During recent Dredging Summit & Expo in Vancouver, the Western Dredging Association (WEDA) awarded DSC Dredge LLC the Best Paper Award for the “Optimizing Construction Equipment for Long-Reach Excavation in the Dredging Industry” work.
The paper – written by Ben Evans, Caterpillar Inc – reviewed a number of design and system changes made during the optimization of a long-reach 150 ton (330,000 lb.) excavator for a marine construction project and highlighted some of the challenges made during the project.
In the case study, a custom front attachment and counterweight solution was designed and integrated into the machine controls and also the tool guidance system. The customer application required collaboration between multiple organizations, highlighting how the diverse needs of the dredging industry requires a unique approach.
“Although there are many standard excavator models available from a range of OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers), there are frequently applications in the dredging industry where these do not meet the requirements,” the paper said. “Many supporting businesses act as AEMs (Auxiliary Equipment Manufacturers) to help users modify and optimize standard machines for challenging tasks.”
The paper concluded that the cost of successfully optimizing a machine will often depend on the level of support and engagement between the original OEM, the AEM and the user. The best advantage for the end customer is when the OEM and AEM can collaborate in support of the design process and the operation in the real world.