Archive: Apr 2012

Firwin and Chile

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As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, open-pit mining is a great way to extract minerals and ore from the earth, but it becomes less effective when you start exhausting materials relatively close to the surface. It is at this crucial point that entire industries must make a choice: move on to another open-pit opportunity, or start the more difficult, time consuming, and expensive process of underground mining. This very dilemma is currently playing out in the Chilean copper mining industry. For years, copper mining has been the #1 industry in Chile. In 2000, Chile produced 35% of the world’s mined copper and it accounted for 40.5% of their export earnings, which translated into 25% of their GDP.[1] In 2006 alone, Chile exported $33.3 billion worth of copper. With copper being so critical to the health and survival of the Chilean economy, it is not surprising that their mining industry has begun a very ambitious underground mining project. The state-owned Corporacion del Cobre, the world’s largest copper producer, is planning to invest $3.28 billion in just one project to extend the working life of the world’s largest underground mine by 47 years. 
Because it’s hard to imagine any kind of mining without Firwin’s outstanding insulation and safety products, we recently acquired a new distributor in Chile. By signing up with the experts at Ventas,  Firwin hopes to gain a much larger foothold in the Chilean mining market. The timing couldn’t be better, and we hope that we will be able to help keep a future generation of Chilean miners safe and protected with our wide array of insulation products.


The Maid of the Mist and Firwin

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At Firwin, we insulate a lot of serious equipment. Economies across the globe rely heavily on the mining, trucking, and marine industries. All of these endeavors can be dangerous without the quality insulation that Firwin provides. However, insulation isn’t all about hard work, it can also be about having fun. 
Since the first person set eyes on Niagara Falls, it has been a natural wonder that people have traveled far and wide to experience. By the mid 18th century, tourism had become Niagara Falls leading industry and that remains the case two and a half centuries later. Since 1846, the best way to see the falls has been from the deck of the Maid of the Mist tour boat. While it started out as a simple steamboat ferry, today there are actually four large diesel powered Maid of the Mists in service. Firwin is proud to have helped insulate these historic boats. Our marine and steam line insulation dramatically reduces heat loss from engine exhausts, piping, silencers, and piping. Because there isn’t much elbow room in the engine room of a smaller water craft, it’s even more important to shield the crew from excesses heat all while maximizing the effectiveness of exhaust catalytic purifiers and filters. That is why the Maid of the Mist fleet relies on Firwin insulation to guarantee that every trip past Niagara Falls is a safe and enjoyable one.