Cummins, Eaton forge powertrain package

March 11, 2013
Two ISX ratings coupled to new Advantage automated gearbox

NASHVILLE, TN. Cummins and Eaton have jointly developed a new powertrain package that the manufacturers said will deliver 3% to 6% better fuel economy compared to existing engine-transmission combinations. The manufacturers said the package will also lower PM costs and provide “total lifecycle cost improvements.”

The package combines the Eaton Fuller Advantage Series automated transmission—which debuted last month—with two specific ratings of the new Cummins ISX15 SmartTorque2 engine. The combo will be available starting this fall for linehaul, regional-haul and LTL truck applications.

The package specifically consists of the Eaton Fuller Advantage Series automated transmission offered as a small ratio step overdrive model and these two Cummins ISX15 SmartTorque2 ratings: the ISX15 415 ST2, with torque of 1,450 lbs.-ft. to 1650 lbs.-ft., and the ISX15 450 ST2, with torque of 1,550 lbs.-ft. to 1,750 lbs.-ft.

Speaking at a news conference here ahead of the Technology & Maintenance Council ‘s meeting, executives from both companies said the package result from a “long-standing collaboration” between Eaton and Cummins.

“Cummins and Eaton have had an extensive technical and business relationship over the years, in which we have collaborated on powertrain solutions for the North American on-highway markets that we serve,” said Lori Thompson, Cummins vice president-truck & bus OEM business. “This latest chapter in our partnership combines some of the best technologies from both companies, and makes them smarter, delivering the level of fuel economy improvements that our customers have come to expect.”

“The collaboration between the Eaton and Cummins teams has resulted in a superior powertrain package with which both fleet owners and professional drivers will be thrilled,” said Tim Sinden, president—North American Truck Operations for Eaton’s Vehicle Group. “The level of integration between this transmission and engine is best in class in the North American heavy-duty truck market.”
The manufacturers said that via a “combination of hardware and software enhancements,” the powertrain package’s benefits include:

  • Integrated power, fuel and shifting strategies to provide a 3-6% fuel economy improvement for linehaul and regional-haul applications.
  • Optimized engine and transmission communications and new control logic that enable further engine downspeeding in the overdrive position and the “effective use of direct drive technology in operational conditions required for a blend of perfect efficiency.”

According to Eaton, a key feature of the Advantage Series transmission is the elimination of the cooler, as it helps reduce the overall package weight and improve reliability. Combined with the use of aluminum for the rear transmission housing, range cylinder, shift bar housing and the shift tower along with a thin wall, cast iron main case design, the new transmission weighs 75 lbs. less than Eaton’s UltraShift PLUS LAS base automated model. In addition, a new precision system for transmission lubrication further enhances fuel economy by reducing churning losses.

The manufacturers stated that the new combo has been “designed specifically to work smarter to maximize fuel economy benefits”. Cummins said its ISX15 SmartTorque2 ratings are “next generation” and precisely manage the power needed for the load demand. The Vehicle Acceleration Management is a patented Cummins electronic feature that the company said manages vehicle acceleration for smoother shifting and so contributes to fuel economy benefits in stop-and-go duty cycles found in regional haul applications.

The powertrain package is currently undergoing field-testing with various sized fleets, and initial testing and customer validation results are confirming the 3% to 6% fuel economy improvement, according to Cummins and Eaton.

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