Meet AGC

Meet AGC

AGC’s 110-year history — our value through the decades and challenges for the future

Chapter 1

1907-1945

Manufacturing flat glass for modernizing Japan

In 1907, Toshiya Iwasaki decided to start domestic production of flat glass and established Asahi Glass Co., Ltd. Despite numerous hardships, he grew the company into Asia’s largest flat glass manufacturer, and also expanded the business into production of soda ash and refractories, which were vital materials for flat glass manufacturing. With an indomitable spirit, he provided value to the country in various aspects.

1907-1909

Producing Japan-made flat glass

(Upper) Staff of the Tsurumi factory at the time of start-up
(Background) Tsurumi factory when Belgian hand-blown sheet glass manufacturing method was adopted
Birth of Asahi Glass Co., Ltd.

Ahead of any other companies in Japan, AGC built a flat glass factory in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture and started the production of flat glass in 1909.

History History

1916

Contributing to the development of key Japanese industries

Molding of large bricks by pneumatic rammer method
Launch of the refractory business

Refractories, an indispensable component in glass manufacturing, were mostly imported in those days. In order to ensure a stable supply of flat glass, AGC ventured into the refractories business. Its refractory business supported not only the development of AGC’s manufacturing activities but also the development of key Japanese industries such as steel and cement production.

AGC Ceramics Co., Ltd.

1917

Self-sufficient production of chemicals used in everyday life

Signboard advertisement of fertilizer
Becoming Japan’s first soda ash producer

Due to World War I, AGC faced difficulties in importing soda ash, a raw material of flat glass. In response to this emergency situation, AGC developed the manufacturing process of soda ash on its own, and started the production. In addition to soda ash, AGC also sold sodium bicarbonates — a by-product of soda ash― for beverages and forcing fertilizer, thereby supporting peoples' daily lives.

Chemicals Business Website

1933

The origin of social contribution activities that continue for over 80 years

Establishing the Asahi Foundation for Chemical Industry Promotion

The Asahi Foundation for Chemical Industry Promotion (today known as the Asahi Glass Foundation) was established to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the founding of AGC. Since then, AGC has subsidized and supported research expenses for the development of the Japanese chemical industry.

Public interest foundation corporation The Asahi Glass Foundation

Chapter 2

1946-1973

Post-war recovery and a period of high economic growth

During the high economic growth period after the end of World War II, AGC responded to the escalating demand for skyscrapers, automobiles and color televisions. At the same time, AGC also worked to solve pollution problems caused as the harmful side effects of high economic growth.

1950

From televisions to automobiles, supporting citizens' lives

(Upper) Tube glass manufactured by Asahi Special Glass
Entry into new businesses

In the 1950s, NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corp.) began broadcasting. People gathered on a street and watched professional wrestling matches featuring Rikidōzan, Japan’s most famous professional wrestler, on televisions in the windows of stores. Before the automobile boom and television boom, AGC launched new businesses including the production of glass for automobiles and glass for cathode-ray tube (CRT) televisions. AGC’s glass made its appearance in everyday family gatherings, supporting lifestyles in the new era.

Products Products

1956

Assisted in the development of the Indian economy

India Asahi Glass (India)
Establishing the first overseas production base after the war in India

In response to a request from the Indian government to help local companies, AGC established a production base in India earlier than any other Japanese companies, helping the development of the Indian economy.

Group Companies

1964

Providing products to make lives easier such as water-repellent spray and green houses for agriculture

(Left) Water repellent and oil repellent "Asahi Guard" spray can
(Right) Fluoropolymer film "F Clean" ("Aflex")
Development of the fluorine chemical business

Beginning with the manufacture of chloromethane and fluorocarbon, AGC entered into the fluorine chemical business. AGC also created hit products such as water & oil-repellent agents AsahiGuard and fluoropolymer film F-CLEAN.

Chemicals Business Website

1966

Providing a sense of affluence in everyday places such as buildings, homes, automobiles and railway cars

(Upper) Inspection of large-scaled float glass
(Background) Float glass annealing line at the Tsurumi factory
Introducing a new technology: the float process

Due to a rush of construction projects for commercial buildings and private housing, the demand for flat glass increased. AGC’s float process enabled the production of large flat glass over 3m wide and 10m tall. AGC responded to the diversification of architectural styles.

Architectural Glass Architectural Glass

Supporting people’s lives on the move with the Toyota Corolla’s success

Toyota Corolla with 4 mm thick bending tempered glass for side glass
The industry’s first introduction of a gas furnace enabled mass production of tempered glass for automobiles

Toyota Corolla, one of the passenger cars symbolizing the opening of the economy car era. Only AGC’s Kawasaki plant, with Japan’s first gas furnace, could produce the high quality side glass required for its design.

Automotive Glass

Chapter 3

1974-1990

Toward a stronger business structure & diversification, globalization

During the first oil crisis, AGC pursued the streamlining of and efficiency in production responding to material shortages and higher fuel cost. AGC achieved further growth by responding to needs in automobile production, the electronics industry and fluorinated products in the 1980s when the Japanese economy was recovering.

1981

Taking over the glass manufacturing tradition from Belgium, and providing products to the Central and Eastern European markets

(Top) Photographs of the existing working scenery existing in Glaverbel S.A.
(Background) Glaverbel S.A.'s Musty plant (Belgium)
Acquisition of Glaverbel

AGC acquired Glaverbel, a long-established Belgian glass manufacturer and the master of glass manufacturing technology for AGC. Taking over a traditional management spirit to always keep an eye on the global market, AGC expanded its bases in Central, Eastern and Western Europe. AGC also promoted the growth of Glaverbel and invigorated the market.

Group Companies Group Companies

1985

Corresponding with digitalization of information display devices

(From the upper left) Liquid crystal (calculator), fused quartz glass, frit paste
(From the bottom left) Glass substrate for TFT liquid crystal "AN 100," IC thick film printing product, glass delay line
Development of the electronics industry

In the 1980s, AGC formed a professional team to develop an innovative glass melting technology. The knowledge and experience gained from the initiative eventually lead to development of glass for today’s smartphones and high-definition displays.

Electronic Materials

1986

Contributing to regional development

(picture)AP Technoglass Ohio Plant(U.S.A.)
Development of the North American market

AGC established AP Techno-glass company in Bellefontaine, Ohio, as a joint venture with the largest flat glass manufacturer in the United States. It won an award from the mayor for the contribution to the regional development through the production of automotive glass.

(picture)AP Technoglass Ohio Plant(U.S.A.)
Group Companies Group Companies

1989

Protecting the ozone layer and the earth through new technology that amazed the world

Development of alternative to chlorofluorocarbons

In 1985, a huge ozone hole was found over the Antarctic Continent, leading to serious global environmental issues. In response, AGC developed an alternative to chlorofluorocarbon. ASAHIKLIN AK- 225 was highly evaluated in the world.

Chemicals Business Website

Chapter 4

1991-2007

Growing into a truly global company

Amid the collapse of Japan’s bubble economy, AGC aimed to grow into a truly global company. Asahi Glass Foundation established an international prize for the global environment, the Blue Planet Prize, and AGC start production of alternatives to chlorofluorocarbon products to address environmental problems.

1991

Doing what we can do for the future of the earth

(Left) Giving a prize/trophy and 50 million yen in prize money as awards to winners
(Right) Trophy produced on the theme of "Water and Atmosphere" of the beautiful Earth
The Asahi Glass Foundation established the Blue Planet Prize

In 1992, an international prize for the global environment, the Blue Planet Prize was established to honor the works of individuals and organizations who contributed to solving global environmental problems. Over the years, Asahi Glass Foundation has continued to aid such endeavors.

Asahi Glass Foundation Blue Planet Award Asahi Glass Foundation Blue Planet Award

1996

Delivering new excitement through televisions with new technology

Sony WEGA
Developed a large flat panel for CRT televisions

As the world entered the large-screen TV boom, AGC developed TLIPRED, the world's first large flat panel for CRT televisions. It was used in Sony’s WEGA line of TVs, contributing to wonderful entertainment experiences for consumers.

2000

From proteins to environmental protection

(From the top left) "Lukina" cable, "new electric double layer capacitor," stationary DPF "Eco-Safe"
(From the bottom left) "Ceramic filter for removing black smoke for stationary diesel engines," evaluation of bismuth-based erbium-doped optical fiber amplification characteristics, "Aspex" (yeast)
New business for the 21st century

AGC supplied material solutions in promising new fields such as optoelectronics, life science, environment and energy. AGC continued to supporting changing daily lives.

Chapter 5

2008-2017

Contributing to diversified lifestyles

AGC developed new products such as glass for digital devices for ever-changing lifestyles. In 2015, AGC established its management policy AGC plus, committed to providing additional value for various stakeholders. Since 2016, AGC has been pursuing its long-term strategy “Vision 2025” by reinforcing and expanding its core businesses and strategic businesses.

2011

Helping you protect your smartphone and devices from scratches and shocks

Strength test (3-point bending test: glass plate with a thickness of 1.1 mm)
Released Dragontrail a specialty glass for chemical strengthening

AGC began sale of Dragontrail — thin, strong and light-weight specialty glass for chemical strengthening for electronic devices. AGC supports modern lifestyles through the cover glass of mobile devices and smartphones.

Dragontrail

Protecting drivers from UV rays

Release of UV Verre Premium Cool on

Launched the world’s first 99% UV-blocking tempered glass for automobile doors. It protects the skin of drivers and passengers, ideal for those concerned about getting sunburn while driving.

99% UV cut glass 99% UV cut glass

2013-2015

Making everything around you a display screen

Used in Shin-Marunouchi Building in Tokyo. A 55-inch liquid crystal display is affixed for the distribution of advertisement videos. Won the 2015 Digital Signage Award for "Technology/hardware division."
Release of infoverre and Glascene glass signage

AGC developed infoverre, a space-saving display attached directly on the glass, and Glascene, a transparent glass screen. In various locations, glass plays a new role as an interface for transmitting information.

New business development

2017

Comfort in using touch panels

SURECOロゴ
SURECO
Global release of high-performance fluorinated coating SURECO

SURECO is a high-abrasion resistant & anti-fingerprint coating which makes it easy to wipe off fingerprints. Coating SURECO on cover glass for a touch panel, lens or mirror (including plastic and metal) prevents stains and will make people’s lives easier.

Chemicals Business Website

FOR THE FUTURE

FOR
THE FUTURE

AGC has created value by responding to the changing periods and peoples’ needs. Even now at this moment, AGC, with an indomitable spirit, is generating new benefits for the future.

Vision 2025