Make room for total hygiene

20 September 2023

Cleanroom technology is advancing fast and so is public concern about sanitisation. Maybe it is time to make room for a dedicated super-hygienic space

A leading expert in cleanroom technology is Krebe Tippo which manufacturers its barrier washers in Slovenia for an increasingly global clientele. “Last year in Europe we equipped two cleanroom ISO 5 laundries and another will be equipped this year with more projects in the planning phase.

“We put a lot of strength into development of a product suitable for these kinds of laundries which are at the highest level of hygiene, with pharmaceutical and medical linen being processed there,” says sales and marketing manager Anja Uranjek.

Just two years ago, while we still in thrall to Covid and despite associated lockdown problems, Uranjek told LCNi that things were “looking good with an uptick of barrier washer orders. We have extended the sales of barrier machines to several additional countries in Eastern Europe but also some big Governmental projects in Africa”. Last year, despite universal setbacks such as difficulty sourcing components and so on, in terms of sales, she told LCNi, the company broke all records in 2022, which have been used to set a new standard for the company.

Now, another year on, she says: “We have changed our standard barrier washers from mechanical engineering to offer more sophisticated electronics and software and created a completely different product. Products were custom-made specifically to the needs of our customer.

“This year we will also launch our 516 Smart Drum concept where machines will be equipped with RFID readers and a database to eliminate the risk of linen being lost or mixed.Not only for CR laundries but general. We are extremely proud of the level we reached with the development of our machinery to be able to satisfy the needs and demands of such an elite clientele of this business.”

All Krebe Tippo machines, Uranjek explains, are designed to ensure the best quality of washing results with minimum consumption of water, detergent, and energy. Machine construction is robust and stable, designed to ensure longevity of each and every part of the machine under heavy burdening. Advanced solutions such as Automatic Weighing System, Water Recycling System, several energy meters, high-tech Controls, a monitoring system and many other solutions, enable the user safe, reliable, and optimal operation of the machine. With the widest selection of models (loading capacity in kg, 1:10) and other options Krebe Tippo says it guarantees to reach the highest level of laundry needs and requirements, as well as user satisfaction.

A team of in-house Krebe Tippo engineers covering mechanical development, electrical development and software under one roof ensures the highest quality level in compliance with laundry standards. Krebe Tippo can also provide laundry capacity calculations and consultations from the construction of a cleanroom to the subsequent laundry operation. Based on many years of experience with laundry systems, Krebe Tippo says its team of engineers understands the needs of the systems, how to develop them independently and provide optimal logistics to achieve even the strictest hygiene standards.

According to Kannegiesser, another expert in clean rooms, for hygienic quality and validated washing processes, the Favorit Vario HighClean is the first choice, it says. The water and chemical amounts are made for each item depending on weight and program, always based on the real batch weight. ActiveProcessControl even considers the absorbed liquor during the filling process –true precision washing. This achieves 100% reproducibility and documentation of our customers’ hygiene processes.

The most important features of the Favorit Vario HighClean compared to the regular Favorit Vario are as follows:

  • Indirect steam heating to prevent contamination and keep the concentration of chemicals at a constant level
  • Exceptionally careful Carewash cylinder perforation to reduce the friction
  • Water and steam valves made from stainless steel
  • Airtight connecting parts for barrier wall integration
  • Membrane sealed keypad without edges and fissure suitable for a clean room

Additional sealed covering on the clean side

In addition, the Favorit Vario HighClean can be tailored to the customer’s special clean oom application with various options.

As for drying, Kannegiesser says the TM 50 RR was specifically developed for drying work and protective clothing in clean room applications. The barrier wall design and high-quality stainless steel components such as the dryer housing and inner drum are a guarantee for particle-reduced drying. The air is heated via the integrated stainless steel heating register and flows through the laundry items evenly. Various HighClean options allow the dryer to be configured for the desired clean room application.

Imperative for the absence of particles in the drying process is the selection of the appropriate High Efficient Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. HEPA filters are used in technical applications wherever process air is to be cleaned of small particles. The TM 50 RR is available with different filter units – the selection is made depending on the application and the required clean room class. If the customer already provides filtered clean room air on site, the dryer can also be equipped with an air intake unit without a HEPA filter.

With the design and manufacturing expertise bundled at the Hoya site in Germany, the Favorit Vario HighClean and the TM 50 RR form a strong team for customers’ clean room applications.

For Domus, the new environmental and social realities that are emerging, mean its efficient machines with advanced technology particularly stand out for their connectivity and traceability functions.

“Cleanroom laundries are essential for maintaining the highest levels of hygiene in a variety of industries, including healthcare, pharmaceutical, and food production. These laundries use specialised equipment and procedures to ensure that all garments and linens are cleaned and disinfected to the highest standards,” says Domus marketing manager Gemma Colomer. Some key hygiene measures implemented in cleanroom laundries include:

  • Strict personnel protocols: Only authorised personnel are allowed to enter the cleanroom laundry area, and they must wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Separated processing areas: The cleanroom laundry is typically divided into three separate areas: dirty, clean, and sterile. This helps to prevent crosscontamination between garments and linens.
  • HEPA filters are used to remove particles from the air, helping to create a clean and sterile environment. This also applies to laundry equipment like washers and dryers.
  • Use of disinfectants: Disinfectants are used to kill bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms on garments and linens.
  • Regular monitoring: The cleanroom laundry is regularly monitored to ensure that it is meeting all hygiene standards. Telemetry and IoT play an important role in this respect.

By implementing these stringent measures, cleanroom laundries help to protect the health and safety of workers and patients, going a long way to ensuring the products that are produced in cleanrooms are free of contamination.

“As far as cleanrooms are concerned, there is egislation that must be followed and varies from country to country. However, there are some common standards that are used internationally. We highly recommend learning about them before you start the project,” says Colomer.

The Domus range of barrier washers for cleanrooms (16kg to 100kg) are the most suitable not only to prevent cross contamination, but also to offer the specific cleanroom accessories like stainless steel AISI 316L drum, titration valve, syphon, and so on. Both washer and tumble dryer offer the option of HEPA air filters type 13 and 14, to be chosen depending on the needs of each cleanroom.

TOUCH II microprocessor technology with Domus Connect connectivity provides remote control of the machinery and cleanroom, enabling constant monitoring and ensuring the required traceability.

“Our experience in cleanroom machinery means we can advise customers on machines and options, as well as cleanroom design. (See box.)

The right solution

Over the years, Jensen-Group has developed several solutions according to the various cleanroom classifications required within the healthcare sector.

“Thanks to our experience,” says Jensen’s head of marketing, Nicolas Gostony, “we can assist laundries in selecting the right solution for their customers, the hospitals, which is a great advantage for the laundries as not all laundries have the necessary experience with the various levels of cleanroom classifications determined by the hospitals.”

Simple or sophisticated

When looking into the finishing section as an example, the implementation into a garment folder can be either simple or sophisticated depending on the cleanroom classifications in question, and depending on how the laundry decides to meet the cleanroom classification in questions.

Simple solutions meeting the low cleanroom classifications may allow to replace a limited number of components and materials inside a garment folder, such as the cotton belts and a limited number of steel components. The cotton belts are replaced with plastic belts, and all steel getting in contact with the garments must be of stainless-steel material. The use of plastic belts instead of cotton belts eliminates spreading of particles from the belts inside the machine.

Service-friendly solution

Some cleanroom classifications require that the folder is supplied with a vacuum system to ensure a clean environment inside the machine. As an alternative to adding a vacuum system inside the machine itself, some laundries decide to equip the entire room with a vacuum system ensuring that particles are kept out of the room, and thus out of the machine and away from the garments. The advantage of this solution is that the machine itself can be kept simpler and cheaper and easier to maintain thanks to the fact that only a limited number of components need to be made special.

People-less cleanrooms

“As humans are the primary contaminators of cleanrooms, we expect to see a shift towards peopleless cleanrooms in the future,” says Gostony “At Jensen we are prepared for the shift thanks to our continuous focus on automating and a vast experience from several laundries already equipped with Jensen robots in all areas.”

Girbau, meanwhile, designs customised laundry solutions for commercial and industrial laundries – no matter the size, quality or production needs,” says the company. It produces eight micro processor-controlled barrier washers in its BW range, from 160kg up to 230kg with electric and/or steam heating.

Designing A Cleanroom

Consider the size and shape of the cleanroom: The size and shape of the cleanroom will affect the airflow pattern and the efficiency of the HVAC system. (The HVAC system in a cleanroom is designed to maintain a controlled environment with low levels of particulates and humidity. The air is filtered through HEPA filters to remove particles, and the temperature and humidity are kept within a narrow range.)

Locate the cleanroom in a clean area: The cleanroom should be located in an area that is free from dust, dirt, and other contaminants.

Consider the use a modular cleanroom system: Modular cleanroom systems are easy to install and can be scaled up or down as needed.

Regularly inspect and maintain the cleanroom: The cleanroom should be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure that it is meeting all hygiene standards.

Here are some additional tips for maintaining high hygiene standards in a cleanroom laundry:

  • Use a dedicated laundry cart to transport garments and linens between the different processing areas.
  • Label all garments and linens with their respective processing status.
  • Inspect garments and linens carefully before and after they are processed.
  • Dispose of contaminated garments and linens properly.

By following these tips, you can help to ensure that your cleanroom laundry is operating at the highest level of hygiene.

If you are interested in setting up a cleanroom, do not hesitate and contact our sales department, who will provide a tailormade hygiene and safety solution for your company:  or find oiut mo

PERFECT FIT: Krebe Tippo has recently fitted out two clean room ISO 5 laundries

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