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World leading cutters made in Amsterdam! World leading cutters made in Amsterdam!

World leading cutters made in Amsterdam!


Niron Staal Amsterdam produces cutter heads for dredging vessels operating all over the world. A team of six people of partner Vosta LMG, located in the North of Amsterdam, is responsible for innovations in design and marketing of cutters.

Cutter systems production manager Klaas Wijma shows a brochure of a cutter at their location in the North of Amsterdam. The steel cutterhead, an indispensable component for the dredging industry, is secured to a long ladder of a dredger (cutter suction dredger) and cuts loose the soil by using a rotary motion. The teeth and arms of a cutter mainly do the job. Via an opening in the cutterhead the cut-loose material is vacuumed up again. Together with his five-member team Wijma works on the innovations in design and marketing of the cutters. Since 2000 the team of Vosta LMG integrated three ground-breaking innovations that have been placed into the market. Thanks to the innovative T System, teeth (if they are to be replaced) can be moved rapidly without use of hammer. The teeth are provided with a wear-resistant insert so that they last longer. Innovations in technique nowadays allow a special cutter head to also detach a hard rock bottom. Previously, this could only be done by drilling and explosives.



Vosta LMG doesn’t make the cutters themselves. For the production of cutters the supplier works together with Niron Staal Amsterdam, a subsidiary of Damen Shiprepair & Conversion (DS&C). Niron Staal Amsterdam is responsible for the procurement of various parts of a cutterhead, such as the steel ring at the bottom of the construction and the steel arms. Vosta LMG supplies the teeth (including adapters) which are produced in Sweden. At the premises of Niron Staal Amsterdam all individual parts are assembled together. In one of the halls Niron has set up different arrangements to tests various innovations. Niron Staal Amsterdam also has the right in-house equipment and machinery to assemble the large screw thread in the hub of the cutter head. “There are very few companies who can”, says Wijma.


One cutter isn’t the other. Depending on the soil, a specific cutterhead is required. The largest cutters, designed for the toughest jobs, has a diameter of four meters and weighs in total 35 tons. When a dredging vessel needs to pick up sand, the teeth on a cutterhead are light and wide. In this case the teeth have more the function of a sand shovel. With a solid bottom it’s completely different, a cutterhead then needs teeth that are much sharper. To break rocks, the teeth must me placed together so that the load per tooth is less. Wijma: “You will understand that the likelihood of a tooth breaking should be as small as possible.”




Both Vosta LMG and Niron Staal Amsterdam have built up a long-time relationship in which they rely on each other for almost 20 years now. According to Wijma Vosta LMG is world leader in the field of cutterheads. In almost every part of the world these components are deployed, for example on dredgers from Boskalis and Dredging International whom have participated, inter alia, in the construction of the second Suez Canal, the winning of gold and the mining of diamonds in South- Africa. All that with the help of cutterheads from Amsterdam. “Beautiful that a small group from Amsterdam with a fine Dutch product is world leader, right?”.