Cleanroom doors

08 May 2018

One of Europe’s leading specialist pharmaceutical companies is relying on a pair of Stertil FlexiEdge Cleanroom doors to support its manufacturing operations in Hengoed, Wales.

With its headquarters in the Netherlands and a network of R&D and production sites throughout Europe, the business employs over 1000 people across commercial, development and manufacturing operations. The company, which also has offices in Australia and New Zealand, is widely acknowledged for its manufacturing, clinical development, medical, pharmacovigilance and regulatory expertise.

Stertil Door Products installed the two FlexiEdge Cleanroom doors, type 313LF, to replace a pair of Stertil Rapid Roll 400 doors that had successfully supported operations at Hengoed for around 20 years. However, these original units were not designed for cleanroom operations so the decision was made to replace them with the latest high specification models.
The two new FlexiEdge doors, measuring 1920mm wide x 2700mm high, have been installed to create a simple yet highly effective airlock between the site’s warehouse and the adjacent production facilities. By maintaining the required air pressure differential between these areas, the risk of compromising essential hygiene standards is eliminated and the free movement of pallet trucks and personnel is unhindered.

Alongside its cleanroom versions, Stertil’s FlexiEdge range comprises 16 models of many different types and styles including internal and external doors, all-weather doors, and freezer/coldroom doors plus emergency exit doors incorporating breakthrough curtains. Standard models are available in widths up to 11 metres and heights of 5.5 metres whilst bespoke and special sizes may be specified. Also, the range provides standard travel speeds up to 2.7 metres per second (opening) and 1.2 metres per second (closing) to shorten work cycles and increase productivity.  

The door curtain is fully flexible with a soft bottom edge which not only self-adjusts to seal on an uneven floor but also avoids any possibility of causing injury to users. In addition, the incorporation of an infra-red photocell, fitted 300mm above floor level, supported by a bottom edge wireless detector ensures instant halting of all door movement in the event of sensing an obstruction of any kind. Also, the flexible soft-edge curtain provides maximum resistance to damage caused by a vehicle collision. If the door edges are knocked out by the collision, they are automatically re-inserted in the side guides as the door opens.

A wide range of activation systems allows maximum versatility of FlexiEdge doors in many different applications. Alternatives to the standard push button pads include wired and wireless pull cords, key switches, induction loops, photocells, radar, radio or infra-red transmitters, presence detectors and touchless hand-wave detectors. Depending on the particular requirements of individual applications, the most appropriate activation method may be specified to ensure that the doors may be used intensively, minimising ‘open time’ and meeting the needs of the busiest high traffic areas. Importantly, by minimising the time that the doors are open, internal temperatures are maintained and expensive energy consumption is avoided.

At the Hengoed site, rapid opening of the FlexiEdge 313LF doors is activated by mushroom push buttons supported by an automatic timed closing feature. Importantly, the incorporation of an interlock feature means that only one door can be open at a time thereby ensuring that the required air pressures are maintained. Also, a set of LED traffic lights, full width vision panels within the doors and an audible warning that sounds when the doors are being operated, combine to ensure maximum operator safety.

“The new pair of Stertil FlexiEdge Cleanroom doors replaced two Rapid Roll doors that had been used constantly for 20 years,” says Andy Georgiou, General Manager at Stertil Door Products. “They were very reliable so the customer had no hesitation in specifying the two new interlocked models to create an efficient airlock between two separate operating areas. Also, they are very user-friendly – easy to operate and extremely safe.”