JAMESTOWN, N.Y. -- It was a combination of happenstance, foresight, vision and being in the right place at the right time that saw Cummins move into a former metalworking factory in Jamestown, N.Y. back in 1979. Today, the company is celebrating its 40th anniversary in the western New York city located roughly halfway between Buffalo, N.Y. and Erie, Penn.
Typically, more than 400 engines are built per day at JEP, and the plant produced its 1.5 millionth heavy-duty engine in the summer of 2013. Present for the celebration was the former president of Cummins Engine Business, Jim Kelly, who noted that the plant's current daily output is about twice what the plant produced in a week in its early days.
"We made about 65 engines per day back then," Kelly said. "The can-do attitude here in Jamestown has pushed us over 500 engines a day and made the Jamestown Engine Plant one of the most profitable in the Cummins chain."
Engines produced at JEP power numerous types of applications, from line-haul trucks to RVs and even fire trucks. In addition to these on-highway applications, JEP also produces the QSM and QSX engines that serve off-highway customers in construction, agriculture and marine applications.
“The Jamestown Engine Plant plays a critical role in our company’s ability to produce a broad range of diesel and natural gas engines for different customers around the world,” said Dave Crompton, president – Cummins Engine Business.
Cummins acquired the 1-million-square-foot facility in 1974, using it initially to manufacture engine components. The plant produced its first engine in 1979. Today, it builds on-highway engines, including the ISX15 as well as the ISX12 and ISM diesel engines. The ISX15 and ISX12 engines both serve the U.S. and Canadian markets, while the ISM is currently exported to Mexico. JEP also produces the Cummins Westport ISX12 G spark-ignited natural gas engine.
The plant also plays an important role in improving life in western New York. It’s the largest private employer in Chautauqua County and the largest contributor to the local United Way. JEP is also an active participant in Cummins Every Employee Every Community program, which allows employees to work at least four hours per year on a public-service project on company time.
“We take Cummins' commitment to community service and improving the communities in which we live very seriously,” said Mike Abbate, JEP plant manager. “I’m tremendously proud of what our employees are doing inside and out of our plant to make western New York a better place to live.”
Crompton explained that “JEP was founded on a unique team-based system, which continues to be a competitive advantage for us, and it’s a quality our employees embrace. The highly skilled men and women at JEP and our plants around the world make innovation a reality.”