Pilot plant equipped with continuous manufacturing tech

GEA representatives were delighted to attend the official opening of the University of Sheffield’s Diamond Pilot Plant (DiPP), which features a continuous powder processing plant - the first of its kind in any UK University. Hailed as groundbreaking by industry leaders, this pioneering new facility will manufacture pharmaceutical tablets from blends of model active ingredients and excipients and will spearhead industry driven research and learning for engineering students across the globe. Students will use, test and explore integrated processes with state-of-the-art simulations and world-class control systems in a safe, production-orientated environment. At the heart of the university's plant is GEA’s ConsiGma CTL 25, a multipurpose platform that has been designed to transfer powder into tablets in development, pilot, clinical and production volumes in a single compact unit. The system can perform dosing and mixing of raw materials, wet granulation, drying, tableting and quality control, all in one line. 

On behalf of the university, Project Lead, Professor Agba Salman, said: “Product development using continuous powder processing platforms is becoming the first choice in the pharmaceutical industry. The integrated powder processing line here at Sheffield will help to address knowledge gaps using experimental and modelling techniques and support industry’s drive to adopt continuous solid oral dosage manufacturing technologies.”

DiPP has cutting-edge equipment, software and products supplied by manufacturing companies including NiTech, Solaris Biotech and GEA. In addition to giving students real-world experience, the manufacturers benefit from having around 500 students per year exposed to their products and engineering philosophies. DiPP can also be used for training industry employees in modern engineering processes and tools.

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