Leading manufacturer of high delivery valves and guns, Altachem celebrated its 30th anniversary with a unique event that showcased the innovative machinery and technology that has helped generate three decades of success.
Employees, key customers, and local officials attended the open-day celebration on the 23rd of September at the company’s plant in Harelbeke, Belgium. Managing director, Jean-Marie Poppe opened the plant’s doors for visitors to discover more about its high-level technology and how it has helped the company become the market leader in the production of valves, application tools and accessories for 1K-PU foam in pressurised cannisters.
Aerosol dispensing experts LINDAL Group acquired Altachem in 2011 to further extend its service to customers but Altachem was first established in 1992 by Aster De Schrijver who was one of the founders of the original ‘PU Foam in a Can’. Aster identified the inadequacy of existing PU valves surmising that the thorough understanding of a can’s chemical contents was vital in producing the highest functioning valve hardware possible.
Jean-Marie Poppe says: ”Understanding the chemical formulation is a philosophy which permeates throughout Altachem today. 30 years later and we are probably the only PU and high delivery valve producer in the world with our own chemical laboratory where we work directly with the formulation.” It is this very knowhow that came into its own in 2006 following a change in legislation that required the mandatory use of propellants without chlorine. This caused a significant impact on valve performance that compelled the company to reengineer its products to stay ahead for customers. Although valve production is the mainstay at Altachem, the company also develops accessories for DIY professionals and has an extensive range of PU guns it develops in-house. In 2014, the team also began the production of caulking guns.
Investing to stay ahead
Over the past 30 years, Altachem has not only maintained its unique knowledge and ethos but has continued to invest in new technology along the way. Its investments include assembly line machinery for reliable production, ERP systems for effective running of essential processes, and AGVs to advance production efficiency. Its investments also include empowering employees with ongoing training programs and well-being initiatives to ensure a productive and content workforce.
Jean-Marie adds: “This anniversary serves as a record of the technology we have invested in and our commitment to innovation, but we know our employees have been the real linchpin in our achievements. He continues: “To maintain our track record, it’s also critical to stay ahead of new market developments, for example, capitalising on the EU green deal (Europe 2050) when governments will be investing €150 billion on improving housing energy levels. A portion of this will be attributed to insulation, representing a huge opportunity for PU foam applications.” Francois Xavier-Gilbert, LINDAL CEO says: “Altachem already has an interesting story to tell in just 30 years. The ingenuity, diligence and unique character behind the business has made it instrumental in LINDAL’s overall growth and progression. We thank all the team for their hard work and achievements.”