Saturday, August 8, 2009

Reducing Cost and Complexity of Managed Cleanrooms

With more options at your disposal, what drives the system choice? Where FFU systems were once prohibitive or unavailable, small out-of-the-box solutions bring cost and complexity down significantly so that smart systems can be deployed in the smallest of systems and still be cost-effective.

The opportunities and options in an FFU interface can be as simple as manual controls to sophisticated stand-alone systems or even interfaces that will tie into building management central control rooms. With smart FFU products being more readily available, the utilization of these units in “smart systems” is the logical progression.

A major factor to consider is the platform provided by the FFU hardware choice. Certain platforms and solutions inhibit use of any platform other than a prescribed custom software/hardware platform. The total system cost including both the FFU and the system integration costs provide a clear valuation of this option. Assuming the solution choice has not boxed you in, what are the key considerations when deciding on a system purchase?

If cost and ease-of-deployment are the primary objectives, distributed control systems will often be the cost-effective solution. Low initial investment costs along with an equally low cost of system expansion make the distributed system both flexible and cost-effective. Unique functions/features are easier to incorporate in a custom package than in an out-of-the-box distributed node. Reducing initial investment pushes one toward an out-of-the-box system. A check-list of your key requirements will quickly provide clarifications if the small system solution can be considered for your installation.

The small system allows control of either AC-or EC-based FFU systems and can also provide control of the lighting systems as well. These systems are designed for small cleanroom configurations but readily expandable to large systems. Flexibility is provided through the choice of FFU control scheme, console functionality as well as PC-based based GUI system level communication and control. Cost effective and reasonably flexible, a system like this would be hard pressed to incorporate features already not designed-in.

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