Is a cleanroom packaging necessary?

Robert Verboven
Account Manager
More articles by Robert Verboven

Cleanroom-proof or standard packaging?

Your customer processes the components you supply in a cleanroom. Is it therefore necessary for the packaging in which you deliver products to be cleanroom-proof? Or will standard packaging suffice?

In the chart below, we have clearly set out the decision factors. The most important question to ask your customer is: does the packaging go into the cleanroom? If the product is removed from the packaging before it enters the cleanroom, the packaging obviously does not need to comply with cleanroom standards.

Does the packaging go into the cleanroom


Insight in your customer's process

The above probably sounds quite logical, but it still happens that the assumption is made that a packaging must be cleanroom-proof, while this may not be necessary in practice. This is a pity, because then you have a special (and expensive) package developed unnecessarily, while a standard package is sufficient. On the other hand, it can also happen that you don’t think about this at all and then it turns out that your packaging does not meet your customer’s requirements.

Understanding the steps of your customer’s production or assembly process is therefore essential when drawing up a set of requirements as a basis for the final packaging design.

Scenario 1: the packaging does enter the cleanroom

When you are certain that the packaging will enter the cleanroom, the next question is: “What requirements must the packaging meet? If your customer processes or assembles products in a cleanroom, then certain parameters have undoubtedly been determined regarding the requirements a product must meet and how ‘clean’ it must be.

What exactly are the parameters and does the ISO-5 or -7 standard apply? Do you lack this crucial information or can you use help in interpreting and concretising the set of requirements? At Faes we know everything about cleanroom packaging.

Our packaging experts ask the right questions and think proactively with you about smart, efficient and effective packaging solutions.

Involve a packaging expert early on in the logistics process or in the development of your product. If you only start thinking about the packaging when the delivery date is near, it will cause a lot of stress, but you also risk loss of quality, reduced delivery performance and higher costs.

Robert Verboven | Account Manager at Faes

What makes a packaging suitable or onsuitable for the cleanroom?

Many standard packaging materials are absolutely unsuitable for use in cleanrooms. Examples include:

  • Packaging with seams and edges where contamination (dirt or dust particles) can easily occur;
  • Packaging components made of, for example, silicones, evaporating plastics, certain greases (lubricants), non-anodised aluminium and ferrous metals;
  • Materials with open structures or pores, so that dust cannot build up in there;
  • Packaging material made of wood, cardboard or paper, containing fibres.

Standardisation and classification

The ISO standard is the basis for the classification and specification of cleanroom standards. In the branches where Faes is active, the ISO-5 and ISO-7 standards are the most common. The classification and standardisation describe the maximum number of particles and other contaminants that may be present per defined surface area, for example per cubic decimetre. For suppliers to ASML, the ‘grade 4’ and ‘grade 2’ standards, among others, are important to keep in mind when making a request. It is also important to ask about these grades when supplying to one of ASML’s partners. For although they overlap with the ISO standards, ASML’s standards stand on their own.

Do you want to know exactly which standards apply to your company or your customer? In this whitepaper, we have listed various technical data, specifications, classifications and ISO standardisation requirements relating to clean packaging for you.

Scenario 2: the packaging does not enter the cleanroom

If the packaging does not have to be cleanroom-proof, that does not mean that there are no other possibilities to optimise your packaging and packaging process. There certainly are. For example, have you thought about delivering your products in reusable packaging? When you regularly deliver the same components to your customer, multi-use (return) packaging is an efficient and sustainable packaging solution. You can calculate exactly how many return shipments will make the investment worthwhile and, at the same time, how much packaging waste you will save.

Do you find this interesting? Then also read the blog of fellow packaging expert Corné about how sustainable packaging helps improve your performance.

Want to know more about cleanroom-proof packaging?

We have a clear and informative white paper available for you that covers all you need to know about cleanroom-proof packaging. If you would like to read it, you can download it via the form below.

Do you have another packaging question where you could use the expertise of a packaging expert? Ask your question via email or phone and one of our Packaging People will be happy to help you out.

Download the cleanroom white paper

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    LD45 foam is the type of foam that is currently most often used in cleanrooms. For example in the mechatronics industry, because the dense cell structure ensures that dust particles penetrate the foam less quickly.
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    Aluminium boxes are light, strong and able to withstand the most demanding conditions and environments, such as cold, heat, moisture and dust.
    Sturdy, stackable, durable. Faes flightcases are a safe and durable choice regardless of the shape, type or weight of your parts or products.

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