For many products and processes, a cleanroom is an indispensable shell and absolute requirement in order to attain high quality, product reliability and yields. The construction, specification and quantitative verification of cleanrooms is current practice these days and regulated by guidelines such as ISO 14644 and VDI 2083.
However, cleanroom technology alone does not guarantee that a manufacturing environment will be adequately clean. Systems, equipment components, production processes and also the consumables implemented have a decisive influence on product cleanliness because they are often used in the direct vicinity of the product or nearby. In addition to these, the materials used to construct the systems and even cleanroom itself, such as flooring, wall coverings and sealing mass, also play a major role.
The objective assessment of the cleanroom suitability and cleanliness suitability of devices and materials in compliance with standardized test procedures is a highly important aspect when developing products for use in clean manufacturing environments, and guarantees their suitability to the customer. Over the last few years, this certification service has been continuously extended; its form and scope are unique throughout the world. The certificates »Fraunhofer TESTED DEVICE®« and »CSM®« are internationally-recognized test labels that confirm cleanliness suitability.
On its own, the manufacturer’s information on the suitability of a product for cleanroom use is not enough to be able to make a full assessment of its cleanliness characteristics. This is due to the fact that the information is based on non-standardized or in-house testing methods. For this reason, companies often demand proof of a product’s suitability by means of the »Fraunhofer TESTED DEVICE®« or »CSM®« before making a purchase. However, even without such demands, these certificates can still boost the sale of products for use in cleanrooms.
The current focus of research in this field is on developing reliable methods for assessing the cleanroom suitability of consumables and also on fundamental research into particle generation in a vacuum.