The three year project ‘Chariot’, which began in April 2014 aims to develop new innovations within the manufacturing supply chain for specialist powders that can be used for a number of applications in markets such as consumer goods, healthcare, personal care, ceramics, catalysts and food to name but a few.
The project consists of eight partners including leading consumer product company Procter & Gamble (P&G), CPI, International Innovative Technologies, Ajax Equipment Limited and Universities of Leeds, Birmingham, Durham and Cranfield. The collaboration will develop innovative process and equipment for the manufacture of multicomponent granular products.
The expertise and capability developed within the project will cement the UK as a world leader in the manufacturing of super fine powders and supports the drive towards next generation powders that are higher performing, cheaper to manufacture and transport, and are also environmentally sustainable.
CPI’s role within the project is to host and operate the powder processing and granulating equipment. The bespoke equipment will be up and running by September this year and will allow companies to implement new and innovative approaches to the production of powders at pilot production scale. At the end of the project, the results achieved will provide a significant stepping stone for these technologies to be commercialised for full scale manufacturing.
Chariot brings together world class capability in research, technology innovation and industry to focus on the scale up of multi-component particle formation and on-line measurement and analysis. As well as fine grinding technology, other aspects of the programme will involve specialist work in the complex areas of powder science, including particle size, shape, structural and compositional analysis.
“This collaboration will lead in the market adoption of new and improved powder based retail products,”
said, Dr Keith Robson, Director of Formulation and Flexible Manufacturing at CPI.
“Traditional ways of producing powder products are increasingly no longer cost effective and resource efficient. The project will implement new ways of making powders, using methods and technologies that not only substantially improve the quality of the powders being made, but will also greatly reduce environmental impact and manufacturing costs.”
Lee Ellen Drechsler, Procter & Gamble Global Connect & Develop Director said
“Chariot is a challenging project, focussed on researching and scaling exciting novel ways to advance particle engineering. The project is already creating new opportunities for the two UK SME partners, which will lead to innovation across several industrial sectors “By bringing together a multidisciplinary team of talented UK academics, SMEs and large industrialists (each with unique and complimentary expertise and strengths), we hope to deliver multiple supply chain and consumer benefits; both globally and locally.”
The project has been awarded £8.85 million as part of the Government’s Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) which aims to help existing UK supply chains grow and achieve World Class standards, while encouraging and retaining quality manufacturing in the UK. The eight-strong consortium has also invested £9.04 million of their own money, bringing the total investment to £17.89 million.