Best practices for maintaining cleanroom panels in the pharma industry


From HVAC systems that deliver optimal heating, cooling and ventilation to HEPA air filters which remove particles or fumes, a well-functioning cleanroom relies on a range of equipment, each significantly contributing to the overall success of a controlled cleanroom environment. 

Amongst these equipment, cleanroom panels play a crucial role in maintaining the desired air pressure differentials, facilitating proper airflow, reducing energy consumption and supporting efficient HVAC system operation. Considering the vital roles performed by these panels, their importance in a controlled cleanroom environment cannot be overstated.

An effective cleanroom system requires an equally efficient cleanroom infrastructure within which the controlled environment can function. It prevents the entry of contaminants into the controlled environment, thus giving the required structural support, strength and stability and effectively controlling cross-contamination. 

Cleanroom panels, like every other element of a cleanroom, necessitate appropriate maintenance. In this blog, we give you a guide to the best practices of maintaining cleanroom panels in the pharmaceutical industry.

Establishing a Maintenance Schedule

The first and foremost step in cleanroom upkeep is creating a comprehensive maintenance schedule dedicated to cleanroom panels. This schedule should include regular inspections, cleaning sessions, and preventive maintenance tasks. Adhering to a routine schedule ensures consistency and proactive maintenance that can further help reduce the risk of unexpected issues and also help in minimising downtime in future.

Conducting Regular Inspections

Regular inspections are crucial for identifying any signs of damage or wear on cleanroom panels. By inspecting panels for cracks, dents, loose joints, or any other visible defects, one can prevent contamination risks and help preserve the structural integrity of the cleanroom environment. Any issues discovered during inspection should be promptly addressed, and preventive measures should be taken to avoid further damage and maintain the desired cleanliness levels.

Maintaining Panel Cleanliness

Cleaning cleanroom panels is vital for meeting required cleanliness standards. To achieve optimal cleanliness, it is essential to schedule regular cleaning and decontamination sessions following the manufacturer’s guidelines. Using cleaning agents and techniques compatible with the cleanroom standard ensures uncompromising panels. Using lint-free, non-shedding wipes and approved cleaning solutions can also be useful in removing dust, debris, microbes and contaminants from the panel without leaving residue or causing scratches. As a result, regular cleaning prevents particle build-up, maintains airflow, and preserves the structural integrity of the panels. 

Ensuring Proper Handling

Careful handling of the panels can prevent potential damage or scratches. Installing protective barriers and avoiding the usage of abrasive materials are optimum ways to minimise the risk of contamination and maintain panel integrity.

Filter Maintenance 

Cleanroom panels often include built-in air filters that require regular maintenance. Inspection and replacement of filters according to the recommended schedule ensures optimal air quality and prevents contaminants from entering the cleanroom. It is also essential to ensure that sealants around the edges of the panels are intact and function effectively. If any damage or deterioration is found during the inspection, it must be promptly replaced with an airtight seal. Properly documented filter maintenance helps maintain compliance with regulatory standards and ensures the longevity of the panels.

Monitoring Environmental Conditions

Maintaining proper environmental conditions within the cleanroom is essential for the longevity and performance of cleanroom panels. Regularly monitoring temperature, humidity, and pressure differentials ensures that they remain within the specified ranges. Deviations from the required conditions can impact the panels’ functionality and compromise the cleanliness of the controlled environment.

Training of Personnel

Proper training of cleanroom personnel is crucial for the correct handling and maintenance of cleanroom panels. Employees who are well acquainted with the best practices for cleaning, inspection, and panel handling can effectively implement the necessary protocols, guidelines and protective measures, minimising the risk of potential or accidental damage. Following proper gowning procedure also promotes a culture of cleanliness and responsibility.

Documenting Maintenance

Maintaining detailed records, viz., document inspections, cleanings, repairs, modifications and other maintenance activities performed on cleanroom panels, can greatly assist in tracking maintenance history and serve as an essential reference for future maintenance. This practice ensures achieving demonstrative compliance with regulatory requirements during audits or inspections.

Thus, the maintenance of cleanroom panels is crucial for maintaining the desired cleanliness levels and ensuring the efficient operation of pharmaceutical cleanrooms. By following the above tips, pharmaceutical industries can extend the lifespan of cleanroom panels and preserve the integrity of their controlled environments. Following these best practices not only enhances productivity and product quality but also contributes to regulatory compliance and customer satisfaction.

All put together, adhering to stringent cleanroom practices and following manufacturer’s guidelines, maintenance of cleanroom panels are essential to uphold cleanliness and sterility in the controlled environment. Pharmaceutical firms that have invested in high-quality cleanroom panels and maintained them properly have experienced long-term cost savings. Such projects have witnessed the longevity and durability of cleanroom panels, avoiding frequent replacements or repairs and reducing downtime and associated expenses.

Answering sustainability and safety together

At Fabtech, we are dedicated to continuously evolve our panels to meet the ever-changing needs of the industry while retaining their regular features. Our Pre-Painted Galvanized Iron (PPGI) Cleanroom Wall Panels are an innovative and eco-friendly solution that not only meets a high standard of performance but also benefits the environment. By utilising eco-friendly materials and manufacturing processes, we strive to minimise our impact on the planet. Furthermore, our panels undergo rigorous testing and are certified by FM Approvals, a legitimate, qualified body. This certification ensures that our panels meet the necessary safety standards for fire resistance, as outlined in the applicable standards 4880 and 4882. These developments demonstrate our commitment to sustainability and safety.

As cleanroom wall panel manufacturers, we design panels with ease of cleaning and disinfection procedures in mind. We understand the importance of maintaining a sterile environment, and our materials are meticulously selected and engineered to minimise surfaces where contaminants can accumulate. This approach makes cleaning and decontamination procedures even more effective and enables the long-term maintenance of a sterile environment.

For us, accomplishment doesn’t end with successful and timely deliveries; it actually begins when our equipment is able to live up to the promised consistent performance and continues when our services and products make a positive difference to your accomplished project.

We are here to serve you. Please let us know how we can help fulfil your specific needs and requirements.