"We are excited to introduce our boatbuilder partners to additional third- party accessory suppliers who can help them build unique and exciting products for today's Mercury and Cummins MerCruiser powered boats," said Phil Gaynor, director of Mercury Marine's SmartCraft program. "Since starting SmartCraft in 1999, we have learned that the success of an integration system lies in the breadth of products available, the integrity of the system design and the comprehensiveness of the system's testing. To ensure that we don't jeopardize the SmartCraft system integrity, each new SmartCraft license partner will work directly with Brunswick's software company, MotoTron, for product certification and 'logo validation.'
"MotoTron engineers will be available to SmartCraft protocol partners to certify new product designs and new product functionality before products are offered to customers. Once products are released, customers can be certain that all products on the SmartCraft bus will truly 'plug and play' with each other."
The licensing of Mercury's SmartCraft protocol is aimed at expanding Mercury's highly successful SmartCraft integration sytem.
"SmartCraft is all about highly successful integration," Gaynor said. "For that reason, we will continue to provide our customers with the same comprehensive field integration services on SmartCraft Networked products as we do on current Mercury-branded SmartCraft gauges and displays. System integration is our commitment to both our protocol partners and our boatbuilder customers, who will now be able to take the next step toward providing their customers with all the reliability and feature-packed value that digital integration can deliver."
The end result of adding new players to the SmartCraft system will be the creation of more "boater friendly" features that continue to make boating more enjoyable and more hassle-free, Gaynor said.
"Mercury's and CMD's customers have welcomed the SmartCraft digital engine and vessel information concept and are eager to see more SmartCraft Networked products be introduced," he said.
MotoTron, part of Brunswick New Technologies, is Brunswick's highly skilled engine-control and network-development software company that will provide partner companies with the engineering services necessary to help partners become fully SmartCraft compatible.
"We will continue to push hard into new technologies that help our customers and data partners differentiate themselves among their competition, while enhancing their quality and profitability," said Jeff Ehlers, president of MotoTron. "We believe SmartCraft is this type of technology."
SmartCraft is an integrated electronics technology that uses a "CAN" bus data communication technology. Mercury Marine developed the 555 CAN based engine controller, which it uses as the systems core to generate digital engine and vessel information from numerous points around a craft.
Mercury Marine initially released SmartCraft products for its OptiMax outboards in 1999. Since then, Mercury has added SmartCraft to most of its electronically fuel-injected Mercury outboard engines, Mercury MerCruiser MPI inboards and sterndrive engines, select Mercury Racing engines and Cummins MerCruiser Diesel engines. Mercury also recently added the revolutionary SmartCraft Digital Throttle and Shift system (DTS) to its family of products.
Mercury Marine is the world's leading marine-engine manufacturer, offering the widest range of horsepower and selection in the industry. MotoTron designs and supplies sophisticated engine control and vehicle-networking systems flexible enough to handle a wide range of engine and vehicle applications for both marine and non-marine use. MotoTron is part of Brunswick New Technologies, which is a unit of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC).
For additional information on MotoTron, see www.mototron.com.