Compressed air is used extensively throughout all sectors of industry. However, in certain applications such as the pharmaceutical industry, it is crucial that the compressed air supplied is completely free of contaminants such as oil vapour, moisture and particulates. In particular, contaminant-free air is a requirement for the air supply to “clean rooms” used in pharmaceutical manufacturing where exceptionally stringent hygiene regulations apply.

RAND AIRmarch2019Oil freecompressorZT315VSD

Clean rooms require large volumes of air, usually at a controlled temperature and humidity. This means that in most facilities, the clean room’s Air Handling Units (AHUs) consume over 60% of all the site power, says Rand-Air's Fleet Manager Craig Swart.

As a general rule of thumb, the cleaner the clean room needs to be, the more air the AHU will need to use. To reduce the expense of modifying the ambient temperature or humidity, AHUs are designed to recirculate (if product characteristics permit) about 80% air through the room, removing particulate contamination as is it generated, while simultaneously keeping the temperature and humidity stable.

“Pharmaceutical manufacturers need to protect their hard-won reputations by adhering to guidelines such as those outlined in international codes International Standard ISO 14644, Cleanrooms and controlled environments-Part 1: Classification of air cleanliness, and Part 2: Specifications for testing and monitoring to prove continued compliance with ISO 14644-1,” says Swart.

“To achieve compliance, these manufacturers need to employ the latest technology, such as certified Class 0 oil-free compressors. These will ensure their processing systems remain contaminant-free at all times, as only Class 0 oil-free compressors can guarantee total air purity in pharmaceutical processing.”

Class 0 is a more stringent standard, where the total oil content is measured in aerosols and liquids as well as vapours by the internationally recognised TUV organisation. The TUV Class 0 certification according to the ISO 8573-1 standard reflects the ever-increasing need for quality air for manufacturing processes and end-products, Swart says.

“At Rand-Air, we have a range of oil-free compressors to suit most applications and requirements. A Class 0 oil-free compressor from Rand-Air is ideal for the pharmaceutical industry, and for all clean room-applications,” adds Rand-Air’s Sales Manager Kim Coetzee.

Rand-Air sources its oil free compressors from Atlas Copco, which put these units through the most rigorous tests available; and which is now the first manufacturer to receive Class 0 Certification for all its oil-free products.


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