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Labman to Create the Formulation Engine at the University of Liverpool’s Materials Innovation Factory

John Hesford Labman News, Projects

The Formulation Engine

Labman is proud to announce a major order worth £2.5M to develop the Formulation Engine at the University of Liverpool’s Materials Innovation Factory.

Due to open in 2017, the University of Liverpool’s Materials innovation Factory is a £68 million facility set to revolutionise materials science research and development by drawing together world-leading, multi-disciplinary research expertise, unparalleled technical facilities and a dynamic support infrastructure.

Supported by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, as part of the UK Government’s Research Partnership Investment Fund, the Materials Innovation Factory is a unique public/private partnership between the University and Unilever.

Following a highly competitive tender process, which involved some of the very best automation and engineering companies in the world, the University of Liverpool selected Labman Automation to design and build the Formulation Engine for the Materials Innovation Factory (MIF). This advanced robotic system will be located in the Open Access Area of the  MIF and will be at the forefront of research and development within the new facility.

formulation engine liverpool university materials innovation factory MIF labman

The Formulation Engine is being designed and built by Labman Automation, a bespoke robotics manufacturer based in North Yorkshire. Building on expertise the company has developed over the past 30 years, especially in the areas of formulation and characterisation, the new system will incorporate a vast array of advanced robotic features.

The Formulation Engine is a bespoke robotic platform; its highly versatile, modular design, will allow multiple workflows to operate simultaneously, and will provide a high level of working flexibility.

The high throughput ability of the Formulation Engine will transform the process of testing and formulation, whilst making it extremely affordable and accessible to industrial and academic researchers.

Labman Automation

This project represents a new chapter for the North East company, who manufacture custom automation solutions for a broad range of clients across the globe. The £2.5 million Formulation Engine represents the biggest single order that Labman have received, and the single largest component order for the MIF project. “It’s an extremely exciting project to be involved with,” says Ian Riley, Senior Project Leader at Labman, “we’re delighted to have been chosen to design and build the Formulation Engine.”

Dr Simon Longden, the MIF Managing Director said “We are also delighted to announce Labman as our partner in building the Formulation Engine, turning our concept into a reality. It is also exciting for us to engage with such an innovative UK based SME who are up for the challenge. I am sure this is the start of a longer term partnership to create capability to support researchers in our Materials Chemistry community”.

Liverpool University Materials Innovation Factory MIF Labman

Image above ( from left to right): Kathryn Knuckey (MIF), Mike Egan (MIF), Steven Robinson (MIF), Jamie Marsay, (Labman Automation), Ian Riley (Labman Automation), Sam Nicholls (Labman Automation) and Paul Chilton (Labman Automation).