What’s the Cleanroom Application
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Industrial cleanroom is mainly applied in electronics industry standard for semiconductor manufacturing represented by IC/LSI. Furthermore, it extends its application in new material development and Fine Chemical Industry.
One of the industrial cleanroom criteria is that, its employment will get the investment capital returned with the improvement of quality and production yield of the products. In short, the investment for industrial cleanroom is profitable. What level of cleanroom is necessary for what kind of products is determine by the product requirement.
It is important to design the higher cleanroom for the more important production area and lower and economical cleanroom for other areas.
Better quality or better yield is the primary reason for investing in a cleanroom space. It goes straight to the bottom line.
Numerous manufacturing procedures now require a controlled environment in which you limit the amount if dust and dirt in the area of the manufacturing. Medical instrument manufacturing and packaging, electronics and computer manufacturing, food preparation and some military applications are but a few of the instances that have strict requirements for maintaining a clean environment. You need to know the requirement for your specific product or process. If the product you are manufacturing is regulated by a government agency, or you are contracting with a private firm that requires a certain level of clean manufacturing, they should have the cleanroom standards already documented. Check with them first.
There are different levels of cleanrooms. ISO – the International Standards Organization, ranks cleanrooms ISO Class 1 (the cleanest) through ISO Class 9. The lower the ISO rating, the cleaner the environment. Measurement of contamination is done in “parts-per-cubic-meter”. An ISO Class 6 cleanroom, for example, is rated at 35,200 parts per cubic meter. That means the room can have no more than 35,200 particles greater than 0.5 microns in size per cubic meter. These are particles that are not visible to the human eye. (As a comparison, a particle of cigarette smoke is between 0.5 and 2 micron in size. The end of a piece of human hair is about 60 to 100 microns in size.)
Particle counts are performed at the work surface height. The pre-filters remove the dirt and dust you can see (call them baseballs and boulders). HEPA filters capture the particles you can’t see with the human eye. A light manufacturing area (defined as an environment that is not generating smoke or oil mist, such as a storm window assembly and packaging) with pre-filtration on a HVAC system might be equivalent to an ISO Class 8 room, with 3,520,000 parts per cubic meter that measure greater than 0.5 micron. This is comparable to room air. Again, know what your manufacturing requirements are.