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.

Medical Cleanroom Design Tips: Cleanroom Ceilings and Fan Filter Units

Medical Cleanroom Design Tips: Cleanroom Ceilings and Fan Filter Units

Cleanroom walls, floors, doors, and other components get a lot of attention, but one of the most crucial elements of cleanroom construction is the ceiling. Cleanroom ceilings support many of the essential functions of the space, from housing fan filter units to supporting lighting and other electrical components, fire suppression systems, and more.

This is one area of medical cleanroom design that should not be overlooked. Let’s explore what your cleanroom ceiling can do — particularly when it comes to filtration and fan filter units.

Medical Cleanroom Design: Cleanroom Ceilings

Cleanroom ceilings can take many forms, depending on the requirements of each application, but the most common construction is a grid ceiling.

The grid ceiling of a medical cleanroom must support the frame and ceiling panels, lighting, and heavy fan filter units. The grid frame and all of its contents is supported by sturdy beams attached to your building structure.

With the ceiling panels installed, there should still be enough space between the ceiling and the roof for electrical and control boxes, air inlets, and fan filter unit housings. Walkable cleanroom ceilings must have enough space for a technician to maneuver above the room safely, to perform maintenance without disturbing the controlled environment inside.

Considerations for Cleanroom Ceiling Design

Cleanroom ceilings any any components, such as filters, filter housing, frames, and other penetrations for utilities, sprinklers, or lighting, must be completely sealed to prevent any contaminants from finding their way into the cleanroom. When designing the cleanroom ceiling, no wires, pipes or other obstructions should block or impair the airflow pattern from the fan filter units. 

Medical Cleanroom Ceilings and Fan Filter Units

Fan filter units are the most important part of a cleanroom ceiling. They direct clean, filtered air into your cleanroom and help maintain your classification standard. They also take up the most space, so much of cleanroom design is fitting the rest of the cleanroom — lighting, electrical, and more — around these essential components. 

What Are Fan Filter Units?

Fan filter units protect and facilitate the filtering power of the cleanroom. Combined with proper cleaning, and an expertly designed airflow pattern, fan filter units are responsible for achieving and maintaining your cleanroom classification requirements for allowed particles.

Fan filter units house your hardworking HEPA filters and upstream pre filters in an epoxy, acrylic or polystyrene-coated aluminum frame. They’re attached to the ceiling grid and fixed flush with ceiling panels to direct airflow into the room without creating turbulence.

Types of Fan Filter Units

There are different types of fan filter units, depending on the size, airflow rate, and filter media that works best for your application’s needs. A few of the common options for medical cleanrooms include:

  • Roomside Replaceable fan filter units, which feature housing that is accessible from within the cleanroom. Pharmaceutical cleanrooms require frequent testing and replacement of filters, so room-side-replacement is an advantage. These units have a gel-seal gasket that creates a seamless connection between the filter and the housing.
  • Non-roomside replaceable fan filter units, or NCR fan filter units, which are accessed from overhead the cleanroom. The advantage of NCR units is that they only require filter replacement every 3-5 years, except in certain cases where the cleanroom application generates excessive particulate matter.
  • Reverse airflow fan filter units, which are more common in medical cleanrooms working with hazardous substances, toxic fumes or contagious pathogens. A reverse airflow fan filter can be used to establish negative pressure and isolate contaminants inside the cleanroom.

All cleanrooms require air filtration using HEPA filters. Generally, the more stringent your cleanroom classification, the more fan filter units you’ll need mounted on your cleanroom ceiling. 

As you install more fan filter units, you’ll need to get creative with how other systems are installed on your ceiling. Fortunately, there are creative workarounds, like grid lighting, that leave plenty of room for your cleanroom filtration system.

How Many Fan Filter Units Does My Cleanroom Need?

The number of fan filter units your cleanroom requires depends primarily on your classification, but also your cleanroom layout and the volume of your space.

Your cleanroom classification will dictate the minimum air change rate and particle count requirements for your application. Cleanrooms with less stringent requirements may only require 5-15% ceiling coverage to be dedicated to filtration, while those with fewer particles allowed may require 60-100%.

You can determine the number of fan filters required by comparing the capacity of each filter fan unit with the total volume of your space.

Need some help building the perfect high-performance ceiling to reach your cleanroom classification? Angstrom Technology would love to help your medical cleanroom achieve optimal airflow, filtration, and pressurization for your application. Give us a call to get started!

Cleanroom Design Tips: Cleanroom Storage Solutions for Plastics Manufacturing

Cleanroom Design Tips: Cleanroom Storage Solutions for Plastics Manufacturing

Any time you can limit traffic in and out of the cleanroom itself, you’re also limiting the potential for contaminants to enter your controlled plastics industry cleanroom — which is what makes cleanroom storage such an important consideration in cleanroom design. Let’s take a look at some of the best cleanroom storage solutions you can use in your plastics manufacturing cleanrooms and how to choose the right cleanroom storage for your application and needs.

Best Cleanroom Storage Solutions for Plastics Manufacturing Cleanrooms

As a vital part of cleanroom design, cleanroom storage can be used to keep just about anything and everything you’ll need during cleanroom operation accessible and safe. This could include supplies, tools and equipment relevant to the work you do, but also can include cleaning materials and solutions. 

A few of the best ways to contain and conveniently store everything you need in your plastics industry cleanroom include cleanroom cabinets, shelves, and other cleanroom furniture with storage.

Cleanroom Cabinets

Cabinetry is a great way to keep materials and supplies out of sight and out of your way. They can be effectively built into your cleanroom under countertops or mounted to the ceiling to make use of vertical space.

Cleanroom cabinets can be made from a variety of materials including stainless steel, epoxy, acrylic, polyurethane, and laminate. The right material for you will depend on your cleanroom classification — particularly if the cleanroom storage needs to be resistant to the chemicals you use for cleaning or sterilization.

Cleanroom Shelves

Open wire shelving is a great option for plastics industry cleanrooms that don’t use corrosive agents in operation or for cleaning. Either chrome-plated wire or polymer shelving are both effective and strong materials that are about a third the cost of stainless steel. 

Another advantage of wire shelving is, if your cleanroom uses a vertical airflow pattern, it allows the air to move freely, limiting the potential collection of contaminants.

Cleanroom Furniture

Cleanroom tables with built-in storage as drawers or shelves can be another great option for organization in your cleanroom. When choosing cleanroom tables, consider the right size and height that will give your employees the most comfort, or opt for an adjustable-height table or workstation to allow for more flexibility.

Surfaces can also be used to store smaller cabinets or containers for supplies you use regularly, though must be thoroughly cleaned around and under to minimize any risk of contamination. 

How to Choose Cleanroom Storage

Cleanroom storage like cleanroom cabinets and shelves, as well as other cleanroom furniture used in a controlled environment must be compatible with cleanroom use and limit any collection of contaminants

When choosing cleanroom storage, consider your cleanroom’s airflow pattern to avoid obstructing your HVAC and filtration system. Your cleanroom storage should also be able to withstand the materials you use for cleaning without corroding or shedding particles. 

Also, consider the conditions of your work. If your cleanroom operations or staff are endangered by static electricity, avoid conductive materials unless you have a method to ground potential charges.

Interested in creative storage solutions for your cleanroom? Let Angstrom Technology help. Our professional cleanroom designers can help build storage into your cleanroom design in a way that is effective, safe, and contaminant-free. Reach out to us online or give us a call to get started.


types of cleanrooms

Everything You Need to Know About Designing Your Cleanroom Layout

Everything You Need to Know About Designing Your Cleanroom Layout

From arranging walls to furniture to equipment, there are several things to consider when designing the best cleanroom layout, including what will provide optimal airflow, allow for easy cleaning, keep the space organized and efficient, and — most importantly — help meet strict cleanroom classifications.

What’s the Best Cleanroom Layout?

The best cleanroom layout for your space should not just hold the stuff you need to do your work, but also determine the flow of air and people through the room. It should work with your cleanroom classification and industry requirements, set you up for success with your current project, and be adaptable to evolve with your work. 

Using Cleanroom Design to Build Your Ideal Cleanroom Layout

The best cleanroom layout for you will likely look different from other cleanrooms, other industries, and other applications. To determine which priorities of cleanroom design will affect your ideal cleanroom layout, you’ll need to focus on three areas: the space you have to work with, your cleanroom classifications, and the cleanroom systems that power and maintain your cleanroom standards. 

Your application may have other factors to consider, like industry-specific equipment, protocols, or blank — which each may require dedicated space within your cleanroom — but designing the best cleanroom layout starts with the three basics of space, classification, and systems.

Consider Your Available Space

How much space are you working with will determine the limitations of your cleanroom size, and also where creative choices with your cleanroom layout can maximize the functionality of smaller spaces or use wide spaces effectively without wasted energy.

If you’re building your cleanroom in an existing structure, your cleanroom layout may be connected to your building structure, use established windows as an efficient light source, or establish a custom ceiling height to fit oversized equipment or products. 

A certain cleanroom type may be better for you, depending on your ISO classification and project needs. Each may offer unique layout options, flexibility, and capacity to reach stringent standards. The main three types of cleanrooms are HardWall, SoftWall and RigidWall cleanrooms:

  • HardWall Cleanrooms: can reach any cleanroom classification, even ISO Class 1. They come pre-wired and pre-insulated for simple assembly on-site.
  • SoftWall Cleanrooms: are recommended for cleanrooms ISO Classes 4-8. Their flexible and lightweight construction means they can be easily configured and reconfigured to any cleanroom layout you choose.
  • RigidWall Cleanrooms: are best for cleanrooms ISO 5-8. RigidWall cleanrooms feature clear, flat panels — great for showing off your work to investors or executives.

Using modular cleanroom panels enables you to modify your layout easily as your work evolves. Simply add or subtract panels to expand or contract your cleanroom space, or rearrange panels to suit a new cleanroom layout or redesign project.

Meet Your Cleanroom Classification

Your cleanroom layout should work to meet your cleanroom classification and other industry standards. If you have industry-specific equipment to include in your cleanroom design, the cleanroom layout needs to accommodate paths for employees to work around and service various equipment. You may also require custom door heights or extra-wide pathways to move products, carts, or equipment around the cleanroom. In addition to airflow pattern, your cleanroom layout should consider the best traffic pattern for successful operations. 

Integrate Your Cleanroom Systems

The best cleanroom layout for your space should incorporate all the cleanroom systems you rely on to control your environment, including cleanroom filtration, your cleanroom hvac, lighting, and more.  

If your cleanroom needs to comply with strict particle count or air change requirements to meet its classification, you’ll need a cleanroom layout that allows air to move freely and uniformly through your space, limiting turbulence and facilitating adequate filtration. Be sure to design a layout that is big enough to hold all of your equipment and cleanroom furniture, but not much bigger — unused space is extra air that needs to be filtered and treated in your cleanroom, which costs extra energy and money to maintain.

Work With a Professional Cleanroom Design Expert

Especially if you have stringent standards, it’s a good idea to work with a cleanroom design expert when building your cleanroom layout. A professional cleanroom designer can build the cleanroom that’s ideal for your application, customize it to your needs, then quickly set it up on site, minimizing disruption to your facility’s operations.

Could your cleanroom benefit from a new layout? Whether you’re starting from scratch or planning your cleanroom redesign, Angstrom Technology can help make it a success. Our cleanroom experts can design the ideal cleanroom layout to encourage optimal airflow and reduce strain on your HVAC and filtration systems. Give us a call to get started!