The Cummins X15 Engine is Winning Friends and Influencing an Industry

A Cummins employee inspects an engine at the company's Jamestown Engine Plant in Jamestown, New York (USA). The plant, which produces several engine models, is nearing the production of its 2 millionth engine.
A Cummins employee inspects an engine at the company's Jamestown Engine Plant in Jamestown, New York (USA). The plant, which produces several engine models, is nearing the production of its 2 millionth engine.

The Cummins X15™ engine is off to an exceptional start since it went into full production last year, expanding the company’s industry leading market share for Class 8 heavy duty engines and winning praise for its durability and fuel economy.

The engine has won design awards, been embraced by truck makers and last month Cummins introduced a version for commercial marine segments.

“Cummins has always been a technology leader, helping us to meet new emission standards whether we’re operating in California or across the nation,” said John Savage, Executive Vice President of Savage Services, a transportation, logistics and materials handling corporation that participated in the early testing of the X15.  “When it comes to reliability, Cummins is progressive. They don’t sit back on their laurels.”

KEY QUALITIES

The X15 is today the best-selling engine for Class 8 trucks, the large trucks commonly seen on interstate highways in the U.S. Cummins supplied more diesel engines for that class than any other engine maker in 2017. Thanks largely to the X15, the company saw its market share increase from 35 percent in 2016 to 38 percent in 2017, according to WardsAuto.com.

Available in performance and efficiency configurations, the engine’s popularity stems from three key attributes: reliability, lower maintenance costs and fuel economy. Reliability was enhanced by a design that simplified some systems, backed by more than 10 million miles of testing. Total cost of ownership has been reduced by as much as 40 percent compared to a 2010 ISX15 engine. And the fuel economy numbers are particularly striking.

Compared to corresponding 2016 models, the X15 Efficiency Series has seen a 2 to 3 percent gain in fuel economy for the 400 to 450 horsepower (hp) range and up to a 12 percent increase for 485 to 500 hp ratings. Measured against comparable 2012 engines, it gets as much as a 20 percent bump in fuel economy.

That saves operators money and also translates into greenhouse gas (GHG) savings at a time many heavy duty fleets are trying to do their part to achieve climate-related goals. The X15 Efficiency Series reduces GHGs beyond the U.S. environmental standards established in 2017.

NEW DEVELOPMENTS

In just the past few months the engine has seen several new developments:

• In May, Cummins and Navistar announced the X15 was being paired with the Endurant transmission in Navistar’s International LoneStar and LT Series trucks. The first product of the new Eaton Cummins joint venture, Endurant weighs up to 105 pounds less than comparable automated manual transmissions, enabling smoother shifting and improved fuel economy.

• In June, Cummins announced a version of the X15 that uses the engine platform proven in heavy duty truck markets for marine segments. Designed to withstand long, continuous duty operation, the marine version meets Environmental Protection Agency Tier 3 and International Maritime Organization Tier II emissions standards. It utilizes the latest Cummins fuel system product to achieve an efficient fuel burn for clean emissions and optimized fuel economy.

A FAMILIAR TUNE

It looks like Cummins will stay atop the heavy duty market for a while. When the X15 was first introduced in July of 2016, it was unveiled along with the company’s new X12™ engine, the lightest heavy-duty engine in North America going into full production this year for vocational and coach duty.

The X12 was named to Heavy-Duty Trucking magazine’s 2018 Top 20 Products list for its innovation. That’s the same honor the X15 won in 2017.
 

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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