Shot Peening Aids Chilean Miner Rescue

National Peening shot peened these drill bits for Center Rock Inc., a company that used them in their “hole opener” drill to widen the Chilean miner’s rescue shaft. Note the signatures of the Center Rock crew.
Article by: Kathy Levy, Associate Editor, InfoProse, The Shot Peener Magazine  (2011)

National Peening’s facility in Salem, Virginia shot peens drill bits for Center Rock, a manufacturer and distributor of air drilling tools and products in Pennsylvania. “We use National Peening because they have machines large enough for our products and they give us quality service,” says Julie Fisher, Director of Sales for Center Rock.

When Center Rock was chosen to supply pneumatic-driven air compression drills to open the rescue shaft for the trapped miners, Steve Bungard with Center Rock called National Peening to shot peen the drill bits for a “hole opener” drill that would enlarge a 6-inch shaft into a 12-inch shaft. Mike Price, General Manager with National Peening, said they had a day’s notice and the machine setups were completed before the drill bits arrived from Pennsylvania. “We processed the hole opener drill in a few hours, literally while the truck driver waited to make the return trip,” said Mike. “Center Rock advised us that they were working around the clock to make these drills and ship them to Chile as soon as possible. We were willing to do whatever it took to meet the challenge. Our employees didn’t hesitate to be available on a Saturday night and they came into work as soon as the drill bits arrived in Salem,” he added.

“We watched some of the TV coverage as the miners were brought up one by one. It was a good feeling to know we had a tiny part in helping with this rescue,” said Mike.

About National Peening

National Peening is a shot peening and blast cleaning facility that’s been in operation since 1986. They have four locations in North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina. National Peening has Nadcap accreditation and can certify parts to a wide range of aircraft, military and commercial shot peening specifications. They have achieved a nationwide reputation as a shot peening facility for the NASCAR industry.

National Peening was able to accommodate Center Rock’s large drill bits because they design and build most of their own equipment and have customized the equipment to meet customers’ applications. They peen all sizes of parts from small springs and pins to parts weighing up to 20,000 pounds.

National Peening offers more services than typical for a shot peening job shop. They provide secondary processes, such as assembly and finishing—including painting, packaging, labeling—and palletizing. National Peening then ships final product to their clients’ customers.

“Without shot peening, our drill bits wouldn’t be capable of doing their job. National Peening was an important player in the fast delivery of our equipment to Chile.”
– Julie Fisher, Director of Sales for Center Rock