enclosure used in manufacturing or in hospitals wherein a low level of
environmental pollutants such as dust, airborne microbes, aerosol
particles and chemical vapors needs to be maintained. These low levels
of environmental pollutants are monitored and maintained with the aid
of special equipment meant for the purpose.
Further, the controlled level of contamination is specified by the
number of particles per cubic meter at a specified particle size.
Cleanrooms can be of variable sizes based on the requirement. For
instance very large cleanrooms are often used in manufacturing
facilities, or even the whole of a manufacturing unit may be built into
a cleanroom. For the most part, they have applications in semiconductor
manufacturing, biotechnology, life sciences and other fields that are
acutely sensitive to environmental pollution.
The working of a cleanroom entails an air filtration unit so that the
air entering a cleanroom is filtered to exclude contaminants, while the
air inside is recirculated by means of high efficiency particulate air
(HEPA) and ultra low penetration air (ULPA) filters. These filters are
meant to clean up the pollutants generated due to the processes taking
place inside the cleanroom.
There are also airlocks, typically with air shower stages, at the entry
and exit points of cleanrooms. Usage of protective clothing such as
boots, gloves, face masks and cover-alls is the norm for staffers.
Furthermore, the equipment inside the enclosure is specially designed
to produce the minimum levels of pollutants. Office stationary viz.
paper, pencils for use are made from natural substances or at best
aren't allowed inside. Additionally, many cleanrooms are kept at a
positive air pressure, so as to prevent any contaminated outside air to
get in, in case there's a leakage.
Some Common Types of Cleanroom Supplies
As already outlined, there are a host of equipment and supplies that
are specially designed for use in clean rooms. Some classes of
essential supplies for cleanrooms are described below.
Cleanroom disposables refers to all the products, items and packaging
used once or only a few times within the cleanroom before being
discarded. Examples of cleanroom disposable include Medical and
Cleanroom Apparel, that is clothing and masks used in healthcare and
pharmaceutical cleanrooms, or gloves meant for handling cytoxic
formulations, etc. or Specialty bags and Packaging such as Light
Inhibiting Bags, Sterile & Isolator Waste Bags or Theater Products
meant to control contamination operation theater environment which
entail supplies like floor mats, camera bags, filters, etc.
refers to tools, devices or other items necessary used in carrying out
critical processes within cleanrooms, while maintaining a pollution
free environment. They could
include Cleanroom Furniture viz.
Operator/Technician Workbenches, Seating, Laboratory Furniture, Mobile
Trolleys etc. or Cleanroom Wall Systems such as Demountable Partitions,
Cleanroom Doorsets, Pass Through Hatches, Wall Cladding Systems and the
like, or items needed for Cleanroom Laminar Flow like Laminar Flow
Hoods, HEPA Filtered Fan Modules, Fume Cupboards, Air Showers, etc.
Pass Thru Air Locks, Wet Process Stations, Cleanroom Garment Racks,
Step Ladders are some other necessary cleanroom equipment.
Cleanroom Garments refer to clothing that prevents the contaminants on
the body to mingle with the clean
environment within a cleanroom
enclosure. Cleanroom garments are made of selected fabrics viz
polyester, that are durable, lightweight and have other desirable
properties. They are designed to meet the most stringent requirements
of cleanliness that cleanrooms warrant. Examples of such garments
include special Gloves, Masks, Shoecovers, Coveralls, Gowns and Smocks,
Head Covers, Undergarments, etc.
Once a cleanroom has become operational it requires a series of
maintenance procedures carried out at set time intervals or as needed,
to ensure the upkeep of its 'cleanroom' status. Controlling and
maintaining contamination is the hallmark of cleanrooms and expertly
and sophisticated gadgets are often needed to
conduct effective cleanroom services. Some examples of cleanroom
services include regular Floor Care and Testing /Certification,
Cleanroom Cleaning, Clean Room Sterilization, Micro-cleaning,
Contamination Control, Protocol Development, Particle Count
Certification, Sterile and non-sterile garment services, Cleanroom
Training & Consulting, Cleanroom Audit, etc.
Tips For Ordering Cleanroom Products and Services
For the most part it's the quality of cleanroom products based on the
requirements that determines their effectiveness. Supply and
distribution of substandard cleanroom products poses a major challenge
for buyers and consumers of these products. Use of substandard products
can result in major losses to the users of these products. Quality of
cleanroom supplies can be ensured to quite an extent through the
1.Establish the integrity of the source prior to need.
2.Establish a list of approved suppliers.
3.If you source from an alternative source ensure that at least the following information is provided:
a. A pedigree back to the previous source
b. Certification that it is not a diverted product
c. Certification that any actions by the alternative
source will not alter any original manufacture warranties or
d. Certification that the product has been stored and handled consistent with product labelling requirements
4.Be wary of cleanroom products that are offered at an unusually cheap price.
5.Make a list of key cleanroom equipment that will not be purchased
from any other source but the manufacturer, or authorised distributor.
6.Look for changes in the product’s package and compare them with
previously purchased products, tears in the sealing tape and seals and
variations in the size of the container.
North America and Europe are the major markets for cleanroom products
and services. The demand for cleanroom consumables in the US has grown
at an annual rate of about 6 percent through 2007. Aside from the medical industry
the semiconductors industry and expansion of clean room technologies
are the drivers of this growth. Products with the maximum demand will
be drugs, hard disk drives, foods and beverages, flat panel displays,
chemicals, apparel, wipes and swabs. The US market for clean room
consumables is estimated to be worth US$ 1.2 billion.
Europe makes up for about 28% of the world's market. France and Germany
are the leading European buyers of pharmaceutical clean rooms. The
demand for clean room technology to be used in the pharmaceutical and
biotechnology industry is on the rise. Moreover, the bio/pharmaceutical
industry is the Europe's second largest consumer of clean room space.
Much of the demand for cleanroom products and services attributed to
pharmaceutical industry is centered around contamination, where
presence of bacteria and viruses can have a devastating effect on
medicines packaged as tablets, capsules, liquids, etc.
As for investments, the year 2000 saw the European pharmaceutical and
biotechnology firms spend $128 million on new clean rooms. Whereas the
expenditure was US $542 million for the entire European industry on new
clean rooms, during the same year. From 2002 through 2006 the clean
room consumables purchases by the European industry rose from US $121
million to US $151 million.
The world market for clean rooms on the other hand grew from US $6.5 Billion in 2000 to US $9.1 Billion by 2006.