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Client: NRC with Armstrong Medical
Knowledge Provider: Northern Regional College
Sector: Advanced Engineering

NRC with Armstrong Medical

Armstrong Medical was established in 1984 to manufacture and sell respiratory disposable products for critical care applications.

ARMSTRONG MEDICAL ARMSTRONG MEDICAL It has since grown considerably into a worldwide supplier of high quality, innovative respiratory disposables for anaesthesia and critical care. They supply products to over 52 countries worldwide from their office, warehouse and manufacturing facility in Coleraine.

About the Case

A fines by-product of producing the CO2 absorbent for use in anaesthesia was costing Armstrong Medical a significant amount of money every year. After exhausting ideas for selling the fines as a by-product, it was decided to carry out research in actually preventing its production.

After two independent consultations with Queen's University Chemical Engineering Dept, an identical, natural, novel material was suggested as a strengthening ingredient. As a consequence, the role of the CII lecturer was to;
• Research the novel material for current use, properties, health hazards, supplier, cost and potential use as an ingredient in AMSORB PLUS
• Deliberate with the manufacturing manager and develop a method which would allow a representative product to be created and reproduced on a laboratory scale.
• Attempt to reproduce the original AMSORB PLUS product in the lab.
• Research and develop various batches of AMSORB PLUS with the incorporation of the novel material to find the optimum content level.
• Carry out analysis of the new product in respect to AMSORB PLUS specifications

About the Knowledge Provider

The Northern Regional College offers a range of Applied Science Courses on three campuses: Laboratory and Industrial, Medical and Forensic. The college has enjoyed good industrial relations with many of the local Science companies and Universities and look forward to expanding these links in the future.

Johanne Brolly has a PhD in Chemistry and teaches Science on two of the Level 3 Applied Science courses mentioned above. With this experience, she was able to demonstrate a wide range of skills and knowledge and an ability to adapt to an ever changing environment. Through incorporating health and safety and demonstrating practical chemistry in her classroom delivery, she was up to date and experienced in current H&S legislation, equipment use and had an in-depth understanding of the chemical processes involved. She could work unsupervised, use her own initiative and follow procedures correctly. Having experience in research she was able to review literature on the research, make valid conclusions and identify where to take the research next.

The Results

From the incorporation of an identified optimum level of the novel substance and alteration of the water content of the extrudate, the % of fines produced was reduced by 75 % for the lab scale batches, and they have since run a manufacturing trial of the newly amended product during Easter week with success. The relationship between Armstrong Medical and the NRC is still ongoing and Johanne is still involved with progress reports and meetings.

Contact Details of Knowledge Provider:

Knowledge Provider Name: Northern Regional College
Contact Name: Johanne Brolly
Telephone number: 07967821066

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