Clean rooms are commonly associated with industries like pharmaceuticals and healthcare, but advances in manufacturing have led to clean rooms being used in many other commercial applications. A clean room is a sanitized space that is maintained using air purification along with other measures like gowning, frequent cleaning, and airlocks to create a neutral environment devoid of contaminants that can pose quality issues. Clean rooms are specially designed so that users are able to monitor and maintain the environment of the room by controlling factors such as humidity, temperature, airflow, pressure, and filtration. Aeroex is an experienced supplier of clean room fan filter units like our Air-Fit for the commercial sector – click here to learn more.
Table of Contents
Why Do Commercial Industries Need Clean Rooms?
Clean rooms are a necessary part of many commercial applications that require heightened quality or safety standards or use complex processes that could be impinged by airborne contaminants. The primary purpose of a clean room across these industrial applications is to provide a clean working space in which manufacturing processes can take place without interference from contaminants that can jeopardize the final product.
Contaminants include (and are not limited to) dust, vapor, microbes, fibers, as well as other potential biological contaminants. When these particles interfere with a process, products may be wasted or the time and money of the operation could be lost.
Air Purification for Commercial Clean Rooms
An essential piece of equipment employed in clean rooms are air filters, as they are responsible for the control of contaminants within the clean room. Air filters are engineered to trap contaminants as well as to circulate fresh, clean air into the clean room at specified intervals. The type of air filter used will largely depend on the specifications of the clean room in question, as well as the standards set by the ISO 14644. The Air-Fit 500 uses a HEPA filter with 99.97% removal efficiency for 0.3um particles, which is better than many clean room requirements.
From manufacturing to medical and pharmaceutical applications, clean rooms are employed to meet the regulatory standards set by set employment or environmental standards. ISO 14644 typifies clean rooms into 9 separate categories – all of which are defined by the nature and the purpose of the processes used to manufacture the end-product needed. ISO-1 cleanrooms have the strictest standards for cleanliness, and have the least number of particulate in the air. ISO-9 cleanrooms, in comparison, have the lowest standards of the 9 cleanroom classifications.
Common Commercial Clean Room Applications
In today’s blog we’ll look at a few industries that rely on the use of clean rooms for their manufacturing processes.
As mentioned at the introduction, pharmaceutical production facilities are some of the most common applications for clean rooms due to stringent health and safety requirements. These industries are tightly regulated. Clean rooms are also required during medical trials and other scientific investigations where the interference of airborne contaminants needs to be eliminated as a potential unknown variable in the results of any studies.
Medical Device Manufacturing
Whether producing single-use medical devices like syringes and catheters, or implantable devices like pacemakers, any product that’s interacting with bodily systems needs to be full sterile and devoid of any contaminants. History shows the damage and lawsuits that improperly manufactured medical devices can lead to. Therefore, given the intimacy of certain medical devices they are often manufactured in clean room conditions with air purification.
The aerospace industry requires precision and specification – when thousands of feet up in the air, even the slightest quality issue could lead to an unforeseen challenge. The aerospace industry often enlists other technologies like optical devices and instrumentation that have similar clean room requirements to other aerospace components. Aeroex is a trusted partner for “mission-critical” industries like the aerospace sector. For example, we are trusted by manufacturers supplying nuclear industry clients like CANDU nuclear power utilities.
Optical device manufacturers require clean rooms to ensure no impurities interfere with the crafting of lens and other fine components. These components must be absolutely dust free, and some specialized devices also require specific levels of temperature and humidity. For an illustrative example, check out this interesting showcase of Fujifilm’s use of clean room. Aeroex also has a strong understanding of supporting optical requirements from supplying clients like Benmur Precision with oil mist collectors used in machining parts for Nikon.
There is growing awareness of the need to establish clean rooms for the production of solar panels. Typically, solar panel materials have been able to tolerate some impurities that would otherwise be rejected in higher-grade electronics and improvements to the supply chain have mitigated some of the historical quality issues. However with the need to scale up solar and a push for more efficiency, low-level clean rooms are now being used by industry leaders. A recent industry survey found that combustible dust, or gasses from processing, could be creating impurities mitigated by clean rooms.
Food and Beverage Packaging
Clean rooms in the food manufacturing industries often focus on preventing microorganisms from entering the product. This can significantly extend the shelf life of a product by ensuring no contaminants are present that would speed up the deterioration of the product. Clean rooms with air filtration are often paired with other measures to preserve food like chilling.
The Use of Commercial Clean Rooms is Expanding
With advances in technology, the use cases for clean rooms are continuing to expand. Aeroex is known for being at the forefront of industry developments and we take pride in innovation. Whether you are developing clean rooms for an established industry or you want an air purification partner who can help in developing a new application, Aeroex is your trusted partner for commercial clean room air purification. Contact Aeroex today so we can get learn about your industry.