Cummins shows it remains very much in touch with future technologies. 

The development of vertical integration programmes by the different truck makers to invest only in their own in-house powertrain development programmes could have been interpreted initially as a disaster for aftermarket or alternative option suppliers.

Buyers still prefer choice, and where in-house OEM manufacturers have selected specific driveline combinations for mass production, it has left areas for personal selection enabling companies such as Cummins to step forwards to provide alternative options.

The success of the joint venture between Eaton and Cummins to develop the X12 +Endurant powertrain from its Integrated Power portfolio has now expanded to include its availability for customers in regional-haul applications. In this capacity it delivers the lightest solution to this market with industry-leading maintenance intervals.

The first manufacturer to endorse this option is Freightliner, with this lightweight powertrain from Cummins now selectable in the new Cascadia 116” BBC day-cab.

This is a new market for the X12 engine, which has exclusively been available only in vocational and refuse trucks.

“The X12+Endurant powertrain’s lightweight, yet durable design allows customers to maximise their payload for each and every job,” said Amy Boerger, vice president of  Engine Business Sales for Cummins.

“We wanted to create the optimal powertrain solution for customers with weight-sensitive applications, and we are confident this is it.”

At just over 1225 kg, the X12 paired with the Eaton Cummins Endurant transmission is expected to be to be the lightest powertrain available for the Class 8 on-highway market. It is a perfect match for weight-sensitive markets like bulk and regional-haul applications.

Driver-friendly features from the Endurant transmission – such as smooth shifting and quiet engine performance – contribute to a comfortable in-cab environment, while Optimized Urge to Move and Creep Mode make manoeuvring in low-speed environments easier.

Industry endorsements for the X12 + Endurant combination have already come from customers such as Penske Truck Leasing senior vice president of procurement and fleet planning, Paul Rosa.

“This new offering makes for a great weight-conscious solution and will be a nice option for our customers,” said Paul.

The new X12 application also comes with the news of expanded maintenance intervals for the platform. Customers can benefit from oil-drain intervals of up to 120,000 km, and those that participate in Cummins OilGuard program may see extensions of up to 160,000 km.  Together with the Endurant, which offers a 1.2 million kilometre lube change interval and a maintenance-free clutch, you’ve got a powertrain with the industry’s best maintenance intervals.

The 116” BBC day-cab Cascadia with the Cummins X12 and Eaton Cummins Endurant begins production mid-2020. The Freightliner Cascadia is also available with the Cummins X15 Efficiency series engine and the Eaton Cummins Endurant in the 126” BBC day-cab and sleeper models.

While at the NACV Show, PowerTorque caught up with Jennifer Rumsey. Previously the chief technical officer for Cummins’ Global engineering and product development with the on and off-highway market, Jennifer is now vice president of Cummins’ Components Business. In this new capacity, she is responsible for turbocharger, filtration, fuel systems and electronics development, plus the Eaton joint venture for Cummins engines and Eaton Transmissions.

“Having launched the Endurant we’ve seen the market develop and the success here (in the US) continue and are looking at ways to continue that success,” said Jennifer.

“As an addition to the 12-speed Endurant, we shall also be launching the 18-speed version of the Endurant available in 2021 to cater for areas not yet available with the X15.

“The hydrogen side of vehicle development will be pretty limited in terms of adoption within a five-year timeframe.  There are certain areas (where it will move forwards) such where we have customers today as China. It’s dependent on where they have incentives and where we are already selling our fuel-cell production today. California’s zero-emissions mandates have driven some adoption, but this is really about investment for the future.

“For the battery-electric vehicle development, it’s around duty cycle, range, power and environment. They need incentives or a mandate to drive adoption of electrification to counter the cost weight trade-off of a battery,” added Jennifer.

The fuel-cell powered prime mover on display at the Cummins stand at NACV was actually a hybrid-drive vehicle, incorporating a 90 kW fuel cell and a 100 kW/h battery system.

“This is a ‘series’ system that uses both systems together to generate the power requirements. We are working on developing the building blocks to support how you want to use these systems. If you want longer range, the fuel cell is a more attractive long-term solution. For shorter range the battery alternative is attractive,” said Jennifer.

“In turbos we are continuing to invest in improving efficiency, which translates to improved economy. We are looking at advanced thermo management and what you do in the turbo itself. In the US we continue to focus on optimising NOx emissions.

“Australia is not the only place where emissions requirements are not clear, and it is certainly challenging for the business about when we need to have products ready for introduction. In relation to regulatory changes we have launched Euro6 in Europe, to be followed shortly by China then India.

“I believe climate change is real, and one of our missions for many years at Cummins is to ensure everything we do leads to a cleaner, healthier environment. That is why we are investing and working with governments around the world to find regulations that can assist implementation,” Jennifer added.

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