There are a lot of step that are required to enter a cleanroom. Here are the 5 steps that you can take to be a cleanroom super star!
1. No Smoking
Smoking before you enter a cleanroom can bring in contamination. There is residue that will stick to your fingers and the smoke will linger in your lungs. Even though you cannot see the contamination, it could still be there.
2. Always Ask Questions
Asking questions is very important. You cannot just assume that something is clean or will work. Double check with your manager before you change anything.
3. No Food or Gum
Food and gum cannot be in the cleanroom. The possibility of dropping crumbs is just too great when you are working in such a critical environment.
4. No Cellphones
Cellphones need to be left outside of the cleanroom as well. They are a great place to house contamination and are not easily cleaned. Plus, gloves do not work well with smartphones and this might prompt you to remove them.
5. Wearing Apparel Properly
Putting the apparel on correctly is very important, but keeping it on correctly is even more important. Letting some slip or fall off is a huge risk for contamination. Make sure that everything fits correctlyy before entering the cleanroom.
When you are buying new wipers there is a lot to consider. Similar to gloves you have to consider the 5 C's: cost, capacity, cleanliness, chemical compatibility, and construction. On-top of the 5 C's you also have to worry about the edge treatment that you choose to use in your critical environment. There are a lot of different options for you to choose from:
Pressure Heat-Sealed: This is used for synthetic wipers and is accomplished by forming a flat edge on the wiper that eliminates any stray threads from being exposed. This is the cleanest of all edge treatments.
Ultrasonic-Sealed: This is superior to laser sealed because it delivers a softer edge with a lower carbon level. An ultrasonic sealed edge is thinner than the substrate.
Laser Sealed: This allows for particulate retention because the laser uses heat to seal the edge of the wiper. This is superior in cost and precision.
Wire Cut: This uses a hot wire similar to the way a poll bag is heat-sealed. The border is not as clean as a laser cut or heat sealed edge, but it much lower in cost.
Cold Knife Cut: This uses a steal blade to cut the fabric. This method can leave a lot of fibers on the wiper and can lead to contamination when used.
To learn more about wiper selection watch the video below or visit our wiper section here.
People want to the cleanest products in their cleanrooms and critical environments. But what are you supposed to do when the terminology is used interchangeably? Low lint, low fiber and low particle wipers are all very different and mean different things, yet are commonly used in the wrong context. This week we will go over the breakdown of the terms, what they mean and how they affect your critical environment.
Micron Count: <100 microns
Micron Count: 5-100 microns
Use: Critical Environment
Micron Count: >5 microns
There is a lot to consider when you are bringing in a new glove into your critical environment. You have to worry about the cost, comfort, cleanliness, chemical compatibility, and construction of the consumable. These are better know as the "5 c's of glove selection". This week Greg will go over the 5 c's and how to use them to help you make your glove selection.
*There is also a free download at the bottom to help you remember the 5 C's in the future.
A few month ago we began construction on our new cleanroom. We have been faced with challenges, delays and difficult decisions but we are getting very excited with the result. This week we will walk through the challenges, the details and the advice we received along the way.
There are certain things that are ok to mismatch, for example, your socks. But there are also things that should never be mismatched, like your dinner settings or cleanroom consumables. When you take the risk of pairing mismatched consumables in your cleanroom you are running the risk of introducing avoidable contamination to your critical environement. To learn more about why you do not want to mismatch your consumables, watch the video below!
Having the right solvent in your critical environment is very important, but even more important is having the correct solvent dispenser. If you are using the wrong solvent dispenser in your environment you could be introducing the chemicals to your operators, as well as being wasteful. Not only do you need to worry about the chemical exposure, the bottle might not be strong enough to handle the chemical. Not all solvent dispensers are made of a plastic that is strong enough to hold chemicals. If you get one that isn't strong enough, it could disolve and mix with the solvent contaminating the process.
To learn more about a suitable solvent dispenser watch the video below.
Pouched wipers are often preferred for operators because that is what they are used to. However, they can prove to be very wasteful. As Greg explains in the video below, re-sealable wiper pouches make it very difficult to keep the chemical mix from drying out. As soon as the pouch has been opened it is virtually impossible to seal the package in an air tight seal again. This allows for the chemistry mix to exit the pouch, drying out your wipes. Switching to a wiper pail eliminates dried out wipers as well as cuts back on waste. The pail is completely reusable and customizable. Valutek sells both the pail and the wiper refills for the pail with a chemistry that can be specially formulated for your cleanroom needs.
To learn more about the Valutek wiper pail, watch the video below.
Shop Valutek Wipes & Pails Now!
Branded versus generic products. A debate that has been ongoing for a long time. Often times people are led to believe that the generic products are the same as the branded but without the name or hefty price tag. This may be true to some extent, but you have to stop and think about the reasons why they are able to offer the same product at a significantly lower price. Are these materials the best quality? Will I get the same use as the name brand version? The truth is that they have cut some corners to lower the price. That means that they could be putting in fillers or using lower quality materials. In some situations this is ok, but when it comes to your critical environment this is absolutely not acceptable. Using cheaper products only means that you are introducing contamination to your environment. Bringing contamination into a clean process defeats the purpose of it being clean in the first place. Not only that but it could be costing you more money in the long run. All risks that must be considered before making your decision.
To learn more watch the video below!
Keeping a cleanroom clean can prove to be a very challenging task, especially if you do not know how to properly test or classify your critical environment. There is a lot to keep in mind when it comes to reporting on this, that is why Greg is here to explain the difference between the ISO and English classifications of a cleanroom. He also goes over the Air Particle Counter, APC, and why this device is essential to maintaining a clean environment.
Learn more below!