Southampton Boat Show, UK (Sept 11, 2015) – Cummins Darlington is celebrating its 50th anniversary during 2015. Since opening, around 1.5 million engines have been built in the factory for customers worldwide, powering multiple vessels, as well as land based vehicles.
Work began in 1963 on the £8.5 million plant with engine production commencing in 1965, having over 400 employees onsite. The production line assembled Cummins range of Small Vee V6 and V8 engines, named VAL and VALE. With cubic capacities of 352 and 504 cubic inches (5.7 and 8.3 litres) they had a capability of up to 150 hp (111 kW), suitable for a range of boats at the time.
The Small Vee engines proved popular in the marine market and in 1966 a British offshore power boat Merry-Go-Round with twin Cummins broke the world water speed record for diesel power at over 60 mph. The record was achieved off the UK coast on Southampton Water. The two VT8 racing engines were each rated at 520 hp (387 kW), especially for the event.
‘The Small Vee was an evolutionary design at the time with some of the key features of the original engine carrying on into current products - such as an efficient high pressure fuel system, cylinder heads with 4 valves per cylinder, a rear gear train configuration, a high power to weight ratio, and major components with the latest materials designed for durability and reliability,’ said Michel Kozulic, Marine Business Development Manager.
In 1986 a major upgrade saw Darlington plant production move to the B Series engine. The 5.9 litre displacement was the forerunner of the latest 6.7 litre unit produced today.
The current QSB6.7, as displayed at Southampton Boat Show and built at the Darlington plant, offers the latest engine technology providing between 230 and 550 hp (172-410 kW), and up to 1695 Nm in torque in an inline 6 cylinder configuration. Unmatched performance driven through a perfectly matched Cummins wastegated turbocharger and a new 24 valve cylinder head delivers industry leading power density. The engine has a quiet operation, including an 80 percent reduction in noise at idle. It is also possible to maximise vessel performance and access comprehensive vessel diagnostic information via SmartCraft® electronics. The QSB6.7 engine provides propulsion and power generation to many motor boats. Recently featured in the Princess 43, the Cummins product offers a powerful and efficient package.
Tim Hamilton, Marine Product Engineer said, ‘Working at Cummins Darlington for over 30 years, I have seen a dedication to innovation, product development and build quality. We have always worked closely with our customers to ensure we have the right product for them and to ensure the best level of service and integration in the vessel.’
The Darlington factory now employs over 800 people and has a dedicated marine engine area onsite, a separate product development centre and a neighbouring plant producing exhaust aftertreatment systems. £10.4 million has recently been invested into production and development at Darlington, supported by a regional growth fund grant. Marine engines from 6.7 to 11 litres (230-715 hp / 171-533 kW) are available from the Darlington site, including a range of helm to propeller packages.
Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana, (USA) Cummins employs approximately 48,000 people worldwide and serves customers in approximately 190 countries and territories through a network of more than 600 company-owned and independent distributor locations and approximately 6,500 dealer locations. Cummins earned $1.65 billion on sales of $19.2 billion in 2014. More information can be found on www.cumminsengines.com. Follow us on Twitter at @cumminseurope. For support with Cummins marine engines, call Cummins Care Marine at 1-615-871-5101.