SCHOTT’s North American Advanced Optics facility in Duryea, Pennsylvania is known as a hub for the development of optical glasses and lenses, particularly those used in eye-safe lasers and image recognition systems needed in a variety of industries. The Duryea facility is also home to SCHOTT’s North American Research & Development center, where over 25 scientists and engineers offer a variety of services and competencies in the field of glass research spanning material development to pilot production.
Over the past two years, SCHOTT invested over $20 million to rebuild and renovate SCHOTT Duryea, ensuring that it is, in the words of PaHomepage.com, “rebuilt for the future.”
These upgrades haven’t escaped the notice of local media.
“We’re going to be building a new melting facility for some of our glasses that we provide to other SCHOTT locations, and we’ve got additional investment into some smaller optics manufacturing,” Plant Manager Michael Platt told The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader. “The new equipment we’re getting in here allows us to make the smaller glasses, the more higher-precision glasses that need to be used in the precision glass industry.”
Platt said that the company’s confidence in making the new investment was bolstered by its faith in the plant’s highly skilled, technically proficient workforce. Some of those workers told The Citizens’ Voice that they intended to work with SCHOTT for the long haul.
“Our plant in Duryea has well-trained, highly skilled employees who have outstanding expertise in developing, melting, and processing optical glasses,” said Platt. “SCHOTT’s employees here in Central Pennsylvania make products that are the foundation for today and tomorrow’s emerging technologies.”
WNEP’s Clay LePard caught up with Platt to learn how the plant is responding to market changes.
“The industry as you know is going away from very large pieces of glass and things are becoming miniaturized,” said Platt. “A lot of our glass is used in cell phones, telescopes, cameras and so forth, so we have to be caught up with the market.”
Nearby residents, members of the press, elected officials, employees, and their families were given a tour of the newly upgraded facility. Kids (and a few adults, like WNEP’s LePard) took advantage of a petting zoo featuring a few furry friends.
SCHOTT, meanwhile, offered a tour of the plant, with FOX 56 noting that for some families, it was the first time they got to see where their relatives worked.