By Deeshon Munshi, Cummins Africa Middle East – Business Manager – Data Center & Telecom

As the global leader in engine and power generation manufacturing and supply, Cummins is at the forefront of innovation and digital transformation of these industries. The organisation has manufactured engines for 101 years and was an early adopter of new technologies in its manufacturing business. It has long-embraced 3rd Industrial Revolution technologies at its manufacturing plants worldwide, which are heavily automated and employ many advanced technologies. Cummins sees the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies as a natural evolution. We are introducing these technologies into our manufacturing operations where we believe they add value to our processes and products and maximise the benefits to our customers.

Our global digital transformation team is constantly on the lookout for technological innovations that can be applied in our business such as the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT is a network of wireless sensors linked to a central processing system that makes sense of the data sent by these sensors and takes programmed action based on those inputs. Imagine a power generation system that can monitor its own condition and request a service or order a replacement part. The initial stages of IoT are already here. We will soon see generators ordering their own fuel!

Innovation drives Cummins’ customer-centric operations

Internally, Cummins’ high-tech ERP systems enable the streamlining of multiple operations to the benefit of customers. Advanced technologies enable the company to anticipate customer demands, plan and be ready for these so that when a customer requests a product, a part of a service, Cummins can immediately fulfil the request.

The mammoth task of manual stocktake in our massive parts distribution centres around the world is thankfully a thing of the past. Technology has revolutionised stocktake. Our next-generation distribution business system provides real-time, accurate data on our entire global inventory. The moment we have a request, the system checks the inventory on hand, the locations where it’s available globally, and efficiently re-orders parts and products when stocks reach a minimum level. Automation has ensured a smoother, more efficient, hassle-free experience for our customers.

MEA region sees large-scale adoption of advanced technologies

Power generation is one of Cummins’ core businesses across Africa and the Middle East. We have seen the large-scale adoption of digital technologies across the region, particularly when managing fleets of generators and in the telecom space. Over the past decade, the focus of our client’s operations teams has been very much on optimisation and making data-driven decisions. Cummins has given them the technological solutions that have enabled increased visibility at their locations, such as the amount of fuel consumed by their generators and optimal load factors.

New technologies are driving product innovation at Cummins

Technology advancements have enabled Cummins to make significant improvements to its products, providing superior solutions for its customers.

Utilising technology, we were able to push the power output of a 60-litre diesel generator set to a class-leading 2,750 kVA, and get 500 kVA out of a 13-litre engine through mechanical and technological improvements – now the most powerful 13-litre engine in the world for its application. We’ve also seen the benefits of advanced microchips, which are much faster and operate mechanical parts with greater precision. These microchips are the ‘brains’ that decide on the precise amount of fuel and air mix to inject into each chamber of the generator to get optimum combustion – something impossible for the human brain to calculate. The ability to collect and analyse this data over the internet means that we expect to be able to communicate back to the microchip to improve performance further in the future.

At Cummins, we pride ourselves on our technological innovation and digital insights that bring a better quality of life for all. Our software, mobile applications and digital hardware are designed to optimise the performance and reliability of all Cummins-powered equipment.