DISCOVER Magazine #7

Free online tool ‘Sandy’

Published in category: Dredging & Marine Contracting

Helps dredging contractors find the right CSD and equipment for the job in minutes

Lennart_Koning_Damen_Dredging_EquipmentLennart Koning
Dredging Production Specialist
Damen Dredging Equipment

In a pioneering move, Damen Dredging has introduced a free online advisory tool for contractors designed to help them find the right Cutter Suction Dredger and equipment for their project.

Named ‘Sandy’, the easy-to-use tool can be found at

For every dredging job, whether it is a maintenance dredging, sand dredging or capital dredging project, the local government will issue a public tender. Damen is aware that dredging contractors have to tender for these jobs worldwide on a daily basis and sometimes they are not certain about which dredger is best suited for the job.

Unburdening contractors

Contractors have to put in a considerable amount of effort when submitting their offers to calculate the estimated production of each different jobsite, and constantly have to make new calculations involving various production parameters. Therefore, the online dredge job calculator unburdens the contractors of this time-consuming and costly process. It also assists clients who are not tendering but are looking to purchase a suitable dredger.

Sandy is the brainchild of Lennart Koning, Dredging Production Specialist at Damen Dredging Equipment. He explains the inspiration behind this innovative tool: “I was always getting a lot of emails in my inbox asking similar questions – what size dredger do I need for a certain soil type etc. and I was already working on an ‘OPEX calculator’ project using multiple mathematical models to determine production levels.

“I am a keen windsurfer and when I was out there on the waves a sudden brainwave struck me. I could change this calculator and make a pre-selection model with the given project parameters, enabling the tool to provide the advice needed.”

Accurate calculations

The new dredging calculation tool means that contractors have their answers in just a few mouse clicks, he stresses. “And it goes without saying that these calculations are as accurate as possible because they will be used to define what dredging equipment is required.”

When going to the website, the contractor enters the defining characteristics of the dredging job, including factors such as how deep they have to dredge, how much soil should be dredged, when they plan to start, the soil mix, the type of sand, course or fine, and the discharge distance.


Realistic performance

Lennart stresses that Sandy gives realistic information about what production rate a contractor can expect, which is vital. “It will give advice based specifically on the customer’s project i.e. it will not say a larger CSD500 should be used when a CSD450, with the addition of a spud carriage or a booster station, is perfectly adequate.

Each dredging job is calculated on dredge production. Moreover, by simply adding an option, such as a spud carriage, the contractor can see the potential efficiency gain immediately.”
Sandy is based on a full size calculation model, drawing on an extensive database that performs all the necessary calculations and takes manoeuvring into account. Pump production, cutter production, as well as swing production are shown.

Dredger & options

Contractors can see for example, the impact on production if harder soils are encountered or if they need to manoeuvre the vessel. “Often people think it is only the production of the pump that is important and this is not the case. It does not give the whole picture. The total production of the dredger is determined by the lowest of the following three productions: swing production, cutter production and pump production and is further lowered by idle time due to changing spud poles and anchors, maintenance activities and crew schedules etc.

“Damen Dredging cares about giving customers realistic performance indicators not just high numbers.”
Sandy provides detailed advice about which cutter suction dredger fits best, but also which options are complementary to the specific project. Those options include the anchor boom, spud carriage, wedge piece for shallow dredging and a booster station for longer pipelines as they have a direct impact on the production.

“Clients have been very positive, they find it really handy to get immediate insight into what kind of equipment they will need.”

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