A clean lift
leanroom cranes are used in various industries, including food, semiconductor and aerospace. Other industrial sectors in which cleanrooms are indispensable include optics and laser technology, medical research and
pharmaceutical production. To ensure trouble-free production of components for the aerospace industry, important production phases need to take place under cleanroom conditions. For production in these and many other fields, contamination by airborne particles is unacceptable due to its impact on product quality. To prevent this, cleanrooms are subject to continuous monitoring of their temperature, humidity, air pressure and germ count. The use of cleanroom cranes reduces the risk of unwanted variations and contamination. Electronic components are extremely sensitive to
magnetic abrasion, such as the particles given off by rotating wheels. Special cleanroom cranes counter this problem by using proper component surfaces and lubricants, making it possible to avoid undesirable abrasion products and vapours. The risk of contamination during production increases
when standard cranes are used instead of cleanroom cranes. Standard cranes often fail due to massive corrosion, excessive wear on wheels, load chains and steel cables, or high maintenance costs resulting from frequent lubrication or surface coating renewal. The costs resulting from contaminated products, such as those resulting from recall campaigns or repairs, can quickly reach astronomical levels. However, the costs of investing in a cleanroom crane can be amortised in only a few years. Cleanliness and hygiene standards may demand special
materials, surfaces and lubricants. Altman’s cleanroom cranes are produced to cleanroom categories of ISO 6 (ISO 146441), 4 (VDI 2083) and 1000 (US FED STD 209E). The machines are adapted to each industry’s specific requirements.
Cleanrooms can be so large that they can incorporate their own materials handling devices, including cranes. What are the special requirements of cranes for use in a cleanroom? Andy Pye looks at Altman, a company that specialises in cleanroom cranes.
SEMICONDUCTOR INDUSTRY Every particle released from a crane falls downward thanks to gravitational force. The ventilation equipment that is often installed circulates air from the ceiling downward to a raised floor or to suction openings at the edge of the floor, inevitably bringing every particle down onto the products. The top priority during the development of cleanroom
cranes is to avoid sources of particle emission, a requirement that standard cranes fail to satisfy in any respect. Many parts of such cranes emit particles continuously, and material combinations unsuitable for cleanroom environments are a constant cause of wear.
FOOD INDUSTRY There seems to be no other sector in which the media and the public react so sensitively to quality issues as they do in the food industry. To maintain a constant level of high quality, in addition to high-quality ingredients and a reliable production process, the machinery used is of crucial importance.
In addition to selecting the right materials, avoiding wear is vital. Altman’s cleanroom cranes for the food industry are
available in versions made entirely of stainless steel of various grades. The belt hoist is equipped with a special load belt that is maintenance-free and requires no subsequent lubrication.
PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY It is particularly important in the pharmaceutical industry, to guarantee clean production and ensure that the quality of products is not impaired by germs or other airborne particles. In the case of medicines and other pharmaceuticals this could have fatal consequences depending on the degree of contamination. This is where a cleanroom crane comes into its own, since due to the special way it is manufactured and its many special components, it helps to considerably reduce the risk of contamination in cleanrooms. EE
Cleanrooms & Contamination Control 2017 /// 9
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