The story behind FG Wilson
View some of the major milestones in the history of FG Wilson and how we became one of the world's largest manufacturer of diesel and gas powered generator sets.
1966 :: FG Wilson Established
FG Wilson (Engineering) Ltd was established by Fred Wilson on the 2nd April 1966 in First Street, Belfast, with a workforce of only 6 employees.
1976 - 1980 :: FG Wilson expanded its export business
FG Wilson expanded its export business.
The company was particularly successful in the Middle East as the market experienced strong growth from 1975.
1977 - 1978 :: Growing generator set component manufacturing
In 1977, FG Wilson grew its component manufacturing operations by purchasing an electrical manufacturing plant.
In 1978 the company founded Texxon Engineering International Limited ("Texxon") to manufacture silencers, cooling radiators and acoustic enclosures.
1978 :: Providing generator sets to the Irish Market
FG Wilson Engineering (Dublin) Limited was established to provide the Irish market with generator sets.
1981 :: Increasing demand for small up to 100 kVA generator sets
The company began to experience extraordinary demand for small capacity generator sets up to 100 kVA.
Larger production facilities were established in the Everton Works in Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland.
1984 :: Continuing to expand
The company expanded further through the acquisition of the Regent factory in Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland.
1985 :: First range of diesel generator sets developed
The company developed its first standard range of diesel generator sets and a fleet of specialist rental generator sets.
1986 :: The Blue and White Brand established
FG Wilson moved from First Street in Belfast to Everton Works in Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland.
The company also launched its Perkins powered range of generator sets, offering power outputs from 22 to 125 kVA.
Furthermore in this year FG Wilson established the distinctive Blue and White brand.
1987 :: Launched larger generator sets
The company launched its Mitsubishi powered generator set range, offering power outputs from 930 to 2,035 kVA.
1988 - 1989 :: Detroit Diesel engine powered generator sets
FG Wilson launched a range of generator sets powered by Detroit Diesel engines, offering power outputs from 200 to 1,740 kVA.
In 1989 the company was awarded the Queens Award for outstanding export achievement.
1990 :: Further production facility expansion
The company's production facilities were expanded to include a 30,000m2 factory in Monkstown, Northern Ireland.
This site specialised in heavy sheet metal fabrication and in the production of many of the larger components including generator set fuel tanks, silencers and canopy enclosures.
1990 - 1994 :: Expanding global sales offices
FG Wilson expanded its global operations by setting up subsidiary offices in Germany, France, Spain, Hong Kong, Russia, Australia, South Africa, North America, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Singapore.
With a presence in these countries the company provided superior sales support to customers throughout the world.
In 1991 and 1994 the company was awarded the Queens Award for outstanding export achievement.
1993 :: Relocation to larger facility
The company relocated to a 70,000m2 site in Larne, Northern Ireland and increased its workforce to over 1,500 people.
1995 - 1999 :: FG Wilson Bought
In 1995 the Wilson family sold FG Wilson (Engineering) Limited to Emerson Electric. The following year Emerson formed a joint venture with Caterpillar Inc.
In 1999 FG Wilson became a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar and one of the world's largest generator set manufacturers.
1998 :: Continuing to expand production
The company's production facilities were expanded to include a 23,000m2 factory in Springvale, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
This site specialised in light sheet metal fabrication, sound attenuated and weatherproof canopy enclosures and control systems.
2000 - 2007 :: Production facilities around the globe
FG Wilson opened global manufacturing facilities in Tianjin (China), Piracicaba (Brazil), Pondicherry (India) and Newberry (USA).
In 2007 FG Wilson's manufacturing operation cover a total area of over 185,000m2 within which more than 80,000 generator sets are manufactured. The company has over 3,000 employees and more than 180 Authorised Dealers located throughout the world.
2005 :: Our Engineering Centre of Excellence
The FG Wilson Engineering Centre of Excellence was opened to maximise the performance and reliability of products through the detailed analysis of generator set noise emissions.
The centre incorporates a state of the art Hemi-Anechoic (echo-free) chamber and reverberation room.
2006 :: Fourth Queens Award
The company received its fourth Queens Awards for Enterprise in recognition of significant growth in exports.
2007 :: FG Wilson Sales and Marketing relocated
In order to meet the ambitious growth plans, the FG Wilson Sales and Marketing groups relocated to new premises in Springvale, Belfast.
2009 :: Expanding into China and Brazil
The company's production facilities expanded to include a factory in Tianjin (China) and Piracicaba (Brazil).
2010 :: Intelligent product redesign introduced
FG Wilson launched a new range of generator sets offering power output from 26 - 200 kVA. This intelligent product redesign introduced a common sense component arrangement which significantly improved the access to and servicebility of the generator set.
2011 :: $21m investment to world class Engineering Centre of Excellence
FG Wilson opened new state of the art testing and validation facilities at our Engineering Centre of Excellence in Larne, Northern Ireland.
2012 :: Product Redesigns with a continued focus on performance, durability and serviceability
FG Wilson relaunched the 5.5 to 22 kVA range, introducing the innovative polymer enclosure, and redesigned the 350 -750 kVA range to enhance product performance, durability and serviceability.
2013 :: Caterpillar strengthens its commitment to the future of the FG Wilson Brand
In 2013 the legal entity FG Wilson (Engineering) Ltd changed its name to Caterpillar (NI) Limited. This legal entity change reinforces Caterpillar's commitment to the FG Wilson brand and its entire range of products, which are essential to Caterpillar's long term global growth strategy.