MARCH 14, 2010 - The U.S. glass and fiber-optic manufacturing industry includes roughly 2,000 companies with a combined annual revenue of $25 billion. Large companies include PPG Industries, Owens-Illinois, and Corning. The industry is highly concentrated: the 50 largest companies hold close to 90 percent of the market, reveals the report.
Research and Markets has added the "Glass and Fiber Optic Manufacturing" report to its portfolio of offerings.
Most companies in the industry manufacture products from bulk glass bought from a handful of primary glass manufacturers. Production of optical fiber from glass is included in the industry; use of that fiber to produce fiber-optic cable is not.
The profitability of individual companies depends on low-cost operations, because most products are commodities that are bought based on price. Large manufacturers have large efficiencies of scale in operations, which is why the industry is so concentrated. Small manufacturers can compete effectively by producing specialty products or serving a local market.
Major products are glass containers, flat glass, fiberglass, and specialty products such as TV tubes, glassware, lenses, mirrors, and optic fiber. Specialty products account for more than half of industry revenue, containers about 25 percent, and flat glass about 10 percent.
Bulk glass is made by melting quartz sand and adding various substances such as limestone, soda ash, metals, and other materials to produce a "melt." The melt is then formed, cooled, and further processed by grinding, cutting, and polishing into finished products.
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Quarterly Industry Update
Trends AND Opportunities
Call Preparation Questions
Website and Media Links
Glossary of Acronyms