It is no secret that recent years have shown a shift towards decreasing human labor and increasing reliance on technology. We see this trend for a number of reasons. Technology reduces expenses while increasing accuracy. It also allows humans to focus on tasks that only humans can do. They don’t have to spend as much time completing mundane tasks and can focus on research, management, innovation, and more.
These savings are adding up. In the last 20 years, we’ve seen manufacturing output increase by more than 47%. Meanwhile, industrialized countries have seen an average savings of 16% on production.
The cleanroom industry is not immune to the impact of technology. Between the years 2021 and 2025, the global cleanroom technology equipment market is estimated to grow at a rate of over 5%. One of the reasons we expect to see the market growth is the introduction of different digital technologies into cleanrooms that make them more effective and efficient.
We believe it is due time for serious innovation to be introduced to the industry. In the 1960s, Willis Whitfield introduced the modern cleanroom, and our cleanrooms still look much the same. In 2022, we expect major digital revolutions that change the way cleanrooms operate to make them more effective and powerful.
After all, we see major technological and scientific breakthroughs in cleanrooms all the time… Why would we let our own technology lag?
One of the first ways we want to bring cleanrooms into the 21st century is by reducing paper use in cleanrooms.
Paper poses a serious particle threat to cleanrooms. Traditional paper is constantly shedding fibers - and any kind of tearing or cutting increases the shedding rate. Throughout the years, we’ve seen companies develop cleanroom paper. This paper has sealed edges to prevent fiber shedding and is designed to be used with cleanroom-safe pens. These are usually ballpoint pens in a non-shedding barrel with low sodium ink.
But here is our question: why are we still using paper in cleanrooms?
Because paper is no minor threat to cleanrooms. Supplying a cleanroom with special paper and ink is an ongoing expense that still poses a risk. We’ve started introducing true paperless options in our ApexZ line. These are true paperless options with integrations and accessibility that makes record keeping, taking notes, and tracking activity in cleanrooms a breeze. Not to mention the added organization.
We’ve added this paperless option in response to a latent need the market expressed, and we’ve had a very positive response. Others in the market have begun to see the need, and we expect more paperless options to come out in 2022.
As we see the need for mundane manpower in cleanrooms decrease, we expect that technology should help take care of itself. We see this in advanced and reliable self-diagnostics. You no longer need to be running continuous diagnostics to ensure that your equipment is working. Instead, it will alert you if there is an issue.
For example, the ApexZ only requires routine maintenance instead of continuous intervention. It is designed with top-of-the-line self-diagnostics options to alert you if there is an issue. Even when exposed to contamination or strong gases like vaporized hydrogen peroxide, the ApexZ’s self-diagnostics withstood the test.
This provides peace of mind that you’ll know the moment something goes wrong. That’s peace of mind that your yield loss will be minimized, and your production will stay up.
Cleanroom teams deserve that kind of peace of mind in 2022.
It’s 2022. There are no longer just one or two system options available. Instead, there are thousands of options and systems unique to different organizations. When cleanroom technology only has a couple transfer options, it seriously limits the usability of that equipment.
In the coming years, we expect to see manufacturers increase and improve their integrations through different transfer options that increase productivity while enhancing the user experience. As options that make integration seamless come on the market, it’ll be impossible to keep up if your product only offers simple data transfer and integration options.
Organizations are starting to expect their technology to adapt to their organization instead of the other way around. When a business invests tens of thousands of dollars into developing its infrastructure, changing it to fit one piece of equipment is cumbersome and impractical.
What is one way to reduce contamination risks in a cleanroom? Bring in less equipment, especially equipment with a large surface area that can acquire or produce particles. One of these items is cords.
In 2022, we expect to see fewer cords in cleanrooms and more batteries. But not just any batteries. We expect to see smart batteries in cleanrooms. These are batteries that understand the cleanroom workflow and adapt to save battery life when needed. They are also batteries with long lives and short recharging times to decrease demands on humans.
You know where we’re going with this. Still, we can’t deny the truth: the ApexZ uses some of the most innovative batteries available today. It currently has the shortest recharge time and longest battery life available in portable particle counters.
Since its introduction, the ApexZ has paved the way for longer battery lives, shorter recharging times, smarter self-diagnostics, and more sensitive readings.
But it’s not just about having a particle counter that works hard for you and leads the industry… It’s about having a company on your side that is always trying to understand your needs better to make your life easier.
Where is the cleanroom industry going next? The first step to answering that question is creating industry dialogues around latent needs in cleanrooms. As we discover more and more of these needs, we’ll be able to build technology that solves the root of the problem.