Clean rooms play a vital role in ensuring the quality, precision, and reliability of various critical processes. By creating a tightly controlled environment, clean rooms protect sensitive equipment from the effects of unwanted particles in industries such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, aerospace, and manufacturing.

Given the critical nature of clean rooms, any contamination event in one of these industries can have severe consequences. It can lead to costly shutdowns, extensive cleaning and decontamination procedures, and delays in production or research timelines. Not only does this result in financial setbacks, but it can also damage the reputation of companies and institutions.

Therefore, meticulous attention is given to the design, construction, and maintenance of clean rooms. Door control technology plays a critical role in maintaining the cleanliness of clean rooms by effectively monitoring and controlling clean room entry and egress. These solutions work together with additional clean room technologies to minimize the introduction of contaminants into the controlled environment by ensuring proper airflow management and preventing unwanted substances from entering.

The following selection of door control solutions are uniquely designed to ensure that clean rooms stay clean under a variety of circumstances:

Door Interlock Controllers: Clean room doors and airlocks can be equipped with interlocking controls that prevent two or more doors from being open simultaneously. This ensures that there is no direct path for unfiltered air to flow back into the clean room. Built-in “pause” functions can be used to cause the system to lock all doors for a designated period of time after any door has been open, for the purpose of maintaining desired air conditions such as pressure equalization.

Air Purge Sequence: Some clean room doors are designed with specialized seals and gaskets to provide an airtight barrier when closed. These seals help prevent the migration of particles, contaminants, and microorganisms through gaps or openings around the door. In these cases, door interlock controllers should allow for an automatic air purge sequence. With this air purge sequence, the door gaskets will inflate automatically after closing to ensure that all doors are effectively sealed.

Touchless Door Control Solutions: Doors handles, bars, and knobs provide vulnerable surfaces for particle transmission. Touchless door control solutions, such as wave to exit and motion sensor door releases are ideal for cleanroom environments that necessitate hands-free unobstructed door release.

Waterproof Switches: A common protocol of the clean room decontamination cleaning process is to spray down the room with water or other disinfectant. In this case, durable, waterproof switches ensure continuous door entry and egress functions. Many waterproof push buttons are designed for this exact use case, rated to a sealing degree of IP65 and protected against water sprayed from a nozzle in any direction.

Audio/Visual Alarms: For any clean room to be effective, it’s imperative that some form of notification is issued in the event of a breach or loss of required operational parameters. Door Annunciators, LED indicators, and door prop alarms form a comprehensive system that will alert when doors are left open for a pre-determined time period, or if there is a sudden change in air pressure differentials. These alarms help to swiftly identify and rectify any deviations from the desired clean room conditions.

Access Control: Last, but certainly not least, managing access control for clean rooms is essential. Access control systems ensure that only authorized personnel can enter the clean room, reducing the risk of contamination by restricting access to authorized personnel who follow proper clean room protocols. Access control can also play a role in regulating the number of workers who enter and or exit the clean room at a given time, thus minimizing the disruption to the controlled environment.

By utilizing these solutions alone or in combination, clean rooms can maintain necessary air pressure differentials, control airflow, and mitigate the risks of contamination. At Dortronics, our team of door control specialists can help you select the door control solutions that best meet your clean room needs. As a leading designer and manufacturer of electronic locking solutions proudly made in the U.S.A., Dortronics’ experienced team is available to provide personal assistance – including the design and manufacture of a custom clean room door control solution.

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