No headaches applying Britest to Paracetamol MicroFactory

Process understanding study helps CMAC team build the picture of new rapid prototyping capability

The power of the Britest tools to build team communications, deepen understanding of complex systems, and plan for further action was once again demonstrated by a successful Britest Tools training and application workshop on 30th and 31st May at the CMAC Future Manufacturing Research Hub in Glasgow. 

Britest facilitators Mark Talford and Charlie Gordon steered a team of CMAC researchers drawn from across the Hub, including participants from the Universities of Loughborough, Sheffield and Strathclyde, through training on the Britest tools and then applying them in a process understanding study on the Future CMAC Hub Paracetamol MicroFactory end-to-end process. MicroFactories developed within the Hub will provide a rapid prototyping capability to control, measure and optimise critical transformations across multiple length-scales spanning crystal and particle engineering, structured product and dosage form generation; effectively managing variable material properties and increased product complexity. The ultimate aim is to demonstrate ‘dial-an-attribute’ performance for the final product exploiting PAT-enabled model predictive control and real-time release testing (RTRT).

Against this backdrop, the Britest study encompassed areas ranging from synthesis through to traditional tablet formation, as well as emerging possibilities like 3D-printed tablets. The work built a common understanding of the constituent steps of the process as well as identifying areas where further research is required to build knowledge. Those attending identified clear benefits in the use of Britest around communication, knowledge capture, the ability to drill down into what materials are present in a system, what their properties are, and the physics at play during their transformation. Taken together, these factors make Britest a flexible and powerful approach to examining whether system models capture the correct phenomena occurring.

This workshop activity has been catalysed by Britest's accession to Tier 2 membership of CMAC, and demonstrates the alignment of interest and beneficial skills development arising from this significant alliance. Plans are in hand to further extend the use of Britest in CMAC, applying the tools to help improve creativity and problem solving on challenges encountered during various research projects.