The scheduled and preventative implementation of cleanroom equipment’s and appliance’s maintenance is especially from an economical point of view a reasonable consideration. Because a professional, continuous maintenance provides a vital contribution for reduction of down time and defective goods as well as the extension of service life.
Is cleanroom maintenance really necessary?
The maintenance of cleanroom facilities and equipment is still mostly neglected. Why is that? Because of an inaccurate approach. You shouldn’t ask „why am I doing maintenance?“ but „what do I have a cleanroom for?“ The answer to that question is probably because you want high product quality and less defective goods with your cleanroom technology. Continuous maintenance enormously decreases the risk of sudden down time. Think of the following scenario. Your defective goods increase 1%. Just then you realise that something isn’t right in your cleanroom environment. The produced costs – because of defective goods- are usually a lot higher than a regularly scheduled maintenance. Possible subsequent costs left aside. Primary goal of maintenance therefore is avoid unexpected costs with calculated efforts.Let’s take a brief digression into the automotive sector: An oil change is recommended every 30.000km. Naturally, a car can go without an oil change a lot longer than the recommended interval, but at some point the car’s motor is affected and will break down. In the aftermath you’ll regret not spending the 400€ for the service check, because now you’ll pay the tenfold costs.
Which service intervals are necessary?
The norms ISO 14644 and VDI 2083 are recommending service intervals. For cleanrooms of ISO class 1-5 a six-monthly check is recommended, for ISO class 6-9 every 12 months should be tested. At last the user decides about the frequency of service intervals. It should not be waited that long with wearing parts like pre-filters. With measurements as for example differential pressure or charges in exhaust flow velocity. If a certain ISO class is no longer achieved the pre-filter might be the cause. It shouldn’t be waited this long, however.
What has to be serviced?
Besides products like fan filter modules the inspection of a cleanrooms’ quality is eminent. There’s a cause if the quality of products, which are produced in cleanroom conditions, decreases. These have to be ascertained and removed. For example with a measurement of airborne particles or a microbiological examination of airborne germs.