New facility fit-out for a cleanroom workwear laundry

When Geiger Textil needed a new facility for a cleanroom laundry service, Schilling Engineering was able to meet all its needs with its ISO Class 5-certified CleanCell4.0 module

External view of the CleanCell4.0 cleanroom system
looking through the large cleanroom windows

Family-owned company, Geiger Textil, from Bad Säckingen, is expanding its range of services with a new “Cleanroom +” service. The medium-sized company has invested in a cleanroom, enabling it to offer a full-service rental system for cleanroom clothing for the first time. After use, the cleanroom textiles are collected directly from the customer’s location and taken to the new cleanroom where they are inspected, restored, refurbished and securely repacked and then delivered ready for further cleanroom use.

Cleanroom operators in the fields of pharmacy, microelectronics or the medical industry are perhaps the most demanding customers in the terms of workplace clothing. There are significant differences between a cleanroom laundry service and an industrial one because there are very strict guidelines for the control, quality and hygiene standards of cleanroom clothing. Contamination such as foreign particles and germs must be strictly monitored.

Patrick Wenger, responsible for the new cleanroom division at Geiger Textil, explains the difference between the laundering of normal work clothing and the decontamination of cleanroom garments: “The sensitive production processes inside a cleanroom can be jeopardised by the release of even the smallest micro-particles. Humans are the greatest source of dangerous particles. Special cleanroom clothing prevents particles from being released, for example, from the skin of the employee. After use, these garments must be carefully cleaned of particles and germs so small they are not visible to the naked eye, before they can be used again.

No new particles should contaminate the clothing even during drying and packaging. To prevent contamination during cleaning, the clothing is treated in a cleanroom corresponding to at least the same ISO Class in which it is later used by the customer. In our case, this is a cleanroom of ISO Class 5 in operation.”

The dryer unloading process: Employees have been specifically
trained for safe conduct in the cleanroom

Modular ISO Class 5 cleanroom

The cleanroom was integrated into the newly built production hall of Geiger Textil and is designed for a capacity of 20,000 articles per week. Cleanroom company Schilling Engineering, also in the Hochrhein region, was commissioned with the planning of the 66 m2 cleanroom system. The CleanCell4.0 cleanroom is certified ISO Class 5, equipped with new technology and has been designed for the special requirements of the laundry.

For example, the cleanrooms are designed with recesses for the attachment of washing machines and drying units. The personnel are safely routed into the cleanroom via an actively ventilated personnel lock. A self-closing gravity flap inserted into the cleanroom wall ensures contamination-free output of the cleaned and packaged laundry.

Two washing machines operated with specially-treated water are connected to the rear of the cleanroom. The washing machines have a through-loading function for safe feeding of the textiles. They are fed through from outside the cleanroom and discharged from within after cleaning.

Drying, testing and packaging of the sensitive textiles is all carried out within the cleanroom. A sample is taken from each wash cycle to determine the remaining particle density using a Helmke-Drum test, which is documented.

The tables and other furniture are made of cleanroom-compatible stainless steel. Large windows and dimmable LED lighting create balanced lighting and external visibility. A counter-intercom system facilitates the communication between the individual areas.

Highlighting some of the special features of the system, the management for the new cleanroom team said: “Because we have installed an ISO Class 5 cleanroom in our newly built hall, we are in a position to meet the most demanding requirements of our customers from both the pharmaceutical and microelectronics industry.

“As we enter the market for cleanroom textiles, we have placed great importance on ensuring it is possible for future expansion of the cleanroom. The cleanroom has a modular design and has fully met our requirements. Working in close co-ordination with the engineers from Schilling Engineering, we have planned a cleanroom which exactly meets our requirements.”

Cleanroom system CleanCell4.0 as an ISO Class 5 cleanroom. The dimmable
LED lighting ensures balanced light in the area of the spreading table

State-of-the-art technology

The newly developed cleanroom system CleanCell4.0 is equipped with the latest technology and can be operated with greater energy-efficiency than comparable systems. Sensor data are used to set and monitor parameters such as: the number of particles, temperature, air humidity and air pressure. The data flows into the CRControl system which is easily operated via a monitor installed next to the cleanroom door.

Low turbulence displacement airflow ensures full compliance with the ISO standard for a Class 5 level cleanroom. Flush-mounted laminar-flow units operated with U15 ULPA high-performance filters introduce pure air into the working area. An air recirculation process within the cleanroom walls introduces the already cooled and filtered air into the air exchange cycle. This enables economic operation of the filters and air conditioning equipment.

A special feature of the cleanroom systems from Schilling Engineering is the modular, expandable design. The wall elements are connected with a patented silicone-free GMP sealing clip system and can be flexibly dismantled or extended.

Geiger Textil is very satisfied with the system: “The cleanroom has been running for several weeks now and works flawlessly. We can easily monitor and control the cleanroom just by using the touchscreen-controlled monitoring system. For example, filter contamination is displayed and we can detect problems or perform maintenance early on. We especially like the dimmable LED lighting, which ensures very good light conditions for the workstations and saves energy."

With its investment in a high-tech cleanroom system, Geiger Textil has invested in its future and has raised its own benchmark for quality and hygiene standards. Opting for the module cleanroom, CleanCell4.0 adds to the investment security of the newly developed service.

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