Schott: More Capacity For New Opportunities

Date: 14 June 2010
Source: Schott
With the expansion of Melting Tank 8, Schott Technical Glass Solutions (TGS) has virtually doubled its production capacity.

Following its renaming in 2009, the company is aiming towards attractive growth markets with an enhanced product portfolio. To achieve this goal, another tank will be put into operation in 2011.
 
„We are increasing our production capacity in order to accelerate our growing traditional business,” was how Klaus Schneider explained the rebuilding of the tank which was put into operation at the end of May. The facility now features an additional electric heating unit to increase the melting capacity, while the dimensions of the tank have remained the same. The use of microfloat technology also makes it possible to float smaller amounts of glass. A further microfloat tank to be commissioned in 2011 will offer even greater flexibility.
 
These are important advantages as the market moves away from standard glass to demand an increasing variety of glass with customer-specific properties for special fields of application. This is a call to glass manufacturers to target their activities more specifically. A step in this direction was the founding of SCHOTT TGS on 1 April 2009 as a legally independent unit of the SCHOTT technology holding to concentrate its competence in the field of technical special flat glass. In so doing, the newly founded subsidiary took over large parts of the former Jenaer Glaswerk resulting in a staff of 300 employees in Jena and a vast human resources potential based on over 30 sales offices worldwide.
 
This provides SCHOTT with extensive know-how for the development, melting, thermal molding and processing of highly stable and extremely thermal resistant special glass. In its role as advisor and partner, the company also supports its customers in all questions concerning glass properties, melting, processing and finishing technologies. One of the company’s special strengths is developing customized glass and applications, according to Klaus Schneider. “We develop new special glass directly in our production facilities and bring these to the market for our customers. We are not simply a supplier of glass but of new, ready-to-market brands.”
 
On to new markets with (lithium) aluminosilicate glass
 
SCHOTT TGS offers a product portfolio of float and rolled borosilicate glass in a wide variety of market-specific thicknesses and formats. Their special properties enable a wide spectrum of application areas from house automation, fire protection and optics through to medical equipment and photovoltaics. Exemplary for this wide range of applications is the well-known brand “Borofloat,” a borosilicate float glass with high thermal resistance and good surface quality. There are,on the other hand, glass types which have been developed especially for specific markets: The brand “Pyran” stands for special float glass and glass ceramics for fire protection.

Technical special glass is also increasingly being used in modern applications in life sciences and the electronic industry. For example, SCHOTT TGS produces a glass substrate for microarray solutions for DNA and protein analysis on the basis of borosilicate glass. In a recent development, high-strength lithium-aluminosilicate and aluminosilicate glass have expanded their use from traditional applications, such as safety panels for high-speed trains, into new markets, such as cover and touch screens for smart phones, notebooks and hard disk drives. This represents a big chance for the future according to Klaus Schneider: “At present we are in the process of evaluating the properties and performance of our glass to determine further applications.”

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