Crystalite Bohemia a.s. was established in October 2009 and, at present, it owns two production plants. The first one is the glass factory in Světlá nad Sázavou with fully automated production of beverage and decoration glass (the glass factory was established in 1967); the other is the Květná glass factory based in Strání (established in 1794) where glass is still manufactured manually even today and, in addition, the glass is decorated using various techniques. At present, the company has more than 800 employees working in the two production plants, generating a turnover of close to EUR 37.5 million per year. A vast majority of their products are headed abroad, as the company currently exports to more than 72 countries worldwide.
An environmentally friendly crystallite glass melt has been used for many years to manufacture the entire range of products, as it does not contain any lead compounds and, since recently, includes also titanium guaranteeing a greater resistance of the final product. This glass melt offers top-class parameters such as Czech crystal and high lifetime, and can also be washed in a dishwasher without the risk of grey fading. Products made of this material will thus be stronger, more resistant to a higher number of cycles in the dishwasher, with an improved light refraction and the glass is even more abrasion resistant.
Both plants work in synergy nowadays. In addition to the manufacturing, the Světlá plant accommodates also the commercial and administrative base of the entire company, while the Květná plant deals with decorations, engraving or grinding of both beverage and decoration glass not only from Květná itself, but also of glass made on the automatic lines in Světlá nad Sázavou.
Glass factory Světlá nad Sázavou
The history of the glass factory in Světlá nad Sázavou dates back to 1967 when the foundation stone was laid and the construction of a new modern glass factory was commenced. The first reference to glass manufacturing in the Světlá nad Sázavou region goes as far back as to the end of the 16th century. This history and small glass factories in the neighbourhood of Světlá continuing this tradition were the sources of experts who later found their professional fulfilment in the modern plant in Světlá.
The actual production in the newly constructed factory was commenced in 1970, with primarily manual manufacturing. The introduction of automated production, i.e. machine glass blowing, in 1975 brought a revolutionary change. Another major investment that allowed the glass factory to keep pace with its world competitors came in the period 1998 to 2000. At that time, heavy presses were commissioned in two newly installed melting units, making it possible to manufacture decorative items up to the size of 43 centimetres with a maximum weight of up to 6 kilograms. Decoration glass – primarily vases and bowls – started to be manufactured in these units on a large scale.
In 2008, the production of Sklo Bohemia a.s. was discontinued due to the company’s poor financial position. The reopening of the glass factory came in October 2009, under the new trade name Crystalite Bohemia s. r. o. and with a new owner – the businessman Lubor Cerva.
At present, the Světlá glass factory runs 5 melting units with a daily melting capacity of 96 tons of glass melt, which represents approximately 25 million pieces of machine blown glasses and glass tumblers and 5.5 million pieces of gift items per year.
In 2016 we are going to increase the capacity of stemware and tumbler production to 55 million pcs per year.
Glass factory Květná
The Květná glass factory is the longest operating glassworks in our territory. It was built in 1794 and established by the Duke Alois Lichtenstein. The location for the construction was selected very carefully, in the middle of beech woods not far from Uherský Ostroh in the cadastral area of Strání where good-quality glass sand deposits are located.
The glass factory, equipped with two melting furnaces, offered jobs to people from the close neighbourhood as well as from other locations in the Lichtenstein’s domain from Slovakia or Austria. The glass factory first focused on the manufacturing of plate glass and various domestic glass tableware. It only started to manufacture better-quality and more exclusive types of glass in the second half of the 19th century when it was acquired by the Austrian businessman Emanuel Zahn. The new owner built another glass furnace and introduced the production of fine crystal glass with grinding and engraving decorations.
This well known Emanuel Zahn brought experienced glassworkers with him who arrived “equipped” with new techniques and manufacturing methods. This resulted not only in a rapid increase in the product quality, but also in an extension of the product range and, in particular, in modernization based on the art impulses arising from the Vienna artistic circles. In this connection, the name of the glass factory changed in 1894 when the local name Květná (Blumenbach) started to be used. This name shortly became a hallmark of quality and was much sought after in the world markets. The company Zahn & Göpfert established display rooms and disposition warehouses in London, Paris, Berlin and Hamburg and showed its products on the Leipzig world expo. As the second glass factory in Europe, Květná introduced decoration by glass etching in 1897 already. Glass tableware with various decorations was exported to US, Africa, Australia, Egypt, Scandinavia, Austria, Germany and Switzerland at that time.
The glass factory continued its production also in the first half of the 20th century. It remained in operation after the nationalization and, between 1961 and 1990, it was a part of the national enterprise Moravské sklárny in Květná. Following the Velvet Revolution, there were several equity and ownership changes that culminated in January 2011 when the Květná plant became a part of the Crystalite Bohemia Group.