At Vernick & Associates, we know that the design, construction, and installation of cleanrooms is extremely important to any facility requiring a clean environment. Once those cleanrooms are in production, keeping them uncontaminated requires some special considerations, special knowledge, and training for those working in the facility and those responsible for maintenance.
In Maintaining cleanrooms and clean manufacturing areas, author Greg Helgeson discusses cleanroom maintenance and cleanliness control. According to Helgeson, “There are four sources of contamination in cleanrooms or clean manufacturing: environment, process, tools, and people.” All four of these potential sources have to be addressed in order to keep contamination to a minimum.
Regarding the environment and tools, Helgeson mentions,
“There are special furnishings, vacuums (which exhaust outside the cleanroom), notepads, and cleaning solutions designed specifically for cleanroom use. They are made of nonshedding materials. All oils and greases used in a cleanroom must be tested using a Fourier transform infrared analysis (FTIR) to identify organic residues and contaminates. If contaminate levels are too great or cannot be removed easily with cleanroom-approved cleaning solutions, the lubricants cannot be used.”
Among the many maintenance tips to control contamination in cleanrooms found in the article, Helgeson’s message is clear: staff working within the clean environment, maintenance personnel, and outside service personnel all play an integral role in reducing contamination. And as such, they require the appropriate education and training for their facility, in addition to the right tools for their jobs, cleanroom-approved garments, and time to perform routine preventative maintenance. For example, “Every few hours, all cleanroom operators should monitor their own workstations with a surface particle counter for contamination. If particle counts are high, they should immediately wipe down all surface areas and determine the particulate source.”
There is no doubt that with the right equipment and components paired with regular cleanroom maintenance schedules in place on a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis, you can ensure that your cleanroom remains uncontaminated and compliant with your industry’s standards.
Vernick & Associates has been designing and building cleanrooms, environmental rooms, and modular offices since 1985. To learn more about us and our services or to discuss your needs, contact us at (216) 373-2330. We serve clients from a variety of industries in Columbus, Cincinnati, Toledo, Dayton, and areas throughout the Midwest.
Helgeson, Greg. “Maintaining cleanrooms and clean manufacturing areas.” Web article. Control Engineering. 1 June, 2000.