SCHOTT CERAN®: The kitchen icon turns 50

18 January 2021, Mainz, Germany

  • Half a century ago, it revolutionized cooking. Today, it is impossible to imagine the kitchen without this black glass-ceramic cooktop.
  • Since its market launch in 1971, the smooth black glass-ceramic from SCHOTT has continued to set new standards in kitchens around the world. Originally designed to find new galaxies in giant telescopes, it soon became a bestseller and trendsetter in cooking.
With more than 180 million cooktops sold, the Original CERAN® has been leading the market for years, enabling new appliance features and designs time and again, and after 50 years is still well equipped for the kitchen trends of tomorrow.

Like hardly any other material, glass ceramic stands for the success story of SCHOTT. The brand name CERAN® is synonymous with high quality and innovative cooktops. Whether as a gas, electric or induction cooktop – the black, white or even transparent glass-ceramic has been setting standards in cooking for years. It leads trends such as the increasing fusion of kitchen and living space or the digitalization of the smart kitchen. This is because it creatively networks the cooktop with its surroundings or other appliances in the smart home. "In the future, cooktops will become increasingly intelligent," also emphasizes Evelin Weiss, who as Head of Material Development Projects is responsible for CERAN®.
Close up of the SCHOTT CERAN® logo on a black glass-ceramic cooktop panel
A success story for 50 years: SCHOTT is the world market leader in CERAN® glass-ceramic cooktop panels. Image: SCHOTT

What will the kitchen of the future look like? SCHOTT CERAN® already has an answer to this question, at least in regards to the cooktop. The translucent CERAN EXCITE® portfolio, for example, allows smart lighting solutions and thus also the integration of displays in the cooking surface. At the same time, the scratch-resistant CERAN Miradur® coating ensures the long-lasting and flawless beauty of the noble black surface. "We have always pursued a clear goal: To bring unique and economically attractive products to the market that are suitable for modern cooking applications and all the associated requirements – today and in the future," says Dr. Matthias Bockmeyer, Head of Development in the Cooking division at SCHOTT.

The original “made in Germany”

For 50 years, the cooktop pioneer SCHOTT has repeatedly achieved new milestones that have been of interest to the household appliance industry. Be it by new production technologies that made CERAN® cooktop panels more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Or through the development of cooktop panels that allow not only red light but also accents in other colors – even within the cooking zone hot area. SCHOTT received the German Innovation Award in 2010 for its CERAN HIGHTRANS® eco product innovation. The company's recipe for success has always been the use of the latest technologies, coupled with many years of experience and constant research. This combination is reflected in 160 patent families related to the material and product. "Our team in development and production is not satisfied with the standard. Our ambition is to enable new trends and deliver the highest quality," says Bockmeyer.

What began with a black glass-ceramic has now grown into an official product portfolio. Every year several million pieces leave the CERAN® Technology Center in Mainz and are installed in stoves all over the world. Production and finishing take place in Germany, the USA and China. In order to meet the growing demand for glass-ceramic cooktop panels in the Asian market, SCHOTT is opening its newest production line in Suzhou on January 19 - and is thus duly celebrating the 20th anniversary of CERAN® production in China.

From the cosmos to the kitchen

Originally, the international technology group produced its glass-ceramics primarily for applications in astronomy. As the material is extremely resilient, heat-resistant and temperature-stable, it is still used today as a mirror substrate in the largest telescopes on earth. This is also the case in the Extremely Large Telescope of the ESO, whose 40-meter mirror is currently being built in Chile. Only the slightest expansion of the material would lead to distorted and therefore unusable images from space.

In the mid-1960s, a team of three SCHOTT employees – the fathers of CERAN® glass-ceramics – decided that these properties could also be an asset for cooktops. Initially, it was the scientist Dr. Jürgen Petzoldt who developed the basic principles for the first glass-ceramics from SCHOTT and thus decisively advanced the industrial series production of the material. The idea for the glass-ceramic cooktop panel was then brought back by sales expert Arno Roth from the USA, where he discovered white panels for cooktops at a household appliance manufacturer. And finally it was the engineer Herwig Scheidler who developed the unique application system around the product and provided technical assistance in the production of the cooktop industry. Although the market was initially skeptical about cooktops made of glass-ceramic, the courage and perseverance of the three SCHOTT pioneers ultimately won them over. CERAN® was born: a brand that has played a major role in shaping the kitchens of this world since 1971. And whatever the kitchens of the future hold in store, SCHOTT CERAN® remains the world's icon among materials and looks forward to the next half century.

More about SCHOTT CERAN®, the Original glass-ceramic cooktop since 1971
More about the production of CERAN®
More about the icon CERAN®

SCHOTT CERAN® is a registered trademark of SCHOTT AG.

Two SCHOTT quality engineers inspect a SCHOTT CERAN® glass-ceramic cooktop panel

The recipe for success of the original CERAN®: the latest technologies, many years of experience and the highest quality standards. Image: SCHOTT

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Group of young people looking at a SCHOTT CERAN EXCITE® glass-ceramic cooktop panel at an exhibition

CERAN EXCITE® brings light to the cooking experience of the future. Image: SCHOTT

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SCHOTT is a leading international technology group in the areas of specialty glass, glass-ceramics and related high-tech materials. With over 130 years of experience, the company is an innovative partner to many industries, including the home appliance, pharma, electronics, optics, life sciences, automotive and aviation industries. SCHOTT has a global presence with production sites and sales offices in 34 countries. In the 2018/2019 fiscal year, the group generated sales of EUR 2.2 billion (US$ 2.54 billion) with over 16,200 employees. SCHOTT AG has its headquarters in Mainz (Germany) and is solely owned by the Carl Zeiss Foundation. This is one of the oldest private and largest science-promoting foundations in Germany. As a foundation company, SCHOTT assumes special responsibility for its employees, society and the environment.

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Lea Kaiser, PR & Communications Manager
Lea Kaiser

PR & Communications Manager