Jim Fier discusses the movement of EPA emissions regs from particulate matter and NOx to greenhouse gases and fuel economy. Photo by Evan Lockridge

Jim Fier discusses the movement of EPA emissions regs from particulate matter and NOx to greenhouse gases and fuel economy. Photo by Evan Lockridge

LOUISVILLE, KY -- Under the theme of "redefining efficiency," Cummins Tuesday night announced fuel-saving enhancements to the 2015 ISX15 big-bore diesel and a peek at the 2017 ISX15, which will feature a lighter and smaller aftertreatment system along with a more efficient turbocharger and reduced parasitic loss.

Srikanth Padmanabhan, vice president of Cummins engine business, explained that while the previous decade of its on-highway business was focused on the environment and emissions, over the next several years it's all about efficiency.

And redefining efficiency, he said, is not just for new products, but also for the many Cummins engines already in use.

Jim Fier, vice president of engineering for Cummins' heavy/medium/light-duty engine business, noted that the new focus in federal emissions regulations is greenhouse gases and fuel economy. Customers, he said, "are more receptive to that technology" than they were to the numerous rounds of particulate matter and NOx reductions, "and sometimes are in the pull mode."

As a result, he said, instead of engine design being a process of coming out with a new emissions-level engine every three years, "it's something we're doing continually."

That approach was evident in the announcements made to trucking reporters Tuesday ahead of the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky.

2015 ISX15

One key part of Cummins' fuel economy enhancements is the new Adept technology for the ISX15, a suite of electronic engine features Cummins says offers up to a 3% improvement in fuel economy initially for customers operating with automated manual transmissions.

Adept uses load-, speed- and grade-sensing technology to make adjustments to speed, power and transmission gear to take advantage of vehicle momentum for better fuel economy.

The first package of Adept includes two features: SmartCoast and SmartTorque2 (ST2). SmartCoast operates when the vehicle is coasting downhill by disengaging the driveline and returning the engine to idle to reduce drag, conserve vehicle momentum and, ultimately, improve fuel economy.

ST2 uses the same torque management intelligence first introduced on the SmartAdvantage Powertrain to help eliminate unnecessary downshifts and keep the engine operating in the most fuel-efficient “sweet spot.”

The first Adept package will be available in summer 2015, and customers will be able to upgrade as future packages are released. Additional features will be announced soon.

The 2015 ISX15 also now features NanoNet media lube filtration for better protection and filter life. Also, Cummins has extended the Diesel Particulate Filter cleaning interval to 400,000 miles for line-haul applications that average greater than 5.5 mpg.

2017 ISX15

The 2017 Cummins ISX15. Photo courtesy Cummins

The 2017 Cummins ISX15. Photo courtesy Cummins

The 2017 ISX15, with a horsepower range from 400 hp to 605 hp, will feature integrated Adept technology.

There will be two distinct packages, one optimized for customers seeking maximum fuel economy and the other for premium- and high- performance-oriented fleets.

Design updates to the ISX15 for 2017 include a more responsive and efficient turbocharger, further optimization for downspeeding, integrated Adept technology and continued reduction in parasitic loss.

Some of the reduction in parasitic loads include less friction in the rings, some auxiliary lube and cooling system improvements that reduce pressure drop, Fier explained.

Cummins officials said they also "will continue to push the envelope on extending maintenance intervals" on the 2017 ISX15. The technology will be tested in nearly 9 million miles of real-world experience – the most testing of any product launch to date, according to the company. This is the equivalent of making 4,000 trips coast-to-coast.

Another key feature of the 2017 ISX15 engine system is the new Single Module aftertreatment system from Cummins Emission Solutions. This new aftertreatment system for 2017 offers up to 60% reduction in size and space needs and weighs up to 40% less and is more efficient, thanks to advancements in catalyst technologies and urea dosing solutions.

Redefining Tour

Cummins will take these new and improved technologies on the road this summer with the Cummins Redefining Tour, featuring a fleet of Cummins ISX15-powered heavy-duty trucks.

During the tour, customers will have an opportunity to learn about current and future products and technologies, including Adept technology; Connected Diagnostics, the first application in the suite of Cummins Connected Solutions; real 2017 prototype engines powering the truck fleet, as well as engine system displays representing the product lineup for the North American truck market. More information is available at www.cumminstour.com.