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Seatools Provides DipMate Software for Backacter Dredges

A DipMate dual monitor aids the operator of the clamshell dredge De Neus, owned by the Port Authority of Antwerp. The software will be standard on Backacter backhoe dredges.

A DipMate dual monitor aids the operator of the clamshell dredge De Neus, owned by the Port Authority of Antwerp. The software will be standard on Backacter backhoe dredges.

The Backacter features a straight monobloc boom and a large-diameter slewing ring, allowing the use of high capacity boom cylinders that create high dredging forces.

The Backacter features a straight monobloc boom and a large-diameter slewing ring, allowing the use of high capacity boom cylinders that create high dredging forces.

Seatools of Numansdorp, the Netherlands, has been awarded a contract to provide six DipMate© packages to Shipyard De Donge in Vlissingen, the Netherlands. The DipMate package is part of the DredgeMate family, an automated visualization and registration system displaying the entire dredging process in real-time to improve production and dredging precision.

De Donge is a medium-sized shipyard that is producing the Backacter dredging excavator, which boasts high penetration force and production.

The specially-designed bakchoe features a straight monobloc boom and a large-diameter slewing ring, which allows the use of high capacity boom cylinders. This system creates dredging forces 2.5 times higher than those of a classic excavator, according to De Donge.

The Backacter 1100 (BA1100) can dredge with a 25 cubic meter bucket to a depth of about 19 meters, for a production rate in heavy soil of 1000 cubic meters in 45 minutes. The DipMate system displays the underwater activity of the excavator on monitors at the operator’s console.

Since the introduction of the Backacter series in 2006, De Donge has sold six model 1100 Backacter dredges.

The first two were ordered by Jan de Nul, Belgium, followed by Van Oord Offshore, the Netherlands. Jan de Nul ordered another Backacter early 2007, as did the Chinese Tiajin Dredging Company. This year’s third order was placed by Macon Charters, a dredging rental company owned by Shipyard De Donge. The first three were delivered in August 2007, and the other three are scheduled for delivery in April 2008.

DipMate is standard on the Backacters, and is configured for backhoe dredges to provide accurate visual presentation of all excavator parts and the required profile in top and side view.

In its basic setting, the package is complete to fit basic backhoe dredge operations. The industrial computer, with a 3-D visualization engine, is linked to robust sensors for boom, stick, bucket, slew and inclinometers for x/y tilt. The range of optional data links available includes gyrocompass, DGPS and tide. The screen layout for the presentation of all this information on a sunlight-readable TFT monitor, adjustable to the operator’s liking.
Dipmate software can function in a relatively simple mode while retaining its potential to tackle more demanding dredging control and monitoring tasks. The system can be tailored to fit specific dredges and dredge equipment. Seatools constantly upgrades its sensors in order
to improve accuracy in registration. The latest release is the DipMate©3 featuring RealDigging (soil simulation of the dredge process), improved full 2D/3D survey import and visualization, dump/survey mode, hammer tool and twin dredging. The software is auto start, running on Windows XP embedded and configurable by an external keyboard connected to the main presentation computer.

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