Case Studies
engineering and project management

Automation Of Powder Handling Process

  • Client:
  • Location:
  • Sector:
  • Status:


By designing a customised engineering solution batch turnaround time improved by 20% for a dedicated product line.

A leading pharmaceutical manufacturer based in the south of Ireland deploying manual methods for chemical additions in their manufacturing process, for products designed to treat kidney diseases and other chronic and acute medical conditions.

The client proposed to optimise cGMP and improve ergonomic working practices for their staff while transforming automation of the manual process. They engaged with Dolmen Engineering for their expertise in design due to the complexities of the project.


Innovation Challenge

Dolmen Engineering reviewed the detail in optimising production and eliminating manual practices. Key challenges identified included;

  • New innovative design developedÔÇô will it work when implemented
  • Implement without creating production downtime
  • Zero impact to supply chain and other sites involved in product


Detailed Design and Implementation

The characteristics of the powders differenced greatly across the spectrum, which added an additional layer of difficulty in designing a robust solution.

Based on our thorough investigation with the client, we began developing a range of innovative options and then carried out DOEs (Design of Experiments) with numerous OEMs. An effective solution was designed with a combination of OEMs and an implementation plan was approved.

As the basis of the design was created within the DOE phase, we could then work through the key engineering design phases including Detailed Design, Procurement, Construction Management and Validation.


Scope of Work:

  • Facility
  • Clean/Dark Utilities
  • ISO 5/8 Cleanrooms
  • Process Systems


  • New ISO 8 Cleanrooms
  • Full upgrade and expansion of Clean/Dark Utilities
  • New automated powder handling solution into existing process


Exceptional results

The newly engineered process design has had a huge impact on the production process within the company and delivered many measurable results.

  • Transformed turnaround time by 20%
  • Improved the process capability and remained consistent batch to batch
  • Significantly Reduced cross-contamination risks due to automation and a closed system
  • Substantially Lowered waste levels as there was less movement of material
  • Enhanced process safety
  • Decreased costs on materials purchased in bulk bags
  • Evolution of site manufacturing capability

Dolmen Engineering transformed a risk to a best in class outcome, to time and to budget, where the client demonstrated their confidence by implementing it across manufacturing sites globally.