General manager Ben Elliott says yes. The company can develop -- ahead of the competition -- CRTs that work with some of the latest television designs, which gives it a definite advantage.
"Almost all of the new products we have rolled out have been for digital and flat televisions," says Elliott. "This has been a big change for us in the past two years. At any point in time, 30 to 50 percent of our production is for the flat-digital market."
Elliot's nearly 500 employees, along with employees of two other plants in Perrysburg and Pittston, Pa., are kept busy supplying CRTs to about 65 percent of the available market.
The CRTs do not work in very large flat panel and plasma screens, but Elliott isn't concerned that these technologies will cut into the company's market.
"Consumers buy the cheapest televisions they can that meet their needs," he says. "And televisions with CRTs offer a cost advantage that will help us maintain our edge."
Elliott says it is thanks to Techneglas' parent company, Nippon Electric Glass, that it is able to produce new designs faster than competitors like Corning Asahi Video Products.
"Nippon has been the world's leader in new product development for CRTs for some time," Elliott says. "Plus Techneglas has made significant capital investment in the '90s to add flexibility to our production facilities in Columbus and Pennsylvania."
It is these investments that have positioned the company to handle the flat television tube market, Elliot says.
And Techneglas isn't counting out flat panel and plasma display technologies as part of its future.
"Nippon has a quite a few people with high-end electronic talent," says Elliott. "That allows us to keep increasing our product line."
And the turnover in products is accelerating.
"We use that as a market strategy," says Elliott. "We made 25-inch screens for 20 years. But we'll never see any product that long-lived again." How to reach: Techneglas Inc., (614) 443-6551 or www.techneglas.com