Bid for Baja Begins at Pikes Peak for Valvoline-Cummins Team

The Cummins-Valvoline team is ready to take on Pike's Peak.

Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of articles about Valvoline and Cummins' attempt to compete at the 49th SCORE Baja 1000 in November 2016. 

Cummins engineer Roger England didn’t have much time to admire the view driving up the winding, 12.42-mile course at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb near Colorado Springs, Colorado (U.S.A.).

As if the treacherous mountain road, with its 156 turns, wasn’t challenge enough for the truck he was driving assembled by employees from Valvoline and Cummins, the temperature started rising in the high-performance engine they were testing.

Cummins’ Roger England celebrates after a preliminary run up Pikes Peak designed to help him learn the route before race day. Cummins’ Roger England celebrates after a preliminary run up Pikes Peak designed to help him learn the route before race day.

 

The crew thought they could keep the windshield on for the run, but now it seemed to block too much of the thin mountain air from reaching the radiator in the bed of the truck. That wasn’t all, the power steering pump started objecting loudly to the turns and steep climb.

But there was one benefit to those challenges.

“I was busy the whole time,” said England, when asked if he ever thought about the long drops waiting just beyond the edge of the road. “I’d see people waving and I’d try to wave back, but after a while I was looking at nothing but the asphalt.”

England reached the 14,115 foot summit in just under 17 minutes, completing the first exhibition run up the mountain on June 25, the biggest day of the world’s second oldest motor sports race. His time, in fact, was about three minutes faster than the team expected.

Roger England makes his way up the mountain during a test run at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Roger England makes his way up the mountain during a test run at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

 

 

“This was a shakedown cruise,” said England, Director – Materials Science & Technology at the Cummins Technical Center in Columbus, Indiana.  “The last thing I wanted to do was wrinkle the truck.”

“We were very excited about the performance of the truck,” added Michael Wedding, Lead Build Engineer for Valvoline, who shares England’s passion for racing.

The first-gen Dodge RAM pickup truck was developed to celebrate Valvoline’s 150th anniversary and the extensive research and development history between Valvoline and Cummins. It is one of two trucks Valvoline expects to enter in the 49th SCORE Baja 1000, the legendary off-road endurance race scheduled for Nov. 16 to Nov. 20, starting and ending in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.

“Several Valvoline employees wanted to demonstrate our hands-on expertise by showing that we not only work at Valvoline, but also embody the spirit of the brand and understand how to get under the hood and create a competition vehicle,” said Jamal Muashsher, Valvoline’s Vice President of Marketing.

The trucks are using custom built 5.9L common-rail remanufactured Cummins engines, similar to the 2003 vintage offered as an option in the RAM pickup truck. RAM introduced the Cummins mechanical 5.9L Turbo Diesel in the 1989 model year and that engine evolved into the 6.7L Turbo Diesel available today.

The team hadn’t expected to do any serious testing until much closer to Baja but then received a last-minute invitation to Pikes Peak. Despite little time to prepare, they happily accepted. England believes the project harkens back to the days when founder Clessie Cummins tested diesel engine limits by racing them at the Indianapolis 500.

“Racing engines are the only engines that reach the pressures and the loading you would see in a Class 8 diesel,” said England, who has a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and enjoys driving a variety of race cars in his spare time. “Any time we can make a gain in efficiency, it can mean an increase in power or it can be applied as an increase in fuel economy and a decrease in carbon emissions. So this is a great learning opportunity.”

Hours upon arriving at Pikes Peak, Roger England makes a practice run up the hill to learn the course. Hours upon arriving at Pikes Peak, Roger England makes a practice run up the hill to learn the course.

 

 

Pikes Peak re-enforced for the Valvoline-Cummins team just how important it will be to get both coolant and air efficiently to the radiator in the bed of the truck. Baja vehicles typically have the radiator there and go without a windshield. The team also will work on the pump that delivers fluid both to the steering and the brakes. It, too, reached higher-than-expected temperatures.

After going over 70 mph at the bottom, England could only reach about 40 mph at the top, primarily because the engine temperature caused a decrease in fueling. Running a winding road course with a truck using 37-inch diameter tires designed for Baja also was a factor.

Still, unlike many who raced up Pikes Peak that day, no hardware was damaged and the overall time was pretty good despite the lack of practice. The race winner reached the top in just under 9 minutes in a Norma M20 RD Limited race car.

“It’s likely the fastest anyone has gone up the hill on 37 inch off-road tires,” Valvoline’s Wedding said of the Valvoline-Cummins truck, breaking into a smile. “It’s not an official record, but Roger will still brag about it.”

Come back to The Block between now and November 2016 for updates as the team prepares for Baja.

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]

 

Employee Highlight - Keegan T.

Campbellfield

Meet Keegan, a Parts Interpreter at our Campbellfield branch (Victoria, Australia). 

Name:  Keegan T.

Job Title/Branch: Parts Interpreter at Campbellfield (Victoria)

Length of Service: 3 Years

 

What do you like most about working at Cummins?

There are several things I like about working at Cummins. First off is the team at Campbellfield, who are great supportive, workmates. I enjoy the questions and challenges we get asked daily, as well as seeing the innovation and updates that come with new products at Cummins. 

 

What do you think has changed the most at Cummins over the time you have been here? 

Keegan T.
Keegan T., Parts Interpreter

The team and the opportunities that allow me and my colleges to be successful within our roles.

It is great to work with such a knowledgeable group of people, which allows me to continually learn and grow within my role. Learning something new each day keeps my job interesting. It's exciting for me to think about how this knowledge will help me progress to future roles at Cummins. 

 

What achievement are you most proud of?

Completing my Parts Interpreter apprenticeship early was a big accomplishment for me. Also, I was proud to receive the HVIA Apprentice of the Year (Southern Region) recognition and the Automotive Apprentice of the Year in Automotive Parts Interpreting through Kangan Institute. 

 

What would you say to someone interested in working at the Campbellfield branch?

It’s a great environment to work in, with an awesome and supportive team. Cummins also has a large range of engine models in the industry, which gives technicians the opportunity to work on a diverse range of technology and products, while continually building industry knowledge and career skills.

 

In the Path of the Storm, They Stayed to Make a Difference

Cummins employees in Puerto Rico unload supplies to keep the branch going over long hours.
Cummins employees in Puerto Rico unload supplies to keep the branch going over long hours.

As Hurricane Maria approached Puerto Rico, Cummins Sales Representatives Ricardo Diaz and Rafael Mitchell, as well as Regional Business Manager Daniel Ortiz, quickly realized this was going to be a storm unlike any they had seen before.

They knew there would be much to do once the hurricane passed. So, while many residents left the island if they could, Diaz, Mitchell and Ortiz stayed behind along with every employee at the Cummins branch in Cataño, Puerto Rico. Less than a week after the storm hit Sept. 20, 2017, everyone was back at the branch, helping customers and those in need get back on their collective feet.

"Cummins is more than just a provider of equipment, we help our communities," Diaz said. "It really shows that we live by our values, and that we are part of the community."

RISING TO THE CHALLENGE

The hurricane left more than 3 million residents without power and destroyed most of the island’s electrical grid. For almost nine months, much of the U.S. territory was dependent on new and existing generators for power if they had power at all. Some residents are still without electricity today due to the fragility of the grid.

“The first four weeks were critical,” Ortiz recalled. “Everyone, including us, were making the impossible happen.”

The Cummins team transported products to key installations such as hospitals and shelters across Puerto Rico. The branch shared its supplies and expertise with groups desperately in need of help, regardless of whether they were Cummins customers.

But maybe the most important effort Cummins employees undertook was at one of the main utility generating stations near the branch. Even though the station uses steam turbines and boilers to generate power, a Cummins technician and his supervisor played a key role in getting electricity flowing from the station into the island’s largest city, San Juan. That, in turn, got electricity to one of Puerto Rico’s largest hospitals and the water utility, too.

Company technicians were on site 24/7 looking after generators at the Convention Center, home to both the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s headquarters as well as Puerto Rico’s largest shelter. Technicians were also on duty at all ports on the island where power was critical to keep perishable food donations safe. 

 “The first four weeks were the worst,” Diaz said. “The scarcity of products at supermarkets, six-hour lines for gas and diesel and the tense moments while people were in those lines were a real challenge and very stressful situations. 

“But Puerto Ricans really came through with empathy to each other, acceptance, adaptation and reliance during those difficult times,” he said.

AWARD WINNERS PRAISE TEAM APPROACH

Ortiz said every member of the Cummins team was working long hours so the branch tried to create spaces where employees could get an occasional break before heading back out.

The team put cots out in the branch, which already included a washer, dryer and refrigerator that became critical features after the storm. The team also rented an apartment nearby to provide some additional space for breaks. Cummins delivered water, food and Wi-Fi routers to get the branch open and keep the team nourished for those long hours. 

Diaz and Mitchell were recently honored with Cummins Legendary Sales Awards for their actions and performance during the storm. But they are quick to say the response to Hurricane Maria was a total team effort. 

Legendary Sales Award winners Rafael Mitchell, second from left, and Ricardo Diaz, far right, are joined by David Hagewood, Vice President - Power Generation, far left, and Nabil Contreras, Caribbean Commercial Sales Director, second from right.
Legendary Sales Award winners Rafael Mitchell, second from left, and Ricardo Diaz, far right, are joined by David Hagewood, Vice President - Power Generation, far left, and Nabil Contreras, Caribbean Commercial Sales Director, second from right.

For example, Nabil Contreras, Caribbean Commercial Sales Director, worked tirelessly from the mainland United States to get equipment and support into Puerto Rico. The entire Cummins Caribbean team worked with the network of Cummins Sales and Service North America branches to prepare for the storm, assess its aftermath and plan for recovery.

The company’s Crisis Action Management Program helped ensure the branch had needed supplies, and many Cummins Sales and Service regions sent their own technicians to the island to help.

 “There are so many great stories behind-the-scenes from customers and employees that would make all of us working at Cummins proud,” Diaz said.

 By working together, Cummins employees kept desperately needed power Always On. 

Includes reporting by Kaitlin Hiquet and Asia Jernigan.
 

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]

 

Cummins Recognizes Our Veterans Who Make Our Countries and Company Better

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, World War I came to end when the armistice took effect. One hundred years later, we still commemorate that momentous day when after four years of constant shelling and gunfire, silence ensued. 

As we near the 11th and mark Remembrance Day in countries around the world and Veterans Day in the United States, I want to recognize all of our veterans at Cummins who bring a diverse skill set and experiences to our company, customers and communities.  On behalf of the Cummins Leadership Team, thank you for your dedication, sacrifice, service and commitment to your country.  We are also deeply grateful that you are sharing your talents and skills as part of the Cummins team.

Veterans Day and Remembrance Day give those of us who have benefited from the service of our brave women and men in the armed forces the opportunity to pause and reflect on the sacrifices made on our behalf in service to their country. As the proud father and nephew of Marines, I have the privilege of spending time with both active duty and veteran members of the military and learning from their experiences.   

Last year, Cummins was officially recognized as a Military-Friendly Employer, joining a group of 180 companies who put significant time and resources into recruiting and retaining military personnel, as well as implementing policies to support our employees who continue to serve. We want the number of veterans at Cummins to continue to increase, and we can all play a role in making that happen. 

To our veterans, I want to reiterate our deep gratitude for your service, and for sharing your unique abilities and experiences with Cummins. You make us all, and the company, better. To all employees, I would ask that on this day you truly exemplify our value of caring, and take the time to recognize our veterans who have given so much of themselves to their country and to Cummins. 
 

Thad Ewald

Thad Ewald is the Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Business Development for Cummins Inc. In this capacity, he is responsible globally for the formulation of strategy, developing and coordinating both functions, Enterprise Risk Management, starting new growth businesses and all activity for partnerships, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.

A profile on Cummins Juarez

Cummins plant in Juarez

Celebrating the contributions of our Latino and Hispanic employees.

  • 2018 is forecasted to be the highest-revenue year in Cummins Juarez’s 33-year history – a testament to the importance of NAFTA.
  • Employees volunteered 30,000 hours of community service over the past five years.
  • Cummins Juarez won a 2018 Global Impact Award for a project that will generate enough green power to reduce site carbon emissions by 204 tons per year.
  • Three grants totaling $1 million were approved in 2018, which will fund impactful and sustainable projects for improving the community of Juarez and El Paso.

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Cummins is celebrating the dedication and contributions of its Hispanic and Latin American employees and communities. This recognition extends to the manufacturing and supply chain employees who support Cummins on the front lines. With approximately 20 plants or sites supporting all business units located across the region, Cummins’ presence in Latin America is significant and increasingly important.

Cummins Juarez, located in the binational community of Juarez, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas, is just one example. As Cummins’ largest manufacturing site for the Components business segment, Cummins Juarez produces more than 3.8 million components each year and is on target to achieve its highest-revenue year in its 33-year history.

One of the cornerstones of Cummins’ success in the region is NAFTA – the single most important trade agreement to Cummins which has helped grow the economies of the US, Mexico and Canada. Prior to the agreement, Mexico was one of the most protectionist countries in the world, with automotive imports into Mexico facing tariffs as high as 20 percent. NAFTA brought down trade barriers and allowed Cummins to avoid duplication of manufacturing capacity to take care of Mexico engine and components demand.

Cummins continues to advocate for a modernized NAFTA that incorporates trade, investment and related regulatory reforms. A renegotiated NAFTA could continue to help produce benefits across the three countries and continue to help Cummins grow in the NAFTA countries and contribute to continued growth and success at its sites across Mexico, like Cummins Juarez.

Cummins Juarez is home to Cummins Electronics and Fuel Systems (CEFS) and Cummins Emission Solutions (CES). CEFS manufactures new and legacy XPI products, such as fuel injectors, and is home to a joint venture between Cummins and Scania, a major manufacturer of commercial vehicles. CES manufactures Urea dosers and pumps.

Using several advanced salvage processes, CEFS Juarez also remanufactures electronic control modules and sensors and Cummins-designed fuel systems, and they’re proud of their remanufacturing focus. Remanufacturing is the ultimate form of recycling, as it helps reduce costs for customers and offers environmentally friendly manufacturing solutions.

Below are just a few additional highlights for Cummins Juarez.

OVERALL SITE STATISTICS

Site Location: Juarez, México, and El Paso, Texas (warehouse).
Year opened: 1985
Site size/plant sizes (acreage/square footage): 260,000 Sq. Ft. + 70,000 Sq. Ft. for warehouse.
Business Unit: Components Business Segment
Site Leader: Robert Rivas
Site employee count: 2,593 employees
Products manufactured: Fuel systems, electronic control modules, sensors and dosing systems
Customers: Rocky Mountain Engine Plant, Jamestown Engine Plant, Seymour and San Luis Potosi Engine Business Unit plants and all aftermarket plants
Product applications: 
On-highway – semi cabs, pick-up trucks, school and public buses, RVs, fire trucks
Off-highway – marine, military vehicles, construction equipment

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

  • Cummins Juarez employees contributed 30,000 hours of community service in the last five years.
  • Cummins Juarez has three strategic community partners that feature impactful and sustainable projects (more than 800 children are being impacted):
    • Ojos de Dios (God’s eyes) – Priority areas include the environment and equality of opportunity
    • Carlos Urquidi Elementary School – Priority areas include education and the environment
    • Ciudad del Nino (City of the Child) – Priority area includes equality of opportunity 
  • 2018 has been an exceptional year for the Cummins Juarez Community Involvement Team, receiving three grants from the Cummins Foundation.
  • The Cummins Juarez Scholarship Program provides 15 middle school students with a monthly scholarship funded by Juarez plant employees through an innovative vending machine program (started on 2011).

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

  • Operations 
  • Electronic Engineering
  • Quality Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Product Engineering
  • Supply Chain – Planning and Logistics
  • Information Technology
  • Finance
     
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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