3 Latest Technological Developments in the Dredging Industry

According to industry experts, the global dredging market is expected to go past the US$16 billion mark by 2022. Australia's dredging segment will contribute significantly towards the industry's global growth since the country's coastline is the sixth largest in the world, and the fact that most of the nation's population growth is being witnessed around the coast.  

The business outlook offers startup marine contractors an excellent opportunity for growth. However, it is critical to understand that technology is a vital component in the dredging business. If you want your dredging firm to stay ahead of the competition, it is essential to keep up with the development in the dredging field. 

1. Haptic Joystick -- The ultimate objective for marine contractors is to get immediate feedback as and when required during dredging activities such as seabed study. Experts believe that autonomous dredgers are the best for such events. However, due to challenges associated with operational complexities and legal accountability, autonomous dredgers will not become available anytime soon, especially for busy waterways projects.

However, this has not stopped marine engineers from developing a haptic joystick that can be used by dredging contractors remotely. The force-reflecting joystick technology provides real-time information regarding a dredger's interaction with the soil. For instance, a dredger operator can use the haptic joystick in augmented artificial guidance for enhanced steering, which improves efficiency productivity.

2. New Dynamic Positioning Systems -- Some dredging activities require that dredgers get close to client structures such as rigs. Dredgers need to hold their positions to dredge sediment accurately to prevent damaging such structures. However, it is only possible if the equipment is equipped with dynamic positioning (DP) tools. Currently, most dredgers have DP0 and DP1 systems.

Nonetheless, as more dredging activities along the coast bring dredgers closer to coastline structures, there is a need for more redundant dynamic positioning systems. To handle the challenge, marine contractors are installing DP2 systems on their dredgers. The technology ensures enhanced dredger stability and accuracy during dredging activities.

3. Dyneema Dredge Pump Covers -- For dredge pumps to work efficiently, the gear needs to be protected by a cover. Traditionally, the covers are made from heavy steel, and while the materials protect the pumps adequately, the covering process becomes a hassle. However, covering is no longer going to be an issue with the latest technology in dredge pump cover.

Made from the Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene, Dyneema, the advanced covers are light and easy to install. Additionally, the covers are 15 times stronger compared to steel and capable of absorbing the impact of projectiles at ballistic speeds. The material is also moisture proof, resistant to ultra-violet light, and recyclable.