All Terra Blogs

  1. A Finishing Station for Your 3D Printing Projects

    A Finishing Station for Your 3D Printing Projects

    Additive manufacturing (AM), commonly called 3D printing, isn’t just for rocket scientists anymore. Its use has increased exponentially as companies and researchers discover useful applications and innovative methods. Availability of equipment and supplies for performing three-dimensional printing is becoming almost commonplace; it’s just a matter of time before retailers start to offer 3D printing services, or a few mavericks begin to do it in their homes (broken coffee cup? No problem; I’ll just make another one!).

     

    History

    Back in the late 1980s, single-production industrial prototyping was going from drawing board to reality. The first patent was issued in 1986 for the stereolithography apparatus (SLA), with the first commercial system sold in 1988. During the few years that followed, prototyping technologies (and their acronyms!) continued to emerge, including selective laser sinter

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  2. FS209E and ISO Cleanroom Standards

    Terra Universal is the leading expert in the design and fabrication of critical-environment applications. We offer a complete range of equipment, furnishing and supplies for cleanrooms and laboratories. The following are the rigorous standards to which Terra Universal adheres.

    Before global cleanroom classifications and standards were adopted by the International Standards Organization (ISO), the U.S. General Service Administration’s standards (known as FS209E) were applied virtually worldwide. However, as the need for international standards grew, the ISO established a technical committee and several working groups to delineate its own set of standards.

    FS209E contains six classes, while the ISO 14644-1 classification system adds two cleaner standards and one dirtier standard (see chart below). The "cleanest" cleanroom in FS209E is referred to as Class 1; the "dirtiest" cleanro

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  3. Designing and Purchasing a Cleanroom, Oh My!

    Designing and Purchasing a Cleanroom, Oh My!

    Cleanrooms are a large investment, putting a lot of responsibility and pressure on the owner and project engineers. As with any large investment, the aspiration is to formulate the perfect design the first time. While those expectations may be high, facilities can reduce time and expenses with careful planning and strict project management practices. There are also many considerations to make in the cleanroom’s pre-planning stage. Such as?

     

    The first step in planning a cleanroom is to concretely identify the primary goals and applications. Often this depends on the industry for which the cleanroom will be used. There are several questions to answer: How will the cleanroom be used? What ISO cleanliness regulations must be met? What equipment is needed (e.g. hoods, gloveboxes, storage cabinets or packaging machinery)? What is the maximum number of workers that will be inside the room at peak time? A regu

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  4. Semiconductor Fabrication: Focus on Wet Processing Equipment

    Semiconductor Fabrication: Focus on Wet Processing Equipment

    What is a Semiconductor?

    “Semi-conductors,” also known as integrated circuits (ICs) or chips, are components with more electrical conductivity than insulators, but less electrical conductivity than conductors, as measured by the potential activity of charged electrons. They are ubiquitous in our society: anything with an ON/OFF switch contains an integrated circuit. Metalloid elements such as the abundant silicon (Si) are used as the chips’ substrate. When manufactured, impurities are deliberately added (a process called “doping”) to alter the conductivity characteristics, making them more suitable as electronic-device components. Common dopants are arsenic or boron, each with a different quantity of outer electrons that create positive or negative charges and electron “holes.” In a move away from electronic technologies such as vacuum tubes and crystal diodes in 1958, semiconductor components have allowed companies

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  5. Cleanroom Maintenance: One Step at a Time

    Cleanroom Maintenance: One Step at a Time

    Cleanrooms are used to perform clean processes, so it’s counterintuitive to think of maintenance and repair activities inside a controlled environment. Yet, they are very necessary and performed quite often. Protocol for crews working inside a cleanroom is different than the typical office space: personnel must gown and adhere to strict clean processes, just like lab technicians. The equipment crews bring into the cleanroom must also be compatible with the required ISO rating. Slow, careful movements and meticulous control over dust and other contaminants are critical to prevent complete shut-down and time-consuming recertification of the room.

     
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  6. IsoDry®: The Greatest in Desiccator Design

    IsoDry®: The Greatest in Desiccator Design

    IsoDry desiccator cabinets are the latest, patent-pending innovation in desiccators from Terra Universal. Desiccators are containers designed to reduce relative humidity (RH) for moisture-sensitive stored items, either by purging the container consistently with nitrogen, using silica gel desiccants or pulling vacuum. The IsoDry desiccators use nitrogen to accomplish this task, both in achieving and maintaining a humidity “set-point.”

     

    How do IsoDry Desiccators Work?

    Terra’s desiccator cabinets rely on a basic tenet of natural physics: buoyancy. Buoyancy is a function of density and mass between at least one fluid and another material. In our applications, it relies specifically on the fact that purified nitrogen is less dense than atmospheric air. Pumping nitrogen into an enclosed environment pressurizes both the air and the nitrogen, and the difference in densities causes the nitrogen t

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  7. Fast, Space-Saving Pass-Throughs for Large Equipment

    Fast, Space-Saving Pass-Throughs for Large Equipment

    Pass-through chambers streamline workflow by giving personnel a fast, efficient way to transfer objects into, and out of, spaces with different ISO ratings. Facilities save man-hours and expense by avoiding time-consuming gowning. How else can pass-through chambers help the lab’s bottom line?

     

    High-speed roll-up cleanroom doors for fast, clean transfer of personnel and large equipment (using pallet jacks, hand trucks or casters for mobility) are already available from Terra Universal. New from the leader in modular cleanrooms, however, is the same space-saving door configured as a pass-through chamber. A touch-screen control panel allows automatic push-button opening and closing of roll-up doors on either side. Transfer of large or unwieldy equipment or supplies in and out of the cleanroom becomes faster and easier.

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  8. Pass-Through Chambers for short- and long-term savings

    Pass-Through Chambers for short- and long-term savings

    Transferring items into and out-out rooms is something we all take for granted. It’s easy to pick up a folder and deliver it to an office down the hall, or load up a cart with paperclips and staples destined for the supply cabinet. Once you work in a cleanroom, however, this simple task turns into a “process.” Strict requirements govern the steps that personnel take for otherwise simple actions.

     

    Think about moving a cryobox or tube rack into an ISO-rated cleanroom from an “unclassified” space that only requires you to wear a lab coat. You read the SOP, and know that you need to get to the gowning room and follow the time-consuming steps of removing jewelry, cleaning shoes, washing hands, garbing up, applying a face mask, covering your hair and walking through an air shower.  How much time did that take, and what work would you have been doing otherwise?

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  9. What you need to know about USP Compounding Cleanrooms

    What you need to know about USP Compounding Cleanrooms

    Pharmacy compounders have a lot of factors to consider when making the decision to go into the business of mixing individual prescriptions, particularly those considered “hazardous.” It can be a lucrative operation, but one which is closely overseen. For good reason, though: mistakes in the recent past have taught us that sloppy procedures, partly resulting from a lack of regulations, can have deadly consequences.

    Once you’ve make the commitment to move forward with your compounding pharmacy business model, you have to understand your responsibilities (and the associated costs) regarding equipment and furnishings. What used to be true for minimum “engineering controls” is no longer good enough, and regulators will make sure that pharmacies comply.

     Click here for more USP resources. Find out what is required, base

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  10. BioSafe’s Extreme-Clean Glass Room

    BioSafe’s Extreme-Clean Glass Room

    Particles, particles everywhere! What is a lab to do? Sources of these contaminating specks are many: equipment, room materials, unfiltered air, bacteria and mold, clothing, and (the biggest culprit of all) people. Facilities make heroic efforts to keep the adulterants at bay, but some amount of contaminants will find their way into the controlled space.

     

    Until processes become fully automated, personnel will still need to step into cleanrooms to perform application-specific tasks and service equipment. Best practices guide these workers, but it’s impossible to contain every particle that’s just begging to float around the room or land on surfaces.

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