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Dredging automation - increase the quality of Dredging projects

The maritime sector is increasingly relying on technology, in which VisuDREDGE is taking a central role within the subject of dredge automation.

This new dredge monitoring system, designed by MSA-Service, provides a complete solution for improving the efficiency and accuracy of all dredging operations.

The importance of automation in dredging projects continues to grow as personnel are scarce and the complexity of operations demands extremely detailed information. Dredging automation represents a crucial step toward increased productivity, reliability and quality control - factors that directly affect the efficiency, thus profitability and sustainability of dredging projects.

In this article, we take a closer look at the operation and features of VisuDREDGE. We also explore how dredging automation can make the dredging industry more efficient.

How Does VisuDREDGE Work?

VisuDREDGE is designed to monitor and manage dredge production. This starts with production monitoring. This involves providing deep insight into the efficiency of dredging operations by providing real-time information on the status and progress of projects. We list a top five set of functionalities:

  • Dredging automation: production monitoring

VisuDREDGE's production monitoring uses the latest technology, including MSA-Service's sensors, to enable accurate monitoring of dredging operations. It displays different types of data, such as:

Draught monitoring: The draught of a dredger can vary depending on the weight of the cargo and water conditions. Through continuous monitoring, VisuDREDGE can help optimize the efficiency of dredging operations.

Load monitoring: Understanding the loading status is crucial to the smooth operation of a dredger. Overloading can lead to vessel damage or inefficiency, while underloading can lead to untapped potential.

Ballast tank level monitoring: The balance of a dredger is essential for safety and efficiency. By monitoring the level in the ballast tanks, VisuDREDGE helps keep the vessel stable during dredging operations.

This data is collected and analyzed to provide accurate information on the progress of dredging operations. For example, this helps operators identify potential problems and make timely decisions to improve efficiency and avoid costly damage to components.


The system is designed with a focus on system integrity and connectivity. It supports both serial and Ethernet communications, allowing it to communicate seamlessly with other on-board equipment. It also constantly monitors the health of the system, allowing early detection and correction of any problems.

Let's explore the topics of draught measurement, load monitoring and ballast management.

  • Dredge automation: draught measurement

Draught measurement plays an important role in the precision of draught monitoring. This is because it affects both the safety and effectiveness of dredging projects. Continuous draught monitoring, for example, prevents overloading and potentially dangerous situations, while also enabling the optimization of loading capacity. After all, it allows operators to precisely match loading to maximum capacity, also tailored to the draught.

  • Loading Monitoring and Ballast Management

An important aspect of dredging operations is load stability and effective ballast management. Both play a crucial role in improving the performance of dredgers.

Loading monitoring is necessary for the stability of a dredger. And certainly for maximizing productivity. VisuDREDGE provides loading monitoring, collecting and processing relevant data to provide real-time information on loading status. This enables operators to perform operations based on real-time information.

The result? A better-balanced dredging vessel that performs optimally during all phases of a dredging project. This integrated approach to loading and ballast management makes VisuDREDGE a great addition to any dredging vessel and within any dredging company.

  • Advanced data logging

The focus of VisuDREDGE is on data logging. The system focuses on capturing and managing crucial dredge data. Listed below are the most important data elements:

Production monitoring: VisuDREDGE continuously monitors the progress of dredging operations and captures relevant data.

Loading monitoring: The system monitors and logs loading status to prevent overloading and improve efficiency.

VisuDREDGE generates daily reports that provide a comprehensive overview of operations performed, including production statistics and operational parameters. This enables users and owners to evaluate performance and make adjustments as needed.

VisuDREDGE's logging features collect crucial data for long-term analysis. This can be used to learn how to further improve future projects. With integrated capabilities for both serial and Ethernet communications, the system offers great versatility and facilitates seamless integration with other on-board equipment. All this makes VisuDREDGE a tool that enables captains, operators and suveyors aboard dredgers, among others, to significantly improve their work, supported by a solid foundation of reliable and detailed data.

    • System Integrity and Connectivity

    VisuDREDGE works seamlessly with other on-board equipment. Thanks to advanced communication protocols based on serial and Ethernet communication, VisuDREDGE efficiently exchanges data. It provides a solid platform for dredging projects and ensures that all systems work together optimally.

    Benefits of Using VisuDREDGE in Dredging Projects

    VisuDREDGE improves the efficiency of dredging, which manifests itself not only in optimized work processes but also in, for example, fuel savings. Five benefits are listed below:

    Real-time monitoring

    With VisuDREDGE, essential information such as draft, loading and the state of the suction pipe position is continuously monitored in real-time. VisuDREDGE also takes care of dredge pump monitoring. This improves dredging performance.

    Fuel savings

    Through data analysis from VisuDREDGE, optimal dredging performance can be sought. As a result, fuel consumption can be significantly reduced. So lower operational costs and reduced emissions.

    Improved speed

    The automated processes within VisuDREDGE ensure that operations can be performed faster. As a result, dredging projects can be completed faster.

    Compact size

    VisuDREDGE is designed to integrate seamlessly into existing ship systems without taking up much space.

    Compatibility with peripheral devices

    The system is designed to work effortlessly with various on-board equipment and external systems, increasing flexibility and applicability.

    Future of Dredge Automation with VisuDREDGE

    Finally, what does the future of dredging automation look like? Below, important trends in the maritime sector and particularly in the dredging sector are linked to the opportunities offered by VisuDREDGE:

    Integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

    With AI, VisuDREDGE can support self-learning systems that predict maintenance and operational optimizations.

    Autonomous Dredging Operations

    The possibility of (semi) autonomous navigation is becoming increasingly realistic; VisuDREDGE can play a crucial role in this by providing automated data logging on dredging operations.

    Environmentally aware dredging

    Sustainability is a key word; VisuDREDGE contributes to reduction of environmental impact.

    Big Data Analysis

    Collecting and analyzing big data helps further refine dredging processes and strategies. With VisuDREDGE's data logging options, this is becoming increasingly easier.

    3D Modeling & Dredging

    Using 3D modeling can help visualize dredging projects and improve efficiency. VisuDREDGE supports this through QINSy, among others, and will continue to grow in this area.


    VisuDREDGE contributes to the improvement of dredging quality, dredging sustainability and dredging efficiency. By deploying VisuDREDGE, dredging automation is increasingly supported. To learn more about VisuDREDGE and how this system can transform your operations, visit the MSA service page on VisuDREDGE. Discover the potential of VisuDREDGE to take your projects to the next level.

    FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

    What is VisuDREDGE and how does it work?

    VisuDREDGE is MSA-Service's innovative dredge monitoring and dredge control software system designed specifically for the dredging industry. It uses draught monitoring, loading monitoring, and ballast tank level monitoring to collect and analyze accurate information for optimal dredge quality.

    What is the role of draught measurements in dredging automation?

    Depth measurements play an important role in the precision of draught monitoring. VisuDREDGE uses these measurements to accurately monitor and manage the draft of a dredging vessel.

    How does VisuDREDGE contribute to cargo monitoring and ballast management?

    VisuDREDGE monitors loading status and ballast tank level to ensure dredger stability. This results in a better balanced dredger that performs optimally.

    What is the importance of advanced data logging in dredging automation?

    VisuDREDGE continuously records dredging progress, loading status and other crucial data. This data is analyzed and used for reporting and optimization of dredging operations.

    How does VisuDREDGE ensure system integrity and connectivity?

    VisuDREDGE is designed with a focus on system integrity and connectivity, allowing it to work seamlessly with other onboard equipment. This ensures improved efficiency and real-time monitoring.

    What are the future prospects of dredging automation with VisuDREDGE?

    The future of dredging automation includes integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI), autonomous dredging operations, environmentally conscious dredging, big data analysis, and 3D modeling. VisuDREDGE plays an important role in this by contributing to improved dredging quality and sustainability.

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