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Environmental Concerns When Designing your Cleanroom: Internal

by Gerbig in General Cleanroom. Comments Off on Environmental Concerns When Designing your Cleanroom: Internal

Don’t build a cleanroom without first understanding all of the environmental factors that can cost you time and money later.

Maintaining a compliant cleanroom is a complex process. Indoor air quality is fairly fragile because even the best air filters can’t prevent all influences from tainting the system. The design process is the perfect place to evaluate potential threats. You can avoid certain contaminates and know what to be watchful for once the facility is operational. One of the most important factors to evaluate is the environment.

Environmental factors are twofold:  internal and external.

Let’s first look at internal environmental concerns.

Humidity is among the most difficult to completely control, and it can cause a heap of problems. Too little humidity, as you can imagine, can spark electrostatic buildup and discharge. Electrostatic discharge is a major issue in a cleanroom, especially in one that … Read More »

4 Common Reasons Cleanroom Employees are Not up to Par

by Gerbig in General Cleanroom. Comments Off on 4 Common Reasons Cleanroom Employees are Not up to Par

Before you take disciplinary action against an underperforming employee, make sure you investigate the reason behind poor work performance.

It’s frustrating when employees don’t meet expectations. We’ve all encountered situations where training doesn’t seem to stick, rules are not followed correctly, or employees don’t seem to be doing everything they are supposed to. Whatever the situation is with your employee who isn’t quite up to par, it behooves you to determine if the problem can be fixed before you let the person go.

As a leader, consider these four possibilities when addressing employees about poor work performance:

The work is impossible to accomplish. When we don’t actually perform the tasks assigned to a position, it’s easy to ask too much of the person doing that job. If a person is given more to do than there is reasonable time to accomplish it, work … Read More »

Quick Checklist for Building a Test Chamber for your Cleanroom

by Gerbig in General Cleanroom. Comments Off on Quick Checklist for Building a Test Chamber for your Cleanroom

What do you need to know before building or buying a test chamber?

Test chambers allow us to see the long-term impacts of extreme environmental conditions on product or equipment in a short period of time. This is useful to be able to make changes to the manufacturing process. Some of the conditions tested include:

Vibration
Humidity
Temperature
Weather conditions (e.g. UV degradation)
Environmental impacts (e.g. salt water)
Emissions and by-products

The test chamber you would need to test your requirements will be unique to you and your product. Often times you will need to have a new chamber built. However, there may be existing test chamber that you can buy used that will provide you what you need.

Either way, before you can purchase or build a chamber, you need all the right information to get what you need. Here is a quick checklist:

Understand your size requirements (product) … Read More »

Desiccators in the Cleanroom: What are the Options? Part 3

by Gerbig in General Cleanroom. Comments Off on Desiccators in the Cleanroom: What are the Options? Part 3

When traditional desiccators aren’t clean enough to use in your controlled environment, what are your options?

Desiccators provide storage of small quantities of pre-dried samples or hygroscopic chemical reagent that is both economical and long-term. In a laboratory, a glass jar desiccator is perfect for its purpose. However, in a cleanroom, this storage method can compromise the integrity of the cleanroom or the sample.

In part one, we looked at glass desiccators. These are the most economic, but also the least advantageous in a controlled environment. They cannot maintain the low levels of relative humidity that are required when manufacturing semiconductors, medical devices, or pharmaceuticals. Additionally, once the desiccator reaches its saturation point, it has to be manually handled to regain its adsorptive qualities.

Dry cabinets are one alternative to glass jars. They offer a controlled RH level with greater storage capacity. Products … Read More »

Desiccators in the Cleanroom: What are the Options? Part 2

by Gerbig in General Cleanroom. Comments Off on Desiccators in the Cleanroom: What are the Options? Part 2

What are your options for using desiccators in a controlled environment like a cleanroom?

In our last article, we discussed the complications that come with using glass desiccators in the cleanroom. They can’t maintain proper levels of humidity, so they must be handled – causing disruption to the process and risking contamination. An alternative to using the glass is to incorporate desiccant-based dry cabinets.

Dry cabinets alternate between two desiccant modules that cycle in and out of the airflow unit. One provides moisture adsorption and the other undergoes regeneration through an integral heating module fan. In this way, the cabinet offers better storage capacity at controlled RH level.

This kind of system is perfect for long-term bulk storage of microelectronic components, moisture-sensitive optical devices, and other similar applications. The cabinets eliminate the need for manually removing and restoring saturated desiccant. The products are … Read More »