Because no two boat builders have the same electrical system needs, every electrical control solution that Marlin devises is custom to solve each boat builder’s specific needs.
THE OEM PROBLEM
HIGH WARRANTY CLAIMS HURTING BRAND REPUTATION
A manufacturer of shallow draft fishing boats was experiencing a significant number of warranty claims for corrosion on the fuse panel and paddle switches that supply power to the individual loads throughout their boat. Of greater concern, beyond the cost of reconciling warranty claims, the OEM’s brand reputation was being hurt by this issue.
THE DESIGN CHALLENGE
IMPROVE ELECTRICAL SYSTEM DEPENDABILITY AND PRODUCTION EFFICIENCY
It was imperative that the OEM improve the dependability of their boat’s electrical system. And, as the company was seeing an increase in the number of boats being ordered, they also wanted a solution that would help them build more units quicker by reducing the labor time and the copper installed on the boats.
PRECISELY UNDERSTAND THE LOADS THE SOLUTION MUST CONTROL
Marlin’s representatives obtained schematics from the OEM, identifying all the loads that needed to be controlled, including; live well, power pole, navigation lights, anchor lights, bilge pump and horn. A thorough assessment gave Marlin’s electrical engineers a complete understanding of the loads and the functions that the controller would need to create, and enabled them to confidently specify the optimal electrical control solution. Marlin then worked with the OEM boat builder’s production team to create a new schematic for controlling each load, and also identified an inventory of equipment needed to install the system on the boat.
AN INTEGRATED PLUG AND PLAY SOLUTION FITTED TO THE OEM’S SPECIFIC APPLICATIONS
Marlin’ engineers specified a Digital Switcher Kit, an integrated plug & play electronic control system designed for severe duty marine applications, compromised of Marlin’s standard M-Flex® modules, but fitted for the OEM’s specific applications. The modules included a digital switcher, a ground block terminal and a 12-button key pad. With the solution specified, Marlin provided a budgetary quote for the Digital Switcher Kit, so that the OEM understood the ballpark budget required to deliver the precise solution to their problem.
PROTOTYPING THE SOLUTION WITHIN THE APPLICATION MARLIN PLACED ENGINEERS ON SITE TO ENSURE THE SOLUTION FUNCTIONS PROPERLY AND SAFELY
Marlin engineers traveled to the OEM manufacturing site for a two-day work-along with the OEM’s team to determine and execute a plan to install the Digital Switcher Kit on a boat in production — creating a prototype for the boat builder. The aspect of creating a prototype proves the solution collaboratively with the OEM’s production team. Interestingly, the boat chosen as the prototype was one that was in the process of being built for the son of the company’s owner.
DETERMINING THE PLAN
The first day entailed putting together a game plan, starting with characterizing each load in terms of voltage and current requirements, as well as sizing the correct wiring to each load. Then, working with the OEM’s installers we determined how to wire the loads — how to install the Amphenol or Deutsche connectors to each of the loads and how to connect them to Marlin’s digital switcher. And, suitable locations were selected to place the digital switcher, ground block terminal and key pad. Always there was consideration for how greater efficiency could be gained in production. All of those things were agreed on by the OEM owner, the rigger and Marlin.
EXECUTING THE PLAN
The second day was spent installing the entire Digital Switcher Kit system of modules, rigging the wiring and connecting to the loads. Marlin provided a complete supply of all of the components required to install and test Digital Switcher Kit system, making the process turnkey. Marlin used its proprietary programming tool for configuring the digital Switcher to the OEM’s specific boat model. The program tool configures the digital switcher to the desired switch type, such as momentary, on/ off, on/on/both/off or dimmable, and can also set a custom current level for the specific circuit.
Following installation, Marlin’s engineers tested each of the loads, not only to make sure that the
system was functioning correctly, but, importantly, to be sure it was functioning safely for each of the
loads being controlled.
As final verification, the prototype boat was put into the water and tested by the boat builder for 26 hours.
After the OEM successfully completed testing, they engaged Marlin with a blanket PO for a six-month period, calling for 25 Digital Switcher Kits per month.
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM DEPENDABILITY, PRODUCTION EFFICIENCIES AND BETTER END-USER EXPERIENCE
ABOUT MARLIN’S ENGINEERS
Marlin’s field service engineers are electrical engineers who are trained for the application and have thousands of hours of experience on the equipment. They know the equipment extremely well, often better than the OEM does. They are experts not only of Marlin’s equipment, they are experts of the equipment of our OEM customers.