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South Africa: Cummins AME PD&I is committed to delivering power to customers despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

While most of us are working from home because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Cummins AME PD&I team was working tirelessly to integrate a Phase 2 project of nine C3000D5E units into acoustic enclosures and testing them remotely for a key global customer.

At the end of 2019, Cummins Africa Middle East (AME) was contracted by a leading provider of cloud and computing web services to supply nine C3000D5E units enclosed in customised acoustic enclosures. The Cummins team had to leverage relationships inside and outside the organisation to expedite the necessary resources to complete the project on time.

The genset packaging process inside the acoustic enclosures started early, based on the customer’s strategic global requirement. In addition to the early start, the project’s delivery schedule had to be reviewed to find areas where the build could be expedited to meet the customer’s delivery milestones.

The project faced comprehensive design-related and implementation challenges in the previous phase. These challenges had to be addressed in Phase 2. Over three-week period, several stakeholders were involved in developing a comprehensive list based on the previous two years of operation to ensure that all design and operational deficiencies previously identified were resolved. The task was further complicated as the delivery schedule was very tight, which necessitated that the design improvements happened concurrently while the enclosures were being built.

Adding to the difficulty was the travel restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In place of a more effective and easy face-to-face meetings, the AME team had to rely solely on Skype and Zoom to work with the design and factory teams at the manufacturing plant for the process of issue identification, redesign and improvement implementation. It was new and challenging for the AME team having to deal without direct contact on drawing reviews and trying to articulate problems/concepts via remote viewing, while adding to intermittent connectivity of the web.

The Project Design & Implementation (PD&I) commissioning team is always in the front line supporting customers to test, commission and deliver power on-time. The team is hard at work behind the scenes with the aim to support customers to be ‘Always On’. During the pandemic, members of the commissioning team worked at the vendor’s premises to test the full integration of the generator package inside the acoustic enclosure.

After completing all the internal tests, the team conducted three full days’ virtual witness testing with the customer, who was based remotely. The team used three cameras to stream the test from all angles to enable the customer to witness the test. Moreover, the virtual test was video-recorded, and the video shared with the customer. The customer witness test included a 12-hour full load test, in addition to functional tests for all the other subsystems.

The customer was satisfied with the generator performance and factory acceptance test set-up and process, which is considered as a remarkable success for Cummins. Cummins AME PD&I was able to execute, test and deliver the project on time for a strategic customer despite the operational, logistical and mobilisation challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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