Cummins Power Generation turns 100

Cummins Power Generation 100 Years Old

Celebrating 100 years of Cummins Power Generation and looking ahead to the next generation of power.

This year, Cummins celebrates 100 years in Power Generation. It all started with the incorporation of Onan Corporation in 1920 – a family owned business founded by David W. Onan.

Learn more: See how Cummins is fueling the next generation of power at Middle East Energy 2020, Stand S3.D30

"The Onan story has so many parallels with Cummins. It started with one business idea and one visionary entrepreneur. What D. W. Onan started as a small business in Minnesota thrived for 100 years and became a global industry leader," stated Alex Savelli, Executive Director of Cummins Power Generation. 

Cummins Onan Ten Lite
The generator that started it all, the Onan Ten-Lite.

Like Clessie Cummins, D. W. Onan was an innovator and a technical genius. After working for 10 years at an automobile repair shop, D. W. Onan decided to test his abilities and entrepreneurial spirit by opening the Onan Corporation in 1920. At the time, Julius P. Dyke was his only full-time employee. Today, Cummins Power generation products are designed across four technical centers and produced at six different plants around the globe. In total, there are more than 5,000 employees working in Power Generation for Cummins with a global network of over 190 locations and territories. 

Cummins has experienced many significant milestones over the past 100 years on its journey to becoming a global leader in the Power Generation business.

"The full acquisition of Onan Corporation in 1992 and Power Group International (PGI or 'Petbow') in 1994 were significant inflection point for Cummins in the Power Generation business," stated Gino Butera, Vice President of Cummins Power Generation. "We moved from being a G-drive supplier of engines to become a global OEM of power generation equipment. Integrating Onan and Petbow added a big new dimension to 'The Power of Cummins.'"

Looking to the future

Today, Cummins combines market expertise with leading engineering and manufacturing technology to provide the world with fail-safe solutions for an exceptionally wide range of use-cases. From the world’s richest iron-ore mine near the polar circle, to remote locations in the Brazilian jungle, to U.S military camps, Hyperscale Data centers, and to RVs in the remote wilderness far from civilization, Cummins dependably meets the power needs of customers no matter where they are or where they need to go.   

The legacy of D. W Onan is still present. He was not only a mechanical enthusiast but also a humanitarian. Today, "Caring" is a corporate value that has been carried consistently for over 100 years. As J. Irwin Miller reiterated, “"Customers don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care." This sentiment is still visible around the organization.

"We have to be passionate about what we do, why we’ve done it for the last one-hundred years and why we will continue to do it on our way to the next one-hundred years. This approach applies to our customers, our employees and the communities where we operate," said Doug Sunkel, Fridley Plant Manager. Doug went on to state, "We are working every day to turn the Fridley plant into a world-class Cummins manufacturing facility and to create the space and capability to take on new business. As we continue to increase our market share and performance in some of our existing products, we are also preparing for the next wave of technology." 

Cummins Microsoft McKinstry
In a nod towards the future, Cummins has partnered with tech giant Microsoft and building services leader McKinstry on a project that might someday allow datacenters to unplug from the grid. 

The world has changed significantly since Onan Corporation opened for business in 1920. In the modern world, how power is produced and consumed changes daily. Significant trends such as decentralization of utilities, renewable fuels such hydrogen and new digital requirements will shape our ability to respond and innovate. Cummins Power Generation celebrates its beginnings and its commitment to the next generation of power.

Please join the company in commemorating 100 years in Power Generation and looking ahead to the next 100 years. 
 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Mission critical: Keeping the COVID vaccine chilled

Kalamazoo, Michigan Health and Community Services Department - Backup Power

Having reliable backup power is crucial to keeping the COVID vaccine super cold

A lot is happening in Kalamazoo County, Michigan right now. Not only is the county home to the largest manufacturing site in Pfizer’s network, but millions of doses of Pfizer’s COVID 19 vaccine are manufactured and distributed from the site every week.

Located in Western Michigan, Kalamazoo County is home to over 200,000 residents. Officials with the county’s Health and Community Services Department know that providing for local residents is a top priority, which is why they follow strict guidelines to begin preparing for those very same Pfizer vaccines to arrive at their county health department, where they will be distributing vaccines to local residents.  

What some may not realize about these vaccines is they have a very strict storage protocol. 

The vaccine doses must be stored in an ultra-cold freezer between -112 degrees and -76 degrees Fahrenheit, even during shipping. To put that into perspective, as it’s shipped from Pfizer’s manufacturing centers to locations around the globe, the vaccine is sometimes more than 10 degrees cooler than the average temperature on Mars (-81 degrees Fahrenheit). 

Pictured: The Kalamazoo Health and Community Services Department, which relies on Cummins to provide backup power to help keep doses of the COVID vaccine at the proper temperature
Pictured: The Kalamazoo Health and Community Services Department, which relies on Cummins to provide backup power to help keep doses of the COVID vaccine stored at the proper temperature

Since keeping the vaccines cold is extremely important, the Kalamazoo County health department knew they needed backup power that they could trust. 

Jeff from Critical Power Systems was just the person up for the task. With a 150kw unit on hand, Jeff was able to step in to provide the reliable and trusted backup power for the ultra-cold freezers that Cummins gives.

On the night before the vaccines on site at the health department Jeff and his crew worked through the night to get the unit up and running. Working with a global power leader like Cummins came in handy when a local Cummins technician was even able to join the site to make sure everything was up and running correctly for their tight deadline. 

Having dealers like Critical Power Systems is incredibly important for Cummins. Jeff and the crew were able to get the unit installed the night before the vaccines arrived. 

Cummins is proud to be powering what matters. Knowing that Cummins generators are providing backup power to health care facilities and the heroes inside is why we work so hard to deliver the best product. Hospital administrators can’t afford to worry about the threat of sustaining a power outage – a dire scenario that could cause the vaccine to spoil should a refrigeration unit rise to temperatures above Pfizer’s recommendations. That same power can be brought to your home to protect what matters most to you inside those four walls. 

No matter the power need, knowing that you are working with a local expert that brings Cummins’ long-standing reputation of dependability is peace of mind. 
 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Prepare for a power outage. Download the ultimate checklist.

Many families experience power outages. Preparedness is key to staying safe and comfortable during and after a power outage. Each family is unique and has different needs, making it difficult to find one power outage checklist for your family. 
We want to make the power outage preparedness easier for your family, so we have  compiled a list of power outage preparation items below. We have also categorized some of the tips based on whether your family includes children, pets or members with medical needs. 

Download the ultimate power outage checklist and print it. 

If you want to learn more about the power outage risks you face, check out how long is the power outages are in each state on average. You can also check weather events, disasters and power outages in your state.

Preparation for power outage part I: Before an outage

Safety checklist: 

  • Have enough nonperishable food and water. Have a manual can opener.
  • Review the supplies that are available in case of no power. 
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home.
  • Create a disaster prep kit for each member of your family to ensure their safety and comfort during a power outage. A basic kit should include bottled water, non-perishable food and battery-powered flashlights. 
  • For peace of mind and no power interruption, consider purchasing a whole house generator. A whole house generator like the Cummins QuietConnect will automatically restore your power the moment it goes off.

Convenience checklist: 

  • Stock up on batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out.
  • Take inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity.
  • Have flashlights with extra batteries for every household member. 
  • Keep mobile phones and other electric equipment charged and gas tanks full.
  • Weather is the leading cause of power outages in the U.S. Sign up for local weather to stay up-to-date on potential power outages. 

Preparation for power outage part II: During an outage

Safety checklist: 

  • Stay away from any downed power lines or sparking equipment.
  • Never use a gas stovetop or oven to heat your home.
  • Consider avoiding the use of candles. This is due to the fire risk. Use extreme caution if you must use candles.
  • Operate portable generators outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

Convenience checklist: 

  • Keep freezers and refrigerators closed. The refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
  • Use coolers with ice if necessary.
  • Use a thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer so you can know the temperature when the power outage is over.
  • Go to a community location with power if heat or cold is extreme.

Protecting your electronic devices:

  • Turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment, or electronics. Power may return with momentary "surges" or "spikes" that can cause damage.

Preparation for power outage part III: After an outage

  • Throw away any food that might be risky to consume. This includes food that has remained at temperatures 40 degrees or higher for two hours or more. Throw away food that has an unusual odor, color or texture.
  • If the power is out for more than a day, consider discarding selected medication. This includes medication that needed refrigeration, unless the drug's label says otherwise. If a life depends on the refrigerated drugs, consult a doctor or pharmacist.

Live in a disaster prone area? Additional power outage preparation tips

  • Check your insurance policy. Some traditional homeowner policies don’t cover disasters like flooding and earthquakes.
  • Find out if you're in a flood zone. If so, take immediate steps to get flood insurance. Some policies typically take 30 days to go into effect.
  • Prepare a disaster kit for each member of your household. This includes children and pets. A basic emergency prep kit should include bottled water, non-perishable food, batteries and a flashlight.  
  • Keep a mini prep kit in your child's backpack. 
  • Keep additional supplies in your car in case if you need to evacuate with short notice.
  • Severe weather and power outages often come together. In fact, severe weather is the leading-cause of power-outages in the U.S. Have a plan for backup power. This is to ensure vital medical equipment and appliances like sump pumps stay on during a power outage. 

Have pets? Additional power outage preparation tips

  • Keep a photo of you and your pet together to prove ownership.
  • Have your pets’ vaccinations records and rabies vaccination tag.
  • If you plan to evacuate, know where you can take your pets.
  • Keep extra food available for your pet.

Have a family member with medical needs? Additional outage preparation tips

  • Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and refrigerated medicines.
  • Back-up medical necessities.
  • Keep at least a two-week supply of medication on hand.
  • Use an ID bracelet or a USB emergency ID band with important contact and medical information.
  • Consider using a back-up power source to ensure vital medical equipment stay on during a power outage.

Have kids? Additional power outage preparation tips

  • Prepare a mini emergency kit for school.
  • Use an ID bracelet or a USB emergency ID band with important contact and medical information.
  • Keep a favorite toy or security blanket with your family.

If you’re looking for further piece of mind, consider a power generator for your house. A whole house generator can provide backup power in case of an unexpected or planned power outage. Cummins home generators are extremely quiet, aesthetically pleasing and remotely accessible.

Information is power

Join for weather preparation and power outage tips, offers and promotions, new product offerings, and remote monitoring software updates.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Cummins employees wrap up celebrations for the Power Generation 100th anniversary

Cummins Power Generation celebrates 100 years

Cummins celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the Power Generation business in 2020.  The power generation journey began with the Onan Corporation in 1920 – a family-owned business founded by David W. Onan with one employee. Today, Power Generation products are designed across four technical centers and produced at six different plants around the globe, with more than 5,000 employees and a global network of over 190 locations and territories. 

In true Cummins style, this unique milestone was marked by colleagues celebrating in a memorable fashion. Despite COVID-19 disrupting initial celebration plans, employees that were unable to celebrate on site were able to do so at home with family. 

A series of creative competitions were hosted in which employees were invited to showcase their creative talents. This consisted of three categories: baking, crafts and video-making. Inspiring and imaginative submissions were received from employees across the world.

Employees also were invited to test their knowledge of the Power Generation business by participating in a quiz. In addition, employees submitted quotes of what 100 Years of CPG meant to them. 

Thank you to our fantastic employees for their willingness to celebrate virtually under such challenging circumstances, demonstrating the core Cummins values of Teamwork, Caring and Diversity and Inclusion in the process. 

Cummins Power Generation celebrates its beginnings and its commitment to the next generation of power. Check out some key milestones and watch our highlight video below. 

Danielle Carr

Danielle Carr is a Marketing Communications Coordinator in the Power Generation team at Cummins Inc. She graduated with 1st class honours from Canterbury Christ Church University in Kent, receiving a degree in BSc Business Studies. Danielle joined the company in 2018 and is based at the Manston site, Ramsgate UK.

Trusted dealer brings Cummins value in Georgia

Cummins generators

Peace of mind was at the top of the list for Glinn Hindin when moving to Northern Georgia. Neighbors reassured him that power outages never happened in their area, but Hindin did some research of his own. He told us that “while doing my research into home generators Cummins was far superior in giving information and service.”

That support not only came from Cummins, from our treated dealer Rick, from Earl’s Electrical Services (EES Inc). Cummins authorizes certified third-party dealers to sell and service our generators. Coupling the power of Cummins and your local expertise. Being a trusted partner during your buying process from start to finish could not be more important to Cummins. That's why we're so proud of the dealer network that brings the same Cummins value and support right to your doorstep.

Three short days after moving into their new home, Hurricane Zeta came ripping through the area. Hindin was thankful for the “responsive, informative and friendly service from EES” when fallen trees and other storm damage quickly pulled down power lines knocking all electricity out. 

HSB generator

While other neighbors were without power, the Hindin's house was prepared. Rick and his crew were there with the power he needed, and “Voila! We had power!” Hindin said. 

For three days the power remained out in his area, while inside his home he felt the safety and security that backup power provides. Hindin says his Cummins Home Generator gives him peace of mind all year, whether it’s the cold of winter, or summer storms, he knows that his fridge and freezer are protecting his food, and that his well is able to pump water to the house. After all, what’s more important than food and water?

Cummins has teamed up with the best dealers across the country to bring you reliable power when you need it the most. Rick and the crew at Earl’s Electrical Service are one example of excellent service we are so proud to bring to you. Every time a customer works with these local businesses, we know they are in great hands. 

Click here to find your local dealer. 

Do you want to be a part of this crucial family by bringing Cummins' values to your potential customers? Learn more about becoming the next Cummins Home Generator Dealer here. 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

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