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History

2000s | 1990s1980s1970s1960s1950s1940s1930s | 1920s 

2016
Ferro acquires Spain-based Pinturas Benicarló, S.L., one of the world’s largest producers of waterborne industrial paints.  Pinturas specializes in the niche sector of organic paints for application on glass substrates, such as perfume, cosmetic, food and beverage containers.  It serves some of the largest international glass manufacturers and processors. The business joins Ferro’s Performance Colors and Glass segment. 

The Company bolsters production and commercial operations in Turkey by purchasing Ferer, an established and growing reseller of Ferro’s color and glass products. The acquisition, based in Istanbul, provides infrastructure for growth for the Performance Colors and Glass and Pigments businesses.

2015
In conjunction with its profitable growth and vision of becoming the world's premiere functional coatings and color solutions provider, Ferro adds a tagline to its logo.  Its refreshed identity highlights Ferro innovation and commitment to delivering high-performing product solutions for customers and value for Ferro shareholders. 

The Company acquires TherMark, a leading producer of laser marking materials.

Ferro's €149 million (approximately $165 million) purchases Nubiola, a leading global producer of high-value pigments based in Spain, substantially adds to Ferro’s platform in color solutions.   

Ferro adds to its presence in Egypt with the acquisition of frit and glaze producer Al Salomi. With the acquisition, Ferro gains additional production capacity to support increasing sales in the Middle East North Africa region.

2014
Ferro refinances its debt to reduce interest and enhance strategic flexibility as it pursues growth initiatives.

The Company sells its Plastics and North American Polymer Additives businesses (Performance Chemicals).  Its continuing operations are solely Performance Materials – primarily glass coatings, pigments, and surface polishing materials.

The Company acquires Vetriceramici, an Italy-based global manufacturer of specialty coatings for high-end ceramic tile producers.

Ferro acquires a Turkish reseller of its porcelain enamel products as part of growth strategy  to enter emerging geographic markets.

2013
Peter T. Thomas, a 14-year executive at Ferro, is named Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ferro. 

The Company embarks on an aggressive Value Creation Strategy, focused on reducing operating costs, improving returns on invested capital, and investing in high-return growth initiatives.  The Company reorganizes around its core franchises and competencies in Performance Materials and Performance Chemicals.  It exits non-core and underperforming businesses, including solar pastes and pharmaceuticals.  It announces significant cost savings programs expected to yield annual savings of more than $100 million by 2015. It also announces that approximately $25 million annually will be earmarked for growth investments to expand into emerging geographic markets and build on the Company’s core technical competencies.  

New glass pasting facilities are inaugurated in Zibo, China, to provide high-quality glass coloring and coating products for container, appliance and architectural glass manufacturers in China and the Asia-Pacific region.

2011
Ferro India Private Limited moves to expanded space in Pune, India, for sales, marketing and technical support personnel.

Ferro’s growing business in pigmented inks for digital tile decoration calls for a new technical and design center in Foshan, China, in Guangdong Province.  The site also houses sales and marketing personnel for the Glass and Pigments businesses.

A  facility in Aveiro, Portugal, is inaugurated and will produce ceramic glazes and stains, and glazes and pastes for the glass industry.

2010
Ferro Egypt for Glaze is founded when Ferro acquires the Pharaohs Style for Glaze plant.  Ferro invests in expansion to allow for annual production of 200 million pounds of tile frit and glazes for the growing tile markets in the Middle East and Africa.

The Company sells its precious metal ceramic decorating products to Heraeus, Hanau, Germany, and purchases Heraeus’ portfolio of colors for decorating ceramic and glass products.

2009
Ferro takes aggressive cost reduction action and forges ahead in restructuring its manufacturing operations as it manages through a global recession and credit market crisis. 

October 11, 2009, marks the 90th anniversary of the founding of Ferro as the Ferro Enameling Company in Cleveland, Ohio.

2008
Ferro sells its Fine Chemicals business to Novolyte Technologies LP, an affiliate of Arsenal Capital Management LP.  The divestiture was made to allow Ferro to continue to focus on its core technology capabilities.

Ferro purchases Fluid Logic LLC, a grinding and fabrication business for brittle metals, which  enhances Ferro Electronic Material Systems’ Surface Finishing product lines. The acquisition adds to our portfolio grinding fluids used in the production of electronic components based on ceramic and quartz substrates, and advanced polishing fluids used for flat glass, precision optics, ophthalmic lenses, and specialty plastics.

A representative office of Ferro Thailand, Ferro Thailand RO, opens in Hanoi, Vietnam, to serve growing market demand in Southeast Asia for the  Inorganic Specialties product line.

Ferro Italia celebrates its 50th anniversary. 

 

2007
Ferro Electronic Material Systems completes a restructuring of its U.S. operations, which includes the sale of its Niagara Falls, New York, manufacturing site and certain industrial ceramics product lines to TAM Ceramics LLC, and the transfer of dielectric materials manufacturing at that site to existing Ferro facilities in Penn Yan, New York and Uden, The Netherlands.

Ferro breaks ground on a 16,500-square-meter (177,604-square-foot) production facility in Suzhou, China. 

The Company commissions its newly constructed tile color plant in Castellon, Spain. The plant includes approximately 12,000 square meters (approx. 129,000 square feet) for production, quality control and supporting laboratory facilities. It includes state-of-the-art material handling and production technologies that increase manufacturing efficiency and that optimize the quality and consistency of Ferro's glaze and body stain product lines sold to the growing European tile market.  Ferro has produced ceramic tile color products in Castellon for 42 years.

Ferro's Porcelain Enamel business launches three acclaimed products in 2007: RealEase®  porcelain enamel hybrid nonstick coating for cookware; AquaRealEase™ patented porcelain enamel coatings that enable innovative energy-efficient self-cleaning ovens; and Evolution™  performance enamel, which is in high-demand as an appliance finish substitute for high-cost metals, such as stainless steel or copper, yet is highly durable and scratch/fingerprint resistant.  

 

Ferro's Evolution performance enamel coating is specified by grill and appliance manufacturers for its beauty, durability and cost efficiency.


2006
James F. Kirsch is elected as Chairman of the Board of Directors, and continues as President and Chief Executive Officer.

2005
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Hector Ortino dies of natural causes on November 28, 2005. Ortino served Ferro for more than 34 years. He had been President and Chief Executive Officer since 1996, and a member of the Board of Directors since 1993. During his career, Ortino was responsible for several critical strategic initiatives. He consistently supported the Company’s geographic expansion efforts, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, and was also instrumental in the successful execution and integration of the dmc2 acquisition, the largest acquisition in Ferro’s history. James F. Kirsch is named President and Chief Executive Officer and a director on the Company’s Board.

2004
Ferro dedicates its technical center in Independence, Ohio, USA in honor of Adolph "Ad" Posnick, retired chairman and chief executive officer.  The building is renamed the Posnick Center of Innovative Technology signaling Ferro's strong commitment to technology which plays a key role in the company's transition away from industrial-based businesses to those driven by technology.  Ferro continues to invest in technology at an increasing rate as part of its Leadership Agenda strategy to expand the growth profile of the Company.  Today, high growth businesses, which include Electronic Materials and Pharmaceuticals and Fine Chemicals, represent approximately 25% of Ferro's revenue base (versus just 6% of sales in 1998).

James F. Kirsch is named President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company, with responsibility for Ferro’s global operations. Previously, Kirsch served as president of Premix Inc. and Quantum Composites, Inc.

2003
Continuing the Company's long-term strategy to improve the growth profile of the portfolio, Ferro announces plans to divest several non-core businesses. Specialty ceramics---which makes kiln furniture, grinding media, wear tile and structural ceramics---is sold in May and petroleum additives---which manufactures additives for fuel and metalworking fluids---is sold in July.  The Company continues its focus on operational excellence and organic growth as challenging global economic conditions persist.

The porcelain enamel business establishes a branch office in St. Petersburg, Russia to take advantage of growth opportunities in Russia and other countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Raw materials in Russia will also be able to be purchased and exported to other Ferro facilities throughout the world.

2002
Ferro establishes two key areas of focus in 2003: 1) Growth internally via new product development, strategic marketing and regional expansion, and externally via acquisitions in Springboard or other opportunistic areas; and 2) Operational Excellence via lean manufacturing and supply chain management.

Ferro focuses on accelerating the integration of the dmc2 businesses and reducing debt. Under tough economic conditions, the Company successfully issues equity, reduces working capital and manages discretionary spending as a means to pay down the entire debt taken on to finance the dmc2 acquisition in the less than twelve months. Commensurate with the Leadership Agenda strategy, Ferro divests its powder coatings business.

2001
In 2001, the stock market declines sharply and the September 11th terrorist attacks in the United States slow the U.S. and global economies to a crawl. Ferro continues improving the portfolio with its largest and most strategic acquisition to date---certain businesses of Degussa Metals Catalysts Cerdec AG (dmc2) from OM Group, Inc. The acquisition more than doubles the size of the electronic materials business, triples the color and glass performance materials business and adds complementary manufacturing capabilities and greater presence in Asia and Europe for the tile coatings business.  The Company posts record sales of $1.5 billion.

Ferro establishes a factory for its porcelain enamel and tile coating systems businesses in Suzhou, China, which later provides a platform for the electronic materials system business. Growth is driven by a combination of new Chinese consumers plus strong export demand from traditional markets. Rapid growth in China is expected to continue for many years due to its large population, expanding middle class and low cost labor rates.

The tile coating systems' business launches KERAjet for commercial use. KERAjet is a remarkable machine that has the potential to change the way the world decorates ceramic tile; providing high speed, high definition printing on a full range of ceramic tiles.

2000
Ferro's polymer additives business nearly doubles in size and is positioned for growth in Europe and Asia. Ferro increases market penetration for electronic materials. In addition, Ferro strengthens growth opportunities within the pharmaceutical market by making high potency active ingredients for anti-viral and anti-cancer drugs and high purity carbohydrates that stabilize bioengineered therapeutic proteins.  Ferro sells its flame retardant business, further supporting the Leadership Agenda strategy to reposition Ferro's portfolio of businesses.

The New Millennium
Y2K passed without incident and the longest economic expansion in U.S. history continued throughout the first year.

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1999
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Hector R. Ortino introduces the Leadership Agenda strategy to help improve the growth profile of the Company. The main objective is to drive long-term growth by balancing the portfolio equally between Springboard businesses (highest long-term growth opportunities), Platform businesses (1-1/2 to 2 times GDP growth) and Foundation businesses (growth close to that of GDP). The objective is supported by properly aligning incentives and allocating resources based on the life cycle of each business.  The strategy also focuses businesses on building critical mass, expanding global scope and developing sustainable competitive advantages. Implementing the Leadership Agenda strategy, Ferro strengthens its electronic materials business by acquiring a key producer of dielectric powders---and adds thermoplastic elastomers to its plastics business.

1998
Ferro acquires majority interest in a major manufacturer in China.

1997
A major three-year realignment effort kicks off, with the goal of raising corporate gross margins to 28%.

1996
Management adopts key strategies for profitable growth, focusing on organization, productivity, marketing and technology.

1995
Ferro doubles the size of its polymer additives product line.

1994
Ferro establishes a new focus on high-performance specialty ceramics. Ferro celebrates its 75th anniversary.

1991
Management implements programs to refocus on core businesses. Ferro forms ceramic frit joint ventures in Indonesia and Thailand.

The 1990s
Democracy and capitalism gain favor worldwide as communism collapses and the Cold War becomes just a memory.

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1989
Corporate offices are moved to a new headquarters building on Lakeside Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

1988
Ferro hits $1 billion in worldwide sales.

1987
Ferro acquires a stronger presence in specialty plastic compounds for electronic, medical and packaging applications.

1986
Plastics operations are strengthened with the manufacture of liquid colors and additives for plastics.

1983
Plastics is recognized as a new core business, serving as a major supplier of filled, reinforced, alloyed and custom-engineered plastics. Other core businesses are coatings, colors, chemicals and ceramics.

1982
Ferro enters into a joint venture to produce electronic circuit boards using porcelain enamel-on-steel substrates. Ferro signs a joint venture to establish a manufacturing presence in Ecuador.

1981
Ferro Industrial Products Ltd. (Taiwan) is formed.

1980
Ferro acquires a high-tech producer of specialty materials for the electronics industry.

The 1980s
America struggles to understand yuppies, leveraged buyouts, junk bonds and "user-friendly" personal computers. Meanwhile, the Iron Curtain falls and the Berlin Wall crumbles.

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1979
The forerunner of the Plastics segment is formed, and supported by several important thermoplastic colorants and resin businesses.

1974
Technology licensing provides the impetus for Ferro's U.S. and European powder coatings business. 

1972
Ferro makes the Fortune 500, ranking among the largest industrial companies in the United States. Production facilities are established in Venezuela.

1971
Ferro begins producing color concentrates in a new forehearth technology to economically produce small batches of colored glass.

1970
The Technical Center is built in Independence, Ohio, USA to support the complex and interrelated technologies of Ferro's businesses. 

The 1970s
The Watergate crisis and an energy crisis capture Americans' attention, as do the Women's Liberation Movement, the Bicentennial and double-digit inflation.

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1969
Ferro answers the prayers of homemakers by developing a specialized porcelain enamel coating which continuously cleans household ovens. 

1967
Ferro successfully enters the high-temperature ceramic industry.

1964
Ferro Holland serves over 50 countries in Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, Africa and Asia.

1961
Ferro Enamel Espanola, S.A. is established in Spain.

The 1960s
From the first man in space to the first man on the moon, from JFK to MLK and RFK, and from civil rights marches to antiwar demonstrations – it is a tumultuous decade.

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1958
Ferro sets up sales operations in Italy.  

1953
Ferro Far East Limited is created in Hong Kong as a trading company to sell Ferro products throughout the growing Asia-Pacific region. Ferro develops gelcoats, a durable plastic coating which becomes the standard construction material for boats.

1952
Ferro perfects a revolutionary new process that cools molten frit on rolls instead of quenching it in water. This more efficient and safer process – dubbed "flaked" frit – gives Ferro another competitive edge.

1951
Management changes the Company's name to Ferro Corporation, reflecting plans to diversify its holdings in the ceramics industry. Operations are established in West Germany.

1950
Ferro grants a license to a Japanese company to manufacture frit products, marking the first approved licensing agreement after World War II in the Japanese chemical/ceramic industry.

The 1950s
Even though Cold War tensions hover, many families are in the mood to buy automobiles, build homes and equip them with television sets and new appliances such as automatic washers, dryers and dishwashers.

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1949
Ferro establishes operations in Mexico, which prove pivotal in expanding its presence throughout Latin and South America.

1948
Ferro expands its color division by developing inorganic color pigments for ceramics and plastics, in addition to porcelain enamel.

1946
Ferro initiates research into a revolutionary frit composition based on titanium dioxide, which eventually is used for most of the world's porcelain enamel and amplifies Ferro's industry leadership. Ferro South Africa is incorporated.

1945
Ferro offers to help customers reconvert porcelain enameling plants for peacetime uses and prepare for the resurgence of the appliance industry.

1942
Ferro survives a ban on industrial production unrelated to the war effort, resulting in five Army/Navy "E" Awards for excellence.

1941
Faced with little fuel and raw material during the war, Ferro France creates an innovative electric smelting method for producing frit – which Ferro expands to other facilities after the war.

The 1940s
Wartime sacrifices are followed by postwar prosperity, as consumers start spending again and the Baby Boom begins.

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1939
The Color Division begins by producing inorganic pigments for coloring porcelain enamel and glazes. Ferro Enamel Corporation stock starts trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

1938
Ferro creates the world's largest porcelain enamel-on-steel mural for the 1939 World's Fair in New York.

1935
Ferro begins operations in Brazil and Argentina, which also provide fertile training ground for many key managers. Ferro Australia is incorporated, expanding Ferro's international network well beyond North America and Europe.

1934
Ferro France is formed.

1932
Ferro employee J.E. Hansen publishes Advanced Techniques of Porcelain Enameling, which becomes the accepted authority throughout the industry. The book evolves out of Ferro's well-respected conferences to train customers in modern enameling techniques.

1930
Ferro Enameling Company and Ferro Enamel & Supply Co. merge to form Ferro Enamel Corporation.

The 1930s
President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal helps jump-start a depressed economy, and fairs such as the Great Lakes Exposition – which feature a porcelain enameled building – seek to stimulate commerce.

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1929
Ferro begins sales and service operations in England and erects a manufacturing facility in Holland. Ferro Enameling Company goes public, listing on the Curb market (American Stock Exchange).

1927
Ferro sets up a sales and service operation in Canada, marking the first porcelain enamel supply house in that country and the first step in building Ferro's extensive international network. By decade's end, Ferro Canada is manufacturing – "smelting" – frit in its own facility, a typical pattern for Ferro's international facilities.

1926
To help customers do a complete enameling job, Weaver's organization begins designing and building porcelain enameling furnaces and related equipment. Several innovations, including a U-type continuous furnace patented in 1928, become industry standards.

1924
Cushman's support of a technical fellowship in porcelain enamel, together with his own education, puts porcelain enamel processing on a sound technical footing for the first time.

1923
Weaver begins publishing The Enamelist, the first trade journal in the porcelain enameling industry

1921
Enforcing the highest quality and technical standards, Cushman adopts the check-in-circle insignia, which becomes the Company's trademark.

1920
Robert A. Weaver establishes Ferro Enamel & Supply Co. to market products manufactured by Cushman's organization.

The 1920s
Speakeasies, jazz, the Charleston and flappers are the cat's meow during the Roaring Twenties, and Charles A. Lindbergh, Jack Dempsey and Babe Ruth are among our heroes.

1919
With a total investment of $1,000, Harry D. Cushman incorporates Ferro Enameling Company, producing porcelain enamel frit in a plant at East 56th Street in Cleveland. Frit is a complex glass that is a core ingredient in porcelain enamel.

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