LOUISVILLE, KY. Cummins Inc. executives discussed the engine maker’s latest fuel-efficiency improvements as well a new heavy-duty engine rating and the rollout of Connected Diagnostics— a “telematics-assisted application”-- here Tuesday evening ahead of the Mid-America Trucking Show.

According to Cummins, taken together the announcements “confirm its commitment to customers in the heavy-duty truck market.”

Fuel efficiency

First off, Jeff Jones, vice president-- North American Engine Business, advised that numerous improvements made since 2010 to the manufacturer’s “flagship” big-bore engine— the ISX15— provide up to 7% better fuel efficiency. He added that for customers now “moving from a pre-2010 engine could experience up to 10% improvement.”

Jones said this “significant gain in fuel economy” resulted from changes made over the past three years to optimize combustion; reduce parasitic loads; enhance low-end torque (to support down-speeding) and optimize the use of Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) as well as the addition of a naturally aspirated air compressor.

He also noted that ISX15 SmartTorque2 (ST2) ratings are available with the SmartAdvantage powertrain, jointly developed by Cummins and Eaton, which he said delivers an additional 3% to 6% fuel-economy improvement.

Per Cummins, SmartAdvantage integrates the Eaton Fuller Advantage Series automated manual transmission with Cummins ST2 ratings “to operate the engine in the fuel-economy ‘sweet spot’ and deliver excellent low-end torque and precise shifting to help every driver perform like the best driver in the fleet.”

Jones said that for the most fuel-conscious fleets, the ISX15 is available with ratings of 400 hp to 450 hp, which deliver peak torque at 1000 rpm. He added that these ratings can be tailored with electronic features such as Load-Based Speed Control (LBSC), Gear-Down Protection (GDP) and Vehicle Acceleration Management (VAM) to maximize fuel economy and reduce overall operating costs.

New rating

Cummins announced a new 560-hp rating for the ISX15 aimed at trucks that operate with heavy loads or over routes with steep grades “where pulling power and effective engine braking are critical.”

Jones said the ISX15 rating with 560 hp and 1850 lb-ft of peak torque “provides excellent prolonged low-end torque, delivering peak power sooner and over a wider rpm range.”

Telematics app

Cummins also revealed the development of Connected Diagnostics, described as “a new application being designed to work seamlessly with leading telematics systems.”

According to Jones, the Connected Diagnostics app “will provide customers with expert recommendations for the best action to take when a driver is alerted to an engine system fault. It is the first of several telematics-assisted applications that Cummins is developing.  

“Cummins is excited to announce Connected Diagnostics as part of its larger initiative to integrate our engine expertise with existing telematics,” he continued.

“Within moments of a fault code being presented, Cummins will be able to analyze fault information, identify the most likely root cause and provide a recommended action for the customer,” Jones explained.

“In conjunction with the breadth and capability of the Cummins-authorized service network, our ability to understand issues immediately allows us to provide the right level of support at the right time for our customers,” he added. 

Jones said Connected Diagnostics will be in limited production later this year and that full production release is slated for 2015.

Ram anniversary

In addition, Cummins said it is commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the availability of its Turbo Diesel engine in the Ram Heavy Duty Truck lineup by releasing an upfit package for model-year 2014 heavy-duty pickups.

Per Cummins, via this special package, 2014 Ram Heavy Duty pickup owners will be able to “transform their truck into a unique 25th-Anniversary truck with custom badges, floor mats, Katzkin leather interior and a Cummins red breather cover under the hood.”