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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
LCGC LABS provides and installs metal, laminate, wood, polypropylene, stainless steel and phenolic resin cabinetry. Our cabinets are available in various sizes, colors and door/drawer configurations to meet your needs. Please click here to contact LCGC LABS.
LCGC LABS has the capability to ship product to any India trading partner and will work with you and your freight forwarder to deliver products to your facility regardless of the size of your order. Please contact LCGC LABS to discuss your shipping needs.
LCGC LABS can provide high-pressure laminate, epoxy, phenolic resin, stainless steel, polypropylene, granite, and DuPont Corian tops. These are available in a variety of colors and textures to meet your needs. Please contact LCGC LABS to discuss your laboratory counter top needs.I already have an architect working on a building design; can LCGC LABS interface and work with my architect to design my lab space?
LCGC LABS can work with the architect of your choice to help make your lab space functional and efficient. We can design the space independent of or in concert with your architect. Please contact LCGC LABS to discuss your laboratory design needs.
Hardwall modular cleanrooms provide a rigid wall structure and a completely enclosed cleanroom with air vents to exhaust air. These cleanrooms hold higher pressure differentials, which is important to provide differing cleanliness levels in different areas (and which is required to meet FDA 797 requirements). Negative and positive/negative pressure cleanroom designs require hardwall cleanrooms, as do A/C and humidity control cleanrooms.
LCGC LABS fabricates hardwall cleanroom walls from acrylic, static-dissipative PVC, polycarbonate, and polypropylene (all in various colors) with frames of powder-coated steel. In addition, LCGC offers BioSafe hardwall cleanrooms fabricated from 304 or 316 stainless steel.
Softwall modular cleanrooms use a simpler steel frame structure to support flexible PVC (or non-out-gassing Polysym) curtains cut a few inches above the floor to provide an exhaust vent. Softwall cleanrooms provide only the lowest of positive pressures and are typically used only in lower cleanliness ratings such as Class 1000, 10,000 and 100,000. Because these cleanrooms offer less control over air flows, temperature and humidity control are normally not provided.
Smaller softwall cleanrooms can be fitted with casters. Softwall cleanrooms are generally not suitable for complex, multi-room designs and long spans.
Achieving a specific cleanroom class requires not only clean physical design (non-particulating materials, etc.) but also a flow of clean, filtered air sufficient to both dilute existing particulates and to drive “dirty” air out of the controlled space.
Fan-filter units (FFUs) are generally used in LCGC LABS modular cleanrooms to provide HEPA- or ULPA-filtered air. FFUs provide air flow at velocities of about 90 to 110 feet per minute, fast enough to generate laminar flow but slow enough to prevent excessive turbulence.
Assuming a clean physical design, air flow determines the design cleanliness of a cleanroom. Cleanroom classes, ISO standards and LCGC’s general recommendations in terms of air-changes-per-hour are:
The cleanroom class is the number of particles >= 0.5 μm in diameter per cubic foot. For instance, a Class 1,000 cleanroom could contain an average of up to 1,000 particles per cubic foot of space.
The good news is that simply adding FFUs can generally lower the cleanroom class (make it cleaner). That assumes, of course, that the cleanroom has ceiling grid spaces not occupied by lights, FFUs or Power Distribution Modules.
Actual particulate levels are measured by taking a panel of readings with a particle counter at various points throughout the cleanroom. LCGC LABS sells such counters.
Both softwall cleanroom lines meet the same quality standards for design and materials. Within a class rating, both offer the same cleanliness. However, since LCGC LABS’s standard line softwall cleanrooms offer higher power for additional FFUs and teardrop lighting, they can be configured to Class 10, which is not available in LCGC LABS.
Each standard line softwall cleanroom is built to order, a process that takes generally four weeks or more. Standard line cleanrooms, then, can be made in virtually any reasonable size and can feature unusual materials such as stainless steel frames. Standard line softwall cleanrooms use LCGC-designed Power Distribution Modules (PDMs) that are hard-wired to the building’s electrical system in order to support larger numbers of FFUs, lights and in-room power outlets with higher power ratings.
LCGC softwall cleanrooms are preconfigured from standard components to produce ten standard sizes from 6’ x 6’ up to 12’ x 12’ in each of two heights (7’ and 8’). In place of PDMs, LCGC softwall cleanrooms are powered by a simple Power Supply Unit (PSU) that plugs into your standard wall outlet (20 amp free circuit required). The PSU switches a fused outlet box on the ceiling into which FFUs and lights are plugged, using standard 120V plugs. The PSU also provides one non-switched, light-duty outlet for in-room instrumentation.
LCGC softwall cleanrooms generally ship in a few days. The LCGC cleanroom arrives in one (large) crate that rolls on its own casters through 36″doors to the assembly area. Each LCGC cleanroom comes complete with all tools needed for assembly.
LCGC softwall cleanrooms do not include the decorative top trim included on standard line cleanrooms, which makes assembling the LCGC cleanroom easier. LCGC softwall cleanrooms do not include the flashing status indicators optionally provided on standard line cleanrooms.
LCGC softwall cleanrooms are significantly less expensive yet offer full cleanliness for operations that fit their sizes and power ratings.
LCGC softwall cleanrooms are assembled from off-the-shelf components and ship in a few days. In order to achieve this rapid service, only standard sizes can be offered. LCGC LABS can generally be custom sized at additional cost and with longer lead-times.
Class 10 requirements are generally provided by hardwall cleanrooms since they offer more complete airflow control and sealed cleanrooms. In addition, Class 10 airflow requirements usually require nearly continuous FFUs, more power than can be supplied by wall circuits and sometimes teardrop lights, none of which can be supplied in LCGC softwall cleanrooms. LCGC’s standard line softwall cleanrooms may provide Class 10 in some configurations.
Absolutely. LCGC LABS specializes in tear out, removal, transport and installation of your lab whether it’s down the street or across the country. Our seasoned professionals will take the utmost care in moving your lab furniture to your new location. Please contact LCGC LABS to discuss your laboratory relocation needs.
Normally, a purchase order begins the process. LCGC LABS will create shop drawings for you to approve and once they’re signed and approved, we will begin the ordering process and interface with your staff to provide a delivery and installation schedule. Project lead times will vary based on the materials used, seasonal manufacturing schedules, premiums for expedited work and the size and scope of your project. We will work with you to provide the quickest delivery possible. Please contact LCGC LABS to discuss your laboratory furniture needs.I have special requirements in my lab, can LCGC LABS design and provide a space that meets those requirements?
LCGC LABS can work with you to make sure your lab space meets your special requirements. Our expert design staff will tailor your space so that functionality isn’t compromised when we create the design. Would you prefer that an LCGC LABS lab planner make an appointment with you to discuss the details of your project? If so, please click here.
A cleanroom provides a controlled, isolated environment for handling contamination-sensitive substances or for protecting the exterior environment from dangerous substances in the controlled area. The density of sub-micron and larger airborne particle contamination inside a cleanroom is kept within tightly controlled limits by forcing clean, filtered air into the cleanroom.
Controlling particulate contamination is a process, not an event. Contaminants are generated continuously by people, processes, facilities and equipment and must be continuously removed from the cleanroom. The allowable level of contamination is dictated by specifications for the operations being performed. In the US, particle counts per cubic foot are commonly given as “class ratings,” such as “Class 1000” specifying fewer than 1,000 particles, with a size greater than .5 μm per cubic foot. ISO standard 14644-1, however, provides more precise standards but is often used interchangeably in the US.
Contamination control requires controlling the total environment. Air flow rate and direction, pressurization, temperature, humidity and specialized filtration all need to be tightly maintained to remove particles from the cleanroom. Particles sources must be eliminated whenever possible.
Positive pressure modular cleanrooms provided by LCGC LABS typically use ceiling-mounted self-powered Fan-Filter Units (FFUs) to force HEPA or ULPA-filtered air into the cleanroom. This creates an internal air pressure greater than ambient pressure, which reduces particulate intrusion around doors, and minor un-sealed areas in walls, ceilings, etc. Wall venting near floor level exhausts cleanroom air with the particles it carries into the external environment and promotes laminar flow of incoming air. The ability to remove particles and thus create a particulate-controlled environment inside the cleanroom is measured by the number of air changes per hour; the more clean air, the cleaner the cleanroom. Basically, a positive pressure cleanroom protects the internal environment.
In a given cleanroom, cleanliness can generally be increased by simply adding more FFUs, and thus filtered air, in the correct locations. Positive pressure can be built with hard walls made of solid plastic or steel, or soft walls made from flexible plastic strips and curtains. In hardwall cleanrooms, temperature and humidity can be controlled to provide human comfort, protect processes and prevent static charges by adding air conditioners, humidifiers and dehumidifiers.
Negative-pressure modular cleanrooms provided by LCGC LABS are designed to keep contaminants from entering the external environment. A common design uses exhausting FFUs, or air handlers, and HEPA filters to remove internal air. The cleanroom’s in-room processes contaminate the air, that is then exhausted to a safe location. This exhaust system creates a negative pressure inside the cleanroom that draws external air into the cleanroom either directly or through filters. A common application for this design is a powder filling operation. A negative pressure cleanroom, then, protects the external environment but not necessarily the internal area.
Positive/negative pressure modular cleanrooms provided by LCGC LABS, a more complex design, typically use FFUs to inject clean air into the cleanroom and exhaust contaminated cleanroom air into a buffer area. An air-handling system then removes slightly more air from the buffer area than is supplied by the FFUs, thus creating a negative pressure with respect to both the cleanroom and the external environment. This negative pressure prevents cleanroom contaminates from entering the external environment and also prevents external particulates from entering the cleanroom. A positive/negative pressure cleanroom, then, protects both the cleanroom and external environments.
Although both types of cleanroom can be built to meet the same air-change-per-hour standards, hardwall cleanrooms offer a more complete barrier to particle intrusion and more control over atmospheric temperature and humidity than is possible with softwall cleanrooms.
Probably the most important difference in many applications, is that a hardwall cleanroom can hold a significant positive pressure, which prevents particulate intrusion. Since softwall cleanrooms generally have a perimeter air gap, they can maintain very little positive pressure and no negative pressure differentials.
Hardwall cleanrooms offer somewhat less turbulent air flow since the walls are fixed and do not move as is possible with softwall cleanrooms. Plus, it is definitely easier to clean hard walls than curtains and strips.
Up to a reasonable size, softwall cleanrooms can be mounted on casters, which makes them mobile. Hardwall cleanrooms are fixed in place but can be disassembled, moved and reassembled. Finally, softwall cleanrooms cannot be secured against unauthorized entry.
The cleanroom classification needed depends on specifications for operations to be conducted within. Research in your specific field will probably provide a specification or at least a general guideline.
FDA requirements cover several types of clean facilities, the most generally known being USP 797, specifying conditions for pharmaceutical compounding facilities.
Very generally speaking, simply keeping products “clean,” as in dust-free to the human senses during packaging and similar processes, probably fits within Class 10,000 or even Class 100,000. “Clean” storage of previously-packaged products usually fits in Class 100,000. Basically, if the operating staff wear frocks and possibly hairnets but not masks, bunny suits, booties and the like, these two classes probably fit.
If full suiting is required for more contamination-sensitive products or difficult contaminants, a Class 1,000 environment or cleaner will generally be required.
If your application requires a Class 100 or Class 10 environment, you already know it, or certainly should.
An important cost reduction potential is to design areas with different cleanliness levels for different operations. For instance, a gowning room for a Class 1,000 cleanroom could be effective at Class 10,000. This reduces the number of FFUs and lowers operating costs.
These classes refer to environments with reduced particulate contamination, not to creating sterile environments. Consult your industry standards for sterile environments. LCGC LABS stainless steel cleanrooms may be ideal for sterile applications since they are not affected by harsh wash-down chemicals.
The cleanroom is only part of the equation for a successful clean operation. Cleanroom garments such as frocks, coveralls, gloves, face masks, booties and head covers are often used because people are a major source of contamination. These supply items are available from LCGC LABS.
LCGC LABS’s standard line softwall cleanrooms can be built in virtually any size or configuration in heights up to 15 feet.
LCGC LABS’s LCGC softwall cleanrooms are assembled from standard components and can be obtained in the following standard nominal sizes:
Standard heights for LCGC softwall cleanrooms are 7’ and 8’. Custom heights are easily available. All actual sizes are slightly larger than the stated nominal sizes – by an inch or two – to fit standard components. LCGC LABS can generally be custom sized at additional cost and with longer lead-times.
LCGC softwall cleanrooms offer class ratings from 100 to 100,000. Standard line softwall cleanrooms provide class ratings from 10 to 100,000.
LCGC LABS LCGC softwall cleanrooms generally carry a lead time of three business days, meaning that an order released on Monday will probably ship Wednesday or Thursday, depending on how early in the day it is released.
An order can be released when LCGC has received either the payment and a firm order or, for organizations with pre-cleared credit terms, a LCGC-approved purchase order.
LCGC LABS’s standard softwall cleanrooms are made-to-order, generally in four to five weeks. LCGC’s hardwall cleanrooms carry a six- to eight-week lead time, or more, depending on complexity and workloads.