Customer profile

The family business Spaansen Groep exists for 75 years and has three main divisions: Spaansen Raw Materials and Logistics, Spaansen Building Systems and Spaansen Garden and Paving. About 320 people are working there and in 1976 they bought their first sand vessel. Their fleet now consists of several barges and sea hoppers. The YED PRIOR is their newest vessel, which will sail from the Dutch ports of Harlingen, Den Helder and IJmuiden. With the YED PRIOR, Spaansen is even stronger in the field of sand and gravel extraction, and the supply of raw materials for the civil engineering sector and the concrete industry.

Customer Challenge

Spaansen acquired former container ship m/v GERD (build by Volharding Shipyards) with the goal to make a conversion into a gravel dredger, named YED PRIOR. The existing bridge environment was based on traditional consoles meeting standard regulations for merchant vessels and was not meeting owners ideas for the new purpose of the vessel. The owners wish was to have a more dedicated bridge for the dredging activities.

The solution

After the visit of captain Francis Hirs and Marcel and Robert Spaansen, the idea was born to adapt two tugboat consoles in such way that it could accommodate all equipment for sole navigation and create a specialized position for the dredging activities. As a solution we designed a custom AlphaBridge together with the ship’s captain. It is the Alphabridge concept that gives this project extra impetus because the total image has been given shape in good cooperation with the captain. It is a custom bridge environment in which all instruments for both navigation and dredging work are optimally designed around the captain with great ease of use and good readability as conditions. This to reduce the captain's workload as much as possible.


The result is a beautiful bridge that radiates tranquility and efficiently presents clear information to the captain. According to Marcel Spaansen, Manager Material and Technics of the Spaansen Groep, the experience with JRC/Alphatron Marine about offering, installation, commissioning and training was very good. “Working with JRC/Alphatron Marine felt very professional. The result meets our expectations, everything works very well.” The Alphatron Marine Noord office in Harlingen will support the ship and crew in providing technical service in the future. Alphatron Marine wants to thank Spaansen for their confidence and look forward to a pleasant cooperation!

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