Altana opens new digital Byk laboratory

Altana’s Byk business unit wants to set new standards in specialty chemicals at its Wesel (Germany) site with a new type of digital laboratory. The self-sufficient building on Abelstraße was constructed under an existing parking garage.

Each year Image source: Source geralt - Pixabay (symbol image).

The company invested a total of EUR 15 million in the so-called high-throughput screening (HTS) facility. The digital technology used is intended to set new standards. It can perform fully automated serial tests. More precisely, it tests how certain additives work, for example in coatings. The 300-square-meter facility can produce and test up to 220 samples a day. Thanks to the digital laboratory, from now on existing products can also be tested to see if they are suitable for other areas of application without there being a specific need for this.

Months become days

A look into the “engine room” shows how this works: In a first step, the HTS system fills all the ingredients needed for testing into a vessel. The latter is then sealed and the contents mixed. Finally, the system transports the finished samples to the measuring instruments, which check whether the fully automatically mixed coatings meet current or future customer requirements. What used to take months can now be done in just a few days.

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