Image: Cutter Suction Dredger ‘D’Artagnan’
ZWIJNDRECHT– MOL | The Belgian dredging, environmental and marine engineering group DEME and VITO spin-off Laser Cladding Venture (LCV) have signed a three-year cooperation agreement to strengthen the cutter incisors used to dredge hard soils. The cooperation follows a successful pilot project on laser cladding in 2015 and confirms the confidence DEME has in the innovative potential of the domestic market.
Laser cladding is a coating technique in which a laser melts metal powders into objects. The wear-resistant and anti-corrosive layers that are applied improve the durability of the mechanical parts. In a pilot phase, the method was used on dredger incisors and was successfully tested by DEME: even in extreme working conditions the incisors could be used for longer.
Now the initial research will be progressed through economic evaluation via the spin-off Laser Cladding Venture (LCV) which will further develop the technique with DEME during a three year cooperation agreement.
Dominique Durt, Director Applied Development & Innovation DEME: "DEME is heavily focused on innovation. It is thanks to innovative and improved techniques that we can continuously enhance our dredging and related activities. Where possible, DEME cooperates with leading Flemish companies and research institutes. The cooperation with VITO, now continued with LCV, is a good example of this".
Besides coating, LCV also focuses on so-called additive manufacturing, the industrial version of 3D printing. Research institute VITO is particularly proud of the success of one of its spin-offs.
Walter Eevers, Director Valorization and Strategic Cooperation VITO: "It is VITO's mission to use its technological knowledge to stimulate sustainable development and to enhance the Flemish economic and social fabric. With 17 years of experience in state-of-the-art laser technology VITO has a strong lead. Since 2010 VITO has focused on laser cladding and additive manufacturing especially. Meanwhile the laser cladding technology had become so marketable that VITO decided to launch a spin-off, while contributing VITO patents and machinery. VITO's Venture Development Team grouped the right people and financiers together, refined the business plan and in doing so, helped launch the company. This meant that LCV had a strong starting position to turn laser cladding in Flanders and beyond into a success story. The contract with DEME is the first confirmation."
The Belgian dredging, environmental and marine engineering group DEME is an international market leader for complex marine engineering works.
Driven by several worldwide challenges (rising sea level - the scarcity of raw materials - the growing need for energy - reducing CO2 emissions - the contamination of our waterways and soils), DEME has transformed from solely a dredging and land reclamation company to a worldwide operating multidisciplinary and innovative marine engineering and environmental group.
Building on 170 years of experience and know-how, DEME has organically moved into several related activities, such as the financing of marine engineering and environmental projects, executing EPC related complex marine engineering projects including civil engineering works, the development and construction of renewable energy projects, providing services for the oil, gas and energy sector, the decontaminating and recycling of polluted soils and sludge, the mining of marine resources (granulates and minerals), etc.
Thanks to an integrated company structure, DEME strongly emerges as a 'global solutions provider' which offers its clients overall solutions. DEME has the most modern, high-tech and versatile fleet.
DEME was named 'Belgian Enterprise of the Year 2015' and has 4,600 employees worldwide. In 2014, the Group achieved a turnover of 2.6 billion euros.