While not always red in colour, Cummins' range of mining engines are utilised both above and below ground.
Outside of Caterpillar that manufacture their own engines, Cummins' engines are optioned by most major original equipment manufacturers (OEM) that among other brands include Liebherr, Hitachi and Komatsu.
Operating in the world's harshest conditions, Cummins is highly regarded, offering power solutions in marine, agriculture, road transport, generators and locomotives. In mining, they're performance and reliability are measured in hours (aka availability) and the dollars they cost to operate, and they are invariably compared against Caterpillar, MTU Detroit and more recently, Liebherr's own internally manufactured range of engines.
In the Hunter Valley, Cummins engines are regularly used by our miners and mining contractors. Often including the QSK19, QSK45 and QSK60, these engines are generally found in Hitachi and Liebherr diggers and more often than not, Komatsu's haul trucks.
As you might appreciate, given their cost to operate, the selection of engine, can be as important as the machine itself. In a haul truck powered by a Cummins QSK60 for example, it is not unreasonable to expect a life-to-overhaul target of between 28,000 to 30,000 hours, with filter changes (depending upon mining operation) circa every 500 hours and sometimes more.
Not bad, if one considers forecast maintenance based upon 6,000 hours utilisation per annum. Put another way, if you intend running a haul truck for 80,000 hours, you could reasonably expect one less engine change-out, when compared to some other engines operating today.
Cummins largest engine is the QSK95. Designed for ultra-class haul trucks and single-engine powered excavators, this engine is a real mean beast, producing 4,400 hp. Fitted with quad-turbocharging, this system allows trucks to accelerate faster under full payload as well as climb steep haul roads in less time.
Sounding more like the excerpts of a superhero novel, it makes me wonder if there could be a broader marketing play to be had here, by partnering with the likes of superman, incorporating catchphrases such as 'faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound...'.
This article was originally published by the Components Only team in the September - October 2018 issue of "@ The Coal Face" magazine.Published 24 September, 2018