Dometic today announces the upcoming launch of its Optimus Electric Steering Actuator, developed exclusively for use with Dometic’s popular Optimus Joystick and Electric Power Steering (EPS) systems.
The marine industry’s first all-electric steering actuator for outboard engines, this easy-to-install, yet technologically advanced actuator can be paired with many of the most popular engine brands including Yamaha, Mercury, Suzuki and Honda. This makes it an ideal addition for a wide variety of outboard powered fishing and performance boats from top builders.
The Optimus Electric Steering Actuator mounts directly on the motor in place of the existing hydraulic steering cylinder. With its powerful drive train, integrated proprietary position sensors and embedded electronics, it eliminates the need for separately mounted hydraulic actuators currently used in Optimus Joystick and EPS systems. This means no more Pump Control Module, no more hydraulic pump, no more hydraulic hoses, cylinders and fluid, and no more purging the system.
“We are continually developing new technology that benefits the boating industry and enhances the overall boating experience,” said Eric Fetchko, President of Dometic Marine Americas. “This is yet another example of our company’s commitment to ongoing improvement and innovation. We work very hard at finding ways to make our existing marine technologies better, stronger and more reliable,” added Fetchko.
In terms of on-water performance, ease of installation and season-after-season reliability, the new Optimus Electric Steering Actuator provides substantial advantages to boat builders and boating enthusiasts alike. With current systems, the signal from the Optimus electronic helm goes to the Pump Control Module, which then activates an electro-hydraulic steering system. Although it operates “by wire,” hydraulic fluid is still pumped through hoses into the steering cylinders on the outboards to move the motors left or right.
With the new Optimus Electric Steering Actuator, the electronic helm signal goes directly to the actuator, which instantly moves the outboard. The “brains” of the system, including the ECM, rudder position circuit and CANbus communication, are integrated into the actuator itself. Steering power is delivered by a proprietary high-torque, high-efficiency brushless DC electric motor designed and manufactured in house, and a patented, compact roller-screw drive system. Both the motor and power train reside within the steering actuator.
Improved vessel handling
Boaters using this new steering will instantly notice a marked improvement in vessel handling. Steering response will be immediate, smooth and precise at all speeds. Programmable steering settings, including adjustable speed-sensitive lock-to-lock turns, adjustable speed-sensitive wheel effort, and speed sensitive rudder angle limits continue to be available to ensure safe steering — now without the need for any extra components.
Installation is a snap, with just three CANbus connections plus power. Single, twin, triple and quad outboard installations will be similar, with Optimus Electric Steering Actuators controlling adjacent outboards via tie-bars. In addition, the new Electric Steering Actuator will interface with compatible autopilot systems in the same manner as current Optimus systems. Dometic’s SeaWays Autopilot, Optimus 360 Joystick Control and SeaStation GPS Anchoring functionality are also built in.
Exceeds all marine standards
The new Optimus Electric Steering Actuator exceeds all marine standards, including NMMA, ABYC, CE and SAE electrical and environmental requirements. The actuators are maintenance free, except for regular greasing of the steering ram via installed zerk fittings. Over 100,000 hours of rigorous testing ensures safe and reliable performance under harsh fresh and saltwater conditions.
OEM installers have been asking Dometic for an all-electric steering system that is easier to install and now they have it. The new Electric Steering Actuator will be available to Optimus OEM installers beginning in December 2019.
NOTE TO EDITORS
Dometic is a global market leader in branded solutions for mobile living in the areas of Food & Beverage, Climate, Power & Control, Safety & Security and Hygiene & Sanitation. Dometic operates in the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific, providing products for use in recreational vehicles, trucks and premium cars, pleasure and workboats, and for a variety of other uses. Our motivation is to create smart and reliable products with outstanding design. We sell our products in approximately 100 countries and we have a global distribution and dealer network in place to serve the aftermarket. Dometic employs approximately 8,000 people worldwide, had net sales of more than SEK 18.0 billion (USD 2.0 billion) in 2018 and is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden.