Six core competencies
SCHOTT Gemtron was founded in 1973 in Sweetwater, Tennessee, for the production of control panels for ranges. Ten years later, the U.S. company AFG Glass Industries bought SCHOTT Gemtron. SCHOTT then acquired a 51-percent interest in 1989, thus gaining a majority holding. “SCHOTT Gemtron is our leading subsidiary in the North American flat glass market and, similar to the business here with ‘Ceran’ glass ceramic cooktops, fully integrated into the global key account management of the Home Tech Business Segment. Our customers clearly benefit from the synergistic effects of a globally operating technology company,” stresses Dr. Hans-Joachim Konz, Vice President of the Home Tech Strategic Business Unit.
This alliance has spurred success: on average SCHOTT Gemtron has grown nine percent per year in the past decade and now generates annual sales of some 200 million U.S. dollars. A total of 1,325 employees work in six core areas of competence. They consist of the traditional fields – bent and flat glass fabrication and molded product systems – as well as the growth sectors metal fabrication, electronics, coatings on glass and system development. SCHOTT Gemtron supplies its main market, the home appliance industry in North America, with these products and also serves the furniture and bath enclosures industries, as well as niche markets for electronic applications.
“Our extensive know-how is unique and enables us to fulfill a wide variety of customer requests. This expertise is also the source of innovation and improved efficiency that help create closer customer ties, greater competitiveness and new markets,” says SCHOTT Gemtron’s President Doug Roberts, explaining the corporate philosophy. The success of the company is based not least on fair, respectful and constructive relations with customers, shareholders, suppliers and employees. “Satisfying these groups is our prime focus,” says Roberts. Since the founding, employees have benefited from the company’s success, for example, through a profit-sharing scheme.
Surpassing the 100-million mark
Design award for insulated glass front
The SCHOTT Gemtron site in Holland, Michigan, worked for the first time with insulated glass to find a new product solution for U-Line, a producer of wine coolers. The resulting glass front received a design award from the renowned trade magazine, “Modern Plastics.”
The experts at SCHOTT Gemtron increasingly see the future in developing entire systems. “A successful product is more than the sum of its parts. The aim is to raise our customers’ products to a higher level by working in close cooperation with them to develop modular and value-added systems,” explains Mark Delp, Executive Vice President.
New alliances and expanding competencies are a part of this strategy – for example, by acquiring know-how in promising fields such as metal and stainless steel processing, for instance in electrocoating and powder coating. SCHOTT Gemtron can offer its customers, for example, encapsulated refrigerator shelves containing metal components from a single source.