ALTANA Innovation Award: Winning Team Makes Food and Beverage Can Production More Efficient and Sustainable

  • Unique ROTARflow technology
  • Real-time monitoring and control of sealant quantity possible
  • Solution already successfully used in two pilot plants

Wesel / Porriño (Spain), July 13, 2022 – The ALTANA Innovation Award honors the most promising new developments in the Group, and has done so for ten years. On this anniversary, a team from the ACTEGA division received the award. This year’s prize went for an invention called ROTARflow. This technology, which is unique on the market, improves the efficiency of food and beverage ends’ production and thus makes it more sustainable. 

Specifically, the innovation makes it possible to monitor and control, in real time, the used amount of ARTISTICA water-based sealant supplied by ACTEGA. Therefore, no more sealant is used than is actually needed. The innovation also includes data analytics, remote data visualization and productivity reports. 

Analog becomes digital

Monitoring the production of packaging materials is often still organized analogously. In the production of can lids, for example, employees manually adjust the amount of dry weight of the sealing compound used. To do this, the production process must be stopped. Between test periods, such plants sometimes produce several million can lids – up to 2,600 per minute – without any control and adjustment of the amount of sealant used.

To increase efficiency and productivity, a team from ACTEGA in Spain developed the ROTARflow technology. This groundbreaking digital system transforms the current manual, analog, irregular process into a fully automated, digital, continuous operation. The technology monitors in real time the amount of sealant used in each can lid produced and adjusts the quantity automatically as needed. This eliminates the need for lengthy production stops and time-consuming checks. On top, the system allows for data analytics and digital services with remote data visualization access and custom reports.

Successful market launch

The technology was developed by an interdisciplinary team of experts from Technical Service, IT, Engineering and Process Control based on customer feedback and observations of production processes. The system has already proven its efficiency in a six-month pilot phase.  
“The path to the market launch of ROTARflow is exemplary for ALTANA’s innovation culture. The interdisciplinary winning team developed a digital solution that enables growth potential for our customers and helps make daily life more sustainable. The fact that the innovation has already proven itself in use is a clear sign of how much the solution supports our customers in the production process and a special credit to the team,” says Dr. Petra Severit, Chief Technology Officer at ALTANA.

ALTANA is a global leader in true specialty chemicals. The Group offers innovative, environmentally compatible solutions for coating manufacturers, paint and plastics processors, the printing and packaging industries, the cosmetics sector, and the electrical and electronics industry. The product range includes additives, specialty coatings and adhesives, effect pigments, sealants and compounds, impregnating resins and varnishes, and testing and measuring instruments. ALTANA’s four divisions, BYK, ECKART, ELANTAS, and ACTEGA, all occupy a leading position in their target markets with respect to quality, product solution expertise, innovation, and service.

Headquartered in Wesel, Germany, the ALTANA Group has 48 production facilities and 65 service and research laboratories worldwide. Throughout the Group, more than 6,700 people work to ensure the worldwide success of ALTANA. In 2021, ALTANA achieved sales of around € 2.7 billion. About 7 percent of the total sales is invested in research and development each year. Its high earning power and high growth rate make ALTANA one of the world’s most innovative, fastest growing, and most profitable chemical companies.
ACTEGA is a division of the internationally operating specialty chemicals group ALTANA. With production facilities in Europe, North and South America and China, ACTEGA develops, produces and distributes specialty coatings, inks, adhesives and sealing compounds with a focus on the packaging industry. Following the motto "Packed with Expertise", ACTEGA does not only offer technically sophisticated product solutions, but also meets the high safety standards of the food, beverages, pharmaceutical and toy industries. Whether for flexible and metal packaging, folding cartons or labels, products by ACTEGA provide packaging with a high-quality appearance and innovative functionalities.