April 25, 2007 -- Corning Inc. has announced plans to re-open a portion of its Concord, N.C., optical fiber manufacturing facility.
The company expects it will take approximately six to nine months to re-start fiber manufacturing at the plant. According to a press release, production will be paced to meet market demand.
"The optical fiber market has witnessed volume growth of greater than 15 percent in each of the last two years," comments Eric S. Musser, vice president and general manager of Corning Optical Fiber. "Over 80 percent 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."
The company adds that another factor in the decision to partially reopen the Concord plant is the growth in demand for Corning semiconductor materials products.
In addition to optical fiber, the company also manufactures high-purity fused silica for semiconductor lithography applications at its Wilmington, NC facility. Corning says that its 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. The lithographic industry is expected to show continued growth with higher semiconductor content in consumer electronics," says James R. Steiner, senior vice president and general manager of Corning Specialty Materials.