€30 million glass-ceramic competence centre opens
Schott has officially opened a state-of-the-art CNC competence centre for its ZERODUR glass-ceramic in Mainz, Germany. Glass-ceramic components will be processed in accordance with individual customer specifications at the production facility by using electronically-controlled CNC machines. The investment amounts to more than €30 million. Up to 70 highly qualified specialists will be employed at the site.
The production facility bears the name of Jürgen Petzoldt, the pioneer of glass ceramics at Schott. Dr Petzoldt was responsible for the development of ZERODUR glass ceramic from 1966 and was also one of the fathers of the CERAN glass ceramic cooktop panels. From 1988 to 1996, he was a member of the Schott Board.
The centre is one of the largest investment projects in recent years at the group’s main site in Mainz. It is also the largest component of a multi-part investment programme for optics manufacturing in Mainz, which has a total volume of over €40 million. This also includes a CNC machine facility for processing glass-ceramic parts up to 4.5m in diameter, which was put into operation in 2017.
The glass-ceramic ZERODUR is known for its extremely low thermal expansion of almost zero and its resistance to extreme temperature shocks of +700oC to -200oC. ZERODUR has been considered to be the best substrate material for astronomical reflector telescopes for five decades and is also a pivotal material in aircraft navigation equipment, chip manufacturing, the production of flat panel displays and precision metrology. The most spectacular application example for the glass-ceramic developed by Schott is currently the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) in Chile, which will receive a primary mirror 39m in diameter. After its commissioning in the mid-2020s, it will be the largest eye for gazing into space.
Image: To commemorate a special day, a ZERODUR disk was signed by (from left) Herman
Ditz, Member of the Management Board, responsible for Advanced Optics; Rhineland-Palatinate Prime Minister Malu Dreyer; and Dr Frank Heinricht, Chairman of the Schott Board of Management. Image courtesy of Schott.