Press Release: Angstrom’s New Facility

Press Release: Angstrom’s New Facility

Angstrom Technology is pleased to announce that our new facility has finally been completed. The building is located at 3509 3 Mile Road in Grand Rapids, alongside DK Engineered Construction. The new facility is 20,000 square feet and houses our cleanroom, modular office design and build firm, as well as our corporate office. We look forward to settling in to our recently completed and freshly landscaped new home!

Our employees are Angstrom Technology’s greatest attribute, and the quality of our people and their work is unsurpassed in the industry. That’s just one of the reasons we’re so proud to have built a new facility giving our valuable employees a place to call home!

Angstrom Technologies main office is located here in West Michigan, with satellite sales offices in Ohio, Pennsylvania and California.

As an industry leader in cleanroom production, Angstrom Technology’s mission is to be a top resource for cleanroom consulting, design, installation, equipment, and repair. With extensive knowledge of cleanrooms and the industries they serve, Angstrom ensures that our clients get exactly the cleanroom they need for their project.

Come visit us at our new facility and see just what we do, and how our modular cleanroom solutions can work for you. Call or contact us online to get a quote or set up an initial consultation, at our place or yours!

Most Common Cleanroom Design Problems

Most Common Cleanroom Design Problems

Cleanrooms present a lot of unique challenges in terms of design because they have very specific requirements they have to meet. If you’re meeting your desired ISO standard, you might feel like your design is good enough, but the truth is that there are a lot of common issues that companies face when designing cleanrooms. Here are some of the most common cleanroom design problems we see:

Inefficient placement

One of the biggest issues with cleanroom design is inefficiency. If your design doesn’t support your processes, it’s going to cause problems. Consider the various tasks and processes that go on in your cleanroom. Is someone always getting in someone else’s way because of where there workstations or supplies are located? Are there too many processes sharing one sink, causing a bottleneck? Are there drawers or cabinets that you can’t fully open because they’re too close to a wall or door? All of those problems can cause major inefficiency and can be avoided with good design.

Maze-like walkways

The whole point of a maze is inefficiency, it takes a long time to get through a relatively short distance because you have to twist and turn and wind around obstacles. But your cleanroom shouldn’t be a labyrinth. If employees have to walk through narrow paths, wind around oddly placed workstations, or bump into each other constantly to get to the door, their workstations, the sink, or the fire extinguisher, you will have massive safety problems on your hands, not to mention a lot of wasted time and motion on the part of the cleanroom techs.

Poor ventilation

Good ventilation is necessary for any space to be comfortable, but it’s especially crucial in a cleanroom, where you’re trying to maintain a controlled environment with limited particles and contaminants. Additionally, in cleanrooms where hazardous materials are used, good ventilation is a necessary safety concern to ensure the well-being of workers.

Unable to maintain temperature

No one wants to work in a room that’s too hot and stuffy or freezing cold, so for the same of employees comfort and morale, a cleanroom that is a comfortable temperature matters. It’s vital too that your cleanroom can maintain its desired temperature to protect the products, materials, and chemicals stored in it, as they can be sensitive to temperature, and to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria that can compromise the cleanroom environment. This could be a problem with your HVAC, thermostat, or insulation, so be sure to select those things wisely and perform regular maintenance checks.

Good design is the first step to having a well-functioning cleanroom. If you recognize some of the issues we mentioned in your current cleanroom, it’s probably time for a redesign. There are a few things you can do in the meantime to work with the layout you have and increase efficiency, such as rearranging movable cleanroom furniture, moving processes that don’t require a controlled environment to a new area, or simply cleaning out any tools, materials, or storage that is no longer necessary.

Having issues with your cleanroom design? Call the experts at Angstrom Technology.

 

How are Cleanrooms Validated?

How are Cleanrooms Validated?

Validation is an important process for any cleanroom. It serves to ensure that the cleanroom is properly designed for its intended ISO classification and that all of the components (facility, environment, equipment) meet regulatory requirements and other defined standards. So what’s the cleanroom validation process?

Most often, cleanrooms are validated by third-party validation agencies. This entails a thorough inspection and several tests, whereafter the cleanroom is certified to a specific class indicating its level of control, usually to an ISO14544-1 class.

Validation has several phases, beginning with design qualification, and ending in final certification.  Some of the tests performed in these phases include airflow volume and velocity tests, HEPA/ULPA filter leak testing, air movement visualization (smoke testing), room pressurization, room recovery, airborne particle count tests, relative humidity, temperature, and other testing conditions.

Certification consists of three main phases. Installation qualification is also referred to as Phase 1 or “As built” testing. Testing is performed with all services connected and working, but no materials, production equipment, or employees present, proving that the equipment is correctly installed

Phase 2 is the operational qualification or “At rest” testing. Testing occurs when equipment is installed but not operating, and no employees are present. This proves that the equipment works properly to achieve the required environmental conditions.

Phase 3 is what is referred to as performance qualification. In this phase, testing is performed with all equipment installed and operating and employees performing their regular work duties and tasks. This testing proves that the cleanroom has the required operational performance for the cleanroom application.

Once initial certification is complete, it is important to regularly recertify to ensure that your cleanroom continues to operate as it did when it was built.  At a minimum, annual certification is recommended. Depending on industry and product, semi-annual or even quarterly certification may be required.

Need a cleanroom to meet ISO or other standards? Angstrom Technology can design it and build it!

 

Choosing the Right Cleanroom Design and Installation Company

Choosing the Right Cleanroom Design and Installation Company

For facilities requiring a clean environment, the cleanroom itself is a crucial component. As a general contractor or builder, you know that finding the right company to design/build and service, your cleanroom is a critical part of your projects success. How do you choose the right cleanroom design company? Here are some qualities a good cleanroom design company should have:

Good communication—quick response times

Communication is essential in any construction project, and it’s vital for subcontracted work. The cleanroom design company that you chose should give respond quickly with a budgetary quote, and be able to answer any technical questions you may have in the design/build portion of your project. Once the project is underway supply you with weekly project updates, keeping your timeline in check.

Fast lead times and ability to meet deadlines

You don’t have months and months to get this cleanroom constructed—you need it done quickly and efficiently, within your timeframe. You have deadlines that you have to meet, and the cleanroom designer should understand and respect that. Given a reasonable amount of time and all the necessary information to complete the cleanroom project, a good cleanroom design firm should be able to make quick turnaround times and keep the cleanroom, and therefore the rest of your project, on schedule.

Customization capabilities

Good cleanroom designers will work with you to create the right cleanroom for the client, and this may include custom requests. Good designers aren’t inflexible—they won’t just provide a boilerplate, cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all cleanroom, because the needs of each client are unique, based upon cleanroom application and other circumstances. The cleanroom design firm you choose should be willing and able to design custom elements such as casework, cleanroom benches, and tables, to fit the client’s specific needs.

Ability to stay on budget   

Cleanrooms can be an enormous cost for your client, and as such, the budget must be respected. If a cleanroom designer can’t stick to the agreed-upon budget, the project can’t succeed, and problems will arise for all parties, the cleanroom design company, you, and the client. Good cleanroom designers will be able to provide a workable cleanroom design within budget constraints.

Selecting the best company for your cleanroom design and installation project is the first and most essential step in providing your client with the cleanroom their company needs. Finding a cleanroom design company with good communication practices, quick turnaround times, the ability to customize, and budget-consciousness will ensure that your cleanroom design is a success.

If you’re tasked with a cleanroom design project and have questions about designing a new cleanroom, give the experts at Angstrom a call. We install all kinds cleanrooms and have a selection of necessary cleanroom equipment and supplies.

What to Think About When Choosing Cleanroom Furniture

What to Think About When Choosing Cleanroom Furniture

Designing a cleanroom comes with a huge set of unique challenges: controlling the temperature, air quality, static, water purity, etc. What can get overlooked during a cleanroom design is the fixtures and furniture, which are extremely important to the efficiency and ergonomics of your cleanroom space. Here are the questions you should ask when selecting casework and furniture for your cleanroom:

What types of chemicals and materials will be used?

Depending on the substances that you’ll be using in the cleanroom, you may need to ensure that you select work surfaces that are chemical resistant, heat resistant, stain resistant, or non-conductive. This will also inform whether you’ll need fume hoods or chemical or hazardous material storage.

What processes will be performed?

This determines the number and types of workstations you’ll need, as well as their layout. If your cleanroom is used for clean storage of sensitive materials, you’ll probably need cabinetry, shelving, and casework, but if your cleanroom is used for quality control testing, you’ll likely need workstations with storage, sinks, electricity and more.

How often will things change?

If you need flexibility for when processes change, or your cleanroom houses multiple different operations. You may need to consider the flexibility and changeability of the furniture you choose. This can be accomplished with adjustable height tables, workstations or casework on wheels, or adjustable cabinetry that allows you to reconfigure the drawer and cabinet locations.

How many chairs do you actually need?

This seems trivial, but can be a major issue for efficiency. Too many chairs mean there’s always one in the way, and that space is wasted. Too few seats leave your employees playing musical chairs all day. Consider ergonomics with chairs and ensure they are the right height and comfort level for their application. Stools may be the most appropriate choice for cleanrooms where technicians sit for short periods of time at counters; however, if your employees are sitting at workstations for long periods of time for certain operations, they’ll need more comfortable seating.

How much storage is needed?

No matter your cleanroom application, you’ll need storage of some kind, whether for materials, packaging, or the tools and equipment used in your processes. Ensuring that you have the right kind of storage for these items is also important. While shelving may work for bulk storage of boxed items, you’ll need cabinets for chemical storage or racks and drawers for tools.

How much space do I have?

If you’re working with limited space, it’s critical that you maximize that space. Too much furniture can impede movement and therefore,  the efficiency of your cleanroom operations. Consider how spaces can be made flexible for multiple operations or how the furniture can be best laid out for process flow, as well as the movement of people within that space.

 

When designing or upgrading a cleanroom, don’t forget the furniture. Using your cleanroom space inefficiently or having the wrong furniture or materials, or simply not having enough storage or seats can make a cleanroom into a chaotic mess. Ask yourself these questions when selecting cleanroom furniture to ensure a well-designed cleanroom for your application.

 

If you’re designing a new cleanroom, make sure you have the right space to meet your needs. Angstrom Technology can design, construct and install the perfect cleanroom