From the very beginning, innovation has been the key challenge and motivation for Corning. “42 years ago, Corning developed fiber optic technology,” explains Marketing Director EMEA Keith Sullivan. “And still today, everything focuses on it. We constantly try to improve and to further develop fiber optic technologies and products.
Ten years ago, the production process was still extremely challenging. Today, thanks to Corning’s commitment and competence, it is much easier and quicker. Being a mass-producer, we are able to produce very large quantities very fast. Speed and availability are pivotal in our business.
Our goal is to make people understand that if they need high quality, state-of-the-art products quickly, Corning is the first choice.” Optical fibers play a major role in today’s Information Age. They have largely replaced copper wire communications in core networks and are used by many telecommunication companies to transmit telephone signals, Internet communication, and cable television signals.
Compared to copper, they are less expensive, and easier and faster to install. Corning is one of the pioneers of fiber optic technology and works to meet the needs of its customers. The company is synonymous with remarkable innovations in the field of fiber optic communication systems and the highest standards of quality, consistency and performance excellence. Its outstanding market position is the result of the company’s steady commitment to the art of discovery and innovation.
In 1879, the company produced bulb-shaped glass encasements for Thomas Edison’s new incandescent light. In 1915, it created a glass formula under the brand of Pyrex®, which today is still synonymous with extremely durable cookware and laboratory glass products.
In 1934, Corning developed silicone and a nearly pure silica compound which was used for the production of spacecraft windows, optical lenses, optical fiber and telescope mirrors. In 1947, Corning invented a process to mass produce TV picture tubes, which revolutionized the TV industry. In 1970, the company launched the first optical fiber capable of maintaining the strength of laser light signals over significant distance, which was a milestone in the company’s history.
Ten years later, Corning’s glass opened up new ways of making large, high-quality flat panel displays for new applications. In 1997, Corning produced glass for the Subaru Telescope mirror, which was one of the largest pieces of glass ever made. In 2007, it introduced nanoStructures™ technology and strengthened its position as a leader in optical macrobend performance.
Today, Corning Optical Communications’ product range includes major products such as fiber optic cables, connectors and related hardware, distributed antenna systems, and harsh environment products. “We basically offer tens of thousands of fiber optic products for any local area network,” sums up Mr. Sullivan.
Headquartered in Hickory, North Carolina, Corning Optical Communications is present in 20 countries around the globe and differentiates between the three units North and South America, EMEA, and Asia Pacific including Australia. Corning Optical Communication in Berlin operates as the headquarters of the EMEA region with six production plants in Poland, Germany, Turkey, Denmark and Israel.
“Our main production plant is in Poland,” says Mr. Sullivan. “In Germany, we produce in Hagen and Neustadt, which is close to Coburg. Hagen in particular focuses on the carrier market and plastic moulding.” The majority of its turnover is made up by export activities. “We clearly concentrate on Central Europe,” stresses Mr. Sullivan.
“Our strongest markets are the United Kingdom and Germany. At the same time, Russia and the Middle East are increasingly important markets for us. Furthermore, we have a very strong presence in South Africa and consider Africa to be an emerging market.”
Corning Optical Communications develops and produces fiber optic communication system solutions r voice, data and video network applications. Fiber optic cable, fiber optic and copper cable hardware, and equipment including frames, cabinets, terminals, network interface devices, cable assemblies, and fiber optic and copper connectors are central elements of the broad product
range. As a partner who thinks ahead, the company is well-known for products which are designed to protect against damage, breakage, exposure to extreme temperatures, shock, pressure and other adverse conditions. In Berlin, the company focuses on the two main markets of telecommunication carriers like Deutsche Telekom and big companies with huge data centers such as banks, financial institutions, pharmaceutical industries or Internet providers. “
We provide complete solutions,” underlines Mr. Sullivan. “Hardware, cables and connecting components are all part of the offer. Everything is developed and produced according to our vertical integration approach. As most of the products are made in-house, we can offer quick deliveries. We offer innovative, tailor-made solutions for certain customers and specific applications.
Our solutions are easy to install and absolutely reliable. Our approach is to understand customer needs. We always ask ourselves what basically drives the customers.” Among the outstanding products are LANscape® solutions, introduced for the first time in 1996. “LANscape® solutions provide the successful and efficient foundation of data center, local area, intelligent traffic system and industrial networks,” explains Mr. Sullivan.
“Even in harsh environments as are prevalent in the oil, gas and mining industries, in manufacturing, transportation and energy, and where availability and lead times are critical, our products are available and easy to use.” It is due to intense research and development activities that Corning’s products are ahead of their time.
Corning’s global research and development facility is located in Corning, New York. Smaller departments are based around the world. Two years ago, the company established a state-of-the-art technology center in Berlin to focus on cable development. “Innovation is a key element of our business,” underlines Mr. Sullivan. “Every year, we invest approximately 10% of our revenues in research and development.
On a highly competitive market, this is absolutely essential. We want to compete successfully in the market, so we need to face ever-changing challenges. There is tremendous pressure for more rapid development of innovative fiber optic solutions. And we consistently work to develop future-oriented, promising solutions which not only meet market needs but anticipate them. We keep an eye on today’s customers and start developing products for tomorrow’s needs.
Our guideline is ‘Together we connect the world’. We focus strongly on having a global organization. We have global marketing and communication and many global teams. Our leitmotif is connecting everybody in the organization, all customers, the whole world. It is an ambitious goal, but we are optimistic to reach it.”