The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly affected several aspects of human existence. Even the medical, pharmaceutical, and production sectors have been impacted by this deadly virus.
The death tolls in many countries are indications of the intensity of the threat the pandemic has been to human lives. The economic crisis some nations are facing also shows how businesses and industrial activities have been affected by the disease. But has the production of delicate items like medical devices and equipment been affected by the pandemic?
What is a Cleanroom?
A cleanroom is a facility where specialized production and intricate research are carried out. This production includes medical and pharmaceutical products like micro-LEDs, implants, and special biotech devices. These products are usually intricate and require complex processes to become consumable, and their intricacy calls for the high standards maintained in the cleanroom.
How then have Cleanrooms Thrived During the Pandemic?
Just like every other production facility, minimal costs remain a priority in the cleanroom. However, this cost optimization is not to the detriment of the standards expected of the facility. In itself, a cleanroom is designed to prevent virus or bacterial contamination in compliance with exacting cleanliness standards set by bodies like the International Standard Organization. So, even though a lot of other industries experienced a downturn during the pandemic, cleanrooms thrived for the following reasons:
The penalties that follow the violation of any cleanroom hygiene regulation are reason enough for the cleanroom to thrive during the pandemic. Owners and managers will certainly not have the virus to blame if any flaw or major contamination occurs within the facility or with any of its products. Hence, there has been no form of compromise in the sterile state of cleanrooms during the pandemic.
Due to the nature and sanitary requirements of the materials produced in a cleanroom, the facility is usually designed with special equipment and fixtures that ensure minimal contamination levels. For optimal output and minimal contamination, dust and particulate materials are contained by high-efficiency air filters. Humidity and temperatures are also controlled by highly sensitive devices.
Automation and the Use of AI
Technological advances have prompted the use of robots and automated systems in the cleanroom. Since the coronavirus cannot thrive in a robot or a piece of production equipment, cleanroom contamination was greatly minimized even during the pandemic’s peak. These robots and intelligence machines are also programmed to detect the slightest possible contamination just before damage is caused.
Caution by Cleanroom Staff
The people working in a cleanroom are the weak point of that facility i.e. they are potential channels through which the Covid-19 virus can spread in the facility. The airlock ensures that workers entering the facility are first sterilized and rid of potential contaminants and pollutants before gaining access to the premises.
Cleanrooms have also thrived on the thorough and high-standard training workers undergo. This training ensures that they comply with safety and hygiene requirements in the cleanroom.
The use of appropriate PPE, particularly face-protection, contributes to the survival of cleanroom standards during the pandemic. Cleanroom wipes, gloves, and other safety materials are made readily available for workers at every point in time.
Another approach by which cleanroom contamination was prevented is the provision of standard training for staff and ensuring the use of PPE.
Workers are also trained to minimize the risk of spreading the virus by keeping talking to the barest minimum. Alternative communication methods are currently used in these facilities, and intense sterilization (and isolation if tested positive) is carried out on staff members who show any sign of the virus.
Implementation of Contamination Control Mats
Contamination control mats are the most effective way to stop the spread of bacteria from shoes and the wheels of trollies. Contamination control mats stop bacteria right in its tracks at the very front door of a building or room which helps to ensures that there can be no spread of potentially harmful or dangerous bacteria.
Implementing some form of contamination control matting at the front door is the best way to prevent 99% of outside contaminants entering a building. Mats that contain Silver Biocide kill all gram negative & gram positive bacteria and C-19. Silver Biocide is a core constituent of CC Mattings polymer mats. Our polymer mats contain silver ions, which have naturally occurring antimicrobial properties. Silver has been used for hundreds of years to prevent the growth of bacteria.
As the silver biocide is added to CC Matting polymer mats during manufacture, it is not something that can diminish, for example if were applied as a coating instead and provides longer lasting effectiveness against microbial growth.
The silver ions within the biocide bind to the bacterial cell wall, and thus prevent growth by damaging it. The bacteria can no longer grow as their DNA has been damaged and they can no longer replicate. They can no longer produce energy either and therefore die.
Silver is inorganic and non-leaching which means, unlike organic antimicrobial technologies it stays within the item it is added to and provides effective and lasting antimicrobial protection without allowing bacteria to develop resistance.
Silver ion technology has been independently tested in over 2000 applications and has been proven to reduce the growth of over 50 harmful organisms by up to 99.9%.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can protect your clean rooms and staff from potentially harmful contaminants.