SCHOTT looks to expand North American business following year of growth 

SCHOTT’s plant in South Lebanon Township has been running 24/7 to produce glass vials that carry the COVID-19 vaccines. PHOTO/FILE.

Mainz, Germany-based glass vial manufacturer SCHOTT grew its sales in the United States by 11.1% in 2021 to more than $530.6 million. 

The pharmaceutical products maker recently announced that it would be restructuring its presence in North America to align operations with its most robust sales market.  

The announcement followed the company’s most succesful business year to date, with the company bringing in €2.5 billion in sales internationnaly. 

The year also marked another successful year of vaccine vial production from the German company’s South Lebanon Township glass manufacturing plant, according to SCHOTT. 

“We adjusted our strategy to focus on the U.S. and activities in markets where we anticipate long-term growth. We have already recognized gains from that pivot and are well positioned to have an even better year in 2022,” said Bill James, vice president of R&D and new ventures at SCHOTT North America. “Our optimized presence in the U.S. will bring greater innovation and add to the sterling reputation that SCHOTT has built for generations.” 

SCHOTT has provided vaccine vials from its South Lebanon Township Facility for the past decade. In the midst of the pandemic, the plant had to ramp up production to a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week operation to keep up with orders. 

In 2021, SCHOTT’s pharmaceutical systems business unit increased manufacturing capacity to help the company produce vials for five billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines. SCHOTT underwent a multimillion-dollar investment at the Lebanon facility that tripled its capacity for pre-sterilized, ready-to-use glass vials and provided various facility upgrades. 

Outside of Lebanon, 2021 saw SCHOTT make a series of efforts to expand its bandwidth in the United States, including the acquisition of Phoenix, Arizona-based Applied Microarrays, which included a manufacturing facility specialized in point-of-care microfluidic devices. 

The company has also seen a growth in demand for its CERAN glass-ceramic cooktops, manufactured in Louisville, Kentucky and Vincennes, Indiana. 

Across the country, SCHOTT manages seven production sites, one R&D center, a sales office and roughly 1,000 employees. 

“Over the past several years, we have invested $60 million in the U.S., and additional investments will accelerate our strategy of profitable growth and allow us to concentrate our activities on markets where we expect strong, sustainable development,” said Dr. Heinz Kaiser, a board member at SCHOTT responsible for the group’s business in North America. 


Rock Lititz workforce education event looks to future music production professionals 

Lititz-based music production community Rock Lititz is hosting its annual Rock Lititz Live Event Career Exploration Conference this week. 

More than 200 students from 25 colleges and universities looking for a chance to learn how a tour is created from more than 75 industry professionals are expected to attend on Thursday. 

Keynote speakers and panelists include a Florida-based tour and production manager for the Biden/Harris Presidential Campaign, a 35-year global tour director and instructor of Music Business, a 30-year audio industry veteran who has been a sound system and monitor engineer for some of the world’s biggest artists, a production designer and creative director and more. 

This is the third year that Rock Lititz has held its live event conference. 

Thirty students who are attending received scholarships provided by Lancaster STEM Alliance, Clair Global, TAIT and Rock Lititz, that cover registration fees, air transportation, lodging and related expenses. 

“These scholarships will bring diverse students who may otherwise not have access to this important career information, furthering the live event industry’s mission of promoting diversity and inclusion within its workforce,” said Andrea Shirk, president and CEO of Rock Lititz. 

The event is an effort by the production community to engage students and raise awareness about the innovative work available in the production industry, said Shirk. 

“The live event industry offers a wide range of career opportunities for students, utilizing skills ranging from design to engineering, manufacturing to finance, scenic art to operations,” she said. “Together our companies build and create live experiences for audiences of all types. We want to raise awareness about all the career opportunities available, both in the STEM track and for creatives.” 

Harsco Corp. subsidiary opens two asphalt plants in the U.K.  

Harsco Corp. subsidiary SteelPhalt opened two new asphalt plants in Cardiff, Wales and Rotherham England; the first of their kind in 60 years for the environmental solutions company. 

SteelPhalt, based in Rotherham, manufacturers high performance asphalt products for roadmaking in the U.K. Both of the plants manufacture sustainable asphalt products using 95% recycled aggregates. 

“We are able to provide an innovative approach to quality management of slag by transforming it into a high-quality material that can be used in asphalt products,” said Martin Gray, managing director of SteelPhalt. “Using our technical and operational expertise we have designed products to harness the unique properties of slag to provide asphalt products that are not only reducing the need for quarried aggregate, but also providing a more durable and safer road surface.” 

The new plant in Cardiff will use slag from the surrounding area and is designed to produce more than 330,000 tons of sustainable asphalt products per year. Its counterpart in Rotherham will be located on the same site as SteelPhalt’s existing Rotherham plant and will allow for an increase in service and product. 

“Opening these additional plants offers Harsco another resource for the handling of slag from our steel mill customers while also responding to the ever-increasing demand to be more sustainable and mindful of our impact in everything we do,” said Gray. “SteelPhalt offers a solution that is beneficial for our steel mill customers, asphalt customers and the environment.” 

Harsco was founded in 1853 and has operated in South Central Pennsylvania for more than 165 years.  The company provides environmental solutions for industrial and specialty waste systems and technology for the rail sector. It employs 12,000 people in more than 30 countries. 

Harsco announced in September that it plans to move its Camp Hill headquarters to Philadelphia by January 2023. 

Poised for expansion, Turkey Hill acquires ice cream plant in Arkansas

Beverage and ice cream manufacturer Turkey Hill acquired a Searcy, Arkansas-based ice cream production facility as it looks to expand into more markets across the country.

The Manor Township, Lancaster County-based company announced the purchase of the 100,000-square-foot production facility from Yarnell Ice Cream for an undisclosed amount of money.

“The addition of this facility in Arkansas highlights the company’s commitment to geographic expansion,” said Tim Hopkins, CEO of Turkey Hill. “Over the last year, Turkey Hill has experienced strong and growing consumer demand nationwide, and the strategic location of this facility will enable us to serve consumers across the United States for years to come.”

Yarnell Ice Cream is a subsidiary of Schulze & Burch Biscuit Company, a snack foods manufacturer in Chicago.

While the facility’s employees will now be employed by Turkey Hill, the company noted that it has entered a co-manufacturing agreement with Yarnell to continue to produce ice cream to be retained by Schulze & Burch.

The acquisition comes a year after Turkey Hill was purchased by Austin-based private equity firm Peak Rock Capital for $215 million. Rob Pistilli, managing director at Peak Rock Capital, said the new facility is testament to Peak Rock’s support of Turkey Hill.

“This investment comes with significant capacity expansion and novelty production capabilities that will enhance Turkey Hill’s brand appeal and ability to service and grow its loyal customer base,” Pistilli said.

Peak Rock announced last July that it will invest “tens of millions” of dollars in capital improvements to increase Turkey Hill’s production capacity.

The equity firm said it is still executing the plan, which includes capacity and personal expansion, investments across existing production lines and facility enhancements at Turkey Hill’s flagship production facility in Manor Township.

State launches new resource for manufacturers producing supplies for COVID-19 relief

A new online portal to identify the needs of Pennsylvania manufacturers that are, or could, provide products for the COVID-19 pandemic was launched over the weekend by the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

The Pennsylvania Manufacturing Call to Action Portal asks manufacturers which products they can supply, produce and provide, and what barriers they have to manufacturing those products.

Department officials said the information it receives from manufacturers will allow them to match manufacturers and distributors to fill specific needs in the supply chain, assist companies that have a gap in their workforce and identify companies that can pivot to fill demand for medical supplies.

“As we work to protect public health and safety and create a robust supply chain, we know that here are manufacturers across the commonwealth who are willing and able to help, said DCED Secretary Dennis Davin. “This portal will help facilitate the connections businesses need to get critical COVID-19 related products to market or retrofit their operations to begin production of those products.”

The portal is part of an effort by the state to identify ways to help health care providers treat and care for patients with the virus.

Late last month, Gov. Tom Wolf announced the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Critical Medical Supplies Procurement Portal, a tool for manufacturers and distributors to inform the state what supplies are available to health care providers to purchase.

“The commonwealth, and the nation, is facing an unprecedented and uncertain time, and as we work to flatten the curve we must also ramp up efforts to provide Pennsylvania’s health care system with the critical supplies it needs to treat individuals with COVID-19,” said Wolf. “By consolidating the efforts of various state agencies, we will streamline the procurement process and allow these supplies to get to our health care providers and medical professionals as quickly as possible.