When Mercator Lines purchased their first dredge from a Chinese shipyard early this year they found that the automation software was entirely in Chinese. The only English annotations were L for left or port side and R for right or starboard side.
Because it would take longer to translate the software than to replace it Mercator contacted Damen Dredging Equipment to install a new automation system on the 5400-cubic-meter hopper dredge Triloki Prem.
Mercator Lines is an Indian marine transportation company who recently entered the dredging business in response to a severe shortage of dredging equipment in India.
To make things less complicated for the crew the new owner decided to replace all dredging automation including the load and draft system the suction tube position indicator and the dredge survey software.
The vessel was built in China in 2006 and sailed to India in early 2008. During this voyage a Damen engineer visited the vessel and checked the status of the various sensors and transmitters ascertaining that the existing depth transmitters and pipe angle transducers could be retained as well as the screens for the helmsman and the port and starboard pipe men. These screens provide views of the trailing pipes and the hopper loading and discharging activities.
In only three weeks time the existing systems were removed the new system was connected to the existing sensors and the system was operating in time for the Triloki Prem to perform its first job doing maintenance dredging in the main shipping route between India and Sri Lanka.