Factors to consider while designing a cleanroom  

Cleanrooms are an integral part of manufacturing and research facilities across various industries, including pharmaceuticals, life sciences, electronics, military, fibre optics, microelectronics, aviation, transportation, food processing & more.

Cleanrooms are crucial in controlling air pollutant levels, pressurisation, humidity, temperature, and general health & safety. Their primary objective is to prevent contamination within and outside the cleanroom.

Considering their overarching importance in production and research facilities, they need to be built based on niche-specific quality and safety standards. Before ordering or commissioning a cleanroom, the following factors must be considered as these will determine the longevity, usability, efficiency, and cost of the cleanrooms.

Modular vs. custom cleanrooms:  Modular cleanrooms, as the name suggests, are ready-to-assemble cleanrooms that come in various sizes and make. They are easy to use and are more affordable than custom-made cleanrooms.

On the other hand, custom cleanrooms are tailored to your specific requirements. Factors considered when constructing custom-made cleanrooms include the materials used for the build, the environment it will be constructed, the nature of work within the cleanroom, and more. As a result, the cost of building custom cleanrooms is higher than modular cleanrooms.

When deciding which is the best option for you and your business, you should consider these factors. Does the nature of your work need a modular or bespoke cleanroom? Read more about modular vs. custom-built cleanrooms here.

Cleanroom Standards: ISO classifications are prepared by the International Organisation for Standardisation and are classified based on the level of air quality inside the cleanroom. Standards for cleanrooms range from ISO 1 to ISO 9, one being the “cleanest” and nine being the “dirtiest.”

The Standard your cleanroom needs to follow is based on the nature of the work and the safeguards required to protect the staff working in it and the surrounding environment. As such, ISO standards for every industry are different, and so are the requirements.

For example, a cleanroom for a biotechnology research lab will require higher standards than a storage cleanroom — generally, the higher the Standard, the higher the cost. You should be aware of the Standards applicable to your industry and ensure that the cleanroom you are commissioning or order is compliant with them.

Environmental factors: Make, and construction materials used for a cleanroom are directly tied to the cleanroom’s location. Temperature, humidity, and other weather variables play a direct role in the usability and longevity of the cleanroom.

Controlling these variables is also crucial within the cleanroom. Providing correct weather conditions for instruments and materials used/processed in the cleanroom is important to prevent corrosion, static electricity, and condensation on surfaces.

Additionally, controlling the airflow directions and pressure is crucial. These require installing special equipment within the cleanroom itself. For instance, if you are processing hazardous materials, it will require that the pressure within the cleanroom be lower than the atmospheric pressure outside the cleanroom to avoid leakage of toxic materials into the environment.

Work & personnel flow: The exact location where the cleanroom will be installed and who will be using it play a role in its design. The entrance and exit points of the cleanrooms should be designed based on the flow of work and personnel.

Bespoke designed cleanrooms improve the efficiency of your process and mobility of your materials within. However, the design of a cleanroom solely accessed by humans will be different from a cleanroom exclusively used by robots or machinery.

Long-term and short-term expenditures: With the advancements in material science, various materials can be used for the same purpose. Depending on the Standards to which a cleanroom is built, there will be a wide range of construction material options available. Some of these materials will be cheaper than others, but the specification of precise materials depends on your circumstances.

Some materials have lower capital costs but may incur long-term costs. Whereas some materials may cost you more initially, cover your losses in the long run by reducing maintenance costs. When consulting DRYSYS on your order, we treat each client on a case-by-case basis, so a tailored package can be modified for your precise needs.

DRYSYS is a bespoke engineering firm in Melbourne offering cleanrooms and other specialised industrial equipment across Australia. Get in touch with us today to see how we can assist you in designing and building our high-tech cleanrooms that meet your specific needs.

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