Going by the motto of “Change to Lead”, ACTEGA in Bremen has launched an extensive investment program covering an investment volume of EUR 20 million to expand its production and storage space by 8,000 m2 and extend production capacity by 50 percent, as well as tripling the area of research and development. “With extensive investments in expanding our production, storage, research, and development capacities, we are developing our site as an innovation center,” claimed Managing Director Wilfried Lassek when presenting these ambitious plans.
Great progress in expanding the site
This investment program aims to further develop the company’s position as a leading global provider of innovative and sustainable technologies for complex and application-oriented solutions. This applies for both seals and packaging for the food and drinks industry and for materials and technologies for products in the areas of medical technology and consumer goods. At the same time, this measure sees the ALTANA Group underlining the significance of the Bremen location for the company which has been part of the ALTANA Group for more than 20 years.
Following announcement of the measures in 2018 and turning of the sod in 2019, the first two production lines can soon be started up. Plant expansion is to be conducted during ongoing production and requires coordination of the requisite measures. In 2021, all new-build and expansion measures are to be completed so that the company is ready for its own declared goal of 10 percent growth annually in all future markets. This will be followed by conversion of the laboratory.
Change to Lead
.. sums it up,” claims Wilfried Lassek, Managing Director of ACTEGA in Bremen. “Our project is not merely an expansion of the site. We are investing in our technological progress in an effort to further improve our competitive position.” Optimization of the production processes is one of the key factors for the requisite degree of excellence. The use of resource-saving technologies is another. Energy efficiency is thus decisively increased in new buildings, including by using waste heat from the production and transport process.
This consistent implementation of the sustainability concept also means that employees no longer need to carry out necessary but physically tough work such as the provision of raw materials in the course of process optimization. Thanks to investments in additional automation measures in conveyor technology, this physically taxing work is now largely dispensed with. And new jobs are created in the process which makes ACTEGA even more attractive for skilled workers, too.
Digitalization for greater customer satisfaction
Innovative strength is also decisively improved within the framework of plant expansion. By expanding the requisite R&D, the site is to become an innovation center for seal and packaging solutions, whereby ACTEGA will consistently make use of digitalization for developing new solutions for its customers. “We are creating the structures here for collaborating with our customers directly on site to develop individual solutions. This significantly improves customer satisfaction,” claims Wilfried Lassek. He is convinced that “when applied correctly, digitalization supports us in achieving the versatility and flexibility required in view of the rapid changes in speed in the markets.”
Focus on safety
Another focus is attributed to the topics of industrial safety and security of supply for customers. To this aim, an ultra-modern sprinkler system was installed in the warehouse and production area. In the event of a fire, this is capable of extinguishing it in specific areas and preventing it from spreading. This safeguards the customers’ supply chains and production lines. Another advantage: it was literally possible to increase the number of pallet and storing positions from 1,200 to 4,200.
Sustainable and innovative technologies
This extent of site expansion had not only become necessary due to an increased demand for special solutions and innovative technologies but also in an effort to exploit all possibilities to become even more innovative, more sustainable, and more efficient at the same time. A sustainable growth strategy creates the requisite added value for stakeholders such as employees and customers. This is achieved by outstanding products and processes during production as well as in research and development. This way, customers can be assured of the requisite competitive advantages thanks to innovative product features, environmental friendliness, and safety. Customers representing the areas of medical technology and pharmacy have been able to see this for themselves, particularly during the difficult year of 2020 whose particular circumstances are largely still ongoing. The main focus of ACTEGA on TPE (thermoplastic elastomers) has proven to be particularly advantageous here. For example, as excellent alternatives for the manufacture of protective cannula caps.
While the body of the disposable needle is typically made of polypropylene or cycloolefin copolymers, the seals and protective caps are made of rubber, vulcanized rubber, silicone, or TPE, whereby there is a lot to be said for using TPE as they permit smooth processing and comparably better cycle times can be achieved. But also because they contain a very low percentage of emitable substances and display very good sealing and adhesion properties. In the form of PROVAMED® 6145 TL, 6245 NC, and 6345 NC recipes, TPE are available specially for pharmaceutical seal applications which demand sterilization of the end product. This has been proven by numerous tests before and after use of the various sterilization methods. The transparent and natural-colored variants of TPE compounds also comply with performance and conformity in accordance with USP 381. Furthermore, important factors, such as a low proportion of waste during production, and recyclability are also complied with. In the case of vials, the mini glass bottles for vaccines, TPE also play a preferred role. These bottles are sealed with an injection seal or PTFE septum (penetrable membrane). This is attached to the neck with a crimp cap made of aluminum. The seal is least dense in the middle. This point is penetrated by the injection needle to draw in the injection fluid. This is where TPE are used as test certificates to USP 381 must also be provided for these injection or pharmaceutical seals. USP 381 is concerned with examining cytotoxicity, i.e. tests for physical and chemical assessment as well as functional tests where possible impact, changes, piercability, fragmentation, and self-sealing are examined. ACTEGA offers PROVAMED® 6145 TL, 6245 NC, and 6345 NC TPE which are capable of providing the requisite evidence.
In the case of vials, the mini glass bottles for vaccines, TPE also play a preferred role.
We would be delighted to present further examples in more detail.