CoorsTek is not your next-generation brewery. It might have the same lineage, but the company gets its buzz instead from producing advanced technical ceramics, precision-machined metals, and engineered plastics. Its materials are used in automotive components, energy equipment, medical devices, and high-performance machinery, among other products. CoorsTek also offers materials testing, analytical chemistry, custom manufacturing, and precision machining, among other services. The company operates more than 40 facilities across the globe (primarily in North America and Europe). Once a part of the Adolph Coors Company (now MillerCoors), it is owned by CEO John Coors and his family.
Products for fuel cells (ceramic tubes, planar substrates), chemical and scientific labware (mortars and pestles, crucibles, and dishes), power generation (ceramic brick linings, electron tube components), and optical components (sintered silicon carbide, aluminum oxide ceramics) are among its highly specialized components. CoorsTek also makes diamond grinding wheels, ceramics for semiconductor wafer processing equipment, and plastic bearings and bushings. Subsidiary CoorsTek Armor Solutions specializes in making lightweight integrated armor panels for ground vehicles, air, and marine crafts.
Mergers and Acquisitions
The company also uses acquisitions to add capacity and expertise. In 2012 it bought Germany-based ANCeram, which manufactures ceramic substrates, insulators, and structural components. Most known for its custom-designed aluminum nitride ceramic, ANCeram also uses other materials and techniques, such as silicon nitrides, brazing, and ceramic metallization, among others. The acquisition expands CoorsTek's production capabilities and brings in a third facility in Germany.
In 2011 CoorsTek bought the advanced ceramics division of Saint-Gobain for about $245 million, significantly expanding its technical capabilities and geographic reach. The acquisition made CoorsTek one of the largest technical ceramics manufacturers in the world. It added product lines such as silicon carbide ceramic blends used in ignition systems, silicon nitride for durable bearings, steatite for electrical appliances, and mullite used in molten metal filtration. It also added manufacturing facilities in Brazil, Canada, Europe, Mexico, and the US, along with a number of sales offices across Asia. Also that year the company acquired the advanced ceramics business of BAE Systems, which brought with it more than 100,000 square feet of manufacturing space.
CoorsTek dates back to 1910, when Adolph Coors invested in the Herold China and Pottery Co., a manufacturer of oven-safe porcelain. The business was renamed Coors Porcelain in 1920 and gradually expanded into technological applications. The company was part of Coors' 1992 spin off of ACX Technologies (now Graphic Packaging), and later broke from ACX Technologies to be rechristened CoorsTek in 2000.