Help Wanted: Cummins Looking for Great Ideas to Reduce its Carbon Footprint

Entrepreneur Samuel Walker with a company called Interface makes his pitch at the Innovation Gateway competition in the U.K. in 2017.
Entrepreneur Samuel Walker with a company called Interface makes his pitch at the Innovation Gateway competition in the U.K. in 2017.

A popular Cummins program in the U.K. that asks entrepreneurs to pitch their best ideas for reducing the company’s carbon footprint is coming to North America.

The Innovation Gateway is looking for new ideas that will help Cummins meet its goals around water, waste, energy and recycling.  Those judged to have the best proposals will advance to the gateway finals, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 8 at the Columbus Commons, 300 Washington St., Columbus, Indiana (U.S.A.).

“This is our chance to listen to ideas we might not have considered to help us meet our goals,” said Jim Gruwell, Executive Director of Strategic Purchasing at Cummins and a judge at the finals. “This initiative worked really well in the U.K. and I can’t wait to see how it works here.”

Innovation Gateway: Register Now and Submit Your Idea

Loosely inspired by reality TV shows where entrepreneurs and inventors pitch their ideas to potential investors, the gateway competition resulted in several initiatives that Cummins leaders in the U.K. have put into practice to help meet their environmental targets.

Judges confer in the Innovation Gateway
Antonio Leitao (center), Vice President of Cummins Europe Area Business Organization, listens to a presentation at the gateway initiative in the U.K. in 2017.

The winning ideas included capturing low gas waste heat from the engine testing process and converting it into energy that could be used on site, equipment to reduce water flow, implementation of a furniture refurbishment service and energy efficient hand dryers.

“We were really pleased with the ideas the gateway generated,” said James Johnson, Cummins' Innovation Gateway Project Leader, who oversaw the initiative in the U.K. and is now leading the North American version. “It’s really about powering environmental innovation through diversity in thought and partnership.”

Cummins has established a special website where people can create an account and present their ideas in writing. Finalists will be notified by the company and the winners could end up becoming suppliers to Cummins, or pick up additional business if they already have a relationship with the company. People must sign up by March 15 to be eligible for the finals.

The company is asking for ideas with a connection to one or more of the following areas:
 
•    Materials management: Identifying solutions for moving waste streams up the hierarchy. 
•    Capture/recovery: Searching for ready- or near-ready to implement technologies that recover and capture energy and water to reuse. 
•    Controls:  Identify controls and systems that will help to reduce energy consumption. 
•    Manufacturing process efficiency: Identifying solutions and alternatives to improve the efficiency of manufacturing processes. 
•    Packaging: Seeking cost neutral, environmentally friendly packaging solutions that are alternatives to plastic and foam and also easily reusable and recyclable. Solutions with corrosion inhibitor capabilities are a bonus. 
•    Other Innovations

Judges for the North American gateway in addition to Gruwell include Brian Mormino, Executive Director of Worldwide Environmental Strategy and Compliance; Laura Jones, Functional Excellence Manager – Cummins facilities; Morgan Andreae, Executive Director of the Company’s Growth Office and Helena Hutton, Diversity Procurement Director at Cummins.

In addition, Dr. John W. Sutherland, the leader of Environmental and Ecological Engineering at Purdue University, and Eli Levine, leader of the Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative at the U.S. Department of Energy, will also serve on the panel.

Not sure what the Innovation Gateway is all about? Check out this video on the project in the United Kingdom.

 

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]

 

Doing our part to protect the earth

The Rocky Mount Engine Plant in North Carolina has a water treatment system that includes a greenhouse as part of the treatment process.
The Rocky Mount Engine Plant in North Carolina has a water treatment system that includes a greenhouse as part of the treatment process.

As the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this week, here are four ways Cummins is working to reduce its environmental impact.

These four steps are not the only measures the company has taken, but they are four significant steps to be sure:

Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger unveils the company's PLANET2050 environmental strategy.
Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger unveils the company's PLANET2050 environmental strategy.

1.    PLANET2050 ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY

Cummins’ PLANET2050 strategy, released late in 2019, establishes science-based greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals for the company timed to 2030 and aspirations for 2050 to reduce Cummins’ impact on environmental challenges such as climate change. The goals, which will replace current 2020 goals, include reducing the release of carbon dioxide (CO2) by 300 million metric tons and reducing the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from paint and coating operations by 50%. The science-based 2030 goals exceed targets set in the United Nations’ Paris climate accords. Cummins hopes to be carbon neutral by 2050.

2.    CONSERVING WATER

Gains in water conservation have been one of the big successes of the company’s environmental goals that expire in 2020. Approximately 1 billion gallons of water use has been avoided since 2010 through the company’s conservation efforts, which have ranged from relatively simple steps to the use of complex technology that reduces the amount of water used to cool heavy-duty engines during testing and capture the energy those engines produce for re-use in Cummins’ plants. Now, the company is experimenting with state-of-the-art water treatment systems that include such things as greenhouses abundant with plant life to help filter water for reuse.

3.    ENERGY CONSERVATION 

Cummins has also been successful conserving the energy it uses through its 2020 goals. The company has reduced energy intensity, the amount of energy used adjusted by hours worked, more than 30% since 2010. Cummins has taken steps such as replacing old lights with LED lighting, and older air compressors with more efficient models in addition to the steps outlined in item No. 2 to capture the energy generated by large engines in test cells.  The company has also trained employees to find equipment and processes in their home plants that could be improved from an energy perspective. Meanwhile, Cummins’ GHG emissions adjusted by hours worked fell 6% in 2018 compared to the previous year. Data for 2019 is expected to be released soon.

Meadow Lake Wind Farm expansion
The expansion of the Meadow Lake wind farm is sending renewable power to  the grid.

4.    EMBRACING RENEWABLE ENERGY

The company has made a significant investment in solar energy, with solar installations completed or underway at more than two-dozen locations including a 650,000 square foot array installed in 2016 on top of the Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Company in Beijing, China, which generates about 15% of the building’s electricity needs. The company also supported the 2018 expansion of an Indiana wind farm through a Virtual Power Purchase Agreement. It will almost send enough renewable power to the grid to offset all of the electricity the company uses at all of its facilities in the state. Encouraging the use and development of renewable power was one of the company’s 2020 environmental goals. 

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]

 

Global teamwork procures masks for Cummins employees in China

Cummins employees in Shanghai stand in front of one of the shipments of masks.
Cummins employees in Shanghai stand in front of one of the shipments of masks.

Putting their job skills to work, Cummins employees from Johannesburg to Columbus, Ind., sprang into action last month and procured more than 500,000 protective masks for their fellow employees in China.

China residents must wear respiratory masks when in public as the first line of defense to the spread of the novel coronavirus. More than 90,000 people in over 65 countries have been infected by the virus, and more than 3,000 have died.

“A lot of colleagues across the world have provided great support in helping us source masks and relentlessly driving to the final resolution of this urgent request.” said Steve Chapman, Cummins’ Group Vice President, China and Russia.

“The procurement of the 500,000 FFP2 masks not only ensures the protection of our employees’ health and safety, but also helps us remove one of the major obstacles for the business continuity of our operations in China,” Chapman added.

Groups within Cummins, including Indirect Purchasing and Manufacturing teams within the company’s Supply Chain organization, as well as the Distribution Business’ Global Operations, aggressively reached out to potential suppliers and identified other resources to address the issue for their colleagues in China.

Although the team successfully secured some orders from the U.S., U.K. and a few other countries, there was still a huge gap between the demand and supply needed to reopen operations and protect the more than 12,000 Cummins employees in China.

Annie Chu and Yueqian Zhang played key roles in procuring the masks.
Annie Chu (left) and Yueqian Zhang (right) played key roles in procuring the masks.

THE TURNING POINT

The turning point came in South Africa. After receiving urgent requests from their colleagues in China, the Africa and Middle East Area Business Organization immediately mobilized. Annie Chu and Yueqian Zhang in Johannesburg spent a weekend searching for a supplier. On Feb. 2, they successfully secured 500,000 FFP2 masks.

The supplier, however, asked for immediate payment, which made the process even more urgent. Company officials in China and Africa worked with Corporate Supply Chain, Finance and other functions around the clock to resolve the business issues while abiding by all regulations and requirements.

The first batch of 160,000 masks arrived in Shanghai on Feb. 8, and by Feb. 14, all the remaining masks had arrived. The masks played a critical role in the resumption of business for many Cummins’ China operations. The cross-border teamwork is continuing as another set of masks is readied to ship to China.

“It has been a privilege for us to be in a position where we could do something to help, and I am very proud of the dedication and selflessness of our Africa and Middle East employees and the great collaboration between them and our colleagues in China,” said Thierry Pimi, Executive Managing Director of the Africa and Middle East Area Business Organization.

TEAMWORK IS EVER PRESENT

The teamwork didn’t stop there. Many Cummins employee groups have also mobilized to secure donations for individuals in impacted regions. For example, the Columbus Chinese Association, Cummins East Asia Employee Resource Group and many others explored various opportunities to source and donate masks and other items. Those efforts alone resulted in 10,000 masks successfully sent to Cummins employees and local communities in Wuhan and Xiangyang.

The campaign to procure masks demonstrated once again that teamwork isn’t just talked about at Cummins. It’s put into action everyday to build a stronger company and stronger communities around-the-world.

 


 

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.

A plant that’s ahead of its time

The Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Company is using technology to improve a host of issues from quality to customer satisfaction. The plant’s leadership, left to right, includes Zhao He, Manufacturing Engineering Leader; Miguel Kindler, Plant Manager; Chen Hua, General Manager; and Silence Chen, IT Leader.
The Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Company is using technology to improve a host of issues from quality to customer satisfaction. The plant’s leadership, left to right, includes Zhao He, Manufacturing Engineering Leader; Miguel Kindler, Plant Manager; Chen Hua, General Manager; and Silence Chen, IT Leader.

The Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Company (BFCEC) is so wired with high-tech tools it can almost identify defects in certain tasks and bottlenecks in production before they happen.

A network of sensors linked to the Internet, artificial intelligence, advanced analytics and much more are changing the way the plant operates. Production is up. Quality is up. And customers are happier, too. 

So, it’s perhaps no surprise that the plant was named last month to the World Economic Forum’s Global Lighthouse Network, an elite list of leaders in applying the technologies of what some call the 4th Industrial Revolution.

“This recognition demonstrates the robustness of Cummins’ advanced manufacturing and management concept,” said Chen Hua, General Manager of Foton-Cummins, which produces more than 250,000 engines a year. “Our efforts on supply chain digitalization and smart manufacturing not only help improve our own business performance, but also ensure that we deliver optimal value to our stakeholders.”

The Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Plant
The Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Company is a massive, two-building facility on the outskirts of China's capital and largest city. It's a joint venture between Cummins and Foton Motor. A solar array on one building generates about 15% of its power needs.

A RARE HONOR

BFCEC was one of 18 companies added to the lighthouse network in January, joining 26 sites previously named to the list. More than 1,000 companies from different sectors across the globe have been assessed for the lighthouse designation, which is managed for the forum by McKinsey & Company, the global management consulting firm.

“Manufacturing is often the starting point for innovating a new, company-wide operating system powered by the latest technology to achieve new levels of sustainability, agility, speed-to-market, and productivity,” said Enno de Boer, Partner and the leader of McKinsey’s Global Manufacturing Practice. “The value doesn’t stop at the factory door; instead, lighthouses find impact across the entire end-to-end value chain, from suppliers through to customers.”

The forum says the Global Lighthouse Network, established in 2018, serves as “a platform to develop, replicate and scale up innovations, creating opportunities for cross-company learning and collaboration and for setting new benchmarks for the global manufacturing community.”

Network members reflect the awesome potential of the 4th Industrial Revolution, also sometimes referred to as Industry 4.0, which includes everything from collaborative robots to artificial intelligence, augmented reality, advanced analytics and enhanced integration between information technologies and manufacturing operations.  

THE POWER OF TECHNOLOGY

BFCEC, a joint venture between Cummins and China’s major commercial vehicle company, Foton Motor, literally offers a glimpse into manufacturing’s future. And its impact extends far beyond the massive two-building campus on the outskirts of China’s capital and largest city.

Here’s one small example of what’s happening at BFCEC. Oil leaks caused by the faulty sealing of metal pans can be a major headache for manufacturers and customers, alike. By bringing together artificial intelligence, special cameras and information technology, a system at the Foton-Cummins plant automatically determines the quality of a pan’s sealing and can reject it for further use if it doesn’t pass inspection. Claims regarding the faulty sealing of pans have been reduced to zero.

Overall, monthly quality claims at BFCEC are down 40% compared to 2017 and the identification of false claims is up 300%. The average number of claims per engine is down almost 70%. Productivity is up more than 40%.

Outside the plant, customers are seeing their fuel consumption rates improved by about 5% and up-time, the amount of time an engine stays in service, has increased by about 10%.

WHAT’S NEXT 

Perhaps the most exciting thing about the changes at BFCEC is that there’s room for improvement. The amount of data collected is ever increasing, which can help with the analyses necessary to find greater efficiencies. Plant officials also believe another third of the plant could still be digitized.

As part of a robust strategy, Cummins officials are investing in similar technological advances in plants around the world, as Industry 4.0 takes shape at the company. Cummins, for example, expected to end 2019 with about 30 collaborative robots sharing space with human employees at more than a dozen locations. They often perform the most repetitive tasks, improving employee health and safety in addition to efficiency. 

Chen Hua says he is excited to share what’s been learned at BFCEC as the 4th Industrial Revolution expands. He says it has the potential to increase production, improve quality, enhance safety and reduce waste.

“We hope that our success marching together with Industry 4.0 will encourage the industry to embrace the future of manufacturing,” he said.

Includes reporting by Diana Zhao.


 

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 joins The Valuable 500 to promote disability inclusion

Cummins has long believed diversity is core to business success.
Cummins has long believed diversity is core to business success.

Cummins is taking its diversity and inclusion agenda to the next level by joining The Valuable 500 alongside some of the world’s most influential businesses.

Launched by social entrepreneur and activist Caroline Casey, The Valuable 500 aims to put disability on the global business leadership agenda.

Business leaders around the world are making firm and tangible commitments to eradicating disability exclusion in business. Members span 24 countries, reaching more than 9.3 million employees.

“We are excited to showcase our commitment to disability inclusion by joining The Valuable 500,” said Dennis Heathfield, Cummins’ Executive Director - Inclusion, People with Disabilities and Veterans. “This is one of many steps we are taking to create more inclusive workplaces and communities for people with disabilities. Being part of The Valuable 500 provides a unique platform for Cummins to learn from and contribute to a global collaboration that knits together other multi-nationals with an aligned mission to make the world a more inclusive place for people with disabilities.”

Logo for The Valuable 500 website
The Valuable 500 campaign is supported by business leaders across the globe.

Unveiled at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in January 2019, The Valuable 500 campaign was the first time disability was discussed on the main stage of the meeting with the support of global business leaders.

The campaign is supported by several global business leaders and partners, including Paul Polman, former CEO of Unilever and Chairman of The Valuable 500; Virgin Founder Sir Richard Branson; Virgin Media Chief Operating Officer Jeff Dodds; Bloomberg Chairman Peter Grauer; EY Global Chairman & CEO Carmine di Sibio, and strategic partners Omnicom and Virgin Media.

“We need 500 national and multinational, private sector corporations to be the tipping-point for change and to unlock the business, social and economic value of people living with disabilities across the world,” The Valuable 500 states on its website. “Because the potential of 1.3 billion should not be ignored.”

In addition to Cummins, other companies joining the initiative include Procter & Gamble, IBM, BAE, Total, Herbert Smith, Specsavers, Eli Lilly and Company, Deutsche Bank UK, ARP, Adobe, PVH, Hilton, and Perrigo. 
 

Lauren O'Dell Sidler - Cummins Inc.

Lauren O'Dell Sidler

As a senior communications specialist with Cummins Inc., Lauren O’Dell Sidler works with Cummins leaders to develop and implement communications strategies that reach Cummins’ global audience. 

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