ROTATING THE HEAVY CRANKSHAFT FOR ADDITIONAL LIFE WHEN A QSK-SERIES ENGINE ARRIVED AT THE HIGH HORSEPOWER MASTER REBUILD CENTER IN PHALTAN, INDIA USED TO BE A PHYSICALLY DEMANDING TASK.
The QSK-series includes the largest engines Cummins builds and the crankshaft, which delivers power from the engine to the wheels, can weigh thousands of pounds. Rotating it used to require three people: two to vigorously pull on a long bar attached to the crankshaft, and a third to look at the markings on the end of the crankshaft to signal when the pulling should stop.
It was not uncommon for the same two employees to have to push on the bar in the opposite direction if they happened to go too far.
But now the task can be done with the flip of a switch. A team from the master rebuild center developed a mobile hydraulic pump to rotate the crankshaft, requiring just a single employee. The invention, which improves health, safety and productivity, won first place in Cummins’ fourth annual Ergo Cup competition in 2015.
“It’s exciting to see such a risky task made safe by an organic solution,” said Chris Shieldsmith, Global Ergonomics Leader at Cummins and the Ergo Cup Competition judge. “The gains in efficiency and productivity are great, but employee safety and risk reduction is most important. This project addresses all of these issues.”