5 Reasons Why You Should Hire A Professional for Cleanroom Services and Maintenance

5 Reasons Why You Should Hire A Professional for Cleanroom Services and Maintenance

Choosing professional cleanroom services and maintenance is crucial for ensuring the optimal performance of your cleanroom. While it may seem cost-effective to handle maintenance in-house or opt for a DIY approach, the complexities of cleanroom operation make professional services the most reliable and cost-efficient choice.

There are many reasons to leave cleanroom maintenance and repairs to the pros. Let’s get into them!

5 Reasons to Hire a Professional for Cleanroom Services and Maintenance

1. Professional Cleanroom Companies Have Crucial Expertise

A cleanroom company specializing in cleanroom design and maintenance will have years of experience to ensure that all necessary maintenance is performed on schedule and that any issues are identified and addressed promptly. The company that designed and installed your cleanroom will know all the ins and outs of the facility, therefore, they’ll be able to perform all necessary maintenance activities quickly and efficiently.

2. Cleanroom Maintenance Is More Than Just Equipment Testing

Maintaining your cleanroom takes more than just equipment testing (which is already a lot). Cleanroom maintenance also includes ensuring that the space is set up correctly for the tasks and activities performed there and that all necessary supplies are always on hand. A cleanroom maintenance provider can ensure you have all the required testing supplies and provide project-specific equipment and storage to meet your application and classification requirements.

3. Cleanroom Maintenance Is Too Important to Get Wrong

If you don’t properly maintain your cleanroom, you’ll encounter many issues. This could be failing to meet your desired ISO classification because of particulate contamination, equipment issues, old filters in need of replacement, or other problems. If you fail to meet your classification requirements, you can find yourself in legal trouble or lose important clients.

4. Companies Have Compliance and Certification Expertise

Professional cleanroom service providers bring invaluable expertise when navigating the complex landscape of compliance and certification. They are familiar with the stringent standards required by various regulatory agencies, such as the FDA, EPA, and OSHA. This expertise ensures that your cleanroom not only meets current industry standards but is also prepared for routine audits and inspections. 

5. Tailored Solutions and Upgrades are Available

Professional cleanroom servicers offer customized solutions and technological upgrades that enhance your cleanroom’s functionality and efficiency. Whether adapting your cleanroom to new processes, expanding its capacity, or integrating the latest technology, a specialized provider can assess and modify it to fit evolving needs. This adaptability is crucial for staying competitive in industries that are rapidly advancing. 

Angstrom-Services-Maintenance-Offering-CTA

Cleanroom Maintenance and Repair Services From Angstrom

At Angstrom, we specialize in ensuring your cleanroom facilities operate at peak efficiency and compliance. Our expertise in cleanroom maintenance and repair is backed by over three decades of industry leadership, making us a trusted partner in supporting various industries.

Keep Your Cleanroom Operating at Peak Performance With Our Comprehensive Service Offerings:

  • Repairs and Maintenance: Whether replacing HEPA units and air filters, repairing walls and doors, or upgrading cleanroom lighting, Angstrom’s expert team is equipped to handle all aspects of cleanroom repair and maintenance. We also provide specialized services such as challenge port installation, vinyl curtain installation, and pass-thru troubleshooting and replacement.
  • Preventative Maintenance Assessments: Our Preventive Maintenance Program is designed to address potential issues before they escalate. This program includes regular cleanroom assessments to help minimize downtime and extend the lifespan of your cleanroom facilities. Clients of this program benefit from priority services for emergency maintenance and repairs and preferential pricing on our services.
  • Cleanroom Enhancements: To keep your facilities updated with the latest standards, we offer enhancements such as HEPA control system upgrades, temperature and humidity specification adjustments, and modifications to meet specific ISO and GMP requirements
  • Tailored Solutions for Every Need: Angstrom’s services are customized to meet the unique needs of each cleanroom facility. From biopharma cleanroom validation to comprehensive contamination control, our services are designed to ensure compliance with international industry standards. 
  • Flexible Scheduling and Meticulous Planning: To accommodate our clients, we offer flexible scheduling options, including weekend and after-hours services, to minimize disruption to your operations. 
  • Comprehensive Support: We provide end-to-end support, ensuring that every aspect of your cleanroom operation is covered. From planning and repairs to documentation and reporting, our team delivers a seamless service experience.
  • Global Reach, Local Service: With operations across the globe, Angstrom offers tailored cleanroom solutions that meet the specific needs of clients in various sectors, including pharmaceuticals, electronics, and more.

Keep Your Investment in Tip-Top Shape with Angstrom’s Cleanroom Services

Your cleanroom is a significant investment. To maintain its integrity and functionality, professional maintenance and repair services are crucial. At Angstrom, we redefine excellence in cleanroom solutions, from initial design to ongoing maintenance. Our commitment to innovation, quality, and customer-centricity sets us apart in the industry.

Contact our team of experts today to learn more about our comprehensive services. Let us help you keep your cleanroom in pristine condition, maximizing your investment and supporting your continued success.

What Is a Dry Room Controlled Environment?

What Is a Dry Room Controlled Environment?

Controlled environments are critical to the success and reliability of various high-stakes manufacturing processes. Dry rooms have stringent control of humidity levels, making them essential in many modern production and research fields.

But why exactly are dry rooms so important, and why is their demand growing across industries? The answer lies in the sensitive nature of the products and processes that require such meticulous environmental control—where even a slight deviation in humidity can lead to costly defects or failures.

If you’re looking to deepen your understanding of dry rooms, their features, and their applications, you’re in the right place. 

What Is a Dry Room?

A dry room is defined by its ability to control and reduce atmospheric moisture to levels that far exceed the capabilities of standard environmental control systems. This is achieved through the use of advanced dehumidification technologies that ensure the air remains dry and stable. Typically, a dry room maintains humidity levels below 1% Relative Humidity (RH), though this can vary based on specific industry requirements.

Moisture can lead to oxidation, contamination, and other forms of degradation in environments where electronic components or other critical items are manufactured. For instance, in the production of lithium-ion batteries, excess moisture can cause unwanted chemical reactions that compromise the batteries’ integrity and safety. 

5 Key Features of Dry Rooms

Dry rooms are equipped with a range of structural and technological features to ensure that the room meets the stringent requirements necessary for controlling humidity at very low levels. Here’s a closer look at some of these key features:

1. Dehumidifiers:

The most critical component of a dry room is the dehumidification system. These systems are highly specialized and capable of reducing and maintaining humidity to levels as low as 1% RH or even lower. Industrial-grade dehumidifiers used in dry rooms operate on the principle of adsorption or refrigeration and are often customized based on specific needs.

2. Airlocks:

Most dry rooms are fitted with airlocks. These airlocks act as buffer zones between the dry room and other parts of the facility. Personnel and materials must pass through these airlocks, where air is carefully controlled to minimize humidity entering the controlled environment.

3. Specialized HVAC Systems:

Apart from standard heating, ventilation, and air conditioning functions, HVAC systems in dry rooms are equipped with additional features to handle extreme dehumidification. These include enhanced filtration systems to remove particulates and contaminants and precision control mechanisms to maintain consistent temperature and humidity levels.

4. Sealed Environment:

Dry rooms are constructed to be as airtight as possible to prevent external air from compromising the controlled environment. This includes the use of vapor barriers and specialized sealants around doors, windows, and other potential air ingress points.

5. Monitoring and Control Systems:

Sensors are strategically placed throughout the room to monitor real-time conditions like temperature and humidity. These sensors are linked to a central control system that automatically adjusts the room’s environment based on predefined parameters, ensuring constant conditions are maintained.

Essential Dry Room Requirements

For a dry room to function effectively, it must meet specific construction and operational requirements. Here are some examples of dry room requirements: 

  • Materials: The construction materials for walls, floors, and ceilings must be selected for their low moisture permeability and resistance to environmental conditions.
  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance of dehumidifiers, HVAC systems, and other critical components is essential to prevent failures that could introduce moisture into the room.
  • Personnel Protocols: Workers entering a dry room need to undergo specific procedures, such as wearing moisture-absorbing garments and passing through air showers, to minimize the amount of humidity they carry into the environment.

Industries and Applications of Dry Rooms

Dry rooms are pivotal in industries where even minor humidity can compromise product quality, safety, or efficacy. Here’s how they are utilized in various sectors:

Electronics Manufacturing:

  • Semiconductor Fabrication: Semiconductors are extremely sensitive to moisture because even trace amounts can lead to oxidation of the silicon wafers. Dry rooms ensure these components are manufactured and assembled in a moisture-free environment.
  • Assembly of Sensitive Electronics: Components such as OLED panels and precision sensors require assembly in dry rooms to prevent malfunction or degradation caused by moisture.

Battery Production:

  • Lithium-Ion Batteries: The production of lithium-ion batteries is one of the most critical applications for dry rooms. Exposure to humidity during manufacturing can cause unwanted chemical reactions, leading to reduced battery efficiency and potential safety issues. 
  • Battery Testing and Packaging: Batteries must be tested and packaged in low-humidity environments to ensure they meet safety and performance standards without degradation.

Aerospace and Defense:

  • Material Storage and Handling: Aerospace components often include materials that are highly sensitive to moisture, such as composite materials and adhesives. Dry rooms are used to store and handle these materials to prevent moisture absorption that can compromise structural integrity.
  • Equipment Manufacturing: Many aerospace devices, including satellites and sensors, must be assembled in ultra-low humidity environments to ensure they function reliably in the harsh conditions of space.

Food and Beverage:

  • Powdered Products: Foods sold in powdered form, like milk powder and coffee, often require dry rooms during the packaging process to prevent clumping and microbial growth induced by moisture.

Dry Rooms vs. Cleanrooms: What’s the Difference? 

Both dry rooms and cleanrooms are controlled environments designed to minimize specific environmental variables that otherwise compromise the quality or functionality of sensitive products. 

Despite their similar purpose, they serve distinctly different functions and are designed with varying priorities in mind:

  • Humidity vs. Particulate Control | The primary focus of a dry room is to control humidity levels. Cleanrooms primarily focus on minimizing particulate contamination in the environment. They are classified based on the number and size of particles permitted per volume of air.
  • Implications for Design | The design of a dry room involves selecting materials and constructing barriers that prevent any form of moisture ingress, including specialized dehumidification systems and sealed constructions. In cleanrooms, the design focuses on smooth, cleanable surfaces, laminar air flow, and sophisticated air filtration systems that remove contaminants from the air. 
  • Use and Applications | Dry rooms are essential in industries where even minimal moisture can cause significant product degradation, such as in lithium-ion battery manufacturing. Cleanrooms are indispensable in the production of semiconductors and any other environment where the presence of microscopic particles can result in defective products.

Partner with Angstrom for Expert Dry Room Solutions

Whether you’re venturing into the electronic or battery production sectors or any other industry where moisture control is crucial, partnering with Angstrom can assure you that your dry room environment is optimized for your specific needs. 

Our team of experts is not only skilled in the latest dry room technologies but also brings a deep understanding of regulatory standards and practical applications to each project. Reach out to discuss how we can enhance your manufacturing processes through state-of-the-art dry room solutions.

Angstrom-Services-Maintenance-Offering-CTA
Your Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Cleanroom Classifications

Your Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Cleanroom Classifications

Your Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Cleanroom Classifications

Cleanroom classification can be one of the most confusing parts of designing and building your cleanroom – but it’s also usually the most important aspect. Every type of cleanroom requires a different classification depending on your industry and purpose. 

So, if you’re new to the world of cleanrooms and have questions regarding classifications, we’re here to help. Here are answers to some of the most common cleanroom classification questions we receive.

10 Cleanroom Classifications FAQs

If you’ve got cleanroom questions, you’re in the right place. We’ll explore what type of cleanroom classification you need, inspection requirements, design needs, and more! 

1. What cleanroom classification do I need?

Your required cleanroom classifications and standards will depend on your industry. The requirements will vary depending on what size particles need to be filtered, the sources of contamination present, and the recommended air change rate. 

If your industry is government-regulated, you can check applicable regulations for the required classification. If there is no government-mandated or industry default classification, you’ll need to determine the appropriate classification based on your application, and we can help with that.

2. How are cleanrooms classified?

Two different classification scales are generally used for cleanrooms: the U.S. General Service Administration standards (FS209E) and the International Standards Organization (ISO) classifications. The classes are determined by the maximum acceptable numbers of particles (by size) in the air per cubic meter. 

3. What are the ISO classes?​

The ISO classification system has eight classes and defines the level of cleanliness based on the concentration of airborne particles. Here’s a breakdown of the eight ISO classes from least controlled (ISO Class 8) to most controlled (ISO Class 1):

  • ISO Class 8: This class allows the highest concentration of airborne particles. The maximum allowable particle count is 3,520,000 particles per cubic meter of air (0.5 micrometers and larger in size).
  • ISO Class 7: The maximum allowable particle count is 352,000 particles per cubic meter of air (0.5 micrometers and larger). 
  • ISO Class 6: The maximum allowable particle count is 35,200 particles per cubic meter of air (0.5 micrometers and larger).
  • ISO Class 5: The maximum allowable particle count is 3,520 particles per cubic meter of air (0.5 micrometers and larger).
  • ISO Class 4: The maximum allowable particle count is 352 particles per cubic meter of air (0.5 micrometers and larger). 
  • ISO Class 3: The maximum allowable particle count is 35 particles per cubic meter of air (0.5 micrometers and larger).
  • ISO Class 2: The maximum allowable particle count is 7 particles per cubic meter of air (0.5 micrometers and larger). 
  • ISO Class 1: The most stringent of all, ISO Class 1 cleanrooms allow only one particle per cubic meter of air (0.5 micrometers and larger).

4. How often do I need to test my cleanroom to see if it’s meeting classification requirements?

ISO classifications require that air pressure difference and flow be tested every 12 months. Particle count tests must be performed every 12 months for ISO Class 6 and above and every six months for ISO Class 5 and below. 

There are also tests recommended for all classes every 24 months: installed filter leakage, containment filter leakage, recovery, and airflow visualization. These tests are regulated by ISO document 14644-2 Cleanroom Testing and Compliance.

5. How often do I need to have my cleanroom inspected?

How often you need your cleanroom inspected depends on your classification. The more stringent classifications will require inspection more often. Inspection may coincide with compliance testing, which may occur every six or 12 months, depending upon the cleanroom classification.

6. How does cleanroom classification affect my budget?

The more stringent the classification, the greater the cost of the cleanroom. Strict classifications require more air, energy, advanced technology, and equipment. For a more detailed breakdown of the costs, see How Does Cleanroom Classification Affect Your Cleanroom Budget?

7. Can I redesign my cleanroom if my required classifications change?

Yes, of course! Every company is bound to evolve, and our cleanrooms can change right along with them. All Angstrom cleanrooms are modular, meaning they can be expanded or decreased in size, components can be added or removed, and any other design changes can be made.

Angstrom-Services-Maintenance-Offering-CTA

8. Can I replace a major cleanroom component if need be?

Yes, the Angstrom team would be happy to help you with that. We offer all necessary cleanroom components and can help you replace them quickly and easily.

9. Do I need a permit to build a cleanroom? 

In most cases, small cleanrooms built within a plant or any pre-existing structure usually do not require a permit. However, verifying this with your local building codes department is crucial before construction. 

Larger cleanrooms might require a permit under specific circumstances. Our team of seasoned cleanroom professionals can offer guidance on whether a permit is required and assist you in liaising with local building code officials.

10. Are hardwall cleanrooms or softwall cleanrooms more clean?

Both hardwall and softwall cleanrooms can be built to meet the same air-change-per-hour standards. However, hardwall cleanrooms typically offer a more complete barrier to particle intrusion and better control over atmospheric temperature and humidity. 

Softwall cleanrooms generally have a perimeter air gap to maintain very little positive pressure and no negative pressure differentials. Hardwall cleanrooms can hold a significant positive pressure, which prevents particulate intrusion.

Expert Cleanroom Services From Angstrom

At Angstrom, we aim to redefine excellence in cleanroom solutions, setting the industry standard for innovation, quality, and customer-centricity. If you have more questions about your cleanroom classifications or just cleanrooms in general, we’d love to chat! Request a quote today for all your cleanroom needs. 

10 Key Features of Certified ISO Cleanrooms

10 Key Features of Certified ISO Cleanrooms

ISO-certified cleanrooms are the backbone of industries where precision, quality, and contamination control are paramount. These highly controlled environments play a crucial role in sectors ranging from pharmaceuticals to forensic science, battery manufacturing, and more. 

At Angstrom, we understand the critical importance of ISO certification in cleanrooms. Let’s explore the essential features that every ISO cleanroom must have to ensure products and operations meet the designated quality standards. 

10 Key Features of Every Certified ISO Cleanroom

Incorporating these ten features into every cleanroom ensures compliance with ISO cleanroom standards and a top-of-the-line controlled environment.

1. Documentation & Compliance

Detailed documentation is the cornerstone of every ISO-certified cleanroom. It outlines specific procedures, maintenance logs, and audit records, all of which are crucial for ensuring compliance with ISO cleanroom standards. 

Meticulous documentation not only facilitates traceability but also plays a vital role in quality assurance, guaranteeing that every aspect of the cleanroom meets the stringent requirements set forth by ISO.

2. Environmental Monitoring Systems

Real-time monitoring systems help maintain the pristine conditions of ISO-certified cleanrooms. These systems continuously track temperature, humidity levels, and particle counts, providing valuable data for optimizing environmental parameters. Control systems integrated with monitoring enable swift responses to deviations, ensuring the cleanroom environment remains at its peak performance.

3. Quality Cleanroom Design and Construction

The design and construction of an ISO-certified cleanroom require in-depth attention to detail. Seamless wall and ceiling surfaces are essential to minimize particle generation, while proper sealing and high-quality construction materials prevent external contamination.

4. Air Filtration and Quality Control

HEPA filters are vital for ISO cleanrooms. They remove airborne particles to maintain exceptional air quality in the controlled environment. Regular maintenance and timely filter replacements are imperative for optimal performance and ensure the cleanroom’s air remains contaminant-free.

5. Personnel Protection and Hygiene

Personnel working in cleanrooms must adhere to strict protection and hygiene protocols. Cleanroom garments such as gowns, gloves, and shoe covers are required to act as barriers against personnel contamination. 

Proper training on hygiene practices is equally crucial, emphasizing the importance of maintaining cleanliness standards to uphold the integrity of the cleanroom environment.

6. Contamination-Resistant Equipment and Furniture

Contamination-resistant equipment and furniture are non-negotiable in cleanroom environments. For example, stainless steel surfaces are preferred for cleanroom furniture, ensuring minimal particle shedding and easy cleaning.

7. Controlled Access and Entry Protocols

Access control, including airlocks and entry protocols, is implemented in cleanrooms to minimize contamination risks. Personnel training is pivotal to ensure strict adherence to entry and exit procedures, reducing the likelihood of introducing contaminants into the cleanroom environment.

8. Cleaning and Maintenance Practices

Effective cleaning and maintenance practices are essential for preserving the cleanliness of ISO-certified cleanrooms. Routine cleaning schedules, appropriate cleaning materials, and techniques tailored for contamination control are key for upholding the cleanroom’s sterile conditions.

9. Emergency Response and Contingency Planning

Detailed emergency response plans are critical components of certified cleanrooms. These plans should outline contingency measures to address potential risks such as power outages, equipment failures, or other emergencies. By having proactive contingency plans in place, cleanroom facilities can mitigate contamination risks effectively.

10. Training and Certification Programs

Regular training programs for cleanroom personnel are required to maintain protocols for hygiene practices, gowning procedures, and contamination prevention. Certification programs ensure strict adherence to cleanroom standards, boosting the overall effectiveness of ISO-certified cleanrooms in meeting industry requirements.

Partner with Angstrom for Industry-Leading Cleanroom Solutions

At Angstrom, we specialize in crafting cleanrooms tailored to every industry’s unique needs. Whether you’re in pharmaceuticals, electronics manufacturing, or any other sector requiring stringent cleanliness standards, our cleanroom turnkey services ensure that your facility meets and exceeds ISO requirements. 

Contact Angstrom today to discover how our expertise can elevate your cleanroom operations and drive excellence in your industry!

5 New Cleanroom Technology Trends

5 New Cleanroom Technology Trends

In the world of contamination control, cleanroom technology is constantly evolving. Here at Angstrom, we’re dedicated to staying at the forefront of these advancements, continuously updating our knowledge, and incorporating new technologies into our solutions.

This blog explores the latest advancements in cleanroom news, from automation to energy efficiency, and more. Keep reading to discover how these innovations refine contamination control and set new standards for excellence.

5 New Cleanroom Technology Trends

Let’s break down five of the latest technological advancements in cleanroom news. 

1. Automated Operations

Automation is transforming the landscape of cleanroom operations by introducing seamless processes and minimizing manual interventions. This technological advancement leverages robotics, intelligent controls, and other automated systems to optimize efficiency and enhance precision. 

Robotic arms are utilized for intricate handling of sensitive components, ensuring accuracy and minimizing contamination risks. Automated material handling systems streamline logistics, facilitating efficient movement of goods and reducing downtime.

The adoption of automation in cleanrooms brings numerous benefits. Increased efficiency is achieved through faster processes and reduced cycle times, enhancing productivity and cost-effectiveness. Automation also reduces human error, improving product quality. 

2. Data Monitoring Solutions

Real-time data monitoring is critical in cleanroom environments to maintain optimal conditions and promptly identify deviations. By monitoring key metrics in real-time, deviations can be addressed quickly, minimizing contamination risks and ensuring consistent product quality.

Advanced data monitoring technologies, such as sensors and IoT devices, are revolutionizing data collection in cleanrooms. Sensors accurately measure critical parameters like temperature, humidity, and particle levels. IoT devices enable data integration and analysis, facilitating predictive maintenance and continuous improvement initiatives.

3. Dehumidifiers and Desiccant Systems

Cleanrooms demand precise control over environmental conditions, including humidity levels, to maintain optimal operational efficiency and product quality. Excessive humidity can lead to moisture-related issues such as microbial growth, equipment corrosion, and compromised product integrity. Dehumidifiers are crucial to mitigate these risks by effectively regulating humidity levels within cleanrooms, ensuring a controlled and stable environment.

Modern dehumidifiers are designed with energy-conscious features, making them efficient and cost-effective solutions for cleanroom humidity control. These energy-efficient dehumidifiers utilize advanced technologies such as variable-speed compressors, smart humidity sensors, and programmable settings to optimize energy usage while maintaining precise humidity levels. 

At Angstrom, we crafted a state-of-the-art cleanroom with humidity control for Anaphite, a company that creates cathode powders to make Li-ion batteries. Anaphite’s main requirement for the project was achieving the target dewpoint, but they also stipulated they needed to quickly drive the dry room down to specification from a dormant state. Angstrom gave Anaphite the option of three different desiccant systems. After reviewing the performance and energy consumption, Anaphite chose the DT-LDP5 multi-rotor system as it provided an energy reduction of over 33% less when compared to the traditional single-rotor design.

4. Energy-Efficient Technologies

Sustainable practices and energy-efficient technologies are being embraced more than ever in cleanrooms to minimize environmental impact and reduce operational expenses. Examples of energy-efficient technologies in cleanrooms include LED lighting and advanced HVAC systems. 

LED lighting offers energy savings and a longer lifespan than traditional lighting solutions. HVAC systems with smart controls optimize energy usage, maintaining optimal conditions while reducing energy consumption.

5. Sustainable Practices

Cleanroom products increasingly incorporate renewable and plant-based materials, reducing reliance on non-renewable resources and minimizing environmental impact. These sustainable materials offer comparable performance while reducing carbon footprint and promoting a greener cleanroom ecosystem.

Many cleanroom equipment manufacturers are utilizing recycled plastics in their product designs. These plastics are sourced from post-consumer or post-industrial waste, reducing the demand for virgin plastics and diverting waste from landfills.

Cleanroom construction materials with low VOC emissions contribute to indoor air quality and environmental health. Choosing paints, adhesives, and sealants with low VOC content minimizes pollution and enhances occupant comfort in cleanroom facilities.

Partner with Angstrom for Cutting-Edge Cleanroom Solutions

Angstrom is a pioneer in cleanroom technology, consistently leading the way with innovative solutions. Whether you require advanced automation, precise data monitoring, energy-efficient designs, or sustainable practices, Angstrom is your trusted partner for all cleanroom needs. 

With our expertise and commitment to excellence, we ensure that your cleanroom operations meet the highest standards of quality, efficiency, and environmental responsibility. Partner with Angstrom today and experience the difference in contamination control and cleanroom technology.

 

What is the Difference Between a Controlled Environment and a Cleanroom?

What is the Difference Between a Controlled Environment and a Cleanroom?

The words cleanroom and controlled environment are often used interchangeably when talking about environment control in critical spaces. But what is a cleanroom? What is a controlled environment? There is a difference, and that difference is crucial. When it comes to controlled environments vs. cleanrooms, here’s what you need to know:

Controlled Environments vs. Cleanrooms

What Is a Controlled Environment?

A controlled environment, or critical environment, is an area that must have specific parameters controlled. The parameters include pressure, temperature, and segregation. Many laboratories are considered controlled environments, as they have controlled temperature and pressure and are separated from other operations, such as manufacturing or shipping. Unlike cleanrooms, controlled environments do not necessarily have to meet certain standards for particle contamination.

Common Applications for Controlled Environments:

  • Life science laboratories
  • Engineering laboratories
  • Laser labs
  • High-energy physics facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Cannabis grow rooms
  • Clean manufacturing
  • Food processing rooms
  • Pharmacies
  • Quality labs

What Is a Cleanroom?

A cleanroom is a type of controlled environment with much more stringent requirements. Cleanrooms require temperature and pressure control, as well as separation from the outside environment and other operations. 

All the requirements of cleanrooms are regulated and must meet designated standards. Cleanrooms are classified by the maximum acceptable number of particles (by size) in the air per cubic meter, and must be regularly tested to ensure compliance with that standard (see more about cleanroom classifications here). Compared to standard controlled environments, cleanrooms may require more energy, air, and advanced technology to maintain the cleanroom conditions.

Common Applications for Cleanrooms:

  • Semiconductor manufacturing
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturing
  • Research and development 
  • Laser and optics 
  • Electronics manufacturing 
  • Medical device manufacturing 
  • Precision industrial manufacturing 
  • Aerospace 
  • Mask manufacturing
  • 3D printing 
  • Nutraceutical cleanroom
  • Food processing/bottling

Do I Need a Cleanroom or a Controlled Environment? 

The answer to this question depends on two factors: your application and your industry. If packaging medical devices, you’ll need an ISO class 7 compliant cleanroom or higher. If you have a process control laboratory for a chrome plating company, you aren’t required to meet a specific ISO classification, but you need to control the environment. 

You may even have different needs within your facility; you may need a controlled environment for sensitive materials that don’t need to meet cleanroom standards but also require an ISO class 8 cleanroom for quality control testing.

When building and designing a cleanroom, contractors consider various factors to determine the necessary construction materials and regulating equipment. To ensure the facility is accurately equipped and meets standards, the contractor will consider the following: 

  • Required ISO class FDA regulations
  • Types and placement of HEPA or ULPA filters
  • Environmental conditions 
  • HVAC requirements
  • Spatial specifications
  • Construction materials
  • Air showers
  • Pass-thru units
  • Fire protection
  • Light and air supply
  • Electrical and plumbing requirements
  • Equipment hookups and special equipment

Partner with Angstrom Technology for Expert Guidance

Understanding the difference between controlled environments and cleanrooms is pivotal in determining the appropriate solution for your specific requirements and industry standards. 

With over 30 years of industry experience, we offer unparalleled expertise and a comprehensive portfolio to meet your cleanroom needs. From conceptualization to installation and ongoing support, our commitment to excellence ensures a seamless journey toward achieving your cleanroom objectives. 

Contact the Angstrom team today for all your cleanroom needs!

GET INSTANT ACCESS TO OUR CLEANROOM DESIGN GUIDE

project-design-guide