Darlington, UK (March 19, 2007) - – Across Europe rail operators are being faced with much more stringent engine emissions standards. Only those companies ready to meet these challenges with the latest low-emission technologies will have the ability to provide the best all round package for rail equipment.

To assist rail companies – both operators and manufacturers – achieve the new standards Cummins, the largest independent diesel engine maker in the world, has developed four technological approaches:

  • Electronic controls
  • Fuel systems
  • Advanced combustion
  • High-durability Ferrous Cast Ductile (FCD) Pistons

Electronic Controls

The electronic control of engine systems is a critical element in meeting emissions standards. More stringent emissions regulations require very precise control of the engine's fuel, air-handling and aftertreatment systems. Environmental factors also need to be monitored to ensure that both engine power and emissions levels remain as specified.

Cummins Tier 2 and Tier 3/ Stage IIIA compliant engines feature control modules (ECM) that deliver higher speed processing. Complementing this enhancement are improved sensors that measure engine performance more quickly and accurately.

Fuel Systems

Fuel systems are a critical element in emissions reduction. There are many injection characteristics that must be balanced and tuned with all other critical engine subsystems (base engine, air-handling, aftertreatment and controls). Clearly, electronic fuel systems are standard on most Tier 3/Stage IIIA solutions and will be required for Tier4/Stage IV.

One such electronic fuel system is the Modular Common Rail Fuel System (MCRS). The Cummins MCRS provides improvements in idle stability, cold-start, and response to transient load changes whilst maintaining power densities comparable to Tier 1 products. New solenoid-controlled, electronically-actuated injectors ensure precise delivery of fuel at 16,000 bar (23,000 lbf/in2), providing fast engine response with multiple injection capability.

Cummins MCRS is the key enabler for maintaining or improving ratings without the need for increased displacement on all Cummins Tier 2 and Stage IIIA products.

Advanced Combustion

Critical elements of base engine design to optimize combustion involve the power cylinder, air-handling, fuel and control systems. Cummins has made a large investment in the development of advanced combustion systems that reduce engine-out emissions at the source- inside the combustion chamber. The combustion system design process uses detailed computer simulation of the combustion process, allowing engineers to study the effects of changes to fuel injection system parameters and combustion chamber geometry.

This advanced design process accelerates the development process and has allowed Cummins to attain low engine-out NOx and particulates.

High-durability Ferrous Cast Ductile (FCD) Pistons

Tier 2 and Stage IIIA Cummins compliant rail diesel engines are equipped with ductile, cast-iron FCD pistons for proven durability. Stronger than aluminium, especially when operating at higher cylinder temperatures, FCD pistons help deliver optimum power output. This design virtually eliminates any risk of power cylinder failure before engine overhaul, together with the benefit of very low oil consumption.

Cummins Inc. is the world's largest independent manufacturer of diesel engines. With over 30,000 employees, Cummins reported sales of $11.36 billion in 2006 and produced over 833,000 engines. Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana, (USA) Cummins serves customers in more than 160 countries through its network of 550 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 5,000 dealer locations. A substantial manufacturing presence in Europe includes the mid-range engine plant at Darlington UK and the high horsepower engine plant at Daventry, UK.