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. blair.claflin@cummins.com

Meet Lulu Lopez - Director of New and ReCon Parts Global Manufacturing Operation, San Luis Potosi

Lulu Lopez, Director of New and ReCon Parts Global Manufacturing Operations, has 23 years experience in Manufacturing. We recently sat down with Lulu to ask about her career at Cummins. Here's what she had to say. 

Role: Director of New and ReCon Parts Global Manufacturing Operations
Location: San Luis Potosí, Mexico
Years of Service: 12 years at Cummins, 23 years in Manufacturing
Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering, Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, San Luis Potosí, México; Master’s Degree in Administration, Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí, México
Cummins Career Journey: Quality and Manufacturing Manager, Plant Manager, Director of Global Manufacturing Engineering & Strategy, Director of New and ReCon Parts Global Manufacturing Operations

Q: How has your career journey progressed at Cummins?

“I joined Cummins Generator Technologies in San Luis Potosí, México, as a Quality and Manufacturing Manager in 2006. However, as soon as I joined Cummins, I also had to take on manager responsibilities in Supplier Quality, Operations Excellence (lean manufacturing) and, for several years, Product Engineering. I was then given the opportunity to become a Plant Manager for Cummins Generator Technologies in 2010, also in San Luis Potosí, and enjoyed that role for 4.5 years. 

“In November 2014, I joined New and ReCon Parts in Columbus, IN, as the Director of Global Manufacturing Engineering and Strategy. I then returned to San Luis Potosí to run the New and ReCon Parts site in April 2016 and was able to run this site for 2 years. Currently, I am transitioning into the Director of Global Manufacturing Operations role for New and ReCon Parts and very happy and enthusiastic for this great next step in my professional career.”

Q: What attracted you to Manufacturing as a career? 

“I like it a lot! I really enjoy the teamwork and cross-functional efforts used to build products that help our customers be successful in operating their own businesses. I find developing people and interacting with different functions within Manufacturing fascinating. We drive continuous improvement every day to be more efficient, cost competitive and the best option for our customers, and that’s a great feeling.”

Q: Why have you chosen to remain dedicated to Manufacturing? In other words, what’s kept you going? 

“Within Manufacturing, we have different functions that are very exciting in areas of engineering, technology and innovation. All of these functions are focused on the definition, development, implementation, validation, control, operation and continuous improvement of the processes that build the products we sell every day.”

Q: Is Manufacturing at Cummins exciting for you? 

“Yes, working in a Manufacturing site is a diverse environment – we have a variety of functions and people with different professional backgrounds, capabilities and skills working together every day. Collaborating as a team makes it exciting, as all functions align to the same objectives and challenge each other to be excellent each and every day.”

Q: In your eyes, what would you list as your top 2-3 achievements in your career at Cummins?  

“Becoming a plant manager was very much a key achievement in my professional career. That role really exposed me to being a business owner, lead cross-functional efforts and represents the Cummins leadership in the community. 

“Also, for more than 5 years, I aspired to be in my current role, which I just entered into a few weeks ago. This opportunity will allow me to influence the global operations of a complete business and allow me the opportunity to lead a vast and diverse team experiencing different challenges due to the conditions of the markets and regions.”

Q: Which one of Cummins’ core values resonates with you most and why? 

“All corporate values are great framework, and for me it is very critical to live all of them in my role as a leader. However, if I have to select one that resonates with me most, it would be Caring."

"By caring about our people, our environment, our customers and our community; being inclusive; following the regulations and laws that dictate our company practices; and knowing the impact of my decisions, I am better able to contribute to powering a most prosperous world.”

Q: Cummins is a global company, and you bring global perspective. What does being a global company mean to you?

“For me, it is very simple. We should be able to support our customers with the right solution for their needs across the globe, and that support should come from people who work in the optimal regions and processes and who live out our values each and every day.”

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is wanting to get into Manufacturing today?

“Take the challenge, and join our team. We have varying career paths, different functions and very exciting positions that will provide you the opportunity to develop yourself and gain vast capabilities and skills that will help you continue your professional development within Manufacturing or other roles within the Global Supply Chain.”

I Am Manufacturing is a recurring campaign featuring the people and teams who make up Cummins Manufacturing.
 

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 Anna Dibble - Plant Manager, Jamestown Engine Plant

Cummins - I am manufacturing. I am Anna Dibble.
Anna Dibble, Plant Manager at the Jamestown Engine Plant

Anna Dibble, Plant Manager at Cummins' Jamestown Engine Plant, has an impressive 26 years of service at Cummins. We recently sat down with Anna to ask about her career at Cummins. Here’s what she had to say. 

Role: Plant Manager, Jamestown Engine Plant (JEP)
Years of Service at Cummins: 26 years at JEP
Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Operations Management, Penn State University; Master’s Degree in Manufacturing Management & Engineering, General Motors Institute of Technology; MBA, Gannon University
Career Journey: Quality Engineering, Product Engineering, Six Sigma Black Belt and Leader, Operations, Engine Business Unit Manufacturing Quality, Plant Management

Q: What attracted you to Manufacturing as a career?

"When I got hired at Cummins as a summer hire, I really enjoyed seeing how a large plant functioned – how all of the teams worked collaboratively together to make the product and how diverse the career opportunities were. I went back to college and changed my major from Accounting to Operations Management, with the desire to work in a manufacturing plant after graduation. I didn’t realize at the time that I would spend my career at the same plant that got me interested in manufacturing in the first place."

Q: Have you ever had any other job outside of Manufacturing? 

"I have always been based at JEP but have worked in many functions, including some that were EBU functions and not JEP-specific (Product Engineering, Six Sigma Black Belt/Master Black Belt, EBU Manufacturing Quality and Six Sigma Leader roles). The diversity of career opportunities within a large manufacturing plant, such as Quality (including Supplier Quality and Customer Quality) and Product Engineering (including test and labs, Six Sigma personnel, Finance, etc.) was an attractive feature for me. The Cummins and JEP environment also encourages cross-functional learning."

Q: Is Manufacturing at Cummins exciting for you?

"Absolutely. Each and every day is different and sometimes very unpredictable. The challenge to develop and follow a long-term strategy while also addressing short-term emergencies – and doing so in a way that is effective across significant changes in the demand cycle – requires a lot of innovation and cross-functional teamwork."

Q: What makes coming to work each day worth it?

The people. Although there are problems to solve and challenges day in and day out, I have the opportunity to work with some very talented, committed and passionate people that can rise to any occasion.

Q: In your eyes, what would you list as your top achievements during your career at Cummins? 

"The plant accomplishment that I am very proud to have been part of was the 2010 Downturn Planning team. The team worked with JEP and Cummins leaders to offer an employee retention program that helped us creatively absorb a 70 percent reduction in demand within one month with no permanent layoffs and introduce two new products at the same time."

Q: Which one of Cummins’ core values resonates with you most and why? 

"I really don’t believe the core values are as effective individually as they are together. But, if I had to choose one core value, I would pick integrity because it all starts there. Integrity is a sign of your character and is foundational to all of the other core values. In order to truly embrace diversity, care for others and their wellbeing, and promote and value teamwork, you must have integrity. By building trusting relationships where all voices are heard and valued, together you can deliver excellence."

Q: What is your advice to someone looking to pursue a career in Manufacturing?

"Manufacturing is exciting and challenging, and the industry offers many career opportunities for people with many different skill sets. Regardless of the role, I highly would encourage someone to try new things, be fearless and move out of their comfort zone."

I Am Manufacturing is a recurring campaign featuring the people and teams who make up Cummins Manufacturing.

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.

New Cummins Powers Women Program to Accelerate the Advancement of Women and Girls Around the World

by Anna Lintereur,
Cummins' Mary Chandler (right) greets Denise Raquel Dunning, founder of Rise Up, at Thursday's announcement.
Cummins' Mary Chandler (right) greets Denise Raquel Dunning, founder of Rise Up, at Thursday's announcement.

Cummins has been grounded since its founding in the belief that wherever the company operates, it will leave communities stronger than it found them. Building more prosperous communities isn’t just better for the people living in them, it’s better for the company’s business and society at large.

Now Cummins is helping to empower a global community that needs support – women and girls.

“Cummins’ mission is to make people’s lives better by powering a more prosperous world and Cummins Powers Women epitomizes this purpose,” said Tom Linebarger, Cummins Inc. Chairman and CEO. “One way we seek to better communities is by investing in programs that improve the lives of women and girls. We’ve seen firsthand the positive transformation that happens when we ensure diversity and inclusion within our organization, bringing more women into our business at every level.”

The Cummins Powers Women program is the company’s most ambitious community initiative ever, representing a multi-million dollar investment designed to create large-scale impact in the lives of women and girls globally. Through Cummins Powers Women, the company will partner with a network of global nonprofit organizations that have existing, proven programs with metrics in place. The programs will focus on areas where significant barriers exist to the advancement of girls and women, including grass-roots teaching and mentoring, financial empowerment through entrepreneurship, leadership training, and strategic guidance to non-profit leaders.

Today, women continue to face inequality. Around the world, girls are less likely to finish high school, more likely to be married against their will as children, and less likely to have career prospects. But when women and girls are educated, given opportunity and paid fairly, families and economies prosper.

“The growth and improvements we have seen in our own company through an inclusive environment for women are the catalyst for us to dream about a future for all women that includes abundant opportunity for global leadership, invention, skill and creativity – a world powered by women in which progress accelerates, invention amplifies and solutions become easier to find,” said Mary Titsworth Chandler, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Chief Executive Officer of the Cummins Foundation.

Cummins is focused on fixing the problem at its root and finding answers that will yield the greatest impact for women and girls to unlock their full power. The Cummins Leadership Team and regional leadership teams will spearhead this global effort, working closely with Cummins’ nonprofit partners in their regions and local communities.

The company knows that for many of its leaders, this work isn’t just a professional issue. It’s a personal one, too. It’s about our mothers, daughters, sisters, friends and neighbors. After all, as Linebarger remarked, “Making an engine is hard. Making the world more just for women and girls is harder.”

Cummins is ready to take on this challenge.

Anna Lintereur

Anna Lintereur is Chief of Staff and Communications Manager for Corporate Responsibility at Cummins Inc. She joined the company in 2010, serving in a variety of roles including global communications leader for Corporate Responsibility and project manager for the construction of Cummins’ Distribution Business headquarters in Indianapolis. Prior to joining Cummins, she worked for Irwin Financial Corporation for more than 12 years.

Cummins Employees Set Record Building Stronger Communities Around the World

Cummins employees in Malaysia celebrate bringing solar lighting to a village without electricity.
Cummins employees in Malaysia celebrate bringing solar lighting to a village without electricity.

The solar lights Cummins employees built using discarded plastic bottles will deliver more than illumination for villages without electricity, according to Jason Chong, General Manager of Cummins Sales & Service in Malaysia.

“The most important impact is that they give hope to communities for a brighter future,” Chong said of the initiative that started in August 2017 in the Philippines and continued in November in Malaysia. “It significantly improves the safety environment of rural communities by providing lighting for foot paths and also homes, while removing potential fire hazards, such as traditional kerosene lamps.”

The Cummins’ “Liter of Light” initiative was one of hundreds of community service projects undertaken across the company during a record-setting year for employee engagement in the Every Employee Every Community (EEEC) program.

A best-ever 82.5 percent of eligible employees and contractors – 56,646 people in all – participated in the company’s Corporate Responsibility program in 2017. It’s the third consecutive year EEEC engagement has topped 80 percent for employees and eligible contractors, well above Cummins’ goal of 70 percent participation.

“It’s such an honor to work with so many people dedicated to improving the communities where our employees live and where the company does business,” said Mary Titsworth Chandler, CEO of the Cummins Foundation and the company’s Vice President – Corporate Responsibility. “Building stronger communities is truly aligned with our mission of making people’s lives better by powering a more prosperous world.”

Under the company’s EEEC program, employees can work four hours on community service projects and longer with their supervisors’ approval. Through EEEC, Cummins invests thousands of employee hours in projects around the world.

EEEC initiatives in 2017 included an effort to provide career counseling and guidance to high school students in Ghana, a project to help immigrants in Germany with communications and cultural skills, and a tech literacy program in Indianapolis, Indiana (U.S.A.) that taught computer basics to students at a low-performing school.

The Liter of Light project in Malaysia is unusual in that it covers all three of Cummins’ corporate responsibility priority areas – the environment, education and equality of opportunity.

The project partnered with the non-governmental organization Incitement on the international effort that uses discarded plastic bottles to build the solar lights in communities without electricity. Filling the bottles with a little water and bleach and inserting a bulb inside of a test tube creates a light fixture that can be inexpensively paired with a small panel drawing energy from the sun.

The lights improve the environment by finding a use for the plastic bottles. The project is educational because village residents learn how to build additional lights and make any necessary repairs. And by providing light to guard against everything from fires to wild animal attacks, Liter of Light helps villagers focus on improving their lives and the lives of their families.

The Liter of Light project creates illuminated pathways, enhancing safety in villages without electricity.
Cummins employees install poles for the solar lights.

“The project is really meaningful,” said Johnnie Ang, Cummins Malaysia’s Community Involvement Team leader. “The solar powered lights are simple to build and will help people who really need it.”

To learn more about Cummins’ long history of Corporate Responsibility, click here.

 

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. blair.claflin@cummins.com

Redirecting to
cummins.com

The information you are looking for is on
cummins.com

We are launching that site for you now.

Thank you.