History of Cummins

History of Cummins Power Generation

Cummins has over 100 years of experience as a diesel engine design and manufacturing company. They have changed the world in more ways than one. The full history of this company is fascinating; started by engineer Clessie Cummins in 1919 out of an old cereal mill in Indiana, this company has achieved huge feats of excellence in the past century, and shows no sign of stopping. Cummins primarily manufactures diesel engines, although as you will discover, they have recently branched out into green energy solutions too. Their engines are used in trains, heavy-duty trucks, military equipment, construction equipment and many more applications.


The History of Cummins Power Generation

This article focuses on the history of the Cummins Power Generation, looking at the "four pillars" that have upheld the company’s success: engineering, financial achievements, care for social issues and global expansion.

The First Pillar Of Cummins’ History: Engineering Innovation

Although Cummins began as a company which began with the simple HVID engine, their history shows that have gone above and beyond what Clessie Cummins began within 1919. What began as an engine design and manufacturing company slowly grew, between their first HVID engine way back in 1919 to a comprehensive, expansive global enterprise which powers engines in all different areas of innovation. But just how significant has Cummins been in the world of engine development?

The answer is simple: Cummins has been at the forefront of engine development around the globe. Here are just a few of the firsts that Cummins achieved in the past 1001 years+:

  • The First Single Disc Fuel System. In 1929, Cummins pioneered the first single-disc fuel system which was set apart from other engines of its kind. This was achieved by generating injection pressure in the injector. These engines were used throughout the next 25 years and propelled Cummins into new heights as a company.
  • The First Diesel Power Car At the Indianapolis 500 This famous car race saw the first diesel competitor hit the track in 1931, and thanks to Cummins, the car made the whole race having never needed a pitstop. Fuel efficiency was reaching new levels, and it was thanks to Clessie Cummins.
  • The Birth of the Recon Division. Jumping forward into 1966, Cummins made history with its sustainable approach to manufacturing, by implementing a reconstructed. engine division in the company.
  • The First-Ever US Commercial Diesel Fleet. In 1932, just one year after Cummins’ success at the Indianapolis 500, the first fleet of diesel trucks in the US, designed and manufactured by Cummins, hit the roads. 
  • The First Company To Develop The Variable Geometry Turbine. In the millennium year of 2000, Cummins beat its competitors to develop the variable geometry turbine for heavy-duty diesel engines.
  • The World’s First Electric Heavy Duty Truck It’s now 2017, and Cummins isn’t stopping yet!

Those are just some of the firsts that Cummins has brought to the table of engineering innovation. Unleashing the power of the diesel engine to the world in the 20th Century, Cummins is now stepping up to the plate and creating innovative solutions using electricity. The future is green, and they seem to be keeping up every step of the way. It is unclear how successful Cummins will be in the future as green energy overtakes fossil fuels, but it seems they have got off to a good start.


The Second Pillar Of Cummins’ History: Financial Success

The financial success of Cummins took a long time to come around. Although the company began building engines in 1919, they did not see significant fiscal success for decades afterwards. Let’s take a look at some of the financial milestones of Cummins, and just what they plan to do with the great responsibility that success brings.

Not only this, but our financial success took a long time to come around. Let’s take a look at some of the financial milestones of Cummins, and just what we plan to do with the great responsibility that success brings.

Cummins, founded in 1919, made its first million dollars in sales by 1936. By this time, the company was being managed by J. Irwin Miller, known as one of the visionaries who powered Cummins into the next levels of financial success.

That’s right, a whole twenty-eight years after the company’s inception, the company appeared in the stock market for the first time for trading.

Cummins is widely known as being highly dedicated to philanthropy, and 1954, the company’s foundation was born. Supporting schools, civil rights organisations and green energy companies between 1954 and 2020, Cummins’ financial success has been generously shared with the world.

    • Hitting the $1 Million mark in 1936.

Cummins, founded in 1919, made its first million dollars in sales by 1936. By this time, the company was being managed by J. Irwin Miller, known as one of the visionaries who powered Cummins into the next levels of financial success. 

    • The first public stock offering in 1947.

That’s right, a whole twenty-eight years after the company’s inception, the company appeared in the stock market for the first time for trading. This was an enormous milestone for the company’s viability in the global market and, in essence, put them “on the map”.

    • The inception of the Cummins Foundation in 1954. 

Cummins is widely known as being highly dedicated to philanthropy, and in 1954, the Cummins Foundation was born. Supporting schools, civil rights organisations and green energy companies between 1954 and 2020, the Cummins Foundation has been dedicated to helping others around the world. This has included implementing technological education programs all around the world and creating engineering jobs for women.


The Third Pillar of Cummins’ History: Solving Social Issues

History of Cummins Power Generation

As the company’s financial success took off, so did the need for aid around the world. After the Cummins Foundation was born in 1954, the company has been involved in solving social issues around the world, providing much-needed relief to society’s most vulnerable people. Here’s a look at some of the work that has been done over the past sixty-six years to help equalise our society. 

  • In 1964, America’s civil rights movement was the most pressing issue of the time. The company’s president at the time, J. Irwin Miller - mentioned previously as the man who helped tip the company over the $1 Million mark - lobbied for John F. Kennedy’s civil rights legislation. As a passionate philanthropist, J. Irwin Miller believed solidly in achieving equal rights for all and used his position as a well-established businessman to help achieve these rights for African American citizens. 
  • All the way forward in 2012, the Cummins Foundation launched Cummins TEC (Technical Education for Communities), an initiative program which helps train low-income youth with high-level technical skills. The TEC program runs in Rio de Janeiro; Izmir, Turkey; Phaltan, India; and Arquepa, Peru, to name a few.
  • In 2018, Cummins created Cummins Powers Women, proving our dedication to rooting out gender inequality in the engineering industries across the world. Supported by $11 million from Cummins Foundation, this initiative helps to accelerate gender equality and give more opportunities to women in the workplace. 
  • As a diesel engine company, Cummins recognised the pressing need for green energy as the Twenty-first Century rolled around. Many other fossil fuel companies are slowly becoming obsolete in the wake of environmental activism; over the past twenty years, Cummins has developed electric vehicles which have proved to the market that they are here to stay.

The Fourth Pillar of Cummins’ History: Global Expansion

Cummins is an American company, founded in Indiana in 1919. Over the past 101 years, however, they have expanded their engineering innovation to every corner of the world. 

After expanding across the US between 1919 and 1956, Cummins branched out to Scotland, building their first international plant ever. This plant ran until 1996, by which time Cummins had spread their brand even further across the world. 

Just three years later in 1959, Cummins expanded south, taking on South American engineering markets. But rather than muscling in and overtaking local manufacturers, Cummins worked on the ground with local manufacturers and entrepreneurs to build the Cummins brand within every country they reached. This allowed for community engagement and nurturing of engineering industries all over the world, pushing the engineering capabilities of various nations to the next level. 

In 1962, Cummins forged a deal with Komatsu, seeing their expansion into East Asia for the first time. This marked a new realm of possibility for Cummins. Next came India in the same year, and after the sixties followed further expansion - until eventually, Cummins existed in 190 countries around the globe.

Throughout the expansion, Cummins has never given up its mission: to power a more prosperous world. They list intrinsic values of diversity and inclusion, teamwork, integrity, caring and excellence, which have seen them well through the last hundred years. So what’s next for Cummins?

What’s next for Cummins? A conclusion & looking to the future

The PLANET 2050 vision sees Cummins look forward. In the wake of the climate crisis, Cummins is looking thirty years in the future to 2050, laying out their targets for positive impact on every community in which they operate. Some of the aims this mission entails are:

  • To reuse water and return it clean to the communities from which it came.
  • To design out waste in their products.
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  • To achieve carbon neutrality in all Cummins operations and facilities. 
  • To achieve a net positive impact on all the communities with which they operate. 

How will they achieve this? The Cummins CEO and Chairman recently stated:

‘It’s clear that government, businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and communities must unite behind swift, decisive action to address the environmental threats we face.’

It seems that Cummins plans to use their philanthropic history, their engineering and global community actions to achieve their mission. Otherwise, though, the method of their mission is unclear; it seems we must all sit back and watch as Cummins continues their work, in 2020 and beyond.