If you’re a manufacturer, you probably know the challenges of keeping a factory clean, organized, and free of contaminants. But have you ever stopped to consider that there might be another way? Installing a cleanroom at your facility could solve many problems at once. This article will explain how cleanrooms are useful in manufacturing environments.
What Are Cleanrooms?
In manufacturing, cleanrooms are unique rooms designed and constructed to contain particles, gases, and other materials that pose a risk to the quality of a product or process. The cleanliness of these rooms is measured in terms of particles per cubic meter.
A room that has less than 100 particles/cm3 is considered very clean and can be used for making products such as semiconductors or solar cells with almost no risk of contamination. A typical home has 10 million particles per cm3, so it’s easy to see why they’re important in manufacturing processes.
Cleanrooms are an integral part of several manufacturing use cases. Hence, they are in utmost demand, as seen in the market growth predictions. According to the Grand View Market Research analysis, the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.4% from 2021 to 2028.
Why Should You Use Cleanrooms?
Cleanrooms are used to reduce the risk of contamination. They are a controlled environment free from harmful particles to microelectronics and other sensitive products. Cleanrooms help control the quality of your product while it is being manufactured and after it has been produced to avoid contamination.
Cleanroom technologies are used by many industries like food processing, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and electronics manufacturing, where there is a risk of cross-contamination if particles enter during production or packaging processes.
If these particles get into your product, it could cause severe problems for you, such as rejection from customers because they think your product is not safe enough for consumption by humans or animals living on Earth.
Product cross-contamination is a common occurrence in the food industry. This can occur at any time throughout the food preparation process. If you don’t use cleanrooms and the contamination occurs, and it affects someone, you can face legal consequences.
According to the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service, contaminated meat and poultry products are subject to legal proceedings under the Federal Meat Inspection Act and Poultry Products Inspection Act.
Benefits of Using Cleanrooms in Manufacturing
There are many benefits of using cleanrooms in manufacturing. Some of these benefits include the following:
- Increasing the quality of your products by ensuring that they are manufactured without any contaminants. This is why having a cleanroom is essential to produce high-quality products.
- Improving efficiency and consistency in your manufacturing process helps keep all elements of your manufacturing environment under control. For example, all parts used in production can be tested for contamination before being used on one another or with other materials to ensure no cross-contamination issues.
- Cleanrooms also help manufacturers meet FDA-level hygiene and sterility standards, making their products more attractive on the market because consumers will know that they are safe for use or consumption.
Cleanrooms in the Pharmaceutical Industry
Cleanrooms are used in the pharmaceutical industry, where sterility is a critical part of production. The goal is to reduce the risk of contamination and ensure that the product is not contaminated with foreign matter.
Cleanrooms can also prevent cross-contamination between products, which happens when one batch contaminates another through airflow or equipment handling. In this way, cleanrooms help prevent the spread of germs or bacteria throughout an entire plant, thereby protecting workers and consumers from harm by reducing exposure to harmful pathogens.
Contamination in pharmaceutical products can be devastating for those who consume them. The reason is simple; it directly impacts your health. For instance, the FDA recently warned drug manufacturers of increased chances of benzene contamination in certain drugs.
Due to benzene contamination, a few hand sanitizers and aerosol drugs have also been called off. The point is that cleanrooms can help prevent such hazards while ensuring the best quality pharmaceutical products.
Semiconductor Manufacturing and Cleanroom Facilities
In semiconductor manufacturing, cleanrooms protect delicate equipment and materials from contamination. Cleanrooms also prevent particulates, dust particles, and bacteria that can damage sensitive equipment or cause an expensive failure.
Cleanrooms prevent contamination by keeping out larger particles too big to fit through a filter, such as dirt, dust, and smoke residue, from touching delicate electronics during assembly operations. They also prevent airborne microbes from settling on semiconductors by providing optimal conditions for free-flowing airflows designed not just to remove contaminants but to circulate them away from sensitive areas so they don’t settle where they could cause problems later downstream after the packaging has occurred.
The semiconductor cleanroom temperatures are more challenging to maintain as they require frequent cooling and heating. According to a study published in the ScienceDirect journal, the chillers and fans that cool semiconductor cleanrooms consume around 80%-90% of the total required energy.
The study also proposes a better model to help reduce cooling in the dry cooling coil (DCC) by 40% to 52% to avoid reheating. This can help reduce energy consumption and, thus, the costs associated with cleanrooms.
Medical Product Manufacturing
Medical device manufacturing requires a cleanroom. Cleanrooms maintain the highest possible cleanliness standards and protect against contamination. Medical devices are primarily made from plastics, metals, and ceramics. These materials must be protected from dust, airborne particles, and biofilm formation.
Cleanrooms provide a controlled environment for medical product manufacturing processes using air filters, laminar flow hoods, or HEPA filtration systems which remove 99% of all particles that may come into contact with the process area.
The design and construction of your medical device cleanroom are critical in ensuring that production runs can continue without interruption when faced with contamination issues due to equipment failures or unexpected events such as power outages or unplanned personnel absences during work hours.
If you’re in any of the industries listed above, or if you’re working on projects that require a cleanroom environment, it may be a good idea to start designing and building one. Cleanrooms can be expensive and time-consuming to set up, but they are well worth the investment when it comes down to the quality of your products.