There's a split in the off-road diesel engine market these days with Deere, Cummins and Navistar hitting key emissions targets for the interim Tier 4 standard without adding urea to the exhaust system; meanwhile Agco, Case IH and New Holland are already advancing their interim Tier 4 engines with the selective catalytic reduction approach.
Cummins announced this week it hit an industry milestone as it started production and supply of the first EPA interim Tier 4 and EU Stage IIIB certified engines and after-treatment of early installation by off-highway equipment customers. The newest generation QSB6.7 and QSL9 engines are being built at the company's Rocky Mount, N.C. facility for North America and Asia customers. The Darlington, U.K. plant will serve Europe.
The new Cummins interim Tier 4 engines are rolling down the assembly line in time for the 2011 market.
With the new emissions regulations set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2011 for engines over 173 horsepower, engine makers are working to reduce particulate matter emissions by 90% and oxides of nitrogen by nearly 50% compared to the current Tier 3 standard. Those are tough requirements, and that's why there are different approaches for the market today.
Cummins announcement includes the fact that EPA and the EU have certified the engines with their integrated after-treatment filter for integration into a wide range of machinery.
Cummins calls the system the Cummins Particulate Filter aftertreatment system. It includes exhaust gas recirculation and a variable geometry turbo. All of these tools were available for on-highway engines to meet the EPA standards in 2007. The company just had to come up with a tougher, ruggedized version for off-highway work, which management says was accelerated due to the company's on-highway experience.
The two new engines are among the most widely used in off-highway applications and are available in more than 30 power ratings meeting the new emission standards.
EPA regs get a lot tougher when final Tier 4 rules go in effect in 2014 - three short years away. And where non-SCR players like Deere, Cummins and Navistar will end up remains to be seen. Navistar is on record saying it will figure out a way to meet final Tier 4 without SCR; skeptics of that claim are not hard to find.