Drill made in Pa. used in Chile mine rescue

August 25, 2010 3:22:15 PM PDT
As the rescue effort continues in Chile to rescue 33 miners trapped underground, it turns out a local company made the drill that let everyone know the men were still alive.

At the Schramm factory in West Chester they're used to their high powered hydraulic drills saving the day in the hunt for precious minerals or natural resources.

But now they are celebrating a Schramm drill for saving lives, making the bore hole that located the 33 missing miners in Chile.

"In terms of Schramm Inc., we have a very good name, a good reputation in the market. No one will be surprised our drill is capable of doing what it did," said CEO Edward Breiner. "Of course, we'll brag about it when they get all the miners out."

The drill in question is the T685. It expertly drills small holes thousands of feet into the earth, pulling dirt back to the surface to be analyzed by scientists.

It was sold to a Chilean contractor, to drill for metals like copper.

"It's a million dollar drill," said Breiner. "It's capable of 92,000 pounds of pullback."

Once contact was made with the miners, the jubilant contractor got in touch with Schramm to say thanks.

"He sent us an email with the photographs of the mine manager and his foreman, very proud of the accomplishment," said Breiner.

But the Schramm drills used in Chile are only capable of making small exploratory holes, just about six inches diameter. A more powerful drill rig, able to make holes two to three feet in diameter, will now take over to dig the rescue shaft.

So now it's time for the bigger drills to go to work but, for the next few months, all the contac those 33 men will have with the outside world will come from a machine made in Pennsylvania.


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