Client: IPSEN, Slough
Project: New terminal hood design to incorporate DOP probe scanning solution
Date: Q4 2015
Astra was recently chosen to design and manufacture a new terminal hood to incorporate a specific scanning probe system for the validation process. Working closely with the Austin Company UK and DOP Solutions CA, we successfully met all of IPSEN’s requirements for their new research and development facility in Slough.
This particular project required Astra to design a new type of extract terminal hood to accommodate the scanning of the HEPA filters from a side access, gland in-set. The reasoning behind this design was the clients limited access to the ceiling void, creating a complication for rear access validation checks. The room itself is a containment room, meaning the air is extracted out of the room and filtered to allow for non-contaminating air release. This process needs to be regularly validated with DOP/PAO testing to minimise any undetected risks of pollution from the potentially hazardous room contents.
This is typically a quick process that tests the integrity of the HEPA filter using DOP (Dispensed Oil Particulate) solutions in their operational conditions. These solutions generate a gas type smoke which then produces gas particles no greater than 0.5 microns. This test will certify that the HEPA filter within the terminal hood is fully functioning and not leaking or damaged. This is essential to the workings of a cleanroom because any equipment that requires a HEPA filter should be tested every four weeks.
DOP solutions CA who specialise in DOP/PAO testing, designed a probing solution called L Probe, specifically for situations when access to the ceiling void is difficult and the filters inaccessible for testing. It is positioned into the downstream (clean side) of the Astra filter housing through a specifically designed side access, sealed through a glanded port and guided manually across the filter.
In order for the L Probe to carry out effective validation checks without contamination, Astra had to design a re-sealable gland in-set to the dimensions of the probe. The L Probe is not intended to be a permanent installation to form part of the terminal hood, it is a detachable probe, meaning the access point needs to be re-sealed by a stainless steel sealing cap after use. Similarly, a gland cap must also be fixed onto the probe so when inserted into the terminal hood it is sealed during validation testing.
Taking our time to fully understand the client’s needs and working closely with experts in DOP testing, Astra designed and manufactured a bespoke filtration unit for IPSEN, that effectively incorporated the L Probe and provided them with ease of access for their regular validation checks.