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Jake Brake comes home to Cummins in Jacobs Vehicle Systems purchase

Clessie Cummins invented engine braking technology sold by Jacobs

Cummins buys Jacob Vehicle Systems and the Jake Brake engine braking technology that Cummins' founder invented.

Engine braking technology commonly known as the Jake Brake invented by the founder of Cummins Inc. is part of the company’s $325 million purchase of Jacobs Vehicles Systems.

Cummins (NYSE: CMI) gets engine braking, cylinder deactivation, start and stop, and thermal management technologies for use in future advanced diesel engine platforms in the acquisition of JVS, a subsidiary of Altra Industrial Motion Corp. JVS had 2021 revenues of about $193 million.

The deal, expected to close this year, also gets Cummins engine components qualified under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement for current and aftermarket products that will expand Cummins’ Turbo Technologies business.

‘Attractive financial returns’

Cummins expects “attractive financial returns and future growth opportunities,” Jennifer Rumsey, Cummins’ president and chief operating officer, said in a press release.

“JVS brings engineering expertise, best-in-class products and key manufacturing capabilities to Cummins that will allow us to continue developing component technologies that deliver market-leading performance and emissions,” she said.

Cummins has been assertively buying companies to advance its path to a zero-emissions strategy that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower the air-quality impacts of its products.

Engine braking and cylinder deactivation technologies will help meet future emissions regulations, specifically oxygen nitrites, or NOx pollution. Integrating JVS products into its emissions-leading medium- and heavy-duty engines would help.

A Cummins partnership with engine controls company Tula Technology found that its diesel skip fire technology that manages cylinder firing one at a time reduced NOx emissions by 74%.

9 million engine brakes

JVS has produced more than 9 million engine brakes — the so-called Jake Brake— for commercial vehicles. When activated, an engine brake opens the exhaust valve to the cylinders just before the compression stroke ends, releasing compressed gas trapped in the cylinders, which slows the vehicle.

The Jake Brake was invented by Cummins founder Clessie Cummins. Jacobs introduced the first engine brake for commercial vehicles in 1961, the year of its founding. JVS manufactures products in Bloomfield, Connecticut, and Suzhou, China 

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Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.

Alan Adler

Alan Adler is an award-winning journalist who worked for The Associated Press and the Detroit Free Press. He also spent two decades in domestic and international media relations and executive communications with General Motors.