My Diversity Story: Funky Shoes, Innovation and Blazing a Trail

funky shoes

I am a woman, a British citizen working in the United States, a mathematician by training and a former finance employee who now leads an engineering business. My name is Julie Furber, and I lead the Electrified Power business at Cummins. We are a startup within the walls of a 100-year-old company, uniquely positioned to push the boundaries of innovation.

The variety that I bring with my background gives me unique perspectives in a role requiring me to think differently as we embrace a new frontier of diverse power options at Cummins. I know that everyone brings unique perspectives and that diversity in ideas is critical to creatively solving problems and building a culture of innovation.

I’ve always enjoyed standing out – I like funky shoes and brightly colored cars. However, in my current field, I often stand out as the only woman in the room. I walk away from those situations thinking, “How do I get other qualified women in that room?” I do this because I believe that when you blaze a trail, you have a responsibility to bring others along. My efforts in this regard extend far beyond women.

I’m intentional about seeking out the best people for the job, regardless of where they’re from or what they look like. I strive to foster a culture wherein those with different backgrounds, career journeys, home lives and points of view are not overlooked from having a seat at the table, but instead are engaged, celebrated and valued. I feel fortunate to work at Cummins where diversity and inclusion are critical parts of our DNA.

Every day, we must actively foster an environment where people feel comfortable and thrive in sharing their unique voice. I know what it’s like to feel excluded because you’re different from the group. We must ensure everyone feels welcome by unifying around shared purpose and inviting in different perspectives. No one should ever think, “They have a plan and it doesn’t feel like it includes me.”

I encourage you to promote a desirable work environment for everyone and be bold, speaking up with your own view points, even when you might be in the minority. Show up with passion, do your best work and embrace the things that make you and others different – that is what it takes to create a culture of innovation at Cummins and beyond.

Photo of Julie Furber, Vice President - Electrified Power

Julie Furber

Julie Furber is Vice President - Electrified Power at Cummins. A disruptor at heart, she is responsible for overseeing the development and acceleration of Cummins knowledge and capability in electrification, positioning the company to be the leading provider of electrified power in commercial markets. 

Advantages of Diesel Engines

For a World that is always on

Advanced diesel engines are some of the most fuel and energy-efficient options in the market, but those are just the beginning of their advantages. Some of their advantages are emotional. For a hundred years, people have been firing up a diesel engine to start their work day. But the environmental impact of that economy is now under increasing regulations. Innovative aftertreatment systems and cutting-edge engineering allow owners to operate with net zero emissions and supplement operations with biodiesel blends. This addresses diesel’s main disadvantage—its environmental impact, and allows this fuel to be part of powering the future. 

Let’s review the four high-level advantages of modern diesel engines.

Advantage 1: Diesel Fuel Economy

Diesel vehicles can travel 20% to 35% farther on a single gallon of fuel than similarly-sized gasoline vehicles. Diesel fuel economy comparison with biodiesel also reveals that low-sulfur diesel can be the superior option. For example, B100 biodiesel in particular is around 7% less efficient than diesel, according to the US Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center. However, B20 biodiesel is roughly equivalent to regular diesel in its potential for fuel efficiency.

What is the fuel efficiency of diesel? One limited comparison of passenger vehicles by The Motley Fool showed diesel is 29% more efficient on the highway and 24% more efficient in the city. For commercial vehicles, diesel is the best option available in areas without natural gas or hydrogen infrastructure, and even in those areas, diesel may still be preferred.

Advantage 2: Diesel Engines Require Less Maintenance

If you’re wondering “do diesel engines have more problems,” the answer is that they have less. There are fewer overall parts in a diesel engine than a gasoline engine, meaning less components to break or need repair. As one example, diesel engines do not have spark plugs. This leaves less room for electrical failures and reduces the need for maintenance and upkeep by the owner. Less waste is produced and cost-savings are achieved!

What is the main problem with diesel engines? By many accounts, overheating. Diesel engines are powerful and get put to hard use in all environmental conditions. But with just a little regular maintenance, Cummins Inc. advanced diesel engines are up for any challenge.

Advantage 3: Diesel Powers High Torque

What are the performance benefits of a diesel engine? Diesel engines deliver better acceleration, towing, and hauling potential than their gasoline counterparts. This is because within a diesel engine, the piston rises to the top of the cylinder, while in a gasoline engine it stops short. Diesel engines compress more air faster, delivering more power to get work done. Features like a turbocharger allow extra air to enter a diesel engine so it can deliver on horsepower as well. Cummins is focused on turbochargers for medium and heavy-duty diesel engines to improve efficiency and achieve cost savings. 

Advantage 4: Diesel Engines Have a Long Lifespan

Diesel engines are built tough to handle high compression and hard work. That means they last a long time as well. At Cummins, we’re committed to making our engines last with less upkeep required by owners. Simplified aftertreatment systems, longer oil-drain intervals and maintenance-free filters are just some of the features in our diesel engine lineup. These innovations mean better on-going financials while carrying on the essential business of moving packages and people from where they are to where they’re headed.

Cummins Delivers Powerful, Dependable, Responsible Diesel

Is diesel better for the economy? From many perspectives, yes. Diesel is a familiar and ingrained technology on farms, worksites, roadways, and railways across the world. As all these economic sectors and others take action to meet emissions regulations, diesel does not have to leave the equation. Cummins aftertreatment systems can convert diesel emissions into nitrogen gas and water vapor, allowing diesel to maintain its place powering life without concern about environmental impact and compliance.

In 1919, Clessie Lyle Cummins founded Cummins to deliver on his vision of an improved diesel engine. Since then, we have never stopped pushing the boundaries of possibility, from innovating clean diesel to alternative fuels like natural gas and hydrogen

The advantages of diesel engines are many, and Cummins wants to help you make the most of them. Learn more about the application of our engines across industries, or find a dealer location near you for service or support. 
 

Frequently asked questions about diesel engines

Semi truck on road with sunset

The topic of advanced diesel engines can quickly become overwhelmingly technical and turn a simple question into a deep-dive analysis. Our team at Cummins wants to make this and surrounding topics as digestible as possible, which is why we have put together this page of common questions we have run into surrounding advanced diesel engines. 

What is a diesel engine's lifespan?

Diesel engines are robust machines that have longer lifespans than you might expect. The lifespan of an average diesel engine is anywhere from 400,000 miles to 1,000,000 miles, while the average lifespan of a gas engine is around 200,000 miles. Why is that? Diesel engines are designed differently from petrol engines, meaning they have more room within the engine for more oil to move freely. This allows the components of the engine to run longer at optimal levels. Other key factors in the durability of diesel engines are their overall design, and their application uses compared to other engines.

How to diagnose diesel engine problems?

Diesel engine problems can significantly impact longevity. There are common diesel engine complications that you may run into during regular operation. The most accurate method of diagnosing engine trouble is to contact the engine manufacturer to get their insight on solutions. Beyond that, here are a few common diesel engine problems. 

  • Black Smoke: A common feature of the old locomotive engines, black smoke is a clear sign of a serious problem with your diesel engine. There are several causes for black smoke, like a faulty injector pump, a bad EGR valve, or something as simple as low operating temperatures. Cleaning out the air system is an excellent first step to combat this, but ultimately you should consult with a specialist.
  • Hard Starts: Colder conditions can commonly lead to hard starts for diesel engines. The weather is only a catalyst that leads to the issue of hard starting the engine. A hard start or no start can be caused by faulty glow plugs, defective battery, or a problem with the fuel system, to name a few. 
  • Contaminated Fuel: Due to its higher viscosity, diesel fuel has a higher chance of becoming contaminated. Water, soot, and other debris are common fuel contaminants. Refueling is a simple fix, but if you cannot catch this problem early enough, you will need to bring the engine to a professional to be fixed. 

These diesel engine problems and solutions are difficult to manage on your own. Any time you can identify a serious issue with the engine, it is advised to take it to a specialist or contact the manufacturer. Engines can be fixed, but only correctly by professionals. For industry trusted professional, consider taking all your diesel engine troubles to Cummins. Our engines and service are best in class.

How often should a diesel engine be serviced?

Depending on the performance of the engine, how often it needs to be serviced will vary. A safe practice would be to have a diesel engine serviced every six months. At the very least, it should be looked at once a year to make sure everything is in working order. This is not a concrete rule, as the type of diesel engine and what it is used for will have a significant impact on how often it will need to be serviced. Cummins’ service manual is a great resource that provides maintenance schedules based on product type.

One other key aspect for servicing a diesel engine is variation. For example, a long-haul truck that works for several hundred miles a day would have a different service/maintenance need than the personal car with diesel engine that would only need to be serviced once every six months.

Another example of this variation would be for mining trucks. They haul amazon loads, almost all day long, for weeks and months in very dirty environments, so their maintenance/service needs would be again very different than that of a long-haul truck or an everyday commercial car. 

Who makes the most diesel engines in the world?

We can give you a hint, you’re reading one of their blogs right now. Our very own talented team at Cummins is one of the world’s leading manufactures of diesel engines. In 2018, Cummins supplied the most Class 8 diesel engines. There were 309,701 diesel engines used in Class 8 trucks that year, and Cummins was responsible for 38.3% of them. 

What are the types of diesel engines?

Diesel engine types are most commonly designated by size. There are three types: small, medium, and large diesel engines. 

  • Small: Small diesel engines are classified as outputting at most, 288 horsepower. These are also either direct injection, in-line, four- or six-cylinder engines. Due to their relative size and power, they are most commonly found on smaller trucks or automobiles. Of the three types, this is the most common diesel engine produced. 
  • Medium: Medium diesel engines are a step up from small ones. They can produce up to 1,000 horsepower. Some V-8 and V-12 engines belong to this group. This engine type is commonly used in heavy-duty trucks. 
  • Large: At this level, we are discussing serious power. Large diesel engines are used to power trains, ships, and other large vehicles or equipment. They operate at an excess of 1,000 horsepower. 

Are modern diesel engines clean?

While diesel engines are known to pollute by emitting fumes and soot during use, they are cleaner than you may think. A positive by-product of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations is that diesel engines are cleaner than they have ever been. Due to healthier and more efficient engines being manufactured, they could last 30 years or more. While no internal combustion engine (ICE) is operating 100% clean, the concept of clean diesel has been in the works at companies like Cummins for some time. Biodiesel is just one way in which we strive to create cleaner alternatives. Cummins, in common with all other engine manufacturers, only certifies engines to meet the prescribed EPA (or other local regulatory agency) registered fuels.

What are the disadvantages of diesel engines?

Before we detail some of the disadvantages of using diesel engines, we feel that it is important to clarify some of the benefits first. The two most glaring advantages they provide are diesel engines are more durable and reliable than petrol engines. They do not require spark plugs to ignite fuel. Diesel engines also have better fuel economy than petrol engines. With that being said, diesel engines are used in vehicles, machines, and other projects where petrol engines simply would not be able to perform the tasks.

A major glaring disadvantage of using diesel engines that most people associate with them is its environmental impact. The EPA comments that “ Emissions from diesel engines contribute to the production of ground-level ozone which damages crops, trees and other vegetation.  Also produced is acid rain, which affects soil, lakes and streams and enters the human food chain via water, produce, meat and fish.” This is why Cummins is constantly at work with new initiatives to create a cleaner future for diesel engines. 

While diesel engines are the preferred option under specific circumstances, there are still some drawbacks to using them. For one, diesel engines, on average, cost more to fuel than petrol engines. Above, we mentioned how these engines could last for more than 30 years. That means these engines will be working longer and harder than its counterparts, which will then result in costly services to keep them in good working condition. 

The advantages and disadvantages of petrol and diesel will more or less come down to the needs of the individual or organization's practical use. For large-scale operations, having large diesel engines at your disposal is necessary in most cases. In either case, working with a manufacturer like Cummins will ensure that you receive the best engine for your needs. 

Do diesel engines run on renewable diesel?

An easier way to answer this question would be to frame it as "can diesel engines run on renewable diesel?" In that case, yes. Renewable diesel is suitable for use in diesel engines. We announced compatibility with select renewable diesel fuels for our B6.7 and L9 engines. This type of fuel is an excellent move in the right direction to combat the disadvantages associated with using diesel. 

Cummins: Bringing Diesel to New Frontiers

We are always looking for ways to get the most out of products. We know that there are many options for diesel engines, but no other manufacturer is trusted more than our team at Cummins. 

Contact us today to find out all that we can provide you.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins, a global power technology leader, is a corporation of complementary business segments that design, manufacture, distribute and service a broad portfolio of power solutions. The company’s products range from internal combustion, electric and hybrid integrated power solutions and components including filtration, aftertreatment, turbochargers, fuel systems, controls systems, air handling systems, automated transmissions, electric power generation systems, microgrid controls, batteries, electrolyzers and fuel cell products.

Safety considerations around natural gas engines and vehicles

Natural Gas Vehicle

When switching to natural gas engines, there are many different aspects to consider. Safety is an absolute priority for engine and vehicle manufacturers, distribution and transportation companies, and end-users. 

Natural gas engines are a safe technology

Natural gas engines and diesel engines have relatively similar architectures. The decades of knowledge Cummins Inc has accumulated designing internal combustion engines helps engineer safe, reliable natural gas engines. Thus, many common safety considerations are well-known and have well-documented solutions, such as the avoidance of pre-ignition events in the cylinder.

In some respects, natural gas is safer than liquid fuels. If a leak occurs inside the engine compartment, natural gas tends to dissipate at a faster rate while liquid fuels may coat engine parts or form puddles. Leaked diesel or gasoline can lead to fires, whereas natural gas is either already gone or present in concentrations so low it’s not conductive to ignition. In addition to natural gas, there are other alternative comparable fuels that have grown in popularity.

Natural Gas Vehicles keep drivers safe

Compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles store their fuel in sturdy gas cylinders under high pressures. High storage pressures enable storage of more fuel in the same cylinder, extending the range of the vehicle. These cylinders are critical for the safety of the vehicle and are subject to stringent design standards and safety margins. Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) cylinders are typically rated to store gas at up to 3,600 psi. They are also required to feature pressure relief valves, which release some gas to reduce pressure when abnormal conditions occur. Other critical safety components include a pressure regulator and a shut off valve. A pressure regulator monitors the pressure of the natural gas reaching the engine. The main shut off valve allows isolation of the fuel system from the engine. These components are thoroughly verified and tested to ensure the safety of the vehicles incorporating them. Cummins has formed a new joint venture called Cummins Clean Fuel Technologies to provide natural gas storage tanks.

Natural gas is lighter than air and can dissipate into the atmosphere. To avoid severe damage in the tanks, most fuel delivery systems are designed robustly in case vehicle accidents take place. CNG tanks must pass acid exposure and drop tests in horizontal, vertical and 45-degree angles. They also must pass a penetration test that requires them to be shot with a rifle without resulting tank ruptures. Finally, all CNG cylinders must be tested and certified to a continuous operating temperature range of -40⁰F to 185⁰F.

It is important for natural gas fuel systems to be leak-free. Periodic inspections and maintenance are essential to avoid leakage. The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) determines tanks’ maintenance intervals. If the number is greater than 10,000 lbs., inspection takes place at least every 12 months. Then, if GVWR is lesser or equal to 10,000 lbs., the inspection interval is three years (36 months) or every 36,000 miles. CNG cylinders have a limited useful life of 15 to 20 years and do not requalify for use beyond their useful life. 

These are some of the many best practices listed in safety standards such as the National Fire Protection Association 52 standard. Tank manufacturers also provide instructions to prevent cylinder damage. Some of these instructions include not dragging or walking on the cylinders and protecting the valves, fittings, and piping when transporting them.

Top 5 Safety Design Elements for CNG Maintenance Facilities

CNG is mostly methane (CH4) with slight amounts of other hydrocarbons. Its lighter than air, so in the event of a release, it will rise to the ceiling of the maintenance facility and quickly dissipate rather than pooling at or near floor level like liquid fuel vapors. If concentrations of 5% - 15% by volume of natural gas encounter an ignition source, the gas may ignite, with potentially serious results. However, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, due to natural gas’s ability to rapidly dissipate, this concentration is rarely seen in practice. That said, to prevent potential safety hazards, facilities that service natural gas vehicles require specific safety measures.

1.    Ventilation must provide sufficient air flow to reduce the concentration of any released gas and at the same time evacuate gas from the structure.
2.    Paths of migration must be controlled to prevent any released gas from entering unprotected areas of the structure.
3.    Space heating must be designed in accordance with guidelines so that open flames or hot surfaces don’t provide an ignition source.
4.    Electrical wiring and equipment must be installed in such a way that they don’t provide ignition due to sparking. The equipment itself can be designed to be “explosion         proof.”
5.    Methane detection and control systems and alarms must provide defense against dangerous concentrations of natural gas by alerting personnel in the building and             disabling potential electrical ignition sources.  

Local Clean Cities coordinators are an excellent resource for fleets and facility maintenance managers with questions about safety measures, or who need help accessing their facilities. Visit cleancities.energy.gov to find a local Clean Cities coordinator.

Ultimately, using natural gas in the transport industry can be a safe fuel. This is an addition to the many advantages of using natural gas engines. Therefore, natural gas vehicles are clean, safe and reliable thanks to the use of best practices and the incorporation of smart safety features.

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Puneet Singh Jhawar

Puneet Singh Jhawar

Puneet Singh Jhawar is the General Manager of the global natural gas business for Cummins Inc. In this role, he is responsible for the product vision, financial management and overall performance of the natural gas business. Over his 14-year career at Cummins, Jhawar has cultivated successful relationships with a number of Cummins’ largest customers. Jhawar has extensive global experience, with roles based in the Middle East, India, Europe and the US.

Inside Cummins’ Newest Natural Gas Generators - QSJ8.9G C175N6B & C200N6B – A chat with the Senior Manufacturing Engineer

QSJ8.9G

As part of Cummins’ efforts to introduce its customers and Cummins Inc. employees to the two new natural gas generators, the C175N6B and C200N6B, Cummins is pleased to share this interview with Akshay Suresh, the Senior Manufacturing Engineer at the Cummins plant in Fridley, Minnesota (U.S.).
Learn more about these products here.   

1.     What has been your favorite part about working on C175N6B and C200N6B? 

I’m really excited about the new segments and the business we would be reaching with these two new generator sets. Our previous product offering leveraged a much larger engine that resulted in a larger product, and there are multiple benefits to expanding our product offerings. We are dedicated to meeting our customers' needs with our products made in Fridley including these two new gas generator sets. On top of serving our customers, we aim to serve our communities through our work as well. We are looking forward to creating more job opportunities and continuing to partner with our communities in various ways like our Community Involvement Team.

2.    When there is a new product development effort, how does that impact the manufacturing team?

Generally, it starts with the engineering team creating a prototype. Then the manufacturing team and the cross-functional project team are invited to discuss the feasibility of the new product. We need to learn if it would be possible for the manufacturing team to build the new product in our factory lines. We identify if there are any additional training, components and tools needed for the manufacturing team. Once we agree on the feasibility, we proceed towards building beta units which are test units to see how these new generator sets fit into our factory lines. This is followed by validation of build capability and extensive quality checks. Throughout the entire process of identifying and validating potential developments, our teams make sure that our products are safe and reliable for our employees and the customers. 

3.    What is one word you would use to describe the new C175N6B and C200N6B?

“Efficient.” The Cummins team has worked on creating C175N6B and C200N6B with an 8.9-liter engine which have incomparable power densities in our industry to this date. These two new generator sets are not only efficient in footprint, but also in their maintenance. With their natural gas engines, they require less fuel refills and are better for areas with a higher population. Our PowerCommand® 2.3 provides automatic remote-control for our customers as well. 

The Cummins C175N6B and C200N6B use 8.9-liter QSJ8.9G engine with natural gas as their fuel. With these two nodes, QSJ8.9G provides the highest power density among the natural gas generator set products in the industry. Cummins is dedicated to powering our customers' needs with our leading technology, expertise and commitment. Click here if you want to read more about what our product owner wanted to share about these new gas generator sets.

For inquiries about this product please reach out to your local Cummins salesperson.
 

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