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Award Winner CellPath Continues to Grow Despite Brexit and the Pandemic

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A Newtown company, which specialises in the manufacture and worldwide supply of products and services to help hospitals diagnose cancer, has continued to increase turnover despite the double impact of Brexit and the pandemic.

Investment in research and development (R&D) capabilities has paid dividends for CellPath which is on target to increase turnover by around 25% this year.

The company, which has 110 employees, was rewarded for its investment, innovations and continued success when it added another Powys Business Awards accolade to its bulging trophy cabinet last Friday.

CellPath won the Technology and Innovation Award, sponsored by Industry Wales, at a drive-in awards ceremony in Newtown. Organised by Mid Wales Manufacturing Group, the awards showcase business excellence across Powys.

Dr Neil Haine, CellPath’s head of research and development, said:

“This award is testament to the hard work of CellPath’s employees. It means everything to be recognised by our peers.

“We have invested a lot in automation to keep up with demand. We must thank the Welsh Government and Business Wales for their support to help us acquire new equipment to take our business to the next level.”

A leader in UK cellular pathology market, CellPath stands out by being able to manufacture and supply many of the plastic products used in modern cytology and histology laboratories to study diseased cells and tissue.

The company’s R&D investment included a new laboratory and office suite incorporating state of the art equipment and four new R & D staff, including engineers, chemists and biomedical scientists.

The time taken to bring a new product to market has been slashed from up to three years to an average of just one year.

The strategic focus of the R&D team in 2021 has been the adoption of Industry 4.0, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which focuses heavily on interconnectivity, automation, machine learning and real-time data analysis to drive business forward.

Co-operative robots are now being integrated into the production process along with image recognition systems for packing and quality control to increase productivity by up to 165% and reduce waste by up to 95%. Sales of existing and new products packed using robotic cells are forecasted to increase by 80% this year.

Due to the pandemic, UK laboratories were working at around 20% of their normal capacity on cancer diagnostics, prompting CellPath to focus more on equipment sales, which paid dividends.

Powys Business Awards judges said CellPath had demonstrated an ethos of technology and innovation throughout the company, continuously developing new and innovative products that contributed to growth in turnover and employees.

“CellPath’s lead times from concept to production have reduced from 24-30 months to 12 months and engagement with new manufacturing techniques all contributed to them winning this year’s award in a closely contested competition,” they added.