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In the July/August Engineering Insight I have written about how Callaghan Innovation helps the pharmaceutical and natural chemical industries. Coming from the electronics industry, I was surprised to learn that chemical manufacturers subcontract process development. Why would anyone subcontract such a critical part of the R&D process?
They do it because they don't want to invest in facilities and equipment that would only be used occasionally. That's exactly the same reason electronics manufacturers outsource printed wiring boards and plastic mouldings.
I've been aware for more than a decade that process "scale-up" is a critical aspect of R&D for chemical manufacturers. Processes that work in the lab don't necessarily work at larger scale. Before this assignment came along, I'd never had a chance to find out what it's all about. I hope my article captures the gist of it. The magazine will be on bookstore shelves for the next few weeks.