THE VETROTECH HISTORY - OUR JOURNEY WITH YOU

  • Giesbrecht History 1884 - Junkergasse, Bern
    1884
    FOUNDING OF GIESBRECHT GLAS: THE ROOTS OF VETROTECH GO BACK TO THE 19TH CENTURY
    In the year 1884, the skilled glass painter Norbert Giesbrecht began his family business called Giesbrecht Glas situated on the elegant Junkerngasse in Bern, Switzerland. Over the generations to come, glass work would become an industrial discipline and grow increasingly popular in modern architecture. Over the decades, Giesbrecht AG – which was still a family-owned company – grew to become a large player in the Swiss glass industry. It saw new specialization opportunities in technological progress and earned a reputation as a pioneer and innovator.
  • Temperit History 1962
    1962
    TEMPERIT AG: PIONEERS IN THE FIELD OF TEMPERED GLASS
    Following the innovations of the first half of the 20th century, tempered glass processing became more industrialized. This sparked its wide usage as safety glass in architecture and other applications. The subsidiary TEMPERIT AG, founded in Hinwil, Switzerland, was among the first European processors to adopt horizontal tempering to improve quality. At a time when the behavior of tempered glass was still little understood, Temperit AG were pioneers in developing the "heat soak testing" process, thus making it safer and more reliable.
  • Vetrotech Pyroswiss History 2015
    1980
    VETROTECH IS BORN - AND SO IS ITS SPECIALIST MISSION
    The founders of Vetrotech, decedents of the Giesbrecht family, believed in a safer – and more attractive – alternative to wired glass in protection. Vetrotech was grounded in Walchwil, Switzerland, to develop the world’s first fully-tempered “clear fire-resistant safety glass”, called PYROSWISS. This new glass for the first time combined fire-resistance with impact safety characteristics paving the way for new era in glazed fire protection.
  • Vetrotech Saint-Gobain History - Contraflam Development
    1980
    Contraflam: Saint-Gobain enters the fire-resistant glass market
    In parallel, VEGLA, the German glass division of Saint-Gobain, invented a completely new “hydro-gel” technology for fire-resistant glass with heat insulation properties – the first-generation CONTRAFLAM was born. CONTRAFLAM was the original EI class product to feature tempered glass and UV-stable interlayer technology. Even today, although sometimes imitated, never equaled.
  • Vetrotech Expansion 1990s
    THE 1980 - 90'S
    Vetrotech crosses borders: The expansion begins
    Sparked by major fire incidents, this period was marked by great evolution in fire safety legislation in many European countries. The risk of injuries due to accidental human impact to wired glass raised awareness which also impacted building legislation. Vetrotech accelerated its efforts in the national certification process of PYROSWISS opening affiliates in Germany and France and establishing sales representation throughout Europe and America, successfully meeting demand for a new generation of clear, fire-resistant safety glass.
  • History 1995 - Saint-Gobain acquisition
    1995
    Saint-Gobain acquires Vetrotech: Becoming part of something bigger
    Having become aware of the unique know-how and specialization that Vetrotech had gained over the years, Saint-Gobain acquired the Giesbrecht AG group, including Vetrotech, the innovative SWISSPACER warm-edge spacers technology, as well as other affiliates. Subsequently, Saint-Gobain consolidated its fire protection glazing activity into the newly formed Vetrotech Saint-Gobain International AG and further expanded its international footprint, yet always remaining true to its mission to act as dedicated fire resisting glass specialists.
  • Vetrotech in Asia 2008
    1999
    Vetrotech enters trade in Asia
    By the mid-90’s, building upon a growing Saint-Gobain presence in Asia, Vetrotech had begun to expand its global reach with the initiation of trading and processing collaborations supported by its Group structure in Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and eventually Taiwan – in both building and marine segments. Specialized PYROSWISS based technology products are produced in Japan and South Korea.
  • Vetrotech Saint-Gobain History - North America Offices Seattle
    2000
    Vetrotech in North America: A new world opened up
    Tracing back to the early 1980’s, many VEGLA and Vetrotech products could already be found in the North American market, sold over distributors. In 2000, Vetrotech decided to directly enter the market and opened its doors with a sales office and production site in Auburn, Washington. Introducing an adapted product range to serve the market including PYROSWISS, CONTRAFLAM and a new product: Keralite – produced by a joint-venture of Saint-Gobain and Corning Glass.
  • Vetrotech Saint-Gobain History - Relocation to Bern
    2000
    HQ moves to Bern: The new era of Contraflam
    After taking over the helm of Vetrotech Saint-Gobain in 1999, Alfred Giesbrecht relocated its head office to the Swiss capital of Bern, the historic home of Giesbrecht Glas. By now, a new generation of CONTRAFLAM based on silica technology was in development. Soon the first of several high-volume production lines would be installed at a converted DGU processing site. These new processes led to significant improvements in capacity, greater lead-time reliability and service as well as environmentally friendly production.
  • Vetrotech History - Fire-Breathing
    2006
    Vetrotech becomes Europe’s #1: The specialist strategy paid off
    After a quarter decade of large investments, hard work and persistent geographic expansion and additional European production sites in Switzerland, Poland, the UK and France, Vetrotech had positioned itself as market leader in Europe for clear, fire-resistant safety glass. Now benefiting as a part of the Saint-Gobain group and always keeping the core Swiss values at heart, its unique specialist business model made Vetrotech Europe’s #1.
  • Chennai Inauguration 2015
    2008
    Vetrotech in IMEA: Now present in almost every time zone
    Vetrotech first established a footprint in India in 2008. This led to the investment in state-of-the-art production facilities in Chennai in 2012 to develop the fast growing markets in India, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific zone. CONTRAFLAM and PYROSWISS produced in India are produced to “European quality” demonstrated by the fact that this site is uniquely audited to supply products carrying 4 different certification marks EN, UL, Certifire and KICT.
  • Vetrotech Saint-Gobain History - Kinon joins Vetrotech
    2013
    Fire + Security – Kinon becomes part of Vetrotech
    Since its foundation in 1871, and the acquisition by Saint-Gobain in 1952, Kinon Sicherheitsglas GmbH in Aachen, Germany, grew into one of the leading experts for safety and high-security glass. It was here that CONTRAFLAM was first developed back in 1980. Now joining forces with Kinon a new dimension was added to Vetrotech’s comprehensive range of life-safety glass solutions.
  • Vetrotech Saint-Gobain History 2013 - Relocation Romont
    2013-2014
    Growth led to relocation
    The growth of Vetrotech over the past decades, together with the expansion of its product range, lead to the much needed relocation of its headquarters to nearby Flamatt, and move and expansion its Swiss production site to Romont. In the course of this move, and for the 7th time in its history, Vetrotech expanded and relocated its own accredited fire testing laboratory (IFTS) to Herzogenrath, Germany on the compound of the Saint-Gobain R&D Center.
  • Vetrotech Saint-Gobain History 2015 - Entering Middle East
    2015
    1001 nights – New offices in the Middle East and Asia
    In a move to be closer to our customers in important future markets, Vetrotech establishes a sales office in Dubai, with satellite offices in Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Taiwan and Singapore. We consider it our social responsibility to play an active advocacy role in all markets we enter to ensures that we can follow our mission and contribute to safer built environments. Our technical support and specialized specification support set us apart from the rest.
  • Vetrotech Management team 2019 (Achim)
    2015
    New leadership: The Vetrotech founder steps back
    Alfred Giesbrecht, founder and CEO of Vetrotech, initiated a change in leadership to ensure its future, while continuing as President of the company. Guillaume Le Gavrian, an experienced Saint-Gobain executive with more than 20 years of glass industry experience, took over the role of CEO, starting a new era of management at Vetrotech. The future is now.
  • Saint-Gobain 350 years history
    2015
    Saint-Gobain celebrated 350 years - along Vetrotech's 35 years!
    Saint-Gobain’s 350 years of history have been an ongoing film of change and adaptation, demonstrating that industry is movement. Celebrating the history of the men and women who together have built one of the oldest manufacturing companies in the world. Yet despite its long history, Saint-Gobain was ranked among the top 100 global innovators in 2016 for the sixth consecutive year by Clarivate Analytics.
  • Saint-Gobain Rebranding in 2016
    2016
    Vetrotech joined Saint-Gobain's rebranding
    Saint-Gobain has always known how to renew itself while remaining true to its values. The new logo is full of motion: a skyline unfolds in an explosion of color, reflecting a Saint-Gobain that, after more than three centuries of existence, is more dynamic than ever. Similarly, Vetrotech remaining true to its fire specialist role, in a changing context of life-safety threats, expands its scope to encompass glazed high-performance security solutions.
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Vetrotech Management team 2019 (Achim)
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