APRIL 25, 2007 -- Corning Inc. (search for Corning) today announced plans to reopen a portion of its Concord, NC, optical fiber manufacturing facility. The company expects it will take approximately six to nine months to restart fiber manufacturing. Production will be paced to meet market demand.
"The optical fiber market has witnessed volume growth of greater than 15% in each of the last two years," reports Eric S. Musser, vice president and general manager of Corning Optical Fiber. "Over 80% of worldwide fiber demand now comes from the access and metro segments, and we expect to see continued market growth. The partial start-up of our Concord facility will ensure that we have adequate capacity to capture this expanding market opportunity."
Another factor in the decision to partially reopen Concord is the growth in demand for Corning semiconductor materials products, says the company. In addition to optical fiber, Corning also manufactures high-purity fused silica for semiconductor lithography applications at its Wilmington, NC, facility. Corning's semiconductor business is growing at double-digit rates, resulting in the need for increased specialty glass capacity in Wilmington. This demand has displaced some of Wilmington's fiber making capacity.
"The manufacturing process at the Wilmington facility produces innovative specialty glass for challenging microlithography applications," explains James R. Steiner, senior vice president and general manager of Corning Specialty Materials. "The lithographic industry is expected to show continued growth with higher semiconductor content in consumer electronics," he says.
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