process equipment, cleanroom personnel can thoroughly remove particles
directly from the source
and reclaim valuable
compounds and APIs.
Vacuums with a small,
compact design provide
flexibility for processing
environments with limited space. Furthermore,
if multiple vacuums are
used, facilities can streamline cleaning procedures,
increase efficiency, and
establish proper protocol
for maintaining a cleanroom’s integrity.
Sources of contamination
Despite rigid industry
standards and comprehensive cleaning programs, some elements of
contamination prevention are beyond a company’s
control. Pharmaceutical production facilities that
require cleanroom environments often develop
procedures around three major sources of particles:
cleanroom materials, equipment, and personnel.
Comparatively, the most common source of contaminants is personnel.
While materials like gowns and gloves provide a
layer of protection for skin, hair, and clothing, humans
can transmit unwanted matter into these environments
in other ways. For example, sneezing or simple movements like sitting or walking can lead to organic material entering the air supply. Typically, a working person
generates about one million organic airborne particles
that are greater than 0.5 microns per minute.
Investing time and resources into educating personnel about maintenance procedures and why certain
precautions are necessary can significantly improve the
integrity of cleanrooms. Key factors to address include:
• Personal hygiene
• Government standards and protocols for cleanrooms
A stainless steel vacuum eliminates the chance for contamination by the vacuum itself and
helps cleanroom personnel meet contamination control standards.
Pharmaceutical and semiconductor manufactur-
ing facilities face unique cleaning challenges that, if
not addressed, can negatively impact their products,
their employees, and their overall success. Controlled
environments require thorough cleaning to remain
free of potent compounds and hazardous materi-
als. Establishing proper protocols for contamination
control and combining vacuuming with manual pro-
cedures will create a much more effective process for
maintenance and sanitation. As part of a comprehen-
sive cleaning program, portable industrial vacuums
should feature multi-stage filtration systems, wet/dry
capabilities, and safe collection units. Taking these
steps in cleanroom maintenance will mitigate risks for
contamination and allow personnel to easily address
hazards across various applications.
Rob Decker provides technical support to customers
and the Nilfisk Industrial Vacuum sales force for product
and application-specific inquiries and modifications.
He develops, designs, and manages special vacuum
modifications and accessories for unique applications
and/or customer requests. Rob joined the Nilfisk team
in 2006. Nilfisk Industrial Vacuums is a division of
Nilfisk-Advance Inc., Morgantown, Pa. Nilfisk Industrial
Vacuums supports three brands—Nilfisk, Nilfisk CFM,
and Nilfisk ALTO—that provide industrial vacuums to
manufacturing and industrial facilities. www.nilfiskin-dustrialvacuums.com.