Dutch tug operator Herman Senior will upgrade one of its vessels with autonomous navigation to improve operational safety during offshore activities
An autonomous command and remote-helm control system from Sea Machines Robotics will be installed on a shoalbuster tugboat enabling crew to operate the vessel from its deck.
Herman Senior will deploy a SM200 wireless, remote-helm control unit on 23.4-m Teddy to increase productivity. Sea Machines’ SM200 provides wireless helm and propulsion control and remote management of auxiliaries and payload equipment, such as pumps, winches and anchor windlasses.
This enables mariners to focus on operations from the deck, where they have a direct local view of the task, while ensuring Teddy’s propulsion is under control compared to conventional methods, that often rely on signals relayed between the wheelhouse and another crew member on the deck.
Herman Senior operates Teddy in offshore waters for marine projects ranging from towing and cable pulling to mooring and dredge support.
“No longer bound to a fixed control station, our crew will use Sea Machines’ wireless helm to monitor operations from the tugboat’s upper decks or wherever visibility is greatest, a valuable capability that increases both productivity and safety,” said Herman Senior operations manager Erwin van Dodewaard.
“This system is intuitive to use and, once installed, will be valuable to our crews as they operate our vessel Teddy during challenging projects, such as large and overweight offshore tows.”
“Improving visibility and at-sea safety is a game-changer for any marine operator, but especially for Herman Senior, which operates in challenging offshore conditions that include reduced visibility, waves and weather,” said Sea Machines European business development manager Frank Relou.
“Working conditions that fall into the ‘dull, dirty and dangerous’ category are ideally suited for our systems, as they support crews with new, innovative capabilities that deliver greater productivity, reliability and safety.”
Damen Shipyards designed and built Teddy as a Shoalbuster 2308 vessel in 2019. Teddy is equipped for dredging, offshore wind, port construction projects, anchor handling, survey works, salvage projects and barge handling. It has Furuno radar and navigation systems and Intellian satellite communications hardware.
Teddy is the fifth shoalbuster in Herman Senior’s fleet as it also operates Baloe, Barney, Bommel and Siskin. Also in the fleet are multicats Panda and Yogi.
Herman Senior also has another shoalbuster under construction. Brutus is being outfitted at Damen’s Gorichem shipyard with dynamic position (DP) at DP2 class and towing gear.
Brutus will be the first shoalbuster with DP2 and propulsion compliant with IMO Tier III emissions requirements and hybrid propulsion. It will have minimum draught of 2.45 m and bollard pull of 60 tonnes when it is delivered in Q1 2021.
Dynamic positioning, autonomous navigation, hybrid propulsion and offshore operations are presented and discussed during Riviera’s series of virtual conferences and webinar weeks - use this link for more details and to register for these events