WESEL, Germany – Around 160 top researchers and developers of the ALTANA Group from all over the world came together at the sixth ALTANA Innovation Conference in Wesel, Germany, to discuss technical as well as economic developments and future innovation trends. As a highlight of the international event, the group's best innovation was honored with the ALTANA Innovation Award.

This year, the award went to the project team of Frank Kamphuis, Tim Kammer, Marcel Altenburg and Timo Kondziela, from the ACTEGA division. The development of special coatings for in-mold labels (IML) for the labeling of plastic packaging was awarded. Any structured or printed foil is placed in a casting mold where the packaging and liquid plastic is extruded into the form. The individual steps are performed at high speed, and the technology used is one of the most complex procedures in the packaging industry. Ensuring accurate processing at such speeds creates new challenges for printers and packaging manufacturers.

It quickly became clear to the researchers of the ACTEGA team that standard coatings would not be able to meet the high requirements. Completely new development approaches were required. Joined together specifically for this purpose, a team of experts developed a solution by combining product and process innovations. As part of their research, the developers identified new raw materials and used innovative formulation strategies. Thanks to positive interaction between technology and marketing, ACTEGA can now claim success. Today, its subsidiary, ACTEGA Terra, is the European market leader for IML coatings in a dynamically growing market, which promises a bright future for this product group.