Dredging up the future with 3D software

23 January 2020

We live in a world where cars are driving themselves, where anybody can book a ticket to launch themselves into space, and where science fiction movies are becoming reality. While in the dredging world, what was once futuristic technology, is simplifying operations and optimising the material moved at dredge sites.

NaviSuite Uca dredging software creating visualisation of a backhoe dredge

3D view of a backhoe dredge produced by EIVA’s NaviSuite Uca software

Traditionally, operators relied on their eyes and the dredging equipment they had to get the job done. Yet, times have changed, and the future is rushing in like the tide. When dredgers first hit the water, operators had the impossible task of working in the dark, but today, tailor-designed dredging software like EIVA’s NaviSuite Uca is giving operators eyes underwater; it’s scooping the dredging industry up out of the past and dropping it in the future.

NaviSuite Uca dredging software produces 2D view of the boom, stick and bucket on a backhoe dredge

2D view produced by EIVA's NaviSuite software

To achieve harmony between operator and software, it takes only one simple page of text to get started, eliminating the need for investment in training. The addition of software to a dredger can streamline an operation by up to 50%, depending on the existing setup of course. The savings from increased efficiency are then taken forward to future operations.

Calculating the volume of success

Picture this — man and machine are dialled in, the pontoon is floating, sand, silt, and sediment are being removed from the cut and the spoils are filling the scow. But the cut is too shallow. Pay volume is being left behind. The whole operation will have to come back after the post-dredge survey, and the operator is unaware of how much they’re missing.

NaviSuite Uca dredging software produces a visual of a backhoe dredge reaching the neat line

Reaching the neat line — NaviSuite Uca

That’s where NaviSuite Uca fills the gap by giving the operator eyes underwater; it allows them to get that perfect sized bite, or at the opposite end of the scale, prevent the removal of more material than necessary. The dredging software analyses bathymetric data and generates real-time visuals from sensors fitted to either excavator, crane, or cutter suction, and recreates the scene underwater to maximise efficiency. Place a payload at the bucket tip, or stop when the neat line is reached, the operator can see it all. Furthermore, real-time spud deployment allows for safer rig moves and more accurate placement.

Video of spud deployment produced by NaviSuite Uca software

Deploying the spud in real-time — video produced with NaviSuite Uca software

While the real-time visualisation lets the operator know exactly where they are, real-time volume calculations let them know how far they’ve come, and detailed reports let the project manager know how smooth the journey has been.

Volume calculation report from a dredging operation produced by NaviSuite Uca

Volume calculation report created in NaviSuite Uca

Custom 3D visualisation for all types of dredgers and operators

Unlike robots, we're all different; some of us prefer classic arcade games compared to modern day immersive 3D experiences. Advanced dredging software offers both the 2D view – classic arcade – and the full extent of 3D immersive visuals that modern technology can produce. See the bucket, clamshell, or cutter as if it’s not hidden beneath the water, and with the same level of control as on dry land. NaviSuite Uca has the potential to be customised further. Real-time displays and modifiable colour palettes assigned to the pre-survey imaging can differentiate layers of depth to help visualise the cut.

Changing the colour palette in NaviSuite Uca software

Changing the colour palette in NaviSuite Uca

Removing inefficiency from the dredging site

Picture this — The job is done. The correct amount of pay material has been moved and the operator is resting. Real-time volume calculations and centimetre accuracy have both reduced the cost of the operation, and the need to return for clean-up is eliminated altogether. The equipment has been freed up, the horizon is clear for future projects, the operator is now an experienced software operator, and the next job will likely be even more efficient than the last.

Another thing that sets us apart from robots is that we are prone to mistakes. No one is perfect. That’s why software providers that offer 24/7 support — just in case anything were to happen — are essential to minimise downtime. Read more about EIVA's 24/7 software support.

Want to learn more about EIVA’s dredging software?

If you think this type of advanced software could streamline your operation then check out EIVA’s NaviSuite Uca, and see it in action by watching EIVA's dredging playlist.

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