RTZ Award for Long-Term Commitment
Perkins Group Ltd
Simpsons of Madras became in 1955 the first Indian manufacturer of diesel engines. It did this with the help of Perkins, based at Peterborough, which has stimulated local manufacture by 16 overseas licensees.
The transfer of technology has been so successful that all the components for the 25,000 engines manufactured annually at Simpsons for trucks, buses and tractors are locally made. Perkins helps Simpsons and other licensees with training, factory layout, equipment selection and the updating of engines. Simpsons employs 2,000 people.
A Brazilian company, Maxion, is Perkins's biggest licensee, making 80,000 engines a year, including an alcohol-burning version, for Brazil-built tractors, combine harvesters and trucks. Millat Tractors of Pakistan employs 9,000 people, making 11,000 three- and four-cylinder engines a year, primarily for tractors. About 70 per cent of components for the three-cylinder Perkins engine built at Lahore are locally made. The chance to make them has stimulated a network of Pakistani industrial undertakings.
The international reputation and services network of Perkins engines help overseas licensees to export. Ten per cent of Millat's tractors go to Africa. Ten per cent of Simpsons engines go abroad in exported equipment. Maxion engines power vehicles and equipment built by such customers as Massey-Ferguson, General Motors and Ford and are sold all over the world.
Perkins also buys components from Simpsons and Maxion to build its own engines: 1,800,000 from Maxion in 1990, including cylinder-block castings, pistons and piston rings. From Simpsons it is buying 90,000, most of the value being crankshafts. Changes in manufacture involve Perkins in helping to train local staff. Besides this, Perkins quality-control engineers regularly visit licensees, and licensees' quality-control staff visit Perkins in Peterborough.
Simpsons has gained sufficient experience to design two- and four- cylinder engines on its own. It is not often, remarks an Indian expert, that a foreign collaborator transfers know-how to such an extent as to allow local design.