Interpane is a medium-sized corporate group and one of the major European glass processors.
Our product range includes float glass and low-iron float glass for photovoltaic and solar thermal applications, high-quality coated insulating glass, sound-proofing glass, solar-control glass, safety glass and all-glass doors and panels.
Today, the Interpane group comprises production facilities at ten locations in Germany, Austria, and France. The headquarters is located in Lauenförde, Germany. In addition, Interpane produces float glass at Seingbouse in France.
Interpane Entwicklungs- und Beratungsgesellschaft in Lauenförde is the group's research and development centre and their services are also available to our partners and customers when it comes to finding solutions for their applications.
These are a few of the mile-stones along the road to our becoming Germany's pace-setter in coating lamination technology.
Interpane's reputation in the German and European glass, window, and façade construction industry is legendary. Nowadays, the Interpane group, with factories at eleven locations in Germany, Austria, and France, is so well established that it is difficult to imagine the window and façade sector without us. This was of course not always the case. The path leading up to the technological summit of this industry was long - but the struggle has been worthwhile.
The company founder, Georg F. Hesselbach, was originally simply reacting to what he himself experienced as a weakness in the market for insulating glass. When he set about building his own private house in Lauenförde in 1969, he was frustrated to find that insulating glass was considered such a precious commodity that it was not readily available whenever and wherever one needed.
Hesselbach decided to satisfy the demand for insulating glass with a more efficient supply system. He planned, with the foundation of an insulating glass works in Lauenförde in 1971, to make this product more readily available for all purchasers at very short notice. Hesselbach also recognized that there would, in the wake of the public's growing awareness regarding the need to save energy, be a further increase in demand for insulating glass due to its environmentally friendly energy-saving properties.
Not long after the original company was founded in Lauenförde, two other early members of the Interpane group came into being, namely those in Wipperfürth (Bergisches Land, Germany) and in Parndorf (Burgenland, Austria).
These two works have been producing Interpane insulating glass since 1973.
With these new production works the then young Interpane concern turned away from the principle of producing insulating glass on a purely centralized basis, which, though generally accepted in those days, all too often led to delivery bottle-necks. It was a declared objective of the Interpane group, by means of compact, decentralized production units, to always stay close to the market and to focus on its customers. This has been a secret of the group's success - right up till today.
The launch of our glass coating technology
In 1979, with the setting up of our own coating system in Lauenförde and our introduction of vacuum-coating technology, …
Interpane moved up a rung in technological terms above being just one more medium-sized competitor producing insulating glass. When it came to glass processing competence, Interpane was right on the heels of the major players in the industry.
From then on Lauenförde was able to supply our partners and purchasers throughout Germany with coated insulating glass.
Around the same time, at group headquarters in Lauenförde, we founded our own development and support company (E&B). The research work at E&B and the on-going search for new trends and innovations have put Interpane at the cutting edge of glass technology. Interpane, with its new developments, time and time again, still today, keeps pushing back the frontiers of what is physically possible.
The success that came with our coated insulating glass made in Lauenförde (in those days under the somewhat old-fashioned brand name INTERTHERM PLUS) and the steadily growing demand in this market at the beginning of the 1980s made a second coating plant necessary, this time in southern Germany. Interpane Plattling was inaugurated in 1980. It was the first German company to coat whole widths (6.00 x 3.21 meters) using the vacuum procedure.
Development of color-neutral thermal insulating glass
When the market for coated insulating glass met with an unexpected collapse in 1982 affecting the whole of the industry, Interpane reacted with its color-neutral silver-coated "iplus neutral", developed by E&B.
This product set new standards worldwide and established Interpane once and for all as the innovator in the glass processing industry.
With the additional sale of "iplus neutral" and other basic glasses as semi-finished products to businesses producing insulating glass, Interpane was able to build up a really reliable sales market - a cooperation that has been expanded to become a fixed network of partners.
Having experienced the unpredictable nature of the glass market, Interpane wished to arm itself against similar risks in the future. In 1986, to safeguard the group's further expansion, the new parent company "INTERPANE GLAS INDUSTRIE AG" was founded - a central holding to which all the group's individual production and service companies were assigned.
New possibilities and opportunities
In 1986, with the takeover of the safety glass works in Hildesheim, the Interpane product spectrum was extended to also include the manufacture of:
- tempered safety glass (ESG),
- heat-strengthened prestressed glass (TVG) and
- laminated safety glass (VSG).
These products are now all marketed under the brand name "ipasafe". With this diversification Interpane opened up the many varied possibilities of using glass in special structures, in interior room fittings, and in on-glass decoration.
German unification in 1990 offered Interpane, like many other enterprises, the unexpected prospect of new markets. In the early 1990s, with the establishment of new works in Belgern (in the German Federal State of Saxony) and Häsen (in Brandenburg), Interpane has made the most of these opportunities.
Glass - the building material of the new millennium
As a result of increasingly exacting specifications regarding thermal insulation, the demand for coated basic glass continued to grow.
To meet this demand, Interpane, in 1993, in Plattling, introduced the first continuous-flow system - its own in-house development - and succeeded in multiplying its annual capacity six times over.
This was followed two years later by the founding of Interpane Glasbeschichtungsgesellschaft mbH & Co., in Lauenförde, another coating works, equipped with Interpane's own special high-tech machinery. This plant uses the principle of vacuum coating. The coating material is applied by a system of cathode sputtering onto float glass.
Interpane goes Europe
At the end of 1999, with an eye on the European market, Interpane acquired the Hoerdt insulating glass works located near Strasbourg, France.
This location meets the demands of the French regional market.
As a reaction to the rapid increase in demand for both coated and uncoated float glass, in cooperation with the British float glass manufacturer Pilkington plc, Interpane launched a joint venture in France. The works at Seingbouse, Lorraine, is an integrated production plant for manufacturing float glass with the subsequent production stage for laminated sheet glass (LSG). In March 2007, Interpane took over Pilkington’s share in this joint venture and is, therefore, the sole operator of the production facility now.
In April 2005 already, glass coating also started to be made at the Seingbouse facility. Due to the direct connection of the coating plant to the float and LSG production, this facility focuses on producing high-quality coated basic glazing (iplus E) for the European market.
In the fall of 2009, a new flat glass production facility was established in Osterweddingen, Saxony-Anhalt, as a joint venture between the Dutch-German Scheuten Group and Interpane. The company with the name f | glass GmbH produces float glass, clear glass and semi-finished products, primarily for the solar industry.
Over the course of more than thirty years, in what started quite humbly, in turn turned into an internationally operating corporate group with approx. 1,200 employees (2011). Today, Interpane is among the major European glass manufacturers.
AGC Interpane: Strategic partnership
Strategic partnership: AGC and Interpane have joined forces, resulting in a bigger network, more locations as well as an exclusive and diverse product range.
The two glass specialists complement one another perfectly, providing a winning combination of know-how and technology. In addition, they offer an outstanding glass portfolio, giving customers across Europe faster access to products and services.
Both companies offer their customers a wide array of products: together they are the only market player to supply a complete range of triple silver coated glass products. In addition to the standard temperable, coated float glass, the alliance presents individual cut-size solutions for high-end structures with sophisticated functional glass elements.
AGC and Interpane furthermore supply a large number of specialised solutions on customer request. These include specific surface treatments, such as partial coatings and screen printing as well as customised coatings for unique facade projects. Another strength is the production of oversized glass sheets for exclusive projects, including float glass coatings up to 18 metres in length. In addition, customers can request double and triple glazing units of up to 9 metres, as well as screen printing on glass surfaces to 7 metres maximum. Special transport and end-to-end handling complete the offering.
In the field of glass design, AGC and Interpane are leading players in Europe and position themselves as trendsetters in interior design and architecture.