Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Clean room tools

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Clean room tools

    I know(think) what a "clean room" is, but how are "clean room" tools different than other comparable tools? Are these tools a marketing gimmick or are they needed? Why is a pipe vise and wrenches the only "clean room" tools I've seen offered?
    Buy cheap, buy twice.

  • #2
    Re: Clean room tools

    Clean Room tools are less likely to hold dirt in seams, grooves, crevices and are easier to clean. Plating is less likely to peel and they will not rust. They also don’t generate particulate. This means good quality is a must and good workmanship and finish cost more. Think older Craftsmen vs. Snap-On. Big difference...

    Stainless Steel is a good choice since it is has little iron on the surface if is passivated. Problem Stainless is that it is harder to machine than plain steel. This drives the cost up.

    I would not let a serated pipe wrench or vise in a cleanroom. They generate particulate matter.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Clean room tools

      Not a plumber, but I did spend years working in clean rooms in my past career. The types of tools that can be brought in vary widely from country to country and the type of clean facility it is. porschedude pretty much said it like it is. The tools normally must be spotless clean. Most rooms offer alcohol treatment and fab rags for giving the tools an additional wipe off before entering just outside the air showers. Anything that can cause particulates is not normally allowed. I spent most of my time inside Semi fab clean rooms and not medical so not sure the differences there. I've been in rooms in Texas that allow me to just bring in my tool kit after a wipe down and no problem. On the other side I have been in a room in Iran that they wouldn't allow any butane torches, iron tools or anything like paper clips on my clean room notebooks. Yet I can still remember a place in Germany that had buckets of sand near the doorways for fire safety!

      Taiwan and Singapore have by the far the safest clean rooms I have ever been in. The types of tools are important, but so is what you are doing with the tools. If you are working in a Semi Fab for example, one must be constantly aware of any soldering or such that cause fumes or flame. There are numerous gases/chemicals present and tons of alarms and sensors that can easily be tripped. Normal paper isn't allowed nor pencils. Basically anything that can shed particulates. A class V clean room (bring your own air) is the worst. Be prepared to sweat and be very limited with what you can bring.
      Still enjoying all 10 fingers!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Clean room tools

        What kind of work is done in a class V clean room? I thought I knew what a clean room is for, guess not. Could you explain further?
        Buy cheap, buy twice.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Clean room tools

          The only Class V I have been in have been for Intel. They were fabricating some of the parts for their CPUs I believe. When getting down to angsrtoms of their magnitude, any particulates or debris of any kind can destroy a whole wafer. These days with manufacturers using 12" wafers (may be larger now, been out of the industry for a couple years) losing one wafer can mean hundreds of components meaning big $$$$$. A lot of R&D also happens in those types of areas. I am not aware of many and have only been in one myself.

          A clean room in general (and again I am speaking in reference to Semiconductor Fab clean rooms and have no experience in medical) is where the parts and pieces are made to run many electronics today. They are made on silicon wafers which are then put through various processes, varying depending on what components are being designed, before being removed from the wafers in the final process and being put to use. Things like diodes, CPUs, memory, and thousands of other things. This process is very delicate and has been tuned quite well over the past 20 years to the point where the work is ultra clean to get components smaller and smaller and more efficient. When entering a clean room, the air in the room is typically scrubbed several times and never recirculated. Each person wears a "gown", special clothing over their normal clothes (normally). It can be a one or two piece outfit that covers your whole body, with or without shoes attached to the legs. Also covers your head/hair. Only your face shows, and you normally wear a kind of medical mask over your mouth & nose. I have a beard, so had to wear an extra large mask to cover all that mess. Also wear latex glovers over your hands. The room is kept at a constant temperature. All walls and floors are normally cleaned at least every 2 to 4 hours. Most equipment is wiped down at least once a day. Because things are literally being grown in the silica on these wafers, any particulates can act like a bacteria and ruin the process.

          In Semi Fab clean rooms, there is equipment for "baking the wafers" (furnaces), washing them (washers), etching, implanting (unfortunately have seen 2 guys die in implanters in my years as they run millions of amps) and others. Furnaces run around 2000 degrees Celsius. All this equipment is plumbed with acid washed stainless steel tubing and normally connected with swage (sp?) lock fittings. They run on both liquid and vapor chemicals, many of which are quite deadly. I have been in more than one emer body shower in my day, and it sux (reason #9 I got out of that gig). I have done it all from plumbing the gases/liquids to the safety manifolds, through the MFCs to the equipment. Tested and connected the 3-phase power banks and tested the failsafes. Soldered and connected the boards that run the equipment, finally to connecting the servers to the equipment that runs the tools and collects the data samples to ensure the process is running correctly. I took that latter knowledge to my current career today after I became tired of the 100+K miles a year on planes and foreign countries with little down time.

          The rooms are also normally filled with security and such to ensure all rules are followed to the letter. The floors are normally grated where the air is vented downwards and out to keep particles from going up into the air with a noticable downward draft. They are hard on the back as you can't wear your shoes (reason #3 I got out of the gig
          ). There are a couple of places I have been to that allow your shoes inside of their gowns, but pretty rare.
          Last edited by wwsmith; 01-04-2008, 05:51 PM.
          Still enjoying all 10 fingers!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Clean room tools

            That was a great post. Thanks. Are there companies that specialize in this work or is it the facilitie's maintence staff that handles work in these areas?
            Buy cheap, buy twice.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Clean room tools

              Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
              That was a great post. Thanks. Are there companies that specialize in this work or is it the facilitie's maintence staff that handles work in these areas?
              No the generally just take the lowest bid from an unqualified handyman and hope for the best.

              Mark



              I'm just kidding I bet they are pre-qualified, and the rooms need limited maintenance as the non-essential equipment would be outside of the room.
              "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

              I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Clean room tools

                Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
                That was a great post. Thanks. Are there companies that specialize in this work or is it the facilitie's maintence staff that handles work in these areas?

                Not quite sure what your question is geared towards. If you are referring to general plumbing, there is usually none in the clean room. i.e. restrooms, drinking fountains, etc, etc. That would all be out of the room like Mark mentioned. Sometimes there will be a drinking fountain in the chase, now that I think about it, but most anything regarding tool plumbing is done by the onsite facilities trained on the equipment or process in the clean room.
                Generally local facilities will work up all the plumbing to the tool rough layout and the engineers installing the equipment will perform the final connections. The only things I can think of that would drain anything similar to sinks are the washing equipment and I am not very sure how or where all that ends up. Much of that work is done in the sub-floor (basement) where the air exchangers, equipment electronics and conduits/plumbing live. Many facilities only require minimal coverage in that area, often limited to hard hats and gloves & masks with no gown necessary as the air is being forced downwards from the upper floor through the afore mentioned grated panels.

                Many also require security and/or governmental clearance or screenings as they are free trade zones and pirating the "recipes" used in the various processes is the #1 concern. They aren't making Grandmas famous Choco Chip cookies in there and one recipe to a foreign facility can bring millions, and likely cause the victim facility bankruptcy. Having a background in chemistry wouldn't hurt either, but few I knew did. Just learned it on the job, including myself.

                The Semi business is very cyclical. Can be fantastic money when good, and job hunting when bad (reason #4 I got out of the gig). But they often keep a crew of electricians, plumbers, contractors and mechanics around full time and hire on occassion from what I heard. They also use consultants who have gained experience working in them after several years in professional companies who design and construct new facilities. It can take over a year to just design one, and up to 4 to build it. People (and I have known a few) who have been involved in that process from beginning to end, can retire after 2 to 3 facilities and live a very comfortable life.
                Still enjoying all 10 fingers!

                Comment

                Working...
                X