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I am frequently asked why cleanroom personnel need to wear special garments. The real purpose is to protect the product from the people. People generate thousands upon thousands of particulates each minute; it’s the nature of the human body. The … Continue reading
The purpose of packaging cleanroom (sometime incorrectly written as clean room) garments is to maintain the garment integrity from the time the cleanroom laundry processes the garment to the time the end user is gowning up. Cleanroom clothing is usually stored in a change area, individually packaged in plastic bags, and stored by size in bins or employee lockers, until the employeeputs the garment on. From the time the garment leaves the cleanroom laundry to the time a person dons the bunnysuit and steps on the sticky mat into their cleanroom, it will have traveled many days and many miles, sometimes on many trucks. The package containing the garments might be stored in several environments and come across many potential contaminants. How do you make certain the garment integrity is maintained over that time period?
Cleanroom laundries have a standard operating procedure (SOP) for all cleanroom garments that are pocessed through their facility. Garments are segregated by type (coverall, hood, boots, frocks), by customer and by soil. They are cleanroom washed using an appropriate wash formula for the contaminants and particles of concern, and dried in a dryer equipped with HEPA or ULPA filters. Garments are then tested, inspected and folded, usually under Class 10 (ISO4) primary air, individually packaged, hermetically sealed and returned to the customer. Many laundries will designate a lot number to the batch of garments as they are processed. The lot number might be provided to the customer on a document accompanying the shipment that also reflects the results of the QA test used for lot acceptance. This does little to help the customer identify the lot the garments were processed in once they are separated from the documentation. Ideally the lot number would be printed on each individual package as well.
Lot numbers may be printed on labels with other pertinent information