Denekamp, Deventer, and Nijverdal. In the U.S., ECKART installed
a new sandblasting facility in Painesville, which elimi-
nates the need for manual cleaning of rotor blades. Also, solvent
baths for cleaning are no longer needed.
Safety in Chemical Processes
In addition to avoiding exposure on the part of people and
the environment, process safety is also a focus during filling
operations. When adding solids, in particular, care is taken
to ensure that this is done in closed systems with a suitable
inert gas atmosphere.
BYK set up new dosing systems for the solids feeding
at several sites. Different systems are required, since different
materials have a different flow behavior and requirement
profile. For example, one solid may be quite sticky while another
is powdery and free-flowing. At its Painesville site,
ECKART changed the monitoring system for the solids silos.
This allows the plant operator to better control the filling
process. And ACTEGA installed an extensive safety rack in the
solids feeding area at its Sedan site in France. The move
has significantly increased storage capacity and enhanced
process reliability. A small step with a big effect.
ELANTAS expanded its production and laboratory space
in Collecchio by more than 1,400 square meters. In addition
to logistical aspects, this also improved the operational
At several sites, the divisions introduced improvements
in heating, cooling, and stirring processes. A major focus
was also on safety-controlled measurement and control technology.
To identify further optimization opportunities, interdisciplinary
teams work together at all sites to look at the
various aspects and make a risk-oriented assessment. In
this way, ALTANA is always one step ahead when it comes
92 Safety and Health
range with ease. At its U.S. site in Schererville, ECKART invested
in a new type of centrifuge technology, which, in addition
to having improved ergonomics, also ensures even
greater process reliability. In the Netherlands, BYK in Deventer
relies on improved grinding technology, thereby reducing
the physically very strenuous work in this area.
Especially in times of the coronavirus pandemic, exercise
is very important. ELANTAS in Hamburg came up with
something special. Employees were invited to take a virtual
tour of northern Germany. Instead of visiting the respective
locations individually or as a group in person, an app count-
ed the steps actually taken, for example during a “mobile
lunch break,” and transferred them to a virtual map. The
21 participants covered a total of 12,219 km, with an average
of 10,154 steps per day.
During the coronavirus pandemic with the continued
increase in mobile work, it is often difficult to actively organize
breaks. BYK therefore offered all employees at its Wesel,
Schkopau, Kempen, and Moosburg sites online courses
for physical and mental relaxation. These invigorating breaks
have proven to enhance concentration and performance.
Reducing Exposure and Avoiding Risks
As described in the “Products” chapter, ALTANA replaces
critical substances with non-critical ones whenever possible. If
this is not feasible, we do everything we can to minimize
the respective risk of exposure.
In the year under review, ELANTAS installed a new containment
system at its Hamburg site. In combination with
the tanks set up last year, isocyanates can now be handled
entirely in closed systems. Similar concepts were also implemented
at the division’s Italian sites in Ascoli and Quattordio,
enabling raw materials such as cresol or styrene to be processed
even more effectively. BYK continued to drive forward
the automation of dosing processes at its Dutch sites in