smart The Closed-loop Control System

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Closed-loop Control System
A Definitive Change in Cleanroom Technology Cleanroom Award 2012 Entry

the closed-loop control system

smart The Closed-loop Control System

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An Introduction
Connect 2 Cleanrooms has developed an innovative Closed-loop Control System which manages the control of its modular cleanrooms to use only the amount of energy required, whilst maintaining its level of cleanliness. Rather than constantly running cleanroom fan filter units at full speed, the control system uses real-time monitoring data to vary the speed of the fan filter units according to levels of contamination in the cleanroom, meaning running costs are kept low. This unique system drives sustainability, efficiency and quality assurance to client’s processes worldwide.

About Connect 2 Cleanrooms Ltd
Connect 2 Cleanrooms was founded in 2002 by Managing Director, Joe Govier. Now celebrating its 10th year in business, the UK based company has always kept its founding values of quality and flexibility at its centre. These core values, along with a drive for sustainability, were driving factors behind the development of the Closed-loop Control System. Connect 2 Cleanrooms has steadily expanded and can now boast a team of experienced and qualified project engineers, along with a dedicated consumables division. The team at cleanroomshop.com supplies the cleanroom industry with consumables and provides expert guidance on cleanroom conduct protocols. More recently, Connect 2 Cleanrooms has been realising the international potential for supplying freestanding modular cleanroom solutions through a combination of direct sales and establishing a growing network of international distributors, with targeted efforts into the German market. As forward thinking innovators, Connect 2 Cleanrooms were the first company to release a cleanroom App into the market. Gown Me is available for free download from the App Store. Future plans include utilising new and emerging technologies further, to produce a family of Apps which will educate cleanroom users with best practice.
Gown Me – cleanroom App

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Modular Cleanrooms
Any element of contamination within a production process has the potential to cause defects, delays, re-runs, product recalls and other concerns which can impact negatively on an organisation. A modular cleanroom system can provide an affordable, fast and reliable solution to many contamination issues. Introducing a localised clean-air supply will protect processes from harmful airborne particulate and drive efficiency by reducing wastage. Why have so many companies chosen to work with Connect 2 Cleanrooms? Connect 2 Cleanrooms are pioneers in cleanroom technology and have developed techniques that have made modular cleanrooms more affordable, which means more accessible to a vast variety of sectors and companies. Reasons to work with Connect 2 Cleanrooms: • Meet particle counts according to International Standard ISO 14644-1 • • • • • • • • Running costs and energy usage low due to localised area Customised design to meet individual requirements In-house 3D CAD design capabilities Price match guarantee and a 5 year warranty Manufactured in as little as 2 weeks Quick installation on-site in a matter of days Cost considerably less than traditional-build cleanroom Easily extended or relocated
Modular cleanroom over Arburg injection moulding machine Modular cleanroom creating localised cleanroom in a large warehouse

Plus… the Closed-loop Control System has been developed to lower energy consumption
Hardwall modular cleanroom for medical device manufacture

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Introducing the Closed-loop Control System
The Closed-loop Control System was developed by Connect 2 Cleanrooms as a tool to drive sustainability and quality during production. You can’t control what you don’t measure Many companies who don’t measure particle counts within their clean environment and run the fan filter units at full speed, day and night, in the hope that this will ensure it reaches its required ISO class. This leads to blocked filters and high energy consumption. What if you measure but can’t control? Conversely some companies who monitor particle counts within their clean environment can manually alter fan speeds to suit a given level of particulate contamination, but may not always be on hand to re-adjust the fan speed when a new source of contamination is introduced; such as an influx of production staff or a dirty batch of product. The perfect solution – measure and control The Closed-loop Control System uses its user-friendly ECO-1 Panel to interface with a series of high resolution particle and pressure sensors, then uses the outputs to vary the volume of filtered air delivered into the cleanroom; diluting the particle concentration down to the specified ISO 14644-1 Cleanroom Standard. Using real-time data to adjust the fan speed means: • Only the exact amount of energy is being used at any given time to control the particle levels • • • Reduction in energy consumption and lower running costs Prolonged filter life The cleanroom never deviates from the airflow and particle count parameters set by its International Cleanroom Standard ISO 14644-1 class
ECO-1 Control Panel with 3 magnehelic pressure gauges ECO-1 Control Panel ECO-1 Control Panel

the closed-loop control system

smart The Closed-loop Control System

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Commitment to Sustainability
The current European Union Energy Efficiency Directive puts a strong emphasis on energy audits, which generally map all significant energy usage elements within a company. To encourage the uptake of Energy Management Systems (EnMS), the role of energy efficiency as part of broader company strategies is taking a greater precedent. The introduction of the Connect 2 Cleanrooms Closed-loop Control System will help companies to encourage energy efficiency and in turn save running costs of the cleanrooms.
ECO-1 Control Panel with magnehelic pressure gauges

50% energy reduction Tests have shown that savings of 50% on energy costs compared with a typical cleanroom can be achieved without any reduction in cleanliness. This allows clients to identify areas where energy can be saved, which is of course, reflected by a corresponding decrease in carbon footprint. Less people in the room = less contamination = reduced fan filter speed = less energy required. Filter longevity A less obvious (but equally impressive) advantage of reducing fan speed whenever possible is that the life of the relevant filters will be considerably extended, causing them to require less frequent replacement. This is because the less air you filter, the fewer particles you “catch”, and the longer your filters remain effective. Maintaining levels during downtime Facilities are also provided for automatically reducing the level of lighting and maintaining a base level of airflow when the room is not in use, which again reduces power consumption while ensuring that the room remains a safe and clean environment.
Energy saving graph

ECO-1 Control Panel

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smart The Closed-loop Control System

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Closed-loop Control System Features & Benefits
Features Programmable day to night control Temperature and humidity monitoring Validation reminders and scheduling Automatic lighting control Data logging and download Benefits Can opt to use day to night pre-sets for stable shift patterns For sensitive processes and batch identification Never let a validation lapse again with helpful reminders to book in the all-important visit Controls lighting as well as fan speeds so only completely necessary outputs are in use Download monitoring data logged for quick and easy reporting for peace of mind or use for audit purposes Alarm outputs and remote signalling Alarms sound to signal to production staff if the cleanroom stops reaching its ISO class meaning actions can be taken, reducing the risk of contamination to product Batch identification Secure log-in for access control CE Marked Record batch information for quality purposes Password protected to ensure secure access Meets all the appropriate provisions of the relevant legislation implementing certain European Directives

Quality Assured
As well as the particle counter, the control system incorporates a comprehensive set of additional sensors so that room temperature, humidity and pressure can be monitored, logged and used to generate alarms to alert supervisory staff if the cleanroom strays beyond a user-defined set of control parameters. This enables blocked or cracked filters, failed fan motors, unexpected levels of temperature and / or humidity etc. to be detected and rectified. There are also facilities for recording a batch I.D. to identify the process to which each set of data relates, and for logging which members of staff were involved with each process. A great deal of useful Management Information is generated and can be used to demonstrate historical conformity to the required level of cleanliness as well as to analyse any variances in production processes.

the closed-loop control system

smart The Closed-loop Control System

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Setup
The basic system envisages a cleanroom with two zones – typically a main production zone and an ancillary zone used for activities such as production staff changing into cleanroom attire and back again. Both zones are provided with filtered air at a pressure higher than the atmosphere outside, but if required the Closed-loop Control System can ensure that pressure in the production zone is always higher than in the ancillary zone, so that particles introduced into the ancillary zone will not enter. More complex setups are also available. If required the system can be expanded by additional Control Units which are driven by the same ECO-1 Control Panel allowing the units to be future-proofed for further growth. Each Control Unit can drive six filters in Zone 1 and Zone 2 with its own particle counter and temperature / humidity sensor. Each ECO-1 Control Panel can drive up to 16 units.

Example of basic setup

Summary
The Closed-loop Control System is a fully-endorsed Connect 2 Cleanrooms initiative and one which the company is extremely proud of. It is successfully performing in the international marketplace and many organisations are reaping the benefits from the energy saving, auditable data monitoring and quality assurance the Closed-loop Control System and its ECO-1 Panel provide. “I have more than enough information for my auditors and I am making huge savings compared to what it took to run the traditional build cleanroom in my previous facilities. The cleanroom will pay for itself in 2 years from the dramatic saving on my energy bills.” Jason Rainbow, TSC Ltd

the closed-loop control system

smart The Closed-loop Control System

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Contact
Joe Govier - Managing Director of Connect 2 Cleanrooms & cleanroomshop.com E mail – joe@connect2cleanrooms.com Phone - +44 (0) 15242 74170 Mobile - +44 (0) 7947 214422 www.connect2cleanrooms.de www.cleanroomshop.com

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