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Eaton, Cummins broaden powertrain collaboration

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Eaton and Cummins have expanded their SmartAdvantage integrated powertrain offerings.

Cummins and Eaton have introduced the ISX12 SmartAdvantage Powertrain.
Cummins and Eaton have introduced the ISX12 SmartAdvantage Powertrain.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Eaton and Cummins have expanded their SmartAdvantage integrated powertrain offerings.

The companies have approved the ISX15 SmartAdvantage – consisting of the Cummins ISX15 engine coupled with the UltraShift Plus automated manual transmission – for applications of up to 110,000 lb GVWR. This should increase interest in the package in Canada.

The companies also expanded the SmartAdvantage package to include the ISX12 engine, offering a lighter-weight option to fleets. And Cummins announced Eaton’s UltraShift Plus is now approved for use with its ISX12 G natural gas engine.

“We are proud to be able to offer North American fleet customers the first automated transmission to be integrated with a spark-ignited natural gas engine, which shows the level of customer commitment our teams are focused on providing,” said John Beering, senior vice-president and general manager, commercial vehicle transmission business, Eaton. “We are confident that our customers will find this powertrain an excellent value compared with other automatic transmission alternatives.”

Eaton and Cummins first announced their integrated powertrain offering at last year’s Technology & Maintenance Council meetings. Since then, 80 fleets have chosen the package and are seeing fuel savings of 3-6%, the companies claim.

“The common feedback has been one of supreme satisfaction,” Beering said at a media update here Sunday. “The real world experience operators are seeing not only validates the expected fuel economy performance we promised the industry a year ago, but in many cases exceeds our expectations.”

Fuel savings are achieved by optimizing the programming of the engine and transmission and by reducing weight. Eaton has taken about 80 lbs out of the transmission by eliminating the oil cooler and using more aluminum parts.

The low-end torque of the ISX15 allows it to spend more time running in the sweet spot, achieving fuel economy that in many cases exceeds that of smaller displacement engines, said Lori Thompson, Cummins vice-president, truck and bus OEM business.

“People think that a 12- or 13-litre engine, because of its size, has better fuel efficiency (than a 15-litre) but that is far from the truth,” she said. “The Cummins 15-litre engine is the most fuel-efficient engine in the market.”

The higher low-end torque produced by the ISX15 allows for the engine to cruise at about 1,150 rpm at highway speeds, contributing to its fuel economy performance.

The ISX12 SmartAdvantage Powertrain will be available in the second half of 2014. The UltraShift Plus 10- and 13-speed transmissions will be permitted with the ISX12 G natural gas engine beginning mid-year 2014.

“The latest SmartAdvantage Powertrain offerings are a natural extension of the initial product, and will provide customers with the fuel economy and productivity improvements they desire, along with a broad range of applications to meet their specific hauling needs,” Thompson said.

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