ON THE COVER: Automated Dredge Christine Runs Itself
Metso installed pumps in fully automated dredges last year, mainly in Europe.
At the Boerner Kies operation in Trabitz, Germany, they provided a Metso Thomas L36 (14”x12”x36”) dredge pump on the dredge Christine. This fully-automated dredge was designed and built by Bagema. There are only three people at the site - and none of them on the dredge. The scale house operator does double duty as scale operator and dredge operator. He monitors the dredge parameters on a screen and through three or four cameras focused on the dredge pump room, front and back of dredge, and the discharge line. The dredge is automatically repositioned when the pump vacuum drops and/or the discharge pressure drops, indicating the lack of material in the pipeline. The scale operator can make manual adjustments if needed.
The dredge pump is hull mounted and powered by a 400 kW variable frequency electric motor. The pump runs a three-vane impeller capable of passing solids up to 172mm (app. seven inches) in diameter. The dredge pumps to a dewatering wheel on shore, then conveys material to the processing plant.