Bluefield Coal Show
Industry goes high-tech, international

Thursday September 15, 2005

BLUEFIELD — The coal industry has gone high-tech and international.

Both trends are apparent at the Bluefield Coal Show, which opened Wednesday and continues through Friday at the Brushfork Armory. More than 6,000 people are expected to attend.

One example is Amphenol Fiber Systems International’s (AFSI) booth, where Cam Taylor shows off fiber-optic connectors.

New technology is at the heart of many of the show”s 200 exhibits. Taylor said the company developed the connectors for the military, which requires equipment that can perform in harsh environments. Fiber Systems began marketing the connectors to the coal industry last year because of the industry”s increasing use of precision controls, monitors and other electronic equipment, he said.

The connectors are made of brass and have a clever patented system that allows them to be connected to either an outlet or a plug.

“I”ve run Army tanks, bulldozers and 250,000-pound cranes over our connectors,” he said. “Our connectors are low-cost, easy to put together — and they hold up.”

Contact writer George Hohmann at 304-348-4836.
Copyright 2005 Charleston Daily Mail – Reprinted by permission