FAT, formulation, and fondue!

By November 15th, 2019

Shaun Howard and Ben Muir travelled to Switzerland in mid-November to conduct a Factory Assessment Test (FAT) for an upcoming addition to the RAMP Centre’s capability. In early 2020 we will be commissioning a Chemspeed Flex FORMAX platform in our lab. The FORMAX module is a well-established offering in the market, and provides the ability to carry out formulation work at the 100mL scale with independent temperature, stirring, and scraping capabilities.

RAMP scientist inspects part of new robotic platform

Dr. Ben Muir from CSIRO’s RAMP Centre inspects some of the new formulation reactors on the new platform.

Along with the FORMAX unit, we are also acquiring a new solid dispensing tool which allows for accurate gravimetric dispensing of solids with 0.1mg accuracy.  As part of our continuing partnership with Chemspeed Technolgies (CST), the RAMP lab will also help to evaluate the new auto-dispensing algorithms which have the potential to allow “set and forget” programming of solid dispensing for materials with a wide range of properties.

tool shows gravimetric dispensing

The GDU-Pfd tool is being added to our arsenal of capabilities in the RAMP centre

Following the formal evaluation in the lab, Ben and Shaun met with members of CST’s management team Rolf Gueller (CEO), Michael Schneider (Sr. VP) and Amira Abou-Hamdan (VP) to discuss our experience working with Chemspeed products over the last decade, and areas where we can build stronger collaborative ties in the areas of machine learning, laboratory automation, and other “Lab of the Future” concepts.

It was a pleasure to catch-up with a number of the talented chemists that we’ve worked with over the years. Daniel Serra was the automation chemist that worked with us on the commissioning and installation of our previous Chemspeed platform in 2013, and now works as a project manager for CST’s R&D team. Adam Gorman is a recent addition to Chemspeed’s team and was responsible for conducting our FAT on this visit.  Neil Wilcox is from CST’s Australian distributor (ThermoFisher Australia) and Amira Abou-Hamdan is VP at Chemspeed Technologies, and has served as our primary point of contact for over a decade.

people standing in front of chemspeed platform in Basel lab

Ben Muir (CSIRO), Neil Wilcox (Thermo Fisher Aus), Daniel Serra (CST), Shaun Howard (CSIRO), Amira Abou-Hamdan (CST), Adam Gorman (CST)