OMC Signs Ficht License With Polaris

Signs Ficht License With Polaris
16 February 1998

Press Release
16 February 1998


Outboard Marine Corporation has announced that it has signed an agreement to license its proprietary low- emission FICHT(TM) fuel injection technology to Polaris Industries, Inc., of Minneapolis, Minn., for use on all of Polaris' products, including personal watercrafts (PWCs), snowmobiles, and all terrain vehicles (ATVs). OMC's FICHT fuel injection technology was designed specifically for use on two-stroke engine applications, which is the primary source of power for Polaris' products. The FFI(TM) technology provides improved fuel economy, quicker starts, virtually no smoke, improved throttle response and up to 80 percent less hydrocarbon exhaust emissions. The FFI system is very simple by design -- involving fewer parts and less complexity than competitive systems -- and has been recognized by the off-road and powerplant industry as the most advanced technology available.

"OMC's FICHT fuel injection technology is very simple, yet sophisticated," said Jack Flaig, vice president of OEM FICHT Systems. "Unlike other low- emission technologies, the FFI system does not rely on bulky, complex air and fuel handling systems to meet performance goals or low emission standards mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

"With the FFI technology, we can offer consumers the smoothness, no smoke and quiet operation of a four-stroke engine, while retaining all of the advantages of two-stroke engine design," said Flaig. "With two-stroke engine designs you get lightweight engines that provide a lot of power and performance in a small package."

According to Flaig, that's what makes the FFI technology so valuable to manufacturers of off-road recreational products.

"PWC, snowmobile and ATV manufacturers all rely on small, high performance engines to provide the power they need," said Flaig. "With FICHT fuel injection, they can continue to use their current powerplants -- with only slight modifications to accept the FFI system."

Flaig said the FFI system is designed to precisely inject the fuel charge into each cylinder above the piston, after the exhaust port is closed. The basic components of the system are the injectors, engine management system and the high-energy electrical system. The FFI system uses electromagnetic solenoid driven fuel pumps, controlled by a powerful microprocessor-based engine management system, to blast short bursts of fuel directly into the combustion chambers at rates of up 150 times per second -- at pressures exceeding 400 pounds per square inch.

This high-pressure pulse atomizes and properly positions each burst of raw fuel in the cylinder for each ignition. And since the exhaust port is closed at the time the fuel charge reaches the piston, raw fuel does not escape through the exhaust port. As a result, hydrocarbon emissions are dramatically reduced -- by 70 to 80 percent -- from those of traditional carbureted two- stroke engines, and fuel efficiency is increased by 35 percent or more.

"We are very excited about offering the FICHT fuel injection technology initially on our personal watercraft products," said Ken Larson, president of Polaris. "We have investigated a range of technologies that would enable us to provide the state-of-the-art products our customers want, but none offered all of the benefits we have with the FFI technology.

"With FICHT fuel injection, we can continue to offer our customers the industry leading, technologically advanced high-performance products they have come to expect from Polaris," Larson added.

"We are pleased to have Polaris as a partner in bringing the FFI technology to a new market," said Flaig. "We have proven the reliability of this technology and the benefits it offers in marine engines over the past two years. And OMC is continuing to expand the application of the FFI system across its outboard engine line."

"There are many industries that use two-stroke engines, including outdoor power equipment, motor scooters and other off-road recreational products," said Paul Rabe, vice president of sales and marketing for OMC's Marine Power Products division. "With FICHT, we feel we are well positioned to capture the benefits of our exclusive technology.

"The FFI technology will be a key thrust in our strategy to build upon our core competency in two-stroke engine design -- both inside and outside the marine market. And we are making great headway in our efforts to bring this technology to other industries," Rabe added.

Outboard Marine Corporation is a leading manufacturer of marine engines, boats, accessories and FICHT fuel injection -- the industry's premier low- emission engine technology.

SOURCE Outboard Marine Corporation

Contact: Marlena Cannon, 
Director, Public Affairs & Communications 
of Outboard Marine Corporation, 

Return to Recreational Boat Building Industry Home Page