Monday, 18 April 2016
Cummins and Komatsu forge deeper links
Cummins Inc. of the US and Japan’s Komatsu Ltd. have deepened their connections through a global corporate responsibility partnership to improve communities around the world.
This partnership will build on the companies’ already strong business relations.
Cummins and Komatus began discussing a global corporate responsibility partnership a few years ago when they discovered a shared commitment to education. Both companies have invested in technical education in their communities.
For example, Cummins Technical Education for Communities (“TEC”) program is dedicated to closing the technical skills gap by providing a standardized platform to help education partners develop market-relevant curriculum, teacher training, career guidance and practical work experiences that students need. Komatsu has developed similar global education programs.
Corporate responsibility partnerships leverage employee skills that are valuable to communities as well as strong working relationships that develop through years of business partnership. It can also lead to a transfer of technology of one company to another.
Cummins and Komatsu have worked closely together for decades to provide equipment in mining and construction markets. Cummins and Komatsu are customers, suppliers and joint venture partners to one another. Building on this foundation, corporate responsibility collaboration is a natural next step.
Prior to formalizing this global relationship, Cummins and Komatsu partnered in other community projects. In Australia, Komatsu and Cummins signed a national agreement for TEC collaboration earlier this year and are working on plans for five educational programmes around the country.
In South Africa, Cummins, Komatsu and Schneider Electric plan to launch a TEC program in 2016. In the United States, Komatsu and Cummins, along with other partners including the State of Utah, launched the Diesel Technicians Pathways Program in Salt Lake City.
Cummins is currently detecting a power-size trend in demand from trucking operators that be reflected elsewhere. In early January, Paccar Inc. installed its first production MX-11 engine, a 10.8-litre power unit in a Peterbilt Model 567 for North Dakota-based fleet Knife River, one of the largest aggregate producers and suppliers of concrete and asphalt in the US.
As reported here earlier, the MX-11 is now built at Paccar’s engine manufacturing facility in Columbus, Mississippi, with the MX-13. Both engines originated at Daf in Eindhoven, Holland.
In the US also, Cummins, Navistar, Volvo and Mack offer engines in this range and are seeing increasing demand.
“These engines aren’t new, but the power they deliver is much more than it was, even just a few years ago, said Charlie Cook, marketing manager for vocational products at Paccar’s Peterbilt unit.
“We are able to achieve more horsepower and torque with less displacement,” he said. “We are getting 430 bhp and 1,550 lbft torque from the new MX 11-litre engine, something that a few years ago would have required a much larger engine.”
“More technically, this means several things,” said Mario Sanchez-Lara, director of on-highway marketing communications for Cummins, which makes the 11.9-liter ISX12 model.
Reported in Transport Topics, he said: “Increased power density is the objective, which drives adoption of aggressive compression ratios, increased injection pressures and higher fresh air induction. Similar to what we have seen in passenger cars, truck engines are adopting dual overhead cams, variable timing, high-pressure fuel systems, multistage turbocharging and sophisticated materials like compacted graphite iron (CGI) on the blocks and head castings, the latter making the engines lighter.”
However, given that, Cummins is still a relative newcomer to the use of CGI in diesel engines.
The increasing sophistication of engine control software is helping. Mack Trucks offers the 11-liter MP7 with 325 to 405 bhp and torque ratings from 1,200 to 1,560 lbft, which maintains what Stu Russoli, highway and powertrain products marketing manager, calls “good efficiency numbers.”
All of which will not be lost on Cummins’ partner, Komatsu Ltd.