Regulations, cost, location, size, performance—how do you choose the right cleanroom?
Selecting a cleanroom for a new business or product is not a difficult process. There are many considerations and options, but focusing first on requirements will help make the decision-making easier.
Rules mandated by government regulations, ISO guidelines, or customer requirements are the first consideration in selecting the right cleanroom. For example, government regulation USP 797 outlines specific requirements for the manufacture of pharmaceutical products, and ISO 14644-5:2004 guidelines specify basic requirements for cleanroom operations. Most often regulations or customer specifications will dictate the cleanliness level or required rating, which provides a good starting point for choosing the right cleanroom.
Cost is an important consideration, especially if starting a new business or new product line. Prices can vary greatly from custom, fixed wall construction to modular, free-standing, soft wall or hard wall prefabricated cleanroom systems. Fixed wall rooms are typically most expensive, with soft wall rooms the least expensive. Additionally, size, shape, configuration, and accessories will affect the overall cost.
The location of the cleanroom site within the existing building structure, and the number of processes and workers in the cleanroom will determine the size and shape of the room.
In addition to meeting performance needs, many companies consider the visual aesthetics of a cleanroom very important, wanting to project a high-tech image with visual appeal to attract new customers.