Etteplan contributes to optimizing MLD's advanced trawl doors

MLD Trawl Steering System is a leader in the fishing industry with advanced robotic technology for trawlers - a position that requires continuous work on innovation, optimization, and further development of the company's technologies. For several years, Etteplan Denmark has been a partner in developing and testing advanced software and hardware for MLD.


MLD is an innovative development company based in Esbjerg, Denmark. The company delivers and services the world's most advanced, steerable trawl doors for the North Atlantic, utilizing hydrodynamic forces generated when a trawl door is pulled through the water. As a result, fishers can remotely control the system's patented, specially designed trawl doors quickly and flexibly from the bridge of the fishing vessel, improving profitability, reducing both CO2 emissions and protecting the marine ecosystem.

- We currently have a consultant from Etteplan Denmark working on various optimization tasks, says Gregers Baungaard, CEO and Founder of MLD: - The work is executed flexibly as the tasks are formulated on an ad hoc basis from the ongoing feedback we receive from trawlers, who use our doors for pelagic fishing. The engineering work involves optimizing and further developing control systems and data security but also includes new features for managing the doors, as well as troubleshooting and data collection for documentation.

Etteplan Denmark was chosen as an engineering partner several years ago. Initially, from a practical perspective, Etteplan had already collaborated with one of MLD's business partners, developing advanced firmware. According to Gregers Baungaard, it has been an advantage to have the same supplier of engineering solutions.

- At the same time, it has been a great advantage for us to collaborate with external consultants, says Gregers Baungaard: - This means that we don´t have to find another engineer to solve these tasks. There have been periods when we could not employ an engineer full-time, so for us, it provides tremendous flexibility to work on tasks in collaboration with consultants from Etteplan.

The ongoing optimization work is based upon a year-long collaboration between The Technical University of Denmark - DTU Aqua and MLD on the project, STEER, supported by the Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries. STEER is a groundbreaking project that develops and investigates the environmental and economic effects of using steerable doors for bottom fishing, where MLD's user interface allows precise adjustment and control of the flaps, maintaining a safe distance from the seabed, protecting the marine environment, and reducing the CO2 footprint per fish caught. This is possible because of advanced technology that enables the fisher to adjust the trawl's position effectively in relation to the fish shoals. Etteplan has had several software and hardware engineers working on developing and testing the second-generation trawl doors for this project.

- It has been important to us that the communication with both the consultant and Etteplan, in general, is good. The agreement we have with Etteplan has been honored, and we are very satisfied with the cooperation, Gregers Baungaard concludes.

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Martin Milter Bay
Martin Milter Bay
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