Scale up and process development

Taking a process or product from the bench to viable production scale is a complex task, often with critical consequences for the process owner. An effective process scale up framework will deliver a solution that is fully optimised for safety, capital/operating costs, capacity, performance and sustainability.

Our approach is to integrate with our customers’ teams to understand the scientific, commercial, quality and regulatory requirements. We break each process down into recognisable chemical engineering unit operations and analyse them to develop a strategy and framework for scale up. Our technical risk management approach to identify the data required from lab and pilot scale development studies is built into a robust process design suitable for implementation.

We recognise the importance of effective cost control and regular business case analysis to ensure maximum ROI. It’s why we integrate fully with all stakeholders and communicate throughout the project to ensure all objectives are defined and realised.

The fully integrated scale up services we offer include:

  • Commercial and technology risk assessments
  • Process development/scale up
  • Pilot plant construction and trials
  • Unit operations assessment and development
  • Process validation
  • Equipment qualification
  • Continuous processing options
  • Legislation and compliance reviews
  • Process analytical technology reviews
  • Process optimisation and sustainability reviews
  • Process control/automation design reviews

The full spectrum of scale-up services

As well as providing consultancy and design we can run pilot trials and manage equipment suppliers and analytical services. We have a strong network of partners with pilot plant and laboratory facilities, which we can use for technology development, trials and the detailed assessment of options for our clients.

Pilot plants

  • Provide opportunities for further process optimisation and development
  • Help to control commercial and technical risks
  • We can design and build pilot plants, incorporating high levels of flexibility

Unit operations

The ability to define, develop and optimise core unit operations such as mixing, reaction, separation and heat transfer is critical for scale up projects. We achieve this by working with customers to identify the right solutions for each unit operation and then integrate them within the developing scale up model.

Risk management

The control and mitigation of technical and commercial risks through a process scale up or industrialisation project is critical. We have evolved effective frameworks to ensure appropriate interventions can be defined and applied at every stage. A stage gate approach supports decision making, checking viability of all project components as it proceeds.

Continuous processing

We carefully review the potential move from batch-based to continuous processing and then deliver the required process and operational developments. We don’t just look at the technical and organisational challenges; we analyse the potential benefits around finance, sustainability and occupational health.