RESERVE, LOUISIANA – 2021 has been a formidable year for us all. In a year where everyone was eager to put COVID-19 in their rearview mirror and looked forward to returning to normal from lockdowns, and global turmoil, the reality was anything but. As a company that provides a public service directly connected to the nation’s infrastructure, DSC Dredge’s staff was quickly identified as an “essential” workforce. In Uncle Ben’s words of wisdom to Peter Parker in Spider-man: “With great power comes great responsibility.” Each of us has faced burdens, disappointments and endured the face-shielding, social distancing, testing, quarantining, and disinfecting – but despite these adaptations DSC’s team confronted these challenges safely while executing its projects with success.
The past year has proven both a memorable and outstanding one for DSC and so we pause and take note of not only our great accomplishments, but the new faces welcomed onboard, record-breaking contracts, international and domestic launches along with strong relationship ties we continue to foster throughout the regions. Join us in looking back to the key events of 2021 for DSC.
Even with the many protocols and adjustments to tradeshows and seminars DSC’s Executive team continued to make an impact. William J. Wetta, EVP and Chief Technology Officer forged ahead conducting lectures and seminars on hydraulic dredging, hydraulic transport, trouble shooting and repair at the Texas A&M Dredging Engineering Short Course and various NSSGA events. Charlie Johnson, Director of Domestic Dredge Sales hosted various small group Dreducation training sessions, ensuring this hands-on support for our customers remained a priority, while also joining DSC executives for speaking engagements with organizations such as NSSGA and WEDA. DSC’s own President and Chief Executive Officer, Bob Wetta presented at WEDA’s Gulf Coast Chapter on the Evolution of Dredging Technology. This diligence transcended throughout the company to the support shown by its Product Support team members who remained dedicated to being onsite training and supporting its many clients, which takes us to the many successfully delivered projects.
According to DSC’s Project Controls Manager, Ryan Menard, unlike 2020 where the company trended on the delivery of its most sought-after Marlin Class dredge, 2021 proved very different with a diversified project schedule which included builds, deliveries and launches spanning DSC’s entire collection of Dredges. Deliveries of its Wolverine Class dredge, Sharkuda, Marlin, multiple Sharks, workboats, component packages and more were scattered not just across the United States but extended internationally to the Canadian and South Asian market. Some of these clients included the State of Ohio (Barracuda), Deep Diggers in Bangladesh (Shark), Gerke Excavating (Marlin), Phillips & Jordan (Shark, Sharkuda, Booster, Barge and Dragflow dredges), Mike Hooks (Workboat), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) (Wolverine), RIGID Constructors (18” Shark) and Silvi (Marlin) to name a few. Over the next two years DSC is expected to deliver over eight (8) dredges and component packages thus far which includes two (2) Marlin Class dredges, two (2) Moray’s, two (2) Sharks; two (2) Wolverines, a Barracuda, multiple retrofits, several workboats and carriage barges along with multiple varying size Boosters. Not included are the numerous modification projects currently underway. Highlighting these deliveries will include the Muddy Water Dredging (MWD) custom 24” Marlin – the largest of its kind in the US to maintain US navigable waterways. This does not include automation packages and the highly sought-after DSC Vision packages.
With the 2020 official release of the biggest technological advancement in the industry – DSC Vision – 2021 was packed with multiple installs and numerous future orders. The idea of a user-friendly bottom visualization system that allows dredge operators and managers to “stop dredging in the dark” raged through the industry. Notwithstanding the pandemic and travel restrictions, by the end of 2021 the team was still able to successfully install five (5) units which included DSC’s Gerke Excavating Inc., located in Tomah, WI. According to Product Support Manager, Stephen McMahon, the guys’ work ethics have been nothing short of amazing, their dedication to our clients’ needs never goes unnoticed. He added, the DSC Vision technology was bringing a lot of interest from current and potential customers alike. Not even a month into 2022, they had already sold two (2) and were getting ready to install two (2) by the middle of February. He projects there will be over ten (10) installations this year alone. “With the increase of projects, the need for our team to grow has become inevitable” added McMahon.
The DSC Vision system integrates geographical dredge cutterhead position and heading, multibeam sonar imaging and mapping, dredge navigation and instrumentation, remote connectivity and monitoring, and a user graphical display and software interface that correctly depicts the current dredge location, depth of the cutterhead, and topography of the bottom.
Another great partnership to note was the one signed in 2019 with Deep Diggers Limited based in Chattogram, Bangladesh. Two 18” Shark Class dredges were successfully built and launched in 2021. According to one of the Deep Diggers Directors, Mr. Omar Sharif (Tuhin) they were pleased to partner with DSC Dredge. Charlie Sinunu, Director of International Dredge Sales at DSC Dredge noted “this project was only the beginning; there are currently talks of more in the pipeline.”
As promised in 2020, in the first quarter of 2021 DSC announced the release of two new designs to not only its most sought-after Marlin Class dredge but also its Moray Class dredge. One of which has already been delivered to its new home in Salem, New Jersey the first month of 2022.
Recapping, the newly improved Marlin is DSC’s newly designed 14″ [350 mm] single engine Marlin Class underwater pump mining dredge equipped with a 1,125 HP [839 kW] diesel engine. The newly designed Marlin dredge has a 65′ [19.8 m] dredging depth capability, but the most talked about improvement is that it is now completely transportable via both trucks and intermodal shipping containers thus making freight cost efficient. In addition to premium features that already maximize operational efficiency, every Marlin Class Dredge can also incorporate all of DSC’s newly released technology including DSC Vision and Dredge Rx.
While the Tier 4 engine is a new design, the Marlin Class dredge is still available with lesser Tier engines. As a result, the Marlin Class dredge can now be utilized by dredge owners and operators worldwide.
When it comes to the newly improved Moray Class dredge it is noted that it can now be manufactured for both higher regulated countries requiring Tier 4 or Stage 5 emission engines and lesser regulated regions that do not have these requirements. It also includes DSC’s patented walking spud carriage – U.S. Patent 10,287,748, better known as “spud gliders”, allowing for a seamless forward or reverse dredge positioning without ever losing contact with the bottom. Each of the four spuds individually and automatically repositions itself after stepping which allows for almost uninterrupted excavation. This leads to much greater throughput with much lower operator fatigue. It can also handle all of DSC Dredge’s newest technology. The first of its kind has already been delivered at the beginning of January 2022.
Based in Louisiana geographically, there are many factors a company like DSC must endure and apart from the excruciating heat during the summer months, one of the natural disasters that it currently faces is hurricane season. In 2021 the southern part of Louisiana was devasted by Hurricane IDA. With so many impacted, DSC quickly created the “Hurricane IDA Relief Fund” dedicating thousands of dollars to assist team members who needed immediate help. While many are still recouping from the effects of it, it was at this moment that everyone stopped at nothing to show support and generosity to each other – it was also a reminder of the dedication of so many community members helping those in need.
Our year in review was extremely bright.
During 2021 the DSC family both welcomed numerous new faces and celebrated multiple promotions internally. Some of these promotions included April Johnson (Human Resources Manager) Jeremy Clausen and Mike Dickerson (HSE Assistant Manager), and Scott Laiche (Director of Engineering). New additional to the management team also included external hires Darren Cruz (Quality Assurance Manager) and Mitchell Duplantis (IT Specialist).
Upcoming Highlights: Tradeshows, Training, Webinars and Upcoming Releases
In a weird way 2022 will all be about 2021’s preparations. Apart from the many deliveries already scheduled and with the reopening of tradeshows, the aggregate and dredging industry can expect to see and hear from DSC’s team members at various upcoming shows and academic sessions.
Tradeshows and Annual Meetings:
Some of the upcoming shows DSC Dredge can be seen at include NSSGA’s AGG1 and Annual Convention(Nashville Tennessee, March 27 – 31st); Young Leaders Annual Meeting ( May California, 1st-4th ), WODCON ( Copenhagen Denmark, May 16th – 20th), NSSGA Executive Summit (Palm Beach, Fl – June 12th -14th), TACA Annual Meeting (San Antonio, Tx 15th -17th), WEDA Dredging Summit (Houston, Tx – July 25th -28th), Oil Sands (Ft McMurray, Canada – Sept. 14th- 16th), NSSGA Legislative & Policy Forum (Washington DC – Sept 20th – 23rd), Petroleum and Chemical Industry Committee(PCIC)(Denver – Sept 26th -29th), OAIMA Annual Meeting, WEDA Gulf Coast Chapter Annual, IAAP Annual Convention (Springfield Illinois – December 6th -7th).
With the safety of our attendees in mind, the last two years DSC has chosen to abstain from hosting its Annual Dreducation® class in New Orleans. But as the rest of the country continues to see a decline in cases, this sought after one-day training session is once again on the agenda for 2022. Date to be announced.
DSC’s Dreducation® Class is a basic dredge operators’ training class designed to educate both industry professionals and newcomers on the fundamentals of hydraulic dredging to help them become more productive and work efficiently. This class is designed to be specific to all hydraulic dredges, and not manufacturer- or brand-specific. It explains the basic functions of each dredge type, production, and maintenance goals and how to safely achieve these goals.
Dredges: The newly improved Marlin mentioned above is currently under construction and scheduled for release soon.
Technology: DSC DredgeMaster Suite app (Available for iPhone/iPad now; coming soon for Android devices).
As a company, co-owners Bob and William Wetta shared Walt Disney’s sentiment ‘no one person can take credit for the success of a motion picture. It’s strictly a team effort. From the time the story is written to the time the final release print comes off the printer, hundreds of people are involved – each one doing a job – each job contributing to the final product.’ It is the same for DSC and the many people involved in our success story.
In conclusion, VP & Chief Financial Officer Kevin Dolan shared, “Thanks to the efforts of all DSC team members and a favorable dredging equipment market, DSC was able to post another strong financial performance in 2021 which marks its third year in a row of such a performance. Total revenue exceeded plan by 20$ in 2021. DSC is projecting another successful year in 2022 as it continues to grow with the support, commitment and hard work of DSC employees.”
DSC is a global leader in the dredge manufacturing industry, engineering superior customized dredging solutions to meet specific application needs, while continuing to exceed customer expectations. DSC Dredge designs and manufactures high quality, durable cutter suction dredges. At DSC Dredge, we help customers make THE RIGHT CHOICE. Quality, Innovation, Service, Commitment and Customization are key DSC attributes which explain why customers choose to work with DSC. DSC Dredge operates from three manufacturing facilities located in Reserve, LA, Poplarville, MS and Greenbush, MI. For more information about the company and its products, services and customized dredge solutions, please visit www.dscdredge.com and follow us on Social Media.