Spick and span

MobyDick in the world’s largest iron ore mine in northern Sweden

F‌RUTIGER, headquartered in Switzerland, is one of the world leaders in the design and manufacture of coarse dirt washing systems for large vehicles. The washing systems, known in the trade as demucking systems, are capable of cleaning even heavy soiling on vehicles of all kinds within minutes. With the commissioning of the world’s first system about 15 years ago, FRUTIGER laid the foundation for this new business field. The installation of a MobyDick demucking system in the world’s largest iron ore mine is a further milestone in the automatic cleaning of heavily soiled vehicles.


The Kiruna iron ore mine belongs to the Swedish mining group LKAB. It extracts more than 30 million tonnes of raw ore annually exclusively through underground mining. Kiruna is the northernmost town in Sweden and lies north of the Arctic Circle. About three years ago, the company started planning a modern washing, service and repair hall, designed to handle up to 50 machines a day from its huge fleet. Since the ground conditions underground in the large-scale outcrops and on often unpaved transport roads cause massive soiling on wheeled and tracked vehicles, service and repair work is not possible without thorough cleaning of the vehicles. Therefore, the company was looking for a solution to clean the different machines, from the small mini-excavator to the 4.50 m wide dump truck, as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. In the end, the leading MobyDick technology “A lot of water – little pressure”, with which the modern demucking systems from FRUTIGER work, was convincing. 


After a lengthy planning phase, a MobyDick HD-2 demucking system was installed in the foundation of the new wash hall in late autumn 2020. Since then, the dirty vehicles have been intensively cleaned with up to 12 000 l of recycled water per minute and a large number of nozzles on this large system. Within a few minutes, even the most stubborn dirt is softened and reliably rinsed away. If necessary, the integrated and very powerful spray lance – with up to 500 l/min – can be used for a short afterwash of hard-to-reach areas.


The dirt that accumulates is always automatically rinsed into the side recycling tank by the high water flow and settles there with the addition of an environmentally friendly flocculant. The wash water is completely recycled and can be used again for the next cleaning process. This saves not only a lot of time, but also a large amount of water and chemicals, which has a lasting effect on the environment. However, the new car wash is probably most appreciated by the service staff on site, as the cleaning of all vehicles is now much more comfortable and takes only a fraction of the time it used to.

Before the MobyDick system could start its work on site, several tests were carried out to check its performance. Among other things, several machines were accurately weighed before and after washing, with up to 1000 kg of dirt being washed off some of the larger vehicles. The MobyDick system also passed all other tests at the first attempt.



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