Doing more with less

  • 19-Jul-2010 12:33 EDT
Hugh Foden2.JPG

Hugh Foden, Executive Director, Off-Highway Business, Cummins

Cummins announced nearly three years ago that our 174-751 hp (130-560 kW) EPA Tier 4 Interim engines for 2011 will have an improved fuel efficiency of up to 5% and improved response while maintaining their durability. These products will meet the 90% PM and 45% NOx reductions using common Tier 4 subsystem architecture with cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and Cummins Particulate Filter aftertreatment as the core technologies. All of these subsystems as well as our high-pressure common rail fuel systems, advanced turbocharging, and electronic controls are designed and developed by Cummins providing a completely integrated system.

Cummins Tier 4 Interim technologies for 2011 leverage our on-highway experience of over 500,000 DPFs in the market and over 750,000 EGR systems in use today. These technologies were validated for the off-highway markets during their initial design over 10 years ago. To further enhance our ability to deliver the best products, Cummins has invested in more prototypes than any other emissions change, with over 100 prototype Tier 4 engines installed for OEMs and other field tests.

Cummins recently launched the Tier 4 Interim four- and six-cylinder QSB engines below 174 hp (130 kW) integrated with the Cummins Compact Catalyst exhaust aftertreatment.

Introduced for EPA Tier 4 Interim 75-173 hp (56-129 kW) band, the Cummins Compact Catalyst removes PM by a simple, flow-through passive oxidation. With a smaller size than other types of aftertreatments, the catalyst can be installed in space-constrained equipment with the added flexibility of mounting separately from the exhaust muffler or as part of a combined catalyst-and-muffler unit. With no impact on equipment operation, the catalyst offers a robust and maintenance-free "fit and forget" solution, suited for the rental-equipment market, and meets the Tier 4 Interim 2012 emissions standards.

The catalyst represents the latest evolution of diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) aftertreatment, manufactured by Cummins Emission Solutions for over 15 years. The maintenance-free catalyst provides the installation simplicity needed for Tier 4 Interim and Stage IIIB engines below 174 hp (130 kW). The catalyst achieves efficient PM reduction with a catalytic coating and substrate uniquely tailored to each engine. By passively oxidizing PM from the exhaust stream with the simplicity of a small flow-through catalyst, Cummins is able to achieve Tier 4 emissions levels without compromising engine transient response or reliability.

It is through our on- and off-highway experience, our program teams and machine integration groups collaborating within our core business units, such as Cummins Emission Solutions, Cummins Turbo Technologies, Cummins Fuel Systems, and Cummins Filtration, that we can provide customers with the latest innovations and implement them successfully.

Beyond the industry’s focus in complying with upcoming Tier 4 legislation, we have an obligation to our customers—and more broadly, the general population—to manufacture products that produce fewer emissions and have higher fuel efficiency.

In early 2010, Cummins received approximately $54 million in funding from the DOE for projects aimed at increasing fuel efficiency in heavy- and light-duty vehicles. The research from this funding can later be transferred for future off-highway applications if applicable.

Fuel efficiency gains translate into lower operating costs for our customers as well as a reduction in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. From 2004-2009, Cummins collaborated with customers on projects to save them a combined total of 49 million gal (185 million L) of fuel, which translates into nearly 500,000 ton (454,000 t) of CO2.

While these CO2 reductions are currently not regulated, global climate change efforts and sustainability pressure is likely on the horizon. Our new 2011 and 2012 Tier 4 products will help reduce CO2 emissions with improved fuel economy. For example, an average hard-working industrial machine with this lower fuel consumption will easily have a reduction of 5 ton (4.5 t) of CO2 greenhouse gas emissions every year.

The idea of corporate responsibility is one that is reflected in every aspect of our company. We demand that everything we do leads to a cleaner, healthier, safer environment. It is our belief that doing these things not only benefits those affected by our company, but it makes good business sense. As a result of this company-wide effort, we were able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our facilities by 25% from 2005 to 2010.

While these efforts are still in the early days for many future diesel technologies such as diesel-hybrid machines, diesel electric drives, or hydraulic hybrids, these technologies offer real possibilities for the industry that will complement the introduction of Tier 4 ultraclean equipment. Cummins is the leading manufacturer of diesel engines for on- and off-highway hybrid applications. By choosing the right alternative energy for the right application, these technologies can achieve significantly reduced emissions and fuel consumption.

For industrial applications that don’t have stop-and-go conditions or operate a large amount of hydraulics, technologies like waste heat recovery might be more beneficial. Waste heat recovery, like hybrid systems, tries to re-use as much wasted energy as possible. Waste heat recovery systems are possible solutions for both on-highway line-haul applications and low breaking applications such as tractors and haul trucks.

Other future technologies that can become more common for industry products include remote monitoring of equipment.

Remote monitoring, or telematics, allow the ability for manufacturers or fleet managers to receive engine or equipment performance variables, from engine speed and exhaust temperature to GPS location, vehicle speed, torque, fuel usage, emissions, coolant temperature, and more—including OBD over systems such as cellular networks.

Cummins uses these today to gather remote downloads from engine electronic control modules (ECMs) on our field tests for Tier 4 as well as our EPA 2010 on-highway prototypes. These tools also have upload capability, allowing Cummins to test engine software and algorithms, make modifications, and validate operating characteristics with greater speed and accuracy than ever before as well as do a complete recalibration of the ECM.

This technology allows us to have a critical window for early failure detection and resolution, even before the first EPA 2010 current production and Tier 4 future prototype engines were released. In preparation for our EPA 2010 on-highway launch, we gathered data from more than 200 field test vehicles with Cummins engines, accumulating over 35,000 “truck days” of data covering 8 million miles of operation in North America, China, and Australia.

Many of these devices will no doubt become standard options while incorporating more automatic diagnostics, controls, updated calibrations, or reprogramming of electronic parameters. In fact, some of customers have already made these devices mandatory on their equipment.

Regardless of the technologies that are implemented in the future to reduce our emissions and increase fuel economy, these technologies must keep the customer top of mind. Technologies that are not fully tested, properly implemented, or that oppose customer demands will simply not be accepted in the market. Voice of customer input is even more critical as we look toward education, training, operating, and installing the future technologies for the off-highway industry.

Hugh Foden, Executive Director, Off-Highway Business, Cummins, wrote this article for SAE Off-Highway Engineering.

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