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Engine Smarts: Cummins Says Engine Focus Shifting to Fuel Economy

March 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

by Deborah Lockridge, Editor in Chief, Editor in Chief - Also by this author

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Noting that fuel economy will be key to competitiveness among engine makers in the next decade, Cummins says real-world data has confirmed that its EPA-2010 spec ISX15 engine delivers 6 percent fuel economy improvement over its 2009 product. Some customers could see even better results thanks to "significant calibration improvements"
Cummins says it ISX offers 6 percent better fuel economy than its 2009 product.
Cummins says it ISX offers 6 percent better fuel economy than its 2009 product.
Cummins has identified that were launched early this year, said Steve Charleton, Cummins vice president and chief technical officer-engine business.

During a press event held before the Mid-America Trucking Show, Charton said the calibrations affect both fuel economy and diesel exhaust fluid usage. He said Cummins recognizes the importance of balancing fuel economy and DEF usage, especially considering rising diesel prices and more stable prices for DEF, which is derived from natural gas.

"The past decade was clearly about who could meet emissions best, and I think we did that," said Rich Freeland, Cummins vice president and president-engine business. "The winner of the next decade will be about who delivers fuel economy best."

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Cummins is well poised to take advantage of an expected upswing in demand, company officials said. "We cut costs, but maintained capacity," Freeland said. "We continued to invest in new products through 2010. We've made the investment in the product; we've made the investment in capacity."

Freeland said Cummins saw sales drop from about $14 billion to about $11 billion in 2009. During 2010, those sales rose to $13 billion, much of it outside the U.S. - but notes that North America is still its biggest market. For 2011, Cummins is predicting it will set new sales records at about $16 billion.

More than 130,000 EPA 2010-certified engines, including more than 62,000 with selective catalytic reduction technology, have been produced and shipped from Cummins manufacturing facilities in Jamestown, N.Y.; Rocky Mount, N.C.; and Columbus, Ind., during 2010.

Going forward, company execs noted, the new greenhouse gas rule expected to be finalized this summer will bring new fuel efficiency and CO2 requirements. In the meantime, on-board diagnostics for current technology will be required for all 2010 products in 2013 (currently they're only required for each company's highest-production engine.) And, Charleton said, "we will see the tightening of those detection threshholds in 2016," noting that there will be some work to be done to meet those.

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