Royal IHC opts for Bachmann technology

Royal IHC recently decided to use Bachmann hardware and software on its standardized Trailing Suction Hopper Dredgers.

Royal IHC / Bachmann

The Easydredge is IHC’s range of smaller-sized TSHDs, with hopper capacities from 500 up to 4000 cubic metres. For larger hopper capacities, Royal IHC directs its clients to its Beagle range of standardized TSHDs or custom-built vessels.

“The Easydredge series not only uses a standard design; the vessels are also installed with standard automation and control equipment,” explained Jeroen Peters, engineering manager at Royal IHC Systems. “This is a very efficient way of shipbuilding. We can reduce lead times and reduce costs.”

According to him, IHC Dredge Control System focuses on operational efficiency and is designed to be very operator friendly.

“We are flexible in the brands/suppliers we use to build the system. We use suppliers like Rockwell, Cimplicity, Proface, Moxa, Siemens, Wago, but we also build several control systems with the help of Bachmann hardware and software,” said Peters.

“In every case our dredging knowledge is captured in our own modular software platform called Digisys. This enables us to configure the desired functionality of the control and monitoring system very efficiently.”

The Easydredge series vessels are installed with standard automation and control equipment

“To improve efficiency, we add automatic controllers like, a pump controller (maintaining flow) or suction pipe control to steer and safeguard the pipe position or a controller that maintains the trailing speed,” added Pieter de Boer, Royal IHC’s lead engineer.

“We use e.g. Bachmann to integrate all this automation into the control system. We want to deliver an integrated system to the client, so it is important that the end user interface has one look and feel. atvise® is a great platform to build the visualization for the operator. It is as very user-friendly platform for engineers to design and make the HMI’s,” said de Boer.

Given the long history of dredging (first observed in channels in the river Nile 6,000 years ago), the subject of automation is obviously quite new.

However, as on-board crews get smaller, and onshore support teams get larger, the role played by automation is only set to become more significant in the future.

For Jeroen Peters, it is the versatility of the Bachmann platform that will provide an important benefit. “We all need each other. Royal IHC needs the practical experience of the dredging companies. They need us to translate that experience into better equipment. And the Bachmann platform gives us the flexibility to build an automation system to fit the need of our clients and gives us as systems integrator so many possibilities to integrate new technologies.”