QUEEN'S AWARDS: Engineering giant secures the most prestigious accolade in the industry

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THE Queen's Awards – the most prestigious accolade for local industry – have reached a milestone 40th anniversary this year. This week Business editor Sarah Gunthardt takes a closer look at Perkins Shibaura Engines, diesel engine manufacturer, which won The Queen's Award for International Trade 2005.

THE Queen's Awards – the most prestigious accolade for local industry – have reached a milestone 40th anniversary this year. This week Business editor Sarah Gunthardt takes a closer look at Perkins Shibaura Engines, diesel engine manufacturer, which won The Queen's Award for International Trade 2005.SPREADSHEETS showing sales figures are one way to quantify success, but the Peterborough engineering giant has had its success confirmed by none other than Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Perkins Shibaura Engines Limited was awarded a Queen's Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category for its world-class range of 400 Series engines.

Providing power from 10 horsepower (enough to run a ride-on lawnmower) to 61 horsepower (big enough to power a tractor), the engines are proving a hit across the world.

The Peterborough factory exports engines to North America, Europe and the Middle East, and it is this global presence that earned the company the Queen's Award – the UK's most prestigious business award.

The man responsible for steering Perkins Shibaura on its path to success was general manager David Goldspink.

David has now moved on to another role within Perkins, handing the reins over to Michael Wright, but not before taking part in the celebrations to mark the award success.

"This is an amazing accolade for us to have won.We are absolutely thrilled to win such a prestigious award," he said.

"The 400 Series is well established in the marketplace as a class leader in the small engines market. Its popularity is steadily increasing as more and more original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) gain first-hand experience of these engines."

One of the reasons for the 400 Series' success is its diversity. The engines fit a wide range of applications including turf maintenance, compact construction equipment, lighting towers, generator sets, marine power, aerial lifts and general industrial applications such as welders and pump sets.

The whole team has celebrated the award, which also saw David Goldspink, Mitsuo Ohno, ISM quality manager, and Simon Randall, production associate, attend Buckingham Palace for a civic reception.

The final stage of celebrations took place in August when the Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire visited the Peterborough site.

Acting as the Queen's representative for Cambridgeshire, he presented the Royal proclamation and Queen's Award rosebowl to David Goldspink and Michael Wright, with all Peterborough-based Shibaura employees present to witness the historic occasion.

The Lord Lieutenant, Hugh Duberly CBE, said that the Queen's Award was the most prestigious business award in the UK.

"The Queen has asked that the Lord Lieutenant in each county should make these awards, and that tells how important she believes the award to be and the role and status it should have," he said.

David Goldspink said that it was an incredibly proud day for everyone.

"Moreover, I believe that the award and the prestige it conveys gives our business an excellent opportunity to build on this success."

And Michael Wright echoed these sentiments.

"This is a tremendous award, and is the sum of all the achievements of the past few years," he said.

Also at the event was Kuroda San, Ishikawajima Shibaura Machinery Company Ltd (ISM's) director of international operations.

"It's a great honour to witness the presentation. On behalf of ISM I would like to express my sincere appreciation to everyone who has been dedicated in building a successful diesel engine business."

The Lord Mayor of Peterborough John Horrell, Stewart Jackson MP and Malcolm Burch, Peterborough City Council's assistant chief executive, also attended the event, which included a tour of the Perkins Shibaura factory.

FACTfile: Shibaura

Perkins Shibaura Engines is a joint venture between Peterborough-based Perkins Engines and Japanese manufacturer Ishikawajima Shibaura Machinery Company Ltd (ISM).

The manufacturing facility, next to the main Perkins Peterborough site, was opened in 1996.

The original product was the 100 Series Engine. The latest model, the 400 Series, comes in seven base models with thousands of alternative build options.

In 2004 a new manufacturing plant was opened in Georgia, USA, to cope with increased orders from North American OEMs.

More than 400 people work for Perkins Shibaura: 320 in Peterborough and 130 in America. ISM has some 300 employees in Japan.

The Peterborough plant has recently appointed an extra 100 new production staff to cope with a rise in demand for its engines.

ISM has been manufacturing agricultural equipment and engines since the 1950s and is one of Japan's leading suppliers of small engines and tractors.

It is part of Ishikawajima Harima Heavy Industries Company Ltd – one of Japan's largest industrial companies.

All change at the helm for Perkins Shibaura

MICHAEL Wright (36), below, took over as general manager of Perkins Shibaura in May this year.

He has worked at Perkins for 13 years, principally in marketing and sales functions.

While in the position of product marketing manager, Michael orchestrated the launch of the 400 Series range – the line of compact engines currently produced by Perkins Shibaura.

Michael's focus on the development of the Perkins small engine business continued in his role as sales director, when he led the effort to build 400 Series sales to new levels.

"This job is a great natural progression for me. I'm the biggest 400 Series fan around. This role enables me to use my customer knowledge I've learned during my time at Perkins to build on the success of Perkins Shibaura," he said.

"I know what our customers need and expect from us, and I'm now in the position to make sure that we meet those expectations."

Michael, who is married with two children, paid tribute to the work carried out by his predecessor, David Goldspink.

"David has really led Perkins Shibaura to a high degree of success, and there's no doubt that he will be a hard act to follow," Michael said.

"I am in charge of a very successful joint venture business, and I relish the challenge of helping the company grow and develop further."

Did you know?

Companies can apply for

The Queen's Awards for

Enterprise in one or more of

three categories –

International Trade, Innovation and Sustainable Development.

Full details of the criteria under each category, as well as information on how to apply, can be found on The Queen's Awards website at www.queensawards.org.uk

The Queen's Award to Industry (the scheme's original title) was introduced in 1965. Its purpose was to recognise outstanding achievement by industry.

The operation of the awards was formally reviewed in 1970, 1975 and 1999. A recommendation of the 1999 review was that the awards should be known generically as "The Queen's Awards for Enterprise".

In July 2004 it was announced that The Queen had approved an additional Award for Enterprise. This is for individuals and is called The Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion, to recognise outstanding contributions to the development and promotion of an enterprise culture.

There will be up to 10 awards each year, plus one Lifetime Achievement Award if there is an appropriate candidate. Recipients will be presented with an engraved crystal glass commemorative item and a Grant of Appointment and will be invited to a reception at Buckingham Palace.

The Queen will make the aAwards on the advice of the Prime Minister who is assisted by an Enterprise Promotion Assessment Committee.

Membership includes representatives of Government departments and Agencies including the Small Business Service, the Department for Education and Skills, and the Department of Trade and Industry, as well as the Small Business Council and other business organisations.

The Lifetime Achievement Award would be given for consistent and high quality promotion of an enterprise culture over a substantial period of time. This award will only be given for an outstanding record of achievement and may not be granted every year.