In order to develop the future digital printing market, the ALTANA Group is focusing on its core competencies. But optimal solutions can only be created in close cooperation between mechanical engineering, machine development, and materials development. Dr. Petra Severit is driving this development at ALTANA.

“If ten years ago people had said we were acquiring a stake in a machine manufacturer and developing digital printing solutions together with it, everyone would have said that this does not suit ALTANA,” says Dr. Petra Severit, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of ALTANA AG. “But now we’re moving into completely new areas. And this is what distinguishes ALTANA as a specialty chemicals company today.”

Dr. Severit identifies relevant future markets and checks to see whether competitive solutions can be developed. “Only if there are links with our specialty chemicals expertise do we embark on this journey.” This is the case in the rapidly growing future digital printing market. In this field, ALTANA develops innovative system solutions together with partners.

Für den schnell wachsenden Zukunftsmarkt Digitaldruck entwickelt ALTANA zusammen mit Partnern innovative Systemlösungen. Im Digitaldruck-Kompetenzzentrum in Lehrte werden neue Technologien getestet. Dr. Petra Severit treibt diese Entwicklung bei ALTANA.

Highly Innovative System Solutions
The up-and-coming 3D printer manufacturer dp polar, in which ALTANA has held a stake since 2017, used ACTEGA’s knowhow in materials development to launch a 3D printing solution that offers customers from a wide range of sectors, including the automotive, aerospace, and medical technology industries, completely new possibilities for manufacturing their products.

AMpolar® i2 is the world’s first 3D printing system with a continuously rotating print platform. In contrast to previous processes, it is not the print head that moves, but the area on which printing takes place. This enables high-precision components to be produced up to 20 times faster. In addition, components with different degrees of hardness can be printed simultaneously, for example orthopedic prostheses.

In the field of 2D printing, ALTANA has a share in the Israeli technology company Landa Digital Printing as part of a strategic partnership. The nanography technology developed by Landa opens up possibilities in digital printing that were previously either technically impossible to implement or so expensive that the solution would not have made it beyond the niche. BYK delivers high performance additives – an important prerequisite for formulating the special printing inks needed for the technology.

Maximum Added Value for Customers
ALTANA’s internal start-up ACTEGA Metal Print, in turn, is launching a method for packaging metallization that requires considerably less material, costs, and production time than the processes commonly used previously. A separate printer is not required for this purpose; instead, the technology is mounted as an attachment on existing machines. Both ECKART and BYK contribute specialist knowledge in the field of pigment development and stabilization or provide additives for these developments.

With its digital “Direct to Shape” highspeed printing, Velox, in which ALTANA has a stake, also brings disruptive technologies to the ALTANA Group. “Velox also requires special inks, the further development of which is our core competence,” says Dr. Severit.

Creating system solutions that generate maximum added value for customers – how does that work? Dr. Severit has the answer: “The diversity of our competencies drives innovation along the entire value chain.”