All cleanrooms must operate to the highest standards, whether they are in a healthcare, research or industrial setting. This makes it essential to choose a cleanroom services provider which has all the right expertise, including experience in all aspects of installing, handling and validating (HEPA) filters.
Tecomak provides a complete HEPA cleanroom filter service to clients in a whole range of sectors. Here we will look at the vital role played by filtration within a cleanroom and describe the tests which need to be carried out to ensure filters are operating as intended.
Why HEPA Filters Are Needed
Filters are necessary in a cleanroom to remove various different types of contaminant from the air and ensure the right level of air purity is maintained consistently. Filtration provides protection for people working in the confined space, as well as for production and the surrounding environment.
The choice of a ventilation system for a cleanroom is a major decision, and advice from experts is needed on which equipment is most appropriate. As well as the design and layout of the area, other key points to bear in mind include the type of application and the direction of airflow which is needed.
To operate as expected, a critical ventilation system must have the right filters installed within it. High efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters have to meet official standards including the British and European standard BS EN 1822-1: 2009. This means that, in factory testing, these filters have an efficiency level of more than 99.995%.
A HEPA filter removes particles of solid contaminants including mould, bacteria and dust from the air, and can screen tiny particles above 0.3 micrometres in size. There are various different types of HEPA filter available and they are frequently used in cleanroom settings within pharmaceutical and micro-electronics production, as well as in hospitals and healthcare facilities. Tecomak also installs ultra low penetration air (ULPA) filters, which filter even tinier particles and are needed for the final filter in a GMP A cleanroom zone.
Tecomak advises organisations operating within healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors and other sectors over which ventilation systems are needed. We also prepare design specifications and undertake the entire installation, which includes installing the optimum type and number of filters.
Once ventilation equipment is installed, it is vital to ensure it is working properly at all times and this includes maintaining all filters in good condition. This is essential for the proper operation of a cleanroom and for regulatory compliance
Filters are tested by the manufacturer before they are supplied, to ensure they meet set standards. However, initial testing also needs to be carried out on-site as soon as they have been installed, to check no damage has occurred since manufacture, for instance during transportation.
Regular HEPA filter testing is necessary to ensure the integrity of the filters. Normally filters are built to last between 1 and 4 years, but various faults can occur which mean they are no longer providing the intended protection.
Tecomak can advise you on how frequent testing needs to be for your specific cleanroom. Systems which come under the COSHH regulations, providing protection to people from hazardous airborne particles, will require testing at least once a year. Some systems need to be tested more frequently, in some cases every six months, with the frequency depending on factors such as the application and the level of risk.
Dispersed oil particulate (DOP) testing needs to be carried out to check whether filters are working correctly. This test involves releasing DOP into a cleanroom’s airstream and then carrying out measurements to check that the filter has dealt with it correctly. The integrity of every filter component is fully checked during the testing process.
Choosing a HEPA Filter Services Company
There are a number of key points to bear in mind when choosing a HEPA filter services company to install and maintain filters in your cleanroom. You will need a company with a high reputation, which employs only highly-qualified engineers who will provide a reliable service. The ideal is for them to be able to carry out the whole process, including design, installation and testing, and also for them to work closely with filter manufacturers.
DOP filter testing is a highly specialised and technical procedure, so you need to be sure that the engineers carrying it out are fully trained and have all the necessary expertise, including understanding of all the relevant official standards.
It is also important to choose a company whose engineers can combine installation and maintenance with validation. This means vital equipment can be tested as soon as the filters have been fitted and tested, and brought back in service without any unnecessary delays.
Tecomak’s HEPA cleanroom filter services meet all these criteria. Our highly-trained engineers are approved to work within the NHS and have a full understanding of GMP regulations and official standards.
Our engineers bring replacement filters and spares during testing visits so that any replacements which are needed can be installed quickly. We record all test results so you have a full picture and we can provide full reports while still on site.
If you are looking for a company to provide a full range of cleanroom and HEPA filter services, click here to contact Tecomak.