7 Ways Cummins Works to Conserve Water

Cummins makes big strides on World Water Day.

On World Water Day (March 22), here’s a look at seven ways Cummins is working to conserve and protect this critical natural resource and educate future generations about its importance.

1. We Set Aggressive Goals

We've increased our 2020 water reduction goal to 50 percent, having cut water use 42 percent, adjusted by labor hours, since 2010.

 

 

Cummins has been setting goals to reduce its water and energy use and to increase recycling for several years, now. The company has seen tremendous success in reducing the water it uses. We just increased our 2020 water reduction goal to 50 percent, having cut water use 42 percent, adjusted by labor hours, since 2010 (see the infographic above). In 2015, our absolute water  use fell from 972 million gallons the previous year to 953 million gallons.

2. Improving Water-Stressed Areas

Cummins worked with villages near its Megasite campus in India to build this dam to increase access to water in the area.

 

 

Cummins is keenly aware of its potential to be a force for good in water-stressed areas. One of the company’s goals is to achieve water neutrality at 15 manufacturing sites where water is in short supply by 2020. Cummins defines water neutrality as off-setting its own water use at a particular location through conservation and with community improvements that either conserve or make new water sources available.

3. Promoting 'Light-Weighting' In Design

Cummins Power Systems’ High Horsepower Structural Analysis Team has had success finding ways Cummins largest engines can use less raw material while maintaining strength and durability.

 

 

Cummins engineers use methods such as Topology Optimization to determine where material needs to stay in an engine to maintain robustness and where it can be removed without affecting durability. “Light-weighting” can make an engine more fuel efficient. It also means less raw material is needed to build it. About 88 percent of the water Cummins uses comes through the extraction of raw material.

4. Building-Specific Features That Save Water

These bioswales at Cummins’ new Distribution Business Unit Headquarters in Indianapolis are designed to help keep 80 percent of the rain water on site.

 

 

All over Cummins there are building-specific features designed to conserve water. The bioswales at the new Distribution Business Unit headquarters in Indianapolis, for example, are part of a system designed to keep about 80 percent of rainwater on the site to use for landscaping. The bioswales collect and save water that would otherwise run into the city’s sewer system. There are plants in India and Brazil that recycle water for non-potable uses and several locations have features like low or no-water toilet facilities to help meet their water-use goals.

5. Water-Saving Technology

The lab operations team stands in front of one of Cummins’ largest regenerative dynamometers at the company’s high-horsepower plant in Seymour, Indiana.

 

 

Cummins uses regenerative dynamometers throughout the company to capture the mechanical energy of engines in test cells. The dynos also reduce cooling load, which allows cooling systems to be smaller and use less water. High horsepower engines especially require a lot of testing and a lot of cooling. While the dynos have saved a significant amount of water, there have been decidedly low-tech savings, too. For example, running water to clean equipment only when needed saved significant amounts of water. And fixing leaks also has been important.

6. Water Savings/Protection Through Community Engagement

Cummins employees in Brazil focus their efforts on the safe harvesting of rainwater in Guarulhos, just outside São Paulo, by distributing safer cisterns to disadvanted residents.

 

 

Cummins’ Corporate Responsibility efforts have three key target areas – Education, Social Justice/Equality of Opportunity and the Environment. Many of the company’s site-based Community Involvement Teams focus their environmental efforts on water, ranging from improving water quality in a lake in China, to improving rain water collection cisterns in Brazil to removing an invasive weed from the banks of a Minnesota stream.

7. Educating The Next Generation

Students at Schmitt Elementary in Columbus, Indiana, have fun building soil water sensors as part of a school project led by Cummins employees. Students learned the importance of using the right amount of water to conserve the natural resource while allowing the trees to thrive.

 

 

From China, to India, to the United States and beyond, Cummins employees have educated young minds over the past five years about the importance of water. In China, company employees worked with a middle school on a project to purify the school’s water supply and teach students about water protection. In India, water protection was one of the key themes of an environmental education effort reaching thousands of students across the country. And in the U.S. in 2016, employees worked with elementary students in Columbus, Indiana to build soil water sensors to ensure they properly watered trees they had planted.

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 Partners with Purolator to Deliver on the Promise of Electrification

The Purolator-Cummins electric delivery truck is being tested on the streets of Ottawa, Canada’s capital.
The Purolator-Cummins electric delivery truck is being tested on the streets of Ottawa, Canada’s capital.

Purolator Courier Alexis Picard says it’s been cool to drive the all-electric test truck this summer that’s part of a joint project involving the package delivery company and Cummins. First, there is less heat in the cab, which has been nice on warm days in Ottawa. But he’s especially enjoyed the surprise on many of his customers’ faces when he pulls up to deliver something.

“People are expressing excitement toward me driving the vehicle,” Picard said. “But more people, I would say, are shocked when they see me driving a vehicle that doesn’t make any noise and they hear my sound system over the engine.

“It’s a bit of a nice feeling,” he adds with a smile.

The unassuming “VÉHICULE ÉLECTRIQUE” could be an important bridge to the low-carbon future both companies want. Having experimented with various forms of low carbon energy for much of the past decade, Purolator is looking for a powertrain that can realistically replace combustion engines in urban areas.

“It’s not just our customers but our employees who are pushing for change,” said Serge Viola, Purolator’s Director of Asset Management. “But any change must be reliable under all conditions. Our customers expect their packages will be delivered on time. That’s our business.”

For Cummins, the test truck is a chance to learn more about electrification, building on its wealth of experience in hybrid-electric engines as the company establishes a new Electrified Power business. Cummins wants to offer customers a broad product portfolio – including clean diesel, natural gas, hybrids and electrification – so they can choose what works best for them.

“Partnering with Purolator enabled us to be at the forefront of innovation and accelerate our learnings in the field,” said Julie Furber, Executive Director – Electrified Power at Cummins. “We have worked closely with Purolator on customer requirements to design and integrate the powertrain into this vehicle. We look forward to using our learnings on new development opportunities.”

Purolator driver Alexis Picard deliverse a package
Alexis Picard, who frequently drives the Purolator-Cummins electric truck, delivers a package in Ottawa.

KEY CHALLENGES

Purolator has experimented with a variety of approaches to incorporate alternative energy forms into delivery vehicles. The company had a fleet of diesel-electric hybrids, for example, and then experimented with a totally redesigned delivery vehicle that not only used electrified power but also improved driver ergonomics and used space more efficiently. The company even explored hydrogen as an energy source. 

But Purolator has never quite found the right combination of technology, reliability and manufacturing muscle in a partner to keep one of Canada’s most extensive transportation and logistics networks rolling in a new way.

For Viola, implementing electrification comes down to three key challenges:

•    Can the battery range be sufficient to keep vehicles running on some of Purolator’s longer urban routes?

•    Is there a company behind the vehicle with a demonstrated supply chain and service network to produce and service the number of electric vehicles Purolator needs?

•    And perhaps most importantly, what happens if the power goes out overnight at one of Purolator’s hubs?

“I don’t envision having enough off-the-grid generating power at any one site to charge-up 30 or 40 vehicles,” he said.  “We have to have a plan even in the unlikely event that the power goes out overnight at one of our facilities.”

So far, Purolator has been happy with the test truck, Viola said. But he wants to see how it performs on longer routes and in the coldest part of a Canadian winter.

Purolator truck on the highways of Ottawa
The Purolator-Cummins electric truck has logged more than 10,000 kilometers in development and field testing.

WHAT’S BEEN LEARNED

Cummins started work on electric powertrains long before the Electrified Power business started earlier this year. The partnership with Purolator, in fact, goes back to 2016. The test truck contains 12 battery modules totalling 62 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy.  The battery modules can be connected in LEGO-like fashion to store and release the energy that ultimately turns the vehicle’s wheels.  

The truck has logged about 5304 km (3296 miles) in field testing and another 6,000 km (3,728 miles) during development testing. On average, it has run about 35 km (21 miles) per day in temperatures ranging from 10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit) earlier this year to 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) over the summer.

Viola said the truck has been able to complete its route and get back to the garage for recharging with plenty of power to spare. The company has started putting it on a 70-km route to learn more about its limits.

“Our driver has been a little nervous coming back, but we’ve never had a problem,” he said.

Cummins’ plan is to run the test vehicle for 12 full months, gather as much information as possible, and use what is learned in the company’s future product offerings. Cummins has pledged to have an all-electric powertrain for urban buses on the market by the end of 2019. 

The company is focusing on the urban bus and truck markets initially because that’s where it thinks the infrastructure for electrification will develop first. Cummins believes it has the manufacturing expertise and service network to quickly play a leading role in the electrification market. 

While pleased with the test so far, Viola is reluctant to predict just when much of Purolator’s fleet will be electrified. He’s waiting for a partner that can build 300 to 400 trucks and meet the company’s key challenges, first.

Includes reporting by Katie Davage, Senior Communications Specialist - Electrified Power 
 

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]

Four Answers to Your Questions about Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology

N'yu'ti hydrogen bus
N’yu'ti, a hydrogen-powered demonstration bus, can travel more than 200 miles on 38 kilograms of compressed hydrogen

Cummins has joined other industry partners to research how hydrogen fuel cells can power commercial vehicle applications, recognizing that this technology is likely to play a role in the broad portfolio of power solutions Cummins will provide to its customers in the future.

The demonstration project is a transit bus, called N’yu'ti, that can travel more than 200 miles on 38 kilograms of compressed hydrogen in partnership with Ad Astra Costa Rica and others. With limited petroleum resources, Costa Rica is working to develop hydrogen as a power source. That makes it a good place for this research. 

N'y'uti hydrogen-powered bus
To date, N'yu'ti - a hydrogen fuel cell-powered bus - has transported a variety of passengers, from the general public to foreign dignitaries. 

National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day is celebrated on October 8 (10.08) in the United States, in recognition of the atomic weight of hydrogen - 1.008. Earlier this year, Cummins joined the Hydrogen Council, a global coalition exploring and promoting hydrogen as a clean energy source to help meet the world’s climate challenges.

Here are the answers to four key questions you may have about hydrogen fuel cell technology:

Q. How does hydrogen fuel cell technology work?

Fuel cells generate electricity through a chemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen without combustion, creating zero-emissions. Hydrogen gas is passed through a fuel cell stack where the pure hydrogen mixes with atmospheric oxygen to generate electricity, which is used to create electric power.

Q. What markets are hydrogen fuel cells viable in today? 

Several major automakers offer fuel cell vehicles on a limited basis and fuel cell buses are in service in several states. There are thousands of fuel cell-powered forklifts working around the clock in America’s warehouses and factories, and fuel cells are powering some data centers, communications networks, retails sites, and municipal facilities across the country.  

Q. What is the state of infrastructure to support hydrogen electric vehicles?

Hydrogen still faces technical challenges regarding its production, transportation and distribution, but many in the industry are working to address these issues and to scale up the availability of the technology. A growing network of dozens of hydrogen fueling stations are open for business in California and currently under development in other states in the U.S. More hydrogen infrastructure is needed to support fuel cell electric vehicle commercialization and job growth. 

Q. What’s new with N’yu'ti?

N’yu'ti continues to show hydrogen fuel cells may be viable in commercial vehicles in the future. "This bus is evidence that shows the world that we can strive to be better, to be cleaner. It also reminds the world to not just stop at what works or what is comfortable, but to push further, to find new and better solutions," said Dr. Franklin Chang Diaz, Chairman of Ad Astra.

"In this year, N’yu’ti has transported a variety of passengers. From the general public to foreign dignitaries, to the president of Costa Rica and his cabinet. N’yu’ti has brought many positive things to Costa Rica, and therefore, we would like to continue bringing more buses and developing the infrastructure to provide for a robust hydrogen economy," he continued. 

katie zarich author bio photo

Katie Zarich

Katie Zarich is Manager of External Communications for Cummins Inc. She joined the Company in 2015 after more than a decade working in government and the nonprofit sector. [email protected]

Four Reasons Clean Diesel is in Cummins’ Toolbox to Meet Climate Goals

Cummins' X15 Efficiency Series diesel engine has won praise for its fuel economy and ultra low emissions.
Cummins' X15 Efficiency Series diesel engine has won praise for its fuel economy and ultra low emissions.

Many companies are pursuing electrification as a potential answer to the world’s climate goals, including Cummins. But that doesn’t mean diesel, specifically clean diesel, can’t play an important role, too. 

Here are four reasons clean diesel technology is part of Cummins’ broad portfolio of products designed to help customers meet their environmental sustainability goals:

1.    CLEAN DIESEL IS A PROVEN TECHNOLOGY

The Diesel Technology Forum  (DTF), a group dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of diesel, defines clean diesel  as the combination of today’s ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, advanced engines and effective emissions controls.

Together, these elements result in a highly efficient, virtually smoke-free engine, which can achieve near zero emissions and reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs).Clean diesel technology evolved around the year 2000 and has made a significant difference in air quality. Independent studies show it would take 60 18-wheel trucks produced today to equal the emissions of just one 18-wheeler built before 1988.

Yes, clean diesel uses petroleum-based fuel, but the technology is much more efficient than gasoline engines and much cleaner than pre-2000 diesel engines. According to the DTF, you can find a growing number of new-technology diesels in use today. More than a third of the trucks on U.S. roads are powered by the newest, cleanest, most efficient diesel technology, the group says.

Photo from the Jamestown Engine Plant
Cummins’ Jamestown Engine Plant in Jamestown, New York (USA) has produced more than 2 million engines since the company acquired it in 1974.
 

2.    CLEAN DIESEL IS AVAILABLE RIGHT NOW

Cummins and other companies are working hard to make electrified powertrains available for all kinds of trucks as soon as possible. Cummins has pledged to get an all-electric powertrain on the market for urban buses by the end of 2019. 

But it’s going to take time to develop electrified options for the full range of on- and off-highway engines. Products have to be developed. Factories built. Employees trained and supply chains established. 

While great progress is being made in reducing the size and cost of batteries, there’s still a way to go in many markets  Clean diesel is ready now. The plants are built and the supply chains established. Cummins’ Jamestown Engine Plant in Jamestown, New York (USA), recently passed the 2 million-engine milestone. You gain a lot of expertise after building that many engines.

3.    CLEAN DIESEL HAS AN ESTABLISHED INFRASTRUCTURE

Diesel fuel and service is widely available. According to the DTF , 55 percent of retail fuel locations in the U.S. offer diesel fuel, and various truck stop directories list between 6,500 and 7,000 locations across North America – many offering diesel fuel and service. Three out of four commercial vehicles are powered by a diesel engine and almost 99 percent of large Class 8 trucks come with a diesel engine. So finding fuel and service is not a problem.

By comparison, electrification infrastructure is just starting to develop. Plug-ins can occasionally be found for cars in urban areas, and some U.S. cities are experimenting with electric cars for hire. But a lot more has to be built before the majority of buses and delivery trucks go electric, and even more before electric 18-wheelers can travel coast to coast in large numbers. Europe is closer, but even there it’s going to take time.

One of the reasons Cummins is focusing first on electrification efforts for urban buses is the company believes that’s where the infrastructure will develop first. 

A Cunmmins' QSK95 engine is installed in the Siemens' Charger locomotive
Cummins’ ultra-low emissions QSK95 engine is prepared for lowering into one of Siemen’s Charger Locomotives.

4.    CLEAN DIESEL OFFERS A NICE RETURN ON CLEAN AIR INVESTMENTS

Return on investment is a key question as the debate begins in the U.S. over how best to use a $2.9 billion Environmental Mitigation Trust, part of the VW settlement, to improve air quality. Some argue these funds can best be used to help build the infrastructure for electrification.

The DTF, however, maintains the fastest and most cost-effective gains can be made by strategically replacing older and larger diesel engines in locations with the greatest potential for air quality gains. Through a partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund, DTF found that upgrading just one of the oldest, dirtiest tug boats in an urban area would be like taking tens of thousands of passenger vehicles off the road each year. And it says repowering an old railroad switch engine with clean diesel technology can remove the same amount of nitrous oxides (NOx) for about half the cost of other options.

Cummins believes every customer’s situation is just a little bit different. For example, a transit system that has access to a supply of renewable natural gas like the Los Angeles County, California (USA) transit system might choose to use that as a fuel. LA's transit system is using Cummins Westport’s near zero natural gas engines to help power its fleet, essentially taking advantage of a naturally occurring waste product to reduce its use of fossil fuels.

As the only independent engine maker building natural gas, electric and clean diesel engines, Cummins wants to help its customers make the right decision for them. Cummins believes the environment is too important to remove any tool that might make a difference. 
 

 

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]

Three Ways Cummins Can Help Communities in Search of Clean Air

AEOS, Cummins' all electric concept truck, is unveiled to the public in 2017. It is helping Cummins study the use of electrification in larger trucks.
AEOS, Cummins' all electric concept truck, is unveiled to the public in 2017. It is helping Cummins study the use of electrification in larger trucks.

Many government officials in the U.S. are looking for ways to best use the $2.9 billion Environmental Mitigation Trust included in the VW settlement to help improve air quality in their states and communities. There’s a lot to think about to get the most out of the settlement fund.

With its broad product portfolio, Cummins is uniquely positioned to help public officials figure out what’s best for their states and communities, taking into account their unique circumstances. The fund can be used to repower or replace vehicles, address shore power for ports, build out electric vehicle charging stations or expand other emissions reduction programs.

Here’s a quick look at how Cummins can help:

Charger locomotive
The low-emissions Siemens’ Charger locomotive, powered by a Cummins QSK95 engine, undergoes testing before being put into service in 2017.

CLEAN DIESEL POWER

Nobody knows the benefits of clean diesel engines like Cummins. The company makes diesel engines of all sizes and types, which is critically important to making a good decision. The Diesel Technology Forum, a non-profit group dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of diesel engines, says replacing a few large, older diesel engines with the latest diesel technology can have a much bigger impact on air quality than replacing a lot of smaller engines.

Removing one older locomotive switch engine, for example, and replacing it with a modern, clean diesel engine removes about the same amount of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), a key contributor to smog, as replacing the engines in 29 older delivery trucks or taking 30,000 car off the road for a year.

Cummins’ massive QSK95 engine is winning praise for the low-emissions power it’s bringing to Siemens’ new Charger locomotives, now in service in passenger trains from Florida to Washington state. The company’s new X15 engine, meanwhile, is among the cleanest the company has ever built, powering everything from heavy duty trucks to a variety of off-highway equipment. And those are just two of the diesel engines Cummins makes with the latest technology to ensure low emissions.

AEOS concept truck
A lot has happened in Cummins' electrification efforts since AEOS was unveiled in August of 2017, including several acquisitions designed to help the company innovate for its customers.

ELECTRIFICATION

Cummins' new Electrified Power business is quickly getting up to speed, but you’d expect that from a company that has been working with electrified power in various forms like diesel-electric engines for more than a decade. Cummins has pledged to have an all-electric powertrain for the urban bus market by 2019, and off-highway applications following at a later date.

The company thinks electrified power makes the most sense in cities where it believes the infrastructure will develop first for tasks like charging batteries. Technology is changing quickly. Batteries are coming down in price and able to store more power. But it will still be a while before it make sense to go all-electric for heavy loads transported over long distances.

Cummins has taken several steps to ensure it will be the market leader in electrification in the years to come. Most recently the company purchased Silicon Valley-based Efficient Drivetrains, Inc., a U.S. company that designs and produces hybrid and fully-electric power solutions for commercial markets. Within the past nine months, Cummins also acquired U.K.-based Johnson Matthey, an automotive battery business, and North American-based Brammo, which designs and develops battery packs for mobile and stationary applications.

A truck  at Fair Oaks Farms
Trucks from the Fair Oaks Farms in northwest Indiana use natural gas to deliver milk across the midwestern United States. The tankers run on renewable natural gas made by processing manure from the farms' dairy cows.

NATURAL GAS

While electrification and clean diesel each have their advantages, it’s hard to beat the environmental benefits achieved when renewable natural gas is used with the latest Cummins Westport technology to achieve near-zero emissions.

Renewable natural gas can be hard to find, but Fair Oaks Farms in northwest Indiana has plenty. The dairy has been capturing the methane produced by its more than 30,000 cows for some time now. The milk generated by Fair Oaks is delivered to dairies around the Midwest using Cummins Westport natural gas engines and renewable natural gas generated by the farm.

Cummins Westport last year introduced natural gas engines that can achieve emissions levels 90 percent below Environmental Protection Agency standards for NOx. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is pairing these new engines with renewable natural gas from a vendor who collects it from landfills and treatment sources in California. The combination will make the system’s buses among the cleanest of any major city in the world.

 

Boats, trains or trucks. Clean diesel, electrification or natural gas. Cummins has the expertise to help government officials make the best decision for their particular circumstances. To learn more, check out the company's new website devoted to the trust fund.

 

 

 

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]

Redirecting to
cummins.com

The information you are looking for is on
cummins.com

We are launching that site for you now.

Thank you.