Business News

Exporting success: 3P Innovation’s Fill2Weight technology

its export turnover from £1.5m to £5m in just three years. 3P Innovation, based in

Growth for innovative firm A

By Jessica Brookes

business producing cutting edge custom automation machinery has bolstered

Warwick, is described by Dr Dave Seaward, projects director at the firm, as being a high-tech engineering business that “makes the machinery and automation that makes things”. The “things” in question include

medical technology and pharmaceuticals. Their equipment is used by pharmaceutical and medical technology organisations across the world. 3P’s bulging export success has

won them a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category. Dave says that part of the firm’s

expanding export order book is partially down to the success of its Fill2Weight technology. The technology is a world-

leading powder dispensing system, promising high-accuracy precision powder filling and reduced drug development lead times. Dave explained: “It is a

precision way of putting powder, mainly pharmaceutical powder, into injector pens, inhalers and the like, and can also be used to deliver personalised medicines.

“We’ve got this very unique

piece of high-tech pharmaceutical technology and it enables us to obtain large contracts. “Many of our exports have

actually come off the back of that piece of patented technology.” Tom Meredith, commercial

director at 3P, said that “Fill2Weight technology demand is being driven not just by returning customers, but longstanding ones as well”. He said: “Effectively over the

three-year period of this Queen’s Award application, it has not just been new customers, it has been customers coming back to us and being built up over the last 10 years or so. “As they need to expand their

operations, they need more equipment from us.

“Fill2Weight is a small part of

the products that we end up selling, but it is integrated into a whole production line and is a critical process step.” Dave added: “I suppose an

analogy would be that we’ve come up with the best seatbelt on the planet… and because we’ve got the best ‘seatbelt’, everybody wants our ‘car’. “On the back of a relatively

small piece of protected technology, it opens us up to very large contracts.” Dave and Tom describe the

business as a niche player in the global industry of custom automation, with the sector typically dominated by Italian and German competitors. But unlike other industries, according to Tom, cost isn’t

Cutting edge: Dr Dave Seaward Despite their success, 3P

Innovation shows no signs of slowing down.

‘3P’s bulging export success has won them a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category’

The business is currently

working on machinery for new medicines including what is known as Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products otherwise termed ‘Cell and Gene’ technology – which many in the industry speculate will soon provide cures for a number of common cancers. Dave predicts that such cures

are just around the corner and suggests these may be commercialised within the next five to 10 years.

June 2021 CHAMBERLINK 29

always the most important factor when bidding for contracts. “Even when we do have a

competing bid with a competitor, the customer is usually deciding between two different approaches to solve a problem rather than a pure cost exercise. We can be more expensive than a competitor, but the better technical solution to the problem wins the day,” he said.

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