Perkins Engines Company Limited, a Caterpillar Inc. company and a manufacturer of off-highway diesel and gas engines, and its long-time small engine partner for sub-60-hp engines, Ishikawajima Shibaura Machinery Company Ltd. (ISM), announced plans to open a new small engines manufacturing facility in Griffin, GA.
Production at Griffin will start in summer 2004, and will be based on the Perkins 400 Series, a range of two, three and four-cylinder, liquid-cooled, naturally aspirated and turbocharged indirect-injection engines covering the 10 to 60 hp (7 to 45kW) power band. At present all Perkins 400 Series engines are manufactured at the company’s headquarters in Peterborough, England. The Grifflin facility also will build the Caterpillar 3003C to 3024CT family of engines, which is based on the same platform as Perkins 400 Series.
The 400 Series meet Tier 2 EPA /Stage 2 EU emissions legislation and deliver new standards of productivity, cost of ownership and refinement.
“The 400 Series is evolving into the class leader in the small engines market and we believe its popularity will increase dramatically over the next couple of years as more OEMs gain first hand experience of the engines,” said Mike Baunton, president of Perkins Engines.
“This expansion further demonstrates our commitment to the small engine segment of the market — we launched the forerunner of the 400 series in 1987 and have been investing in and growing our business every year since then.
“This plant, a direct replica of the UK plant, is being built to meet significant U.S. customer demand for our 400 Series product. Preparations are well advanced at the Griffin site, which has the same high quality manufacturing environment, with simple, flexible processes as in the UK — all to produce the highest quality product available today,” Baunton said.
Koichiro Kuwabara, president of ISM in Tokyo said, “We are very excited about the new North American plant. ISM and Perkins have a long and successful partnership together and the opening of this additional manufacturing facility will allow us to vigorously grow our small engine business and offer 400 Series customers all the benefits of a truly global based manufacturing operation.”
Jeremy Canham, general manager of Industrial Power Systems, responsible for North American sales, based in Mossville, IL, said, “This important strategic decision is backed by strong demand from our expanding industrial customer base and it will enable us to provide enhanced value through a more flexible and responsive supply route.
One of the most important benefits is that it will reduce lead times in terms of delivery to our customers because of the central location. The engine is very much in demand here by our distribution network and our direct customers, particularly in the construction equipment and lawn segments.
“We chose the location near Atlanta because of the excellent logistics it provides for our North American customers — it will be an engine made in America, the first time ever that Perkins has manufactured engines of this size here. The ’voice of the customer’ is definitely being served and acted upon with the establishment of this manufacturing facility,” Canham said.
The Griffin plant is the second new manufacturing plant announcement made by Perkins this year. In February, Perkins announced the opening of a facility in Brazil, now named Perkins Motores do Brasil LTDA, which is building 4- and 6-liter diesel engines.