Pennsylvania Manufacturers Made Chilean Mine Rescue Possible

By October 13, 2010Technology

Congratulations to all those who made the personal and professional sacrifice to aid in the rescue.

From The Associated Press, “Driller from Denver becomes Chile mine rescue hero“: 

Within hours after the gold and copper mine collapsed Aug. 5, Chile’s government realized the mine’s owners were ill-equipped to handle the rescue and asked the state-owned Codelco mining company to take the lead. 

Codelco turned to Geotec Boyles Bros., a U.S.-Chilean company, to handle the “Plan B” escape shaft, one of three simultaneous drilling efforts that raced to reach the miners. 

Geotec operations manager James Stefanic said he quickly assembled “a top of the line team” of drillers who are intimately familiar with the key equipment, including engineers from two Pennsylvania companies — Schramm Inc., which makes the T130 drill, and Center Rock Inc., which makes the drill bits. 

Lehigh Valley News reports, “Easton native’s company provided drill rig used in Chilean miners’ rescue“: 

Easton native Ed Breiner, of West Chester, Pa.-based Schramm Inc., sent something tangible. 

Breiner co-owns Schramm, which provided the drill rig used to bore a rescue hole for the trapped workers. Another company, Center Rock Inc., of Berlin, Pa., provided the drill bit, he said. 

“I’m loath to talk about this until they get these people out of there,” said Breiner, a Notre Dame High School graduate who previously worked at Ingersoll-Rand in Phillipsburg. “It’s obviously of great importance because it’s not just extracting minerals, it’s saving lives.” 

And from The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Somerset County company uses drill to free Chilean miners“:

Looking tanned, a bit tired and happy to be back, members of the Somerset County company that provided the drill that broke through to 33 miners trapped underground in Chile this past weekend returned home Tuesday. 

Brandon Fisher, the owner of Center Rock Inc. of Berlin; his wife, Julie, the company’s sales director; and Richard Soppe, director of construction and mining tools, first arrived at Pittsburgh International Airport. Before making the two-hour drive to the Fishers’ home, they briefly recounted tales of endless days, harsh conditions, moments of dejection and then, finally, elation. 

“When this drill came through the roof” to where the miners were Saturday, said Mr. Soppe, “that was something. We were jumping up and down above ground and the miners were jumping up and down below ground.” 

Earlier, Philadelphia Inquirer, “2 Pa. firms helping to free Chilean miners.”

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