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Article Source: ttnews.com| September 2017 | By Roger Gilroy

Eaton Cummins Joint Venture Announces New 12-Speed Automated Transmission as First Product

ATLANTA — Eaton Cummins Automated Transmission Technologies announced a new 12-speed automated transmission called Endurant as the first “core product” of the companies’ joint venture.

Eaton and Cummins made the announcement at the inaugural North American Commercial Vehicle Show here Sept. 25-28.

The new transmission weighs up to 105 pounds less than “competitive” automated manual transmissions. Also, the transmission has 750,000-mile lube change intervals for linehaul applications, which is the industry’s longest and 250,000 to 450,000 miles longer than competitive models, according to the companies.

Davis by John Sommers II for Transport Topics

Endurant — which is not available as a manual transmission — was designed from a “clean sheet of paper,” Scott Davis, general manager of Eaton Cummins Automated Transmission Technologies, told Transport Topics.

“We are just announcing the availability with the Cummins X15 engine today. But it is not limited to the X15,” he said. “We hope to have further announcements with other engines. We want to help our truck-maker partners grow their [market] share.”

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Production of the transmission will begin Oct. 16, and is to be installed first in Kenworth Truck Co.’s model T680 and Peterbilt Motors Co.’s model 579 Class 8 trucks using the X15, according to the companies.

Both truck makers are brands of Paccar Inc., which is the leading purchaser of heavy-duty engines from Cummins, according to WardsAuto.com.

Also, Paccar has paired a modified version of Endurant including “deep integration on the controls side and some unique hardware adaptations,” with its own MX 13 engine, Davis said.

Devito by John Sommers II for TT

During the design of Endurant, technicians provided valuable input, along with drivers and customers, said Gerard DeVito, vice president of technology at Eaton Vehicle Group.

For example, the clutch actuator on the new transmission was relocated to provide easier service, on the advice of technicians.

To service a clutch actuator in its traditional location means removing the transmission, which is a five-hour job, he said, “versus taking half an hour to unbolt the clutch actuator [from Endurant] and slide a new one on.”

Also, drivers wanted more control in reverse gear because with downspeeding, the engine “is always turning at the same idle RPM, and the axle is much faster now so you can have low RPM at cruise [which increases fuel efficiency]. But you are moving faster than you want when in reverse. It’s very hard. So by putting more overall ratio coverage [in the new transmission], I have an extremely slow reverse gear. So now you can back very slowly into a loading dock,” he said.

Other features, among others, include: an “industry-exclusive” transmission fluid pressure sensor to notify drivers of low oil levels; prognostics that provide clutch replacement notification to better plan maintenance scheduling; predictive shifting using look-ahead technology to execute shift decisions; and a standard, 8-bolt power-take-off opening to improves future resale value, according to the companies.

Also, the transmission’s standard warranty is five years or 750,000 miles for linehaul trucks, and three years or 350,000 miles for the clutch. One-year and two-year extended protection plans are also available, according to the companies. Plus, Endurant is available with a telematics-capable system that provides “near real-time” monitoring of vehicle fault codes, prioritizes the critical events and provides accurate and comprehensive action plans by technical experts at Eaton.

Endurant’s maximum operating weight is 110,000 pounds.

The transmissions will be built at Eaton’s facility in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, said DeVito.

The companies announced their 50-50 joint venture, which includes transmissions for medium-duty trucks, too, in April.

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