fuel savings in excess of 2 million gallons since the initiative started in 2010, with plans to top 4 million by the end of 2016.
“We’ve really moved from trying to improve fuel economy after the vehicle has been designed and validated to working together with HYG to make sure fuel economy and optimization is considered from the start of a new project,” said Ben Kilpatrick, Application Engineer at Cummins for the HYG account. “It’s been great to see how this partnership has grown just in the time since I joined the team in 2014, following on from Andrew Skinner, who developed this new approach with HYG in 2010.”
Jan-Willem van den Brand, Big Truck Strategy & Application Center Manager at the Hyster-Yale Group, said HYG doesn’t buy anything off the shelf and put it into its lift trucks and container handlers. It wants to partner with its suppliers to ensure superb integration and optimization, so customers get the reliable and durable solution they need to succeed.
"We really wanted to achieve a significant improvement in fuel efficiency for our customers and for the environment," van den Brand said. "So we had very high expectations for this partnership. Cummins has proven to be the right partner."
Cummins has a multi-disciplinary team of engineers at Darlington that works with HYG’s team based in Nijmegen, Netherlands. The Cummins team includes engineers focused on engine system installation, machine integration, transmission integration and system optimization, including advanced system modeling and analysis to fully understand both HYG’s and the end-user’s needs.
The partnership has worked on a range of projects primarily involving forklifts, high capacity forklifts, reach stackers and container handlers. In one successful collaboration, the partnership determined that an HYG product could save fuel by using a smaller engine and still provide customers with the power needed to complete the desired task. Other examples have included the joint development of user selectable machine operating modes, such as “Eco” and “HiPower,” to ensure customers achieve both productivity and fuel economy targets.
"Nobody knows their products and customers better than HYG,” said Niki Schönau, who has led Fuel Economy Functional Excellence for the Cummins team since 2015. “We want to be experts on the integration and optimization of our engines in their products to help meet fuel economy targets, performance requirements and most importantly their business goals. By working cross functionally and globally across Cummins, as well as directly with HYG and its suppliers, we have been able to achieve excellent results.”
HYG recently announced that it won a 2015 GOOD DESIGN™ award for its Tier 4 Final RS45-46 Reach Stacker. Presented by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, GOOD DESIGN honors yearly achievements of extraordinary design excellence. The Tier 4 Final Reach Stacker was selected based on its efficient engine technology and productivity enhancing design.
“The engineering teams at HYG Nijmegen and Cummins Darlington have worked very closely together for many years” said Bill Pearce, Director of Customer Engineering in Europe for Cummins. “Together they have developed and utilized new tools and processes to ensure optimization and improved fuel economy is designed into every new project from the very beginning.”
HYG’s van den Brand agrees that experience working together is critical. His company only brings to its customers products that have been thoroughly tested, part of its “Promise to Proof” approach. That makes it critical for HYG personnel to be at the forefront of the development cycle for innovations to reach customers as quickly as possible.
“Hyster test trucks were the first machines equipped with Tier 4i and Tier4F engines, undergoing thousands of hours of testing in the field before they were officially launched,” van den Brand said. “Cummins has worked with our test engineers to combine our companies’ testing programs. We will only bring reliable and durable solutions to our customers.”