JCB was today celebrating the production of its 50,000th engine – less than three years after the first one rolled off the line following an £80 million investment.
It was November 2004 when the first JCB Dieselmax engine was produced at the plant in Dove Valley Park, Foston, Derbyshire, where 160 people are now employed and where 170 engines a day are manufactured.
Since then the engine has powered the JCB Dieselmax car to a new landspeed record on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA, where the car reached 350.092mph.
The JCB engine powers more than 50 per cent of JCB's machines and is also enjoying increasing success with sales to third party original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customers who are recognising its quality and reliability, superior performance, high torque at low revs, low noise and low vibration.
The 50,000th engine will be fitted into a site dumper manufactured by NC Engineering, of Richhill, Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland and today JCB Group Chief Operating Officer Matthew Taylor presented the engine to NC Engineering Managing Director Norman Nicholl.
Matthew Taylor said: “The development and production of the JCB engine has been an amazing achievement for JCB and for everyone involved, particularly at JCB Power Systems. Bearing in mind that we did not begin to manufacture our own engine until November 2004, to have produced our 50,000th engine in less than three years is stunning.
“It's also testament to the quality of the engine that more and more third party customers are investing in it for their own equipment.”
Unique to the JCB Dieselmax engine and attractive to OEM customers is the option of two independent engine PTOs (Power Take Offs) which allows accessories such as hydraulic pumps and compressors to be driven from the engine.
Other OEM customers include Canadian equipment manufacturer Sellick, with the engine now fitted to its entire range of rough terrain fork lift trucks.
The engine was developed during a five-year project that cost £80 million – JCB's largest ever single investment. Production started early this year of the common rail Tier III engine, bringing it in line with the latest environmental legislation. JCB engines were also approved for the use of B20 Biodiesel, including 20 per cent biofuel.
The engine powers JCB backhoe loaders, Loadall telescopic handlers, mid range wheeled loading shovels, rough terrain forklifts, large skid steer loaders and the JCB range of generators.