Open concept offices are the new thing in corporate design, and the idea of the open workspace is expanding into cleanrooms and laboratories as well. There are many benefits to open concept workspaces, like increased transparency and cooperation, but also some downsides, like the noise level. Besides these factors, there are additional considerations for open cleanroom design, due to the nature of the processes and requirements of cleanrooms. If you’re interested in open cleanroom design, here’s what you should consider.
Benefits of Open Cleanroom Design
Transparency and Collaboration
In an open laboratory workspace, everyone can see what everyone else is doing. This can mean that chemists and product engineers are working together in the same space. These different groups can interact with each other in an open setting, offering each other ideas and solutions based on their unique insight and expertise. You’ll also get transparency across teams, so that everyone is aware of what’s going on and what other teams are working on or exploring.
An open floor plan allows for the layout of your cleanroom to change as your organization’s needs and applications change. New equipment can be added to accommodate a new process, additional workspaces can be added for new staff, and furniture and equipment can be rearranged to best serve the needs of the cleanroom at the time.
Open concept cleanrooms can save money in three major ways: they can save space in your facilities, freeing it up for other needs; they allow teams to share equipment, resources, and support staff because they are co-located; and have lower construction costs than creating smaller, application-specific cleanroom spaces.
Disadvantages of Open Cleanroom Design
Ventilation and Filtration Challenges
With the larger space that open cleanrooms present, getting ventilation and filtration right so that the space is adequately ventilated and meets particulate contamination standards can be difficult.
Noisy equipment can create a lot of noise pollution in an open cleanroom, and that noise may be disruptive to sensitive processes as well as disruptive to personnel.
Sensitive Work and Processes
Some processes and tasks are extremely sensitive or are at great risk for factors like cross-contamination. These processes need dedicated space, and likely have more stringent cleanroom standards and procedures that other cleanroom applications.
Solutions for Open Cleanroom Design
One way to solve some of the challenges of an open cleanroom is modular design. The flexibility of modular cleanrooms allow for changes to the layout of the space as needed. For applications that need dedicated space because of the delicate nature of the processes, a modular design allows you to create that necessary space within the open cleanroom. Soundproof modular rooms for noisy equipment can solve the noise issue in the otherwise open space.
Angstrom Technology can design a cleanroom to meet all your requirements and design considerations. Speak with one of our design engineers to get started.