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APPLES consortium to develop improved in-line liquid monitoring technologies for the manufacture of high-value products

A consortium of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Green Biologics and the Centre for Processing Innovation (CPI), led by Stratophase, is developing a cost-effective, multi-parametric sensor system for increasing the efficiency of high-value liquid based production processes.  The £1.2m APPLES (Advanced Process and Production Light Enabled Sensors) project is funded with assistance from the UK government-sponsored Technology Strategy Board.  The project sets out to maximise yield and minimise waste within high value manufacturing processes. This is achieved through a better understanding of real-time processes, thus enabling GSK, Green Biologics and CPI to enhance their ability to develop, and scale up, both existing and novel biofuel and active pharmaceutical ingredient production processes. The consortium is producing and validating a sensor system capable of monitoring multiple parameters in liquids both non-disruptively and in-line throughout the production cycle to provide superior economical benefit and clear environmental dividends.

As a general purpose process monitoring system, the sensor developments within APPLES offer multiple complementary measurement types integrated into one sensor ‘head', allowing real-time evaluation of complex reactions.  Commenting on the APPLES project, Dr Richard Williams, CEO of Stratophase said, "The APPLES project will result in more efficient processes than are currently available through application of a cheaper and more informative monitoring system. The realisation of such a monitoring system would not be possible without close collaboration between experts in process development and sensing technology, the support from the Technology Strategy Board has been invaluable in the formation of such a strong consortium."

The technology is intrinsically safe, (passive and spark free) and will enable the monitoring of the state of the product throughout the manufacturing cycle and allow tighter and more timely control over the production process.  Benefits include an increase in product quality and production efficiency, together with a reduction in waste and energy consumption making the new system highly relevant to a wide range of industrial processes. 

For further information on the APPLES, please visit

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