Cummins’ newest diesel engine line was introduced to the local employees who helped create it in rock-style fashion, broadcast worldwide on the web from downtown Columbus.

Introduced with the sounds of revving engines and John Mellencamp’s “R.O.C.K. in the USA,” Cummins executives invited their employees to a big party Thursday to celebrate the launch of the company’s 2017 X12 and X15 series of engines, part of the company’s 2017 product line.

Later in the afternoon, Columbus residents were invited to stop in to see what Cummins employees have been up to technologically to create the new product line, with a variety of vehicles powered by the company’s engines parked in a long line along Jackson Street near the Corporate Office Building.

Cummins employees filled seats in front of a large stage in front of the headquarters building with a Cummins semi in the background. Hundreds more stood behind the seating area to hear a welcome and words of congratulation from new Engine Business President Srikanth Padmanabhan, Components Business President Tracy Embree and Chief Technical Officer Jennifer Rumsey.

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The three arrived in Rumsey’s Nissan Titan truck, powered by a Cummins engine, and she graciously lifted the hood and left the vehicle near the stage for those who wanted to see the engine up-close.

Brett Merritt, executive director for on-highway business for Cummins, opened the celebration by saying “Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines,” following it up with a caveat that he had always wanted to say that.

Company officials decided the engine roll-out, which has always had large-scale promotional events for customers and at conventions, should also be presented to Cummins employees who worked to create the engines, something that hasn’t always happened often on such a large scale before. The event was webcast to Cummins employees around the globe so they could all share in the moment, Merritt said.

Cummins employees received gray T-shirts carrying a slogan, “I am Powering What’s Next,” and received lunch, in addition to being allowed to look over and touch the newest Cummins engines. The X12 and X15 models are going to be made in Cummins’ Jamestown, New York engine plant.

Employees, their families and the general public could tour the lineup of vehicles powered by Cummins engines and visit the Redefining Tour show trucks, as well as a view a special indoor display of the new engines and their path to development.

In a nod to Pokemon Go, Cummins created Cummins Go, where Cummins employees could compete to find various symbols to win prizes. Merritt tossed out a variety of Cummins swag items as employees answered trivia questions about the company.

Jim Nebergall, program director for the X15 engine launch, said the event was a chance for family members of Cummins employees to see up close what employees create and how the engines are used in the market.

Some employees were showing their children and spouse a specific engine part they worked to develop. Anyone could touch the engines and ask questions about them.

Andy Prowant, Columbus, and Aparna Radhakrishnan, Greenwood, both Cummins employees, were looking into the cab and engine compartment of a black Ram truck in the lineup of Cummin-powered vehicles.

“This is pretty cool. We built that engine,” Radhakrishnan said. “This is the first time I’m seeing it.”

Shawn Hoefner, Columbus, who works in Cummins high horsepower emissions, was showing his wife, Alexandra, and children, Delilah, 4, and Melody, 1, the vehicles on display, which included everything from a large semi to a firetruck, all powered by Cummins engines.

“Just driving around, you don’t get to look at them like this,” he said.

Cummins employees were stationed at each vehicle to answer questions about the types of engines and why a certain engine is used in a certain type of vehicle.

Kody Letterle was standing in front of a fire engine with the cab lifted off, revealing a Cummins engine designed specifically for emergency vehicles.

Columbus Fire Department has Cummins diesel engines, the department confirmed.

A little further down the vehicle line, Jack Duffy, 3, San Diego, California, was at the wheel of a Cummins-powered semi as his mother Mandy watched from the ground. The Duffy family was in Columbus visiting family and stopped in to see the large vehicles along Jackson Street.

“He’s been looking forward to this all day,” his mother said, adding that it might be difficult to get him out of the semi cab’s driver’s seat. “These are things they never see at home.”

About Cummins

Cummins Inc.

Founded: 1919

2015 revenues: $19.1 billion

2015 Fortune 500 rank: 154

2015 net income: $1.4 billion

Employees: 55,000 worldwide

Global headquarters: 500 Jackson St.

Cummins designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel engines and related technology around the world. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in more than 190 countries and territories.

Source: Cummins Inc.

About the new engine line

Cummins Inc. has launched three new X Series engines to meet new greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards being implemented in 2017.

The X series has three heavy-duty engine platforms, with two versions of the X15 being offered next year, followed by the X12 version in full production by 2018, company officials said.

The X15 Performance Series version is configured for heavy-haul and vocational trucks with a 485- to 605-hp ratings range, the company said. Another version, the X15 Efficiency Series, is tailored for line-haul and regional haul applications with a 400- to 500-hp range.

In addition to dropping the “IS” from the name, the new X15 engines incorporate trademarked features called ADEPT, SmartCoast and Predictive Cruise Control functions, to gain a further 3 percent fuel economy improvement.

The X12 medium bore engine has a 350- to 475-hp range for regional-haul, intra-city delivery and vocational trucks, the company said. It is designed to meet the productivity and performance needs of the North American Class 8 truck market, consisting of commercial tractor-trailer rigs in the highest weight class — more than 33,000 pounds.

Source: Cummins Inc.

Cummins business units

Cummins Inc. has four business units.

  • Cummins Engine Business: Manufactures and markets diesel and natural gas-powered engines for on-highway and off-highway use. Its markets include heavy- and medium-duty truck, bus, recreational vehicle, light-duty automotive and a number of industrial uses including agricultural, construction, mining, marine, oil and gas and military equipment.
  • Cummins Power Systems: Provides high-speed, high-horsepower engines and power generation equipment, including standby and prime power generation sets, alternators, switchgear and other components.
  • The Components Business segment consists of four units: Cummins Filtration, Cummins Turbo Technologies, Cummins Emission Solutions and Cummins Fuel Systems. Cummins Filtration designs, manufactures and distributes heavy-duty air, fuel, hydraulic and lube filtration, chemicals and exhaust system technology products for diesel- and gas-powered equipment. Cummins Turbo Technologies designs and manufactures turbochargers and related products, on a global scale, for diesel engines above 3 liters. Cummins Emission Solutions is a global leader in designing, manufacturing and integrating exhaust aftertreatment technology and solutions for the commercial on- and off-highway light-duty, medium-duty, heavy-duty and high-horsepower engine markets. Cummins Fuel Systems designs, develops and manufactures new fuel systems and remanufactures electronic control modules in the United States.
  • Cummins Distribution Business consists of 17 company-owned distributors and 10 joint ventures, covering 90 countries and territories through 233 locations. Through this network, trained personnel sell and distribute Cummins-branded products, related services and broader solutions such as maintenance contracts, engineering services and customized integrated products.
Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.