10 Best Cleanroom Practices
Many products manufactured today are extremely sensitive to dust, vapors and other airborne particles. The production of these products requires a clean environment and clean manufacturing operations. This is especially true for products produced by semi-conductor and bio-pharmaceutical companies. A cleanroom is a controlled environment that is specially designed to reduce contamination.
Avoiding Contamination in Cleanrooms
Cleanrooms must be kept clean and free from all types of contamination. Increasing cleanliness, minimizing contamination and keeping equipment running smoothly requires the use of materials, tools and processes that will not affect the cleanliness of the finished product.
Cleanrooms and clean manufacturing requires a solid commitment from staff. Cleanrooms that are properly maintained allow for cleaner products and manufacturing facilities, increased potential for new markets and the opportunity to present the production facility as a selling point to customers.
Top 10 Cleanroom Maintenance Practices
- Keep tools and test equipment inside the cleanroom. Having to clean tools before bringing them inside the cleanroom not only wastes time, it also increases the likelihood of contamination.
- Staff should be fully trained on cleanroom protocol. Staff should understand how even a quick visit to the cleanroom without the proper attire can release millions of particles, requiring immediate cleaning and potentially downgrading cleanroom classification.
- Keep a supply of vinyl gloves inside the cleanroom. Over time, workers can develop latex allergies. If worker’s hands become red or develop a rash after removing latex gloves, they will need to use vinyl gloves instead.
- Adjust practices to allow for seasonal changes. During the spring and fall, filters should be changed more frequently to offset increased outdoor particle counts.
- Enforce routine preventative maintenance. Every few hours, workers should check their workstation with a surface particle counter. If particle counts are high, all surface areas should be wiped down and the particulate source located.
- Changes to the facility or equipment should not affect the finished product.
- Clean manufacturing must be a plant-wide commitment.
- Vendors should always follow proper cleanroom procedures.
- All equipment used in cleanrooms should require little to no maintenance.
- Cleanroom maintenance should be everyone’s responsibility. Every worker should know how to properly clean work areas.
Means Engineering, Inc. offers cleanroom facilities for a variety of industries. Please contact us for more information.