|Industry||Technical Ceramics for semiconductor, automotive, medical, oil and gas and many other industries|
|Founded||(1910Golden, Colorado, U.S.),|
|Founder||Adolph Coors, Sr.|
|Headquarters||Golden, CO, United States|
Number of locations
|John K. Coors, (CEO)|
|Revenue||US$ 1.25 billion (2015)|
|Owner||The Coors family|
Number of employees
CoorsTek, Inc. is a privately owned manufacturer of technical ceramics for semiconductor, medical, automotive, oil and gas, and many other industries. CoorsTek headquarters and primary factories are located in Golden, Colorado, USA, near the foothills west of Denver. The company is owned by a trust of the Coors family. The president and chairman is John K. Coors, a great-grandson of founder and brewing magnate Adolph Coors, Sr..
- 1 History
- 1.1 Adolph Coors and John Herold
- 1.2 Rosebud china and Prohibition after WW1
- 1.3 Aluminum beer cans
- 1.4 Ceramic technology and company growth after WW2
- 1.5 The Joe Coors era
- 1.6 Coors Porcelain becomes Coors Ceramics
- 1.7 Chaired professor and ceramic research at CSM
- 1.8 The Coors empire separates
- 1.9 Acquisitions and diversification
- 1.10 Coors Ceramics becomes CoorsTek
- 1.11 Saint-Gobain acquisition
- 1.12 Covalent Materials Corp. acquisition
- 2 Products and services
- 3 Subsidiaries
- 4 Presidents
- 5 External links
- 6 References
Adolph Coors and John Herold
Rhineland-born Adolph Coors (1847–1929) opened the Colorado Glass Works in 1887 to manufacture beer bottles for his brewery, the Adolph Coors Brewing Company, west of Denver. In 1888, the glass works, incorporated as Coors, Binder & Co., was idled by a strike and never re-opened. The Glass Works was leased to Austrian-born John J. Herold in 1910, who incorporated the Herold China and Pottery Company on the site at 600 Ninth St in Golden. Herold used clay from nearby mines to make dinnerware and heat-resistant porcelain ovenware under the trademark Herold Fireproof China. The now-abandoned clay pits form the western boundary of the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) campus. CSM professor Herman Fleck helped Herold perfect his glazing technique. Adolph Coors became the majority stockholder and was elected to the board of directors of Herold China in 1912. John Herold resigned, and Adolph Coors Company acquired Herold China in 1914. Herold returned later in 1914 to manage the plant, but left permanently in 1915. CSM evaluated Fireproof China for industrial applications in 1914, and found it suitable. The company began producing chemical porcelain in 1915 as a result of a World War I embargo on German imports. Adolph Coors’ second son, Herman Frederik Coors, was named manager in 1916. Herold China was renamed Coors Porcelain Company in 1920, and the trademark "Coors U.S.A." was first used.
Rosebud china and Prohibition after WW1
After World War I, Coors Porcelain made fine china and cookware bearing the trademarks Rosebud, Glencoe Thermo-Porcelain, Coorado, Mello-Tone and others. During Prohibition, the ceramic business was largely what kept the parent company afloat. The original factory site at 600 Ninth St in Golden was the only Coors Porcelain facility until the 1970s, and remained the company headquarters until a new facility was built northeast of Golden in the early 1990s. The 440,000 sq ft (41,000 m2) Ninth St plant consists of several adjoining buildings that occupy four square blocks, and is still CoorsTek’s largest manufacturing site. Herman Coors managed the company in the early days. Herman’s younger brother, Grover C. Coors, began the fledgling company’s foray into ceramic technology by inventing a tool for forming spark plug insulation in 1919.
Herman left in 1922 and started the H.F. Coors China Company, a manufacturer of dishes for restaurants and institutional use, in Inglewood, CA in 1925. The H.F. Coors Pottery's trademarks include Coorsite, Alox and Chefsware. Herman retired from Coors China in 1946, and was succeeded by his son Robert Coors. Robert retired in 1978, and sold the company to Standex International Corporation. Catalina China Inc. acquired the assets of Coors China from Standex in 2003, and moved the company to Tucson, AZ. Coors China is not now nor has it ever been formally affiliated with CoorsTek or Adolph Coors Company.
Aluminum beer cans
In the 1950s, Coors Porcelain’s parent company investigated the possibility of replacing steel beverage cans with aluminum ones, as part of a closed-loop recycling system. The effort was the brainchild of W.K. "Bill" Coors, the second son of Adolph II. A Porcelain warehouse at the corner of Ninth St and Washington Ave in Golden was selected to house the pilot plant for the aluminum can line. The first aluminum beer can was produced at the site in January, 1959. The closed-loop recycling program was initially started in 1960, but the overwhelming public response and lack of recycling infrastructure delayed its complete implementation. In 1970, Coors resumed their ambitious and aggressive program called "Cash for Cans", which operated throughout Coors' 11-state marketing area offering a penny a can. Coors success with the aluminum industry was a critical breakthrough in the development of America's recycling market and collection infrastructure. B.L. "Bob" Mornin, a ceramic engineer at Coors Porcelain since 1954, was appointed manager of can production in 1963, and led it to profitability. The can operation eventually outgrew the Porcelain building and moved into its present location east of the brewery in 1966. Coors Brewing Company reorganized its can operations into a joint venture with the Ball Corporation in 2002, known as Rocky Mountain Metal Container LLC. CoorsTek began developing hot-pressed SiC-whisker-reinforced Al2O3 ceramic tooling for beverage can machinery in the 1990s.
On January 22, 2009, the original Coors can plant was named an ASM Historical Landmark by the Board of Trustees of ASM International, for its role in ushering in the age of recyclable aluminum beverage containers. The date marked the 50th anniversary of Coors' first aluminum can. The building is on the southwest corner of the CoorsTek complex at 600 Ninth St in Golden.
Ceramic technology and company growth after WW2
The company gradually diversified its lines of technical ceramics before and especially after World War II. Coors greatly expanded its product lines, reduced scrap and accelerated production with the aid of cold isostatic pressing in the 1940s, tape casting and hot isostatic pressing in the 1950s, and multilayer ceramic capacitors in the 1960s. High-alumina (85 to 99.9% Al2O3) ceramics replaced porcelain in many thermomechanical, electrical and chemical applications. Coors engineers Vlad Wolkodoff and Bob Weaver invented fully dense, glass-free 99.5+% Al2O3 ceramics in 1964, useful for many applications where porcelain is deficient. Growth in the 1970s enabled Coors to build an electronic ceramics plant east of Golden in 1970, and its first facility outside of Golden, an electronic substrate plant in Grand Junction, CO, in 1975. Coors made its first purchase of a competitor when it bought Wilbanks International Inc. (originally Far West Industrial Ceramics) of Hillsboro, OR, in 1973. Another competitor, Alumina Ceramics Inc. of Benton, AR, was acquired in 1976. Coors opened its first foreign factory in Glenrothes, Scotland, in 1981. Coors began making silicon carbide, silicon nitride, spinel, zirconia and several other ceramic products by the mid-1980s.
Coors Biomedical Co., a Porcelain subsidiary, developed a low-shrinkage, high-alumina porcelain for dental restorations in the early 1980s, that could be fitted and fabricated in the dentist’s office. The product, sold under the name Cerestore™, raised some concerns among dentists for its wear on opposing teeth and its accuracy of fit.  The technology became the property of Johnson & Johnson after Coors Biomedical’s demise in the late 1980s.
The Joe Coors era
Joseph "Joe" Coors, Sr. (1917–2003), third son of Adolph II, joined Porcelain in 1940. He was promoted to president in 1946, and became a member of the board of directors and an executive of Adolph Coors Company as well. Joe was named an Honorary Member of the American Ceramic Society (ACerS) in 1985.
Coors Porcelain becomes Coors Ceramics
Coors Porcelain was renamed Coors Ceramics Company in 1986, shortly after Joseph Coors, Jr. (1942-2016), succeeded R. Derald Whiting as president. At the time, porcelain was a small part of the 12-plant, 2200-employee company's output. High-alumina ceramics were and remain the company's primary products. Joe Jr., a mathematician and quality engineer, had been at Wilbanks 1973-84 and was its president 1980-84, and the vice-president for quality at Coors Porcelain 1984-5 prior to his promotion.
Chaired professor and ceramic research at CSM
Janet Coors, widow of Herman Coors, endowed the Colorado Center for Advanced Ceramics (CCAC) at the Colorado School of Mines in 1988 with $2 million, and established the H.F. Coors Distinguished Professor of Ceramic Engineering chair. Coors executive David G. Wirth, Jr., was appointed as the first director of CCAC. Dennis W. Readey left Ohio State University to become the first Coors Professor and succeeded Wirth as director of CCAC. Readey, a Fellow of ACerS, served as president of ACerS in 1991-2, and was named a Distinguished Life Member of ACerS in 2002. Upon his retirement, Readey was succeeded as Coors Professor by Nigel Sammes, and as director of CCAC by Ivar Reimanis. W. Grover Coors, a brother of CoorsTek president John Coors, earned his Ph.D. at CSM in 2001 and has been a research professor in CCAC. John Coors earned his B.Sc. in chemical engineering at CSM in 1977, the first of eleven Coors family members to graduate from Mines as of 2014.
CoorsTek endowed CSM with $26.9 million, the largest in Mines' history, for the construction of the CoorsTek Center for Applied Science and Engineering, in September 2014. Ground was broken for the new 95,000 sq. ft. (8800 m2) building on 2 May 2016 on the former site of Meyer Hall, the home of the physics department. CoorsTek employed about 50 CSM alumni at the time of the announcement., 
The Coors empire separates
Adolph Coors Company became a holding company in 1989, with Coors Brewing Company as its largest subsidiary. The non-brewing subsidiaries were spun off late in 1992 under a new holding company, ACX Technologies, Inc., with Bill Coors as chairman of both holding companies. The key subsidiaries of ACX were Coors Ceramics Co.; Graphic Packaging Corporation, with Joe Jr.’s younger brother J.H. "Jeff" Coors as chairman and president; Golden Technologies Company (GTC), a collection of R&D projects headed by a former Wilbanks executive; and Golden Aluminum Company, with Joe Jr. as its interim president. Most of the ceramics-related GTC projects were folded into Coors Ceramics, while others were sold to investors or shut down with the demise of GTC in the late 1990s. Golden Aluminum was sold to Alcoa in 1997, and is now an independent remelter and rolling mill in Fort Lupton, CO. Graphic Pkg. merged with Riverwood International Corp. in 2003 and moved its headquarters to Marietta, GA, but kept a plant in Golden that supplied paperboard packaging for Coors beer. ACX and Adolph Coors Co. had many common stockholders including the Coors family, but were otherwise entirely independent of one another. Coors Ceramics Co. was no longer affiliated with the Coors brewery. Coors Ceramics' headquarters moved from Golden to a new building in an unincorporated area northeast of Golden.
Acquisitions and diversification
In an effort to broaden its business beyond mostly structural and insulating ceramics, Coors Ceramics made several acquisitions in the late 1990s, especially of suppliers to the semiconductor industry. Coors acquired plastics manufacturer Tetrafluor Inc. of El Segundo, CA, in August 1997 for $15.8 million. Coors bought precision machine shops Edwards Enterprises of Newark, CA, and Precision Technologies of Livermore, CA, in March 1998 for $18M and $22M, respectively. Coors acquired ceramic maker Doo Young Semitek Co., Ltd., of Kyungbook, South Korea, for $3.6M in December 1999. Coors purchased machine shop Liberty Machine Inc. of Fremont, CA, for $4M in March 2000. In 1993, Coors sold its ceramic subsidiaries in Ocean Springs, MS and Rio Claro, São Paulo, Brazil. In September 2013 CoorsTek purchased IMDS (Innovative Medical Device Solutions) for an undisclosed amount.
Coors Ceramics becomes CoorsTek
In 2000, ACX was dissolved and Coors Ceramics became an independent, publicly traded company under the name of CoorsTek, Inc. Annual revenue was $334M and an operating loss of $32M was reported. CoorsTek was traded on the NASDAQ under the symbol CRTK. Joe Jr. retired as chairman and president of CoorsTek in 2000, and was succeeded by his younger brother John. Keystone Holdings LLC, a trust of the Coors family, bought the stock it did not already own, and took the company private once again in 2003.
CoorsTek signed an agreement in June 2010 to buy certain assets of the Advanced Ceramics division of the French conglomerate Saint-Gobain., The Advanced Ceramics division employed 1200 workers worldwide, and 500 at six North American sites, at the time. CoorsTek gained ownership of several longtime competing brands, such as Cerbec Si3N4 bearings, Solcera and Cerastat. The transaction was completed in January 2011, with CoorsTek assuming ownership of six plants in Europe; four in the USA; one each in Canada, Mexico and Brazil; and sales offices in Japan, China, Taiwan and Singapore. The acquisition gave CoorsTek a total of 44 facilities on four continents, and increased capabilities in SiC, Si3N4, mullite and steatite. Compagnie de Saint-Gobain retained ownership of its 22 High-Performance Refractories, Lo-Mass®, Carborundum Abrasive Products and Hexoloy® SiC products business sites.
Covalent Materials Corp. acquisition
CoorsTek acquired Covalent Materials Corp., formerly Toshiba Ceramics Co., and its three factories in Japan in December 2014 for ~$450M, the largest acquisition in CoorsTek's history. The transaction gave CoorsTek over 50 production facilities in 14 countries on four continents, with over 6,000 employees. Covalent began as Toyo Fire Brick Company in 1918 in Tokyo, and later became Toshiba Refractories Co. Toshiba Refractories merged with Toshiba Denko to become Toshiba Ceramics Co., Ltd., in 1968, with factories in Oguno, Yamagata; Hatano, Kanagawa; and Kariya, Aichi. Covalent’s product line includes crucibles, heating elements, refractory bricks, and components for the semiconductor and flat panel display industries, made of silicon carbide, boron carbide, alumina, graphite, yttria and silicon. Its trademarks include Cerasic, Sapphal, Exyria, Glassun, Neobone and Ceraphite.
CoorsTek revenues increased to $1.25 billion since the Coors family-owned Keystone Trust bought all the stock in 2003. CoorsTek claims it has turned a net profit every single quarter since then. Forbes magazine estimated that CoorsTek's cash flow reached $340 million in 2015. CoorsTek was worth an estimated $2.5 billion in 2015, about $200M more than the family’s 16% stake in the brewery.
Products and services
- 99.8% alumina tubing, crucibles and thermocouple sheaths
- Analytical laboratories specializing in ceramic products
- Cera-Check beams for coordinate measuring machines
- Ceramic armor
- Ceramic powder preparation
- Cera-Slide paper-making tooling
- Coors USA laboratory wares
- Cyclone liners and wear-resistant tiles for effluent separation and mineral dressing
- Electronic substrates and ceramic dual in-line packages
- Exhaust port liners and other engine components
- Grinding media
- Kiln furniture, heat exchangers, refractories
- Metallized waveguides and stand-off insulators for electric power transmission and telecommunications
- Micro-filtration devices for medical applications
- Proppants for fracking
- Pump plungers and seal rings
- Valve plates for washerless faucets
- Wire-drawing capstans and dies
- Zirconia oxygen sensors
Subsidiaries and Outlying Operations
|Benton, AR||Formerly Alumina Ceramics, Inc. Reaction-bonded SiC seal rings.|
|El Segundo, Fremont and Ventura, CA||Formerly Tetrafluor, Inc., et al.|
|Vista, CA||Formerly BAE Systems|
|Arvada, CO||CoorsTek Fluorochemicals; formerly Boulder Ionics|
|Golden, CO||Headquarters, R&D, alumina and porcelain lab wares, HIP, injection moulding|
|Grand Junction, CO||C5 Medical Werks|
|Grand Junction, CO||Thick-film substrates|
|Oklahoma City, OK||Formerly RI Ceramic Co. of Norman, OK. Alumina pump components.|
|Tulsa, OK||Tulsa Machine Works & Manufacturing|
|Hillsboro, OR||Formerly Wilbanks International, Inc. Alumina tooling for paper mills and precision measurement.|
|Oak Ridge, TN||Formerly Coors Technical Ceramics Co.|
|Austin, Houston and Odessa, TX||Petrochemical, oil and gas hardware|
|Fort Worth, TX||CoorsTek Medical LLC|
|Salt Lake City, UT||Ceramatec, Inc.|
|Red Deer, AB, Canada||Petrochemical, oil and gas hardware|
|Cambridge, ON, Canada||BLS Textiles, Inc.|
|London, ON, Canada||Formerly Advance Manufacturing Technologies ULC (AMT)|
|Ottawa, ON, Canada||DEW Engineering and Development Ltd.|
|Paris, ON, Canada||CoorsTek Advanced Ceramics Hamilton ULC, foundry filters, successor of Hamilton Potteries|
|Tampere, Finland||CoorsTek Sensors; formerly Pegasor, Oy|
|Bindlach, Bavaria, Germany||ANCeram GmbH & Co. KG|
|Oguno, Yamagata; Hatano, Kanagawa; and Kariya, Aichi, Japan||Formerly Covalent Materials Corp., Toshiba Ceramics Co.|
|Gumi City, Korea||CoorsTek Korea|
|Kyungbook, Korea||Formerly Doo Young Semitek Co., Ltd.|
|Uden, Netherlands||Formerly the ceramics operation of Philips |
|Crewe, Cheshire, England, UK||Dynamic-Ceramic Ltd.|
|Glenrothes, Fife, Scotland, UK||Formerly VZS-Seagoe|
|Glenrothes, Fife, Scotland, UK||Thick- and thin-film substrates. CoorsTek's first foreign subsidiary, in 1981.|
|Alpha Optical Systems Inc.||Ocean Springs, MS|
|Ceram,||El Cajon, CA|
|Ceramicon Designs||Golden, CO|
|Cercom, Inc. (Re-acquired as BAE in 2011.)||Vista, CA|
|Coban Industrial Ltda. (Moved to Vinhedo in 2004, re-acquired as part of S-G in 2010.)||Rio Claro, SP, Brazil|
|Coors Biomedical Co.||Lakewood, CO|
|Coors Ceramics Asia-Pacific||Singapore|
|Coors Components, Inc.||Broomfield, CO|
|Coors Electronic Package Co.||Chattanooga, TN|
|Coors Optical Systems Co.||Golden, CO|
|Humphreys Investment Co.||Denver, CO|
|MicroLithics Corp.||Golden, CO|
|Resistant Materials Systems, Inc./Coors Wear Products, Inc.||Lawrence, PA|
|Royal Worcester Industrial Ceramics, Ltd.||Tonyrefail, Wales|
- Adolph Coors I (1915–1929)
- Adolph Coors II (1929–1946)
- H.W. Ryland (plant manager, 1946–1957)
- Joe Coors, Sr. (1946–1972)
- R. Derald Whiting (1972–1985)
- Joe Coors, Jr. (1985–1992, 1997–2000)
- James Wade (1992–1997)
- John K. Coors (2000–2004)
- Derek Johnson (2004–2005)
- John K. Coors (2005 - )
- CoorsTek, Inc.
- Introduction to CoorsTek, Inc. on YouTube
- CoorsTek Medical LLC
- C5 Medical Werks
- Graphic Packaging International Inc.
- Golden Aluminum Company
- Coors Brewing Company
- H.F. Coors China Company
- DEW Engineering and Development ULC
- Ceramatec, Inc.
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- "CoorsTek Acquires BAE Systems’ Advanced Ceramics Business," Ceramic Industry, September 21, 2011.
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- "CoorsTek Medical Expands Medical-Grade Ceramic Production Capacity," Ceramic Industry, August 27, 2015.
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