Importance of Airflow in a Pharmaceutical Facility.
The pharmaceutical facility is a high-maintenance facility to operate. This is due to the delicate nature of the drug products being stored and handled within the facility. Operators want to maintain the quality and shelf life of the materials in the building. In some worst case scenarios, poor temperature control can lead medications to succumb to potency losses, oxidative degradation, de-sterilization and irreversible destabilization. Here’s a few ways you can prevent this with better airflow and temperature control.
What Does Humidity Do to a Pharmaceutical Facility?
Inconsistent moisture contents in tablets and capsules
Compromises to a product’s potency and effectiveness
Crumbling and disfigurement, which could clog machinery
Particle agglomeration, or sticking
Control Over Heating and Cooling.
First and foremost, your pharmaceutical facility should have a high functioning HVAC in place. This should include heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), all of which are integral components of pharmaceutical facility functionality. The system is needed for maintenance of a suitable temperature, for continuous flow of air, which prevents cross‑contamination and accumulation of air.
Temperature and ventilation ultimately influences the standard of the various drug products being stored or handled in the facility. Air conditioning not only cools the air but also deals with humidity, supply of outside air for ventilation, filtration of airborne particles, and air movement in the occupied space.
Air Movement in Occupied Space.
Although air conditioning can support air flow, a pharmaceutical facility must maintain drug products and therefore, should take extra measures to ensure effective air movement. Using an HVLS fan is an intelligent and economically sound way to maximize the usage and flow of cool air.
In air-conditioned facilities, the breeze from an HVLS fan typically allows for an increase of up to 5 degrees Fahrenheit in the HVAC thermostat setting. Since electricity costs are reduced approximately 4 per cent with each degree the setting is raised, in warm-weather climates, annual costs can be cut by 20 per cent.
HVLS fans are not restricted to humid or heated conditions. During the winter months, HVLS fans move warm air from the ceiling back toward employees at the floor level, destratify the layers of heated air that otherwise would have accumulated and mitigated the rising heat effect. This air destratification reduces energy consumption and cost while increasing comfort for workers and for the drug materials being handled or stored.
Climate Control with Curtain Walls.
Insulated fabric curtain walls are becoming increasingly popular in pharmaceutical facilities. These curtains are easy to install and can be moved or re-configured with any potential changes made to the layout of the facility.
Many curtain walls are built to be sanitary and can be easily washed down to ensure a clean environment. The DYNACO Slimline Stainless door is an example of a high speed door engineered to provide safe, quiet, and efficient area separation where high cycle operation and sanitation is critical. These curtains reduce unwanted air transfer and easily separate different areas to control temperature.
Convenient Pass Doors with Weatherstripping.
Sliding doors, swinging doors, and overhead doors should all be suited to a pharmaceutical facilities’ needs. Industrial pass doors can be installed with weatherstripping on the face of the door, the edge of the door, and the bottom of the door.
It can be difficult to maintain the integrity of a weatherstrip that is being used every day, however, it’s worthwhile because this is often a source of major drafts. A weatherstrip made from durable material can withstand traffic and is flexible enough to conform to changes in the door caused by fluctuations in humidity and temperature
Another effective way to create a barrier between the inside and outside of the building envelope is with a brush weatherstrip. This brush is positioned at the bottom of the door and allows the door to open and close without wearing down the integrity of the weatherstrip. The brush is designed to be effective with the friction of a consistently opening and closing pass door.
Book a Consultation About Your Pharmaceutical Facility.
Still unsure about the needs of your pharmaceutical facility? Don’t take any chances when it comes to managing high-maintenance drug products. Book a free consultation with a Lenworth representative to discuss air flow and temperature control improvements you can make in your pharmaceutical facility.
As the VP of Sales & Marketing, Spencer is an energetic and company-oriented manager that places an emphasis on continuous organizational improvement. Spencer's acute focus on building a customer-centric business drives his team to consistently go above and beyond customers' expectations. At Lenworth, Spencer places the customer as the focal point of all decisions.
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