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University of Sheffield announces integrated pilot plant launch

29 November 2017

The University of Sheffield announces that a major new integrated pilot plant will be installed in the Faculty of Engineering’s teaching facility The Diamond building.

The Diamond integrated Pilot Plant (DiPP) will feature a world leading continuous powder processing plant - the first of its kind in any UK university. This pioneering new facility will manufacture pharmaceutical tablets from blends of model active ingredients and excipients.
DiPP will include key powder processes steps for formulated product manufacture such as crystallisation, blending, granulation and tableting. DiPP will spearhead industry driven research and learning for engineering students across the globe. Researchers will target industry based problems to understand the different mechanisms in modelling the whole continuous process. 

Students will use the facility to test design models for individual unit operations and also use the integrated manufacturing process for open ended research and design, making sure they are industry ready after graduation. There are also opportunities to use DiPP for training and continuing education for employees in the pharmaceutical industry and those industry sectors that manufacture formulated products. 

Head of Department, Professor Jim Litster, said: “The pharmaceutical industry is undergoing the most significant change in manufacturing processes in the last 30 years. It is tremendous that our students can use this cutting edge technology in their education at MEng, MSc and PhD level studies.

“The new continuous powder processing plant emphasises the importance of complex particulate products, and formulated products more broadly, in modern chemical engineering - and we are reflecting this in our new curriculum. It is truly research led teaching.” 

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 address knowledge gaps by experimental and modelling techniques and support industry’s drive to adopt continuous solid oral dosage manufacturing technologies.” 

DiPP will be launched at the University of Sheffield in Spring 2018.

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