Cummins’ new truck, ISG diesel platform for China offers a peek at engine advances coming to the U.S.

|  April 09, 2014 |

The Foton Auman GTL is powered by Cummins’ new ISG diesel engine.

The Foton Auman GTL is powered by Cummins’ new ISG diesel engine.

Cummins Engine along with Foton, one of China’s leading heavy truck producers,  introduced a new truck model powered by the new ISG Diesel engine Tuesday.

The Foton Auman GTL truck with ISG power was revealed to international journalists at an event at Cummins World Headquarters in Columbus, IN. The unusual event, in the words of Cummins vice president Dave Crompton, was a sign of the deep relationship between Foton and Cummins and underscored the truly global scope and scale of the truck market—and Cummins’ worldwide operations—today.

And although it will be a long time—if ever—before American fleets can buy a new Auman truck, Cummins officials note that today’s launch is significant in that the new ISG engine will serve as the company’s technological platform for the next generation of North American engines in development now.

The Cummins’ ISG diesel engine was designed and built exclusively for the Chinese market, though some of its innovations could be seen soon in North American engines.

The Cummins’ ISG diesel engine was designed and built exclusively for the Chinese market, though some of its innovations could be seen soon in North American engines.

This is not to say that Americans will be able to soon purchase an ISG engine—as Steve Chapman, vice president of Cummins operations in China and Russia noted, the engine would need significant technological upgrades before it could legally be run in North American.

The Cummins’ ISG diesel engine was designed and built exclusively for the Chinese market, though some of its innovations could be seen soon in North American engines.

But the ISG marks an important turning point in how Cummins will approach developing markets like India, Russia and China. In the past, standard operating procedure for engine manufacturers has been to simply transition production of engines deemed outdated by North America or Western Europe and sell them there.

But now, for the first time, Cummins has developed a clean-sheet engine design specifically for the Chinese market. Moreover, the company intends to sell the engine in other developing nations very soon.

And, as noted, it is a given that at least some of the technological advances found on the new ISG engine will eventually show up on Cummins North American designs—assuming the company does not develop and full-blown NAFTA version of the engine.

Jerl Purcell, director of ISG development for Cummins, said the new engine features 8 distinct design advancements that hold significance for future NAFTA engine designs from the company. The first is a streamlined architecture that cut down on engine components by 50 percent, compared to current Cummins designs, allowing improved reliability and easier maintenance.

A new, fully-integrated engine brake delivers 50 percent more braking horsepower compared to “bleeder” type compression brakes while giving drivers better downhill control. Safety and brake life are also enhanced by the design.
Another addition is a new, XPI high-pressure fuel injection system, which Purcell says has the highest injection pressures of any fuel system available today. It provides multiple injection events per cycle to enhance engine efficiency while increasing performance while decreasing noise.

Additionally, load-based speed control allows efficient operation with lower-rpm shifting to enhance fuel economy while an integrated cooling, lube and air-flow system eliminates system pressure loss and boosts overall engine performance.

A high-power-to-weight ratio gives the engine design higher strength with lower mass and a noise signature similar to engines half the size of the ISG.

Production of the new ISG is an in-line, 6-cylinder engine available in 11- and 12-liter displacements.

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