7 Ways Cummins Goes High Tech to Power its Customers

Cummins commitment to technology means benefits for customers.

IN MANY WAYS, CUMMINS ENGINES AND RELATED PRODUCTS ARE MORE COMPLEX THAN YOUR SMART PHONE. HERE'S SEVEN WAYS CUMMINS PUTS HIGH-TECHNOLOGY TO WORK FOR YOU:

SUPER COMPUTERS

Clessie 2.0 enables Cummins to power increasingly sophisticated software for the design of engines and related products.

 

 

The Clessie 2.0 supercomputer is a critical asset to the company’s engineering function, accelerating innovation, improving productivity and reducing product development time as well as costs.

With approximately 1.4 petabytes of total storage, 8,584 cores, 355 teraflops of computational muscle, and built to double in capacity, it enables engineers to explore thousands of computer assisted design (CAD) options on demand. Traditionally, an engineer could only explore a small number of design options.

The combination of engineering expertise, robust software, and powerful computing enables Cummins to produce the best engines in the world.

3D PRINTING

Cummins 3-D Printing lab inside the Cummins Technical Center in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.A).

 

 

3D printers take extremely detailed instructions to make precise objects a layer at a time, with relatively little waste. The technology is primarily used at Cummins to help engineers make detailed prototypes of the engine parts they design, and do it faster and more accurately than ever before.

Prototypes can be made from materials strong enough to put in a working engine for testing, which ultimately means great ideas can get to market faster.

CONNECTIVITY AND BIG DATA

A new app is helping Cummins certified service providers get customers back to work faster.

 

 

Cummins is using the power of connectivity and big data to improve the lives of its customers and service providers in multiple ways.

Immediate Assessment, for example, enables service providers to wirelessly connect to an engine through their smart phones or tablets. A feature of Cummins’ new Guidanz™ mobile app, it can pull fault codes indicating the most likely cause for a check engine light and estimate repair time based on data from thousands of similar repairs. In the past, customers could wait hours just to learn what was wrong.

Telematics devices, meanwhile, allow Cummins to gather extremely large sets of data about how Cummins-powered products operate. Company experts can then analyze that data to create digital solutions to customer challenges. With this technology, we can also remotely monitor Cummins-powered products and send software updates to them over-the-air.

In June, Cummins launched a new company, ZED Connect, to help carriers and drivers use data and analytics to increase their bottom lines. The new company’s first product is a simple and low-cost electronic device, ZED ELD, to help fleets and operators log their hours electronically.

VIRTUAL REALITY

The Virtual Reality Team at the Cummins Technical Center in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.A) demonstrates the virtual reality system  based there.

 

 

There are some things that just can’t be captured on a computer screen. The CAVE at the Cummins Technical Center (CTC) in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.A.), is an especially popular spot for engineers who want to see their designs come to life before a prototype is ever built and customers who want to know how an engine will fit in their particular vehicles before one is ever manufactured.

Formally known as the CTC’s Advanced Virtual-prototyping Environment, the facility is one of several virtual reality centers across Cummins. Making it easier to see the intricacies of a big engine like those used in heavy-duty trucks or trains can be critical to engine uptime. It allows designers to know early on when a part is difficult to reach if a repair is necessary.

It can be important for engine components, too. The CAVE played a key role in development of Cummins’ ultra-efficient Single Module exhaust aftertreatment, helping engineers with both the design and the chassis installation requirements for the system, which is up to 60 percent smaller and up to 40 percent lighter than its predecessor.

ELECTRIFICATION

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (third from left) stands with Cummins’ leaders beside a demonstration work truck testing electrification during a recent visit to the Cummins Technical Center in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.A.).

 

 

Cummins in early 2017 launched an electrification division in response to the growing interest in commercial electric vehicles, especially for buses and delivery vehicles used in urban areas. But the company has been working on diesel-electric hybrid engines for more than a decade.

Cummins is currently in the midst of multiple electric mobile and stationary power projects. In the spring of 2016, the company announced it was part of a project awarded a $4.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a Class 6 commercial plug-in range extender electric powertrain that could reduce fuel consumption by at least 50 percent over a conventional Class 6/7 delivery truck.

ELECTRON MICROSCOPES

A team in the Cummins Technical Center’s Materials Science & Technology lab in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.A.) uses a powerful electron microscope to do its work.

 

 

Cummins researchers regularly use an electron microscope with enough magnifying power to read a newspaper sitting on the moon from earth.

Roger England, the Cummins Technical Center’s Director of Materials Science & Technology in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.A.), said that tool and others enable his team to work in the realm of atoms as it investigates problems like why a certain kind of oil might wear down an engine part and what metals might be less susceptible to damage.

OUR PEOPLE

Cummins engineers work in a lab in the Columbus Engine Plant.

 

 

Cummins strongly believes its people give the company a strategic advantage, with the technical know-how to help solve our customers’ toughest problems. As the only independent diesel engine manufacturer in the world, Cummins has the in-house capability to produce all the critical subsystems required to build an engine or generator.

About a third of the company’s professional staff has degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM). Many at the company’s tech centers have PhDs.

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 Officer Calls on State to be More Inclusive

Chief Administrative Officer Marya Rose participates in a panel discussion on ways business can be a force for good (photos courtesy of the Indianapolis Business Journal).
Chief Administrative Officer Marya Rose participates in a panel discussion on ways business can be a force for good (photo courtesy of the Indianapolis Business Journal).

Cummins Chief Administrative Officer Marya Rose called for comprehensive hate crimes legislation in the company’s home state of Indiana during a forum on how business can be a force for good.

 

Indiana is one of five states that does not have a statewide law that specifically addresses hate crimes. Such legislation can enable prosecutors to seek higher penalties for criminal acts motivated by hate.

“We can talk about inclusion, but there’s still just some basic things we need to do as a state to make Indiana welcoming, and passing a comprehensive hate crimes bill is table stakes for our state,” Rose said while participating today (Dec. 14) in a panel discussion at Engage Indiana in Indianapolis. 

“So many people in this community have already gotten together, with not for profits and the United Way and we intend to make this happen,” Rose added. “This is going to happen this year. This is our time and we need to make it happen right now.”

The Indiana Legislature has considered hate crimes legislation for years but proponents have never managed to get the necessary support to pass a bill.

Rose maintains hate crimes legislation is needed to make Indiana a truly welcoming and inclusive place. Even the appearance that Indiana tolerates crimes of hate can send an unwelcoming message to people from diverse groups.

That can make it harder for companies to recruit the diverse talent they need to develop the most creative answers to their customers’ business challenges. Rose’s comments got an enthusiastic reaction from the audience of business leaders in attendance at the event sponsored by the Indianapolis Business Journal and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

Cummins has a long history of taking a leadership role on issues involving diversity. Company leaders, for example, have spoken out against legislation banning gay marriage around the U.S.

Creating an inclusive environment can be challenging, Rose said. And it’s something Cummins is focusing on as it moves forward in its diversity journey.

“You can have a diverse employee population, and by that I mean all facets of diversity not just visible facets but invisible facets, and yet we can struggle with inclusion,” Rose said. “If someone doesn’t feel like they can bring their whole self to work, in a sexual orientation way, in a religious way, however it is, then we aren’t getting the best out of that employee.”

Passing hate crimes legislation is a step Indiana can take so diverse people can bring their whole selves to the state. Rose maintains that, in turn, will make Indiana more attractive for everyone. 
 

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 Places High in Management, Sustainability Rankings

Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger attends a meeting of the Women's Affinity Group in 2017.
Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger attends a meeting of the Women's Affinity Group in 2017.

Cummins has been named to two lists released this month reflecting the company’s strong management and sustainability initiatives.

 

The company finished No. 82 in the 2018 Wall Street Journal’s "Management Top 250"  released last week (Dec. 3), and No. 80 in the 2019 JUST 100, a list of America's most just companies released today (Dec. 10).

THE MANAGEMENT TOP 250

The Wall Street Journal’s rankings were prepared by the Drucker Institute, named for the late professor, author and longtime Wall Street Journal Columnist Peter Drucker. “To be a manager requires more than a title, big office and other outward symbols of rank,” he once wrote. “It requires competence and performance of high order.”

Cummins’ ranking is up from No. 94 in the 2017 Management Top 250 and includes five out of five possible stars for the company’s social responsibility performance. That’s up from four stars in 2017.

The social performance ranking is based on multiple indicators of community involvement, environmental stewardship, governance performance and whether “a company has put a social purpose at the core of its business strategy.” Cummins corporate mission is: “Making people’s lives better by powering a more prosperous world.”

The company received four-star rankings for customer satisfaction, employee engagement and development and financial strength. Cummins was the third highest ranked company in its sector – automotive/vehicles, preceded only by General Motors (No. 37) and Ford (No. 42). 

Three technology companies topped the list – Apple (No. 1), Amazon (No. 2) and Microsoft (No. 3).

AMERICA’S JUST 100

Cummins has made the JUST 100 every year since it was initiated in 2016. The list is produced by a partnership between Forbes magazine and JUST Capital, which measures company performance against the American public’s definition of just corporate behavior based on public polling.

Last year, Cummins finished No. 45 in the JUST 100,  and No. 3 in the commercial vehicles and machinery category behind Rockwell Automation (No. 13) and Caterpillar (No. 38).

Cummins finished No. 80 in this year's survey and No. 3 again in the commercial vehicles and machinery category behind Caterpillar (No. 49) and Rockwell (No. 73). Tech companies also finished a top the JUST 100 led by Microsoft (No. 1), Intel (No. 2) and Alphabet (Google) (No. 3).

The JUST Capital poll of 81,000 Americans found several interesting findings, including:

  • 76 percent of working Americans said they would opt to work at a more just company even if the pay was less.
  • 78 percent of those polled said they had taken action to show their support for a corporation’s positive behavior.
  • 63 percent said they think CEOs have a responsibility to take a stand on important social issues.

Cummins CEO Tom Linebarger has been a proponent of environmental sustainability, maintaining protecting the environment while growing the economy is the challenge of our time.
 

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]

 

Linebarger Calls for Pragmatic Approach to China Trade Standoff

Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger (center) participates in a panel on trade with China sponsored by the Business Roundtable.
Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger (center) participates in a panel on trade with China sponsored by the Business Roundtable.

Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger said this week he hopes U.S. negotiators will take a pragmatic approach that focuses on market access during the 90-day suspension of the trade war between the U.S. and China.

“We should be thinking about pragmatic market access,” Linebarger said at a summit Thursday on innovation sponsored by the Business Roundtable, a group of CEOs from America’s largest companies who believe business leaders have a responsibility to help build an economic future in the U.S. 

“…What are our goals in the near term, this 90-day term? What can we do to increase practical market access for American businesses in China and what can we get them to practically stop doing that’s just unfair practices like stealing IP (intellectual property) etc.?”

Linebarger said starting with a single issue like market access can build momentum toward solving other issues that currently have the two economic superpowers at odds.

 “I think as soon as we are into negotiation and engagement, the chances for win-win solutions go up,” said the Cummins CEO, who has been an outspoken advocate for free trade and a critic of retaliatory tactics such as tariffs.

TRADE IS A JOB PRODUCER

Linebarger maintains Cummins is an example of how trade can be a job producer not a job killer. Trade has been the single largest contributor to Cummins’ growth over the past 15 years. As the company has grown globally, it has invested and added jobs in communities with Cummins plants such as Columbus, Indiana; Jamestown, New York; Rocky Mount, North Carolina and other American communities. 

Linebarger was part of a panel on “Competition and Collaboration with China for Leadership in Innovation” at the event in Washington, D.C. Other members included U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia; Gary Locke, former U.S. Ambassador to China under President Obama and the current governor of the state of Washington, and Dean Garfield, president and CEO of ITI, a technology company.

The summit invited business leaders and government officials of both parties, including Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, who participated in a panel on the “Future of Work in an Era of Automation and Artificial Intelligence.”

Linebarger agreed with his panel that issues like the forced sharing of intellectual property, patent infringement, counterfeiting and the stealing of proprietary technology are huge problems for U.S. companies that create an unlevel playing field for doing business in China.

Panelists said these practices may have been understandable when China was an emerging economy but not now that it is the second largest economy in the world.

CHINA'S IMPORTANT ROLE

Linebarger, however, also said Cummins would not be the company it is today were it not for the role China has played in innovation at Cummins and the company’s overall growth. The size of the market alone makes it critical to Cummins. Of the 1.3 million engines the company produces annually, about 500,000 are sold in China.

Other panelists suggested the U.S. should consider adopting some of the trade practices China employs for Chinese companies that want to do business in the United States. 

But Linebarger said it’s important for the U.S. to maintain its free market principles, which he argued are critical to innovation and can’t be duplicated by a planned economy dictated by the state.

“Just because everything is so centrally planned and subsidized doesn’t necessarily mean a win for China,” Linebarger said, looking at the electric vehicle market. He maintains companies can start to chase subsidies under such a system rather than work toward a vehicle that meets the demands of customers.

“They aren’t at the edge of competition,” he said. “They don’t feel the knife every day. …We may not win but if we do we are going to be lean and mean and tough.”
 

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]

 

Design Competition Gives College Students a Chance to Tackle One of the World’s Great Challenges

Cummins is co-sponsoring a design competition with the ESTECO Academy.
Cummins is co-sponsoring a design competition with the ESTECO Academy.

Cummins CEO Tom Linebarger calls it the challenge of our age. How do we meet the world’s sustainability needs and grow the economy at the same time? Undergraduate and graduate college students will get a crack at that challenge along with the opportunity to use some pretty sophisticated software.

The company is joining forces with the ESTECO Academy to sponsor the Microgrid Design Competition in collaboration with ANSYS and Gamma Technologies. The challenge: design the best microgrid with reduced overall costs and minimized carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, taking into account operating conditions and other constraints at the Cummins Megasite in Phaltan, India.

“We wanted to get students thinking about a project that involved electrification and alternative energy and see how Cummins is operating in that space,” said Kevin Brittain, Multi-Disciplinary Optimization Group Leader for Cummins Power Systems Engineering in Seymour, Indiana (U.S.A.). “We have woven in the cost aspect and environmental impact so students are challenged to find the ‘perfect’ blend of providing the necessary power at the lowest cost and environmental footprint.”

Entrants will get access to ESTECO’s modeFRONTIER modular environment as part of the challenge, enabling them to use principles of engineering and modelling tools to address the challenge and all its complexities. 

Brittain, who is leading Cummins’ involvement in the competition, is a big proponent of using the latest optimization tools to enable more robust product designs in the face of the conundrum presented by Linebarger and others. The tools use mathematical calculations and related approaches to arrive at better designs faster.

Kevin Brittain, Cummins engineer
Kevin Brittain, Multi-Disciplinary Optimization Group Leader for Cummins Power Systems Engineering

“As engineers, we are always pursuing optimization, in fact all of our lives are really solving optimization problems of some sort,” Brittain said. “The reality is that our problems are becoming more and more complex and processing through the solution space manually and without models is a tremendous challenge.

“Today, the best decision-makers can think two or three layers deep into their trade-off space,” he added. “But with optimization tools coupled with simulation tools like we are asking students to use on this project, we can greatly enhance the decision-making process as we can now consider trade-offs across tens of objectives concurrently.”

Students interested in the challenge can learn more at a special website. The competition includes cash prizes for first, second and third; one year of membership in the ESTECO Academy and members of the top three teams will be considered for internships at Cummins.

“These are really exciting times to be an engineer at Cummins,” Brittain said. “We want to offer our customers a broad portfolio of power products so they can choose what works best for them. That means we need people who can use the latest tools to keep our economy growing and meet the world’s sustainability goals.”

Learn More: ESTECO Academy Microgrid Challenge

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]

 

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