3P innovation Ltd
Tel: +44 (0) 1926 408 933
- 2020 Innovation
3P Innovation is a world-class engineering and process automation company with a proven reputation for helping multi-national clients to develop, launch and commercialise new products faster and at lower cost.
3P is delighted to have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation, in recognition of its Fill2Weight powder micro-dosing technology. Formed in 2006, 3P has grown to 80 staff and continues to deliver innovative solutions from lab to high-speed production lines, along with engineering consultancy services.
12 years ago, 3P engineers identified challenges in the field of micro-dosing and filling of powders for inhalers that could be overcome with the application of technologies in a new and novel way. The Queen’s Awards have recognised the Fill2Weight technology as a great example of innovation, where several different technologies have been combined into one highly effective and versatile solution.
Now utilised for multiple pharmaceutical applications, Fill2Weight is used to precisely fill a wide range of pharmaceutical containers, including capsules, vials, inhalers, syringes, cartridges, blisters and other special containers.
Addressing Multiple Challenges
A major challenge Fill2Weight addresses is getting challenging powders to flow so that very small (down to 1mg) and precise doses can be created. Its gravimetric system weighs and verifies every dose – any doses outside the limits are rejected. Precise weighing is essential for high-potency drugs, where inaccurate dosing poses risks to patient safety.
Even though it excels in accuracy, its ability for high-speed dosing is not compromised. Fill2Weight’s ability to handle very challenging powders helps reduce drug development lead-times by enabling pharma companies to avoid the need for costly and time consuming ‘formulation development’. This advantage means customers can achieve ‘first-inhuman’ milestones faster, with a potential to launch a new drug in a shorter time-frame.
Fill2Weight is a flexible and scalable system, ensuring early-stage manufacturing processes can also be used for commercial production. This is achieved via its narrow design, allowing for multiple modules to be installed side-by-side, creating a multi-lane solution to increase production speed.
Another challenge 3P addressed was to ensure the technology could accommodate changing powder properties throughout a batch. Conventional filling systems cannot do this, meaning accuracy is affected. Fill2Weight’s intelligent software algorithms automatically detect changing properties and modify dose settings to suit. Fill2Weight’s technology requires as little as 2-3 grams for doses to be created for administration to patients or for other development tests, minimising the amount of drug product required. Unused powder can be recovered, creating zero waste.
Dr Dave Seaward, MIET, one of the technology’s inventors, says: “It is wonderful to once again be recognised for our engineering capability. Fill2Weight is truly a multi-disciplined product. There were many electrical, software and mechanical challenges for our talented engineers to solve. It all came together in what we believe to be the world’s most flexible precision powder dosing system. The many orders and customer feedback attest to the product’s value. Now the skill and ingenuity of our engineers has been formally recognised with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation category.”