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 Takes Next Step in 3D Printing and the Future of Manufacturing

Cummins employee Devin Hunter cleans one of the company’s 3D printers at the Cummins Technical Center in Columbus, Indiana, before another round of printing. Metal 3D printers could revolutionize manufacturing.
Cummins employee Devin Hunter cleans one of the company’s 3D printers at the Cummins Technical Center in Columbus, Indiana, before another round of printing. Metal 3D printers could revolutionize manufacturing.

Cummins has sold its first metal part printed on one of its own 3D printers, moving the company a significant step closer to the exciting potential of additive manufacturing.

The part was a low-volume bracket for a customer in Cummins’ New and ReCon Parts division and did not have a current supplier. The company is focusing first on printing low-volume parts as it studies how best to use 3D technology in higher volume manufacturing.

“With this technology you can really unshackle the designer to do things you just can’t do using traditional forms of manufacturing,” said Brett Boas, Director-Advanced Manufacturing at the Cummins Technical Center in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.). 

Parts can be made lighter, stronger and more effective using metal 3D printing compared to parts created using more traditional methods that employ molds, molten metal and equipment to precisely cut and shape the part.

3D printed part
The 3D printer technology that produced this metal part could have a major impact on manufacturing in the future.

3D printing creates three-dimensional objects one ultra-thin layer at a time. If the part doesn’t come out quite right, the designer can simply change the computer design file and print it again; a much faster process than using traditional manufacturing techniques to build a test part.

Finally, the technology enables designers to combine multiple parts into one printed object, creating the ideal geometry to avoid potential failures at weldments, gaskets and joint assemblies needed using traditional manufacturing methods.

THE BEGINNING OF A REVOLUTION?

Cummins’ two-pronged strategy for additive manufacturing is part of the company’s take on Industry 4.0, the trend of automation, cloud computing and data driven technology that some call the fourth industrial revolution.  

At Cummins, Industry 4.0 includes everything from collaborative robots to artificial intelligence, augmented reality and the enhanced integration between information technologies and manufacturing operations. 

The company currently has a metal 3D printer at the Cummins Technical Center in Columbus and three printers at the company’s technical center devoted to aftermarket products in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Cummins’ operations in San Luis Potosi include a large remanufacturing plant. 

Remanufactured engines and parts provide customers with a low-cost option compared to new parts and engines to meet their power needs. They also require far less energy to produce than new parts while keeping products in use and out of landfills.

The tech center at San Luis Potosi only opened in 2017 and the company has already built an addition for the printers. Cummins plans to print parts there that no longer have a supplier or are made on an extremely limited basis. 

“This provides an avenue for customers looking for hard-to-find parts,” said Kelly R. Schmitz, Executive Director of New and ReCon Parts Engineering, speaking from San Luis Potosi where he was inspecting the installation of the latest printer.  He said metal 3D printing will potentially shave months off the process for customers to get low volume parts.

 “The work we are doing in San Luis Potosi will also provide significant learnings as we prepare to leverage metal 3D printing in high volume production,” Schmitz said.

LOOKING AHEAD

Boas is looking at how the printers could work in high-volume settings. He says that will likely mean investing in the next generation of printers. Binder jet printers use an adhesive between powder layers, which can increase printing speed 20 times or more over the printers the company currently owns.

Cummins engineer leading 3d printing initative
Dr. Adeola “Addy” Olubamiji is Cummins first engineer hired for a full-time position in metal additive manufacturing development. She is based at the Cummins Technical Center in Columbus.

It’s that next generation of technology that could make a seismic change in manufacturing. From a supply chain perspective, it means parts are printed on demand, or closer to demand, so fewer parts would need to be stored for use at manufacturing plants.

From an environmental perspective, additive manufacturing also means less waste because the cutting required as part of the tool and die process is eliminated. And it could mean fewer resources used for transportation because parts are no longer made in one location and shipped to another.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, metal 3D printing enables geometry not possible with traditional methods, creating opportunities to improve product performance. 

It becomes significantly easier, for example, to design in weight where it’s needed and take weight out where it’s not, said Dr. Adeola “Addy” Olubamiji, Cummins’ first engineer hired for a full-time position in metal additive manufacturing development. It also means potentially bypassing those connecting parts unavoidable using traditional manufacturing techniques.

When might 3D technology come to high volume manufacturing?

“It’s coming faster than many of us might believe,” Boas said. “I’m thinking as soon as five years. We are at the start of a really interesting time in manufacturing.”

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. blair.claflin[email protected]

 

Cummins Named to Ethical Companies List for 12th Year in a Row

Cummins was honored recently for its work on ethics and sustainability.
Cummins was honored recently for its work on ethics and sustainability.

Cummins has been named to Ethisphere’s list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for a 12th consecutive year as well as to the FTSE4Good’s index, which measures the performance of companies demonstrating strong environmental, social and governance practices.

The World’s Most Ethical Companies list includes 128 honorees based in 21 countries and engaged in 50 different industries, ranging from aerospace and defense to water and sewerage utilities.

“Today, employees, investors and stakeholders are putting their greatest trust in companies to take leadership on societal issues,” said Ethisphere’s CEO Timothy Erblich.”Companies that take the long view with a purpose-based strategy are proven to not only outperform but last. I congratulate everyone at Cummins for earning this recognition.”

The World's Most Ethical Companies assessment is based upon the Ethisphere Institute’s Ethics Quotient® framework, which offers a quantitative way to assess a company’s performance in an objective, consistent and standardized manner. Companies are asked to answer an extensive survey.

Scores are generated in five key categories: ethics and compliance program (35 percent), culture of ethics (20 percent), corporate citizenship and responsibility (20 percent), governance (15 percent) and leadership and reputation (10 percent). All companies that participate in the assessment process receive their scores, providing them with valuable insights into how they stack up against leading organizations.

“As we celebrate our 100th anniversary, we should all be proud to work for a company that puts integrity at the forefront of everything we do,” said Mark Sifferlen, Cummins Vice President of Ethics and Compliance. “Thank you to all of our employees for living our Code of Conduct and for all you do to make Cummins a world class company and a great place to work.” 

FTSE Russell’s products are used by institutional and retail investors globally. Approximately $16 trillion is currently benchmarked to FTSE Russell indexes. For over 30 years, leading asset owners, asset managers and investment banks have chosen FTSE Russell indexes to benchmark their investment performance and create investment funds.

FTSE Russell gathers information about companies from a number of public sources on a wide range of issues and then asks companies to review its findings and challenge any they deem inaccurate. 
 

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]

 

Redirecting to
cummins.com

The information you are looking for is on
cummins.com

We are launching that site for you now.

Thank you.