Modular vs Traditional Construction for Cleanrooms

Modular vs Traditional Construction for Cleanrooms

When it comes to building a new cleanroom, the biggest, and possibly first decision you’ll have to make is whether your cleanroom will be modular or traditionally constructed. There are benefits and limitations to each of these options, and it can be difficult to determine the right choice for your cleanroom application. Here’s our take on modular cleanrooms vs traditional construction.

 

Flexibility

For applications requiring flexibility, modular construction is your best bet. Traditional construction can’t be packed up and moved to another location. Nor is it as easy to expand as modular construction where adjustments are minor, such as detaching a few panels and adding more to them. Instead, you have to totally renovate, knocking out walls, etc. Depending on your cleanroom use and classification, you could have a super-flexible Softwall cleanroom, which has impermanent curtain-like walls or a Rigidwall or Hardwall cleanroom, with thicker, more substantial wall panels.

While it might seem like traditional construction is more impervious and more permanent that modular construction, Hardwall and Rigidwall cleanrooms are just as impermeable to contaminants as traditional walls, ceilings, and floors.

 

Cost

Depending on the size, budget, classification, and application of your cleanroom, modular construction may be less expensive than traditional construction. This is especially true of smaller cleanrooms or those that are impermanent. For applications like clean storage, which may require only a small space and adhere to the least stringent cleanroom classifications, a Softwall cleanroom may be the best option, as it typically falls at a lower price point than construction.

 

Installation

While traditional construction can take months from start to finish, modular construction is a much simpler process, as all the components are already manufactured. Instead of having to build walls from raw materials, with modular cleanrooms, the components simply need to be assembled to your specifications. Modular construction can take as little as a few days or weeks to complete, which is crucial to getting your operations up and running as soon as possible.

Additionally, while you’ll always need to hire pros for traditional construction, a modular cleanroom can often be assembled in-plant by your own staff, with the instructions provided by the manufacturer. The manufacturer may even offer installation services at a slight additional cost or as part of a modular cleanroom design package.

 

If you’re designing a cleanroom, get in touch with Angstrom Technology to see how our modular cleanroom designs are the right option for your cleanroom.

Why You Need a Cleanroom Design Company, Not Just a Contractor

Why You Need a Cleanroom Design Company, Not Just a Contractor

When beginning the cleanroom design process, it may seem like the simplest, easiest, most inexpensive route is to design the cleanroom yourself, then hire your general contractor to build it. After all, you’ve worked with your contractor before and trust them. But in reality, cleanrooms are complex, complicated, and delicate environments that require experience and specialized knowledge to design and build—knowledge and experience that cleanroom design companies have that contractors may not.

Cleanrooms have special design features

Cleanrooms are not regular rooms and have special design concerns. They need to be optimized for laminar air flow to control contamination, they need to be made of materials that are low particulate emitters, and they often have special features like air showers and pass thru chambers that must be specially designed to reduce the amount of contamination that enters a cleanroom. A poorly designed or integrated pass-thru chamber or other design feature will defeat your efforts to control your cleanroom environment and increase your energy cost and consumption, which is why you should leave those features to a specialist.

Cleanrooms require special equipment

Not only do cleanrooms have specialized features, they also require special equipment that must be seamlessly integrated with HVAC, filters, and other systems. Your general contractor might not have knowledge of fume hoods, hazardous material storage, or cleanroom HEPA or ULPA filtration systems, which, if those systems are not installed and integrated properly, could result in contamination or hazardous conditions in your cleanroom

Traditional construction isn’t always the best option

If you hire a contractor to build a room or suite of rooms for you, they’re going to build those rooms. But sometimes, you don’t need a room in the traditional sense—four permanent walls. With cleanrooms particularly, your company’s needs can change as you add or remove equipment, change your processes, or expand your operations.

Modular construction allows you to change your cleanroom when need be. Additionally, certain types of cleanrooms, like storage cleanrooms, may not require the space, control, or rigidity of a traditionally constructed cleanroom, and a softwall cleanroom may suffice. Modular construction can also be more cost-effective than traditional construction because it depreciates at a quicker rate.

We’re cleanroom design experts who design and build custom cleanrooms, not just general contractors. Angstrom Technology can design the perfect cleanroom for your application. Contact us today.

 

What Cleanroom Supplies Do You Need?

What Cleanroom Supplies Do You Need?

Designing and building a cleanroom is one thing, but knowing what you need to buy to keep that cleanroom clean and within the environmental controls for your desired cleanroom classification is another. Here’s a quick rundown on some of the supplies you might need for your cleanroom.

The cleanroom supplies that you need will generally depend on your classification. An ISO Class 1 cleanroom will have the strictest cleanliness and gowning procedures, because that is the most stringent classification, whereas an ISO Class 8 cleanroom may require fewer garments with a more infrequent replacement schedule.

Additionally, your industry and the specific tasks and processes performed in your cleanroom will affect the supplies you need. If your process includes the use of hazardous materials, you’ll need more PPE than a cleanroom of the same ISO or Federal Standard 209E classification. Check out our guide to cleanroom classifications for more information on cleanroom classifications and standards here.

General list of cleanroom garments:

  • Hoods
  • Hair Covers
  • Coveralls
  • Intersuits
  • Boots or Shoe Covers
  • Facial Covers
  • Gloves
  • Frocks

General list of cleanroom cleaning supplies:

  • Brushes & Brooms
  • Buckets
  • Mops & Mop Handles
  • Scrub Pads
  • Sponges
  • Squeegees
  • Wringers
  • Disinfectants
  • Detergents
  • Solvents

If you’re designing a cleanroom, get in touch with Angstrom Technology to see how our modular cleanroom designs can work for your application.

Cleanroom Terminology 101

Cleanroom Terminology 101

If you’re new to cleanrooms, the terminology surrounding them might seem like a foreign language, but it’s crucial to understand in order to design and run an effective cleanroom. Here’s a run-down on the most basic terms you need to know when it comes to cleanroom terminology.

What’s a cleanroom?

A cleanroom is a controlled environment that limits contamination and particles, as well as temperature, humidity, static, and other factors, in some cases. Specialized air circulation and filtration systems filter out particles and contaminants from the air. Cleanrooms can be used in a variety of industries and for a variety of applications, including storage, manufacturing, and testing and analysis. Read more about the various types of cleanrooms here.

What’s classification?

Cleanroom classification is a way of identifying the level of contamination control within a cleanroom. The classes are defined by the number of particles of certain sizes that are present in a cubic foot of air within the cleanroom. Cleanrooms are usually classified to either the ISO standard or Federal Standard 209E. Read more about cleanroom classifications here.

What’s ISO?

ISO stands for International Organization for Standardization, which is an international scientific body that creates standards for organizations for manufacturing, organizational success, and workplace conditions, among other things. ISO has created a standard for cleanroom classification that classifies cleanrooms into eight classes. Read more about the cleanroom ISO standards here.

What’s certification?

Certification is a process of testing and verifying cleanroom environmental controls to ensure that they meet the standard required for the industry and the application. This includes testing of the major components including filters, air flow equipment, HVAC, ionization equipment, etc. Read more about cleanroom certification and validation here.

 

Need to learn more about cleanrooms or need help designing one? Contact the cleanroom experts at Angstrom Technology. For more on cleanroom terminology, check out our cleanroom glossary.

Everything You Need to Know About Cleanroom Design

Everything You Need to Know About Cleanroom Design

There are so many things to consider when designing a cleanroom, from the necessary classification to the equipment to the budget to the application, even down to the material of the walls and the furniture inside the cleanroom. Here are our best resources with everything you need to know about cleanroom design to make your cleanroom project a success.

Most Common Cleanroom Design Problems

Don’t get tripped up before you even begin! It’s not enough to just design a cleanroom that meets your ISO standard, it needs to be efficient in terms of your processes. Most cleanroom issues are the result of poor planning and design, and that can easily be avoided. Read more about the most common cleanroom design problems here.

New Trends in Cleanroom Design

If you’re designing a new cleanroom, you want it to be up-to-date and cutting-edge, especially when cleanrooms are such a significant, long-term investment. This post breaks down the biggest emerging trends in cleanroom design, like sustainability, and how you can apply that to your own cleanroom design project. Read more about the new trends in cleanroom design here.

What to Think About When Choosing Cleanroom Furniture

Furniture is probably low on your list of design concerns, but it’s a crucial consideration to achieve an efficient, well-designed cleanroom. This post will help you ask the right questions to determine what you’ll need for your cleanroom, based on the specific application, processes, tasks, materials, and other things that will be happening or used within the cleanroom walls. Read more about what to consider when choosing cleanroom furniture here.

How to Decide on the Right Wall Material for Your Cleanroom

There’s more to cleanroom walls than just how many there are. There are several different types of walls that your cleanroom can have, all of which have different characteristics that suit differing applications. This post can help you determine, based on factors like cost, flexibility, cleaning, and durability, the right type of wall material for your cleanroom application. Read more on how to select the right cleanroom wall material here.

Design Options to Reduce Your Cleanroom Budget

While a cleanroom may be necessary for your application, oftentimes, you have little money to work with when designing a new cleanroom, and you need it to go a long way to meet your required cleanroom classification. This post has several suggestions on how to cut down on the expense of designing a cleanroom, from cost-efficient lighting choices to design features like pass-thru chambers that can help keep contamination down and reduce energy costs. Read more on how to design a cleanroom on a tight budget here.

Angstrom Technology has years of experience in designing efficient, effective cleanrooms for a variety of industries and applications. If you’re designing a cleanroom, get in touch with the experts at Angstrom Technology.