KEVIN BRITTAIN STARTED GETTING INTO EFFICIENT DESIGN WHILE AN ENGINEERING UNDERGRAD AT THE UNIVERSITY OF EVANSVILLE IN EVANSVILLE, INDIANA (U.S.A.).
It wasn’t until he came to Cummins, however, that he fully appreciated the connection between design efficiency and reducing carbon dioxide (CO2).
Using sophisticated computer software, Brittain looks for ways to design high horsepower engines for trains, ships, large generators and more, so they make the most efficient use of raw materials without impacting the durability and dependability customers rely on.
The team he works on, the High Horsepower Structural Analysis Team, has discovered ways to remove hundreds of pounds from high horsepower products, which can mean better fuel efficiency for customers while also reducing the need to mine additional raw materials. Better fuel efficiency reduces carbon dioxide (CO2), the primary greenhouse gas emitted through human activities.
“We all have a role to play in achieving our mission that everything we do leads to a cleaner, healthier, safer environment,” said Brittain, who is based at Cummins’ new high horsepower technical center in Seymour, Indiana. “This is one way that our engineers can make an impact.”
Numerical Optimization makes Analysis Led Design more efficient by helping engineers choose the design elements most likely to succeed from those limitless options, significantly reducing design time. Brittain, for example, uses Topology Optimization to help determine where material needs to stay to maintain robustness and where it can be removed without affecting durability.
Any design, of course, will be tested extensively in a test cell to make sure it delivers under real-world conditions before it goes to the customer. But the chances for success are greatly enhanced by all the work that goes into that final design.
“Cummins is fortunate to have many engineers like Kevin who are helping the company reduce its carbon footprint in a way that gives our customers the power they need to succeed,” said Madeleine Fogler, who led Cummins’ Design for Environment initiative until taking a new post at the company early in 2016.