In a tour of the Columbus Technical Centre, Diesel News’ US correspondent, Steve Sturgess saw Cummins present the latest in engine technology, saying that for many markets diesel engines will be the best solution for decades to come. The latest products are claimed to be the most commonly used power on American roads today. New versions of the X15 and lightweight X12 engines were introduced in early 2017 and are engineered for optimal performance and power, while offering class-leading fuel economy from advanced air handling and fuel system controls.
Both engines utilise the compact Single Module After treatment, which offers longer maintenance intervals for the lowest cost of ownership, says Cummins. The company’s work in diesel innovation doesn’t end there – the next heavy-duty engine for 2021 was also on display in prototype form. It features a new block and head, without the ‘boxy’ top end, and the very heavy camshaft and drive that distinguished the 20-year-old Signature, ISX and current X15 is finally dispensed with for this upcoming X15.
The engineers present said the 2021 X15 affirms the company’s commitment to providing the most effective power solution for Class 8 line-haul trucks. And, with the recent formation of Eaton Cummins Automated Transmission Technologies, customers can count on Cummins to provide market-leading innovation for integrated powertrain technologies.
Alternative Fuels and Power Solutions
The tour included research and development projects including a high-efficiency, spark-ignited technology that can deliver diesel-like performance and durability across a range of liquid fuels, such ethanol, methanol, and gasoline – meeting the most stringent emissions requirements. Cummins said it continues to investigate the viability of alternatives like bio-fuels, synthetic fuels and hydrogen, and it has also invested in exploratory projects focused on proton exchange membrane and solid oxide fuel cell technologies.
Cummins has been the leader in the US in providing natural gas engines as one of its sustainable and readily available power options. The company revealed its latest Near-Zero natural gas engines during the event, noting that end-users will find its Near-Zero natural gas engines to be an equivalent performance option to diesel and, like the latest clean-diesel, have little to no emissions for customers looking to minimise their emissions footprint. Working toward a Class 8 integration, these engines offer adaptability with Agility’s Blue-IQ fuel-delivery technology for full connectivity.
President of Cummins’ Engine Business, Padmanabhan, said that the introduction of different powertrain technologies will depend on customer demand, application and market conditions. But whatever, Cummins is determined to be the powertrain supplier of choice.