Schott AG

Schott AG is a company specializing in the manufacture of glass and glass-ceramics. It is headquartered in Mainz, Germany.

Schott AG
Founded1884, Jena, Germany
FounderOtto Schott 
Key people
Frank Heinricht
(Chairman of the Management Board)
ServicesGlass Manufacturing
Revenue2,08 billion Euro (2017/18)
Number of employees
15,500 in 35 countries, 5,500 of whom in Germany (2017/18)[1]
Footnotes / references
Annual Report 2017/18



In 1884, Otto Schott, Ernst Abbe, Carl Zeiss and his son Roderich Zeiss founded the Glastechnische Laboratorium Schott & Genossen (Glass Technical Laboratory Schott & Associates) in Jena, which initially produced optical glasses for microscopes and telescopes. Jena glass was one of its early manufactured glass products. In 1891, the Carl Zeiss Foundation founded two years earlier by Ernst Abbe became a partner in the glass laboratory. The invention of borosilicate glass, resistant to chemicals, heat and temperature change, paved the way for new technical glasses for thermometers, laboratory equipment and gas lamps.

The company experienced economic success. The workforce had grown to 1,233 by 1919. Sales had doubled to 28 million marks by 1920. Otto Schott transferred his shares to the Carl Zeiss Foundation in 1919, fully rendering the glass laboratory a foundation company and renaming it Jenaer Glaswerk Schott & Gen (Jena Glassworks Schott & Assoc.). Erich Schott, the founder’s son, took over management of the glass factory in 1927.


In the midst of Germany’s political division after World War II, the Jena factory was expropriated transformed into a state-owned entity in 1948. The company was divided in half: VEB Jenaer Glaswerk in Jena in East Germany, later integrated into the VEB Carl Zeiss Jena collective, and Jenaer Glaswerk Schott & Gen in Mainz in West Germany. While the state-owned company in Jena developed into one of the most important specialty glass suppliers in Eastern Europe, Erich Schott developed an international group in Mainz with sales offices in Europe, the US and Asia. The company became a specialist glass manufacturer with products including glass components for television tubes, fiber optics for light and image conductors, mirror substrates for giant telescopes, glass-ceramic cooktop panels (serial production from 1973) and glass tubes for parabolic trough power plants. Following the German reunification, the Mainz plant assumed Jena’s company shares.[2]

Late 20th Century

The company experienced growth in the first decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Schott Glas, as it became known in 1998, developed into a technology group with 80 companies in 32 countries and global sales of over 3 billion Deutschmark. Schott had been operating at only 40 sites in ten countries with global sales of DM 1.31 billion in 1984. In 2004, Schott Glas converted from a dependent enterprise of its sister enterprise Carl Zeiss (Oberkochen) to become a legally independent Aktiengesellschaft—Schott AG.[3] The Carl Zeiss Foundation, however, is and will remain the sole shareholder of Schott AG; an alienation of its shares is principally excluded, thus ruling out an IPO and any prospect of a public offering.[3]

Solar industry

The technology group entered the solar industry in 2001, founding Schott Solar GmbH in 2005 (renamed Schott Solar AG in 2008).

In 2008, Schott announced that it planned to produce crystalline photovoltaic cells and modules with a total of 450 MW annually. It also planned to produce thin-film PV wafers with a capacity of 100 MW.[4][5] In 2009, the company inaugurated a US$100 million solar manufacturing facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA to build solar receivers for concentrated solar thermal power plants (CSP) and 64 MW of photovoltaic modules. They had already been making 15 MW of photovoltaics annually in Billerica, Massachusetts, until the factory was closed in 2009.[6]

The company was also engaged in concentrated solar power technology, by manufacturing solar receiver tubes.

In June 2012, Schott announced that its Albuquerque plant would close down, laying off all photovoltaic cell manufacturing employees immediately and ramping down the remaining employees over the rest of the summer.[7] Schott withdrew from its solar business in 2012 and Schott Solar AG was dissolved.

Company profile

The Supervisory Board appointed Frank Heinricht Chairman of the Board of Management of Schott AG in June 2013. Heinricht succeeded Udo Ungeheuer, who had served as Chairman from 2004.

The company started operating in China since 2011,[8] with a large production.

Schott reported sales worth 2.05 billion Euros in its fiscal year 2016/2017.[9]. As of 2017, Schott AG employed approximately 15,100 people at production sites and sales offices in 35 countries[9], approximately 5,200 of whom in Germany.

The sole owner of Schott AG is the Carl Zeiss Foundation, which holds all shares and is partly financed from the dividends.[3]

Plants in Germany

  • Mainz: Optical glass, glass-ceramic cooktop panels, fire viewing panels, fiber optics, pharmaceutical tubing
  • Grünenplan: Thin glass
  • Jena: Fire-resistant glass
  • Landshut: Electronic packaging
  • Mitterteich: Glass tubing, rods and profiles for technical and pharmaceutical applications
  • Müllheim: Pharmaceutical packaging


Schott produces a wide range of specialty glasses and glass-ceramics in large quantities for many industries, including household appliances, pharmaceuticals, electronics, optics, life sciences, automotive and aerospace. It also manufactures telescope mirror substrates for use in astronomy:

Schott was commissioned in 2017 to produce four of five mirrors for the European Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), including the primary mirror, which is made up of 798 hexagons.[10]

Schott’s brands include Ceran (glass-ceramic cooktop panels), Pyran (fire-resistant glass), Robax (fire viewing panels), Fiolax (glass tubing for pharmaceutical containers), HelioJet (aircraft cabin lighting), Puravis (fiber optics for medical technology) and Zerodur (glass-ceramic for telescope mirror substrates and the semiconductor industry).


  1. "Annual Report 2017/18". SCHOTT. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  2. "Milestones - The corporate history at a glance". Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  3. "SCHOTT ist jetzt Aktiengesellschaft" [SCHOTT is now joint-stock company] (in German). Munich: analytica-world news, Messe München GmbH. 2 July 2004. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  4. "Schott AG to build PV production in USA". EETimes. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  5. Website Schott Solar
  6. "Schott Solar to shutter PV module production facility in Billerica, MA". PV-Tech. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  7. Robinson-Avila, Kevin. "Updated: Schott Solar Mesa del Sol Plant To Shut". Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  9. "Annual Report 2016/17". SCHOTT. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  10. "First ELT Main Mirror Segments Successfully Cast". Munich: European Southern Observatory (ESO). 8 January 2019. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
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