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]

 

Cummins Manufacturing: Doing More to Use Less

Cummins’ manufacturing plants are building in ways to reduce their use of water and energy, while producing less waste.
Cummins’ manufacturing plants are building in ways to reduce their use of water and energy, while producing less waste.

Manufacturing and environmentalism don’t often go together. But at Cummins, the two are increasingly working in harmony to help meet the world's demand for goods and services while using fewer of its resources.

The company, for example, expanded its use of the latest technology to capture energy from engine test cells for use at its plants. Cummins is steadily adding high-efficiency LED lighting at its manufacturing facilities, also enhancing safety. And the company recently installed solar panels at its plant in Juarez, Mexico, joining plants in Jamestown, New York; Beijing, China; and eight other Cummins’ locations drawing some of their power from the sun.

These and other steps by the company’s manufacturing operations, working with Cummins’ environmental team, are helping the company make progress toward its 2020 goals to reduce the water and energy it uses and the waste it produces.  

“Our mission to build a more prosperous world can only happen if we take steps now to protect and preserve the environment,” said Tim Millwood, the company’s Vice President of Global Manufacturing. “While I’m proud of the progress we’ve made, there’s definitely a lot more we can do.”

GOAL-DRIVEN RESULTS

The company announced its first public greenhouse gas reduction goal in 2006 and set additional public goals for water, waste, logistics and products-in-use in ensuing years. Currently, Cummins’ targets around water, waste and energy are timed to 2020, but future goals are expected to be announced soon.

Manufacturing leaders have been all-in from the beginning. Relatively easy steps came first, such as investing in LED lighting. Then came controls to use water and energy only when needed, addressing more hidden inefficiencies.

The creation of a group Cummins initially called its Energy Champions and now calls its Environmental Champions has played a key role, said Alan Resnik, Director of Environmental Management for Facilities and Operations at Cummins.  About 1,000 employees from across the globe have been trained to look for savings in water, waste and energy at their plants and facilities. They’ve fixed leaks, replaced inefficient equipment and changed practices. Collectively, the improvements have made a big difference.

Seymour Engine Plant employees stand in front of one of the plant's regen dynos.
Employees at the Seymour Engine Plant stand in front of one of the plants regenerative dynamometers.

Finally, the company has invested in big ticket items such as regenerative dynamometers, also known as regen dynos. One of the biggest uses of energy at Cummins is engine testing. The engines can run for hours, requiring large amounts of fuel. The newest regen dynos capture the energy generated during testing so it can be used at the plant or sent back to the grid. They also use much less water for cooling than conventional dynos.

The latest dyno technology was recently installed at plants in Brazil, India and the United Kingdom. At Cummins’ Seymour, Indiana, Engine Plant, where the company builds some of its biggest engines, the regen dynos generate about 20 percent of the plant’s electricity needs.

These and other steps have led to:

•    A 25 percent reduction in energy intensity (energy use adjusted by hours worked) across Cummins toward a 2020 goal of a 32 percent reduction using 2010 as a baseline.
•    A 47 percent direct water use reduction, adjusted by hours worked, compared to 2010.  Cummins’ 2020 goal is a 50 percent reduction.
•    The company is nearing the half way point for converting lighting to LEDs and has completed dozens of projects to increase Cummins’ use of returnable and recyclable packaging.

“We're using less water and energy.  We're producing less waste,” said Brian Mormino, Executive Director of Worldwide Environmental Strategy and Compliance at Cummins. “And we are saving millions of dollars every year while mitigating risks.”

 A PROMISING FUTURE

Manufacturing leaders say future innovations hold tremendous promise. The company, for example, is working on a system at its Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Engine Plant that will capture all the water used on site and recycle it for heating, cooling and other non-potable uses.

Additive manufacturing, sometimes referred to as 3D printing, also could make a big difference. It creates three-dimensional objects one ultra-thin layer at a time. Elizabeth Hoegeman, Executive Director of Global Manufacturing Engineering at Cummins, said the process should reduce waste by eliminating the need for molds and dies to create a part.

Perhaps more importantly, 3D printing can make it much faster for new ideas, including those beneficial to the environment, to be designed, tested and adopted, Hoegeman said. While the technology is still developing for high volume industrial use, Cummins’ remanufacturing in Mexico recently sold its first 3D printed part.

Finally, Cummins is looking to see if tools such as computer-based Analysis Led Design and improvements in quality control might enable the company to reduce the time engines run in test cells.

While there are many challenges ahead, Millwood says this is an exciting time to work in manufacturing.    

“What we make and how we make it will help shape what our world looks like in 2050 and beyond,” he said. “That’s an awesome responsibility, and a tremendous opportunity.”
  

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 turns 100

Cummins 100 anniversary

Celebrating a centennial and looking ahead to the next 100 years

Cummins kicks off its centennial celebration today with a simple message: “Challenge the Impossible.”

That’s what the company has been doing since it was founded in a former warehouse in Columbus, Indiana, in February 1919, employing just four people. And it will be the mindset the now global company of more than 58,000 men and women embraces for the next 100 years.

Clessie Cummins and his business partner, William G. Irwin, built Cummins around the concept when they adapted the diesel engine, a potentially groundbreaking technology at the time that had floundered in North America, for use in multiple applications. Little did they know their company would eventually expand to Brazil, China, India and the United Kingdom, to name just a few locations.

The founders’ innovative and entrepreneurial spirit can be seen time and time again throughout company’s history and today through the advances Cummins is making in clean diesel and natural gas technology and in the exciting potential of electrification and other low-carbon alternatives.

So, while the company will celebrate its history this year, Cummins will also embrace the company’s future challenges, both within its industry and in the communities where Cummins does business and its employees live and work.

“Our employees tackle challenges every day, and to celebrate our centennial we want to say, ‘thank you,’ to each of them and their families,” said Cummins’ Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger. “Thank you for believing in our mission to power a more prosperous world and living our values each day.”

Cummins’ sites around the world will celebrate with their employees and their families in a variety of ways to say thank you and continue building on the culture that is foundational to the company’s long-term success. 

The world has changed a lot since Cummins’ first opened for business, but the company’s commitment to its mission, vision and values, and Cummins’ brand promise of innovation and dependability remains the same.  This commitment has benefitted all company stakeholders and will continue to guide Cummins in the future. 

Whether you are a customer, employee or enthusiast, join us as the company celebrates this special year and looks ahead to the next 100. You can find and share stories, pictures and more by following Cummins on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, or by simply looking for the hashtag #Cummins100. 

Want to learn more about Cummins' history? View the historical timeline 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. [email protected]

 

Cummins’ Kits for the Homeless Arrive at Precisely the Right Time

Volunteers assemble winter kits for the homeless in the lobby of Cummins’ Distribution Business Headquarters on the east side of Indianapolis.
Volunteers assemble winter kits for the homeless in the lobby of Cummins’ Distribution Business Headquarters on the east side of downtown Indianapolis.

The record cold sweeping across the U.S. Midwest last week was just a little more bearable for the homeless in Indianapolis thanks to Cummins volunteers who assembled winter clothing kits for people without shelter.

Fifteen volunteers organized by the Social Justice Sub-Committee of the company’s Indianapolis Community Involvement Team (CIT) assembled 260 winter survival kits on Jan. 23 at Cummins’ Distribution Business Headquarters. The kits were for the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention (CHIP) to distribute during the Indianapolis group’s annual Point-in-Time (PIT) count.

The PIT teams went out from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Jan. 30, counting people without shelter and distributing the winter kits. The low for that day was -11 (Fahrenheit) below zero with wind chills dipping into the -30 to -50 range.

“The winter kits that Cummins assembled were of critical importance to those who were found without shelter,” said Chelsea Haring-Cozzi, Executive Director of CHIP. “Our outreach teams will continue to distribute the backpacks beyond the PIT count to those in need. We are so appreciative of Cummins' contribution to this effort.”

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has mandated PIT counts since 2005. CHIP has been carrying out the HUD initiative in Indianapolis since 2006. HUD requires the count take place between Jan. 22 and 31. CHIP officials knew it would be cold when it set the date for the count earlier this year for Jan. 30, but of course nobody counted on historic low temperatures.
 
Each kit included a backpack, hat, gloves, socks, a blanket and hand warmer. Haring-Cozzi explained to volunteers during the packing of the kits that they could mean survival for individuals without shelter in extreme cold. 

“Our team had partnered with the coalition before to help address the needs of homeless individuals in our community,” said Joe Hockstra, leader of the Indianapolis CIT’s Social Justice Sub-Committee.  “We were very happy to help fund and assemble the winter clothing kits CHIP is distributing – especially in the sub-zero temperatures Indianapolis experienced last week.”

One of the objectives of the sub-committee is to improve the quality of life for those in need. The CIT puts a special focus on the near east side of Indianapolis, where some of the city’s poorest residents live. The Distribution Business Headquarters is on the east side of downtown, just a few blocks from one of the city’s main homeless shelters.

“It’s hard to think about people being without shelter especially when it gets as cold as it did last week,” said Travis Meek, Senior Counsel at Cummins and the leader of the CIT.  “I’m proud Joe and his team partnered with an outstanding group like CHIP to help make a difference in the lives of our city’s most vulnerable population.”

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]

 

Could This be the Start of the ‘Rail Renaissance?’

Amtrak in December 2018 announced it was purchasing 75 Charger locomotives with Cummins' QSK95 engines (rendering courtesy of Siemens).
Amtrak in December 2018 announced it was purchasing 75 Charger locomotives with Cummins' QSK95 engines (rendering courtesy of Siemens).

It looks like Siemens’ prediction of a “Rail Renaissance” in North America might just be happening.

Last year, Siemens received contracts for more than 100 of the company’s Charger locomotives – powered by the 4,000 to 4,400 horsepower Cummins’ QSK95 Tier 4 engine systems. The purchases are merely the latest evidence of the growing interest in rail, especially passenger rail, in the U.S. and Canada, advocates say.

Brightline, the passenger rail service in Florida that recently announced it would become Virgin Trains U.S.A. in partnership with entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, said in December it hopes to begin construction in 2019 to extend service from West Palm Beach to Orlando. Brightline has 10 Charger locomotives. 

Meanwhile, Amtrak, which announced Dec. 21, 2018, that it was  purchasing 75 new Charger locomotives, posted record revenues and earnings for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2018.

“Riding trains in North America is ‘in’ again, particularly in the megacities and large metropolitan areas,” Siemens said in a background paper released to the media predicting the “Rail Renaissance” at the UITP Global Public Transport Summit in May 2017 in Montreal, Canada. “Year after year, the volume of passengers is rising, the number of rail routes and networks is growing, rolling stock and infrastructure is being modernized, and politicians are rediscovering the advantages of passenger rail.”

CHARGED UP

The Charger locomotive may be leading the way to that renaissance. Designed to operate at speeds up to 125 miles per hour, the Charger is the first high-speed passenger locomotive to receive Tier 4 emissions certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

It’s only been in service for a little over a year and a half and is already being used by rail systems in Washington, California, Oregon, Illinois, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Wisconsin, Indiana and Maryland. There are currently 70 Chargers in operation. As of Jan. 8, the locomotives had traveled more than 5 million service miles. 

The 2018 contracts will more than double the number of Charger locomotives in revenue service, and include multi-year parts, service and support agreements in addition to buy options for future purchases. The most recent Amtrak contract will result in the single largest North American rail engine system purchase with aftermarket agreements in Cummins’ history. 

“Cummins is so proud to be a part of this tremendous locomotive, which is not just demonstrating every day it can move people dependably and efficiently, but also deliver significant reductions in particulate matter (PM), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and carbon dioxide (CO2),” said Regina Barringer, General Manager – Global Rail and Defense at Cummins.

“Siemens has built a tremendous product that’s having a positive impact across North America, and we’re so glad to be part of that,” she added.

ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS

A big part of the Charger’s appeal is its environmental benefits. Cummins’ 16-cylinder QSK95 engine system, a high-speed diesel-electric engine using the latest in clean diesel technology, provides a huge environmental improvement over the medium-speed diesel engines it will be replacing in many cases – some dating back to the 1990s.

The Charger is expected to achieve an approximate 10 percent improvement in CO2 emissions, a nearly 90 percent improvement in NOx and a more than 95 percent improvement in PM. Carbon dioxide is a major contributor to the greenhouse gases (GHGs) blamed for climate change. NOx and PM are key contributors to smog.

Advocates for passenger trains hope a renaissance will translate into more people leaving their cars in the garage, reducing the congestion plaguing many large urban areas in addition to the potential environmental benefits. Studies show a person traveling by rail uses almost half as much energy as by car, resulting in significant additional GHG savings.

While there remain challenges ahead – ranging from aging infrastructure to changing long-established consumer habits – passenger train advocates say they are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  
 

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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