Wesel, October 31, 2019
Wireless, Open, and Interactive: ALTANA and BYK Employees Move into Digital Work Environment
- New building inaugurated for around 140 IT and digitalization employees
- Innovative work environment of around 3,000 square meters co-designed by employees
- 9 million euros invested
The ALTANA Group is also driving forward digitalization spatially. At its headquarters in Wesel, the specialty chemicals group today inaugurated an office building with a cutting-edge work environment. On two levels with a total area of around 3,000 square meters, workplaces are available for some 140 employees of ALTANA’s and its BYK division’s IT and digitalization departments. The company invested 9 million euros in the new work environment. The first employees are already moving into the complex, and more will follow gradually.
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ALTANA intends to use the new work environment to strengthen cooperation between the specialist departments in the form of a competence center. In the offices, the ALTANA Group’s IT and digital projects are to be handled and promoted under one roof. “We are offering our employees a highly modern work environment that enables and fosters simple and fast communication, optimal networking, flexible teamwork, and focused individual work,” explains ALTANA Management Board member Stefan Genten. “In addition, with the new work environment we are enhancing our attractiveness as an employer, especially for highly qualified experts from the IT and digitization sectors.”
Good work climate and climate protection
With the new building, ALTANA has created a barrier-free office environment with sun protective glazing where many people can work in an open space in a generously planned area. The way in which the individual elements of the office landscape are arranged ensures a particularly high acoustic standard and thus caters to concentrated work. The building is equipped with state-of-the-art telecommunications and IT technology. For example, the computers are networked completely wirelessly via WLAN. The equipment also includes electric height-adjustable desks, seating areas, conference booths, lounge-like relaxation areas, and open bistro corners. The new office world in Wesel also has its own garden.
When planning the new building, mineral building and insulating materials were used in the construction. Highly efficient ceiling induction devices create a good climate in the strict sense of the word. In addition, the building’s heating and cooling are supplied directly via heating and cooling pipes from the adjacent production facility in Wesel. A ventilation system with heat recovery is also used. Last but not least, the building offers covered bicycle parking spaces and charging sockets for electric cars.
Employees helped shape the new work world
The construction of the new office world was preceded by extensive research and analysis. For instance, several office space concepts from various large companies were evaluated and compared with the work requirements of ALTANA’s and BYK’s IT and digitalization departments. The employees were also extensively involved in the development of the new working environment. They jointly propounded a vision for cooperation in the new office world and were able to participate directly in the planning during workshops, actively shaping their future workplaces, for example in the choice of office furniture. An internal platform provided detailed and continuous information about the project.
For ALTANA, the project has a pilot character. The experiences with the new work world will play a decisive role in the company’s future room and building planning.
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, special 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 47 production facilities and 60 service and research laboratories worldwide. Throughout the Group more than 6,400 people work to ensure the worldwide success of ALTANA. In 2018, ALTANA achieved sales of €2.3 billion. About 7 percent of sales are invested in research and development every year. Its high earning power and high growth rate make ALTANA one of the most innovative, fastest growing, and profitable chemical companies in the world.
BYK is one of the world’s leading suppliers in the field of additives and measuring instruments. Additives are chemical substances which, when used in small quantities, improve product properties such as scratch resistance or surface gloss. Manufacturing processes are also optimized by the addition of additives.
The coatings, inks, and plastics industries are among the main consumers of BYK additives. Yet with the production of oil and gas, the manufacture of care products, the production of adhesives and sealants, and construction chemistry, too, BYK additives improve the product characteristics and production processes. Testing and measuring instruments from BYK can effectively evaluate the quality of color, gloss, and appearance as well as the physical properties of paint, plastic, and paper products and are an important part of quality control.
As a globally operating specialty chemicals company, BYK has production sites in Germany (Wesel, Kempen, Moosburg, Schkopau and Geretsried), in the Netherlands (Deventer, Njiverdal and Denekamp), in Great Britain (Widnes), in the US (Wallingford, Chester, Gonzales, Louisville, Earth City and Pompano Beach) and in China (Tongling).
Today the company employs more than 2,300 people worldwide and forms part of the ALTANA Group.