Brunswick adds five SmartCraft licensees

OSHKOSH, Wis. – SmartCraft, Brunswick’s patented integrated vessel network system, has now expanded to include digital interface to the products of five additional companies, Brunswick said in a release this morning.

The companies are Onan generators, Faria instruments, Airmar sensor technology, Navman navigation products and DNA Group – makers of Databus switching products. All have recently become licensed partners of Brunswick’s SmartCraft integrated databus system, which is designed to create a common databus thread between different boat systems.

“These ‘SmartCraft Networked’ products represent the beginning of what Brunswick expects to become a wide network of highly integrated products,” said Phil Gaynor, Brunswick’s SmartCraft director. “The purpose of the SmartCraft Networked program is to leverage the expertise and capabilities that a variety of individual companies can deliver to a network. SmartCraft aims to organize those companies into a highly reliable and highly supported integrated system for the boat building community.”

MotoTron, part of Brunswick New Technologies, began the “SmartCraft Networked” program in January. Through it and the partnership of these new companies, SmartCraft will soon be capable of combining the information and control of boats, engines, navigation products, 120-volt power generating systems, and switch and control of any number of accessories.

Jeff Ehlers, president of MotoTron and leader of the SmartCraft system design team, said SmartCraft has been set up for this type of expansion from the beginning.

“That is why we designed SmartCraft with three independent CAN communication lines,” Ehlers said. “One line is strictly dedicated to safety systems, like throttle and shift; another is designed as both a backup to the safety systems and the carrier of engine and diagnostic information, while a third is for networked vessel systems, such as Onan Generators, Airmar vessel sensors and DNA databus switching.”

LeAnne Ketelsen, director of marine sales and marketing for Cummins Power Generation, manufacturers of the Onan brand, said Onan chose to use the SmartCraft protocol because the SmartCraft technology meets the needs of the marine industry.

“Onan is also pleased with MotoTron’s commitment to validate and certify all new SmartCraft networked partners to ensure compatibility of all network equipment,” Ketelsen said. “MotoTron and Mercury have also made provisions for OEM field integration support, and this is very important to ensure that our customers experience the benefits of a truly integrated vessel system.”

Brunswick said new partner products for the SmartCraft system are now available, with others planned for availability throughout the remainder of 2004.

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