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Future trends in Contamination Control

Technologies in the electronics and life sciences sectors are changing rapidly and becoming ever more complex. Increasingly, clients are demanding new innovations and futureproofing solutions for their cleanroom production processes.

Most mainstream digital technologies would not be possible without contamination control. The need to protect production and logistics processes from contamination spans many industries from micro-/nano-electronics, life sciences, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, biotechnology through to food production.

Contaminants in research, production and healthcare environments typically include:

  • Airborne particles and gases
  • Micro-organisms
  • Vibrations
  • Electromagnetic compatibility
  • Moisture and temperature

Evolution of Cleanrooms

In an increasingly complex and ever-changing environment where every project is different, we are constantly challenged to come up with new solutions. Looking to the future we see a trend for cleanrooms where specific and complex production processes can evolve to accommodate future changes as needed.

Meeting Sustainability and Environmental Regulations

The shift towards nanoscale miniaturisation in processes and products in the semiconductor, life sciences and biotechnology industries often means even higher energy demands and additional process utilities. If not properly designed, this has a significant impact on the environment. So, it is essential to define a sustainability programme that aligns stringent local and regional regulations and client policies with the proposed solutions.

By their very nature, cleanrooms and their corresponding technical facilities need large amounts of energy, water and utilities to function, and typically produce considerable waste streams. This in turn requires ever more sophisticated contamination control systems and innovative engineered solutions.

This can prove to be a challenging process, but Deerns has the experience and resources to propose and design feasible sustainability measures and innovations.

Integrated Cleanroom Design

Considering that, in high-end facilities, the cost of the process tools is often higher than that of the building itself, it is logical to preserve the client’s investment for the whole of the process life cycle.

At Deerns, the starting point for the design of cleanroom facilities is a thorough understanding of our client’s needs and expectations. Moreover, we deep dive into why contamination control is required for a particular process and product, and to what extent. This requires a comprehensive analysis of the processes, with a holistic consideration of the contamination control chain. After this assessment we identify the level of contamination control required, aiming for the right balance between product and process reliabilities and cost effectiveness.

Developing and designing contamination facilities requires input from specialists in numerous disciplines functioning as an integrated design team. Typically, Deerns’ integrated team includes architects, cleanroom and logistics experts, as well as sustainability and utilities specialists – among many other disciplines. This team collaborates on all relevant aspects such as process, contamination control and operating logistics, as well as the building’s structure, plus utilities, waste and energy systems.

In the end, cleanroom specifications can only be achieved by combining the expertise of these different disciplines.

Innovation in action

All these factors mean that our team now plays a more prominent role in the planning and design of contaminant-controlled facilities from the outset. We apply learnings from our past experiences to new projects. We distinguish ourselves in the market by being able to understand our client’s needs and identify critical challenges, co-ordinate various disciplines, introduce innovative technologies and navigate shifting legislative goalposts. This ability to adapt, innovate and lead is in Deerns’ DNA.

Let’s talk Innovation

Eric Stuiver

Sector Director Electronics