The relatively new JCB engine business has reached a company landmark with the production of its 500 000th engine.
Four-cylinder diesel engines first began rolling off the line at JCB Power Systems in Foston, Derbyshire, England, in November 2004 when the company employed 64 people. In the first year of manufacturing less than 10 000 engines were produced. The business has grown dramatically since then and the workforce now stands at almost 400.
Today the company produces 3, 4.4, 4.8 and 7.2 L engines with a power range from 55 kW to 212 kW.
“There have been many great achievements at JCB over the years and engine manufacturing is a truly great success story,” said JCB Chairman Lord Bamford. “In 2004 we relied entirely on external suppliers for our engines. Today the JCB engine powers more than 70% of the machines JCB makes and we sell it very successfully to other manufacturers for a wide variety of uses.
“What is more important is that we have complete control over our engine technology and production, giving us the freedom to innovate and to offer our customers engines which are clean, fuel efficient, easy to maintain and economical. Production of half a million engines is a wonderful milestone and I congratulate the whole team for achieving such a momentous landmark.”
It took eight years to build the first 200 000 JCB engines and only five years to build the next 300 000 – highlighting the quick growth in the business. The expansion also saw JCB India begin production of engines in 2010 at its headquarters near Delhi, India.
The company said 2017 has been a milestone year for JCB Power Systems. JCB has invested US$13.4 million at Foston in new CNC machining centers and associated automated processes. This investment has created around new 30 new jobs and allowed the company to produce cylinder heads, engine blocks and bed plates in-house for the first time, boosting efficiency and ensuring that demanding quality targets are met, the company said.
Production also started in 2017 on a brand-new fuel-efficient 3 L JCB engine following the culmination of a US$41.5 million investment program that includes support of US$6 million from the United Kingdom Government’s Regional Growth Fund. It is the third engine line to be launched by JCB since production first started and joins the 4.4, 4.8 and 7.2 L models.
In 2016 the company also celebrated winning two Queen’s Awards, including one for Innovation, for the development of the JCB EcoMax engine, with its low-emission combustion system. The other award was for International Trade, recognizing growth in overseas third-party sales of the JCB engine family by more than 325% between 2012 and 2014.