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Industrial Process News

Industrial Process News - Company of the Month

Suncombe celebrates sixty years of continuous development cleaning and critical process systems

Suncombe started trading in 1961, working on the, then, new technology of Clean In Place (CIP). In 2021, it celebrated 60 years by helping the world’s vaccine manufacturers meet the challenges of the pandemic, as well as continuing to provide equipment to the wider critical processing sectors.

Founder, David Overton, had previously worked in the development of CIP technology, which allowed production machinery to be cleaned without dismantling it and proved to be a revolutionary breakthrough for the pharmaceutical, food, dairy and beverage sectors. CIP provided great health and safety benefits plus great savings in time, money and resources.

As the design of the processing equipment was not always suitable for CIP, the company expanded its operations to incorporate additional areas of processing technology. First, it joined with DA Engineering, which enabled the manufacture of sanitary tanks and pressure vessels, incorporating CIP. Next came LT Engineering, with its knowledge of detailed engineering and new precision techniques. Also in this period, utility and transfer panels were developed and introduced. In the 2000’s CIProcess, joined Suncombe to incorporate knowledge of niche cleaning and innovative processing and engineering systems.

New technologies were developed, including biowaste decontamination systems, requiring critical processing knowledge gained by Suncombe. Cabinet washers were introduced for washing process equipment, along with USP water storage skids and solution preparation systems.

Biowaste decontamination systems and GMPWashers were developed along with CIP technology to incorporate changes in automation, control and instrumentation areas. Cabinet washers were transformed into GMPWashers to provide a validated GMP method for washing process equipment.

As environmental performance became a key element of processing during the next decade all product ranges were refined to minimise waste and energy usage. This initiative, resulted in a number of new products and technologies across the range.

Suncombe has pioneered the development of innovative solutions for CIP and biowaste decontamination. The company has a highly experienced team, with a wealth of technical experience and knowledge in all the relevant disciplines. It operates and manufactures from its base in Enfield, London, UK and globally through an extensive network of sales/service agents.

Having such a strong team in one place allows the company to carry out almost all of its work in-house, under a direct control and quality management systems, observing robust health and safety procedures. Every project helps to inform future commissions and to offer continued support for all the installed systems throughout their lifetime.

Present and future
Today the company is still run by the family. It has a global client base of blue chip companies, supplying 17 of the top 20 biopharma companies in the world, government research institutes and other critical processing companies.

During the COVID-19 crisis, not a single day of production was lost and flexible working practices to protect its staff were adopted, while continuing to serve companies offering vital products to fight the virus. Recent installations include a designed, built and delivered high specification biowaste effluent decontamination system, to support the expanding COVID-19 vaccine production of a global manufacturer in the UK. This involved a revolutionary solution – mounting the decontamination systems in purpose-built containerised modules, with full containment barriers built within them.

Suncombe was also commissioned to help develop a set of utility panels for an extremely fast delivery to a vaccine manufacturer. These utility panels were used for point-of-use connections for utilities in a cleanroom environment critical for the production of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Continuous innovations and development are the company’s ongoing objectives, using engineering excellence driven by integrity. In recent years new equipment has included the MicroEDS low volume biowaste treatment system, offering flexibility for low volume users; and the PureVessel™ range of systems which are pre-validated bioprocess vessels and CIP systems combined for hybrid single use facilities.

The company looks forward to many more decades of independent trading and service to the biopharma, medical, research and other critical processing industries.

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