Cummins Filtration - N95 masks filter media

Cummins and Dupont are working together to help address the current shortage of N95 masks in the United States and elsewhere around the world. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the globe, Cummins and DuPont are helping address the nation’s shortage of N95 respirator masks. The need for the masks has skyrocketed in recent weeks due to the global pandemic, and Cummins will use its NanoNet® Media to help answer that need. 

According to Amy Davis, Vice President of Cummins Filtration, with many of the world’s leading mask manufacturers in need of the critical materials to assemble the masks and struggling to meet demand, Cummins will use pre-existing filter technology in partnership with DuPont to help fill the supply void. 

"Cummins is re-evaluating our supply base and manufacturing capabilities to identify how we can support our healthcare professionals who rely on critical personal protective equipment to do their jobs," Davis said. "Our NanoNet® Media can fill a key supply void and help address the mask shortage facing the United States and other countries around the world." 

The project also aims to provide open source instructions that other healthcare systems and groups can use to create their own respirator masks.

Supplying critical materials in a time of need

Cummins’ NanoNet® and NanoForce® Media technology, which uses DuPont’s Hybrid Membrane Technology (HMT), can typically be found in air, fuel and lube filtration products used in heavy-duty diesel engines to prevent long-term engine wear, but also can be used in the N95 respirator masks worn by healthcare professionals to filter harmful airborne particles that can spread COVID-19. 

The N95 designation means the respirator can block at least 95 percent of particles from entering the wearer’s nose and mouth. When Cummins’ NanoNet® Media was tested using an industry standard testing method, it exceeded the performance requirements for N95 designation. Cummins’ manufacturing facilities have since provided media samples to mask manufacturers across the globe to test its effectiveness.

Cummins Filtration - N95 masks - stock of media
Stock of Cummins Filtration NanoNet® and NanoForce® Media technology winding. 

While products featuring Cummins’ media will need to be vetted and approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the company is preparing to do its part to help relieve the burden facing the healthcare industry. 

“We’re working as quickly as possible with healthcare regulators and other partners to help certify products with our materials, and prepare our manufacturing facilities to meet demand,” added Davis. 

Keeping our healthcare workers safe

The first mask prototypes using Cummins’ donated media were assembled by University of Minnesota teams in March as part of an initiative to provide masks to M Health Fairview and other Minneapolis-based healthcare systems. As the COVID-19 outbreak escalated, the University of Minnesota realized their supply of N95 masks to protect healthcare workers would potentially run out in a matter of weeks. 

To address this challenge, a team of designers, engineers, chemists, surgeons, anesthesiologist and apparel and clothing experts from the University of Minnesota’s Institute for Engineering in Medicine; Medical School; College of Design; College of Science and Engineering; and Center for Filtration Research Consortium (CFR) came together to address this projected shortage of critical personal protective equipment. 

N95 filter media infographic - Cummins
Advanced, high-performance media for N95 respirator manufacturing. 

"The first thing we recognized from our experts in the Center for Filtration Research, who work directly with Cummins, is that not all filtration materials are created equal and that the Cummins material is an excellent alternative," said Jakub Tolar, Campus Health Officer and Medical School Dean at the University of Minnesota. 

"We are tremendously grateful for the generous donation from Cummins of their filtration materials toward our mask effort. Since the arrival of the filtration media, we have been able to make rapid progress, and we now believe we have several viable mask options, including both a disposable and re-usable option. These designs show real promise in keeping our healthcare workers safe should standard medical supplies of N95 masks no longer be available,” continued Tolar.

While DuPont’s innovative and unique Hybrid Membrane Technology (HMT) is typically integrated with Cummins’ synthetic fibers to protect sensitive engine components, it has multiple other applications that can include filtration media used in N95 respirator masks. 

DuPont’s Hybrid Membrane Technology goes beyond the limits of traditional semi-porous or nonwoven membranes for air and liquid filtration. Made using a proprietary spinning process, the hybrid technology materials are comprised of continuous sub-micron fibers. The end result is a “membrane-like” sheet structure that balances breathability and high filtration efficiency of particulates. 

“We are proud to make our advanced technology available to help protect more caregivers on the front lines of this global health crisis,” said HP Nanda, Global Vice President & General Manager, DuPont Water Solutions.

“We thank our partner Cummins for transitioning the use of its production line to help address the global shortage of N95 mask materials, and we thank the experts at the University of Minnesota for their leadership in testing and designing several mask options for the benefit of many healthcare systems," Nanda added. "By working together—and innovating new applications of existing technologies and materials—we hope to slow the spread of this terrible virus."

Mask manufacturers interested in learning more about Cummins’ media technology can visit https://cumminsfiltration.com/respiratormedia.

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.

Cummins 2022 highlight icons

With over a century of innovation under its belt, Cummins Inc. has celebrated countless milestones along its journey, and 2022 was no exception with numerous entries added to the list. As Cummins continues investing in key technologies to advance its path to zero emissions strategy – Destination Zero – to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower the air quality impacts of its products on the planet, the company simultaneously optimizes performance for its customers’ applications, grows the business and makes positive impacts in communities throughout the world.  

Visions for the future come to fruition 

One such entry on the milestone list is the acquisition of Meritor, an industry leader in drivetrain, mobility, braking, aftermarket and electric powertrain solutions for commercial vehicle and industrial markets. The addition of Meritor’s people, products and technology are helping Cummins address one of the most critical technology challenges of our age, developing economically viable zero carbon solutions for commercial and industrial applications.  

employees smiling at Cummins-Meritor event

Another key acquisition in 2022 was that of Jacobs Vehicle Systems (JVS), a supplier of engine braking, cylinder deactivation, start and stop and thermal management technologies. Adding JVS to the Cummins portfolio creates growth opportunities in current and future advanced diesel engine platforms, allowing Cummins to continue developing component technologies that deliver market leading performance and emissions. 

Local production put to global action 

It was a landmark year for Cummins’ plant in Darlington, United Kingdom, kicking off 2022 with the production of its 1.5 millionth engine. Cummins has been manufacturing in Darlington since 1965, with about 1,500 colleagues currently at the plant. Once the milestone mid-range engine rolled off the line, its long journey began, traveling 5,400 miles across the globe to Korea.

employee moving engine

Upon arrival, the engine was installed in a Hyundai excavator and quickly headed off to its customer in Guatemala. A true testament to the global nature of Cummins’ business, the Darlington Plant supplies products to customers in over 50 countries.  

Breaking a record while bettering a community 

In June, our colleagues in India partnered with their local dealer and set a Guinness World Record by constructing the longest piece of road, a single-lane of 75+ kilometers (46+ miles), from Murtizpur to Loni, Akola. Completing the feat within record time, 105 hours and 33 minutes, the stretch of highway is part of an important East-West corridor and connects major cities in India. Cummins’ Distribution Business Unit engineers provided 24-7 support to the endeavor and the equipment used by Trinity, a dealer of Cummins since 1979, for construction of the road. It was a proud moment for Cummins, the 720 workers and team of independent consultants involved in the vital project. 

Efficiently delivering customer needs 

Always looking for ways to react to market needs and improve the business, Cummins opened its state-of-the-art Power Integration Center (PIC) in Fridley, Minnesota, this August. The facility allows for the configuration, integration, and testing of power system technologies including diesel and natural gas generator sets, photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, battery storage systems, fuel cells, transfer switches, switchgear, and system-level controls.

employees smiling in front of Power Integration Center building

With Cummins’ customers placing an even higher value on flexible and well-integrated solutions, this center helps the company bring together and test different ones, discovering more efficient ways to provide sustainable power, allowing for cost savings and improved design. Watch the exciting PIC launch event here

Enabling the energy transition 

Cummins announced in December its latest project in support of moving the green hydrogen economy forward. The company will be supplying a 35MW proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer system to Linde, a global leader in the production, processing, storage and distribution of hydrogen. The project is not only a milestone for Cummins but also for the energy transition in the U.S. The state-of-the-art electrolyzer system is designed for easy on-site installation with the ability to scale up output as needed. This highlights Cummins’ commitment to the advancement of the green hydrogen economy and the company’s ability to support large-scale renewable hydrogen production with market-leading innovation: another great step forward for Cummins’ Destination Zero strategy. 

Powering the future for success 

Delivering record breaking revenues, appointing its first female CEO, advocating for racial equity, making a case for climate action, being named best employer for diversity, and collaborating with numerous businesses and organizations that share a similar vision, the list goes on of the many achievements made by Cummins and its employees during 2022. Watch for more exciting milestones to come in 2023! 

Keep up-to-date with what’s happening at Cummins and if you're interested in joining in on the action check out cummins.com/careers to see what opportunities are available! 

Tamra Knudsen smiling

Tamra Knudsen

Tamra Knudsen is a Brand Journalist for Cummins with extensive experience in the Capital Goods sector, serving over 20 years in various corporate communications roles. She began her career in accounting, moving into numerous positions within finance, marketing and administration, until she discovered her niche in the field of communications. Her passion is to create transparent and meaningful content that educates, informs and engages readers on a variety of topics for both external and internal audiences. 

Tamra graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Parkside, with a BS in Business Administration and Management.

Cummins project tagging mussels

Cummins Inc. employees take pride in supporting their communities through unique initiatives reinforcing the company’s environmental sustainability strategy.  

 

Strengthening global communities has long been an important objective for Cummins. Company employees around the world participate in numerous community initiatives through Cummins’ Every Employee Every Community (EEEC) program.  

A global network of more than 200 employee-led Community Involvement Teams (CITs) work with Cummins leaders and community partners to assess environmental issues facing their communities and organize employee efforts to make a difference.  

Here are some highlights from recent EEEC events that used small creatures to tackle big environmental challenges: 

A LITTLE MUSSEL GOES A LONG WAY 

This fall, Cummins employees in Columbus, Indiana, gathered to transplant kidneyshell mussels into the Mississippi River basin. Coordinated by Scott Saum, Program Manager, Cummins Water Works, the project was guided by experts from The Nature Conservancy (TNC).  

mussel tagging project
Tagging the mussels will help researchers track them months or years after reintroduction.

Cummins Water Works is the company program to address the global water crisis. It established a partnership with The Nature Conservancy to improve water quality and increase groundwater levels in the Mississippi River Basin. 

The kidneyshell mussel is a medium to large, freshwater mussel, similar to the shape of a kidney. They grow to about 12 centimeters (5 inches), and are great indicators of environmental health, with some species living to 100 years. The mussels eat algae and bacteria, cleaning and filtering water of pollutants, resulting in healthier aquatic ecosystems. Their complex life cycle provides a meaningful snapshot of waterway health conditions.  

“Being passionate about environmental conservation, I regularly seek EEEC volunteer opportunities in this domain,” said Akash Desai, Engine Optimization Senior Technical Specialist at Cummins. “The mussel tagging event was ideal in that it blended my interest with a unique opportunity to learn and network.  

“Not having seen mussels before, it was eye-opening how important a role these tiny creatures, a seemingly passive organism, can play in local ecology,” Desai added. “This is the essence of EEEC, where small volunteer engagements along with engaged community members have significant, long-term impacts.” 

Native to Indiana, the kidneyshell mussels, about 1.5 to 2.5 years in age, are currently listed by the state as a species of special concern. Event activities included tagging and measuring them for reintroduction into Indiana’s waterways, via the North and South Forks of Wildcat Creek in Kokomo, Indiana. The creek is part of the Mississippi River Basin.  

Small, flexible, colored, plastic tags were applied to the shell of the mussels, which included an individual number for each mussel to be identified and measured. Some mussels were also outfitted with Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags glued onto their shells.  

These tags can be read with a bar code-type reader to detect a mussel’s location. Since mussels can bury themselves in riverbeds, a PIT tag helps researchers find a subset of mussels months or years after reintroduction.  

In total, 403 mussels were tagged and successfully placed in their new home by representatives of The Nature Conservancy and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. After the mussels have been in their new surroundings for six months, they will be recovered and measured again to determine their growth and survival rates. 

KEEPING BEES HUMMING IN GERMANY, NORWAY 

Over recent decades, bee populations have been declining due to habitat loss, air pollution, changes in weather patterns and the excessive use of agrochemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers. Studies show a lack of honeybees in agricultural areas is limiting the supply of some food crops, suggesting the decline in these pollinators may soon have serious ramifications for global food security and the maintenance of biodiversity.  

People around the world are working to create environments that help bees thrive as well as educate people about their importance. Cummins employees in Germany and Norway are no exception, enthusiastically doing their part to protect bees in local communities. 

A beekeeper checks on the health of the hive in Germany.
A beekeeper checks on the heath of a hive behind the Cummins Emission Solutions plant in Marktheidenfeld, Germany.

In Germany, volunteers developed five bee colonies behind the Cummins Emission Solutions (CES) plant in Marktheidenfeld. Three team members also serve as beekeepers, as well as educators, inspecting hives, conducting bee population counts and removing honeycombs. 

Other employees extract honey from the honeycombs, bottling and labeling the harvest. So far this year, the hives have produced 98 kilograms (216 pounds) of spring honey and 46 kilograms (101 pounds) of summer honey, offered to employees for a donation and given away to local community partners. 

The Marktheidenfeld team also hosted a “Bee Day” on site for local youth, including both an educational component as well as bee-themed games to help bring the education to life. Beekeepers explained the lifecycle and importance of bees and the role they play in our ecosystem, all while exhibiting the bees in action.  

Employee volunteers in Norway jumped on the bee band wagon as well, building six bumblebee boxes and planting bee-friendly flowers to support bee colony growth. The team continues their efforts in protecting and encouraging bee activity by maintaining the boxes while weeding and watering the surrounding plants. 

These are just a few of the many initiatives underway by Cummins employees as they work together to address environmental issues and strengthen their communities. 

 

Tamra Knudsen smiling

Tamra Knudsen

Tamra Knudsen is a Brand Journalist for Cummins with extensive experience in the Capital Goods sector, serving over 20 years in various corporate communications roles. She began her career in accounting, moving into numerous positions within finance, marketing and administration, until she discovered her niche in the field of communications. Her passion is to create transparent and meaningful content that educates, informs and engages readers on a variety of topics for both external and internal audiences. 

Tamra graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Parkside, with a BS in Business Administration and Management.

Dennis speaking to crowd

This article originally authored by Tom Linebarger, Cummins Executive Chairman and posted internally on October 31, 2022 for employees to recognize the anniversary of the Cummins Advocating for Racial Equity (CARE) program. 

employees standing in front of company logo

Today, I want to celebrate and recognize the incredible work accomplished through the Cummins Advocating for Racial Equity (CARE) initiative since its launch in October 2020. The program remains focused on the ever-present work of dismantling systemic discrimination against the Black community and driving racial equity in the U.S.

To date, more than 150 volunteers have dedicated their time and skills across 10 communities nationwide. We have successfully driven change across four key areas: police reform, criminal justice reform, social justice reform and economic empowerment. We have positively impacted 420 Black-owned businesses, influenced eight laws and policy changes, and participated in 32 advocacy efforts.

Last April, the Cummins Leadership Team (CLT) and I had the opportunity to see the impact of CARE firsthand in Indianapolis. Doris, a teacher and longstanding resident of the Martindale-Brightwood area, was able to receive an affordable mortgage and move into her new home with $100K in equity through the support of the Cummins-Intend Indiana Partnership, which focuses on addressing the historical gap in wealth building through homeownership experienced by Black people. It was an incredible moment to see the pride Doris had in owning her first home and gaining the ability to create generational wealth for her family.

employees in front of restored house

leaders speaking in panel

We are not naïve to the fact that our goal is ambitious, but CARE has proven that how you show up and take action in our communities is an important and impactful step. Racism in our country is deeply rooted and makes our society weaker. Change is made possible through decisive action, and Cummins continues to be a part of that action. The work done by our volunteers, leaders, advocates and partners in just two years is inspiring. Thank you for your continued commitment to advance Cummins’ legacy of social justice.

Tom Linebarger
Executive Chairman
Chairman of the Board

Tom Linebarger Chairman and CEO

Tom Linebarger

Tom Linebarger became Chairman and CEO of Cummins Inc., the largest independent maker of diesel engines and related products in the world, on January 1, 2012.  Prior to becoming Chairman and CEO, he served as President and COO from 2008 to 2011, Executive Vice President and President, Power Generation Business from 2003 to 2008, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from 2000 to 2003, and Vice President, Supply Chain Management from 1998 to 2000.

1935 Auburn 655 (far right) on display at ACD event

Appreciating historic cars is a passion held by car enthusiasts and organizations the world over. One such organization is the Auburn Cord Duesenberg (ACD) auto club. ACD meets annually to commemorate the historic automobiles that trace their roots back to Connersville “Little Detroit” Indiana. In August, Cummins was invited to display its 1935 white Auburn 655 diesel car at ACD’s mini-meet.

“The presence of the Auburn was an overwhelming hit at the event as most did not know Cummins’ story with Auburn,” said Tim Diehn, Director of Cummins’ Service Diagnostics. “We were able to create some buzz and enthusiasm about the car and our company’s history, receiving nothing but accolades and appreciation from club members, attendees and even the mayor of Connersville.” 

Clessie Cummins, founder of Cummins Engine Co., was known for improving existing diesel engines, creating new diesel engine designs, and setting world records for endurance and speed in trucks, buses and race cars. Perhaps not as well-known was his early success in promoting the efficiency of diesel power in automotive applications. With no diesel-powered passenger cars in production at the time, in 1935 Cummins briefly collaborated with Auburn Automobile Company to install a prototype Cummins Model A six-cylinder diesel for a 1935 Auburn. Using aluminum block and head for a much lighter engine than typical cast-iron diesel engines, the innovative new engine provided fuel efficiency, getting better mileage using less expensive fuel compared to a gasoline counterpart. 

Fact versus fiction

The Cummins-powered 1935 Auburn 655 and its existence has been largely shrouded in mystery. Until recently, only a handful of ACD club members could confirm its existence, as this single pre-production prototype car had been out of circulation and sitting in storage or the company museum for many years. Most of the members had no idea about the venture between Auburn and Cummins and were excited to see the car firsthand and learn that its story is more fact than fiction.

“It was a great opportunity to get Clessie Cummins’ vehicle out into the public and share a piece of Cummins’ history,” said Greg Haines, Cummins’ X15 Design and Development Leader, who partnered with Diehn on the road trip. “We even had requests to show the car next year at the famed Labor Day ACD Festival, an international event attended by thousands, held in Auburn, Indiana.”  Tim and Greg are part of a group of Cummins engineers who volunteer their time to restore and maintain the collection of historic engines and vehicles at the Cummins’ Heritage Center.  

Until its next road trip, the Auburn has returned to the Cummins headquarters in Columbus, Indiana, where it is proudly displayed with other historic company artifacts. There it serves as a reminder to employees and visitors of the many innovations associated with the company over its 103-year history. 

J. I. Miller exiting the Auburn in 1974

In 1974, the Auburn was “rediscovered” and restored to its current condition and given to J. I. Miller as a 40th Service anniversary gift. July 22, 1974 – J. I. Miller (then Cummins’ Chairman) exiting Auburn. 

View more images and learn more about the event! 

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Tamra Knudsen smiling

Tamra Knudsen

Tamra Knudsen is a Brand Journalist for Cummins with extensive experience in the Capital Goods sector, serving over 20 years in various corporate communications roles. She began her career in accounting, moving into numerous positions within finance, marketing and administration, until she discovered her niche in the field of communications. Her passion is to create transparent and meaningful content that educates, informs and engages readers on a variety of topics for both external and internal audiences. 

Tamra graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Parkside, with a BS in Business Administration and Management.

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