SWARCO VESTGLAS Celebrated Double Anniversary


An institution in the glass bead industry turned 70! Recklinghausen-based SWARCO VESTGLAS looks back to seven decades of history. It all began in Gelsenkirchen in 1948 when the company used to produce household glass goods and technical glass products. Only when Prof. Herberts acquired the business in 1960,  did the production of glass microspheres start at the Recklinghausen site. 40 years ago, in 1978, Manfred Swarovski took over the company and integrated it into the traffic technology group SWARCO. This was an important step to consolidate SWARCO's role in one of Europe's most important and trend-setting traffic markets, Germany.

A blue sky greeted the staff, family members and guests invited by SWARCO VESTGLAS managing directors Benjamin Bittner and Jan Häupler at the end of September to celebrate the double anniversary with regional delicacies. A live application of a EUROTHERM preformed thermoplastic marking produced in the Recklinghausen factory complemented the program. 

The party was joined by leading managers from Austria, among them Harald Mosböck, Head of Sales in the Road Marking Systems Division, and Peter Tomazic, managing director and glass technology expert from the sister plant in Amstetten. Philipp Swarovski, member of SWARCO's Executive Board and COO of the Road Marking Systems Division, did not miss the opportunity to congratulate the colleagues in Recklinghausen in person.

"SWARCO VESTGLAS plays a key role in our strategy of sustainable growth. In Recklinghausen we have competent people working for the success of SWARCO and a bright future in traffic safety and surface technology."

Philipp Swarovski
COO Road Marking Systems Division


Recklinghausen-based SWARCO VESTGLAS, formerly known as VESTISCHE STRAHL- UND REFLEXGLAS GmbH, has been a part of the SWARCO group since 1978.

The dynamic history of the company dates back to 1948. At its former location in Gelsenkirchen, VESTGLAS produced glass household goods and technical glass products. In the early 1960's a paint producer, Prof. Kurt Herberts, took over the company and built up an exclusive sales organization with the North American glass bead producer Flexolite. Years later a production facility for micro glass beads was built in Recklinghausen and the Flexolite Europa GmbH (50% Flexolite, 50% VESTGLAS) was born. Flexolite's direct engagement in Europe ended in 1974 and in 1978 Manfred Swarovski took over 100% ownership of VESTGLAS.

The integration of VESTGLAS into the SWARCO group was a valuable addition to our primarily traffic safety oriented holdings. In the course of a few years, VESTGLAS became the central production site for micro glass beads for reflective road markings and various surface treatment technologies within SWARCO.

SWARCO VESTGLAS serves clients in Germany, the Benelux countries, Scandinavia, Great Britain, and France. Its international activities expanded in the 1990's with equity partnerships in two companies in Saudi Arabia that brought glass bead and thermoplastic production know-how to the Middle East.

In 1998 SWARCO VESTGLAS began its own thermoplastic development and production in Recklinghausen. The road marking material is available in solid blocks or as a powder to be melted on board a road marking machine. Meanwhile the company also produces practical preformed thermoplastic markings branded EUROTHERM.

Besides the glass blasting bead and granular glass products, SWARCO VESTGLAS offers its large industrial client base a broad blasting media program that includes corundum as well as natural blasting media like nutshell granules, corn cob shot, and synthetic granules. Cleaning, deburring, matting and peening are only a few processes where such media can be applied.