SuperTruck II team reaches never achieved before 55% brake thermal efficiency

DOE Cummins SuperTruck II

The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) recently recognized the Cummins SuperTruck II team for pioneering research and development in heavy-duty diesel engine technology. This honor, which was presented to the team during the DoE’s Annual Merit Review Conference, celebrates their achievement of 55% brake thermal efficiency (BTE) from an engine equipped with waste heat recovery, an important metric in the SuperTruck II program. The conference was held on June 21.

"Getting to 55% BTE was about optimally moving the needle in many areas. The interactions among the engine subsystems complicated defining how to operate each of these subsystems to reach the optimum engine performance. Achieving the final objective occurred with careful hardware selection and a month of optimization of the engine and Waste Heat Recovery systems at the test cell," said Jon Dickson, Cummins Principal Investigator for the SuperTruck II initiative. "There were a lot of people at Cummins that came together to make this happen, who never gave up even when we were down to the wire, and I’m thrilled to accept this award in recognition of their perseverance."

Cummins has been part of the DoE’s SuperTruck initiative since it began in 2010 with the goal to improve heavy-duty truck freight efficiency. BTE quantifies the fraction of the fuel's chemical energy that is converted into useful work by the engine system, and acts as an important measurement of overall engine efficiency. As the SuperTruck II program progresses, the Cummins engine with 55% BTE will integrate into a Peterbilt truck to ultimately demonstrate improvement in freight efficiency.

"All of this invention did not happen solely during the SuperTruck II project—in fact, a lot of this work was set in motion with SuperTruck I," added Tim Shipp, Engine Performance Leader for the Cummins SuperTruck II team.

"The challenge of SuperTruck I allowed us those years to focus on improving efficiency, and Cummins hasn’t stopped pressing forward since then. Everything we have learned ties so closely together, and reaching 55% BTE is the culmination of all that focused activity."

More than 200 Cummins employees supported the core SuperTruck team of 25 innovators, who inched toward the 55% BTE goal with incremental changes and improvements until finally, on a cold evening in January, they reached their goal.

Mr. Shipp adds, "When it was game time during those last months, the pressure was on to find the technology to push us to the finish line. That is where the team’s persistence really came into play, but also the company’s commitment to innovation. Without a real desire to deliver on this experiment from the team and company leadership, we never would have gotten there." 

Cummins DOE SuperTruck I
Cummins and Peterbilt teamed together for SuperTruck I, pictured here, first demonstrating more than 50 percent BTE and analytically defining technologies needed to achieve 55 percent BTE. 

In his testimony to the United States Senate in March of this year, Cummins Vice Chairman Tony Satterthwaite confirmed the company’s commitment to developing the technologies of tomorrow, and the importance of industry and government partnerships such as SuperTruck. 

"The heavy-duty and non-road vehicle industry is undergoing significant change, and Cummins is leading the way by investing and innovating in a broad portfolio of power including advanced diesel, natural gas, hybridization, electrified power, fuel cell technology and alternative fuels –so our customers can have the right solution to get the job done," Satterthwaite said. "However, industry working alone will not get us where we need to be in a time frame that is feasible. Government supported innovation is needed to meet our global energy and environmental challenges." 

When the technologies developed under the SuperTruck I initiative hit the market, they are projected to save 7.9 million gallons of diesel fuel per day and reduce CO2 emissions by 33% from the 2009 baseline. SuperTruck II demonstrates a further 50% reduction in CO2 emissions, doubling efficiency. 

Daniel Mohr, System Integration Lead for the Cummins SuperTruck project, is excited to keep building on the team’s success. “We set out to meet aggressive engine-level targets, but we will not meet all our goals simply by increasing engine efficiency; we need to think about investigating the use of low carbon fuels-- hydrogen, natural gas, and alcohols. This is our next focus.”

Cummins’ quest for engine efficiency doesn’t end with 55% BTE.

"Greater engine efficiency is still feasible, and our work will continue toward that goal,” said Dickson. "While we are all thrilled to celebrate this SuperTruck II achievement, we will continue to push ourselves to meet the needs of our customers and our planet." 

Catherine Morgenstern - Cummins Inc.

Catherine Morgenstern

Catherine Morgenstern is a Brand Journalist for Cummins, covering topics such as alternative propulsion, digitalization, manufacturing innovation, autonomy, sustainability, and workplace trends. She has more than 20 years of experience in corporate communications, holding leadership positions most recently within the Industrial Capital Goods sector.

Catherine began her career as a marketing writer for a biotechnology company, where she learned to take complicated and highly technical information and make it accessible to everyone. She believes the concept of “storytelling” is more than a trendy buzzword and loves to find ways for her readers to make personal connections to her subjects. Catherine has a passion for technology and innovation and how its intersection can make an impact in all our lives.

Catherine recently moved back to her hometown in the Hudson Valley, New York after a several decades in Los Angeles and Chicago. She is a graduate of UCLA and enjoys gardening and spending time with her husband and three children.

No paint? No problem. 6.7 turbo diesel engine ditches clear coating for improved sustainability


For over 30 years, the Columbus Mid-Range Engine Plant (CMEP) has built the heavy-duty diesel engine for pickup trucks and coated it in a rust-preventative. In 2021, this coating was eliminated, making manufacturing cleaner for the popular engine.

Despite how sophisticated a painted Cummins Inc. diesel engine may look, painting engines hasn’t always been for the dashing looks, cool style, and flash. As the most common source of material used to build an engine in the past was grey iron, it was necessary to use a rust-preventative coating on all of our engine models to avoid corrosion. Coating contributed to the extended lifespan of an engine, its components and overall durability.

While paint offers protection and, to some, great style, it comes with a heavy environmental cost – from massive water and chemical waste and increased energy use and natural gas output to emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Sustainability leaders and manufacturing and service engineers at the plant recognized the advancements in material diversity on the 6.7-liter engine and conducted an assessment on their coating process.
Through their assessment in 2020, engineers validated that the coating elimination would not expose the engines to excess corrosion, ensuring the same quality, capabilities, and durability without the environmental impacts.

In fact, less than 10 components were at risk of oxidation. With the advancements in technology, most engines today are built using a variety of materials from aluminum to cast iron, with composite components here and there. Over time, the 6.7-liter engine had evolved and with it, its components. As the majority of parts and surfaces on the engine would not be impacted due to the evolution of the engine over time, eliminating the coating process was clear. For the components that were prone to oxidation, engineers found more sustainable ways, like powder coating prior to final assembly, to seal these parts from potential exposure. Only a few components now still receive a rust preventative coating.

Inside our Newest Natural Gas Generators

generator rendering

Cummins Inc. is excited to introduce two new natural gas generators, the C175N6B and C200N6B, to our customers. These additions use the same QSJ8.9G engine platform as the C125N6 and C150N6  natural gas generators which are popular among various industrial applications. In North America, the market for natural gas generators has been increasing over the past few years. Environmental concerns regulations and convenience for fuel refill are some of the reasons customers choose natural gas generators over other fuel types. 

We invited Vijay Jayaprakash, Cummins Product Manager for <1MW Gas Generator Sets & G-Drive, to share his experience at Cummins and introduce the two new products. 

1. What was your role in developing C175N6B and C200N6B?

As a product manager, I performed extensive research on what the customer and industry needs are and how Cummins can meet and deliver those needs by building close relationships with the customers and the sales team.   Our team invested a great amount of time and effort in researching and developing the right generators to bring improved power output of our tried and tested QSJ8.9G engine that is well recognized in the market. With these two new products  , the QSJ8.9G engine generator product range will span from 125kW to 200kW.


2. Where do you see these two new products being used?

Similar to C125N6 and C150N6, C175N6B and C200N6B will be used in government buildings, water wastewater treatment plants, healthcare facilities, commercial buildings, public infrastructure and many more.  These products would also be amazing additions to wherever paralleling  is needed for one’s pre-existing power systems. To learn more about paralleling, click here.

With the QSJ8.9G engine, C175N6B and C200N6B run on natural gas fuel , making it better for more populated areas and cities. For more information on the benefits of natural gas generators, click here.

3.Working on these new products through the COVID-19 pandemic, what did you see in your team that made it possible and successful?

Teamwork and dedication to getting the product out faster was what made this project possible. Although there were hardships along the way, I really appreciate everyone putting in effort across multiple teams at the factory , engineering, marketing and so many more. The team members have been willing to come into the office/plant for beta builds, product testing  and working flexibly to deliver this product successfully for our customers. Teamwork is one of Cummins' Values and our team showed above and beyond what teamwork can achieve. Always powering on.

4. What is one word you would use to describe the new 175 and 200kw generator sets?

Power. C175N6B and C200N6B are the market leading natural gas generator products in power density with its 8.9-liter  engine. So far, no other product is able to bring this power  in a smaller footprint including sound level 2 enclosure (73.6 (175kW) and 74.4 (200kW) dbA). We believe the C175N6B and C200N6B will change the market with their footprint, providing reliable power to our customers.

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. 

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.

Less waste, same legendary pick-up truck

employees in front of gloves

Whether it is the power, reliability, or durability, 75% of all RAM 2500 and 2500 Heavy-Duty pickup owners choose the optional Cummins Inc. 6.7L Turbo Diesel. Manufacturing of this legendary engine is getting cleaner every day.

In April of 2022, Columbus Mid-Range Engine Plant (CMEP) Indirect Materials Manager, Sven Creutz and Continuous Improvement Leader, Clayton Johnson, implemented a nitrile glove recycling program to divert waste from landfills. But what are nitrile gloves and what has been the impact of the plant’s program so far?

What are nitrile gloves?

You have probably seen the bright purple, orange or blue gloves in your doctor’s office, pharmacy, or local automobile shop. Nitrile gloves are a standard PPE practice in many food, industrial, and chemical lab environments. Made from the compound nitrile, these synthetic, rubber gloves are particularly popular due to their chemical and abrasion resistance. They are water, grease, and oil proof, often making them the top choice in gloves, over others like latex, for occupations working long hours and exposed to harmful substances. 

How are nitrile gloves used at CMEP?

For plant employees, nitrile gloves work as a second barrier to protect Cummins employees from exposure to harmful chemicals and injury as they inspect the 6.7-liter diesel engine. Employees typically wear nitrile gloves as a base layer under a thicker pair of gloves for safety purposes.

Conversely, they also protect residue that employees may have on their hands from contaminating products.

Every hour, plant employees switch their gloves as a requirement to adhere to strict product quality standards. While use of the gloves protects both Cummins employees and products, the waste produced can be large. Nitrile gloves are a single-use PPE item; after first use, they cannot be worn again for protection against harmful substances potentially left on the surface. 

Nitrile gloves are considered less biodegradable than their latex counterparts and are often not recycled due to their use in facilities where they could be contaminated and therefore considered too hazardous to be reused.

In one year, 800 Cummins Mid-Range Engine Plant employees can go through over 530 cases of nitrile gloves, equating to roughly 875,000 gloves.

The impact of the nitrile glove recycling program 

Kimberly-Clark Professional, global corporation dedicated to producing consumer and company safety, healthiness, and hygienic products, and one of the first manufacturers to offer a recycling program for non-hazardous PEE, partnered with the plant to recycle and repurpose their biodegradable nitrile gloves. 

The plant fills gaylords full of nitrile gloves every two weeks and ships them to be sorted by a non-profit organization in western Virginia, Rightcycle, that provides jobs for disabled and disadvantaged workers. Used, non-contaminated gloves are then converted into plastic pellets and made into new products like storage bins, shelves, and lawn chairs. In the end, Columbus Mid-Range Engine Plant has created a lifecycle for nitrile gloves while simultaneously creating jobs, Creutz explained.

Since the program launched, the plant has gathered and shipped one ton of gloves to the Rightcycle facility. If the plant continues to use an average of 530 cases of gloves they typically go through in a year, they could expect to divert almost 3.75 tons of waste from landfills each year.

The Columbus Mid-Range Engine Plant is able to achieve key 2030 goals included in Cummins’ PLANET 2050 strategy by creating a circular lifecycle for materials as well as generating less waste in facilities and operations through the recycling program. For owners looking for sustainably manufactured engines, Columbus Mid-Range Engine Plant is setting the standard.

Click here to learn more about key sustainability initiatives at CMEP. 

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.

New Mexico Solar Professionals are making a difference during a time of potential darkness

home generator

Most people may only know New Mexico for its heat and high mountain deserts. However, New Mexico is home to the owners of NM Solar Professionals, LLC whose owners are Elaine Silva Founder CFO and Albert Silva Co-Founder and CEO. Native to New Mexico, the Silvas have been providing Home and Business Back-up Power Systems in their community that can withstand the heat and high altitude of NM. The Silvas have integrated Home Standby Generators with Solar for secure affordable emergency power.  

New Mexico Solar Professionals, LLC (NM Solar Pro) was established in New Mexico in 2016. This company is uniquely positioned in the energy Generation Market (solar design, installation, and integration of power generation through NG, LP, and other electric generation). This local family business integrated their generation projects and joined Cummins as a Power Generation Home and Small Business Dealer Network. With construction backgrounds holding a general contractor and electrical license provides a huge benefit to giving the customers the best installations possible.

NM Solar Professionals logo

Of course, from the company's name you might not assume that they sell Cummins Home and Small Business power generators. However, with the solar industry growing at record pace, it was a natural transition to consider similar low-cost NG/LP power systems that could help customers with everyday needs. A business move that has proven to be a success for the Silvas. What they’ve found is that most homeowners are unaware that a solar expert is needed to combine their existing solar system with their added power generator system; a crucial benefit that NM Solar Pros can complete. 

With not many Dealers having the training, licensing, and background similar to the Silva’s in the New Mexico area, daily needs for back-up power are more frequent. One major reason, is the recent shut down of San Juan Generating Station, a local coal fire generation plant which the Silva’s have projected impacting roughly ~20% of the local electric market to go offline. Unfortunately, there is no indication from the local government to upgrade or build any new facilities to support, leaving a high need for a solution. NM Solar Pros wants to continue being a vital source of hope for the community.

For the Silva’s, this is a pivotal moment for them to install Cummins generators. In anticipation of what could be a 10-hour rolling electrical blackout on any given day, the Silva’s have begun working with the community on cost-effective investments with the Residential Quiet-Series Cummins 20kw Power Generators. They’ve estimated that customers spend about 50% less with and get 50% more power with a  Cummins Home-Standby-Generator co compared to a back-up battery option.

Being a Cummins Dealer has allowed them to support their community in more ways than one.

The Silva’s say, the most joy comes from training the customer to use the systems and knowing that they have energy freedom that can sustain long and short-term outages through all seasons. Ensuring that customers know that they have a safe and affordable backup system for their home even if their local utility isn’t providing reassurance, gives them great pride. 

NM Solar Pros has a bright future ahead, the company is growing month over month with the support of the community. In 2023, NM Solar Pros with Cummins is committed to help families secure power for their homes and businesses. 

working on generator

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.

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