Companies team up to light up WV coal mines - Business, Government Legal News from throughout WV

Companies team up to light up WV coal mines

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A Connecticut company is teaming up with a Hico-based fiber optic company to provide fiber optic lighting to the coal mining industry.

CAI Industries and its sister company Gauley-Robertson teamed up RSL Fiber Systems LLC to market fiber optic lighting to the mining industry. The companies have signed a three-year agreement giving CAI/G-R exclusive rights to U.S. sales and distribution of RSL lighting products tailored to the mining industry.

The equipment lighting approach is expected to enhance safety and equipment visibility and reduce man-machine accidents. The system uses non-electrical light.

"This proven, rugged technology is a key component of the U.S. Navy's most advanced warships and is a natural fit for high-demand applications such as mining," said RSL President and Chief Technology Officer Giovanni Tomasi. "We envision a wide variety of ongoing, innovative product and technology development opportunities and applications in the months and years to come capable of significantly enhancing mine safety and operations."

The first generation of lighted products is expected to be installed on a new mining scoop CAI is developing.

Chuck Lilley, president of CAI/Gauley-Robertson, said he hopes that the partnership with RSL will "introduce lighting in a whole new way" to the coal mining industry.

"As a leader in the manufacture and distribution of equipment and parts, we take great pride in seeking out new technologies that improve productivity, reduce downtime and increase miner safety," hew said. "We believe RSL's groundbreaking fiber optic lighting technology has every potential to revolutionize our traditional notion of lighting for scoops, continuous miners, roof bolters and more."

The technology still awaits approval from the Mine Safety and Health Administration, but RSL expects that federal approval will be received soon.

Dennis Jarvis, RSL business development manager, said RSL has invested in West Virginia and is eager to see it continue to grow and prosper.

CAI and Gauley-Roberston are headquartered in Hico.

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