Talking Cummins Truck Targets Future Engineers

Cummins Engineers Tom McKinley (left) and Mahesh Yanamandram (right) built a challenge for Iridescent’s CuriosityMachine.org to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). A video promoting the challenge features them as cartoon characters.

ENGINEERS MAHESH YANAMANDRAM AND TOM McKINLEY WORK WITH HEAVY-DUTY TRUCK ENGINES AT CUMMINS. SO DESIGNING ENGINES MADE OF CARDBOARD, BOTTLE CAPS, RUBBER BANDS AND STRAWS WAS A LITTLE DIFFERENT FOR THEM.

But talking trucks are cool whether it’s an 18-wheeler heading down the highway or a kid’s STEM challenge built around the kitchen table.  It didn’t take long for the two men to agree it was the perfect idea for a Cummins-themed challenge on the popular website CurriosityMachine.org.

“Our engines are talking all the time,” said Yanamandram, a senior engineer in Cummins’ Engine Business who works with customers to make sure their engines run properly. “Through telematics our engines are constantly telling us whether they are too hot, or too cold, or need something to help them perform  better.”

McKinley

 

“The data our engines send out over the air is not all that different from the way people send text messages,” added McKinley, Systems Integration and Validation Director in the Engine Business. “When Mahesh first suggested building a talking truck, I thought it was a great idea.”

The goal of CuriosityMachine.org is to get kids excited about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Sponsored by Iridescent, a science education non-profit, the website features design challenges using household materials to show kids a career in STEM can be both fun and rewarding.

Challenges on the platform typically include a list of building materials, some basic prompts, pictures of the finished product and a video designed to help kids think about possible solutions. Students are then encouraged to follow the standard engineering design process – Inspiration, Plan, Build, Test, Redesign and Reflect.

Yanamandram

 

THE HACKATHON

The talking truck was the culmination of an effort lasting several months to come up with a Cummins-themed challenge. Involving about two dozen engineers, the Cummins Curiosity Machine Hackathon was funded in honor of retired Cummins Vice President and Chief Technical Officer John Wall, who championed numerous efforts to develop future engineers during his nearly 30 years with the company.

Project organizers and Cummins Engineers Mukul Aggarwal and Tripti Gupta said participants were put through a rigorous screening process until 10 finalists emerged. The finalists were then placed on two-person teams based on their diverse qualities in hopes of coming up with the most creative designs.

Aggarwal and Gupta said there were many great ideas among the Cummins finalists:

  • A self-stopping car that can avoid collisions made from a cardboard box, a small motor, clips and other easily accessible materials (Jeff Daiker and Karthik Jagadevan).
  • An engine made of plastic cups, a cardboard box and other household materials (Carol Moreno and Katelyn Perera).
  • A transmission made from cans, duct-tape and Styrofoam (Danielle Lewis and Matthew Turczi).
  • And a fuel delivery system made with aquarium tubing, a water bottle and other material (Aditi Rana and Prashanth Oruganti).

“We want to celebrate everyone’s hard work, which made the hackathon a huge success,” said Gupta, Technical Productivity and Reliability Leader in New and Recon Parts Engineering. “All the teams came up with innovative ways of creating simple challenges from complex Cummins engineering designs.”

Yanamandram and McKinley work in the same general area in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.A.), but before the hackathon they had never met. The laid-back McKinley might have seemed an unlikely pairing with the ebullient Yanamandram, who said his biggest fear upon learning who his partner would be was “overwhelming Tom with my enthusiasm.”  But they worked well together over the three or four sessions needed to come up with a design challenge.

The final decision on which project would get posted was made by Iridescent, which took into account several factors including what might best capture the interest of the students who use the site.

AN EXTRA BENEFIT

In addition to having their challenge added to CuriosityMachine.org, Yanamandram and McKinley also now have the distinction of being transformed into cartoon characters by the website as part of the challenge video designed to inspire potential participants.

“That was quite a surprise,” said McKinley. “Everyone who knows me and has seen it kind of does a double take. But that’s good.”

“I loved watching cartoons when I was young,” said Yanamandram, laughing.  “Watching myself as a cartoon in reality was an amazing feeling. It was one of my childhood dreams coming true!”

WATCH THE VIDEO AND TAKE THE CHALLENGE

If you want to take the Cummins challenge visit the Curiosity Machine website. You can also see the challenge in action by watching the video below.

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]

Lisa Yoder posthumously honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

Last week, Lisa Yoder, former Vice President of Global Supply Chain at Cummins, was posthumously honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award during the Central Indiana Supply Chain Awards (CISCA).

DLisa Yoderuring the event, it was also announced the Lifetime Achievement Award would be named after Lisa in honor of her commitment and dedication to her work and the time she invested in supporting her supply chain leaders and colleagues. 

More than 200 supply chain professionals came together on Sept. 13 to recognize 37 nominees and 9 winners during the first-annual CISCA event, powered by BCforward. The event, organized by the Institute for Supply Management – Central Indiana (ISM) and the Mid-States Minority Supplier Development Council (Mid-States MSDC), is the first of its kind in Central Indiana.

Thad Ewald, Vice President of Corporate Strategy at Cummins, accepted the award in Lisa’s honor. Members of Lisa’s immediate family and several of her former Cummins colleagues were also in attendance to celebrate Lisa’s accomplishments.

“It was an honor to accept this award on Lisa’s behalf,” said Thad Ewald, Vice President of Corporate Strategy at Cummins. “She was a good friend and a valued colleague, and she left a lasting legacy at Cummins.”

Thad Ewald, Vice President of Corporate Strategy, accepts the award in Lisa's honor.

Lisa led Cummins’ Global Supply Chain and Manufacturing functions from 2011 to 2017, when she passed away after a long-fought battle with cancer. Through her tenure, she courageously led Supply Chain operations for Cummins locations across the globe. Lisa successfully pulled each supply chain function and operation under one umbrella and established the strategy for the supply chain transformation in 2012. This was no small feat, as this transformational work applied to and affected 190 countries in which Cummins does business, thousands of employees, and hundreds of work streams and processes. Lisa’s vision was instrumental in driving the current transformational journey within the Supply Chain, and her impact can still be felt today.

Lisa invested countless, selfless hours in recruiting and promoting the supply chain profession as a career choice. When Lisa became ill, she found inspiration from mentoring and teaching others the importance of the supply chain industry and living life to the fullest.

We at Cummins – those who knew her well and those who witness her legacy – couldn’t be prouder and are thrilled to see her impact live on through the CISCA Lisa Yoder Lifetime Achievement Award. 
 

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.

I am a Collaborative Robot. I am Manufacturing.

I am Manufacturing: Collaborative Robots

Advancements in technology, the internet of things and the power of big data are driving innovation across all industries – and the manufacturing industry is no different. This next wave of technological advancement in manufacturing is being dubbed Industry 4.0.

From more powerful, secure networks and universal connectivity, to advanced technologies and enterprise-wide data hubs, manufacturing’s technological future has many facets and possibilities. Today, we’re seeing examples of technological advancements within Cummins’ 90-plus Manufacturing plants across the globe. 

One example is the Collaborative Robot.

What is a collaborative robot (Cobot for short)?

Simply put, a Cobot is a robot built to safely work with and around people. They’re meant to enhance the work of humans, working side-by-side with operators to perform low-risk tasks, which is a paradigm shift for the industry.

While Cobots were first designed in the 1990s, they didn’t become an industry option until just a few years ago. The primary difference between a robot and Cobot, aside from scale, are built-in sensing systems that provide Cobots the ability to monitor a path and determine, within milliseconds, if it needs to stop due to an obstruction in its path. Traditional robots are tasked with heavy duty jobs and are locked in a secure area away from humans.

CTP Cobot

Why cobots?

There are many advantages to using Cobots today:

  • While Cobots do not replace humans, they can take over dull or repetitive tasks that would often pose ergonomic risks to operators, such as uncomfortable wrist or shoulder rotations, and allow for easier quality and process control.
  • Cobots can eliminate the required safety perimeter and safely share workspace with operators, resulting in a safer work environment and efficiencies in plant design. (Safety protocols will still exist.)
  • Cobots are typically less expensive, due to built-in safety features, and result in a lower total cost of ownership.
  • Cobots are easier to program, and allow for hands-on programming and operator involvement

Where does Cummins use Cobots today?

Cummins has two active Cobot applications, one at the Charleston Turbo Plant (CTP) in Charleston, South Carolina, and one at the Darlington Engine Plant (DEP) in Darlington, U.K. Cummins Filtration and Cummins Emission Solutions are also developing new applications utilizing Cobot technology and plan to have Cobots active within their facilities by early 2019.

The CTP Cobot, dispenses a retaining compound and has operated for more than two years without any safety or downtime issues. This application allows operators to perform quality and process inspections within the same operating space as the Cobot and has solved many concerns including safety, ergonomics, quality and downtime issues. 
 
The DEP Cobot was installed in early 2018 and has a 2D barcode reader that scans and extracts fuel injection trim codes. This application has solved many quality issues, as the scans must be completed in a sequential order for successful programming. 

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.

Tom Linebarger receives the 2018 Man of Achievement Award from the Midwest Region of the Anti-Defamation League

Cummins Chairman and CEO, Tom Linebarger received the 2018 Man of Achievement Award from the Midwest Region of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for his efforts in advocating for fairness, equality and inclusion. The award was presented in Indianapolis, IN (USA).  

During his acceptance speech, Tom made an impassioned plea for each person to join the fight: 

"Now more than ever, those of us who believe in pluralism need to move to action.  We can no longer assume that all will be well but instead must turn our focus and all of our efforts toward this fight or it may actually be lost. Fortunately for us, there are people in our communities who have been at the frontline of this fight for a long time. 

I encourage you to seek out organizations who desperately need your time, your treasure, your voice and your shoe leather. Support them locally and nationally. Find out how you can be part of the solution. 

I would ask that you also speak up for the minority, for those with less, for refugees, for immigrants, for Jews, Christians, and for Muslims, for women and girls."

The ADL has a century-old mission to fight discrimination, extremism, terrorism, and all forms of hate in the real world and in cyberspace.  

Tom Linebarger accepts award for Man of the Year from the Anti-Defamation League

Lonnie Nasatir, ADL Regional Director, said “now is a pivotal time for our organization, our country, and the world. Combating and exposing extremism is essential. We work tirelessly to ensure justice and fair treatment for all through our work on immigration, voting rights, religious freedom, LGBTQ equality, and fighting discrimination. Tom exemplifies and champions our values every day.  We are honored to celebrate his accomplishments and thank him for furthering this critical work that is needed now more than ever.” 

Leaders at Cummins have a long history of standing up for what they believe is right, even in the face of adversity. Cummins leaders championed civil rights in the 1960s, took a stand against apartheid in the 1980s by leaving South Africa, despite the financial implications. In 2000, Cummins began offering domestic partner benefits to its employees, despite community opposition. 

And over the past decade, Cummins has publicly opposed discriminatory measures to permanently prevent same-sex marriage in Indiana as well as in other states like Minnesota and advocated for a statewide non-discrimination statute in Indiana. 

Last year, Cummins expanded its core value of diversity to diversity and inclusion. The company and its leaders like Linebarger are committed to creating work environments and communities that are welcoming to all people. 

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.

Meet Mukesh Oswal - Shop Operations Lead, Kothrud Engine Plant

I Am Manufacturing

Mukesh Oswal, Shop Operations Lead at Kothrud Engine Plant, has 15 years experience in Manufacturing. We recently sat down with Mukesh to ask about his career at Cummins. Here's what he had to say.

Role: Shop Operations Lead
Location: Kothrud Engine Plant (KEP), Pune, India, Power Systems Business Unit
Years of Service: 13 Years at Cummins, 15 Years in Manufacturing
Education: Bachelor's Degree in Production Engineering, North Maharashtra University, India; Master's Degree in Industrial Engineering, Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur, India; Post Graduate Executive Management Programme, S. P. Jain Business School, Mumbai, India.
Career Journey: Project Management (new plant setup), Industrial Engineer, Industrial Engineering Team Leader, Operation Excellence Leader, Head Manufacturing Engineering, Shop Operation Lead

Q: What attracted you to Manufacturing as a career choice?

“I have been inquisitive and a technology enthusiast since childhood. I had always envisioned my drawings and scribbles taking shape and form. During my Engineering Degree course, it was a dream come true when in summer training I got an opportunity to witness and work for two weeks with an engine component manufacturing setup. This was the birth of my association with manufacturing.

“My desire to learn and apply more forced me to complete my master’s degree in Industrial Engineering where, again, I got an opportunity to be associated with Cummins. It is here that I realized manufacturing is more than just assembling the different parts together – it meant following processes, understanding material flows, layouts and synchronization, the machines, their efficiencies and their limitations all put together in the hands of skilled and knowledgeable operators who put their heart and soul into producing engineering splendors!

“I had found my passion and love in manufacturing. This passion still drives me to innovate and fuels my innate desire to discover more new things in manufacturing.”

Q: Is Manufacturing at Cummins exciting for you? If so, why?

“Yes, the manufacturing space at Cummins is very exciting for me. Each day it brings different, unpredictable challenges, which keeps me active and engaged. At the end of the day, when I look over my daily engagement and involvement, it generates a lot of satisfaction for me. This adds confidence for making the next day even better.

Manufacturing also provides me with an excellent opportunity to demonstrate and hone on my leadership skills, like meeting customers and their expectations while ensuring business deliverables, developing mid-term and long-term strategies, challenging capabilities of cross-functional teams and aligning complex teams toward a common and shared objective.

“I see the company is continuously investing in leadership development within manufacturing. For example, I was selected among many nominations in India ABO for a reach training course named Visionary Leaders for Manufacturing (VLFM) program, conducted jointly by Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).”
 
Q: There are many misconceptions or ideas about what it’s like to work in a plant. What is the plant environment like for you? 

“Sometimes I hear that people feel the plant environment is not very opulent for growth. My views are quite opposite to this due to what I have witnessed in my last 15 years of association with manufacturing plants and teams. Opportunities and avenues for growth in Manufacturing are available in abundance. All it takes is sheer hard work, persistence and a little faith. Just don’t get distracted by the diversions available; there are ample growth opportunities for those to thrive to stay in manufacturing.” 

Q: What advice would you give to someone either in school or just out of school who is wanting to get into manufacturing today?

"Manufacturing is an excellent space in which to start your career, especially for someone who is willing to apply school/college learnings to applications quickly. It provides you with ample ground to innovative new ideas and improvise old ones. The diverse manufacturing spectrum at Cummins provides one with a conducive learning environment for beginners having different skill sets.
 

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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