Who uses a cleanroom? Cleanrooms designed to keep air constantly circulating, using air filters and positive pressure to keep critical processes clean from particles and contaminants. So they are important in industries where external contaminants can ruin products, affect product quality, or harm people.
Cleanrooms are the backbone of some critical industries and our lives would look very different without them. Could you imagine buying a phone that broke on the first use because the internal circuitry was compromised due to particle contamination during manufacture? Or eating food covered in unknown germs? Or having a medical device implanted that you couldn’t trust to be sterile?
So who exactly uses cleanrooms? Some of these industries might surprise you!
When pharmaceutical products are being made, the slightest contamination could ruin the medication and harm the person who takes them. So it’s critical that pharmaceutical companies use cleanrooms to keep their products safe.
In the production of sterile drugs, the cleanrooms are always monitored and regularly disinfected. This is critical all throughout the pharmaceutical sterile manufacturing industry - and it doesn’t stop at medications.
Also in the medical field, those who develop medical devices use cleanrooms. This is especially important for medical devices that go into the human body. In general, medical facilities try to stay totally contaminant free because any particle that ends up in the body that is not supposed to be there can cause trouble.
So if a device is going to be used in an operating room or put into a human body, they want to make sure it stays free of contaminants.
This is an especially important industry for all the photographers and researchers out there. The optics industry produces telescopes, microscopes, and other sorts of lenses - like those found in your phone or camera.
We often take for granted being able to look through a camera and see a perfectly crisp photo. But what would happen if a bunch of fine dust particles were stuck in the layers of glass that creates the lens?
Your photo would turn out blurry and covered in dust. Not to mention, in a research facility, they’d have a hard time telling what’s an important scientific discovery and what’s a dust particle.
Thus, it is important that the optics industry manufactures all sorts of lenses in a cleanroom environment.
Your phone is basically a cleanroom conglomerate. Inside computers, phones, and other electronic equipment are microprocessors and tons of nanotechnology. Each of these pieces must be totally accurate to work - which means even the tiniest speck of dust locked inside the tech would result in malfunctions.
Another area of electronics is LCD televisions and other display devices. It’s incredibly important to keep the manufacturing process free from contaminants to keep the product quality up, especially with increasing screen resolution.
So, when assembling the nanotechnology, they use cleanrooms to keep contaminants away.
When we send people into space, we want everything to work perfectly, right? Right. You don’t want things going awry in zero-gravity where there’s no breathable air.
They might not be building giant space shuttles in a cleanroom, but the thousands of tiny parts that make up the space shuttles and rockets are built in cleanroom environments. It’s critical - for the safety of the pilots, the accuracy of the equipment, and the integrity of the space shuttle - that these components are built without outside contaminations, so they work in perfect functioning order.
Additionally, when astronauts are collecting samples from space and then examining them, it’s very important those samples are kept perfectly clean and uncompromised. In early studies, scientists were excited to find bacteria on samples from different locations in space only to realize that they were contaminated on Earth due to lack of sterility and monitoring.
Like we mentioned earlier, researchers need perfectly crisp pictures through their microscopes to see their information. And we’ve seen that, in the medical field, contaminants in the processing of pharmaceuticals can result in bad medication.
So it makes sense that, in some labs, they use cleanroom technology to keep the research space clean.
Contaminants can skew data results and present incorrect information, while also damaging samples. The constant clean air that cleanrooms provide help researchers know that they are seeing actual results and not impacted results.
The military is just one of many government agencies that use cleanroom technology. This falls closely in line with how the technology sector uses cleanrooms - they use it to invent the technology of tomorrow without interference from outside contaminants. The military was actually the first organization to develop cleanroom standards.
They are also to thank for the current state of cleanroom technology. During World War II, there were weapon mishaps as trigger mechanisms were compromised during production. When triggers were manufactured in a cleanroom, the trigger success rate went to near 100%.
An ever-popular source of renewable energy is solar power. We are starting to see solar panels pop up all over the world - on top of roofs, in the desert, in fields. But little do many know that the solar cells are similar to microprocessors. Which means they must be manufactured in the same way.
Since the technology works at such a micro level, even the slightest particle could decrease the efficiency of the solar cell. So they build portions of the solar panel in a cleanroom atmosphere to make sure it meets the specified criteria.
Would you want contaminants on your food?
In recent years, food packagers have started to use cleanrooms to make their packaging process more efficient and healthy. As consumers have grown increasingly wary of highly processed and contaminated foods, packaging in a cleanroom environment allows packagers to keep foodstuffs clean without more processing.
Not only does the cleanroom protect the food from external germs and contaminants, but it also prolongs the food’s shelf life.
So how do packagers implement a cleanroom setting? They make the cleanroom environment inside of the food packaging machines!
Do You Use A Cleanroom?
Is your business part of one of the listed industries? Do you use a cleanroom or would cleanroom technology improve your products?
An important component of cleanrooms is maintenance - making sure they continue to keep products and air clean. Here at Lighthouse Worldwide Solutions, we are the world’s leader in clean air technology.
Our real-time particle monitors will alert you if your cleanroom becomes contaminated or at risk for contamination, saving you lost time in manufacturing and contaminated products.
Interested in learning more about how real-time particle monitoring can help you? Contact us today!