Corning Incorporated (NYSE:GLW) today celebrated 50 years of manufacturing and innovation at its facility on County Route 16 in Canton, N.Y.
The legacy of making some of the world’s purest glass has helped create a host of new business opportunities in both the semiconductor and consumer electronics industries, Corning executives said Thursday at an anniversary ceremony at the facility.
“When we look back on all the tremendous things this plant has done – all the discoveries it has enabled and all the strong relationships it has forged – we realize what a solid foundation you have built for the future,” said Curt Weinstein, vice president and general manager of Corning’s Advanced Optics organization. “So it’s not an exaggeration to say that, here at Canton…we’re just getting started.”
Also addressing the group of employees, community leaders, and lawmakers were: James Steiner, senior vice president, Corning Specialty Materials; David Lucht, Canton plant manager; Larry Sutton, Canton plant commercial manager; and New York State Sen. Patricia Ritchie.
The plant started operations in 1966, making mirror blanks for telescopes and other optics applications. As business grew over the years, the plant expanded to 265,000 square feet, more than double its original size.
The plant makes some of the world’s purest glass by leveraging its expertise in glass science and utilizing a manufacturing capability called chemical vapor deposition – a high-temperature process that deposits layer after layer of tiny glass particles on a growing surface, rather than cooling a molten liquid.
Using this process, the plant has become a world leader in production of high-purity fused silica (HPFS®) and ultra-low expansion (ULE®) glass materials. High-profile products from Canton over the years have included mirror blanks for the Subaru Telescope, two Gemini telescopes, and the Discovery Channel Telescope. The plant also manufactured the spacecraft windows for every manned U.S. space flight from Mercury through the Space Shuttle program.
Today, the plant also provides materials to both the semiconductor and display-optics industries. Expertise in this field has led to significant new opportunities for the next phase of the plant’s history, Weinstein said.
Working closely with a longtime semiconductor equipment customer, Corning has developed a highly pure and thermally stable glass for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) photolithography applications. The material is used as a mirror in stepper machines that write nanoscale features on computer chips.
“Those are just two of the very exciting developments that will carry this plant into its next 50 years,” Weinstein said. “And we have these opportunities because of the hard work, dedication, and technical skill of the people who work here.”
Plant Manager Dave Lucht also praised the plant workforce, noting the strong relationship with United Steel Workers Local 1026. Local economic development organizations and universities have also played a role in the plant’s development, he added. SUNY Canton, for example, worked with Corning to develop a specialized glass machinist program intended to cultivate specialized skills required for Corning’s Canton operations.
Steiner congratulated the workforce on its proven capability to create highly technical glass.
“Nobody in the world makes what the Canton team makes,” he said. “The people of this plant have such a deep pride in their work and in every single thing they manufacture. No matter what the challenge, I always have faith that the Canton team is up to the task.”
Forward-Looking and Cautionary Statements
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” (within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995), which are based on current expectations and assumptions about Corning’s financial results and business operations, that involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include: the effect of global political, economic and business conditions; conditions in the financial and credit markets; currency fluctuations; tax rates; product demand and industry capacity; competition; reliance on a concentrated customer base; manufacturing efficiencies; cost reductions; availability of critical components and materials; new product commercialization; pricing fluctuations and changes in the mix of sales between premium and non-premium products; new plant start-up or restructuring costs; possible disruption in commercial activities due to terrorist activity, armed conflict, political or financial instability, natural disasters, adverse weather conditions, or major health concerns; adequacy of insurance; equity company activities; acquisition and divestiture activities; the level of excess or obsolete inventory; the rate of technology change; the ability to enforce patents; product and components performance issues; retention of key personnel; stock price fluctuations; and adverse litigation or regulatory developments. These and other risk factors are detailed in Corning’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the day that they are made, and Corning undertakes no obligation to update them in light of new information or future events.
Digital Media Disclosure
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About Corning Incorporated
Corning (www.corning.com) is one of the world’s leading innovators in materials science. For more than 160 years, Corning has applied its unparalleled expertise in specialty glass, ceramics, and optical physics to develop products that have created new industries and transformed people’s lives. Corning succeeds through sustained investment in R&D, a unique combination of material and process innovation, and close collaboration with customers to solve tough technology challenges. Corning’s businesses and markets are constantly evolving. Today, Corning’s products enable diverse industries such as consumer electronics, telecommunications, transportation, and life sciences. They include damage-resistant cover glass for smartphones and tablets; precision glass for advanced displays; optical fiber, wireless technologies, and connectivity solutions for high-speed communications networks; trusted products that accelerate drug discovery and manufacturing; and emissions-control products for cars, trucks, and off-road vehicles.