Corning Incorporated is an American manufacturer of glass, ceramic, and materials for the industrial and scientific applications. It was known as Corning Glass Works in 1875. Its strong commitment to innovation was known as the company’s roots. The company committed between four to six percent of its sales to Research, Development, and Engineering (RD&E). As of today, Corning has been primarily operating from Asia Pacific and North America in five market segments – Display Technologies, Environmental Technologies, Telecommunications, Life Sciences and Specialty Materials and two joint ventures – Dow Corning and Samsung Corning Precision Glass. The company had a history of science-based innovations following World War II and the strategy by management was research and “disruptive” and “on demand” product innovation. They have shown many strengths and weaknesses – strong industry recognition with a track record of successful innovation, focus on RD&E, diversified product portfolios and balanced revenue streams – narrowing market with intense competition and environmental regulations.
With a strong passion for innovation, Corning has been creating many deep technological products to be used as material for other new application such as heat-resistant glass in 1908. In 1912, this product was being reused to develop the shatterproof lanterns for the railroad. Their products were first used for scientific purposes and later for consumer cook-ware products. By realizing the improvement in optical glassmaking, Corning had started to produce the television tubes project and it made the TV affordable to the consumers’ market during 1970s. However, this project considered a steep loss in profit and productivity because of the competition from Japanese imports. Corning went through many changes including lay-offs, selling or closing many plants in order to rebound. The following years, company made a partial recovery.
In the late 1990s (the Telecom bubble), there were the unusual high demand for optical fiber in the market. Seeing it as the huge opportunity, the company expanded its originally developed optical fiber operations significantly, and heavily invested in production capacity. Its revenue jumped from $5 billion in 1999 to more than $7 billion in 2000. However, the collapse in 2000 of the dot-com market had a major impact on the company. The telecom sales dropped to $1.6 billion from $5 billion within six months since July 2001.
Once again, Corning had to go into the reorganization phase to dramatically reduce the costs. Since 1950 to 1980, the company introduced many advanced products from ceramic heating resistant shields and glass windshields for Apollo program to the use of fiber optic in telecommunication. In the late 1990s, the company profits increased tremendously during the dot-com boom. Corning From WWI and WWII, Corning developed many deep technological products such as high quality glass with consistent color which can make glass more viable material for new application.
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