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.

 

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.

Designing Your Food Microbiology Cleanroom

Designing Your Food Microbiology Cleanroom

Food microbiology labs have a variety of special considerations due to the sensitive nature of the work and its importance. Not only do they need dedicated laboratory space for testing, but the controlled environment of a cleanroom is also critical. Here are some things to consider when designing a cleanroom for food microbiology applications.

Location

Food microbiology cleanrooms should be located conveniently to the production area from which samples are being tested; however, it should be away from main transportation arteries, noisy areas, boilers, and other heavy equipment.

Setup

Depending on your company’s production needs or your specific lab’s application, your food microbiology cleanroom will likely include a chemical laboratory, bacteria laboratory, and office spaces. These areas will likely require multiple rooms. The bacteria lab will probably require a sterile room, examination and operation rooms, and media production studios. Biological testing should always and necessarily be separated from other cleanroom operations. The chemical lab may require a chemical analysis room as well as an instrument room. The offices will need to be accessible to lab personnel as well as other employees, and will likely require a different level of access and control than the rest of the cleanroom space, meaning separation from other cleanroom areas.

ISO Classification

Generally speaking, food manufacturing and food microbiology cleanrooms must meet ISO Class 5 or 6 (Fed-Std 209E Class 100 or 1,000). This means that recommended air changes per hour are between 150 and 600, with 25 to 70 percent ceiling coverage. (For more information on the maximum number of particles in air allowed per cubic meter of each particle size, check out our guide to cleanroom classifications & standards.)

Maintaining a controlled environment is critical for a food microbiology cleanroom. If you want a cleanroom that’s designed and built right, call Angstrom TechnologY.

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.

 

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