Head out on the highway with Cummins

Kelly Dawson
November 13, 2017
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Engines are an integral part of our daily lives, but the average person doesn’t give them much attention.

But take a look around: engines are everywhere. From transportation to daily conversation — like “Cool your engines” or “Get your engines running” — these industrial mainstays have helped define modern society. And their impressive ubiquity is reason enough to give them a little more consideration.

Cummins, a diesel and alternative fuel company based in Indiana, has been at the forefront of engine production for almost a century. In fact, its first spark of success is as much a fun fact as it is a good omen: Founder Clessie Lyle Cummins was a mechanic who gave a race car driver some advice, and those tips ended up making that driver the first winner of the Indianapolis 500.

But what sets Cummins apart hasn’t simply been its ability to continually produce cutting-edge, powerful engines. It’s also a company that has taken great interest in improving its surrounding community, and the wider world in response to its stake in global warming.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your…

As the world’s largest independent diesel manufacturer, Cummins covers quite an impressive gamut of supplies and processes. The company is separated into four segments, each of which has a distinct responsibility to provide products — whether the engines themselves or their parts — that are fast, reliable, and clean. Near-zero natural gas, clean diesel, and hybrid products have put Cummins on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America since 2006.

As a company that’s present in almost 200 countries, Cummins operates with the integrity of a brand that knows its name carries a two-fold weight. One, that its products are internationally recognized, and two, that they impact the everyday needs of ordinary consumers. Cummins’s four groupings are the engine segment, power systems segment, components segment, and distribution segment.

Engine segment

This is the segment that is most prevalent in your everyday life. It covers all on- and off-highway engines, whether they run on diesel or natural gas. So, small and large trucks on the highway, equipment used on farms and in households, and even boats skipping across the water can all be powered by Cummins engines. Cummins’s collection of on-highway engines feature power and torque options that prioritize fuel economy, too, so everyone from a commercial van driver to a motorhome owner is getting where they want to go as efficiently as possible. And in case those drivers need a new or remanufactured part or engine, this is the segment that covers it, too.

Power systems segment

Other than providing high-speed, high-horsepower engines, because obviously that needs to be a thing, the Power Systems Segment is also responsible for supplying a reliable plan B for power in the form of generators. These generators are manufactured and assembled by the company with the highest quality assurance so that a wide-range of settings — including homes, hospitals, commercial enterprises, data centers, and more — can have ongoing and alternate power sources at all times.

Components segment

The Components Segment of the company is further broken down into four areas: filtration, turbo technologies, emission solutions, and electronics and fuel systems. The filtration category oversees the full creation cycle of heavy-duty filtrations (such as air or fuel), as well as the chemical and exhaust systems of its engines. The second category notes all turbochargers for diesel engines over three liters and their associated products, and the third category takes care of the processes to meet global emissions standards. Lastly, the fourth category maximizes the efficiency of engines with a continued focus on performance and low emissions.

Distribution segment

Cummins has the largest network of certified service and support locations in its field — we’re talking 6,000 dealer locations and 600 distributor locations — and this segment ensures that the management of Cummins’s worldwide strategy is in order. From outfitting local stores with a full line of products ensuring that customers can get the repairs or parts they need throughout the world, this is the part of the company that makes sure its service is as reliable as its products.

Keep it clean

When a company’s impact is as vast as Cummins’s, it’s good to know that its production is rooted in environmentally-conscious procedures. Each product is specifically designed to have the smallest carbon footprint possible, and during production and packaging, teams use the least amount of materials (including water) that they can while still maintaining quality. By 2020, Cummins hopes to cut its CO2 emissions by about 16 million metric tons by partnering with customers to improve their engines’ fuel efficiency. The company estimates that this will save customers $6.3 billion by the end of that year.

But the need to make more efficient engines extends to all types of transportation: from freight trains, to 18-wheelers, to buses. Its electrified power technology for transit buses can achieve zero emissions in battery-only mode of up to more than 200 miles on a single charge for the BEV system (full battery electric vehicle) and 84 miles for the REEV system (range-extended electric vehicle). The battery’s design is compatible with existing buses, meaning that it won’t disrupt current routes.

As a company that has integrated environmental best practices into its standard goal for efficiency — even committing to making its headquarters and employees participate in these measures — Cummins has distinguished itself as a leader of the past, present, and future evolution of engines. Although its products are ubiquitous its high standards are not, making an investment in this company the type that wouldn’t run on empty.

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