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DAMEN, Damen Dredging Equipment; The next step in series-built cutter suction dredgers In focus: ✔

관리자 2024-05-27 조회수 67

10 MAY 2024

When Damen Dredging Equipment (DDE) (formerly De Groot Nijkerk) became part of the Damen Shipyards Group, the principles of standardised shipbuilding were soon applied, enabling rapid access to proven equipment. In 2004, DDE began offering a range of Cutter Suction Dredgers (CSD) that were to become icons of the industry.

Since then, Damen has delivered over 250 dredgers from this successful series to clients around the world. As Damen’s Product Director Dredging, Olivier Marcus, says, however, “There comes an end to the life of even the best products.”

Time for a new generation

Explaining the need for a new generation of CSDs, Olivier points to the numerous technological advancements that have taken place over the last two decades. Of at least equal importance is growing environmental awareness; today’s dredgers must comply with increasingly stringent regulations.

A clean sheet

“There’s another reason,” Olivier explains. “Over the last 20 years, we’ve received some excellent feedback about our dredgers. This has come from clients, suppliers and from our own Services department. With this information we’ve been able to implement a process of continual product development. We’ve reached the stage now though, where the smartest, most efficient way forward is to start with a blank sheet of paper.” To that end, Olivier and his team got to work developing a whole new series of CSDs, ready for the future of dredging. With engineering complete, Damen is now undertaking construction of the first in the series, a brand new CSD600.

Ringing the changes

Applying its well-established modular approach, Damen has incorporated a plug and play strategy throughout the design, significantly improving the production process. For example, the hydraulic system is skid mounted at the OEM location. Here, it can be built up assembled and tested, in the most suitable environment, before being quickly and simply installed to the dredger with optimal efficiency.

Such modules have the additional benefit of being very easily transportable in a container, to even the remotest of locations. “It means we can deliver the most critical parts already assembled and ready to go.

This way, we can facilitate building all over the world, whether by Damen or as part of the Damen Technical Cooperation (DTC) together with third parties,” Olivier explains.

Driven by sustainability

Along with increased efficiency and mobility, there are additional advantages to the modular approach. For example, Sustainability has been a significant factor in driving the development of the new CSD range. The dredgers offer the option to change the engine room hood with the standard exhaust pipe and muffler for one with a complete EU Stage V emissions reduction system to meets the latest IMO regulations.

Additional steps towards sustainability include the dredgers’ being prepared for fully electric operations. The planning for reduced impact on the environment, however, can be seen in every detail. It includes, for example, using significantly lower volumes of potentially polluting fluids. There is, for instance, very little grease involved, and hydraulic fluids have been reduced 50%.

Steps to safety

Safety is a further beneficiary of the CSDs’ modular design and use of preassembled equipment. For instance, the winches were previously situated directly in front of the wheelhouse, a frequently used walking area. In the new series, they are located on top of the ladder, protecting operators from proximity to moving parts.

The new winch location has the further advantage of creating an open space between the wheelhouse and the ladder, perfect as a safe working or storage area. The deck, furthermore, features flush hatches to avoid risk of tripping.

Like sustainability, safety runs throughout the design. The operating cabin, for instance, is raised, providing clear views over the deck and area of operation. Steps and stairs – sloped wherever possible – give safe access to all parts of the dredger, while grease points have been located in easy to reach places. Furthermore, fixed railings keep crew apart from moving parts when their presence is not required, for instance, at the spud carriage manoeuvring system.

Maximising production

As well as increased safety and sustainability, one of Damen’s principle aims with the new series has been to optimise production capability. To that end, the company has also produced an all-new dredge pump range with excellent suction capacity and high discharge pressure over long distances. The new dredge pumps ensure maximal uptime, thanks to a large spherical passage and highly wear resistant materials. Damen offers a variety of materials for its pumps, to suit different soil types.

Compact cutters

Damen has made the new CSDs more compact than their predecessors. This has been achieved, in part, by using just one main engine that powers both the dredge pump and auxiliary equipment.

“Having just one engine, running optimally, rather than two that often run sub-optimally, allows for an increase in efficiency, offers additional space, demands less maintenance and is more sustainable.”

Though compact, Damen has maintained the length of the CSD series. Combined with the high power of the winches, this leads to a large swing width, resulting in a high increase in productivity, with more time spent dredging and less on manoeuvring.

Your carriage awaits

“Another feature that boosts production is the spud carriage system, included as standard on the dredgers CSD 500 and above. With this, considerably less time is spent in resetting the spuds, resulting in a 15% increase in productivity,” says Olivier.

“You can have all the new equipment you want, but if the dredger is not a safe, comfortable place to work, you’re not going to be productive”

Previously, such a system was only optional on a Damen CSD. However, the company noticed that the majority of operators required it.

“Because of this demand we decided to integrate the system into the basic design to add considerable cost-efficiency,” Olivier explains

In control

A next generation dredger naturally requires a next generation control system. The new CSD series features a revolutionary, user friendly system offering improvements in both ergonomics and efficiency.

“In the past, there was a huge array of switches and levers. With the new CSDS, we’ve gone to the next level. In place of the multiple control panels and analogue equipment, there’s just a chair with two joysticks and touchscreen dredge and control displays. The dredging control system presents relevant, easy to read information, while the control system, integrated into the arm of the chair, offers easy access to frequently used controls.

Dredging in a digital world

In a further boost to efficiency, the human machine interface is connected to Triton, Damen’s award-winning IoT solution. Triton provides a wide range of useful information to an onshore device, paving the way to improved operation, rapid troubleshooting, and increased uptime.

The digital connectivity does not end here, however. Previously, installing additional options and upgrades required considerable time and costs. Now, however, they are included in the software.

“Everything is already there,” Olivier says. “The dredger can be upgraded at the flick of a switch, with no rewiring, no reconstruction and no downtime.”

The CSDs are also available with a basic degree of automation, for example for the dredge pump, swing and spud manoeuvring, thereby further increasing efficiency.

Dredgers that will go on forever

Despite the development of the new series, the maxim ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it,’ holds true at Damen. The new CSD range applies the latest in digital and sustainable innovation, while continuing to draw on its Damen heritage.

“There were many features of the previous CSD range that retain relevancy for dredging today. For one thing, we’ve kept the focus on the operator. You can have all the new equipment you want, but if the dredger is not a safe, comfortable place to work, you’re not going to be productive.

“Also, our CSDs have always been known for easy maintenance. Doing the tough work they do, in some of the harshest environments on Earth, this is crucial. Furthermore, we’ve kept the robustness. This new generation of CSDs have got the Damen solidity. These are dredgers that will go forever.”

On the top image: Olivier Marcus, Damen’s Product Director Dredging