Eaton and Cummins Westport announce first automated transmission with spark-ignited natural gas engine

Power management company Eaton (www.eaton.com) and Cummins Westport (www.cumminswestport.com), a joint-venture company of Cummins, have announced 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.

Company said this product announcement is a continuation of the long-standing collaboration between Eaton and Cummins, and builds upon the announcement one year ago of the SmartAdvantage Powertrain package for the Cummins ISX15 diesel engine. With the interest in alternative fuels driving more fleets to integrate natural gas engines into their portfolio, this product will meet a growing market need while providing best-in-class technology.

Providing our customers with the product offerings that meet the needs of their operation is what this collaboration is about," said Lori Thompson, vice president of the truck and bus OEM business for Cummins. "We are delighted to provide an integrated package to customers who desire natural gas power paired with an automated transmission in their fleets."

"We are proud to be able to offer North American fleet customers the first automated transmission to be integrated with a spark-ignited natural gas engine, which shows the level of customer commitment our teams are focused on providing," said John Beering, senior vice president and general manager of the commercial vehicle transmission business at Eaton. "We are confident that our customers will find this powertrain an excellent value compared with other automatic transmission alternatives."

The UltraShift PLUS automated transmission offers maximum power capacity, superior acceleration and low-speed maneuverability, he said. 
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, Thompson said, and operates on 100 percent natural gas, which can be carried on the vehicle in either compressed (CNG) or liquefied (LNG) form. Ideally suited for regional haul applications, the ISX12 G has a robust power band at 1,500 to 1,800 rpm, and "delivers excellent responsiveness," with peak torque at 1,200 rpm. 

"This industry-leading heavy duty natural gas engine" is available with horsepower of 320 hp to 400 hp with 1450 ft/lbs 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.
- 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. 

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