Stainless Steel Cleanroom Equipment for the Pharma Industry: A GMP Optimized Material Handling Lift
Acquiring cleanroom equipment for pharma may sound simple, but the amount of thinking required is not to be trifled with. Something you are probably all too aware of as it also indirectly embodies the more complex concepts of:
- Industry regulations
- Environmental control
- Low contamination risk
- Optimal ergonomics
... just to mention a few.
The process of acquiring the optimal industry compliant stainless steel machinery for the pharmaceutical industry, can be challenging to say the least.
And on top of that, if what you need is not your 'typical' cleanroom item, the list of available suppliers is quickly shortened, and the challenge just grew in complexity.
Hopefully, we at 2Lift can help you simplify this task.
We Know the Pharma Industry and May Very Well Have What You're Looking for
For some, delivering cleanroom equipment for the pharmaceutical industry might be perceived as challenging, demanding and cumbersome. We, too, never underestimate what is required, but we welcome and appreciate the challenge, and never find it cumbersome or too demanding.
On the contrary, designing stainless steel lift equipment for cleanroom use is our passion. We find that challenges make us grow even better at what we do, and for that, we are always grateful.
At 2Lift we are experts in designing and building stainless steel material handling lift solutions for the pharma industry and food / beverage industry.
We have many years of experience providing cleanroom equipment for pharma. In fact you could say that 2Lift has grown up with pharma, since the very first handling life we ever designed was for a Danish pharmaceutical company.
And since then, we have been privileged to be trusted to build stainless steel roll lifting equipment, stainless steel drum handler solutions and similar stainless steel equipment for lifting and handling pallets and boxes for cleanroom use.
We take our cleanroom equipment manufacturing task very seriously, and we know the costly consequences of apparently 'small' and insignificant occurrences:
A tiny flake of paint, a microscopic drop of lubricant or a fibre in the product ... and contamination is now a fact.
Thus when it comes to industrial material handling equipment for pharma, living up to your industry's standards as well as individual corporate regulations to maintain necessary environmental control and prevent unwanted contamination is one of our primary goals.
We know the importance of GMP.
GMP Is Our Cleanroom Bible
GMP are the rules we live by when designing pharma equipment such as stainless steel material handling solutions.
As you are probably only too aware of, GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) is the total sum of activities necessary to ensure the quality of a product in terms of correctness and consistency.
The pharma industry meets the GMP rules via standardized rules for all types of work, documentation, control, and prevention of contamination, errors, and mix-ups.
When we in 2Lift design our industrial material handling lifts as cleanroom equipment, we strictly follow the GMP premises for equipment as outlined in the EU Guidelines for Good Manufacturing Practice for Medicinal Products for Human and Veterinary Use.
The most important GMP principles that we build into the design of our material handling lifts are those of contamination prevention.
Thus to quote the EU guidelines for GMP we work hard to ensure that surfaces are:
"[...] smooth, free from cracks and open joints [...]", in order for them "[...] not [to] shed particulate matter and [...] permit easy and effective cleaning and, if necessary, disinfection."
Further more we strive to make certain that:
"[p]roduction equipment [does] not present any hazard to product. Parts of production equipment that come into contact with the product must not be reactive, additive or absorptive to such an extent that it will affect the quality of the product and thus present any hazard."
The Measures We Take to Meet GMP in Our Cleanroom Equipment Design
- Cutting Corners and Taking Shortcuts Are not in Our Dictionary
During our time as manufacturers of material handling equipment for the pharmaceutical and food / beverage industry, we have heard stories of products that didn't live up to industry regulations which resulted in unfortunate product contamination.
When building stainless steel lifters for cleanroom use, product contamination is not the only thing to be aware of. When electricity and moving parts are involved, the safety of the personnel also becomes a large concern.
We know that our customers will go a very long way to ensure that their cleanroom equipment, such as their stainless steel lifting equipment, is safe, reliable and of high quality.
We at 2Lift will go to great length to mirror their ambitions in our material handling lift solutions.
The Backbone Specs on Our Pharma Clean Room Material Handling Equipment
- Grades of Stainless Steel, Levels of Ingress (IP) and Surface Roughness (RA)
As already mentioned, we cut no corners when it comes to our lifters, neither in design nor material and components. Thus we strictly adhere to industry standards when it comes to grades of stainless steel, levels of ingress protection and surface roughness.
Determining Which Grade of Stainless Steel You Need
Stainless steel is not just stainless steel. As you may already be aware of, there are different types of stainless steel alloys ideal for different purposes and environments.
What we can offer are two types of austenitic stainless steel, AISI 304 and AISI 316L.
Both types of steel are highly corrosion resistant, non-magnetic, heat resistant, hygienic, durable and ideal building material for lifting equipment in the pharmaceutical, food / beverage, chemical, brewery, and dairy industry.
Whether you need a lifter in AISI 304 or AISI 316L depends mainly on the level of corrosive agents present in your environment.
This steel alloy contains about 18% chromium and 10% nickel and offers a very high corrosion protection. AISI 304 is what we use in our standard cleanroom handling lifters and is typically found suitable for the food / beverage industry and sometimes also for the pharmaceutical industry.
In environments where the risk of corrosion is higher, we recommend using AISI 316L which consists of app. 17% chromium, 12% nickel and 2,2% molybdenum. The addition of molybdenum increases durability and corrosion resistance.
AISI 316L is the recommended choice for environments with high chloride or sulphuric acid exposure. It is also a good choice for offshore / coast-near industry as the acids found in salt water also increases the risk of tarnishing and rust.
High Ingress Protection (Waterproof)
IP (International Protection Rating, also known as Ingress Protection Rating) determines the degree of protection against intrusion of solid and liquid matter such as dust and water. In layman terms the IP is more commonly referred to as water resistant or waterproof.
An ingress protection of IP65 is standard for our pharmaceutical SP-lifters which means that it is dust tight and can resist flowing water - thus allowing for easy cleaning with a hose.
Low Surface Roughness (Ra)
Our cleanroom equipment also has a very low general surface roughness of less than 1.6 Ra and in the case of product contact, we can ensure a Ra of only 0.8.
Our Special Pharma-Suited Components to Optimize on Ergonomics, Cleaning Procedures, and Environmental Control
Thus when it comes to controlling the environment, the choice of building material is crucial. When comes to optimizing on ergonomics, however, the interface design and of choice of components play a pivotal role, too.
Wearing various forms of cleanroom garments can make handling lift equipment a challenge. We do what we can to ease the that task. For instance, we have designed a glove-friendly user interface on the remote control, so that the buttons are easily felt through the gloves.
The typical choice of lifting mechanics inside a lifter column is a ball screw drive. Such a solution does have advantages, but the amount of grease and lubricants required to make it work properly can constitute a contamination risk.
Thus, instead we use a contamination risk free solution (that is height precise, too) which consists of a belt strengthened with stainless steel wires. This does not require any lubricants and is thus contamination safe.
On top of this, this system is maintenance free.
The choice of wheels is also something that we are very conscious of. Not only should they be an optimal fit for the given floor in order to obtain least friction and thus cause the least strain possible to the human body, but for contamination reasons, they also shouldn't mark the floor either.
A Display of Our Stainless Steel Lifter and Handling Solutions
- Examples of Our Cleanroom Equipment
Model ERU: Electric Rotation Unit with Scissor Clamp for Drums
With this electric drum handler solution, the drum is gripped with bands mounted on a scissor clamp. This solution allows the drum to rotate sideways, 180° in each direction. The maximum lifting capacity is 120 kg.
Model ERU-EC: Electric Rotation Unit with Scissor Clamp for Rolls
With this electric roll handler solution, the roll is gripped with plates mounted on a scissor clamp. This solution allows the roll to rotate sideways, 180° in each direction. The maximum lifting capacity is 120 kg.
Model ERM: Electric Roll Manipulator
With this electric roll manipulator solution, the roll is gripped in the core and can then be tilted up 90° allowing for easy placement a mandrel. The solution will accommodate different core diameters and can handle rolls up to 350 kg.
Model ERU-EC: Electric Rotation Unit with Scissor Clamp
Using and electric rotation unit and a scissor clamp, a multitude of objects can be gripped and turned. Filter houses, vessels, containers and all manner of process equipment is easily handled. With the right end effector almost any object can be gripped and handled with this solution that lifts up to 120 kg.
Model ERU-ELC: Electric Rotation Unit with Linear Clamp for Drums
With this electric drum lift, the drum is gripped with bands mounted on a linear clamp. The linear clamp allows for powerful gripping of drums with a wide range of diameters. The rotation unit allows the drum to rotate sideways, 180° in each direction. The solution accommodates drums up to 350 kg.
Model ERU-DM: Electric Rotation Unit with Fork
With the electric rotation unit and fork solution, containers and vessels are easily lifted and rotated to allow for docking, emptying and handling in general. This solution lifts up to 350 kg.
Model ELC-ETU: Electric Clamping and Tipping Unit
With this electric drum lifting equipment, the drum is gripped with bands mounted on a linear clamp. The linear clamp allows for powerful gripping of drums with a wide range of diameters. A tipping unit allows the drum to tip forwards, making it easy to empty. The solution accommodates drums up to 350 kg.
Not Finding Your Desired Lifter Solution in Our Gallery?
- Let Us Know, and We'll Adapt and Design What You Need
This means that we can easily adapt our lifters and find a solution for lifting and handling almost anything you might come up with.
And if we haven't already designed something similar to what you need, we are always very happy to customize a material handling lift for your specific needs and requirements.
If you have any questions regarding our cleanroom equipment, what we may do for you, or just have questions in general, we very much welcome you contacting us.