Sunday, April 5, 2009

Choosing The Right Panel Material For Your Modular Cleanroom

Deciding whether your cleanroom should be modular instead of drywall is not the only decision a project team has to make when considering a cleanroom. In most cases, the choice of panels is not as clear cut as once was the norm.
Once you’ve decided that you need a cleanroom, then what? For one, you have to decide what type of clean-room you require. Many people within an organization will not have the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision regarding their cleanroom construction materials. An outside design and building firm is typically the answer.
Before you set out to approve a cleanroom vendor, it’s important for you to understand some basics. With so many vendors available you’ll want to know what makes one vendor stand out from another. Various clean-room vendors supply a multitude of different wall panels, insulation, ceiling systems, and floors. But which one is right for you? One of the first questions is modular or drywall? Modular offers the most flexibility. It will allow you to expand as your business expands. Drywall has its economical advantages but is quite permanent, and can be more expensive if all cost variables are factored in. Cost: Undoubtedly, the solution using drywall coated with epoxy paint looks, at first glance, the most inexpensive option. In fact, while the level of initial investment could be lower compared with the cost of square feet of installed wall using a modular system, the picture may change looking at a wider scenario. The cost comparison should also take into account the need for project supervision during assembly and the need for training of contractors who usually are not familiar with the strict rules of a pharmaceutical, biotechnology, or any company that needs to maintain clean environments and area separation.
Need of flexibility: A modular system is intrinsically a flexible system. Different suppliers offer different levels of flexibility; but, in the end, you will be always be able to change you partition layout before, during, and after wall assembly. Depending on the modular cleanroom supplier of your choice, this might be more or less easy, but it will be feasible; it will be done in a clean way without the need to create dust, debris, and any type of scrap incompatible with production areas.
Timing: Drywall can be supplied in a shorter time frame. A modular cleanroom company might have the need to manufacture custom-made accessories, while the contractor selected for drywall can be on site “the next day.”
Project management resources: As mentioned above, going with drywall will mean the need for more involvement of project management; if these resources are not available internally, then outsourcing them might lead to communication or cost control issues. A modular wall system company should supply project management as a part of its core business.
Project environment: Creating partition and ceilings within an existing production area might lead to a problem with ongoing production incompatible with material used for erecting drywalls.
Durability: Modular cleanroom suppliers have a large variety of materials that differ in terms of durability. Some offer materials that give a much higher reliability in terms of robustness in comparison with drywalls. Drywalls might be faster to install, but in certain situations, the walls will get worn faster.
Financing: Modular cleanrooms can be considered, from a financial standpoint, as equipment. They can be leased or expensed in your financial statement as any other piece of equipment

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