Schilling Engineering details expansion project on a modular system

The German company has expanded the cleanroom at Hamilton by 320 sqm at short notice due to increased production requirements

The 320 sqm expansion of the modular cleanroom system was separated from ongoing production with a dust protection wall during construction

Schilling Engineering has expanded the cleanroom at Hamilton by 320 sqm at short notice due to increased production requirements.

Thanks to the modular system of the CleanMediCell cleanroom, the renovation only took six weeks and production was able to be maintained during the entire measure.

When Hamilton AG put a 560 sqm cleanroom into operation for the production of 2.5 billion pipette tips annually in 2018, no one could have foreseen that the need for laboratory diagnostics would suddenly skyrocket in times of the corona pandemic. Therefore the injection moulding capacities had to be expanded as quickly as possible.

Only four hours of downtime were planned in order to adjust and test the pressure and ventilation of the two combined room modules

Fortunately, Hamilton had planned the old cleanroom in advance as a modular system and provided space for an expansion. The 320 sqm extension was again carried out by Schilling Engineering and connected directly to the existing CleanMediCell cleanroom.

Details of the expansion

Wall and ceiling modules of the cleanroom system are connected with a silicone-free sealing clip system, which ensures a high level of tightness in the room. Due to the patented connection, the lateral wall of the original cleanroom could be dismantled without being destroyed and the existing wall and ceiling elements could be connected to the new cleanroom.

With the help of a temporary dust protection wall, production was fully continued during the renovation work. Only four hours of downtime were planned in order to adjust and test the pressure and ventilation of the two combined room modules.

With the expansion of the cleanroom, Hamilton was able to put another three injection moulding machines into operation in order to manufacture the pipette tips in a controlled process without contamination. Each injection moulding machine is equipped with a laminar flow housing, which protects the open areas of production from contamination with a regulated supply of pure air of ISO Class 5.

The manufactured parts are then automatically combined in trays of 96 pieces each using cleanroom conveyor belts and a connected robot handling system and introduced into the cleanroom. The pipette tips are checked and packed in the cleanroom. The sealed end product is safely guided to the outside via a new automatic lift system and material locks and can now find its way to the end customer without risk.

A special feature of the cleanroom system is the integrated GMP monitoring. The particle concentration is monitored as well as the parameters pressure, humidity and temperature. All values are constantly recorded and documented. The controlled process, which corresponds to the high GMP requirements, can thus be verified over the entire production period.

Georg Schischkin, who is responsible for cleanroom production as Quality Leader at Hamilton, is very satisfied with the implementation of the expansion. The timeframe of the Swiss high-tech company was very tight and the speed of the conversion was of great importance. He spontaneously praises the flexible and fast planning of Schilling Engineering with just one short word: "Chapeau!"

The Hamilton Company specialises in the development, manufacturing and customisation of precision measurement devices, automated liquid handling workstations, and sample management systems.

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