Cleanroom specialists helping to re-energise firms by repurposing, upscaling and relocating their controlled environments
Guardtech Cleanrooms thrive on change. Improvement is at the heart of everything it does – overcoming challenges and tackling problems is in the company’s DNA.
Throughout its 20-year history, Guardtech has become a facilitator of change. When clients’ aspirations for growth aren’t matched by the quality of their production environments, they turn to Guardtech – and Guardtech helps them change. It helps them grow. It helps them ‘level up’.
Guardtech’s Commercial Director Mark Wheeler has been involved in many of those major projects over the years, and it’s a source of great satisfaction for him to see the difference his company has made for their clients.
“We’ve been involved in so many repurposing jobs now,” he said, “and seeing the positive impact that our influence has on the success of these businesses is heart-warming. Whether it’s an upscale, upgrade or relocation project, we put the same amount of care, hard work and forward-thinking into every job we undertake.
“It’s an honour to have been commissioned by so many huge firms to develop their controlled environments and we’re looking to designing, constructing and validating many more in the coming years.”
Leading contact lens manufacturers Contamac needed an ISO7 optical cleanroom to be designed and constructed in an existing building that required a significant repurposing. This included the full comprehensive design of all mechanical & electrical services for the building as well as the related process equipment.
Guardtech duly delivered one of its most stunning cleanroom repurposing jobs to date.Brunel University charged Guardtech with the relocation of an ISO6 cleanroom for its important work in organic electronics and Guardtech didn’t let them down.
B&S Group, the UK’s largest pharmaceutical supplier, required a relocation for a 300sqm Grade D cleanroom and, as usual, Guardtech produced the goods.
Inca, leaders in the design, development and manufacture of inkjet printers for the print industry, needed its HVAC system to be relocated in their ISO8 cleanroom for digital printing – and Guardtech ensured the business was soon ready to evolve and grow.
Manufacturing and logistics giants Unipart drafted in Guardtech to provide an extension to its automotive ISO8 cleanroom – a job that had to be completed alongside the firm’s existing production.
This meant Guardtech's team had to be at their most diligent and professional to maintain staff safety while the upgrade was being carried out.
This kind of flexibility and adaptability has become second nature to Guardtech’s Design and Installation teams.
SPTS, a business that provides advanced wafer-processing technologies and solutions for the semiconductor and microelectronics industries, required its ISO4 cleanroom to be repurposed over the Christmas period. The existing ceiling and HEPA filters had to be replaced over what was effectively the ‘seasonal shutdown’ – a ceiling that was almost entirely made up of filters, with teardrop lighting underneath.
Getting the parts wasn’t easy. Asking the dedicated team to give up their time around the festive period wasn’t ideal. But Guardtech did what it always does. It found a way to deliver.
Just as it did for Ultra Vision, world-class specialists in developing leading-edge technology for contact lenses.
Guardtech converted the company's CNC laboratory into an ISO7 cleanroom, ensuring their cast-moulded and lathe-cutting systems could continue to produce the high-end contact lens solutions for which they’re now renowned.
Guardtech is continuing to build a reputation as an innovator in the cleanrooms industry, with its range of modular cleanrooms, CleanCube portable labs – so vital in the fight against COVID-19 – and self-assembly ISOPODs reaching more and more territories across the globe in the past 12 months.
But it's the company's signature portfolio of major turnkey construction works in the UK and Ireland that remains the core of the business.
And it recently demonstrated this construction expertise again by completing the second phase of a major repurposing job in Berkshire.
The large-scale project, which includes the building of a non-classified QC laboratory, Grade D packaging facility and Grade D manufacturing area for generics pharmaceuticals firm Noumed Life Sciences, has presented Guardtech’s experienced design, construction and commissioning teams with a series of challenges.
But the Suffolk business has risen to all of them so far, producing a site that was described as by an inspector to the client as “as good a facility as he has been in” and “indicative of your team’s hard work and quality of work”.
Guardtech Director Ray Wheeler admitted that he is proud of his team for the way they always “come up with a solution” for the various tricky situations or difficulties that occur on their bigger builds.
And he’s championing the wisdom and knowledge of his team for any potential new clients who are thinking of moving on or improving their current premises.
“If you’re ready to upscale, relocate or repurpose your life science facility, Guardtech’s experienced project team is ready to complete the job for you,” he said. “Just give us your ideas and we will do the rest.”
Many life science companies are switching their programs from traditional therapies to the new generations of life-saving and gene-therapy – with the current COVID-19 crisis meaning that rapid turnaround is more essential than ever.
Mr Wheeler added that Guardtech are working around the clock to upscale and repurpose plants to meet this demand, using rapid design techniques and quick-build processes.
He explained that there are a number of factors that Guardtech take into consideration when repurposing and upscaling facilities.
This includes many of the basic concepts used in the design of a greenfield unit, as well as developing plans built around the unique challenges presented when working with an existing plant.
“We put a lot of effort and planning into thinking about how a client will continue the production of their existing products, as well as the zoning of working space,” he added. “Then there’s product flow and storage – perhaps a client needs, say, dedicated, convenient freezing equipment.
“We factor in personnel flow, AHU-zoning and segregation, air pressurisation and cascade regimes, isolator location and background classification… if it’s vital to the successful running of their operation and needs to be taken care of, we make sure it’s taken care of.
“We’ve got an incredibly experienced team, with years of knowhow, but also try to make our builds a positive and uplifting experience. We try to work with a smile – because we know what a wonderful job we do, each and every time. It’s a pleasure to take care of all our customers’ needs, from design through to validation, and we’re looking forward to taking on many more major projects in the years ahead.”
For more information on Guardtech’s turnkey construction projects, or any of their other products and services, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 0330 113 0303 or visit www.guardtechcleanrooms.com.