COVID-19 Pandemic Response and the Investment in Manufacturing of Critical Supply Chain Components | A Letter from Ronald Verkleeren | Corning

To Our Valued Customers

At Corning, we are proud of our more than 100-year history supporting life science customers with high quality, innovative solutions. The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented increase in global demand for our products –as much as 200% to 1000%– that are used in multiple parts of the value chain for diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines.

Our commitment to our customers and the industry has never been stronger, and so our response to the pandemic must also be unprecedented. To that end, we are pleased to announce a greater than $500 million investment in manufacturing capacity expansion between 2020 and 2021 including government co-investments to support domestic manufacturing of critical supply chain components.

Meeting demand, shortening lead times

This increased capacity will help meet growing demand, shorten lead times, and strengthen the supply chain for our products so that we can better support our customers all around the world. This represents the largest capacity expansion in our history in the life sciences industry and will expand our global footprint to 19 manufacturing sites.

This investment is on top of additional actions we have taken to support our customers, which include:

  • Increasing productivity of existing operations through extended operating hours, hiring more than 1,000 new employees, and transitioning to 24 x 7 schedules at all key manufacturing sites.
  • Working closely with our customers, suppliers, and distribution partners to prioritize availability of critical products required for research, clinical/diagnostics applications, vaccines, and other essential medicines. 
  • Enhancing our internal distribution center capability and capacity with a new state-of-the-art North America distribution center, which came online in Q3 2020 and has since fully overcome the initial startup-related operational challenges experienced last year.
  • Expanding investment in several new innovations that will further accelerate the pandemic response and enable additional breakthroughs in multiple biopharmaceutical applications.

Continued focus on safety, communities

And while we are providing a steady flow of product to our channel distribution partners, they are also experiencing supply challenges. We are working with them to rebuild safety stock inventory levels.

We have been doing all of this while also putting the safety of our employees first through comprehensive testing, enhanced safety procedures, and work-from-home protocols, as well as continuing our decades-long commitment to supporting local communities during times of need.

Thank you for your business. We are honored to support you and to do our part to help combat a global health crisis and enable other life-changing and life-saving advances.

Best regards,
Ronald Verkleeren
Senior Vice President General Manager Life Sciences