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Interesting Facts About Glass

How much glass is produced?

We made studies on how much glass and what kind of glass were produced by Japanese glass manufacturers in order to think of trends of glass industrial products. It is difficult to compare the production of different glass products. This is because the glass production is expressed by different units such as number of sheets, number of strips, number of pieces, weight, etc. according to product types. To be more specific, even for sheet glass which looks same, the price per sheet varies, for example, by thickness, and the price per unit weight varies as well. Therefore, in this paper, let's think how much glass is produced on the basis of the shipment value.
Table 1 shows the data on a brochure published by Glass Industry Conference of Japan, which is an assembly of six organizations, namely, Flat Glass Manufacturers Association of Japan, Glassfiber Association of Japan, Electric Glass Industry Association of Japan, Glass Manufacturers' Association of Japan, Japan Glass Bottle Association, and New Glass Forum.
When calculating a sum of four fields stipulated in the table, we have 1,650 billion yen, suggesting that the Japanese glass industry is an industry of about 1,700 billion yen.
The total of general-purpose glass, such as architecture field, both ship and vehicle fields, daily commodities field, etc. is 800 billion yen. As against this, the shipment value of new glass stipulated in the information and telecommunication field is 850 billion yen. The ratio of shipment value of general-purpose glass to new glass is nearly 50 to 50. This indicates that new glass is growing as important products. The reason why this trend is observed is because glass is used for optical fibers, LCD of mobile phones, display panels of LCD TVs and plasma TVs, personal computer monitors, hard disks, etc. Conversely, it seems difficult to expect that the production of conventional general-purpose glass would grow remarkably in the future.

Table 1 Detail of shipment value of glass for one year (2005)

1. Architecture field: 360 billion yen
(Breakdown) Windowpanes 60 billion yen
Glass wool180 billion yen
Glass fiberproducts 120 billion yen

2. Ship and vehicle field: 170 billion yen
(Breakdown) Automotive glass170 billion yen

3. Daily commodities: 270 billion yen
(Breakdown) Bottles170 billion yen
Tableware, lighting, etc.100 billion yen

4. Information and telecommunication field: 850 billion yen
(Breakdown) Braun tubes for TV150 billion yen
Display and glass substrates200 billion yen
Glass hard disks100 billion yen
Optical fiber lenses200 billion yen
Quartz glass photomasks (for semiconductor manufacturing)
200 billion yen

Quoted from "Glass Encyclopedia" published by Asakura Publishing Co., Ltd.