Mercury Marine officially opened a 23,500-square-foot expansion to its diecasting facility in Fond du Lac, Wis., earlier this week. According to a press release from the marine engine and accessories giant, the $9 million investment “provides needed space for capacity increases, allowing the company to make complex blocks, driveshafts, and gearcases for Mercury’s outboards.”
With sales of its V-8 (above) and V-6 outboard engines booming, Mercury Marine expanded its diecasting facility to help meet demand.
The expansion was driven by demand for the company’s V-8 and V-6 outboard engines lines.
“Demand for both our V-6 and V-8 engines has been incredible and we have consistently said that we will increase our capacity to ensure we continue to meet and exceed the needs of our customers,” said John Buelow, Mercury Marine vice president of global operations, in the release. “This expansion will allow us to stay true to our promise of manufacturing the most reliable engines in the world.”
The addition will be filled with large-tonnage diecasting equipment containing cutting edge technologies that will “drive higher quality and better throughput,” according to the release. In addition, Mercury will add another 4,500-ton diecast machine giving the company two of the largest of its kind in North America.
Said Buelow, “This expansion will allow us to stay true to our promise of manufacturing the most reliable engines in the world.”
Each diecasting cell in the expansion will be fully automated with three or four robots in each die casting cell—robots will complete metal pouring, die lube spraying, liner insertion and part extraction. The cells will include automated sawing and part marking that will allow traceability throughout the supply chain.
“This expansion will provide the foundry much needed space to assemble and work on extremely large die casting tools,” said Buelow. “The V-8 block tool weighs in excess of 100,000 pounds and is more than 16-feet across. Storage and pre-assembly of these massive tools is required for quick change-over in the die casting machines.”