By Karen Moltenbrey
Nearly 800 attendees of the CleanRooms Contamination Control Technology (CCT) Conference and Exhibition last month in Boston were introduced to state-of-the-art contamination-control products ranging from filtration, to cleanroom garments, to testing equipment and more, all presented by a host of vendors with displays on the sizable show floor.
“We were very pleased with the attendance this year as well as with the activity in the exhibit hall, as foot traffic in the hall remained fairly steady,” says James Enos, vice president and group publishing director for CleanRooms magazine and the CCT Conference and Exhibition. “I was especially pleased to hear a number of exhibitors and attendees commenting on the high quality of the event.”
Also during the exhibition, attendees had the opportunity to cast their votes for the CleanRooms Conference Best of Show Awards. At the two-day event, participating vendors demonstrated their latest and most innovative solutions in the form of a new product or service displayed in their booth. The Overall Best of Show award was presented to FH Chase, Inc. (Mansfield, MA), a nationally based architectural cleanroom contractor, for its new architectural products: an 8- by 8-ft. heavy-duty access floor understructure and a new 30-in. utility pop-up that allows fluid, tight penetrations in a concrete sub-floor.
Other winners include:
- Most Innovative/Imaginative – Lighthouse Worldwide Solutions (San Jose, CA), a supplier of real-time contamination monitoring systems and instruments, for its 5104 with TRH option.
- Most Practical/Immediately Useful New Product or Service – Lymtech Scientific (Chicopee, MA), a manufacturer of cleanroom wipes and validated sterile wipes, for its expansive line of wipes for all types of cleanroom classification.
- Most Impressive Development/Implementation of Advanced Technology – Particle Measuring Systems (Boulder, CO), a manufacturer of microcontamination monitoring instrumentation and software, for its HandiLaz Mini, an ergonomically designed, simple-to-use 1.5 pound handheld that counts particles as small as 0.3 microns.
Kicking off the conference and exhibition was a crowded keynote address delivered by Dr. John Howard, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), whose speech focused on the critical role of contamination-control technology in providing for the safe advancement of nanotechnology, and in the safe and efficient manufacture of nanotechnology within a range of industries (see “Nanotechnology: No small CCT issue,” page 11).
Lighthouse Worldwide Solutions was presented the Most Innovative/Imaginative award at the show. Receiving the award (from left to right) are Barry Kitchner, Adam Giandomenico, John Haystead, and Morgan Polen.
Following Howard’s address, attendees took the opportunity to attend more than 40 conference tracks chaired by industry leaders in the contamination-control industry. “The conference program attendance grew substantially again over last year, and the feedback from the delegates was overwhelmingly positive on the quality and usefulness of the presentations,” says John Haystead, conference chair and editor-in-chief of CleanRooms magazine. “We’re also pleased with the level of attendees coming to the conference, with several of our speakers commenting on the quality of questions and the interest level of their post-presentation discussions.”
The life-science environments and processes sessions, for example, addressed the importance of the technology in this segment of the industry and the current issues affecting this market. Chairing this program was the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST) President-elect Gordon Ely. Semiconductors and microelectronics, whose advancement has been responsible for the rapid pace of contamination-control technology, were the focus of a number of additional panels, discussions, and presentations.
A hot-button topic-USP 797-also drew crowds to the various discussions and presentations relating to this set of standards (see “Understanding USP 797,” page 30).
Rounding out the tracks were sessions geared to facilities design engineering and construction. Presented by industry professionals and specialists, the panels addressed issues such as what works and what doesn’t (and why) in cleanroom design and construction, fire detection and suppression systems for wet benches and process equipment in cleanrooms, and exhaust and dust consideration in life-science manufacturing plants. A highlight of this topic was a two-part presentation on how to plan effectively for a cleanroom project.
Meanwhile, under the topic of cleanroom management and maintenance, attendees learned about filter testing and performance, how to establish, implement, and validate a successful cleanroom garment program, and more. In a two-part track, they also listened to experts relay practical solutions to cleanroom design and construction problems.
Another feature of the conference was the formal course program presented by internationally renowned contamination-control expert Dr. Hans Schicht of Schicht AG. This intense one-day course drew many participants, who gained background knowledge on how to determine cleanliness zoning concepts, optimize layouts of clean facilities, prepare basic specifications and master plans for cleanroom systems, evaluate technical proposals, and understand the various standards and regulatory requirements for clean facilities.
“Overall, I think the show went extremely well this year. Our goal is to continually evolve the conference and expo to meet the diverse needs of professionals across the contamination-control industry,” says Enos. “I am especially looking forward to next year, when we will host the conference in the early fall.”