Cummins recognizes eight employees with 2010 Perr Innovation Award

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Cummins Inc. has honored eight current or former employees with its highest technical award for their work on two inventions that have yielded significant advancements in engine components made by the company.

Tadeusz Jaroszczyk, Douglas Benham, Scott Heckel, Michael Connor, Stephen Fallon and Z. Gerald Liu were recognized for their work that led to Cummins’ original patent for its Direct Flow Air Filter. The group patented an innovation in the pleating process of manufacturing the filter that increases the volume of air that flows through the filter – all while taking up less space in the engine compartment. This filter design assists in improving overall engine performance.

The Direct Flow filter has generated millions of dollars in sales in 2010 with potential for many new applications in the future. Jaroszczyk and Benham are recent Cummins retirees, while Heckel received his recognition posthumously. The other three inventors are current Cummins employees.

Bahram Nikpour and David Donnelley received the 2010 Perr Award for their work that improved the compressor flow range for turbochargers. The inventors patented a new design for the compressor diffuser recess in Cummins turbochargers, which allows the turbocharger to operate more efficiently across a wide range of ambient air conditions.

Cummins says the design change, which adds little cost to the turbocharger, helps vehicles perform better in a variety of conditions from sea level to high altitudes. Cummins currently manufactures more than 200,000 turbochargers a year featuring this design, most for heavy-duty truck engines.

Both of these projects are indicative of our innovation at work on behalf of the environment and our customers, and are outstanding examples of our philosophy of producing ‘innovation you can depend on,’ ” says John Wall, Cummins vice president and chief technical officer.

The award was created to honor of Dr. Perr, who was named as the inventor or co-inventor on 80 U.S. patents. Dr. Perr, who died in 2005, joined Cummins in 1958 after fleeing Communist Hungary.