Tom Schuessler, president of Power Products, announced a new division for the company during an interview with Trade Only Today yesterday at the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference in Tampa, Fla.
“We have a new business called Power Products Systems Integrators,” Schuessler said. “They make it easier for the OEM to install [a boat’s electrical backbone] and add a lot of the digital switching user interface features that consumers are expecting today.”
Brunswick Corp. acquired Power Products last spring with the intention of becoming a one-stop source for all electrical and electronic systems on board. Power Products is a collection of 12 brands across the power spectrum that supply everything from wires and terminals to bus bars, batteries and digital switching.
“Being part of Brunswick and Mercury opens up a lot of opportunities for further systems integration, and there are a lot of things that we can do around being able to make the overall boating experience for the end user,” Schuessler said.
He added that the biggest challenge the company is facing is the “tradeoff between how much customization you do with each individual OEM versus trying to have a product that is a little bit standard to make the systems easier to integrate for the individual customer.”
The goal is to facilitate installation for the manufacturer and reduce overall installation costs. In addition to becoming a single source for the electrical backbone for an OEM builder, he said, Power Products is looking to make systems integration available for the RV and other mobile industries.
“We have the electronic and electrical background to be able to do that, and we have the talent to make that work,” he said.
Most consumers won’t encounter what Power Products provides to a boat — for example, C-Zone digital switching, which provides the control systems for a multifunction display to control an array of on-board functions, from lights and entertainment to engine monitoring.
“It’s very important for C-Zone to be able to integrate with a variety of multifunction display manufacturers so that the boater is able to have everything he wants to access on his dash, where it’s easy and intuitive for him to be able to operate the systems,” Schuessler said. “A boater just wants it to work like his home or automobile.”
Schuessler said Power Products already is seeing results. Brunswick and Mercury recently rolled out a fully integrated Harris pontoon that demonstrates the Power Products features and functionality, as well as cleaner rigging and wiring behind the helm.