AS Cummins celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, PETER BARRON continues to highlight the impact the company has across the world

WHEN Cummins was launched in Indiana a century ago, the company got off to a relatively slow start, selling just 28 engines in his first year.

Today, after 100 years of relentless innovation and unrivalled commitment to customer service, Cummins has grown into a world-leader in the design, manufacture, distribution, and servicing of a broad portfolio of power solutions.

In contrast to that first year in business, 1.5m engines were sold by Cummins in 2018, with a record turnover of $24 billion. The company has factories across the world and the Darlington plant, which opened in 1965, plays a key role in a proud global success story.

Engines manufactured at Cummins’ factory in Yarm Road, Darlington, are used in buses, tractors, trucks, boats, excavators and other vehicles in a long list of countries.

Darlington is one of two UK engine sites operated by Cummins, the other being Daventry, in Northamptonshire, which makes large engines of 38 litre capacity and above.

Marketing Director, Steve Nendick says: “These are really exciting times for Cummins with our continuing strategy to acquire knowledge and capability in alternative power. On top of being a diesel expert for the past 100 years, we are now ready to be a power expert for the next 100 years, and work with our customers to find the best solutions to fit their needs.”

That strategy towards Cummins becoming a global power leader has included buying key technology companies over the past few years.

In October 2017, Cummins acquired Brammo, which specialised in designing and developing low-voltage battery packs for mobile and stationary applications.

That was followed in January 2018 by the acquisition of Johnson Matthey’s UK automotive battery systems business as part of its move into the electric and hybrid vehicle market. Cummins and Johnson Matthey also agreed to collaborate on the development of high energy battery materials for commercial heavy-duty applications.

Then, in July 2018, Cummins bought Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. (EDI), which designed and produced hybrid and fully-electric power solutions for commercial markets.

And, at the end of June this year, Cummins announced it had reached an agreement to take over one of the world’s leading fuel cell and hydrogen generation equipment providers, Hydrogenics Corporation.

“We are building on the vast experience and knowledge we have with 100 years of diesel to bring it to the alternative solutions when needed,” says Steve Nendick. “And our technical centre in Darlington will play a major role in this, shaping the future of the business.”

A century after it began selling its first engines, Cummins continues to look to the future as a world-class innovator that is powering the world.