Following a decade of growth, UK-based cleanroom disposables supplier Helapet has moved to larger facilities with new cleanrooms. Cleanroom Solutions director Jan Pyrgies describes the project.
As a result of successful sales growth over the past 10 years, UK-based cleanroom consumables supplier Helapet recently moved to its newly opened headquarters at Lister House in Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire. The continued expansion of Helapet’s specialist range of cleanroom disposable products, coupled with the need to meet market demands for increasingly higher quality standards, resulted in a need for larger and improved cleanroom facilities.
Cleanroom Solutions was chosen to design and build a state-of-the-art cleanroom in Helapet’s new building. Jan Pyrgies, director of Cleanroom Solutions, discussed Helapet’s requirements and made recommendations for the design of the cleanroom. The complex was designed to cope with the current workload as well as allowing for future expansion.
To accommodate the variety of products to be made it was decided to build a cleanroom complex consisting of two separate cleanrooms sandwiched between a new packing room. The rooms are Class 7 to ISO14644-1. Some operations are carried out in a Class 5 laminar flow workstation. Each cleanroom is built with its own fully equipped changing room including alcohol hand sanitation facilities. The rooms are designed to operate with a positive pressure to prevent the ingress of contamination from the surrounding area. The pressures are cascaded so that the cleanrooms are at a higher pressure than the changing room and the packing room.
Each cleanroom runs using a separate air conditioning system to give independent control and enable the rooms to be set to different points for temperature and relative humidity, as required. A clean dry compressed air system was designed and fitted to provide clean compressed air to power the process machines. The air was filtered to 0.1µm so as not to contaminate the cleanroom air.
Cleanroom Solutions was responsible for applying for building regulations from the local council building control department and working with them to achieve all necessary building regulations certificates.
The facility had to be a self-supporting structure so as not to add to the existing building roof load. A steelwork system was installed to support the ceiling and services from the existing floor. All the materials chosen for the build were non-particle shedding and suitable for the products being manufactured.
All the materials chosen for the build were non-particle shedding
A range of pass-through hatches was designed to pass finished products from the cleanrooms to the packing room. This included a range of floor-mounted pass-throughs for moving components on trolleys as well as wall-mounted pass-throughs for smaller items. All the pass-throughs were provided with two interlocked doors to act as an airlock to prevent contamination from the packing room.
Helapet takes pride in holding to the ideals of infection prevention, and this is reflected in the quality provision of its sterile and non-sterile products for use in cleanroom operations. The newly completed Class 7 rated cleanrooms will now facilitate Helapet’s experienced workforce with the tools to provide the best quality service to its valued client base, which now comprises the pharmaceutical, laboratory, hospital pharmacy and veterinary industries.
New and improved facilities will open up new markets for filtration devices
Located in a fully refurbished 20,000ft2 facility that includes storage, warehousing and professional office space, the finished cleanroom facilities will secure Helapet’s competitiveness in its respective markets, and continue to provide the best service it can offer to its customers for many years to come.
The project was fast track. The new building had to be refurbished and the cleanrooms built for the relocation in March. The building was only available from January. The project was completed on time and on budget. John Blight, managing director of Helapet, said: “We were really pleased with the way in which this project progressed. Cleanroom Solutions really went the extra mile to ensure our new cleanroom facilities were ready on time. We are impressed by the quality of their workmanship and dedication of their staff. We are now ready to launch into our next phase of growth and development.”
The Mayor of Houghton Regis, councillor Andrew Roberts, formally opened the building and new facility on 3 April. “It is pleasing that we are still using space in Houghton Regis for industry and jobs because we need them,” Roberts said.
“I congratulate the company for doing well and expanding. From what I have seen today, I have no doubt that it will continue to expand.”
Helapet tests its custom filters here to exacting industry standards