LKAB Wassara celebrating 30 years

first_imgFrom Japan in the east to the USA in the west, Wassara’s water-powered hammers are today a well-known brand and technology in the drilling industry. A little more than half of the company’s sales goes to the external market while the rest goes to the mother company LKAB. At the very heart of the Wassara technology is a hammer driven by water power as opposed to conventional compressed air technology. The water driven technology offers a number of advantages, such as a virtually dust-free environment, the ability to drill long straight holes, a high energy efficiency and a small impact on the environment.Wassara’s technique was invented in the early 1980s. In 1988 the company was formed as “G-drill” but later changed its name to LKAB Wassara. In recent years, the hammer has been used at several well-known projects, not least at Slussen (a water lock and traffic intersection) and in Gamla Stan (Old town) in Stockholm, Sweden as well as some important mining operations.“The introduction of Wassara’s technology has been an important historical landmark for LKAB. It has enabled our mother company to break the iron ore significantly more efficiently. Now they are looking at getting even further down and here the next technological innovations will be very important for the future mining operations, “says Peter Söderman, CEO of LKAB Wassara.The next big step for LKAB Wassara is the development of steered drilling with coil-tubing; a seamless drilling technique where the drill string is wound on a drum instead of by separate drill rods. With this technique, it is possible to drill longer holes as well as drilling steered “curved” holes instead of straight ones, resulting in a higher ore yield. Coil technology already exists in the oil and gas industry, but LKAB Wassara has great hopes that water driven coil drilling will be an important piece of the puzzle to break iron ore more cost-effectively in the future.With the company now 30 years old, one might think that sales are driven by themselves. No, it is not that easy, according to Peter Söderman, CEO of LKAB Wassara. “We have good products that are very well-suited in a variety of drilling applications, but competition in the market, both with conventional technology and new manufacturers of water driven hammers, forces us to constantly improve,” says Peter Söderman, and he continues: “In order to increase our sales, we must have high quality, absolute cutting edge products, a high delivery reliability and competitive prices. We are well-equipped in some areas and can be better at others, it’s always about being on our toes.”last_img read more