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Eaton and Cummins Westport launch first automated transmission/natural gas engine package for N.A. Market; expanding SmartAdvantage diesel packages

ISXG12 G paired with UltraShift PLUS. Click to enlarge.

Eaton and Cummins Westport, a joint-venture company of Cummins Inc. and Westport Innovations (NASDAQ: WPRT/TSX: WPT), are introducing an integrated powertrain package for the Cummins Westport ISX12 G natural gas engine that will provide customers with the first automated transmission to be paired with a spark-ignited natural gas engine in the North American market. The powertrain will combine an Eaton UltraShift PLUS automated transmission with the Cummins Westport ISX12 G engine.

Eaton and Cummins also announced that their popular SmartAdvantage Powertrain package is being expanded to include applications for the ISX12 diesel engine and ISX15 SmartAdvantage applications up to 110,000 lb gross vehicle weight (GVW). The product initially integrated an Eaton Fuller Advantage Series Automated Transmission with the Cummins ISX15 engine.

Speaking at a media event at the American Trucking Associations’ annual Technology & Maintenance Council meeting, company executives said both announcements reflect is a continuation of the long-standing collaboration between Eaton and Cummins.

Natural gas package. The UltraShift PLUS automated transmission offers maximum power capacity, superior acceleration and low-speed maneuverability. Paired with the ISX12 G, the new powertrain package will be available for limited application release for linehaul and regional haul in mid-2014.

The Cummins Westport ISX12 G natural gas engine with heavy-duty durability is based on the Cummins ISX12 diesel engine, and operates on 100% natural gas, which can be carried on the vehicle in either compressed (CNG) or liquefied (LNG) form. Suited for regional haul applications, the ISX12 G has a robust power band at 1500-1800 rpm, and delivers excellent responsiveness, with peak torque at 1200 rpm.

The ISX12 G features the same stoichiometric cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (SEGR) combustion technology, spark ignition and simple Three-Way Catalyst (TWC) aftertreatment as the Cummins Westport ISL G engine.

The heavy-duty natural gas engine is available with horsepower of 320 hp to 400 hp (239-298 kW) with 1450 lb-ft (1966 N·m) peak torque.

The powertrain package benefits include:

  • Intelligent shift selection software for performance and efficiency improvements;

  • Better launch and shift decisions through grade sensing, weight computation and driver throttle commands;

  • Hill Start Aid, which prevents rollbacks when engaged, reduces risk and simplifies operations for even the most inexperienced drivers; and

  • Tailored shift logic enables efficient operation and enhances braking performance.

The Cummins Westport ISX12 G engine can now be paired with either the UltraShift PLUS automated transmission or the Eaton Fuller Advantage Series manual transmission.

SmartAdvantage ISX12. Click to enlarge.

SmartAdvantage ISX12. Designed to meet the increasing demands of fleets seeking lighter-weight vehicles, the new SmartAdvantage offering will pair the Eaton Fuller Advantage Series 10-speed Automated Manual Transmission with the Cummins ISX12 diesel engine.

It will be offered as a small-ratio-step overdrive model with two new Cummins ISX12 SmartTorque2 (ST2) ratings: the ISX12 370ST2, with torque of 1150 lb-ft to 1450 lb-ft (1559-1966 N·m), and the ISX12 425ST2, with torque of 1350 lb-ft to 1650 lb-ft (1830-2237 N·m). Through a combination of hardware and software enhancements, the powertrain package benefits include:

  • Integrated power, fuel and shifting strategies to provide an estimated 2% to 4% fuel economy improvement for regional haul applications; and

  • Optimized engine and transmission communications and new control logic, enabling 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.

Eaton’s Fuller Advantage Series transmissions have lower overall package weight and improved reliability due to the elimination of the cooler. Combined with the use of aluminum for the rear transmission housing, range cylinder, shift bar housing and the shift tower—and a thin-wall cast-iron main case design—the new transmission weighs 82 pounds (37 kg) less than Eaton’s UltraShift PLUS LAS base model. A new Precision Lubrication system for precise and efficient transmission lubrication further enhances fuel economy by reducing churning losses.

The new engine and transmission combination has been designed specifically to work smarter to maximize fuel economy benefits. Cummins new ISX12 ST2 ratings are the next generation of today’s SmartTorque ratings, and precisely manage the power needed for the load demand. Vehicle Acceleration Management (VAM) is a patented Cummins electronic feature that manages vehicle acceleration for smoother shifting. The feature contributes to fuel economy benefits in stop-and-go duty cycles found in regional haul applications.

This newest SmartAdvantage powertrain package will be available in the fall of 2014, and is currently undergoing field testing, with initial test results confirming the 2-4% fuel economy improvement, depending on duty cycle and application.

Eaton and Cummins continue to collaborate on expanded offerings to cover more market segments, including the ISX15 SmartAdvantage in operations over 110,000 lb GVW for customers seeking to maximize driver comfort and productivity in their operation. The joint validation of the products is being conducted with planned release later in 2014.



Is 2% to 4% fuel saving enough to promote sales?

Can it be downsized for cars, or is it worth it?

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