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Refurbishing existing cleanroom facilities

Rapidly changing guidelines within the cleanroom industry create completely different requirements than a few years ago. Not only the fact that certain compliancy guidelines change rather quickly, but also the technological acceleration in the cleanroom sector results in an increasing amount of requests for remodeling existing cleanrooms with the aim to upgrade them.

Within ABN, we notice that more and more production facilities demand a remodeling of their existing cleanroom. This means that the existing facility will be retained, but adapted to comply with new or more stringent regulations instead of building a complete new building from scratch.

Cleanroom refurbishment as a result of pre-engineered building blocks

As a result of our modular and adaptable cleanroom approach, we can easily upgrade existing cleanroom facilities that might be outdated for the current regulations. Lean project management with short lead times as well as pre-engineered and approved building blocks are ways to enable a cleanroom refurbishment

The frameworks below shows that we can define various levels within a cleanroom refurbishment. Let’s take a closer look at the strategic level, system level and its components.

  • Strategic level

At strategic level, we focus on the elements that are of strategic importance when deciding to remodel a cleanroom. For example, you can start a cleanroom refurbishment in order to increase the performance, sustainability and asset life cycle cost of your cleanroom, or to comply with guidelines such as ISPE Volume 5, ISO 14644 etc.

  • System level

When we look a step further, at a system level, the framework below shows that we can refurbish an existing cleanroom facility in terms of Building works and in terms of Soft works. Adjustments to the existing HVAC infrastructure, utilities and building construction result in a cleanroom upgrade, but without the heavy demolition and construction work. In addition to Building works, one can also remodel an existing cleanroom facility through automation, validation or Industry 4.0 integration, which is part of the Soft works.

  • Detail level

The above mentioned components Building works and Soft works on system level can be explored in more detail to point out what this means in practice.

  1. HVAC: due to our many years of experience in the HVAC industry, we can easily perform HVAC lifetime extensions and facilitate adaptive ventilation within cleanroom environments. This adaptive ventilation integration can lead to a cleanroom classification upgrade for example.
  2. Utilities: reconditioning gas panels, modernizing a WFI or steam installation, or an upgrade of your process piping are just a few examples of utility adjustments that allow a cleanroom to be remodeled.
  3. Construction: existing cleanroom walls, floor or ceiling that are outdated and no longer suitable for certain cleanroom processes, can be easily renewed as a result of our pre-engineered building blocks. By doing so, additional airlocks can be installed as well.
  4. Automation: the integration of a new PLC/DCS system, implementing new control algorithms, or upgrading control panels within the existing cleanroom environment ensure that this cleanroom complies with the more stringent regulations.

Validation & Industry 4.0

What role do the components Validation and Industry 4.0 integration play within the field of refurbishing existing production environments? Validation activities, such as quality risk management, calibration management, integrity testing as well as AMC validations ensure higher compliancy with new regulations. The integration of Industry 4.0 leads to an increase of process performance, it allows the integration of a digital twin model, enables communication between cleanroom assets, provides historical data and allows different protocols to interface with each other.

  • Digital Line of Sight

Previously, we have discussed the importance of the line of sight for optimizing a business strategy. We described that the line of sight can be considered as linking the highest intangible good of a company to the smallest element: the asset. The highest intangible good of a company refers to its brand promise and strategy. In other words, the line of sight aligns the corporate goals to the asset management policy to the asset management plans to the asset itself.

IoT is the enabler of a digital line of sight. It serves as a data connector from the business strategy to the most detailed element. A digital line of sight is a digital connection of data throughout an asset’s lifecycle to ensure data integrity and accuracy. Referring to the frameworks of ‘strategic level’, ‘system level’ and its components on ‘detail level’ above, the digital line of sight links the elements on strategic level to the components on detailed level in order to optimize your business strategy.

Pre-engineering is key for remodeling outdated cleanroom facilities

Due to a modular and pre-engineered cleanroom approach, we are the very first cleanroom supplier to offer the ability to remodel an outdated existing cleanroom facility to meet rapidly changing compliancy guidelines, sustainability requirements, increased performance requirements or asset life cycle cost. By focusing on our existing building blocks of HVAC infrastructure, utilities, construction works, automation, validation and Industry 4.0 integration, we support manufacturing facilities in modernizing their existing cleanroom without major renovation activities.

Questions about our pre-engineered cleanroom thinking?

We’re happy to talk cleanrooms, the benefits of pre-engineered cleanroom design, and can help you get started with your concept or project. Simply contact us. We’ve helped companies as small as startups to the global pharma companies figure out the best fit for their production process. We can help you too.