Although it is frequently declared a secondary process, storage and transport of materials and products is enormously important for a company’s production processes. Especially for those, who work with high-precision and sensitive products which require cleanroom conditions for its use or processing. It doesn’t matter if it is for particle free components in optics, semiconductor, laser application or automotive technology.
Each and every one of these sensitive parts requires a transport, which complies with the high requirements for the storage conditions. As a result the requirements increased, especially for companies and suppliers in the High tech industry, where sensors and other extremely sensitive components are used.
It must be considered that critical components can be damaged shortly after putting it into ambient air conditions. Even in cleanrooms longer storage can deposit harmful particles on surfaces. Or sensitive materials can be damaged by humidity and oxygen in the air.
Utilizing storage systems ensures cleanroom conditions for stored sensitive products and materials.
Fan filter modules provide an internal air flow in closed circulation. This provides controlled cleanroom conditions in the storage area. If oxygen and humidity are harmful for devices, technical components or materials, storage in a nitrogen enriched atmosphere would be suitable. Optimal conditions for storage of sensitive parts can be created with nitrogen, since its quality lies in high purity and low humidity.
All parts and products leave the storage at some point. It happens all too often that products were cleaned and stored in cleanroom conditions and are packed in unclean packaging materials. This reduces the enormous efforts of cleanroom suitable production to absurdity. Sufficient clean packaging materials are on the market or it is sufficient to use old materials that are cleaned with qualified cleaning methods. Another critical aspect with transport in cleanroom conditions can be seen repeatedly: film packaging is just folded and not sealed. That results in an insidious contamination due to “breathing” packaging because of transport motions and air pressure changes. With foil sealed bags there is no problem. It should be guaranteed, that these bags are cleaned on the outside before unpacking the products (cutting open the bags) to prevent a delayed contamination from the outer shell of packaging onto the product.
Protection from contamination of products is necessary even if the production processrequires a lower purity class for internal transports through cleanrooms. With clean air purged trolleys even demanding and sensitive products can be transported in cleanroom conditions. The clean air supply follows a circulation principle with a fan filter system in connection with return flow areas.
The big picture
For a zero-fault- production in suitably clean production the whole process chain needs to be taken into consideration. Suitably clean packaging, storage and transport (logistics), are equally as important as the rest of the process chain. Unfortunately, this is all too often neglected and previous work steps lose their effect and the product its quality.
Learn more about what to consider with process development in cleanroom conditions with our whitepaper – from component cleaning until the finished product.
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