Everyone with a cleanroom could use a particle counter, right? But which particle counter is right for you, and WHY is that particle counter a portable one?
First and foremost, a portable particle counter creates its own vacuum, can be moved, and typically displays its reading on a built-in screen. This prevents you from leaving the cleanroom to get the readings while moving around.
A portable particle counter is one of the three main types of particle counters: portable, handheld, and remote.
It’s larger than a handheld particle counter because it usually offers more integrations and has a larger screen. It’s also larger than a remote particle counter for similar reasons. Remote particle counters are designed to be part of a stationary system that reports to an outside source. In contrast, portable particle counters are intended to be used by the handler in the cleanroom.
While every cleanroom’s needs are different, we believe just about every cleanroom can benefit from a portable particle counter. There are a number of ways a portable particle counter can improve your cleanroom, contamination control strategy, and workflow.
Portable particle counters are designed to be flexible. Modern ones, like the ApexZ, have many built-in options that allow them to integrate into your processes. Even if you don’t have an extensive setup in place, a portable particle counter will work for you. It does not require infrastructure, even though it has many integration options.
This can drastically improve your cleanroom by reducing stress on IT and staff as they have to learn new systems and processes.
What makes one cleanroom superior to another? Well, a number of reasons. But a true, quantifiable differentiation between cleanrooms is their classification. Typically, cleanrooms are classified using the International Standard for Organization’s (ISO)’s 9 classes of cleanrooms. An ISO 1 room is the cleanest classification with 10 or fewer particles measuring 0.1 microns and only 2 or fewer particles at 0.2 microns. On the other hand, an ISO 9 room is basically normal air. They have a known sampling of 35,200,000 or fewer particles measuring 0.5 microns, 8,320,000 or fewer particles measuring 1 micron, and 293,000 or fewer particles measuring 5 microns.
When classifying your cleanroom, you’ll need to take readings from multiple spots in your cleanroom and average the results. While you might have remote particle counters set up for constant monitoring, you’ll most likely need additional readings from other areas. The portability of these particle counters allows you to take these readings with ease. Additionally, most portable particle counters have built-in screens, so you can easily track these results without leaving the cleanroom. This seriously limits your potential for contamination and makes classifying your cleanroom simple.
If you’re using a portable particle counter, you’ll want to invest in a modern one that is very user-friendly. The user-friendliness of these particle counters allows for a very minimal setup. The ApexZ can be set up in only a few minutes, whether you need it to stand on its own or integrate into your infrastructure.
Since you won’t be spending hours upon hours setting up your particle counter, your cleanroom workflow will be drastically improved. Additionally, your portable particle counter will be easily adapted and your workflow minimally interrupted as changes are needed.
Of the three types of particle counters, portable particle counters have the highest airflow, giving them a quicker volume sampled.
A portable particle counter has a unique design that creates its own vacuum. The vacuum pulls in the air so that it passes through a laser and registers the number and size of the particles using light scattering technology. The speed of the reading also helps improve the classification process.
It might not come as a surprise that portable particle counters are meant to be portable.
As we mentioned, portable particle counters are the largest of the three types of particle counters. This is because they create their own vacuum and have a built-in screen. But even though they are larger, they are designed for mobility.
The ApexZ, for instance, is ergonomically friendly, so just about anyone can move it where it needs to go. This is a bonus for any cleanroom!
While a cleanroom might benefit from the permanent setup of remote particle counters and a small handheld particle counter has its time and place, a quality portable particle counter can help improve just about any cleanroom.
This is a particle counter that has self-diagnostics so you and your team can rest easy knowing you’ll be alerted the moment something goes wrong. It has paperless and integration options that can bring your cleanroom into the modern world. We even believe your dream particle counter should have the longest battery life and shortest recharge time on the market. That way, your staff can focus on getting things done instead of spending time recharging the particle counter. Meanwhile, the lack of a cord allows further mobility and decreases contamination risks.
And, of course, the perfect portable particle counter has 0.3 - 10.0μ Particle Size Channels so you can rest assured knowing that you’re aware of all the particles in your cleanroom - no matter the size!
The good news is that a portable particle counter is not hard to find because all that - and more - is available in the ApexZ. The ApexZ is leading the industry in the development of and setting standards for portable particle counters everywhere. If you want to learn more about what the ApexZ can do for your cleanroom, contact us for a hassle- and obligation-free demonstration!