Mercury Marine has record year
LAKE FOREST, Ill. Feb. 13, 2017 - Improved methods for handling exhaust from marine engines ... innovative hull designs to increase boat stability ... walking treadmill desk configurations to encourage active workplace meetings -- Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC), a worldwide leader in the marine and fitness equipment industries, today announced that it had 73 patents granted to the Company during 2016, more than twice its total for 2015, and among the highest amount achieved in Brunswick's nearly 175 years in business.
"2016 was another prolific year for the Company in all of our segments - marine engine, pleasure boats and fitness," Brunswick's Vice President and Chief Technology Officer David Foulkes said. In 2015, Brunswick was awarded 34 patents, earning the Company a spot among the top 25 Illinois companies receiving patents during that year, according to Crain's Chicago Business.
For 2016, the Company and its divisions earned 73 patents, 60 of which were awarded to Brunswick's Mercury Marine division, which was a record for the engine manufacturer based in Fond du Lac, Wis.
"Consistent with our dedication to product leadership, we have sustained the pace of innovation both in product features and capabilities as well as operational process improvements," Foulkes explained. "Indeed, the awarding of these patents was the culmination of a lot of good work across the Company during the past several years. These efforts have reinforced our leadership position in our marine and fitness businesses."
In 2016, Brunswick spent approximately $139 million on research and development across the global Company, about three percent of its annual net sales and consistent with investment levels of recent years.
In 2016, Brunswick's research was highly concentrated into the following categories:
Mercury obtained 11 patents relating to handling emissions and exhaust. These patents include those resulting from the cooperative efforts of Brunswick's Mercury and Attwood operations to develop industry-leading fuel systems and technologies as well as improved methods of reducing emissions in marine fuel systems.
Mercury continues to maintain its position as the leader in marine propulsion control systems. In 2016, Mercury secured 12 patents relating to its control systems. The patents range from designs of the joystick control and display, to improving the lateral movement of boat with various power configurations.
Six issued patents demonstrate Mercury's constant efforts to improve the consumer's comfort, including reducing the noise and vibration of the engine, as well as improving the shift changes to provide the boat passengers with a smoother, quieter and more comfortable ride.
Not only is Mercury working to improve the experience of boat operators, but also those who must maintain the boats. Mercury obtained seven patents on developments aimed at servicing and maintaining engines, including better accessibility through cowl improvements as well as enhancements to engine mounting systems.
The Brunswick Boat Group continued to focus on improving the boating experience. Two examples are a newly issued patent protecting the hull design of the Bayliner Element boat, which improves the stability of the boat, allowing a hulled boat to act much more like a pontoon. Similarly, Sea Ray secured a patent on its popular rear lounge seat on its well-received SLX model.
The Fitness Division continues to focus not only on being active at the gym, but through a person's life, including at work. The Fitness patents issued during 2016 reflected the division's continued growth, including several patents issued to recently acquired Cybex and Indoor Cycling Group as well as three patents covering its InMovement Products.
"This sustained focus has led to a number of product features and capabilities that have resonated with consumers as well as advanced many aspects of our industries," Foulkes concluded. "Though our thrust continues to be in support of new products and enhancements of existing products, we continue to expand our efforts in the fields of collaborative research and the strengthening and deepening of our pool of talent. Indeed, we believe that a robust R&D effort provides a platform to support creativity and innovation throughout the organization."
Headquartered in Lake Forest, Ill., Brunswick Corporation's leading consumer brands include Mercury and Mariner outboard engines; Mercury MerCruiser sterndrives and inboard engines; MotorGuide trolling motors; Attwood, Garelick and Whale marine parts and accessories; Land 'N' Sea, Kellogg Marine, Payne's Marine and BLA parts and accessories distributors; Bayliner, Boston Whaler, Brunswick Commercial and Government Products, Crestliner, Cypress Cay, Harris, Lowe, Lund, Meridian, Princecraft, Quicksilver, Rayglass, Sea Ray, Thunder Jet and Uttern; Life Fitness, Hammer Strength, Cybex, Indoor Cycling Group and SCIFIT fitness equipment; InMovement products and services for productive well-being; and Brunswick billiards tables, accessories and game room furniture. For more information, visit http://www.brunswick.com.