A LEADING Huddersfield firm is creating 45 jobs with the development of a new production line for its award-winning turbochargers.
Turnbridge-based Cummins Turbo Technologies has invested £2.5m in the new state-of-the-art manufacturing unit.
It will greatly increase production of the firm’s Holset variable geometry turbochargers, which it supplies to major truck makers.
Jim Lyons, president of Cummins Turbo Technologies, cut a ribbon to officially open the production line, which is at the firm’s worldwide headquarters and centre for European manufacturing on St Andrew’s Road, Turnbridge.
More than 40 guests attended the event, including Joe Loughrey, president and chief operating officer of US-based parent company Cummins Inc; Paul Croset, a founder of Cummins Turbo Technologies’ forerunner firm Holset; and Ron Hesselden, one of its founding directors.
There were also representatives from suppliers and customers of the firm as well as Huddersfield University and Cummins’ community partners, Fartown High School, Longley School and Castle Hill School at Newsome and the Safe Anchor Trust.
The opening of the new line comes 10 years after Cummins launched its Holset VGT to improve engine performance in medium-heavy duty diesel engines.
The patented technology offers improved fuel economy and reduced vehicle emissions for commercial vehicles.
The technology involved in developing the world-beating turbocharger for truck makers such as Fiat and Iveco led to Cummins receiving a Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2002.
Mr Lyons said: “We are delighted to be making this investment into the Holset VGT, Cummins Turbo Technologies and the wider community. The new line will enhance the success of our business as well as the job opportunities we can offer to new and existing staff.”
Ray Dawson, plant manager at Turnbridge, said: “This is a significant investment. It will enable us to increase production by up to 150,000 turbochargers a year, an increase of 25% to 30% on current capacity.”
Mr Dawson said the investment came in response to increased demand from existing European customer Iveco as well as Cummins’ success in landing a new customer for the Holset VGT, Swedish-based Scania.
Mr Dawson said: “We are making sample units at present and have made about 1,000 so far. But we expect the new line to be fully utilised by the end of next year, which will lead to 45 new jobs. It is fantastic that this investment is coming into Huddersfield.”
Mr Ibbotson said: “This is the 10th anniversary of the Holset VGT coming into production. This is the sixth production line and represents an investment of £2.5m. We have produced 1.5m units since 1998. This year we expect to produce 500,000 Holset VGTs for our customers.”