BOMBARDIER FACTORY TOUR
SEE THE PLANT IN ACTION !!
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1/15/2002 MASTERTECH goes on
tour at the new Bombardier Evinrude and Johnson
production facility in Sturtevant Wisconsin. As
a result of a solicitation from the good folks
at Bombardier to come and see for myself the new
facility for production of Evinrude and Johnson
outboards. Suffice it to say this old engineer
was duly impressed.
The group of individuals selected
to tour the plant were bussed in from the excellent
quarters provided out to the plant early on the
15th of January. A large open reception area where
we all were issued ID was just inside the front
door. Heritage was evident in a display of an early
Evinrude A model single from the teens as well
as a 1923 Johnson Light Twin. Across the room were
new 2002 Evinrude and Johnson models.
we were presented with several display areas highlighting
various departments including tech service, parts
and accessories as well as having Our pictures
taken for possible press release by Our local papers.
(yeah, right, West Hawaii Today will have me on
the front page - ). The vice president of Bombardier,
Roche Lambert and other notables were introduced
to us at a short dissertation on the direction
Bombardier is taking with the outboard division.
Motors have been analyzed from top to prop and
redesigned as required to eliminate prior problems.
A completely new gearcase has been designed for
all V6 models. The one you see here is the fast
||As this plant
is a work in progress we were all issued hard hats
and a small radio receiver so we could hear the
information provided by out tour guide as we progressed
thru the plant. The first area we saw was the paint
facility for, and the area where the midsections
were being assembled. This picture is in the department
where power trim units are installed. The planning
guys were looking into an assembly problem for
production folks. I was told all trim assemblies
that were built as of the OMC bankruptcy were taken
down and checked, cleaned, reassembled and retested.
As we traveled thru the plant
we saw the receivingarea where parts and assemblies
are entered into the plant from outside vendors
and other production facilities. Currently the
block castings and die castings are produced in
the Southeast. Plans are to consolidate operations
in close proximity to this assembly plant so as
to minimize wasted time and parts in transit.
"Thunder" assembly line is the 90° V6 powerhead build
area. Every powerhead has a build sheet, this accompanies it thru
production and onto the mating midsection and lower unit. Anyone,
at any time, can send this powerhead or entire motor back to square
one if need be to correct any evident or suspected problem. That
is ANYONE, no supervisor has to intercede. On the other side of
the aisle the 60° powerheads undergo a similar procedure.
the motor is completed mechanically it disappears
into the room where EVERY ONE gets a propeller
installed and sensors hooked up for a thorough
test run. This is a serious test where the motor
is run up to temperature and then the hammer is
dropped, it gets an EXTENDED wide open test. Not
up to snuff? It's outa' here - and back to the
rework area where whatever corrective action required
is accomplished. Then its' back to the tank for
a rerun. This was a pretty impressive setup, measurements
are taken of many parameters thru strain gauges,
temperature sensors and computer simulations of
different RPM regimes.
||This view shows
the screen readouts during this testing. As can
be seen, this test cell is large enough to handle
a lot of engines at once. Production here is just
underway, they have adequate capacity to handle
future growth easily.
the completed motor has the remaining peripherals
and cover installed, a last cleaning and detailing
is performed before it gets sent to the packers
to be crated for delivery. All in all, a most impressive
operation. A far cry from what I saw in the late
70's when I was in and about the old OMC plants
in the Milwaukee and Waukegan areas. These folks
are dedicated to building the best darn motors
in the world, I think they might just do it. In
my humble opinion the FICHT FFI system is the simplest,
best option to the 2 stroke emission problem. With
the new Bombardier Corporation of AMERICA, the
Evinrude/Johnson brands will be elevated to their
former prominence. They got my vote!
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