Is Your Cleanroom Tablet Really a Cleanroom Unit? – IP65 Does Not Mean Cleanroom Ready
September 9, 2020
By: Erik Hasty, Sales Manager at Grantek
Tablet computers provide a great opportunity for manufacturers to allow their operators flexibility as they conduct operations. These vital tools allow for paperless operations and help with accuracy in compliance. They also help uniform company and scientific processes across all production shifts and sites of a manufacturer.
The value of mobile, lightweight, and handheld tablet computers can be even more powerful for pharmaceutical manufacturers. However, when pharmaceutical and life sciences manufacturers are producing products in a cleanroom environment there are unique and challenging requirements that must be considered before any piece of equipment can be introduced into the production area. Finding a balance between the mobile and ergonomic benefits of a tablet and meeting the needed standards is something many of Grantek’s pharmaceutical clients are challenged with.
There are tablets on the market that are designed to be durable in work environments outside of a traditional office. However, many of the design features on these tables focus on the physical durability of the tablet, while not considering the regulatory requirements of a cleanroom environment. In fact, many tablets marketed as durable achieve their durability by employing rubber or plastic encapsulation. While a rubber outer shell can help prevent damage to a tablet on a construction site or the plant floor of a traditional manufacturer, that outer shell is rarely IP65 rated. This lack of cleanroom compliance creates a regulatory vulnerability if such a tablet is brought into a cleanroom environment.
Many Grantek clients are faced with just this challenge, they need a tablet with durability but not at the risk of voiding the integrity of their cleanroom production environment. Grantek pharmaceutical clients also mention tablets designed for use on a construction site lack reliable track pads, high quality screens and have low battery life. These things are very important during cleanroom production. Without high quality features, operator production may suffer. This concern along with the regulatory concerns mentioned earlier make typical durable tablets unacceptable for a cleanroom production environment.
Systec & Solutions offers a tablet solution that meets the challenging and harsh environments in Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences facilities that require regulatory and design requirements such as 21CFR Part 11, GMP, Cleanroom and IP65 to be met. This cleanroom hardware, including the tablet, is encapsulated in stainless steel, allowing for the hardware to be cleaned without leaving the microbial spores, bacteria and viruses that cling to plastic or rubber encapsulated hardware. This cleanability ensures that compliance and safety can be easily achieved, while also improving productivity as Systec & Solutions hardware can be cleaned then used again in another cleanroom suite or production shift with limited downtime for cleaning.
The IP65 rating of all enclosures on Systec & Solutions hardware, including the tablet, means the hardware is IP rated as “dust tight” and protected against water projected from a nozzle. IP65 ensures these solutions are cleanroom suitable and help speed up the cleaning process. Systec & Solutions tablets are purpose built and designed for easy cleaning, with only two external connections, one to charge the tablet, one for USB connectivity.
Grantek is the exclusive North American distributor for Systec & Solutions products. Systec & Solutions offers several cleanroom compatible configurations of GMP-IT hardware, including tablets. All Systec & Solutions products are specifically developed for long-term operation in special production environments, ideally suited to applications such as workstations for MES software, process control systems and ERP software, room status displays and the presentation of OEE monitoring.