01-27-2009, SCHOTT North America, Inc.
SCHOTT Celebrates 125-Year Anniversary
Introduces new technologies at Photonics West
January 27, 2009 (at SPIE Photonics West- San Jose, Calif.)—From telescopes, architectural glass, cook-tops, and solar panels, to thousands of other products used every day, a diverse range of technologies hails from one of the leading materials sciences companies in the world: SCHOTT, a company born in a German glass laboratory 125 years ago. Today SCHOTT operates in 42 countries, employs more than 17,000 people, and produces specialized glass components for diverse industries from pharmaceuticals and astronomy, to automotive, lighting, bioscience, and clean-energy.
Professor Udo Ungeheuer, Chairman of the Board of Management of SCHOTT AG, acknowledges the breadth of the company. “Every day, we come into contact with a SCHOTT product in one form or other.”
Its introduction of a Transistor Outline Plus line with a capacity of 17Gbit/s and new Apochoromatic “True Color” glasses for life sciences applications at the SPIE Photonics West Conference and Expo this week is a testament to the company’s century-old heritage of pushing the boundaries of glass technology.
Beginnings of a new science
SCHOTT was born in 1884 when young glassmaker Otto Schott partnered with Ernst Abbe and Carl Zeiss in Jena, Germany to produce borosilicate glass for use in laboratories and thermometers. Within a few years, the company branched out into one of the growth markets of the day: producing dual-cylinder borosilicate chimneys for gas burning lamps. Within its first 40 years, the company employed more than 1,500 and became widely known in European industrial circles as a leading manufacturer of specialized glass.
Immediately following WWII, SCHOTT was a beneficiary of the Marshall Plan, but not before the company was forced to split in two, one part on each side of the Iron Curtain. With the spark of post-war investment, SCHOTT grew steadily into overseas markets, serving a broad range of industries, like architecture, home appliances, and astronomy.
ZERODUR®, now in its 40th year of production, combines zero thermal expansion and homogeneity, making it ideal for astronomy. ZERODUR mirror substrates can be found in the three largest telescopes in the world, the Gran Telescopio Canarias in the Canary Islands and the two Keck telescopes in Hawaii. Eight of the world’s largest telescopes feature ZERODUR, along with many American and European spacecraft. Beyond astronomy, ZERODUR components are used in precision measurement instruments, ring laser gyroscopes, and microlithography and LCD lithography tools.
Moving into U.S. Markets
In 1969, SCHOTT opened its first manufacturing plant in the U.S. The Duryea, Pa. facility has continuously produced a range of optical glass for the defense, astronomy, consumer electronics, and many other industries. The site, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, also serves as SCHOTT’s North American R&D headquarters. In 2008, hundreds of employees at the Duryea plant hosted President Obama as he campaigned in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Over the past four decades SCHOTT has continued to increase its presence in North America. The company currently employs over 2,500 people at 17 production sites.
Continuing its expansion in the U.S., SCHOTT will open its new manufacturing plant in Albuquerque, N.M., the first to fabricate both photovoltaic panels and concentrated solar thermal receivers. The state-of-the art site, to go online in May, had an initial investment of $100 million and is expected to hire some 1,500 people in the state. As renewable energy markets have grown, so too has SCHOTT’s manufacturing.
Looking to the future
125 years ago, Otto Schott started a company with a brand new approach to glassmaking. Today, SCHOTT continues that tradition with technologies designed to enhance the quality of everyday life.
“SCHOTT’s mission for the next 125 years is to continue to do just what we have been doing for the last: advancing the scope of glass technologies to enhance the quality of life for all the world’s people,” said Dr. Ungeheuer.
SCHOTT is a technology-driven, international group that sees its core purpose as the lasting improvement of living and working conditions through special materials and high-tech solutions. Its main areas of focus are defense, household appliance industry, pharmaceutical packaging, optics and opto-electronics, information technology, consumer electronics, lighting, automotive engineering and solar energy.
SCHOTT has a presence in close proximity to its customers through highly efficient production and sales companies in all of its major markets. The company has approximately 17,000 employees producing worldwide sales of approximately $3 billion. In North America, SCHOTT’s holding company SCHOTT Corporation and its subsidiary SCHOTT North America, Inc. and their affiliates employ about 2,500 people in 13 production operations with 4 sales offices.
The company’s technological and economic expertise is closely linked with its social and ecological responsibilities.
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