For Cummins engineers, these road trips mean going to extremes

A validation team makes its way up a mountain road at Loveland Pass (6.7 percent grade at 11,990 feet), during testing of Cummins’ X12 engine in Colorado (U.S.A.) earlier this year.
A validation team makes its way up a mountain road at Loveland Pass (6.7 percent grade at 11,990 feet), during testing of Cummins’ X12 engine in Colorado (U.S.A.) earlier this year.

Cummins engineer Trent Berardi was in trouble. Usually frigid Fargo, North Dakota (U.S.A.), was too warm.

With his team ready for two-and-a-half weeks of testing Cummins’ X12 engine under extreme winter conditions, Berardi had to quickly find cold temperatures close enough to his base in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.A.), to stay on time and budget. Then he got the good news: Idaho Falls, Idaho (U.S.A.), was having a cold snap.

“Thankfully, we found the temperatures we were looking for relatively nearby,” Berardi recalled.

Such is the life of a validation engineer, the last line of defense before a Cummins product reaches the customer.

These engineers oversee final testing to make sure a new engine platform or another Cummins product works when installed in a truck or other equipment.

The testing frequently includes a two-to-three week road trip to see what happens when the engine is stressed by extreme temperatures or elevation. Engineers say some things can only be discovered on the road.

“You’re looking for gaps between systems,” said Berardi, a Senior Validation Engineer in the Cummins Engine Business. “It’s like playing chess on a three-dimensional board.”

Cummins Engineer Trent Berardi (center, with laptop), talks to X12 team members during a stop in central Utah (U.S.A.) earlier this year.
Cummins engineer Trent Berardi (center, with laptop), talks to X12 team members during a stop in central Utah (U.S.A.) earlier this year.

LONG DAYS, SHORT NIGHTS, EXTREME TEMPERATURES

Validation testing takes place not only at Cummins facilities in the U.S., but in China, India, the U.K. and elsewhere. U.S.-based teams have traveled as far as Fairbanks, Alaska, and Death Valley, California, to find the ideal combination of temperature and grade.

In the U.S., trips can include 8 to 10 vehicles, counting support vehicles, and as many as two-dozen engineers, some flying in to observe just part of the testing.

Winter trips mean temperatures as low as 40 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (- 40° Celsius). Summer trips can include daytime highs up to 120°F (49° Celsius). Elevation testing usually takes place at 10,000 to 12,000 feet (3,048 to 3,658 meters) above sea level.

A 17-hour day is pretty common and the most important hotel amenity is truck parking. Hotel parking lots are frequently used for emergency repairs.

Despite the challenging conditions, validation engineers say they love the trips.

“I think it’s the chance to really see how our products work,” said Jeffrey Friend, a Controls Performance Engineer based in Columbus who estimates he’s been on about 30 validation trips over 17 years with Cummins. “You’re out there with engineers who are experts in their field and there’s no phone calls, no meetings, you just focus on the product.”

The testing usually involves traversing steep grades, or going from zero to 60 miles-per-hour (97 kilometers-per-hour) as rapidly as possible – commonly referred to as “drag racing” by validation engineers.

The fun really begins, they say, when they “break something” – a catchall term that could involve just about anything limiting performance. Then the team has to figure out how to make improvements.

“That’s when you get a chance to find something you can improve on before our product gets in the hands of the customer,” said Beth Wendel, a Validation Group Leader in the Engine Business. “That can be very exhilarating.”

A validation team stops along the Alcan Highway near Haines Junction in the Canadian Yukon, where the record low temperature is 54 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.
A validation team stops along the Alcan Highway near Haines Junction in the Canadian Yukon, where the record low temperature is 54 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.

 

TALES FROM THE ROAD

After a 6-month college internship on an oil tanker crossing pirate-infested waters off the coast of West Africa, Chitresh Sharma rarely gets car sick even going up and down mountain roads looking at data on his laptop.

But the Senior Engineer in Product Validation at Cummins vividly remembers his time in a truck making run after run to test a Cummins engine in the desert outside Las Vegas, Nevada (U.S.A.). He asked the technician driving the truck they shared to turn off the air conditioning and roll up the windows to reduce drag as much as possible.

Sharma will soon be taking a new position in Cummins’ supply chain organization, but he says “I know I’ll miss this job, and I think I’ll end up missing these trips most of all.”

Friend recalls how one team he was with solved the lack of suitable restaurants in Death Valley by storing deli trays in a refrigerated truck they were testing, and during a break in the desert backing it up to another truck, creating a cool area to eat.

“Problem solving is really central to all aspects of these trips,” he said.

Perhaps no one has more stories about validation testing than Greg Sitzman, a Mechanical Engineering Associate based at the Cummins Technical Center in Columbus. He estimates he’s been on 50 validation trips over 10 years with the company.

Sitzman has been to Alaska five times, Death Valley, International Falls, Minnesota, and many other locations. He’s driven the Alcan Highway dividing Canada and Alaska, and put chains on a test truck to keep it from sliding through the Rocky Mountains. Once he even made a repair near Yellowknife in Canada’s Northwest Territories parked on a frozen lake. That enabled him to easily slide under the truck.

But he says what he likes best about the trips is the camaraderie.

“To me, while I enjoy the challenges, what makes these trips special are the people,” Sitzman said. “They make it fun. They are just good people to be with.”

 

 

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. [email protected]

 

Cummins Recognizes Our Veterans Who Make Our Countries and Company Better

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

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

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

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

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

Thad Ewald

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

A profile on Cummins Juarez

Cummins plant in Juarez

Celebrating the contributions of our Latino and Hispanic employees.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Below are just a few additional highlights for Cummins Juarez.

OVERALL SITE STATISTICS

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

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

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

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

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

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

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.

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