2018 CI Top 14: Leading Worldwide Manufacturers of Advanced Ceramics, Glasses and Refractories
The 2018 CI Top 14 is our fifth annual ranking of the leading worldwide manufacturers of advanced ceramics, glasses and refractories.
The CI Top 14 is our fifth annual ranking of the leading worldwide manufacturers of advanced ceramics, glasses and refractories. To develop the CI Top 14, we evaluated information provided by company contacts, and combined it with additional details gleaned from annual reports, company websites, press releases, etc.
If you would like your company to be considered for the 2019 CI Top 14, or if you have any suggestions for future rankings, please contact Susan Sutton, editor-in-chief, at (248) 786-1704 or email@example.com.
Headquarters Areas of the Top 14
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The Top 14 List
Tour Les Miroirs, 18 Avenue d’Alsace 92 096 La Défense Cedex, France
CEO: Pierre-André de Chalendar
Saint-Gobain operates in three main business sectors: Innovative Materials, comprising Flat Glass and High-Performance Materials; Construction Products; and Building Distribution. The group as a whole generated approximately €40.8 billion (~ $47.7 billion) in sales in 2017, an increase of 4.7% from 2016.
The Innovative Materials sector, representing 25% of total net sales, saw sales rise 5.3% to ~ €10.4 billion (~ $12.1 billion) in 2017; Flat Glass increased 5.2% to €5.7 billion (~ $6.6 billion), while High-Performance Materials, which produces products such as abrasives, ceramic materials, refractories and glass fiber, among others, climbed 5.8% to about €4.7 billion (~ $5.5 billion). The Innovative Materials segment operates more than 500 industrial sites in 45 countries.
In the Flat Glass business, 2017 sales reportedly benefited from strong automotive glass demand in all regions, particularly in Asia, as well as Western Europe’s construction market activity. Despite a slow start to the year, all businesses in High-Performance Materials saw growth for 2017.
“Saint-Gobain’s robust growth and the acceleration in our performance over the course of the year illustrate the effectiveness of our strategy,” said Pierre-André de Chalendar, chairman and CEO. “All business sectors and regions contributed to this good set of results, especially France, which confirmed its recovery. In line with our focus on pricing in an environment where inflation is increasing once again, sales prices rose significantly, particularly in the second half of the year. Cost savings, another priority for the group, exceeded objectives at €290 million (~ $268 million). The group pursued its profitable growth strategy by stepping up both its financial investments, with 28 small and mid-sized acquisitions in the year, and its capital expenditure, with a focus on emerging countries, Industry 4.0, and digitalization, particularly in Building Distribution.”
Of Saint-Gobain’s approximately 179,000 employees, over 34,000 work in Flat Glass and 28,000 in High-Performance Materials. The Innovative Materials sector represents approximately two-thirds of Saint-Gobain’s research and development spending; the sector employs 2,100 researchers and filed more than 300 patents in 2017. Saint-Gobain’s total 2017 spending for R&D was €446 million (~ $517.6 million), an increase of 1.8%. According to the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), Saint-Gobain Corp. received 235 U.S. patents in 2017, a 10.2% increase from the prior year.1
For the seventh consecutive year in 2017, Saint-Gobain was included in the Clarivate Analytics (formally Thomson Reuters) Top Global Innovators ranking, which is based on four patent-related metrics: total number of patents, number of patents granted as a ratio of patents filed, global scope of the portfolio of patents, and impact of patents measured by the number of references.
“This acknowledgement of the quantity, quality and impact of our patents is recognition of the priority Saint-Gobain has placed on innovation and R&D over the past years,” said Armand Ajdari, vice president of Research & Development and Innovation. “In order to continue to provide our customers with new and differentiating solutions, we file more than 450 patents each year, thereby strengthening our lead position on our markets.”
In December, Saint-Gobain announced that its High-Performance Refractories business acquired Spin-Works International Corp., a manufacturer of 3D-printed and extruded silicon carbide ceramic components that reportedly improve energy efficiency, recover waste heat, and reduce emissions for customers in a wide range of high-temperature industrial processes. Based in North East, Pa., Spin-Works has approximately 20 employees.
“We’re very pleased to have Spin-Works join Saint-Gobain,” said Laurent Tellier, vice president of Saint-Gobain High-Performance Refractories. “This acquisition further expands our capabilities in the ceramic industrial burner and heat recovery markets, helping to make our customers’ processes more sustainable—especially in the steel and automotive businesses.”
Sources: annual report, press releases, company website
With over 46,000 full-time employees and 105 plants in 15 countries, Corning’s business comprises five segments: Display Technologies (glass substrates mainly used in flat panel LCDs), Optical Communications (telecommunications components), Environmental Technologies (ceramic substrates and filters for emissions control applications), Specialty Materials (formulations for glass, glass ceramics and fluoride crystals), and Life Sciences (glass and plastic labware, among other products). Total sales for Corning in 2017 reached over $10 billion, an 8% increase compared to 2016.
The Display Technologies segment, representing 30% of total sales for the year, struggled in 2017 due mainly to price declines and the weakening of the Japanese yen. Sales declined by 7% to just under $3 billion. Net sales for the Optical Communications sector increased 18% to over $3.5 billion in 2017 (35% of total company sales), partially driven by the North American fiber-to-the-home market’s increased demand for carrier network products. Representing 11% of company sales for the year, Environmental Technologies saw a 7% increase in 2017 to reach $1.1 billion. Corning attributes the growth to strong automotive product sales in Europe, China and Asia, among other factors.
In the Specialty Materials segment, which was 14% of the company’s total in 2017, sales jumped 25% to $1.4 billion due to the release of new Corning® Gorilla® Glass products, as well as increased sales for advanced optics products. Life Sciences saw a 5% increase in 2017, reaching $879 million (9% of total sales).
“Strong growth and strong investment made 2017 an outstanding year,” said Wendell P. Weeks, chairman, CEO and president. “We exited the year running at full capacity in several of our businesses and with committed customer demand that supports our current capacity-expansion initiatives. We expect to see the benefits of these initiatives in the second half of 2018 and beyond as production ramps. 2018 will be another year of strong growth and investment, consistent with our Strategy and Capital Allocation Framework. We feel great about our progress and prospects.”
Corning spent $860 million on R&D in 2017, up 16% from 2016’s $742 million. According to the IPO, Corning attained 547 U.S. patents in 2017, an increase of 28% over the prior year.1 In addition, Corning received almost 1,300 patents in other countries.
Last fall, Corning announced that it had delivered its 1 billionth kilometer of optical fiber. The company celebrated with an event at its optical fiber manufacturing facility in Wilmington, N.C. In January, Corning announced that it had opened a new cable manufacturing facility in Newton, N.C., in the latest expansion of its Optical Communications business. The facility, which will employ more than 200 people, is part of Corning’s previously announced plan to invest more than $250 million in its optical fiber, cable and solutions manufacturing facilities.
In North Carolina, Corning is expanding its fiber manufacturing facility near Concord and its cable facilities in Winston-Salem and Hickory, in addition to opening the Newton plant. By adding manufacturing capacity, Corning aims to help ensure reliable supply as it addresses the growing demand for optical fiber and cable stemming from worldwide growth in bandwidth requirements as the number of connected devices increases dramatically.
Corning also recently announced two investments to support its Valor™ Glass product line. The first is reportedly expected to create 185 new jobs and support more than 380 jobs overall in the Southern Tier of New York. The new jobs will be located at the Corning Innovation Support Center (CISC) in Big Flats and at Corning’s Research and Development Facility at Sullivan Park in Erwin. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Corning’s investment during a visit at Sullivan Park, hosted by Wendell P. Weeks, Corning chairman, CEO and president.
“Valor Glass was invented right here in the Southern Tier, so it is only fitting our first significant manufacturing operation be located here,” Weeks said. “Thanks to the Southern Tier strategic plan and Governor Cuomo’s ongoing investment in this region through initiatives like the Upstate Revitalization Funding program, I believe the future of our community is brighter than ever.”
According to Corning, its second Valor Glass facility will create over 300 new jobs in Durham County, N.C. The new facility will be constructed adjacent to a Corning Life Sciences manufacturing facility, enabling the company to realize synergies between the two businesses. It is anticipated that the new facility will be operational by the end of 2019.
In May, Corning announced that it had hosted a launch ceremony for its new Gen 10.5 liquid crystal display (LCD) glass substrate manufacturing facility, which is co-located with the BOE Technology Group Co. Ltd. (BOE) plant in the Hefei Xinzhan Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone in the Anhui Province, China. The new facility will reportedly enable Corning to become the first manufacturer of thin-film transistor (TFT)-grade Gen 10.5 substrates in the world. The largest LCD commercially available glass substrates are 2,940 x 3,370 mm, providing economical cuts for 65- and 75-in. TVs. The Gen 10.5 substrates manufactured at the Hefei facility use Corning® EAGLE XG® Slim glass.
“The Hefei Gen 10.5 LCD glass facility is the next milestone in the display business, enabling us to make the world’s largest glass substrate to support the growing global demand for large size TVs,” said James P. Clappin, president of Corning Glass Technologies, at the launch ceremony.
Corning announced in June that it had largely completed its acquisition of substantially all of the Communication Markets Division (CMD) from 3M Co. The acquisition extends Corning Optical Communications’ market reach and access to global customers, particularly in key growth areas in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia; the Central and Latin America regions; and the in-building network market segment. The acquisition also expands the optical solutions Corning can provide existing customers through CMD’s high-bandwidth portfolio.
Corning expects the business to generate approximately $400 million in sales annually, beginning in 2019. For 2018, Corning expects the acquisition to provide an additional $200 million in sales and anticipates one-time integration costs will result in neutral EPS.
The Environmental Technologies business reached a production milestone at its Kaiserslautern, Germany, manufacturing facility—producing its 1 millionth Corning® DuraTrap® GC gasoline particulate filter (GPF) for automotive emissions control. The facility launched an expansion effort in 2016 for production of the ceramic particulate filters, engineered specifically for gasoline engines, in anticipation of European automotive market demand for this new emissions control technology.
“Reaching this one million gasoline particulate filter milestone is important for Corning and for clean-air initiatives in Europe,” said Hal Nelson, vice president and general manager of Corning Environmental Technologies. “It marks the introduction of a next-generation emissions control solution with proven capability to help our customers meet new emissions standards and advance their gasoline systems to be cleaner and safer.”
With the support of the Hefei government, Corning will invest in an existing production facility in the Hefei Xinzhan Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone in the Anhui Province, China, for its Automotive Glass Solutions business. The facility, which Corning expects to be fully operational in 2019, will produce Corning Gorilla Glass for automotive interiors. According to Corning, retrofitting an existing facility will help it bring on new capacity quickly and efficiently to advance the growth of its Automotive Glass Solutions business.
“Corning is excited to be delivering technical glass solutions that address and accelerate the adoption of more dynamic and visually appealing in-vehicle infotainment systems,” said Michael Kunigonis, vice president and general manager of Corning Automotive Glass Solutions. “Our cover glass innovations deliver advantaged performance and economics versus commodity materials and are driving significant pull for our products. Corning’s investment will deliver the capability, quality and capacity the auto industry needs to drive innovation and supply drivers with the connectivity and user experience they desire.”
Sources: annual report, press releases
Asahi Glass Co., Ltd.
1-5-1, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8405, Japan
President and CEO: Takuya Shimamura
Asahi Glass Co., Ltd. announced a name change to AGC Inc. in July. AGC operations comprise four main segments: Glass (50% of total sales), Electronics (18%), Chemicals (30%), and Ceramics/Other (2%). Net sales in all segments increased in 2017 compared to the prior year. The company’s 53,200 employees are mainly located in Japan/Asia (31,400), followed by Europe (17,400) and the Americas (4,400).
Company-wide, sales in 2017 grew over 14% to reach almost ¥1.5 trillion (~ $13.1 billion). In the Glass segment, which is organized into Flat Glass (float flat glass, as well as figured, polished wired, low-e, decorative and fabricated glasses) and Automotive Glass (tempered and laminated glass), sales grew 8.1% to reach ¥735.1 billion (~ $6.6 billion). Sales of architectural glass increased mainly due to increased selling prices in Europe and favorable shipments in North America. The automotive glass business increased as a result of favorable auto production overall, despite a slowdown in North America.
Net sales in Electronics saw a slight bump of 1.6% in 2017 to reach ¥262.4 billion (~ $2.4 billion). The Electronics business is organized by Display (LCD glass substrates and specialty glass for display applications, as well as cover glass for car-mounted displays and display-related materials, glass for solar energy, and fabricated glass) and Electronic Materials (semiconductor process materials, optoelectronics materials, lighting glass products and laboratory glass). While selling prices decreased for LCD glass substrates, shipments increased over 2016. Other products to see increases in 2017 included specialty glass for display applications, cover glass for car-mounted displays, optoelectronic materials and semiconductor-related products.
The Ceramics/Other business produces refractory materials, fine ceramics and sputtering targets. The segment grew its net sales to ¥75.4 billion (~ $676.1 million) in 2017, an increase of almost 6.5%.
AGC announced in September 2017 that its cover glass for car-mounted displays would be installed in the new Audi A8. According to AGC, this marked the world’s first mass-produced vehicle to incorporate curved cover glass. The cockpit of the Audi A8 features two touchscreen displays that reportedly allow vehicle occupants to display and control the information necessary for safe and comfortable driving. AGC’s curved cover glass is used for the upper display, a gently curving 10.1-in. display that shows navigation and infotainment systems, while flat cover glass is used for the lower touchscreen display.
In October, Toyota Motor Corp. selected AGC’s Kiriko glasswork for the new Lexus LS. The chemically strengthened glass with delicate carved patterns is used for door trim ornamentation on the inner door panels of the executive grade of Lexus LS500 and LS500h. With the aim of reproducing the original design of a glass artist, AGC reportedly brought together advanced production techniques and technologies from around Japan under a slogan of “turning craftwork into industrial products.” Combining its mold design and glass forming technologies with precise processing and specialized polishing processes, AGC established a mass production process to create what is reportedly the world’s first door trim ornamentation.
In addition, AGC and Toyota jointly started development of a glass structure termed a “ceiling-mounted double skin system.” The glass unit, which is designed to enhance the energy savings of buildings such as showrooms, will reportedly be capable of being flexibly opened or closed in response to weather conditions. The ceiling-mounted double skin system will use AGC’s Coolverre™ IR- and UV-cut glass, an automotive glass with effective thermal insulating properties. A fan will blow hot air between the external glass and the Coolverre product, thus boosting air conditioner efficiency and decreasing heat loss when heating the indoor space. The dual-layer composition will feature an upper panel of light- and heat-shielding sheets and a Coolverre lower panel.
AGC and Kinestral Technologies, Inc., maker of Halio™ smart-tinting glass, announced in December the creation of three joint venture companies that will sell, distribute, and service Halio to the global market. Formed to accelerate the adoption of Halio, the new ventures—Halio North America, Halio International, and Halio China—will be the exclusive sales and marketing agents in the commercial and residential housing industries. Halio China includes a third partner, G-Tech Optoelectronics Corp. (GTOC), a subsidiary of the Foxconn Technology Group.
“We are convinced that Halio technology is poised to transform the glass industry,” said Jean-François Heris, senior executive officer of AGC and president of AGC Building and Industrial Glass Co. “Natural light is the #1 most desired feature in office designs, but conventional glass requires blinds, shades, and awnings, or architectural elements that block heat and glare. Halio gives people the best of the outdoors while meeting increasingly stringent energy codes.”
In February 2018, AGC announced that it would drastically expand a supply system for extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) mask blanks at its AGC Electronics Co., Ltd. group company in 2018. AGC began conducting R&D on photomask blanks utilized in EUV lithography technology in 2003. By combining its core technologies (i.e., glass materials, glass processing and coatings), AGC reportedly has the capability to handle every aspect of photomask blanks—from the glass material to film material. Under its AGC plus management policy, the AGC Group has made a commitment to positioning electronics-related business as one of its strategic businesses. AGC intends to continue making aggressive capital investments in EUVL mask blanks, which are expected to see significant growth in demand in the coming years, to contribute to further development of the semiconductor industry.
AGC and NTT DOCOMO, Inc. recently achieved what is reportedly the world’s first 8 Gbps 5G communications with a fast-moving vehicle equipped with “vehicle glass mounted antennas” in a field trial conducted in conjunction with Ericsson Japan. The 5G 28 GHz band-compatible on-glass antennas used in the field trial were designed and developed by AGC. Not easily seen from the exterior, the antennas can be installed on glass surfaces without affecting vehicle design.
Radio waves in the 28 GHz band have a large propagation loss and have difficulty propagating over long distances. By installing an on-glass antenna on the vehicle, radio waves above 6 GHz can be transmitted and received using the “beam-forming function,” which concentrates radio waves in a specific direction, and the “MIMO function,” which improves communication speed by simultaneously transmitting different data from multiple antennas. This allows stable, high-speed communications even for vehicles in operation.
Sources: annual report, company website, press releases
Murata Manufacturing Co.,
10-, Higashikotari 1-chome Nagaokakyo-shi, Kyoto 617-8555, Japan
CEO: Tsuneo Murata
Murata’s business is organized into two main segments: Components (67.6% of total sales) and Modules (32.4%). Components produces capacitors and piezoelectric and other components, while Modules produces communication modules, power supplies, and other modules. With more than 75,300 employees, Murata’s sales as a whole grew by over 20% to reach almost ¥1.4 trillion (~ $12.2 billion) in the fiscal year ended March 30, 2018.
In the Components segment, sales increased by 21.3% to ¥924.1 billion (~ $8.3 billion) overall. Sales of capacitors increased by 21.7% to reach just under $450 billion (~ $4 billion). The main product in this division is multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs), which saw significant growth as demand increased in a range of applications, including car electronics as a result of progress made in vehicle electrification.
Sales of piezoelectric components declined 10.6%, to ¥152 billion (~ $1.4 billion). Products in this division include surface acoustic wave (SAW) filters, ceramic resonators, piezoelectric sensors and ceramic filters. According to Murata, reduced production and pricing of smartphones in China caused sales of SAW filters to decline significantly, negatively impacting results.
Other components include inductors (coils), electromagnetic interference (EMI) suppression filters, connectors, sensors, thermistors and lithium ion batteries. Sales in this area jumped 45% to ¥322.3 billion (~ $2.9 billion), mainly as a result of strong demand for coils, EMI suppression filters and MEM sensors for car electronics.
According to the IPO, Murata received 563 U.S. patents in calendar 2017, an increase of almost 17%.1 The company increased its overall R&D spending by 15.1% to nearly ¥94.2 billion (~ $844.5 million) for the fiscal year.
In June, Murata announced that its Fukui Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. manufacturing subsidiary located in Echizen, Fukui Prefecture, Japan, had acquired a new site to expand production capacity for ceramic multilayer capacitors. Preparation of the site for development began in June, with construction slated to start this month.
Sources: company website, annual report, press releases
Toranomon Towers Office, 1-28 Toranomon 4-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-8451, Japan
President and CEO: Yusuke Morimura
Multiple ceramic-focused companies are part of the Morimura Group, including Noritake, TOTO Ltd., NGK Insulators, Ltd., and NGK Spark Plug Co., Ltd. NGK Insulators operates in three main business segments: Power (insulators and hardware for insulator assembly, among other products), Ceramics (automotive exhaust gas purification and corrosion-resistant components for various industries), and Electronics (components for semiconductor manufacturing equipment and ceramic components for electronics, among other products).
With almost 19,000 full-time employees and 58 consolidated subsidiaries, NGK Insulators’ total net sales for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, grew about 12% to ¥451.1 billion (~ $4 billion). Sales for the business segments included: Power, ¥54.4 billion (~ $486.4 million); Ceramics, ¥240.7 billion (~ $2.2 billion); and Electronics ¥61.3 billion (~ $548.1 million). Sales of insulators in Japan were reportedly slow, causing that segment to see a decline compared to the prior fiscal year. Sales for automotive-related ceramic products increased due to rising sensor use brought about by tighter emissions regulations, in addition to higher truck sales in the Chinese market. Demand also increased for products related to semiconductor manufacturing equipment.
In March, NGK Insulators announced that it would significantly expand production capacity for ceramics for semiconductor manufacturing equipment by investing an additional ¥20 billion in production sites at three locations in Japan. The two existing facilities involved include the company’s Chita Site (Handa City, Aichi Prefecture) and Komaki Site (Komaki City, Aichi Prefecture). In addition, NGK plans to build a new plant to be operated by manufacturing subsidiary NGK Ceramic Device Co., Ltd. in Tajimi City; production at the new plant is scheduled to begin in October 2019. Through these investments, NGK plans to increase its annual production capacity to around 1.5 times the previously planned level by fiscal 2020, thereby establishing a supply system that keeps pace with growing demand.
Three main business segments comprise NGK Spark Plug: Automotive Components (spark and glow plugs, as well as automotive sensors and other products), Technical Ceramics (semiconductor components, IC packages, cutting tools, among others), and Others (medical, environmental and energy-related products, among other products). Total sales for NGK Spark Plug, which employs over 15,300 people worldwide and has 42 consolidated subsidiaries, grew almost 10% to ¥409.9 billion (~ $3.7 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018. The Automotive Components group’s sales reached almost ¥348.2 billion (~ $3.1 billion), an increase of 9.4%, while Technical Ceramics saw a 12.5% jump to reach ¥57.7 billion (~ $516.2 million).
NGK Spark Plug announced in October 2017 that it would establish an additional production plant in India to strengthen its production capabilities for automotive components. The company plans to use the new plant to help meet large demand for spark plugs in the aftermarket and to meet the Bharat Stage IV (BS6) Indian national emission control regulation to be introduced in 2020. The ¥1.7 billion (~ $15.2 million) investment will include an additional production facility in the current plant area to strengthen and double the company’s spark plug production capability by 2018, as well as the introduction of oxygen sensor production in India.
Sources: company websites, annual reports, press releases
Nippon Sheet Glass Co., Ltd.
Smintomo Fudosan Mita Twin Building West Wing, 5-27, Mita 3-Chome Minato-ku,Tokyo 108-6321, Japan
CEO: Shigeki Mori
NSG, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, saw revenues increase by about 4% in its 2018 fiscal year (ended March 31, 2018), to ¥603.9 billion (~ $5.4 billion). The group runs 27 float glass lines and employs 27,000 people worldwide; 24 sites in 14 countries focus on the automotive market, while 10 sites in five countries are involved in technical glass.
Three main businesses comprise the NSG Group: Architectural, representing 40% of group revenue; Automotive, 52%; and Technical Glass, 8%. Revenue in the Architectural segment, which produces thermal insulation glass, solar control glass, glass for solar energy, and various glazing products, was fairly flat in the 2018 fiscal year at ¥241.7 billion (~ $2.2 billion). The Automotive sector (laminated, toughened and solar control glass; and glazing systems, as well as security and lightweight glazing) saw sales increase by 5.4% to reach ¥312.7 billion (~ $2.8 billion). In the Technical Glass segment, which makes cover glass, copier/printer lenses, glass cord, battery separators, anti-corrosion coatings and fine crystal, revenue grew to ¥48.4 billion (~ $423.8 million), a 5% increase.
In March, NSG announced that it had produced a 0.7-mm-thick glass with transparent conductive oxide thin coating (NSG TEC™). Produced with online chemical vapor deposition (CVD) technology during the glass manufacturing process, it is reportedly the world’s thinnest glass with transparent electro-conductive coating manufactured with online CVD. In applications such as solar cells, buildings, cars and various electronics and medical devices, demand is reportedly increasing for glass with transparent electro-conductive coating that is thinner and lighter while being durable and resistant to chemicals.
Odakyu Electric Railway selected NSG to supply glass for its new Limited Express Romancecar (GSE series 70000) train, which started service in March. Installed in the observation car is a NSG windshield glazed with what is reportedly the largest-ever glass in this type of train car (2,101 x 2,355 mm) with 3D bending. Adding to the train’s spacious interior and aerodynamic style, the windows on both sides of the train car have also been made larger than the previous model with the distortion-free installment of large insulated glass units (IGUs) of up to 1,047 x 2,154 mm.
In April, NSG announced that it had been named a General Motors (GM) Supplier of the Year. “Winning this award is a significant achievement for NSG Group’s Pilkington Automotive business,” said Tony Fradgley, head of Automotive Global. “We have actually been supplying GM since 1931. Being the only global glass company recognized among the top one percent of GM’s global supplier base was a real honor. Pilkington won this award on the basis of delivering a sustained level of customer service, including seamless launch of challenging new product and technology innovations. We remain committed to delivering responsive services to our customers in the face of the significant transformation in the automotive industry that GM described at their conference.”
NSG announced in May that it plans to invest a total of approximately ¥38 billion (~ $348.3 million) in the expansion of production capacity for online transparent conductive oxide (TCO)-coated glass to support the growing solar energy market. The investment will fund the upgrade and restart of a currently dormant float line in Vietnam and the construction of a new glass production facility in the U.S. over the next three years. Manufactured with online coating technology, NSG’s TCO glass is reportedly durable with a wide range of applications.
In July, NSG established a Business Innovation Center (BIC) to lead the group’s growth strategy by developing new businesses customized for different markets around the world. Tasked with finding business partners from a variety of organizations, including academic research institutions, start-up companies and investors, the BIC is also expected to improve innovation and customer orientation throughout NSG.
Sources: annual reports, company website, press releases
Kyocera Corp.’s business is split fairly evenly between Components (53.9% of its sales for fiscal 2018, which ended March 31, 2018) and Equipment & Systems (46.8%). The Components segment is further organized into Industrial & Automotive Components (fine ceramic, automotive and optical components, as well as displays and industrial tools), 18.2%; Semiconductor Components (ceramic packages and substrates, organic materials, and organic packages and printed wiring boards), 16.3%; and Electronic Devices (capacitors; SAW, crystal, power and printing devices; and connectors), 19.4%.
Of Kyocera’s total revenue of approximately ¥1.6 trillion (~ $14.9 billion), approximately 20%—¥318.2 billion (~ $3 billion)—is considered to be related to advanced ceramics. This represents a slight increase from $2.7 billion in fiscal 2017. The revenue is primarily from the Industrial & Automotive Components, Semiconductor Components, and Life & Environment segments, with revenue from certain non-ceramic products subtracted. (The Life & Environment segment is included in the Equipment & Systems business. Representing 7.1% of total sales, Life & Environment includes solar energy, medical and dental products, and jewelry and kitchen tools.)
Kyocera’s reported advanced ceramics-related R&D spending slowed a bit in its 2018 fiscal year, to just under ¥6 billion (~ $56.6 million), primarily in the Industrial & Automotive Components and Semiconductor Components segments. (The total ceramics business involves additional segments that also include non-ceramic products that cannot be easily subtracted from the total. To ensure true and conservative numbers, those segments have been removed from the R&D investment figures.)
According to the IPO, Kyocera Corp. received 509 U.S. patents in 2017, a 23.8% increase compared to 2016.1 Kyocera was recognized as one of the Top 100 Global Innovators by Clarivate Analytics in 2017. Kyocera’s patent success rate and global reach were identified as outstanding, marking the fourth consecutive year for Kyocera to receive this recognition.
Late last year, Kyocera held a groundbreaking ceremony for a manufacturing plant expansion in Kirishima City, Kagoshima, Japan, where the company plans to double its production capacity for fine ceramic structural components. The expansion, which is scheduled for completion in October, will bring a new building with 29,232 sq m (about 314,650 sq ft) of additional space. The new plant will produce fine ceramic structural components used mainly by companies that manufacture semiconductors or LCDs.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held in June for a new ceramic microelectronic packages plant at Kyocera’s Kagoshima Sendai manufacturing complex in Japan. The new facility, which Kyocera plans to open in August 2019, will bring a 25% increase in the company’s total production capacity for ceramic packages used to house surface-mount devices (SMDs) and complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors, and will allow the company to expand production for other items depending on future needs.
Also in June, Kyocera announced that its Aquala® technology received Japan’s Prize of the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) during the 2018 National Invention Awards held by the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation (JIII). The honor recognizes Kyocera’s Aquala surface-processing technology, which was developed in collaboration with The University of Tokyo and has reportedly been demonstrated to extend the life expectancy of artificial hip joints.
Sources: company contact, company website, press releases
Hattenbergstrasse 10, 55122 Mainz, Germany
Chairman of the Management Board: Frank Heinricht
Sales for SCHOTT grew 3.1% to just under €2.1 billion (~ $2.4 billion) in its 2016/2017 fiscal year (October 1, 2016-September 30, 2017). Regionally, Europe delivered 46% of sales with 9,100 employees (5,200 of whom are in Germany). Asia-Pacific and North America each garnered 24% of total sales for the fiscal year. Over 2,700 employees are located in the Asia-Pacific region, while 2,000 are in North America.
SCHOTT produces glass and glass-ceramics for industries such as optics, automotive, aerospace, pharmaceutical, and electronics, among others. Products include a range of optical glasses and glass ceramics, hermetic enclosures and sealed housings, lighting solutions, specialty glass tubes, sensor components, and more. The company spent about €76.5 million (~ $88.9 million) on research and development during the fiscal year, an increase of 3.9%.
Around the turn of the year, SCHOTT announced that its melting team had started casting the first mirror segments that will make up the 39-m primary mirror (M1) of the European Large Telescope (ELT). To make the segments, liquid glass heated to over 1,400°C is poured directly into molds, transferred into a cooling furnace and subjected to a ceramicization process lasting several weeks. SCHOTT is producing up to 949 identical 1.52-m hexagonal segments for the ELT. The giant mirror will be composed of a total of 798 segments made of ZERODUR® glass-ceramic, with the balance used as replacement segments.
The SCHOTT production facility in Mainz is expected to complete delivery of the segments by 2024. Two glass melting tanks are in parallel operation due to the high demand. In addition, new jobs were created for around 50 employees, and additional capacity-expanding investments are planned for the coming year.
SCHOTT announced in February that it had enhanced its production setup for coated vials. Due to a growing number of highly sensitive parenteral drugs requiring special packaging solutions, interest in vials with inner coatings is steadily on the rise. To meet this demand, SCHOTT offers vials with a particularly inert inner surface or special surface properties for lyophilization. According to the company, its new production environment is fully automated, strictly avoids glass-to-glass contact, and focuses on the reduction of particle load.
“Quartz coatings offer a great way to combine well-known, highly processable borosilicate glass with the pureness of SiO2 (silicon dioxide), creating a very homogeneous surface,” said Florence Buscke, global product manager for Vials & Coatings. “This enables us to create a functional barrier to minimize drug and container interaction.”
SCHOTT and Zhejiang Crystal-Optech Co., Ltd., together with its subsidiary Zhejiang T.Best Electronic Information Technology Co., Ltd., signed a contract in March to form a joint venture. The joint venture company, Zhejiang Crystal-SCHOTT Optical Technology Co., Ltd., is part of SCHOTT’s Advanced Optics business unit. SCHOTT will reportedly supply its optical glass and thin glass products, and the joint venture will assemble these materials into high-quality glass substrates and glass wafers with beneficial optical performances and optimized geometrical properties.
“We are delighted to announce further investments in China, a focus region for SCHOTT,” said Frank Heinricht, chairman of SCHOTT’s board. “Jointly with our strong and valued partners, Crystal-Optech and T.Best, we will grow the joint venture company to be a major player serving the Chinese, Asia-Pacific and Western markets. In its strategy to manufacture the highest quality substrates and wafers, the joint venture can rely on SCHOTT’s core expertise in mass manufacturing of optical glass and thin glass here in Germany.”
In March, SCHOTT reported that Austrian company ecoduna commissioned what is being called the largest vertical plant for microalgae cultivation in Europe. SCHOTT supplied 43,000 DURAN® glass tubes for the photobioreactor installation, corresponding to a total length of 230 km.
“In contrast to plastic components, DURAN glass tubes have a much longer service life and are highly transparent and UV resistant,” said Fritz Wintersteller, director of business development at SCHOTT Tubing. “This means they last much longer without needing to be replaced, making them cost effective and sustainable.”
SCHOTT announced in July that it had entered into an agreement to acquire glass micro-bonding company Primoceler Oy. Based in Finland, Primoceler Oy’s hermetic packaging technology reportedly creates new possibilities for the protection of sensitive electronics in medical implants, microelectromechanical system (MEMS) devices and other reliability-critical applications.
The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of 2018, subject to certain customary closing conditions. Upon finalization of the acquisition, the company will conduct its business activities under the new name SCHOTT Primoceler Oy, based in Tampere, Finland, as part of SCHOTT’s Electronic Packaging division.
“With this acquisition, we further strengthen our leading position and advance our growth strategy,” said Peter Kniprath, head of SCHOTT’s Electronic Packaging business unit. “Electronics are entering more and more areas of our daily life. As a part of this, demands for safety and durability have increased. SCHOTT Primoceler Oy will focus on tackling these challenges and working with our customers towards completely new applications.”
Sources: annual report, company website, press releases
With approximately 8,800 employees, Morgan Advanced Materials supplies industries ranging from transportation and energy to electronics and healthcare from manufacturing sites in 30 countries around the world. In 2017, the group’s revenue increased about 3.3% to a little over £1 billion (~ $1.3 billion). Group-wide R&D investment in 2017 was £34.3 million (~ $44.6 million), an increase of over 17%.
The Thermal Products division is segmented into Thermal Ceramics (42% of group revenue), which produces insulating fiber, board, paper, refractory brick and monolithics, and Molten Metal Systems (5% of revenue), which manufactures crucibles for metal processing. Thermal Ceramics’ revenue increased in 2017 by 3.1%, growing to £462.2 million (~ $554.4 million). Sales for the unit in both North America and Europe decreased, while Asia, particularly China and India, saw growth. Revenue for Molten Metals increased 7.8% to £46.9 million (~ $61 million).
In Morgan’s Carbon and Technical Ceramics business, revenue climbed 5.1% in 2017, to £527.4 million (~ $685.5 million). Three units comprise this division: Electrical Carbon, Seals and Bearings, and Technical Ceramics. Representing 15% of group revenue, the Electrical Carbon business manufactures electrical carbon and graphite products. Revenue for this division was fairly flat in 2017, at £157.1 million (~ $204.4 million). Strong demand for specialty graphite products in Asia, particularly Korea and China, helped offset weak demand in North America.
Seals and Bearings makes carbon, graphite and silicon carbide components. Representing 11% of the group total, the division’s revenue jumped nearly 16% to £113.2 million (~ $147.3 million). Strong demand was seen for pump seals and bearings in the water and chemical/process industries, as well as ceramic armor (particularly in North America).
The Technical Ceramics segment, which represented 25% of group revenue in 2017, produces ceramic cores for investment casting. Revenue growth of 3.6% led the unit to £257.1 million (~ $334.5 million) for the year, driven by increasing demand from the aerospace and semiconductor industries.
Morgan’s Composites and Defence Systems business, comprising 2% of total revenue, makes personal body armor and vehicle armor. Sales declined significantly for the year, down almost 31% to £21 million (~ $27.3 million). Morgan announced in April 2018 that its board had decided to exit the Composites and Defence Systems business. The exit will take the form of the potential divestment of certain product lines, should a suitable acquirer be found, along with the closure of the remainder of the business lines. The provisional cash exit costs from closing the Composites and Defence Systems business are anticipated to be around £6 million (approximately $8.4 million), which may be partially offset by any proceeds from the divestment of certain product lines and the sale of certain fixed assets of the business.
In October 2017, Morgan announced that it had expanded its international network of materials research facilities with the addition of a dedicated Metals and Joining Center of Excellence in Hayward, Calif. The development of new materials, coupled with challenging application environments in sectors as diverse as aerospace, medical equipment, oil and gas, and industrial, are driving demand for joining solutions that can deliver higher performance, a lower cost of ownership, and more efficient operation. Braze joints must be able to withstand increasingly demanding conditions such as rising temperatures, higher loads, and a greater incidence of corrosive materials for a more diverse range of materials to be joined. Innovative approaches to brazing are increasingly in demand to accommodate these requirements.
“Continuous investment in our technological capability is at the heart of our continued success as a business,” said Pete Raby, CEO. “It is of vital importance that we develop the infrastructure to support closer collaboration with our customers and external innovation partners, which include universities and government agencies. The new Metals and Joining Center of Excellence provides exactly this, and with a number of exciting developments already in the pipeline, we are confident the center will play an important part in helping us to meet the future needs of multiple markets.”
A global partnership between Morgan Advanced Materials and Switzerland-based FZSoNick, announced in November, is reportedly using new materials to help store and harness excess energy generated from renewable sources. The two businesses partnered on a long-term project to manufacture modular energy storage solutions for use globally in residential housing, large energy grid support systems and light commercial vehicles. These solutions are being used to supply, manage and store energy without the need for maintenance, granting communities and businesses greater independence from national grid networks.
At the heart of the systems are modular sodium nickel chloride batteries containing interconnecting beta-alumina tubes, with high-grade 95% alumina collars developed by Morgan. These thin-walled square sections of ceramic tubing perform as a solid beta-alumina solid electrolyte (BASE).
Morgan announced in October that it had received a contract from Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft mbH (FFG) for a complete armor solution as part of its upgrade of the German Army WIESEL 1 armored weapons carrier (AWC) vehicle. Morgan’s Composites and Defence Systems business is initially delivering its CAMAC® armor and survivability package for three variants of the WIESEL 1 platform. In addition, a £4.49 million (~ $6 million) defense contract was agreed between Morgan and the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) in December for custom hard body armor. The agreement comes a year after Morgan won a £1.1 million (~ $1.5 million) contract with the MoD to supply ballistic shields and supporting services.
The completion of China’s first turbofan jetliner engine was reportedly recently achieved with the manufacturing support of Morgan’s Technical Ceramics Business. Morgan developed the ceramic cores that are essential for the creation of hollow air passages in the engine’s turbine blades. The CJ-1000A engine is being developed for China’s first passenger jet—the COMAC C919—which is due to be rolled out beginning in 2020.
In total, Morgan supplied four core designs to support the casting of stage-one and stage-two blades and vanes. To date, over 1,000 individual cores have been manufactured. These numbers will rise when the aircraft enters mass production, as 600 engines per year will be required to meet the forecasted target of 150 aircraft a year.
Sources: annual report, company website, press releases
The merger of RHI AG and Magnesita Refractários S.A. was completed in the fall of 2017, and the newly formed RHI Magnesita was admitted to trading in the premium segment of the Main Market on the London Stock Exchange on October 27, 2017. “After the successful combination, RHI Magnesita is now fully dedicated to the strategic repositioning as the global leader in the refractory industry,” said Herbert Cordt, chairman of the board of directors. “With our 14,000 employees, we can drive positive change in our industry and aim to offer our customers an even greater value proposition in the future.”
RHI Magnesita employs over 14,000 people in more than 40 countries. R&D spending in 2017 was €37 million (~ $42.9 million). Revenue in 2017 climbed to €1.9 billion (~ $2.3 billion), an increase of almost 18%. RHI Magnesita operates in two main divisions: Steel (representing 67.3% of total revenue) and Industrial (29.7%).
The Steel Division provides solutions for steel production ranging from refractories (basic and non-basic mixes and refractory bricks), machinery, flow control systems, and others. Revenue grew by more than 22% to reach €1.3 billion (~ $1.5 billion) in 2017, due to strong steel production around the world.
Revenue in the Industrial Division, which manufactures refractories for industries ranging from cement and lime to glass and energy, among others, grew by a more moderate rate (7.2%) to €577.6 million (almost $669 million). Sales to the cement sector were particularly strong for the year.
In October 2017, RHI Magnesita acquired 100% of the shares of Agellis Group AB, located in Lund, Sweden. Agellis Group specializes in advanced electromagnetic detection systems, as well as infrared (IR) technology. According to RHI Magnesita, its purchase of Agellis is a part of its “Ladle to Mould” strategy to extend its product range with advanced measurement technology for both steel and non-ferrous plants. Agellis’ products reportedly help optimize molten metal production processes, thus increasing yield, improving quality, reducing maintenance, and assisting safety in production plants.
“The acquisition of Agellis Group fits perfectly into our strategic pillar of being the top solution provider with an extensive portfolio based on innovative technologies and digitalization,” said Stefan Borgas, CEO.
In June, RHI Magnesita announced it would create a new Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) that would play an essential role in supporting business growth with the help of new technologies and would make better use of the current technologies available in the group. “The new Technical Advisory Committee brings together external scientists and researchers with our internal specialists from R&D, business development and technical marketing,” said Luis Bittencourt, chief technology officer. “The keyword is ‘Open Innovation.’ Our objective is to open up the innovation process by actively and strategically using the outside world in order to increase the innovation potential through knowledge transfer and thought-provoking impulses from outside.”
RHI Magnesita announced in July that it plans to increase investment in the strategically important Chinese market by investing more than €20 million (~ $23.4 million) in its dolomite plant in Chizhou, Anhui Province in China. This move is part of a response to address global pressures in the supply of raw materials to the refractories industry and provide additional volumes to the company’s customers worldwide.
The Chizhou site includes a dolomite mine and raw material production, as well as facilities for the production of high-quality dolomite-based finished products. The brick plant in Chizhou is expected to start production by the beginning of 2019, while the raw dolomite mine is planned to resume operation by the end of 2019.
According to RHI Magnesita, the investment in Chizhou ensures long-term production cost security. “The increased availability of our own raw materials is crucial and enables us to guarantee not only the security of supply but also consistently high-product quality,” said Marco Olszewsky, president, China, for RHI Magnesita. “We are confident that our Chinese and Asian customers will benefit from even shorter supply routes and better customer service.”
Sources: annual report, company website, press releases
Vitro operates in two main business segments: Glass Containers (sales of $240 million in 2016) and Flat Glass. Flat Glass sales jumped 19.3% to reach $802 million in 2016, up from $672 million in 2015, driven by growth in the construction and automotive industry, as well as the integration of acquired flat glass and coatings businesses. At the end of 2016, Vitro employed about 11,400 people, representing a 6.2% increase compared to 2015.
In October, Vitro announced that it had successfully concluded its acquisition of PPG Industries’ flat glass business. The acquisition included PPG’s entire flat glass manufacturing and glass coatings operations in the U.S. and Canada, including production sites located in Fresno, Calif., Salem, Ore., Carlisle, Pa., and Wichita Falls, Texas; four distribution/fabrication facilities located across Canada; and a research and development center located in Harmar, Pa.
“This transaction represents the end of an historic era for PPG as a manufacturer of flat glass, and it is another major step in our portfolio transformation to focus on paints, coatings, and specialty materials,” said Michael H. McGarry, PPG’s president and CEO. “Upon completion of this transaction, the flat glass operations will become part of a company that is focused on growing its core glass business.”
Vitro announced in March that it had completed its acquisition of Pittsburgh Glass Works’ (PGW) automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) glass business from LKQ Corp. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa., PGW had seven manufacturing plants, two satellite facilities and two float glass furnaces in the U.S. It also had one manufacturing plant in Poland and owned an equity participation in two joint ventures, one each in Mexico and China.
“The experience and state-of-the-art technology PGW brings to our business will enhance our technical, research and development capabilities,” said Adrián Sada Cueva, CEO of Vitro. “It will further strengthen our company and create a business staffed by talented employees and strategically positioned for growth.”
Vitro broke ground in May on construction of a $55 million jumbo magnetron sputtered vacuum deposition (MSVD) coater at its Wichita Falls, Texas, plant. The new coater will reportedly enable the company to produce high-performing, energy-efficient low-emissivity (low-e) glasses in standard sizes of 130 x 240 in., with larger sizes available for special orders. The unit will apply Vitro Glass’s highest-performing solar control coatings on large-area glass while providing precision color control and aesthetics. According to the company, it also will be energy efficient, producing more glass per energy unit than most MSVD coaters currently in operation.
“The coater will create at least 50 new jobs at the facility, which currently employs 360 workers and staff, and provides regular work for another 100 to 150 local contractors,” said Bill Haley, manager of the Wichita Falls plant. “The development of this project shows how investments in research and technology can help create, secure and expand jobs in traditional manufacturing. This is a positive development, not just for our glass plant, but for the entire community.”
Source: company website, annual report, press releases
Vesuvius operates in two main business sectors: Steel (including Steel Flow Control, Advanced Refractories, and Digital Services) and Foundry. Over 11,000 people work for Vesuvius at 66 production sites, 88 sales offices and 17 R&D centers in 37 countries around the world. The company spent £33.2 million (~ $43.2 million) on R&D in 2017.
Total 2017 revenue for Vesuvius jumped 20% to nearly £1.7 billion (~ $2.2 billion); Steel grew almost 22% to reach £1.1 billion (~ $1.5 billion), and Foundry was up 16.5% to £535.2 million (~ $695.7 million). In the Advanced Refractories business, which produces specialized refractory materials, revenue grew over 25% to £499.1 million (~ $648.8 million). The growth was reportedly attributed to strong demand from the steel sector, coupled with successful new product launches in the year.
Last fall, Vesuvius announced that it had been awarded a turnkey project from Brazil-based Thyssenkrupp Companhia Siderúrgica do Atlântico (CSA) for the installation of robotic casting technology (RCT) on both of its slab caster ladle platforms. According to Vesuvius, the RCT offers a solution that automatically carries out all tasks and supervision necessary on the casting platform. It reportedly improves safety, as the operators can be reassigned to process supervision tasks in a safer, remote working place. In addition, the Vesuvius RCT provides enhanced operations traceability, increased productivity, better reliability and consistency for all casting operations.
In May, Vesuvius announced that it had taken a strategic stake in Sapotech Oy, a Finland-based technology company. Sapotech developed a suite of vision products around its Reveal Platform, which reportedly allows for data to be captured, viewed, analyzed, stored, and shared between different processes and users across a metallurgical production line. As such, it complements Vesuvius’ role in adding value to customer processes in the same end markets.
In parallel with this direct participation in the future of Sapotech, Vesuvius is distributing, under an exclusive arrangement, Sapotech’s Reveal product range through the Vesuvius network in Central Europe, Asia and the Americas, helping Sapotech to expand and accelerate its market development. In addition, collaboration between experts from Vesuvius and Sapotech is expected to contribute to the development of Vesuvius’ offering of expert services around the continuous casting process to its steel customers.
“Sapotech’s Reveal Cast system fits perfectly into Vesuvius’ strategy to develop an Expert Service for our steel customers,” said Roel van der Sluis, president of Flow Control for Vesuvius. “We also see many interesting new opportunities for the rest of the Reveal Product range developed by this very innovative team at Sapotech.”
Sources: annual report, company website, press releases
With over 3,500 employees, Ceram-Tec manufactures technical ceramics for the Medical and Industrial sectors. The company reduced its R&D investment by 10.6% to €20.4 million (~ $23.6 million), reportedly due to streamlined initiatives for the Medical business as well as other initiatives.
Total revenue reached €556.3 million (~ $643.4 million) in 2017, an increase of over 12%. The Medical Products division, which focuses primarily on ceramic components such as ball heads and cup inserts for hip implants, was responsible for 36.2% of total revenue for the year. Revenue for the division grew 8.4% to reach €201.2 million (~ $237.7 million).
CeramTec’s Industrial division, comprising 63.8% of total revenue, meets the high-performance ceramic needs of end users in industries such as automotive, defense and electronics, among others. Revenue for the business jumped 15.4% to €355.2 million (~ $410.8 million).
CeramTec equipped the ski jumping hills for the XXIII Winter Olympic Games, which took place during February in Pyeongchang, South Korea, with its ALOSLIDE® ICE ceramic inrun track system. The system was developed and produced by subsidiary CeramTec-ETEC in Lohmar, Germany.
Tracks at both the Normal Hill (90 m) and the Large Hill (120 m) at the Alpensia Jumping Park were equipped with the technology. The one-track inrun system is made out of ceramic nubs that are arranged in a scientifically tested design. A cooling unit integrated into the system creates a stable layer of ice that is 20 mm thick throughout the ski jumping season. No layer of ice is formed in the summer; jumpers glide down the take-off ramp right on the ceramic nubs.
CeramTec’s acquisition by a consortium of investors led by funds advised by BC Partners and including the Public Sector Pension Investment Board and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan was completed in March. “We are delighted to welcome the BC Partners-led consortium as our new owners,” said Henri Steinmetz, CEO of CeramTec at the time of the acquisition. “Over the past four years, we have invested substantially in our operations and our people. We have doubled our ceramic implant capacity in Marktredwitz; we have simplified the organizational setup; and we have created a leading platform in piezo-ceramics with the UK acquisition. In partnership with Cinven, we have started our journey from a German-centric technology leader toward a true global market leader. We are looking forward to continuing on this journey together with our new owners.”
Following the acquisition, Hadi Saleh, Ph.D., formerly president of the company’s Medical division, was named CEO. The appointment came after Steinmetz, CeramTec’s CEO since 2016, left the company with the full mutual agreement of the supervisory board.
“As the group’s president Medical, Dr. Hadi Saleh has demonstrated his professional expertise and outstanding leadership qualities,” said Günter von Au, Ph.D., chairman of CeramTec’s supervisory board. “We are confident that under his guidance, the CeramTec Group will continue its growth trajectory. At the same time, we thank Henri Steinmetz for his successful tenure at the company’s helm and wish him all the very best for the future, both professionally and personally.”
“I would like to maintain and build on the successful growth strategy that we have adopted and further strengthen CeramTec’s competitive position as a global leader in the technical ceramics sector,” said Saleh. “Looking forward to the coming years, we want the group to continue growing, both organically and through acquisitions. Our strategic goal is to turn the company from a German technology leader into a global market leader for innovative materials.”
Sources: annual report, press releases
With over 2,500 employees and more than 30 locations worldwide, Materion’s total sales increased 18% in 2017 to reach $1.1 billion. The company has three main business units: Performance Alloys and Composites, Advanced Materials, and Precision Coatings.
The Performance Alloys and Composites sector is divided into three segments: Performance Alloys (primarily beryllium and non-beryllium alloy products), Beryllium & Composites (beryllium, beryllium aluminum, aluminum metal matrix composites, beryllia ceramics, and bulk metallic glass materials), and Technical Materials (strip metal products). Overall, the Performance Alloys and Composites business achieved 2017 sales of $429.5 million, an increase of almost 11% compared to 2016.
The Advanced Materials business produces products such as ceramic packaging/lids for microelectronics packaging and ceramic sputtering targets, among many others. As a whole, the business saw sales jump over 35% in 2017, reaching $590.8 million, primarily due to Materion’s acquisition of the target materials business from Heraeus.
Precision Coatings is organized into Precision Optics (sputter-coated precision thin film coatings and optical filter materials) and Large Area Coatings (high-performance, sputter-coated precision flexible thin film materials). Lower sales volume in the medical marked led sales for the unit to drop 17.5%, to $119.2 million.
In July, Materion announced that it had received AS9100D certification from National Quality Assurance (NQA) for its facilities in Elmore, Ohio; Lorain, Ohio; Elmhurst, Ill.; Reading, Pa.; and Warren, Mich. Prepared by the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG), the AS9100D standard incorporates the ISO 9001 quality management system and adds additional requirements specific to the aviation, space, and defense industries.
To achieve the certification, Materion reorganized some of its business processes to ensure efficient risk management, improve customer focus and enhance supply chain stability. Certifications are issued by third-party organizations and are maintained with regularly scheduled compliance audits.
“We worked rigorously to meet this quality standard because we know how important the AS9100D certification is for our aerospace, space and defense customers,” said Clive Grannum, president of Materion Performance Alloys and Composites. “Having the processes in place in order to receive AS9100D certification assures our customers that a supply of our materials is available to meet demand, and it streamlines the buying process.”
Sources: annual report, company website, press releases
1. “Top 300 Organizations Granted U.S. Patents in 2017,” Intellectual Property Owners Association, www.ipo.org.
Editor’s note: The CI Top 14 ranking is based, in part, on publicly available financial information, including annual sales/revenue, along with details supplied by company contacts and other sources. Information was verified whenever possible. Financial figures are generally rounded, and the timing of currency conversions may impact specific figures/results.
Where specific and verifiable information was not readily available, some companies unfortunately had to be left out. For details regarding how to have your company considered for future CI Top 14 rankings, contact Susan Sutton, editor-in-chief, at (248) 786-1704 or firstname.lastname@example.org.