As an engine is the heart of a vehicle, and all Foton trucks are powered by BFCEC’s products, the visit has enhanced the confidence of ATM’s customers.
Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Plant Visit
Last year, together with Angka-Tan Motor Sdn Bhd (ATM)’s customers and dealers, ‘Truck & Bus News’ embarked on a journey of discovery on how Foton trucks were made. After the visit to the Ollin Plant in Zhucheng and Shandong Super Truck Plant, next on the schedule was the Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Plant.
Opening up its production door widely to the Malaysian delegates that consisted of Foton dealers, end-users and media, Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Company Limited (BFCEC) must have had great confidence in its advanced diesel engine production base, as the engine is the heart of a vehicle.
Established in 2008, BFCEC is a 50/50 joint venture between Cummins Incorporation and China’s Beiqi Foton Motor Company. Since the first engine was produced in 2009, the accumulative volume of the new generation Cummins light-duty high performance ISF diesel engine series has reached 1 million units in 2018. Developed to produce high performance with low weight, with a power range from 109 to 170hp, the ISF2.8 and ISF3.8 are well suited for light commercial applications such as trucks, vans and utility vehicles, as well as small construction equipment and industrial applications.
With a total investment of more than RMB 4.9 billion, an annual capacity of 520,000 units, today’s BFCEC is the production base for light-duty, medium-duty and heavy-duty diesel engines. Main models that are produced here include the Cummins ISF/QSF (road/off-road) light-duty series of 2.8 litres and 3.8 litres, ISF and the ISG medium-duty series of 4.0 litres and 4.5 litres, as well as Cummins heavy-duty engine technology including the ISG11, ISG 12, ISG13 series and the ISG12N natural gas engine. 40 per cent of BFCEC’s products are exported to other countries.
Before entering the plant, we were required to put on safety helmets, eye protecting glasses, high visibility vests and a plant tour headset. In our perception, factory environments are associated with noise – rumbling machines, whirring drills, and workers all over the production floor. But the moment we stepped into the plant, quietness, cleanliness, neatness and systematic organisation were the impressions. It was also not so labour intensive as we thought.
World-Class Digitalised Plant
According to the plant tour guide, with a U-Shape manufacturing cell, the workers finish their work in the same location they began, eliminating the waste of walking from the end of the line back to the start. This explains why there was less movement of workers in the plant. Currently, he said, in every 8-9 hours, a ISF2.8L engine is built while a 3.8L engine rolls off the production line every 11 hours.
BFCEC, he continued, is a high-efficiency modern, world-class digitalised plant. It deploys customer-oriented COS management philosophy and Cummins leading NG Manufacturing Execution Systems to manage its manufacturing operation across machining, engine assembly and component technologies, to ensure the consistency and accuracy of the manufacturing process and reliability.
He also pointed out that the plant is well-equipped with advanced MAG Computer Numerical Control (CNCs) from USA, Zeiss Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMMs) from Germany, ABB Robotics from Switzerland, Atlas Torqueing Equipment from Sweden, and ALV Test Cells from Australia.
With advanced machinery and assembly technology, we noticed that the key workstations are equipped with highly automated production lines, which not only means less manpower but also less variability than human workers, resulting in greater control and consistency of product quality.
Six Sigma Product Quality Improvement
In addition, the BFCEC manufacturing quality system strictly abides by the Cummins global quality standard. Besides adopting globally leading design and manufacturing technologies from Cummins, the plant also follows Cummins in its application of Six Sigma. The company uses this tool to improve the quality of products, their efficiency and lower their costs. Details of the Six Sigma work process are clearly stated on the factory wall.
Six Sigma, according to our tour guide, uses data-based analysis to identify defects and variation in a wide range of manufacturing and business situations, which help to ensure quality and forge deeper relationships with customers and suppliers.
“BFCEC has already obtained TS16949, OHSAS18001, ISO14000 and ISO50001 certification,” he added proudly.
In 2019, BFCEC launched ISF 4.5 and ISG12 engines that met the National VI emission standard. These products, which took the lead in meeting emission standards, boasted improvements in meeting China’s emission standards, horsepower and torque performance, as well as fuel economy, are the result of the company’s close collaboration with Cummins in the USA, United Kingdom and Brazil on Research and Development (R&D).
As compared to other diesel engines, the company said ISG12 has reduced by about 40 per cent of the number of parts, which has helped to reduce overall weight. It is also more reliable with the new MFS integrated high efficiency turbocharger.
Meanwhile, the ISF4.5L engine integrates Cummins ‘century-old diesel technology. It is based on Cummins‘ worldwide popular, mature and successful B-series platform. ISF4.5 integrates Cummins‘ advanced research and development resources in the United States, Britain, and China. Its Euro 6 products have been successfully equipped with British Pekkadav light trucks and European-branded medium-sized buses.
The company claimed that it surpasses the traditional four-cylinder engine in terms of power, reliability, and efficiency and savings, and is comparable to the low-horsepower six-cylinder engine. With a weight of only 330kg, the ISF4.5 features a compact structure, a modular and lightweight design, with a 40 percent reduction in the number of parts. Produced up to 210 horsepower, it is ahead of the four-cylinder engine of the same level.
The opportunity to look behind the scene on how the engines were produced gave us an inside-out understanding of what really happens inside the plant, setting it apart from others. The sophisticated technology, precision machinery, advanced system and good practice all come together to build engines with the highest standards.
With more than 400 components in an engine, our guide stressed that although quality is built at each station, there are several check points to ensure that the engine is absolutely right. Each engine is verified before it leaves the plant. As an engine is the heart of a vehicle, and all Foton trucks are powered by BFCEC’s products, the visit certainly enhanced the confidence of ATM’s customers and dealers to a great extent.
成立于2008年，北京福田康明斯发动机有限公司是康明斯公司与中国商用车企业北汽福田汽车股份有限公司以50：50比例合资组建的企业。自2009年生产第一台发动机开始直到2018年，新一代的康明斯ISF系列轻型柴油发动机的产量已经累计到1百万台。ISF系列2.8升 和F3.8升轻型发动机重量低，性能高，功率范围覆盖109至170 马力，适合轻型商用车如卡车、货车、多功能车、工程装备及工业应用。
总投资 逾49亿人民币，年产能可达52万台，今天该工厂是轻型、中型及重型柴油发动机生产基地。主要产品包括康明斯ISF/QSF 系列（公路／越野）2.8升和3.8升轻型发动机、ISG 系列4.0升和4.5升中型发动机、康明斯重型发动机技术包括ISG系列 11升、12升及13升发动机，以及12N天然气版发动机。该厂40%的产品出口到其他的国家。
该工厂设备完善，他指出，备有先进，来自美国的MAG电脑数控（CNCs）、德国的Zeiss坐标测量机（CMMs）、瑞士的ABB 机械人、瑞典的Atlas 扭力设备及澳大利亚的ALV 测试单元。
“福田康明斯已荣获TS16949、 OHSAS18001、 ISO14000 及ISO50001 认证。”他自豪地补充。
2019年，该厂发布了符合中国国六排放标准的ISF 系列4.5 升和ISG 系列12升发动机。福田康明斯集结了美国、英国及巴西等国的技术研发力量，使全系发动机达成了排量升级、马力升级、扭矩升级、燃油经济性升级等四项成绩，率先通过了国六排放标准。