Cummins Partners with Microsoft and McKinstry to Shape the Future of Datacenters

Testing is expected to begin soon on natural gas powered fuel cells at the Microsoft-Cummins Advanced Energy Lab in Seattle, Washington (U.S.A.). The 20-rack environment in the lab seeks to simulate datacenter conditions to allow the evaluation of new technologies, which have the potential to improve efficiency, reduce emissions and decrease the costs associated with datacenter operations.

If the fuel cell concept is successful, it has the potential to greatly simplify datacenter power architecture, potentially doubling efficiency while reducing costs and improving reliability.

Virtual Reality Helps Cummins See the Big Picture

In some ways, the cave at the Cummins Technical Center (CTC) in Columbus, Indiana (USA) is aptly named. Tucked away in the basement and dark much of the time, its inhabitants seem to prefer large, dark glasses, even when the lights are dim. 

But some pretty high tech stuff is happening in the CAVE and at similar locations across Cummins where engineers are using virtual reality to get a one-to-one perspective on engines and components, often before anything is built.

Cummins Joins Partnership to Find Fuel Savings in the Cloud

The partnership, which also includes Peleton Technology, Peterbilt Motors Company, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Next-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Autonomous On-Road Vehicles program, also known as NEXTCAR.

“We look forward to applying our expertise and working with the other partners,” said Ed Hodzen, Director of Advanced Controls Engineering at Cummins. “We can improve our customers’ business through real-time optimization of the powertrain utilizing off-board computational resources.”

Technology and Design Meet in a Place You Might Not Expect

Led mostly by employees with Ph.D. s, the Columbus, Indiana (U.S.A.)-based team investigated unexplained failures with the camshafts in some older engines. With equipment capable of analyzing in the realm of individual atoms, it identified something in the engine oil corroding the bronze pins that the camshaft rollers spin on – even though a base additive to counteract acid was still in place.

3D Printing Means Getting Great Ideas to the Market Faster

The gray, rectangular machine emitting a bright blue light doesn’t look particularly impressive as it quietly goes about its work at the Cummins Technical Center (CTC) in Columbus, Indiana....

But some believe the technology it uses could one day change manufacturing as we know it.

3D printers can take extremely detailed instructions to make precise objects a layer at a time, with relatively little waste and, theoretically at least, anywhere in the world. That could not only impact innovation, but perhaps inventory someday and transportation, too.

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