Innomech has designed and developed a pilot-scale production system for Aston Particle Technologies (APT) that will help the company accelerate the commercialisation of its innovative dry particle coating technology for use within the pharmaceutical industry.
APT is developing a one-step particle engineering technology to enable ‘challenging’ active pharmaceutical ingredients to be dry powder coated onto carrier particles: without needing heat, solvents or pressure. Target applications for this processing technology breakthrough include the development of new dry powder inhaler formulations, improving the solubility of poorly water-soluble drugs, and developing taste-masking solutions for bitter-tasting drugs.
Innomech has designed the new easy-to-use system to process up to two kilograms of pharmaceutical powders which is a 100-fold increase on the capacity of APT’s existing lab-scale, proof of principle equipment. The system provides a fluidised environment for particle contact and adsorption of cohesive material over coarse particles without the need for solvent and heat. Pressure and temperature sensors, and an ultra-efficient heat exchanger are used to monitor and maintain the required process conditions.
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Innomech has designed and developed a new semi-automated workstation to help a major UK-based manufacturer – and another local Ely-based business – to improve the manufacturing efficiency for one of its leading ranges of high precision industrial sensors.
The new system will allow Michell Instruments to shorten production timescales, further improve product quality, and to increase its capacity to meet fast-growing international demand for its Easidew dew point sensors, particularly from the US and major European markets. Easidew sensors are routinely used for moisture measurement in gases and liquids across a broad range of sectors including industrial processing, medical gases, and compressed natural gas fuelling stations.
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Innomech has appointed Simon Carter as project controls engineer to specifically strengthen the company’s in-house resources for the design and development of automation control software.
Simon brings over 20 years of automation industry experience into the consultancy and has held senior-level engineering, project management and other roles with automation technology giants ABB and Alfa Laval Automation. He has also worked across multiple market sectors including chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food and energy.
“Simon’s track record and skills in developing sophisticated control software for complex multi-disciplinary automation projects are a significant addition to our software development team. He has an enthusiastic and practical approach which is invaluable when we are advising clients on the development of new automation solutions or reconfiguring their existing systems to improve efficiency, reliability or their ability to handle new product variants,” said Tim Mead, managing director of Innomech.
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Innomech has developed a new high speed automated product packaging system that will help SG Technologies – a global leader in the production of high performance magnetic components – to more than double the production capacity for one of its highest volume products.
The new system has been designed to automate a particularly labour-intensive and repetitive product packaging process for a series of components that are used within automotive fuel injectors. The new fully customised system gives SG Technologies the option to increase production throughput for this product line by 150%, while also improving its manufacturing process efficiency and reducing work in progress. It also means the company’s skilled operators can focus on more varied and challenging manufacturing tasks such as short production runs of highly specialised parts.
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GB Innomech and FCS Automation (FCS) have agreed to work together to offer medical device manufacturing companies a more integrated approach to robotics and automation. The new partnership will help companies looking to improve the efficiency, reliability, capacity or other key aspects of their production lines, to comply with new regulations or to integrate new functions.
Automation consultancy Innomech and FCS, a specialist in PLC control systems plan to pool their complementary skills for targeted new business opportunities and to build on the success of a large-scale project that they recently completed for one of the world’s largest medical equipment manufacturers. The image shows Tim Mead, MD at Innomech with Mathew Sumpton, director at FCS.
The two companies worked together to help a global corporation transfer an existing multi-stage automated system from one of its US sites into a UK production facility, while at the same time updating and reconfiguring it to significantly improve its efficiency.
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Innomech has designed and developed a new fully automated test system to help Owen Mumford, a global leader in medical device design and manufacturing, to carry out more efficient batch testing as a final verification of quality for one of its leading auto-injector products.
The new system will help significantly speed up product release for shipment and is more than 5x faster than a previously semi-automated process that needed five different pieces of test equipment, each with its own specially-trained operator.
Innomech has integrated all five tests into one easy-to-use system with a total cycle time of less than one minute. The automated system requires just one operator, eliminates the need for any manual handling of auto-injectors between different tests and ensures all test results are fully recorded into a secure electronic record to comply with FDA 21 CFR part 11 regulations for medical device manufacturing.
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Innomech has helped Capsugel to develop and launch a new high performance containment system for use with its Xcelodose® precision powder micro-dosing system. Xceloprotect™ has been designed by high containment specialist manufacturer Powder Systems Ltd (PSL) to protect operators from potential exposure to highly potent compounds when using Xcelodose to manufacture batches of filled capsules for clinical trials or for small scale production.
“Xceloprotect is one of several recent Innomech projects where we have been appointed to reconfigure or upgrade a client’s existing equipment for a new application or to comply with new health, safety or other regulatory requirements,” said Tim Mead, Innomech.
Innomech’s role was to re-engineer Xcelodose for easier cleaning and maintenance, and to enable its integration into a high performance containment system without affecting system performance or operational efficiency. All the mechanical and electrical mechanisms for the capsule-filling and weighing system have also been re-positioning into the lower half of the isolator to avoid contamination and to provide service technicians with safe and easy access without breaking containment. Existing Xcelodose systems in the field can also be retrofitted with a special kit.
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Innomech has been appointed by Rayner Intraocular Lenses Limited (Rayner) to design and develop automated manufacturing equipment for the company’s new state-of-the-art production plant that is due to open in Worthing in July 2015.
Innomech is developing several units for use in key stages of the lens manufacturing process, all of which are designed to meet the latest EU and global regulations for medical device manufacturing systems.
“Innomech is the ideal partner for Rayner because of their experience in precision cutting, working with rotating parts and in developing equipment for regulated manufacturing environments. Rayner’s new production facilities will see us bring in a new generation of high precision lens processing equipment to improve process efficiencies, more than doubling manufacturing capacity, and to have the first new production line fully functioning and validated before the end of 2015,” said Mike Collins, project director for the new Rayner site.
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Automation consultancy GB Innomech (Innomech) has designed and developed an easy to use, fully automated printer ribbon assembly machine for ITW Imagedata (ITW), a specialist manufacturer of film ribbons and consumables for the global card industry.
The new ‘spool pairing and assembly’ machine has been developed to help ITW reduce manufacturing costs for its highest volume products and has been seamlessly integrated into the company’s existing production lines. The new machine needs just one operator and replaces a manual assembly process involving six people at different stages.
“Innomech’s automation specialists have worked alongside our in-house team to automate a series of intricate manufacturing tasks and to ensure their innovative solution fits perfectly into our existing workflows. None of our upstream manufacturing processes had to be amended, there is no need for ‘work in progress’ trays, preloading of parts into special hoppers or double handling of any components,” said David Parmenter, operations manager at ITW.
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