Exclusive Interview with DSC Dredge President

DSC Dredge LLC, a Louisiana based company highly specialized in production of portable dredges, has over the years developed to become one of the leaders in dredge manufacturing industry.

This success was built on a platform of extreme commitment to its customers, meeting their specific application needs through the design and engineering customization.

Recent successful deliveries of the company and “the 2014 Dredger Of The Year” award gave us enough good reasons to interview DSC Dredge President/CEO Mr. Bob Wetta.

– As DSC Dredge continues to expand its international presence, with recent orders and deliveries from/to Nigeria, Republic of Congo and Alberta, Canada, we asked Mr. Wetta to give us a few more details about these agreements?

Mr. Wetta: “We’re not able to share too much information about the clients who have ordered these dredges or the projects they will be used on as the clients would like their projects to be kept under the radar so as not to invite competition. But I can give you some specific dredge information.

All of the Marlin Class dredges in operation in Nigeria are diesel, the electric power grid in Nigeria is not stable,” said Mr. Wetta.The 18″ Marlin has 1665 Caterpillar total horsepower with a Metso 18″ submersible dredge pump with 44″ impeller. The standard DSC dredge control system provides electronic operation of the pump engagement, and all hydraulic speeds and directions.”

Hydraulic controls are ramped to prevent jarring when controls are started, stopped or reversed. The standard dredge control system records and displays the operating hours of all major dredge systems including major equipment hours, dredge pump, cutter, swing/positioning winches, stern winch, and ladder winch. This data is useful for servicing and for managing dredge utilization,” added Mr. Wetta.

In addition, all DSC Marlin Class dredges are outfitted with the DSC Maximizer system as standard. DSC’s maximizer valve is designed to assist an operator in achieving maximum production while reducing the chance of line plugging. It incorporates a pneumatically controlled butterfly valve that is plumbed into the suction of the dredge. This system is automated to respond to suction problems including vacuum (differential pressure) and discharge pressure. The desired points to activate the suction valve can be adjusted through the PLC in order to maximize its productive use,” said Mr. Wetta.

Marlin Class dredges

The 18″ Marlin is pumping on 1500 meters distance for the current project and the 24″ Marlin will be pumping in excess of 2500 meters distance. Both are digging to a maximum of 23 meters below the surface.

According to Mr. Wetta, DSC dredges working in Nigeria are typically for sand production or used by dredging contractors that are tied to the oil industry.

The Shark Class dredges in Congo have 14 meter digging depth capability and have a total of 1575 Caterpillar total horsepower. The hull mounted Metso pumps are 18″ with 40″ impellers. On the current projects they will be pumping 1500 meters distance. The Shark dredges will work in a port development project,” said Mr. Wetta.

The Wolverine dredge will be mining sharp sand from the river in Nigeria. The sand is used for road construction, land reclamation and for making concrete. The Wolverine has 35 foot digging depth capability and features a 10″ Metso hull mounted dredge pump and is powered by a Caterpillar C13 diesel engine rated 440 horsepower,” added Mr. Wetta.

– Our next question is related to your Wolverine Class dredge that was bought by the Canadian-based Barrick Gold Corporation. The dredge was brought in to help maintain the sediment ponds that prevent additional contamination of the local water system. Can you tell us something about your cooperation with Barrick?

DSC is confident that this delivery to Barrick Gold is a strategic move in furthering DSC’s products into other locations and sectors of Barrick Gold’s operations. It also allows us the opportunity to show other mining companies the effectiveness of DSC’s products, not only in the tailings processes, but also with larger dredges in the actual mining process,” said Mr. Wetta.

We delivered the dredge on time, within budget and successfully commissioned the dredge including training of local personnel for the operations of the dredge. Barrick Gold has several other mine operations that have shown an interest in viewing the Wolverine in operation with the possibility of acquiring a Wolverine for their own mining project,” added Mr. Wetta.

The Wolverine Class dredge is highly portable, we are able to ship a Wolverine on a single truckload in the U.S. as well most countries. Because of the compact size and weight we have found it easy to offload at foreign ports and also for setup at the final job sites,” said Mr. Wetta. “This is a big advantage in areas where larger cranes are hard to find or may not even exist. The Wolverine is a highly demanded dredge because of the ease of operation, transportability, attractive pricing and high quality. The Wolverine is suitable for projects where dredging depths range for 1 meter to 7.6 meters.

The Shark Class dredges

– You were honored by the Western Dredging Association (WEDA) with the 2014 Dredger Of The Year award at the recent Dredging Summit & Expo in Toronto. DSC has been a member of WEDA for more than 20 years and has enjoyed a strong employee commitment to volunteering for various committees and roles within the organization. What does this award mean to your company?

This is a significant accomplishment for DSC – and yes the award truly goes to DSC. WEDA is the only organization that focuses specifically on dredging and it is a tremendous resource for the dredging industry. We are very proud of this award as well as the Lifetime Achievement award posthumously presented to Tommy Wetta in 2007,” said Mr. Wetta. “As a sustaining member of WEDA, DSC continues to contribute to WEDA and to the dredging industry. It’s great to be noticed for our contributions and we are very honored by the awards.”

– DSC Dredge recently hosted its 10th annual Dreducation™ Class, taught by industry expert Charles Johnson. Can you share some insights on the class?

“The classroom style training includes topics such as pump performance, excavation, what do the gauge readings mean, dredging techniques and general dredging theories. Each class is different because it is very interactive and the people attending have the opportunity to move the agenda around to fit their specific needs.”

– Which markets are currently in the focus of DSC, and do you have plans to expand your business areas?

We are focusing on international markets. The USA aggregate industry has been historically our bread and butter but due to a lack strong highway bill we have seen more demand coming from outside of the USA. Our plans are to meet the demands for our products while maintaining the highest level of quality, committing to safety and promoting a business culture that focuses on our employees. We believe these plans will fall in line with controlled growth for DSC,” said Mr. Wetta.

– What can you tell us about the DSC’s current projects, are there any new development on the way?

One interesting project is a custom dredge for the State of North Carolina. They are replacing their dredge with a custom DSC cutter suction dredge that will include crew quarters for 16 personnel,” said Mr. Wetta.

DSC Dredge LLC is headquartered in Reserve, Louisiana, approximately 25 miles from the New Orleans International Airport. Located on 16 acres, DSC’s manufacturing complex encompasses more than 27,000 square feet of work area under one roof, and consists of a workshop building, manufacturing building, sandblasting building, paint building, inventory building and machine shop. In addition to the facility in Reserve, Louisiana, DSC also operates from two additional manufacturing locations in Poplarville, Mississippi and Greenbush, Michigan.

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Dredging Today Staff