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3P Awarded Queen’s Award 2020 for Enterprise in Innovation!

3P Awarded Queen’s Award 2020 for Enterprise in Innovation!

We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Innovation for our Fill2Weight powder micro-dosing technology.

The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation was awarded for our pioneering and patented Fill2Weight technology. Fill2Weight is designed to address the challenges of getting powders to flow and dispense accurately for pharmaceutical and medical device products.  This technology was achieved by combining several different technologies in one solution, creating a highly innovative system, capable of filling practically any powder into a very diverse range of containers.

About the Technology:

Development of Fill2Weight

12 years ago, 3P engineers identified challenges in the field of micro-dosing and filling of powders for inhalers, that could be overcome with the application of technologies in a new and novel way.  This lead to the development of Fill2Weight

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise have recognised the Fill2Weight technology as a great example of innovation, where a combination of mechanical, electronic and digital technologies have been combined to create a powerful and unique tool to radically improve powder dosing and filling processes in the pharmaceutical and medical device markets.

About Fill2Weight

Fill2Weight is a flexible and scalable system that supports manufacturers from low-volume clinical supply through to commercial production. The system’s combination of different technologies allows for precise dosing of difficult, non-flowing powders, which cannot be dosed using conventional ‘volumetric’ filling methods. Even though Fill2Weight excels in highly accurate dosing, it is not compromised when it comes to high-speed dosing and can significantly reduce drug development lead-times.

Unlike alternative filling technologies, Fill2Weight does not compact the powder which in turn can increase the proportion of a drug that is able to have an active effect in the patient when using inhaler devices or provide for a more rapid dissolution of powders used in reconstitution injections.  In addition, the very localized application of low-frequency vibration which helps powders to flow ensures that that powder blends are not segregated or damaged.

The Challenges that Fill2Weight Addresses - Further Detail

Reducing drug development lead-times

Fill2Weight’s ability to handle very challenging powders means that pharma companies can avoid the need for costly and time-consuming ‘formulation development’. This advantage means that customers achieve 'first-in-human' (FIH) milestones typically 2-3 months faster, knowing sooner if their new drug will work or not. The end result is the potential to launch and market a new drug in a shorter time-frame, with benefits of faster return on investment (ROI) and the ability to develop and launch more products with the same resources.

For example, Fill2Weight, installed in our R500 / R1000 platform, provides a fully automated system for filling clinical batches of capsules and containers in just 3-4 days rather than 4-5 weeks which is typically required with others lab systems.

Scalable for total life-cycle support

A key challenge in a new drug or device development programme is ensuring that early-stage manufacturing processes, such as for clinical production batches, can also be used for commercial production. This is achieved through Fill2Weight’s narrow design. The multiple modules can be installed side-by-side to create a multi-lane solution to increase production speed, but the core process remains the same, avoiding the need to develop and validate costly new technologies which add delay and risk to commercialising a new product.

Smaller Doses

A major challenge Fill2Weight addresses is getting challenging powders to flow so that very small (down to 1mg) and precise doses can be created. The need for smaller doses is driven by the development of high-potency drugs and desire to administer drugs in pure Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) form.

Minimal drug product required and zero waste

In the early stages of a new development, very low quantities of API are available as the manufacture is carried out with lab-scale methods. Fill2Weight works with very small quantities of powder; Just 2-3 grams is sufficient to enable doses to be created for administration to patients or for other development tests. Unused powder can be recovered, meaning zero waste.

Improved product quality and patient safety

Fill2Weight is a gravimetric system, where every dose is weighed and verified. This means that the system fills until a target weight is achieved, rather than filling to a volume. Any doses outside limits are rejected. Precision weighing enables tighter tolerances, meaning smaller doses can be dispensed. This is essential for high-potency drugs, where inaccurate dosing poses risks to patient safety.

Enables filling of biologics and engineered particles

Fill2Weight enables dosing of new drugs in a form not previously possible. Delicate, ‘long-chain’ biologics and ‘engineered’ particles made with technologies such as spray-drying are typically unsuitable for volumetric dosing but can be dosed successfully with Fill2Weight.

Accommodating changing powder properties

Another challenge we addressed was to ensure the technology could accommodate changing powder properties throughout a batch. Conventional filling systems cannot do this, meaning accuracy is affected. Fill2Weight’s intelligent software algorithms automatically detect changing properties and modify dose settings to suit.


Simon Strothers, Business Development Director at 3P innovation said on winning the award:  

“The Fill2Weight technology has grown and developed along with 3P, helping numerous customers to solve challenging production problems and to launch their own life-saving products to the market.  We are delighted to be recognised in the ‘Queen’s Awards for Enterprise:  Innovation’ category.  As well as being in our name, innovation is one of our core values and helps us to succeed with the most demanding engineering and manufacturing challenges.” 

If you would like to find out more about this award-winning technology, call us on +44 (0)1926 408 933 or send an email to to organise a visit to our premises to see the technology in action.

We would like to thank the organising committee and everyone involved in the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise for this fantastic award. 

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