Laminar flow workstations go from conventional to customized

Laminar flow workstations go from conventional to customized

By Tammy Wright

With clean manufacturing becoming a preferred business practice, industry sources say laminar flow workstations are needed now more than ever.

“Feature sizes are getting smaller and the sensitivity to particulate contamination is going up,” explains Bernie Gaon, director of engineering at Terra Universal, an Anaheim, CA-based manufacturer of critical storage and processing environments. He claims that companies are relying heavily on minienvironments and automation to work smarter and more cost-effectively, with today`s trends leaning toward customized and cleaner products.

“Terra Universal rarely manufactures a Class 100 laminar flow workstation, whereas five years ago they were our top sellers. Now, Class 10 ULPA-filtered workstations make up most of our sales,” Gaon contends.

He also notes that customers are requesting that their laminar flow workstations be manufactured to fit their respective tools, adding that Terra Universal is currently working with a customer to develop a round laminar flow hood with a 20-foot diameter to be used on a telescope over the collective mirror.

With laminar flow workstations being used in applications ranging from wafer processing to pharmaceutical packaging to food inspection, it makes sense for them to change with the times.

According to such other makers as Laminaire Corp., Servicor, MiSonix Inc., CleanAccess Inc. and Huntair, advances in laminar flow workstations also encompass:

stainless steel surfaces;

modular, welded construction;

lower noise and vibration levels; and

CFD modeling for flow optimization in and around work surfaces or enclosed processes.

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Click here to enlarge image

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Left: Horizontal flow workstation (Liberty Industries)

Middle: HEPA station (Servicor)

Right: Laminar flow enclosure (Misonix Corp.)

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