Cutting Edge Research
Cognitive Chemical Manufacturing
At Swagelok Manchester we have embarked on a collaborative academic research project for the first time, working as a project partner alongside the University of Leeds, AstraZeneca (Macclesfield), IBM (Daresbury) and Promethean Particles (Nottingham) to develop cutting edge technologies for chemical manufacturing development and optimisation.
The £2m EPSRC research funded project looks to reduce the time scale for development of new chemical products to the point of reliable manufacture and entrance into the market place.
This exciting project combines the expertise of IBM in the development of computational optimisation and the use of automated mechanistic modelling with the experimental automation expertise within the Institute of Process Research and Development at Leeds and the use of advanced hydrothermal reactors developed at the University of Nottingham. This research capability will be used to develop new algorithms for machine learning based generation of chemical process design knowledge and coupling these algorithms to an experimental platform for automated experimentation. The combined cyber-physical system will be validated via in-depth case studies related to current manufacturing challenges faced by AstraZeneca at their Macclesfield facility, and Promethean Particles, an SME who have recently opened their first nanoparticle manufacturing facility in Nottingham.
Swagelok Manchester will be providing support throughout the four-year project, working closely with the project partners on system design, providing custom solutions assemblies and accessing specialist knowledge from Swagelok’s global network of subject experts and field engineers to assist in the scale-up of the automated flow systems from lab to pilot scale.
We are also part-funding two chemical engineering PhD students as part of the project, who will disseminate progress and results through presentation and publications as part of their studies. This activity represents a big step into the realm of academic research for Swagelok Manchester and we are very excited to be part of the team.
The anticipated impact of this approach will be demonstrated on real world manufacturing challenges faced by the pharmaceutical and nanoparticle producing industrial partners, who represent some of the customers Swagelok Manchester work with on a day to day basis.