Ten years in the making, Cummins Emission Solutions is demonstrating that a company can be green and profitable at the same time.
Sales for the exhaust after-treatment maker have gone from nothing in 2002 to $1.2 billion in 2011 while Cummins Emission Solutions’ workforce has grown from just 11 employees to more than 1,400 today.
“This is all about green jobs,” says Srikanth Padmanabhan, Vice President and General Manager of Cummins Emission Solutions. “We’re trying to clean the environment.”
Early on, the emphasis at the business unit was on noise reduction and eliminating the clatter associated with diesel engines. Governments around the world, however, began clamping down on the amount of pollution engines were allowed to emit.
Cummins leaders decided to embrace that trend rather than fight it, figuring the Company’s technological leadership could be a competitive advantage.
Cummins Emission Solutions began to take off and with tougher emissions standards scheduled to take effect in the coming years in countries like China, India and Russia, the business unit’s sales are only expected to grow.
Padmanabhan says attracting a highly skilled workforce is now his chief concern. Ten years ago, a Cummins engineer could simply add a filter to make an exhaust system compliant. To meet today’s more stringent regulations, multiple devices are necessary to reduce emissions while providing engine operators the power they need to succeed.
Given that emissions processes can take years to fully develop, there is always something cooking, or cooling as the case may be, at Cummins Emission Solutions.
As part of the testing process, components are exposed to all types of temperatures, either outside in various extreme-weather locations or inside labs where temperatures can dip to a chilly 20 below zero Fahrenheit.
It’s this type of rigorous testing that has allowed Cummins Emission Solutions to bridge the gap between green and diesel, ultimately changing the way the world views the petroleum-based fuel as well as the engines it powers.
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