The U.S. is the number one largest national producer of chemical products in the entire world. Although we continue to push the limits on what can and cannot be done (radiolabeled compounds allow us to treat illnesses with a high degree of accuracy), it isn’t an accident that we won that incredible top spot; our dedication to good manufacturing practices — through GMP storage, GMP synthesis, and overall clean room standards — has ensured that we stay protected from contaminants that could compromise our products.
As we continue to make waves in these scientific fields, it only makes sense that our technology (specifically technology related to maintaining and improving clean room standards) change and advance with us. Currently, roll-up and bi-parting high-speed doors are rising in popularity in clean rooms across the country.
Upward-acting doors are gaining traction in clean rooms for a multitude of reasons. Traditional rigid-panel center-opening doors span six feet wide and require three feet of wall space on each side when its panels are open, but roll-up doors don’t require any; its fabric “curtain” collects in a head assembly at the top of the door when opened.
At the same time, this new generation of roll-up doors features anti-microbial materials and various clean room upgrades. Combined with their tight sealing and high cycle speeds (they can move at up to 100 inches per second, minimizing air intrusion and increasing productivity), pharmaceutical companies and laboratories are realizing the benefits of such a design.
Bi-parting doors come with benefits of their own. Previous versions were made from stainless steel or fiberglass, while these modern advancements utilize a heavy-duty 40-oz. PVC curtain; the smooth material minimizes the collection of dust and particulates, making it compliant with FDA and cGMP guidelines. The side frames for these curtain doors are still made from stainless steel, although the most advanced options in this category use a spring tube design that decreases the footprint on either side of the door.
Though heavy-duty, this fabric is remarkably lightweight; doors are able to open and close faster for maximum environmental control. They can operate at speeds of up to 120 inches per second when opening and 40 inches per second when closing thanks to a variable frequency drive motor.