Clean Room Certification – ISO 14644

The number of clean room certifications are vast and vary tremendously. ISO 14644 is the most used standard when looking at electronics and pharma manufacturing controlled environments. With this popularity, it has also undergone revisions within the past five years.

No matter the standard, each is divided into classes. The classes are rated from 1 to 9. The class identifies the maximum limit for particulate size and quantity per cubic meter of air. The chart below showcases the size and the quantity breakdown.

Cleanroom Classification Allowable Maximums.

ISO 9 as you can see is the loosest standard. This standard is equivalent to air quality within a city environment. These environments can fit a multitude of manufacturing and are some of the easiest to achieve and abide by. The opposite end of the spectrum, ISO 1 is the strictest and hardest to maintain. There are three main factors when designing for a clean room. These are surfaces, airflow, and employee access.

When selecting surfaces that will be within the environment it is best to choose a surface that will hold up to the level of use as well as not be damaged by the cleaners or solvents being used to ensure the surface is clean. This should carry over into part fixturing and even machine materials of construction as well. This is not always easy and should be a design element to the process and environment.

Airflow within the room is what helps maintain the concentration levels of particulates. Generally, a clean room is positively pressurized to where the pressure within the room is higher than that outside of the room. This results in a positive air exchange, generally this is provided by the HVAC system. Having a system that does not recirculate the air from inside of the room and a substantial filtration system is key. Another type of airflow that can be found within these environments is a blowoff operation for the part or process. When installing a blowoff within a clean room environment it should be confirmed that the materials of construction are compatible with the environment and cleaning processes and that the airflow will not be introducing particulate into the environment which can result in contamination.

Lastly, employee access should be limited to those employees who are trained and necessary to be within the environment. Sometimes if an employee wears the wrong type of deodorant it can effect an entire environment. Even the wrong type of clothing or soap can alter the state of an environment, let alone using a blowoff incorrectly or bringing the incorrect cleaner inside the cleanroom. Access to these areas should be limited and individuals should be well trained to meet the demands of the clean room.

If you would like to discuss your production environment or blowoff application within a clean room, please contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Sanitary Flange Air Conveyors in Type 316SS

EXAIR currently offers a multitude of configurations when it comes to the Line Vac – air operated conveyors product line.  One of the easiest to install and best suited for food, pharmaceutical, chemical or other sanitary environments is the Sanitary Flange Line Vac¯.

Model 161200-316 – 316 Stainless Steel Sanitary Flange Line Vac

These are offered in four standard pipe sizes, 1-1/2″, 2″, 2-1/2″ and 3″.  The models are only available from stock in 316 stainless steel.   The sanitary flange is designed to be compatible with ISO 2852.  These can easily be used with a “Tri-Clover” clamp and gaskets of varying materials to fit your needs.  They have no internal moving parts and offer a compact, high throughput, quiet conveyance for parts, gases or ingredients.

EXAIR’s Sanitary Flange Line Vacs are offered from stock in four sizes.

Easily install into existing pipe runs for improved process performance.

With the sanitary flange design installation or removal are simplified in order to remove the unit for cleaning or reversing.  If you would like to discuss just how easy these are to upgrade your existing system or to install into a new system, please contact an Application Engineer.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Sanitary Flange Line Vacs for Bulk Conveying

Piping systems have been a hallmark of human civilization for almost as long as people have been living in community with each other. Evidence of complex earthen pipe systems, with flanged fittings & asphalt sealants, date to 2700 BC. These were used for crop irrigation, potable water distribution, and wastewater removal in ancient civilizations from the Mediterranean to the Far East.

Over the centuries, new ways to use pipe led to new ways to make pipe.  Scientists and engineers figured out ways to make pipe stronger, lighter, cheaper, and in a variety of materials.  One of the more recent milestones is the development of sanitary piping and fittings.  The stringent cleanliness controls in certain industries (food and pharmaceutical, I’m looking at you) require highly corrosion resistant materials of construction.  The inside & outside surfaces of the pipe have to be finely finished so that they can be thoroughly and positively cleaned, with no crevices, “nooks & crannies,” etc., for material to gather or cling.  And since regular cleaning & sterilization is performed, the fittings must be able to be made & unmade in a manner that still provides for positive sealing when the system is restored to operation.

EXAIR Line Vac Air Operated Conveyors have always been well suited for applications like this.  With their open, unobstructed throats and smooth bores, they’re intuitively easy to clean, by design.  And we’ve made them, for years, in Type 316 Stainless Steel – the preferred material of construction for many food and pharmaceutical applications.  Many users in these industries were able to install them in sanitary piping systems by welding the flanges on our Stainless Steel Line Vacs, or by installing adapters on our Threaded Stainless Steel Line Vacs.

In the spring of 2017, EXAIR released the Sanitary Flange Line Vac with those same users in mind – eliminating the need to weld or thread flanges onto existing products.  They feature the same conveyance power as our Stainless Steel Line Vacs, and can even be modified to meet Heavy Duty Line Vac performance, if needed.  There are four sizes: 1-1/2″, 2″, 2-1/2″, and 3″…which covers the most popular size range of sanitary pipe systems.

While the sanitary piping systems are certainly most often found in those cleanliness-critical food & pharma type applications, other users incorporate them because of the smooth, continuous bore of the pipe and fittings, as opposed to a threaded pipe system, where the OD of the pipe threads into the ID of the fittings, causing a “step” in the throughput.  Because sanitary fittings mate via face-to-face flange seals, this eliminates that “step” which can make for a catch-point for certain items.  It’s for this very reason that a popular ammunition manufacturer uses sanitary pipe systems to convey shell casings…because they tumble with such turbulence in the air flow, they are especially prone to hanging up on any kind of catch-point.  So, they use sanitary piping & fittings, long radius elbows, and EXAIR Model 161150-316 1-1/2″ Sanitary Flange Line Vacs.

Air conveying of certain items, like these ammo shell casings, can be prone to clogging or jamming in systems where pipe, hose, and/or fittings are inserted into each other, creating catch-points.

EXAIR has a wide selection of engineered compressed air products that are “textbook” solutions for certain applications, but also make perfect sense for use in places you might not have thought of.  If you have a bulk material conveyance operation you’d like to discuss, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Shells photo courtesy of hydropeek  Creative Commons License