COLUMBUS - Columbus-based Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) and Eaton Corp. PLC (NYSE: ETN) have agreed to form a joint venture involving heavy and medium-duty commercial vehicle technology. The deal calls for Cummins to pay Eaton $600 million for a 50 percent stake in Eaton Cummins Automated Transmission Technologies. The global companies say the venture involves design, assembly, sales and support of automated heavy and medium-duty commercial market transmissions, including Eaton's Procision line.

Eaton Chief Executive Officer Craig Arnold says the partnership builds on a long history between the manufacturing giants. He says the joint venture could open the door for "deeper integration" down the road. "The JV, really, will also we think increase our access to global markets. As Eaton and Cummins automated transmissions really benefit from Cummins global scale around the world," said Arnold during a conference call Monday with investors. In 2013, Cummins and Eaton launched the Smart Advantage Powertrain partnership.

Additionally, Eaton's current slate of automated heavy-duty transmissions will be marketed, sold and supported in North American by the joint venture.

Cummins Chief Executive Officer Tom Linebarger says "our growth strategy includes expanding our product offerings and extending our global footprint by becoming the world's leading powertrain supplier. Our JV with Eaton will deliver the most advanced automated transmissions and develop an integrated powertrain and service network that supports our customers like never before. Just as we've done for the past 100 years, we will use our experience in partnerships and technological expertise to ensure our customers' success."

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter and financial results for the joint venture will be consolidated into Cummins' Components segment. The joint venture must still clear regulatory and closing hurdles.

You can read more about the joint venture by clicking here.