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CoorsTek, Inc. is a privately owned manufacturer of technical ceramics for aerospace, automotive, chemical, electronics, medical, metallurgical, oil and gas, semiconductor and many other industries. CoorsTek headquarters and primary factories are located in Golden, Colorado, USA, near the foothills west of Denver. The company is wholly owned by Keystone Holdings LLC, a trust of the Coors family. John K. Coors,[2] a great-grandson of founder and brewing magnate Adolph Coors, Sr., and the fifth and youngest son of longtime chairman and president Joseph Coors, retired as president and chairman in January 2020 after 22 years at the helm.

History

Adolph Coors and John Herold

Prussian-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.[3], [4] The Glass Works was leased to Austrian-born John J. Herold (1871-1923) in 1910, who incorporated the Herold China and Pottery Company on the site at 600 Ninth St in Golden.[5] Herold used clay from nearby mines to make dinnerware and heat-resistant porcelain ovenware under the trademark Herold Fireproof China, with financial support from Coors.[6] 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.[7] Adolph Coors became the majority stockholder and was elected to the board of directors of Herold China in 1912. John Herold resigned in 1912 due to tuberculosis and other health concerns, and Adolph Coors Company acquired Herold China in 1914. Herold returned later in 1914 to manage the plant, but left permanently in 1915 for the Guernsey Earthenware Co. in Cambridge, OH.[6] Adolph Coors II (1884-1970) was the first vice-president (VP) and general manager (GM).[4]:39 CSM evaluated Fireproof China for industrial applications in 1914, and found it suitable.[3] The company began producing chemical porcelain in 1915 as a result of a World War I embargo on German imports. Adolph Coors’ third son, Herman F. Coors (1890-1967), was named manager in 1916. Employment increased from 37 employees in 1915 to 75 in 1917.[4]:39 Herold China was renamed Coors Porcelain Company in 1920, and the trademark "Coors U.S.A." was first used.[8] The Rocky Mountain Bottle Company, maker of Coors beer bottles in nearby Wheat Ridge and a joint venture with Owens-Brockway Glass Container Inc., came long after Coors, Binder & Co., and has never been affiliated with Coors Porcelain.[9]

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.[3] During Prohibition, the ceramic business was largely what kept

Prussian-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.[3], [4] The Glass Works was leased to Austrian-born John J. Herold (1871-1923) in 1910, who incorporated the Herold China and Pottery Company on the site at 600 Ninth St in Golden.[5] Herold used clay from nearby mines to make dinnerware and heat-resistant porcelain ovenware under the trademark Herold Fireproof China, with financial support from Coors.[6] 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.[7] Adolph Coors became the majority stockholder and was elected to the board of directors of Herold China in 1912. John Herold resigned in 1912 due to tuberculosis and other health concerns, and Adolph Coors Company acquired Herold China in 1914. Herold returned later in 1914 to manage the plant, but left permanently in 1915 for the Guernsey Earthenware Co. in Cambridge, OH.[6] Adolph Coors II (1884-1970) was the first vice-president (VP) and general manager (GM).[4]:39 CSM evaluated Fireproof China for industrial applications in 1914, and found it suitable.[3] The company began producing chemical porcelain in 1915 as a result of a World War I embargo on German imports. Adolph Coors’ third son, Herman F. Coors (1890-1967), was named manager in 1916. Employment increased from 37 employees in 1915 to 75 in 1917.[4]:39 Herold China was renamed Coors Porcelain Company in 1920, and the trademark "Coors U.S.A." was first used.[8] The Rocky Mountain Bottle Company, maker of Coors beer bottles in nearby Wheat Ridge and a joint venture with Owens-Brockway Glass Container Inc., came long after Coors, Binder & Co., and has never been affiliated with Coors Porcelain.[9]

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.[3] 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 older brother, Grover C. Coors (1888-1954), began the fledgling company's foray into ceramic technology by inventing a tool for forming spark plug insulation in 1919.[10] Chemist Harold W. Ryland (1881-1966) was hired in 1923, and worked his way up to GM and VP of Porcelain and mayor of Golden 1939-45 before his 1957 retirement.[11] Germany became competitive once again in 1926, and put downward pressure on Coors' chemical porcelain business.[4]:46 Adolph I's death in 1929 put Adolph II solely in charge of the idled A. Coors Co. brewery and Porcelain both, until his sons Adolph III, Bill and Joe joined in the 1940s.

Herman Coors offered to buy Porcelain in the early 1920s after frequent management disagreements with his father and older brother, but was refused.[4]:45 Herman left in 1922[12] to develop clays mined by the Alberhill Coal and Clay Company for use in china that could compete with imports. He started the H.F. Coors China Company, a manufacturer of dishes for restaurants and institutional use, in Inglewood, CA, in 1925. Grover also had friction with Adolph Jr., left for California in 1924, and eventually became a representative for the brewery there.[4]:46 The H.F. Coors pottery's trademarks include Coorsite, Alox flatware and Chefsware.[3] Herman retired from Coors China in 1946, and was succeeded by his son Robert M. Coors (1920-2004). Robert's younger brother Dallas M. Coors was the VP. Robert retired in 1978, and sold the 125-employee company to Standex International Corporation.[13], [14] Standex was preparing to shut down Coors China and sell its property for redevelopment circa 2003. Mug-maker Catalina China Inc. of Tucson, AZ, acquired the assets of Coors China from Standex, and moved the company to Tucson in 100 truckloads over a two-month span in 2003. The assets included a 200-ft-long gas-fired tunnel kiln purchased in 1988 that was transported in 19 sections.[15] Coors China is not now nor has it ever been a subsidiary of CoorsTek or Adolph Coors Company, although it was a competitor of Porcelain in its early days.

Figure 1: CoorsTek ceramic products. All are glazed porcelain except C. A Fisher filtration funnel; B Buchner funnel; C 99.8% alumina crucible; D Desiccat

After World War I, Coors Porcelain made fine china and cookware bearing the trademarks Rosebud, Glencoe Thermo-Porcelain, Coorado, Mello-Tone and others.[3] 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 older brother, Grover C. Coors (1888-1954), began the fledgling company's foray into ceramic technology by inventing a tool for forming spark plug insulation in 1919.[10] Chemist Harold W. Ryland (1881-1966) was hired in 1923, and worked his way up to GM and VP of Porcelain and mayor of Golden 1939-45 before his 1957 retirement.[11] Germany became competitive once again in 1926, and put downward pressure on Coors' chemical porcelain business.[4]:46 Adolph I's death in 1929 put Adolph II solely in charge of the idled A. Coors Co. brewery and Porcelain both, until his sons Adolph III, Bill and Joe joined in the 1940s.

Herman Coors offered to buy Porcelain in the early 1920s after frequent management disagreements with his father and older brother, but was refused.[4]:45 Herman left in 1922Herman Coors offered to buy Porcelain in the early 1920s after frequent management disagreements with his father and older brother, but was refused.[4]:45 Herman left in 1922[12] to develop clays mined by the Alberhill Coal and Clay Company for use in china that could compete with imports. He started the H.F. Coors China Company, a manufacturer of dishes for restaurants and institutional use, in Inglewood, CA, in 1925. Grover also had friction with Adolph Jr., left for California in 1924, and eventually became a representative for the brewery there.[4]:46 The H.F. Coors pottery's trademarks include Coorsite, Alox flatware and Chefsware.[3] Herman retired from Coors China in 1946, and was succeeded by his son Robert M. Coors (1920-2004). Robert's younger brother Dallas M. Coors was the VP. Robert retired in 1978, and sold the 125-employee company to Standex International Corporation.[13], [14] Standex was preparing to shut down Coors China and sell its property for redevelopment circa 2003. Mug-maker Catalina China Inc. of Tucson, AZ, acquired the assets of Coors China from Standex, and moved the company to Tucson in 100 truckloads over a two-month span in 2003. The assets included a 200-ft-long gas-fired tunnel kiln purchased in 1988 that was transported in 19 sections.[15] Coors China is not now nor has it ever been a subsidiary of CoorsTek or Adolph Coors Company, although it was a competitor of Porcelain in its early days.

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 (1916-2018), the second son of Adolph II[16] and the vice-president of Porcelain. 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.[17] The first aluminum beer can was produced at the site on January 22, 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 (1924-1992), a ceramic engineer at Coors Porcelain since 1954,[18] was appointed manager of can production in 1963, and led it to profitability.[19] The can operation eventually outgrew the Porcelain building and moved into its present location east of the brewery in 1966.[19] The can, end and bottle factories were jointly managed by Joe Coors as Coors Container Company from 1971 to 1981.[19] Coors Brewing Company reorganized its 340-employee can, end and tab operations into a joint venture with the Ball Corporation in 2002, known as Rocky Mountain Metal Container LLC.[9], [20] Coors Ceramics began developing hot-pressed SiC-whisker-reinforced Al2O3 ceramic tooling for beverage can machinery in the 1990s.[21]

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.[22] 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. Bob Mornin was promoted to production superintendent in 1958.[23] The factory was enlarged by 40,000 ft2On 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.[22] 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.

The company gradually diversified its lines of technical ceramics before and especially after World War II. Bob Mornin was promoted to production superintendent in 1958.[23] The factory was enlarged by 40,000 ft2 in 1960.[24] Coors greatly expanded its product lines, reduced scrap and accelerated production with the aid of cold isostatic pressing in the 1940s; metallizing, tape casting and hot isostatic pressing in the 1950s; and multilayer ceramic capacitors in the 1960s. A four-story high, 32-ft diameter spray dryer with 5000 lb/hr capacity was installed in 1962.[25] Lawrence Radiation Laboratory awarded Coors a 2-year contract in 1963 to produce enriched urania-beryllia fuel elements for the Tory II-C nuclear ramjet engine, which increased employment by 230 to a then-record 1100 total.[26] High-alumina (85 to 99.9% Al2O3) ceramics replaced porcelain (mixed-oxide ceramics, e.g., mullite) in many thermomechanical, electrical and chemical applications. Coors engineers Vlad Wolkodoff[27] and Bob Weaver invented fully dense, glass-free 99.5+% Al2O3 ceramics in 1964, useful for many applications where porcelain is deficient.[28], [29] Growth in the 1970s enabled Coors to build the 150,000 ft2 electronic ceramics Clear Creek Valley Plant east of Golden in 1970,[30] and its first facility outside of Golden, an electronic substrate plant in Grand Junction, CO, in 1975.[31] Coors made its first purchase of a competitor when it bought Wilbanks Inc. of Hillsboro, OR, in 1973.[32] Two more competitors—Research Instrument Co. of Norman, OK, and Alumina Ceramics Inc. of Benton, AR—were acquired in 1975 and ‘76, resp.[33] Coors opened its first foreign factory in Glenrothes, Scotland, in 1981.[34] Two more foreign subsidiaries were acquired in the early 1980s, an electronic ceramics plant in Singapore and a paper-tooling plant in Brazil.[4]:100 Coors began making silicon carbide, silicon nitride, spinel, zirconia and several other ceramic products by the mid-1980s.

Cornell University and stints at DuPont and National Dairy Products Corp.[36] 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 in 1952. Joe was named a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society (ACerS) in 1967,[37] and an Honorary Member of ACerS in 1985.[38]

Coors Porcelain becomes Coors Ceramics

Coors Porcelain was renamed Coors Ceramics Company in 1986, shortly after Joseph Coors, Jr. (1942-2016),[39], [40] succeeded R. Derald Whiting (1923-1995) as president.[41] 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.[42] Joe Jr. promptly reorganized the company into two divisions, Electronic and Structural.

Coors Porcelain was renamed Coors Ceramics Company in 1986, shortly after Joseph Coors, Jr. (1942-2016),[39], [40] succeeded R. Derald Whiting (1923-1995) as president.[41] 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.[42] Joe Jr. promptly reorganized the company into two divisions, Electronic and Structural.

Chaired professor and ceramic research at CSM

In 2000, ACX was dissolved and Coors Ceramics became an independent, publicly traded company under the name CoorsTek, Inc.[60], [61] Annual revenue was $334M and an operating loss of $32M was reported for 1999.[62] CoorsTek was traded on the NASDAQ under the symbol CRTK. Joe Jr. retired as chairman of CoorsTek in 2000, and was succeeded by his younger brother John (b. 1956).[63] John had been president since Oct 1998.[64] Revenue jumped to $540M in 2000, with record operating income of $58.0M.[65] Worldwide employment declined in 2001 from 4200 at the beginning of the year to 2400 in mid-2002, due largely to a semiconductor industry slump.[66] Keystone Holdings LLC, a trust of the Coors family that owned 27% of CoorsTek stock, bought the remaining 73% it did not already own, and took the company private once again in 2003.[67]

John Coors had been the president of Golden Genesis Corp. (GGC), a manufacturer of photovoltaic devices for solar power collection in Scottsdale, AZ. ACX owned 55% of GGC stock (Nasdaq: GGGO), which it sold to Scottsdale, AZ. ACX owned 55% of GGC stock (Nasdaq: GGGO), which it sold to Kyocera Solar Inc. in 1999 for $30M.[68]

CoorsTek signed an agreement in June 2010 to buy certain assets of the Advanced Ceramics division of the French conglomerate Saint-Gobain.[69], [70] 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.[71] 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

Ceramatec was founded in Salt Lake City in 1976 by University of Utah Professors Ronald S. Gordon, Al Sossin and Anil V. Virkar, to develop liquid-core, sodium-sulfur batteries for automotive applications.[119] Gordon was the first president. The battery uses a beta-alumina solid electrolyte (BASE) ceramic membrane to separate the sulfur anode and sodium cathode. Donald L. Heath, a former Coors Porcelain employee, became president in 1985 and moved the company to a larger building.[120] David W. Richerson, author of Modern Ceramic Engineering (2nd Ed., Marcel Dekker Inc., 1992), was hired in 1985 and became the VP for applied technology until he left in 1992.[121] Ceramatec was bought by Elkem Metals Co., from a 10% stake in 1982 to full ownership in 1989.[122] Petter Oygarden of Elkem became the president in 1989 and guided the company to profitability by 1992, when Ceramatec had 120 employees and $12M in revenue.[123] Ashok V. Joshi, an expert in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) and the VP, bought the company from Elkem in 1999 and became president in 2000. Joshi won the Utah Governor's Medal for Science and Technology in 2003, and the IRI Achievement Award in 2010. CoorsTek acquired the 165-employee operation in 2008 to be one of its R&D centers, with Joshi continuing as interim president and D.M. "Doug" Coors (son of Joe Jr.) as manager of R&D and later president. CoorsTek launched a joint venture with Innovate! Technology in Ladera Ranch, CA, in 2009, EmiSense Technologies LLC, to commercialize emissions sensors developed by Ceramatec.[124] A new subsidiary, CoorsTek Membrane Sciences, was launched in 2015 to commercialize BASE, SOFC and other ion-separating technologies developed by Ceramatec, under the direction of Per Christian Vestre.[125]

Coors Biomedical Company

Coors Biomedical Co., a 35-employee Porcelain subsidiary founded in 1980 in nearby Lakewood, CO, under the direction of Jim Stephan, developed a low-shrinkage, high-alumina porcelain[126] for dental restorations in the early 1980s, that could be fitted and fabricated in the dentist's office.[127] The product, sold under the name Cerestore, raised some concerns among dentists for its wear on opposing teeth and its accuracy of fit.[128], [129] Coors Biomedical was also developing synthetic bone-grafting technologies. The technology became the property of Johnson & Johnson after Coors Biomedical closed in the late 1980s.

Coors Ceramics U.K., Ltd.

Coors Porcelain opened its first foreign subsidiary, Coors Ceramics U.K. Ltd. (CCUK), in the Southfield Industrial Estate in Glenrothes, Fife, Scotland, in 1981. A key function of the site was to act as the sales and marketing facility for the European market. CCUK grew when Porcelain acquired Royal Worcester Industrial Ceramics Ltd. in Wales in 1984.[130] Former CoorsTek President Derek C. Johnson began his Coors career as an electrical engineer at CCUK in 1984. CCUK was reorganized in 1988 as Coors Ceramics Electronics Ltd. (CCEL), with product lines mostly similar to those of the Coors plant in Grand Junction, namely roll-compacted, laser-drilled, thick-film 96% alumina substrates for hybrid circuits.[131] CCEL added 99.6% alumina thin-film substrates in 1991. CCEL, with 51 employees managed by Ken Henderson, received the prestigious Queen's Award for Export Achievement in 1992, for its record exports of lasered ceramic substrates.[132] CCEL acquired neighboring property in late 1992 and tripled its manufacturing operations to 30,000 sq ft (2,800 m2).

VZS/Seagoe Advanced Ceramics Ltd. made ceramics products in Glenrothes, including stand-off insulators, switch gears, circuit breakers, ball valves, pump shafts and bearings, trays and boiler ferrules. Its products were used in semiconductor, defense, chemical, laser, electrical, textile, and paper applications. Seagoe began as George Wade & Sons Ltd. in Portadown, County Armagh, Northern Ireland. In December 1994, W. Laurie Hoskisson led the management buyout of VZS Technical Ceramics Ltd. from the Cookson Group and was appointed Managing Director. Hoskisson helped negotiate the merger of VZS Technical Ceramics of Glenrothes with Seagoe Advanced Ceramics of Craigavon, Northern Ireland, in January 1998. The Irish factory closed in 2002.[133] CCEL acquired its 4000-m2 neighbor and competitor, managed by Hoskisson, from Beauford plc in 2006. Hoskisson worked for CCUK beginning in 1981 as Production Manager, before he was hired by VZS. In 2017, the 70-employee operation, managed by Mark Cameron, signed a contract to manufacture ceramic components for Teledyne e2v's radiotherapy machines.[134] The Glenrothes operations are slated to close in 2021.[135]

Coors Technical Ceramics Company

Coors built a $1–2M, 2800–3700 m2 factory in Oak Ridge, TN, in early 1990, known as Coors Technical Ceramics Company (CTCC). The 40-employee Oak Ridge plant was considered an extension of Coors' Oklahoma subsidiary, R.I. Ceramic Co., with William A. "Woodie" Howe (1942-2006) managing both operations and reporting to John Jenkins, VP and GM of Coors Ceramics Structural Division. Some unspecified Y-12 product lines from Cercom in Vista, CA, were moved to Oak Ridge, along with key employees from Norman. The Tennessee location was chosen to take advantage of the technology transfer programs at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s High Temperature Materials Lab.[83] Howe, a Coors employee from 1962 to 1999, was promoted to VP of the Structural Products Group in 1996, which included CTCC operations in Tennessee, Oklahoma, California and Texas, and ACI in Arkansas.[136] Later in 1996, CTCC acquired HB Company Inc., a manufacturer of petrochemical pump components, giving CTCC additional facilities in Oklahoma City, Odessa, TX, and Red Deer, AB, Canada.[137]

CoorsTek Medical LLC

A growing demand for ceramic implantable medical devices led J.B. "Brad" Coors (son of Joe Jr.) to open C5 Medical Werks Inc. in western Colorado in 2005 next to CoorsTek's Grand Junction factory that opened in 1975. CoorsTek acquired Fort Worth-based Innovative Medical Device Solutions in 2013, and merged the two to create 400-employee CoorsTek Medical LLC, under the direction of Jonathan Coors, son of John.[138] CoorsTek Medical had operations in Chandler, AZ, Vandalia, OH, Molalla, OR, Logan, UT and Providence, UT, in addition to Texas and Colorado. Products included artificial joints, components for medical machines and implantable screws, rods and plates. The 88,000-ft2 former IMDS Vandalia site in suburban Dayton was the largest CoorsTek Medical location with 200 employees.[139] The 12-employee, 9000-ft2 Chandler site in suburban Phoenix, begun by IMDS in 2006, was primarily a prototype design and construction operation.[59] The former C5MW site produced components for hip and knee joints, disc replacements in spine surgery, seeds for brachytherapy, cochlear implants, neuro-stimulators, neuro-sensors and crowns, bridges, abutments and implants for dental applications.[140] The Colorado plant added ceramic injection molding capabilities in 2008.[141] CoorsTek Medical was sold to UnitedCoatings Group of Italy in July 2019, and renamed Lincotek Medical S.p.A.[142]

R.I. Ceramic Company

Francis "Frank" Maginnis (1925-2018) left the University of Oklahoma Physics Dept. machine shop to start Research Instrument Company in Norman, OK, in 1958 to produce components for oil-field pumps.[143], [144] In 1966, Maginnis developed a way of making alumina pump plungers for the oil and gas industries, replacing steel and other metals that corroded too easily. Sales grew over the next eight years at a rate of 70-80% per year. The company was acquired by Coors Porcelain in 1975, primarily for the product line of ceramic plungers used in reciprocating pumps in secondary oil recovery processes, and ceramic ball valves. Coors renamed the company R.I. Ceramic Company in 1978. The acquisition gave Coors product lines that would have cost ~ten times as much to develop, and an inventory of products to address buyers' immediate needs. Before the acquisition, the delivery time in Golden for ceramic pump components was months, whereas with R.I. it was closer to a week. Woodie Howe was promoted from the metallizing department supervisor in Golden to president of R.I. in 1980. R.I. had about 40 employees in the mid-1980s. Former CoorsTek chief operating officer J. Mark Chenoweth began his Coors career as a machinist at R.I. in 1986.[145] The 1996 acquisition of HB Company's newer operation in Oklahoma City led to closure of the plant in Norman and its relocation to the state capital.

Wilbanks International, Inc.

William H. Wilbanks (1927-2006), Tom Stuart an

Ceramatec was founded in Salt Lake City in 1976 by University of Utah Professors Ronald S. Gordon, Al Sossin and Anil V. Virkar, to develop liquid-core, sodium-sulfur batteries for automotive applications.[119] Gordon was the first president. The battery uses a beta-alumina solid electrolyte (BASE) ceramic membrane to separate the sulfur anode and sodium cathode. Donald L. Heath, a former Coors Porcelain employee, became president in 1985 and moved the company to a larger building.[120] David W. Richerson, author of Modern Ceramic Engineering (2nd Ed., Marcel Dekker Inc., 1992), was hired in 1985 and became the VP for applied technology until he left in 1992.[121] Ceramatec was bought by Elkem Metals Co., from a 10% stake in 1982 to full ownership in 1989.[122] Petter Oygarden of Elkem became the president in 1989 and guided the company to profitability by 1992, when Ceramatec had 120 employees and $12M in revenue.[123] Ashok V. Joshi, an expert in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) and the VP, bought the company from Elkem in 1999 and became president in 2000. Joshi won the Utah Governor's Medal for Science and Technology in 2003, and the IRI Achievement Award in 2010. CoorsTek acquired the 165-employee operation in 2008 to be one of its R&D centers, with Joshi continuing as interim president and D.M. "Doug" Coors (son of Joe Jr.) as manager of R&D and later president. CoorsTek launched a joint venture with Innovate! Technology in Ladera Ranch, CA, in 2009, EmiSense Technologies LLC, to commercialize emissions sensors developed by Ceramatec.[124] A new subsidiary, CoorsTek Membrane Sciences, was launched in 2015 to commercialize BASE, SOFC and other ion-separating technologies developed by Ceramatec, under the direction of Per Christian Vestre.[125]

Coors Biomedical Company

Coors

Coors Biomedical Co., a 35-employee Porcelain subsidiary founded in 1980 in nearby Lakewood, CO, under the direction of Jim Stephan, developed a low-shrinkage, high-alumina porcelain[126] for dental restorations in the early 1980s, that could be fitted and fabricated in the dentist's office.[127] The product, sold under the name Cerestore, raised some concerns among dentists for its wear on opposing teeth and its accuracy of fit.[128], [129] Coors Biomedical was also developing synthetic bone-grafting technologies. The technology became the property of Johnson & Johnson after Coors Biomedical closed in the late 1980s.

Coors Ceramics U.K., Ltd.

A growing demand for ceramic impl

A growing demand for ceramic implantable medical devices led J.B. "Brad" Coors (son of Joe Jr.) to open C5 Medical Werks Inc. in western Colorado in 2005 next to CoorsTek's Grand Junction factory that opened in 1975. CoorsTek acquired Fort Worth-based Innovative Medical Device Solutions in 2013, and merged the two to create 400-employee CoorsTek Medical LLC, under the direction of Jonathan Coors, son of John.[138] CoorsTek Medical had operations in Chandler, AZ, Vandalia, OH, Molalla, OR, Logan, UT and Providence, UT, in addition to Texas and Colorado. Products included artificial joints, components for medical machines and implantable screws, rods and plates. The 88,000-ft2 former IMDS Vandalia site in suburban Dayton was the largest CoorsTek Medical location with 200 employees.[139] The 12-employee, 9000-ft2 Chandler site in suburban Phoenix, begun by IMDS in 2006, was primarily a prototype design and construction operation.[59] The former C5MW site produced components for hip and knee joints, disc replacements in spine surgery, seeds for brachytherapy, cochlear implants, neuro-stimulators, neuro-sensors and crowns, bridges, abutments and implants for dental applications.[140] The Colorado plant added ceramic injection molding capabilities in 2008.[141] CoorsTek Medical was sold to UnitedCoatings Group of Italy in July 2019, and renamed Lincotek Medical S.p.A.[142]

R.I. Ceramic Company

Francis "Frank" Maginnis (1925-2018) left the University of Oklahoma Physics Dept. machine shop to start Research Instrument Company in Norman, OK, in 1958 to produce components for oil-field pumps.[143], [144] In 1966, Maginnis developed a way of making alumina pump plungers for the oil and gas industries, replacing steel and other metals that corroded too easily. Sales grew over the next eight years at a rate of 70-80% per year. The company was acquired by Coors Porcelain in 1975, primarily for the product line of ceramic plungers used in reciprocating pumps in secondary oil recovery processes, and ceramic ball valves. Coors renamed the company R.I. Ceramic Company in 1978. The acquisition gave Coors product lines that would have cost ~ten times as much to develop, and an inventory of products to address buyers' immediate needs. Before the acquisition, the delivery time in Golden for ceramic pump components was months, whereas with R.I. it was closer to a week. Woodie Howe was promoted from the metallizing department supervisor in Golden to president of R.I. in 1980. R.I. had about 40 employees in the mid-1980s. Former CoorsTek chief operating officer J. Mark Chenoweth began his Coors career as a machinist at R.I. in 1986.[145] The 1996 acquisition of HB Company's newer operation in Oklahoma City led to closure of the plant in Norman and its relocation to the state capital.

Wilbanks International, Inc.

  • Adolph Coors I (1915–1929)
  • Adolph Coors II (1929–1946)
  • Joseph Coors, Sr.