How to Choose a Fan Filter Unit for your Cleanroom

How to Choose a Fan Filter Unit for your Cleanroom

In order to ensure your facility is meeting required cleanliness standards, fan filter units (FFU) are a critical component of your cleanroom design. Let’s explore more about fan filter units: how they work, what types there are, and how to choose the right one for your cleanroom.

What Is a Fan Filter Unit?

A fan filter unit is an independent filtration system mounted in a modular cleanroom ceiling grid that is used in conjunction with an air handling unit or HVAC system. It contains a fan, a pre-filter, and a filter (either HEPA or ULPA). In most cleanrooms, multiple fan filter units are installed in the cleanroom ceiling grid and are designed to provide a consistently treated workspace, minimizing dead zones.

Individual fan filter units can be added and subtracted according to the size and necessary ISO Class regulations. In general, the bigger your cleanroom, and the more stringent your ISO Class, the more fan filter units your cleanroom will likely need.

How Does a Fan Filter Unit Work?

Fan filter units work by continuously pushing clean, filtered air into your cleanroom. Air travels through a pre-filter, through the fan, and then through the HEPA or ULPA filter that treats and filters out airborne particles prior to entering your cleanroom.

When Do You Use a Fan Filter Unit for a Cleanroom?

Fan filter units provide a number of advantages over traditional air handling units. Here are a few reasons you may consider using fan filter units for your cleanroom:

  • Easy to install – Because they are mounted in the cleanroom ceiling grid, fan filter units are easy to install and are easily accessible from within the cleanroom.2
  • Easy to modify – As your facility grows and changes, your filtration system can too. Fan filter units can easily be added into the ceiling grid if you have to meet increased cleanliness requirements in the future.
  • Cost-effective – Fan filter units are generally less expensive than a completely new air system, both in terms of production cost and installation cost.

Types of Fan Filter Units: PSC vs. ECM

While all fan filter units function in generally the same way, there are two types of motors that commonly power a cleanroom FFU: permanent split capacitors (PSC) and electronically commutated motors (ECM). Each motor functions a little differently, providing distinct advantages depending on which option you choose. PSC motors operate at one consistent speed, while ECM motors have a variable speed drive and can adjust speed based on application requirements.

PSC vs. ECM: Which Fan Filter Unit is Right for Your Cleanroom?

Both of these are reliable options, guaranteed to provide the filtration your cleanroom needs. However, ECM units are often the best choice to help you meet your cleanroom goals and maximize treated space.

The Benefits of an ECM Fan Filter Unit

ECM fan filter units are known to be air-treating powerhouses for a range of applications — especially if those applications require varying filtration speeds. Its variable speed drive includes numerous benefits, including:

  • Smooth operation in inconsistent conditions
  • Great durability for big, long-haul projects
  • Energy-saving technology to help you reduce utility costs

Looking for a cleanroom that incorporates high performance filter fan units? Angstrom Technology can design a cleanroom to accommodate any equipment for your application. Contact us today to get started.

5 Ways to Improve Efficiency in Aerospace Cleanroom Design

5 Ways to Improve Efficiency in Aerospace Cleanroom Design

In the aerospace industry, we’re always looking for ways to improve efficiency in your cleanroom facility. Strategies that help you achieve the same or better results at a lower cost, boost efficiency, either by reducing energy expenditures, lowering operating costs, or improving the working environment for employees to increase productivity. 

Let’s explore 5 ways to accomplish efficiency in aerospace cleanroom design.

#1 Use Adaptable, Modular Cleanroom Construction

If you’re building a new aerospace cleanroom from scratch, modular construction is the most efficient way to get the new, custom cleanroom you need. Modular cleanrooms are prefabricated off-site with all of the features and systems incorporated within your cleanroom design. Each panel arrives prewired and pre-insulated so it can be easily assembled with the rest of the cleanroom, and up and running when you’re ready to use your completed facility.

The best part about modular cleanroom construction is that your space can be reconfigured or modified as your project evolves, or expanded, condensed, or disassembled and moved easily for a cleanroom redesign on a larger scale. This ability makes modular construction much more efficient than building a new cleanroom for every project.

#2 Optimize Your Efficiency: Aerospace Cleanroom Layout

If your cleanroom layout is inefficient, it can hamper productivity, and generate more particles for your cleanroom to remove. By redesigning your aerospace cleanroom and making your layout more efficient, you can improve the environment for your workers and cleanroom classification.

Try to only use as much space as strictly needed so your cleanroom is as compact as possible, while still maintaining room for personnel, equipment, products, and air to move around. With a smaller volume of air to treat and filter, your cleanroom will run more efficiently.

When designing the ideal cleanroom layout, plan out traffic patterns as well as access to storage to ensure frequently used equipment and supplies are located where they can be easily accessed by personnel. This effectively limits unnecessary movement and reduces air turbulence.

#3 Streamline the Airflow Pattern in Your Cleanroom Design

The airflow pattern is one of the most crucial elements of aerospace cleanroom efficiency. It works with your cleanroom layout to ensure there are no spaces of “dead” air or turbulent air that could deposit contaminants or where particles could settle. Once airflow uniformity has been established, you can trust that your cleanroom is always working to keep the environment as clean as possible. 

An expertly-designed airflow pattern will allow your cleanroom filtration system to work most efficiently. It should evenly distribute air from input to exhaust to promote even loading of filters, which not only cleans the air in your space more effectively, but also extends the life of expensive HEPA filters.

#4 Maintain Energy Efficient Cleanroom Systems

One of the best ways to improve efficiency in your aerospace cleanroom design is to choose systems that reduce energy consumption. Finding the right lighting for your facility can help you achieve this goal. Lighting in aerospace cleanrooms needs to provide plenty of illumination for detail-oriented tasks, while conserving energy where possible. LED lighting is not only more efficient than incandescent lighting, but it’s also brighter, more durable, and requires less maintenance. 

Cleanroom filtration is another area where efficiency is key. HEPA and ULPA filters are designed to thoroughly clean the air, but they are made more efficient by hardworking pre filters that remove most of the larger particles before air even reaches the HEPA filter. Because of their increased use, pre filters must be inspected and replaced according to a regular schedule to ensure they are working at peak efficiency.

Another way to maintain efficient cleanroom systems is to monitor your aerospace cleanroom HVAC. Are temperature and humidity levels optimal for your cleanroom classification and comfort? Even slight changes to temperature can make a big difference for efficiency and operational costs. Turning the thermostat up or down a degree can have a significant impact over time.

#5 Schedule Environmental Controls to Conserve Energy

Running your cleanroom at its highest levels all the time may be necessary for critical applications or facilities that conduct work on a constant schedule. But, for facilities that maintain at rest periods, adjusting environmental controls to meet a lower classification level can conserve energy and reduce operational costs.

If you schedule your environmental controls to function at a lower capacity during off times, don’t make the difference between operating levels too drastic. If your cleanroom has to expend more energy to reach a high level of cleanliness again, the practice won’t prove to be more efficient. Instead, opt for an incremental change. This will ensure that your cleanroom is conserving energy, not wasting it.

Looking to make some changes to your cleanroom design to increase efficiency? Call the experts at Angstrom Technology. Our cleanroom engineers will help you find solutions that streamline your operations and save you money.

5 Considerations for Your Plastics Injection Cleanroom Design

5 Considerations for Your Plastics Injection Cleanroom Design

Your new plastics injection cleanroom needs to be a highly efficient machine. Every component should be considered in the design to work together to help you achieve your goals. This includes your cleanroom classification requirements and other needs and wants for your team to be successful.

Let’s explore everything you’ll need to consider when designing your plastics injection cleanroom. Then, you’ll be ready to begin cleanroom construction with the help of a qualified cleanroom engineer and supplier.

#1 Understand Your Plastics Injection Cleanroom Requirements

Before you can design the ideal plastics injection cleanroom, you need to have a thorough understanding of your classification standards and the basic requirements for your project.

Your plastics injection cleanroom classification will inform your cleanroom design in essential ways like: defining the percentage of ceiling coverage of fan filter units required to reach air particle count requirements, dictating the ideal range for temperature and humidity in your cleanroom while in operation, specifying materials that are acceptable for plastics injection cleanroom construction, and more.

Also make note of any industry-specific requirements for your cleanroom, such as the type of equipment and mounting requirements as well as the energy dependencies for the equipment you’ll be using. 

#2 Compare Different Types of Cleanrooms 

For plastics injection cleanrooms, modular construction can deliver the ultimate versatility for any application. There are three main types of modular cleanrooms. While all can reach the classification requirements of plastics injection cleanrooms, you may find that one type better serves your specific project needs.

  • SoftWall Cleanrooms have an extremely flexible design makes them a great choice for many plastics industry applications, particularly those that need room to grow
  • HardWall Cleanrooms allow a high level of control over pressure, static, humidity, and of course, contamination
  • RigidWall Cleanrooms offer more flexibility than HardWall cleanrooms and come in clear, minimalist panels

#3 Determine the Ideal Plastics Injection Cleanroom Layout 

When designing your cleanroom layout, you’ll need to determine the best flow of materials and personnel around mounted equipment and features of the facility that you can’t change. If you’re building your cleanroom in your existing structure, you may need to design your cleanroom layout around structural details, incorporate HVAC inlets and outlets, and utilize light from existing windows, etc.

Your cleanroom layout should be just large enough to accommodate equipment, personnel, air, and paths for them to move, but not too large to create extra space and air you’ll need to pay to filter, heat, and treat. 

Plastics injection molding cleanrooms also typically require extra overhead space to accommodate large equipment such as overhead cranes to service molds and machinery. Extra high ceilings, nonstandard height doors and pass throughs, and a reinforced ceiling grid to support mounted equipment are all considerations for your plastics injection cleanroom design. 

#4 Airflow Pattern Design Matters

Your airflow pattern design is essential to an efficient and effective cleanroom. When clean, filtered air is pumped into the controlled space, it needs a clear path to flow through the room until it is removed. Obstructions and incongruencies can impede airflow uniformity, make your cleanroom inefficient, and risk contamination.

Air balance and positive pressurization can also be considered when designing your airflow pattern, by adding more air into the room than is taken out. 

#5 Work with Cleanroom Engineering Experts Can Design the Ideal Plastics Injection Facility

To design, build, and install the best plastics injection cleanroom, it’s a good idea to seek out the expertise of cleanroom engineers. Working with your cleanroom classification information and your project goals, they can help you get the highest-performing, most efficient cleanroom for your investment. 

For a turnkey cleanroom that checks all of your boxes, trust the experts at Angstrom Technology. Whether you’re updating your current cleanroom, or starting from scratch, we can work with you to develop the cleanroom solution that meets your needs and your budget. Request your free project quote to get started.

The Value of Starting Small: Designing a Cleanroom to Grow With You

The Value of Starting Small: Designing a Cleanroom to Grow With You

If your project needs are subject to change, how do you design a cleanroom that can meet your current and future needs? While it might seem like a good idea to build the most advanced cleanroom right away, it’s generally wiser to start small and upgrade your cleanroom over time if you need to reach a higher level of cleanliness later on. This cleanroom design approach can save energy and lower operational costs — making your work more sustainable and profitable.

Let’s discuss why starting your cleanroom design small can help you meet your current cleanroom classification, easily reach future project goals, and save your facility money in the long run.

Why Start Your Cleanroom Design Small?

If you know your cleanroom will need to meet a more stringent classification standard than required for your current project, you might be wondering, why not build a cleanroom that meets the lowest ISO level I’ll need? 

The extra cushion can ensure that you’re always meeting your cleanliness requirements — but it might not be the smartest choice for your facility, or your budget. Here are three reasons to why starting your cleanroom design small, with the least stringent ISO level, is the smarter choice:

You Can Always Upgrade to a New Cleanroom Classification 

By designing your cleanroom to meet the less stringent requirements, your space will be particularly suited to your initial project. When it’s time to change gears, a cleanroom redesign gives you the chance to assess each system and cleanroom component to see if it’s working for the new purpose of the room. So, while you’re adding more filtration, you can also assess if the layout, equipment, and other special features of your cleanroom are ideally suited for your new project and purpose.

Keeping your cleanroom running at the lower level of cleanliness saves energy and puts less stress on your cleanroom systems, so they can continue to work effectively — and last longer.

Modular Cleanroom Construction is Easily Adaptable

Modular cleanrooms are easy to adapt to fit new project needs. You can expand, condense, or reconfigure wall panels to meet new requirements, accommodate new equipment or a new cleanroom layout.

When it’s eventually time to upgrade, just add more wall panels, modular FFUs, and lighting, and update your airflow pattern to treat the increased volume of air. An experienced cleanroom engineer can help you do this by utilizing your existing space and systems, saving your facility money.

Energy Efficient Cleanroom Design Can Save Your Facility Money

The most important reason you may want to start your cleanroom design small is to reign in your energy usage to make the cleanroom more efficient.

An ISO Class 5 cleanroom requires significantly more power to maintain a controlled environment than an ISO 7 or 8 cleanroom — from the filtering power of your fan filter units to the constant treatment of air by the cleanroom HVAC system, to the flow-through lighting used to illuminate every inch of the space.

By designing your cleanroom to meet the least stringent standard (highest ISO class) you need, you can use less energy and your cleanroom systems don’t need to work as hard to meet air quality requirements, which can save your facility a significant amount of money in daily operating costs.

How to Design a Cleanroom that Grows With You

Start with the basics. Design your cleanroom to meet your needs now, and it will be easy to adapt it in the future if your needs change.

Always Start with Your Cleanroom Classification

Your first priority is always to meet your cleanroom classification requirements. Examine your cleanroom classification for the current project, paying special attention to these three areas. 

  • Allowed particles by number and size
  • Air changes per hour or airflow velocity
  • Percentage of ceiling coverage of fan filter units

From there, you can add and adjust systems in your cleanroom that will effectively reach these levels. If you need to reach more stringent requirements down the road, you’ll want to consider how these three areas can be adjusted by adding more FFUs, upgrading your HVAC system, and so on.

Design a Cleanroom Layout That Can Be Expanded

When designing your cleanroom layout, consider starting with a smaller space to save energy in treating the air for temperature, humidity, and filtration. With less cleanroom to deal with, it will be easier to maintain your cleanroom classification. There’s also less to keep clean — which means less work and maintenance for your staff and systems.

Design your cleanroom in a way that it’s easy to expand. Note areas where you can easily add filtration support or extend walls to create space for more furniture or equipment.

Adapt Your Cleanroom Systems As Needed

Be aware that, if you upgrade your cleanroom, your cleanroom systems may need to adapt to meet a new ISO classification. This could mean a more powerful HVAC to offset the heating of the space from additional equipment, more FFUs to deliver filtered air uniformly throughout the space, or powerful but efficient lighting systems to reach expanded areas.

Every part of your current cleanroom design should be able to serve any new projects — or, be easily upgraded to meet your new requirements with optimal efficiency.

Work with Cleanroom Engineering Experts 

The best way to ensure your cleanroom design can grow with you, is to work with cleanroom experts. Angstrom Technology has the experience to handle your initial cleanroom design and any redesign projects with ease. Our experts will assess your current cleanroom needs and discuss your project goals to help you get the exact cleanroom you need — that works for your new requirements and your budget now, and in the future.

Ready to design an efficient cleanroom that will grow with you? Give Angstrom Technology a call.

5 Benefits of Seamless Cleanroom Design

5 Benefits of Seamless Cleanroom Design

Seamless cleanroom design offers many advantages, including modular construction, easy maintenance, supreme durability, and more. Let’s take a look at 5 ways this type of cleanroom design can offer improved performance for any industry. 


What is Seamless Cleanroom Design?


Seamless cleanrooms are a type of modular construction that prioritizes smooth, sleek panels for aesthetic and performance. This construction allows cleanroom systems to work at peak efficiency to change the air and remove particles.

They can be fully customized to any application and built within a facility’s existing structure, making them a great cleanroom design option for virtually any ISO class or application. 


5 Benefits of Seamless Cleanroom Design


Seamless cleanrooms have unique strengths and capabilities that make them the ideal choice. 


#1 Modular Construction is a Turnkey Solution


Seamless cleanrooms use modular construction, where the highly customized panels are designed and fabricated offsite, so they can be put together quickly. From cleanroom design to installation, they can be up and running faster than traditional construction, making them the perfect turnkey solution for many projects.

These cleanrooms can be built in virtually any space, and their unique design means they can be easily adapted and modified, even after installation. 


#2 Seamless Cleanrooms are Easy to Maintain


Seamless cleanroom design aims to minimize surfaces where particles can collect. This means your cleanroom systems don’t have to work as hard to meet cleanliness requirements, making for a more efficient operation.

Seamless cleanrooms are also easy to clean. The panels are resistant to chemicals and solvents, so they won’t shed particles or corrode, even under regular, thorough cleaning.


#3 Durable Cleanroom Design is Built to Last


Seamless panels are impact resistant, built to withstand rigorous cleaning and day-to-day wear — without shedding particles or outgassing. For a long-lasting solution, seamless cleanroom design provides the best environment for virtually any application.


#4 Full Integration With Your Cleanroom Trades and Systems


Your seamless cleanroom includes integration with your cleanroom systems and trades, such as cleanroom HVAC, filtration, lighting, and more. It can be installed in your existing structure and outfitted with all the special features you need to make your project a success.


#5 Custom Cleanroom Design for Any Application


Seamless cleanroom solutions are fully customizable and can be built to any cleanroom classification, which makes them an ideal choice for a wide range of applications.

Many applications use seamless cleanrooms to achieve and maintain aseptic conditions, such as semiconductor production, pharmaceutical development, and medical device manufacturing and packaging.


Seamless Cleanroom Design Solutions

If you think a seamless solution would be right for you, get in touch with the cleanroom design experts at Angstrom Technology. Our engineers can design and install a seamless solution that meets all your requirements and design considerations. Speak with one of our cleanroom engineers to get started.

Turnkey vs Non-Turnkey Cleanroom Construction

Turnkey vs Non-Turnkey Cleanroom Construction

Building a new cleanroom is a highly individual process, as it must be tailored to each facility’s needs and cleanroom classification. And this process of customization takes time. While modular construction with prefabricated panels can shorten the lead time of your project, the more “custom” your cleanroom is, generally the more time and money that must go into it.

If you need a complete and custom cleanroom that’s ready for immediate use, a turnkey cleanroom may be the ideal solution for you. Let’s explore the differences between the turnkey vs. non-turnkey cleanroom construction process to see which may serve your project needs better, be produced faster, and offer better value for your investment.

What’s the Difference Between Turnkey vs. Non-Turnkey Cleanroom Construction?

The way you move through this process of designing and installing the ideal cleanroom is significantly different if you choose a turnkey vs. non-turnkey cleanroom construction.

Non-turnkey construction refers to the practice of building a cleanroom step by step, where every component is installed separately, often by different contractors and experts, until the finished cleanroom takes shape.

Turnkey cleanroom solutions are facilitated by one party. The entire project is managed in-house, from planning and design through cleanroom construction and installation. You order the specialized cleanroom you need, and the complete solution is delivered and ready to use.

To break this down a bit further, let’s look into what you can expect with turnkey cleanroom construction vs. non-turnkey construction.

Turnkey vs. Non-Turnkey Cleanroom Construction

Turnkey solutions are a great way to get a highly specialized cleanroom — and save your company money and time. Non-turnkey cleanrooms require you to be more involved in the design and implementation, which has its own pros and cons. 

Here’s what you can expect from turnkey vs. non-turnkey cleanroom construction:

Turnkey Cleanroom Solutions

You can save more than just time by finding a turnkey cleanroom solution versus going the traditional route.

Simplified Cleanroom Construction

Turnkey cleanrooms are an end-to-end solution. A thorough planning stage ensures the finished product will be perfectly suited to your project needs. One facilitator for your project, a cleanroom expert, will take time to understand your project goals, cleanroom classification standard, and any wants and needs you may have for your cleanroom.

Highly Customized Cleanroom Solution

Experts handle the entire project from start to finish. They’ll use the highest quality materials for durability and performance, using subcontractors they trust to ensure a seamless finished project that includes all the trades and features you need. 

Expert Advice and Service

Even though your project is managed by someone else, it’s easy to customize your cleanroom to be exactly what you need. Cleanroom experts will take you through the process so you can be as involved with as many design decisions as you want.

Since these experts will understand your cleanroom inside and out, they’ll be the best resource if there’s ever a problem. For regular maintenance to repair, your turnkey cleanroom provider will be able to help you figure out what you need and solve any problems quickly and efficiently.

Accurate Budget and Timeline Estimate

Part of the project plan will be to estimate the budget and timeline of your project, and you can trust your cleanroom engineer to stick to it. This means a turnkey cleanroom can often be completed faster than in the non-turnkey cleanroom construction process.

When you choose a turnkey solution, you can entrust the process to experts and expect the complete cleanroom delivered exactly how and when you need it.

Non-Turnkey Cleanroom Construction

Non-turnkey cleanroom construction may take time, but if you’d prefer to handle all of the details yourself, it offers you more control over the final product.

Burden of Responsibility

With non-turnkey cleanroom construction, the party responsible for understanding the project inside and out — is you. If you know a lot about cleanroom design already, you may feel prepared to make all of the decisions for what materials to use and how to install them. 

You’ll likely gather great advice from the contractors and designers you work with, but this could also lead to differing opinions and an overwhelm of information.

Complete and Manual Customization

One advantage of non-turnkey construction is that all the customizations are entirely in your hands, but you’ll be responsible for doing thorough research to find out what’s possible and cost-effective. You’ll be in charge of locating experts for each component of the cleanroom, and have to trust they can integrate each system with other parts of the project. 

Complicated Maintenance and Repair

If something goes wrong with your cleanroom, you’ll have to track down the right person for the job — and if you don’t fully understand the problem, it could take more time and money to find a technician with the right experience.

Extended Timeline and Budget

Non-turnkey cleanroom construction has a tendency to extend longer than expected because it requires coordination across many schedules, waiting time for material availability, and additional time for product research. 

For these reasons, non-turnkey construction is more challenging to confine to a strict budget — both monetarily and temporally — as working with different contractors, products, and vendors are variables not easily defined.

Is a Turnkey Cleanroom Solution Right for You?

Whether you’re starting from scratch with a brand new cleanroom or need to upgrade or redesign an existing one, a turnkey cleanroom could offer your facility some serious advantages. A turnkey cleanroom solution may be right for you if:

  • You need a ready-to-use cleanroom for your project on an accelerated timeline
  • You need a cleanroom that is easily adaptable for future projects
  • You need a highly specialized cleanroom to meet ISO Class 5 or cleaner standards
  • You need to redesign a cleanroom to meet more stringent ISO standards
  • You need a cleanroom designed and built to meet specific budget requirements

Angstrom Technology is a leader in the modular cleanroom industry. Whatever the size and classification of your project, we can deliver the turnkey cleanroom that fits your specifications and exceeds your expectations. Reach out to our team to get started today.