Ceramic Industry News

Cummins Announces Innovation Award Winners (posted 11/28/07)

A team of Cummins employees was recently recognized with the annual Dr. Julius P. Perr Innovation Award.

A team of employees whose work in structural ceramics made it possible for Cummins to be a leader in diesel fuel injection equipment technology was recently recognized with the annual Dr. Julius P. Perr Innovation Award. Winners of the 2007 award developed breakthrough technologies that made it possible to use structural ceramic materials in fuel injectors and pumps, and to produce them at a competitive cost. The runners-up were recognized for their work in developing a process to repair and recycle electronic control modules used in mid-range engines.

“Innovations like these have made Cummins the company that it is today, a technology leader in our industry,” said Cummins Vice President and Chief Technical Officer John Wall. “They have proven their value to Cummins and to our customers. This is what we mean when we say, ‘Innovation you can depend on.’”

A structural ceramic fuel injector timing plunger was patented by this team of Cummins employees and Toshiba, the company’s partner in a joint venture called Enceratec: J. Victor Perr, David M. Rix, Thomas M. Yonushonis, John T. Carroll III, Daniel K. Hickey, Joseph C. Bentz, Katsuhiro Shinosawa, and Malcolm G. Naylor.

Yonushonis and Albert Shih were also recognized for developing a process that made it less costly yet easier to grind complex geometry ceramic fuel injector plungers used initially in the CELECT electronic high-pressure fuel system.

Before the ceramic plunger technology was developed, Cummins and other engine makers depended on plungers made of steel that were not as robust as ceramic. Contaminants and extreme operating conditions caused them to seize or otherwise perform unreliably. The pioneering use of ceramics enabled Cummins to develop reliable high-pressure fuel injection systems, a key component in the manufacture of low-emissions engines.

This prestigious award is named in honor of Dr. Julius P. Perr, who developed innovations that enabled Cummins to be a technology leader in the diesel engine business. Perr joined Cummins in 1958 after fleeing Communist Hungary. Contributing to fuel systems and engine design, Perr is named as the inventor or co-inventor on 80 U.S. patents. He died in 2005.

The Dr. Julius P. Perr Innovation Award has been given every year since 2000 to employees whose inventions best represent the spirit of innovation that Perr brought to Cummins. The inventions significantly benefit the company, the industry or the environment.

Additional information is available at www.cummins.com.


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