Suncombe celebrates IChemE Pharma Award

The equipment manufacturer has been recognised for its fully automated sterile filtration unit

Suncombe, the UK-based process solutions provider, has announced that its team, along with GSK, ITT, PM Group, was the winning entry for the Pharma category at the IChemE Global Awards 2018.

The Pharma Award went to the collaborative project to design and commission a fully automated sterile filtration unit; eliminating the risk of contamination, which can happen before or after sterilisation with a manual process.

The objective was to design an automated, sterile filtration system to transfer products into a Grade C cleanroom. The system needed to allow for integrated and automated, filter integrity testing, with complete protection of the sterile system boundaries during the testing, carried out post-filter sterilisation. Suncombe was selected to undertake mechanical design and fabrication.

Over six months, the team designed a fully automated, fully CIP and SIPable, skid with hard-piped, in-situ integrity testing, with no potential routes for contamination during post-sterilisation, pre-use, or integrity testing, with only the filter change remaining as a manual operation.

Commenting on the Award Steve Overton, technical director at Suncombe said: “To be recognised with such a prestigious award is simply incredible. The makeup of the team was crucial to the success; it was a group of engineers who just clicked! Plus the client was totally supportive throughout the whole project. The great result is largely due to the combination of all the expertise, which brought out the best in everyone. We would like to thank the other team members involved for making this magnificent achievement possible,” he added.

The unit offers several other benefits, including improved operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness, as well as lowering the site's overall energy and utility resource requirements.

IChemE Global Awards celebrates excellence, innovation and achievement in the chemical, biochemical and process industries.