With the commissioning of the world’s first demucking system, MobyDick HD-1, around ten years ago, FRUTIGER laid the foundation for a new line of business – the automatic cleaning of heavily soiled construction, military and rail vehicles. In the meantime, these systems under the MobyDick brand name are used worldwide, for example, in zinc mines in Asia or in the huge borax mines in North America.
With the latest generation of demucking systems from the Swiss company, chassis, underbody and tracks on a wide range of vehicles can be automatically cleaned in just a few minutes in a resource-saving process. For example, at the world’s largest borax mine in California, the off-road vehicles have been cleaned regularly for two years in a demucking system to prevent damage caused by sticky clumps of earth. But in the oil sand fields in Canada as well as in relatively large construction machine hiring outlets too, over the past years, thousands of excavators, dumpers and wheel loaders have been cleaned after completing their duties in a MobyDick system.
Cleaning in two steps
In early 2016, in India the first demucking system was installed in a zinc mine in Hindustan (Fig. 1). Following convincing tests on the up to 70 t dumper trucks supplied by Atlas Copco and Sandvik, the mine operator Vedanta ordered two more plants for other sites. By means of low pressure, but without chemicals, the technology used enables the removal of over 80 % of the dirt from wheel-driven and tracked vehicles in the first cleaning step. Thanks to the low pressure, the washing water used and therefore also the washed-off mud are not contaminated with oil and grease, and during the cleaning process these flow back into the system on their own. The water then automatically undergoes treatment for use in the next washing process, the sludge collected during the cleaning process is automatically removed by the integrated chain conveyor and can be easily disposed of.
The second cleaning step, fine cleaning by means of high-pressure lances, then takes just a few minutes instead of hours. With a demucking system, the washing times are reduced substantially and large quantities of water and chemicals are saved, which not only lowers the operating costs but reduces the environmental impact too. Thanks to the adaption of the technology in the MobyDick wheel washing systems, which have been used for over 30 years at high-traffic construction sites, mines and recycling sites, MobyDick demucking systems boast a very low maintenance requirement and wear as well as being easy to operate (Fig. 2).
MobyDick can do more
Under the brand name MobyDick Dust Control, for over two years now, FRUTIGER has offered, in addition to its wheel washing and demucking systems, modern dust control systems in Germany, Switzerland, USA, China and other countries. These are efficient in dust suppression and are available at a customer-oriented price-performance ratio (Fig. 3). The MobyDick dust control system uses water spraying by means of special 20-25 bar pumps and suitable nozzles, which produce a high number of very small water droplets. With the Cannon 50 model, 50 µm to 150 µm are achieved on the outside and 20 µm to 80 µm inside. With their lower air and fall speed the droplets remain in the air longer, their suction effect is lowered, so they attach themselves more frequently to grains of dust and fall together with these to the ground. This technology has been developed to a proven system for dust control, making production processes cleaner and meeting the provisions of occupational health and safety legislation.