IHC Merwede's spud system

As a global market leader for dredging and wet mining vessels and equipment, and a reliable supplier of custom-built ships and products for offshore construction, IHC Merwede will be among the leading exhibitors at SMM 2012. The biennial international trade fair for Shipbuilding, Machinery & Marine Technology will take place in Hamburg from 4 to 7 September.

IHC Merwede will take its place at stand 300 in hall B4 again this year to showcase its innovative vessels, advanced equipment and life-cycle support for the dredging, mining and offshore markets.

A number of impressive scale models will demonstrate the wide range of innovative vessels engineered and manufactured by IHC Merwede. The company’s goal of meeting the specific requirements of every customer worldwide is highlighted by: the custom-built trailing suction hopper dredger Congo River; the self-propelled cutter suction dredger Athena; the pipelaying vessel Seven Pacific; and the well intervention vessel Well Enhancer. In addition, IHC Merwede’s expertise is supported by its line-up of special vessels, including the split hopper and backhoe dredgers on display.

The IHC Merwede stand will also feature examples of advanced equipment designed to meet the demands of the dredging, mining and offshore sectors. These will include a flexible spud carrier for a self-propelled cutter suction dredger, a revolutionary spud system, the Curve and the Bonecrusher.

The flexible spud carrier – fitted to a standard cutter suction dredger – has been developed with hydraulic buffer cylinders to increase its flexibility. The cylinders are connected to nitrogen pressure vessels and can be set to move in or out at pre-defined forces acting on the spud connected to the sea floor. In this way, the dredger is able to move along with the waves, in case there is too much force, to prevent the spud bending or even breaking. Additionally, the effect of the sea state on the spud load is made visible, enabling the operator to make an informed decision on whether to stop or continue operations, which in turn will lead to the increased availability of the equipment.

IHC Special Dredging Equipment has developed a revolutionary spud system for IHC Merwede’s standard backhoe dredgers. Each spud pole consists of a maximum of four elements, which can be easily connected with a fast-locking mechanism. The key benefits of this are: a safe spud system with hydraulic cylinders instead of winches, sheaves and wires; aft spuds positioned close to the excavator, decreasing reaction forces on the pontoon ;and no spud-tilting system is required, resulting in increased space on deck for maintenance, bucket changes and the improved stability of the pontoon.

One of the latest products to be developed by IHC Parts & Services is the Curve, a type of pump impeller with blades designed to improve the suction characteristics and reduce the wear rate of a dredge pump. Another is the patented BoneCrusher, which is a suction/discharge hose with innovatively-shaped steel rings to protect the rubber from abrasion and therefore ensure durability.

"SMM encompasses all of our activities in the world of dredging, mining and offshore," said IHC Merwede president Govert Hamers. "We will be capitalising on our leading position within the shipbuilding industry at SMM 2012 with some exciting new initiatives, including the revolutionary spud system for the standard backhoe dredgers."

IHC Lagersmit (stand 227 in hall A1) will be exhibiting for the first time under its new name of IHC Sealing Solutions. This change, which came into effect on 6 July 2012, is the result of the continued international growth that the company has experienced in recent years. Additionally, the company’s focus has shifted in past decades from the manufacture of bearings to the production and marketing of seals for rotating shafts.

IHC Metalix, IHC Piping and IHC Interior will be at stand 509 in hall B7. IHC Metalix specialises in the production of construction kits for ship, yacht and offshore building. It will exhibit its highly sophisticated logistics system for supplying detailed, sorted and documented construction parts. This makes IHC Metalix an excellent partner in the supply chain for its customers.