3 Essential Cleanroom Supplies You Should Always Have on Hand

3 Essential Cleanroom Supplies You Should Always Have on Hand

Whether you’re new to cleanrooms, or you’ve been working with them your entire career, there’s no doubt that they can be a finicky part of your business operation. You have to maintain exact standards, and when your cleanroom is down, so is your company. So, what can you do to make sure your cleanroom is functioning to its required standards at all times?

Though it might sound obvious, keeping it well stocked with necessary cleanroom supplies is the best way to keep your cleanroom performing to standard. Below is a list of the three most important cleanroom supplies you should always have on hand, and why they’re so important:

Replacement Filters

Filters are what keep the air in a cleanroom clean. Without clean filters, your cleanroom has little to no hope of performing to standard. So, it’s good to always have backup filters on hand, both HEPA, ULPA, and pre-filters. But how many should you have?

Prefilters: Depending on the standards your cleanroom has to meet, you probably change your pre-filters once every few months. Every time you change them, you should make sure you have enough replacements to get you through at least one more change. If not, you risk putting your operation behind.

HEPA/ULPA: Same goes for HEPA or ULPA filters. You should have at least one replacement for each operating HEPA/ULPA filter at all times. Though you change these very infrequently, sometimes even years apart, HEPA /ULPA filters much more important than pre-filters. They are responsible for filtering the greatest amount of tiny air particulate, so it makes sense to always have replacements on hand, in case of an emergency.

Gowning Materials

If you regularly order cleanroom supplies, you know that you go through boxes of gowning materials in no time. Hoods, bunny suits, booties, and cleanroom gloves of all varieties, are crucial to your everyday operations. It’s important that your company develop some sort of system so that you never run out of these essential cleanroom supplies.

For example: You may have employees alert the person in charge of ordering cleanroom supplies every time you have less than two weeks worth of a certain gowning material. Whether it’s gloves or cleanroom suits, a good rule of thumb is that when you open the last box of cleanroom supplies, you order another shipment.

Cleanroom Cleaners

While this might sound like common sense, it’s surprising how quickly you can run out of cleaning supplies. Maybe you’ve experienced that feeling of dread when an employee reports and says that there aren’t any more bottles of cleaner. There’s nothing worse than frantically trying to find the right cleaner, and then making sure it gets shipped overnight so your cleanroom can continue to function at standard for the next business day.

Similar to gowning materials, it’s a good idea to have a system in place so that this sort of situation doesn’t happen. Make sure you always have at least one full bottle of any disinfectant or cleaner.

If you are in need of cleanroom supplies, or if you are looking into designing your own cleanroom, give the experts at Angstrom a call at 888-768-6900. We can design a cleanroom that functions to your exact specifications and standards, and we also carry replacement cleanroom supplies!

What’s the Difference Between Positive and Negative Air Pressure Cleanrooms?

What’s the Difference Between Positive and Negative Air Pressure Cleanrooms?

If you’re considering a cleanroom, you’re probably trying to gather as much information as possible. What type of cleanroom is right for you? What industry standards do you have to meet? Where will your cleanroom go? You get the picture. Well, one piece of information that might be useful to you is understanding the difference between positive and negative air pressure cleanrooms. As you probably already know, airflow plays a leading role in keeping your cleanroom to standard, but what you may not have known is that air pressure can have a big effect on that as well. So here’s a broken down explanation of each positive and negative air pressure.

 

Positive Air Pressure Cleanrooms

 

This means that the air pressure inside your cleanroom is greater than the pressure outside of it. This is achieved by pumping clean, filtered air into the cleanroom, generally through the ceiling.

Positive pressure is used in cleanrooms where the priority is keeping any possible germs or contaminants out of the cleanroom. In the event that there was a leak, or a door opened, clean air would be forced out of the cleanroom, rather than unfiltered air being allowed into the cleanroom. This works somewhat similarly to deflating a balloon; when you untie a balloon, or pop it, air rushes out because the air pressure in the balloon is higher than the pressure of the ambient air.

Positive pressure cleanrooms are used primarily for industries where the cleanroom functions to keep the product clean and safe from particulates, like in the microelectronic industry where even the tiniest particle can damage the integrity of the microchips being manufactured.

 

Negative Air Pressure Cleanrooms

 

In a negative air pressure cleanroom, the air pressure in the room is lower than the pressure outside of the room. Generally this is achieved by filtering air out of the room. In most situations, air enters through filters near the floor, and then is sucked out through filters in the room ceiling.

Negative air pressure is used in cleanrooms where the goal is to keep any possible contamination from escaping the cleanroom. Windows and doors have to be completely sealed, and by having a lower pressure, air outside the cleanroom is likely to flow into it, rather than out of it. Think of it like an empty cup that you set in a bucket of water. If you push the cup into the water rightside up, water flows into the cup, because it has lower pressure than the water. The negative pressure cleanroom is like the empty cup here.

Negative air pressure cleanrooms are used in industries that manufacture pharmaceutical products, do biochemical testing, and also in hospitals to quarantine seriously contagious patients. Any air that flows out of the room has to first flow out of a filter, ensuring that no contaminants can escape.

 

dwyer digital differential pressure gauge

 

If you have any more questions regarding negative and positive air pressure cleanrooms, take a look at our Dwyer Digital Differential Pressure Gauge or if you’re looking to purchase a cleanroom for your business, give the experts at Angstrom a call today! We custom design all of our cleanrooms, so that they meet your exact specifications and standards. Call us at 888-768-6900, or contact us online.

 

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6 Tips When Considering Installing a Cleanroom

6 Tips When Considering Installing a Cleanroom

#1 Can you afford NOT to have a cleanroom?

You may have been going back and forth trying to decide if it’s worth it to spend your budget on installing a cleanroom, but the question you should really be asking is can you afford not to have one? As products become smaller and smaller, particle contamination can have a bigger effect on your manufacturing process, potentially causing costly product recalls, and even potentially life-threatening situations depending on your industry. Once you take into account the risks of not having a cleanroom, you’ll be better able to decide if it’s worth it or not.

 

#2 Traditional vs Modular Cleanrooms

Now that you know you really do need a cleanroom you’ll have to decide whether you’re going to need a traditional or modular cleanroom. A traditional cleanroom is built, much like any building is, out of brick or drywall, and coated with an epoxy finish. Though these function well after they are built, a lot of time and effort goes into the construction process. A modular cleanroom is generally prefabricated off site, and then delivered to your business with all of its parts, and conveniently put together with no dust or mess, and a very minimal construction time.

 

#3 Cleanrooms have Various Cleanliness Standards

Depending on your industry, you’ll have to meet a certain standard of cleanliness determined by ISO international standards. These standards are classified by how many particles of a certain size are allowed to be in your cleanroom to maintain your process safely. The kicker here is, the more stringent your standards, the more you’re probably going to have to spend. Once you know your standards, you’ll have a better idea of a practical budget.

 

#4 Time to Production

As the adage goes, “time is money.” So you’ll want to consider how long it will take to get your cleanroom set up before you can start production. If you decided to go with a traditional cleanroom, it’s going to take a while before you’ll be up and running, whereas with a modular cleanroom it may only be a few weeks before you can get started. It’s also good to remember that modular cleanrooms can always be extended and added to if you want to expand your operation down the road.

 

#5 Time to Validation

If you went with a modular cleanroom, you will want to factor in a bit of time for validation. Before you can start production, your cleanroom will have to be validated to ensure that it is performing to the correct ISO standard. It’s also important to note that if you want to keep your cleanroom running well, you should schedule regular validations. That way you know your cleanrooms is performing as it should, and you’ll be protected from any external audits from clients.

 

#6 Good Cleanroom Protocol

Finally, once your cleanroom is installed and set up, you’ll want to make sure you maintain that through proper protocol. Make sure your employees are properly trained on gowning methods and best practices, and make sure your cleanroom is cleaned thoroughly according to standards. The better you maintain your cleanroom, the better it will function. If you have proper protocol and procedures in place before your cleanroom production begins, you’re sure to be able to start your project as soon as it’s installed and validated.

If you have more questions regarding your cleanroom project, don’t hesitate to call the experts at Angstrom at 1-888-768-6900. With more than 20 years experience installing and maintaining every type of cleanroom, we’re sure to have an answer or solution!