machines. Of course, this emits particulates into the
air, which would be undetectable unless you were
running monitoring at that moment.
Looking toward the future
In the constant quest for zero defects, there is a
next frontier: sub-visible particulates. While experts
argue whether a “visible” particulate is 50 or 125
microns wide, the fact remains that
today’s technologies detect particulates
in that range, much like the human eye.
In the last decade, particulate detection and automation has improved exponentially. It is still important, however, to
have teams continually researching new
technologies and equipment to mitigate
sub-visible particulates and find ideas
for making drug packaging and delivery
system cleanrooms even cleaner.
The other frontier is automation.
Anyone charged with a cleanroom
knows that entering and exiting the
space can present risk of contamination.
Working toward more automation could
help to address this. However, it is an
evolving process, as technology marches
on and each year brings new automation
But right now, there’s another way to
reduce the amount of people coming and
going from a cleanroom: by increasing
visibility from the outside. For example,
by installing longer viewing corridors as
well as strategically positioned camera
systems, facility managers may provide
the view needed to answer a question
that formerly required entering the
Some of the practices to continuously
improve drug packaging and delivery
system cleanrooms are giant leaps, while
others may at the time seem incremental.
When you work in healthcare manufacturing, though, every avenue and side
street is worth exploring. Everyone in
the supply chain contributes to products
that ultimately affect patients’ health —
an extraordinary task that requires continual improvement.
Tom McLean is Vice President, Delivery
Systems R&D, of West Pharmaceutical
Services Inc., having joined the Tech Group
in 1999 as a Program Manager responsible
for Consumer Product Development. Tom has earned
Six Sigma Master Black Belt certification, and led the
transition of West’s Scottsdale, Ariz. facility to devel-
op and commercialize West Delivery System medical
device products. He now leads the Delivery System R&D
Organization, whose main responsibility includes the
development of delivery system products from concept
through product design verification and validation.
Clean Air Products delivers cleanrooms and
equipment with unequalled quality, performance
and value. Our expert technical assistance and
fast, friendly service simplify your spec process.
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