A look at custom cleanroom problem-solving and cleanroom trends with Simplex's Christopher Lindlar

By Sophie Bullimore | Published: 18-Jun-2024

Christopher Lindlar, Subzero Engineering’s Simplex Cleanroom Division’s Sales Manager for the East Coast of the US talks through some of his most innovative custom cleanroom problem-solving and cleanroom trends in the region

“Caffeine first,” says Christopher Lindlar

The US-based sales expert for Simplex Cleanroom Division is clear on what starts his day working as a key part of his company’s cleanroom design team.

Back in 2012, Lindlar was brought on board by the previous retiring Northeast Sales Manager.

The exiting manager thought Lindlar would be a “good fit”, and a good fit he was, quickly expanding his responsibility to take on more of the country. Now he is the sales manager for the East Coast of the US and the EU.

[Injection moulders] either require a removable ceiling, a removable wall or a ceiling hatch

Lindlar spends his morning getting the lay of the land with his projects. He then spends his day on a little bit of everything.

Sales, quoting, designing, drafting and some engineering. “When I started, I was only sales,” he explains. “Over the years, as people have left or moved on, I took on more responsibilities to ensure there weren’t issues for my clients.”

Times are changing

In the time that Lindlar has been at Simplex, the company was acquired by one of its suppliers. He explained that that supplier was then sold a few times to other investment holding companies until it was sold to Senecca in 2017.

This was then what led to the work with SubZero. “Senecca then purchased Subzero and started merging manufacturing to cut down on costs and share resources. Since Subzero and Simplex both work with aluminium profiles, we were a good match to join forces.”

It is these enclosures that Lindlar thinks are what makes the company’s product so unique. “They are by far the easiest and quickest assemblies on the market,” he says.

Lindlar has worked in modular buildings for about 20 years. “I have worked at 2 other modular building manufacturers, the second of which was in the cleanroom sector,” he said. “That is what led me to Simplex.”

Even 20 years in though, nothing could have prepared cleanroom providers for the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking about this time, Lindlar says: “We were in a really good spot since there were so many companies trying to race to help find the cure.” 

I built one where they placed a cleanroom on a bridge that would be lifted into the air above a rocket

He explains that as a custom manufacturer, he and his team were innovating new products weekly to try to give clients a solution to their separation, isolation and contamination needs. 

Pandemic or not, growing his client base to grow the company is a point of pride for Lindlar, having been at the company through a lot. “Watching how we continually grow in the cleanroom sector [has been a highlight of my career].

The building sizes that we offer have become very large over the years as more manufacturing arenas are requested to produce in cleaner environments.”

Some things that Lindlar thinks need to change in the industry is to do with gown rooms and the gowning process. “I have been in multiple environments where they think if they’re manufacturing in a cleanroom then the process is fine.

Unfortunately, not realising that without the proper garments, booties, hair and beard nets-they are contaminating the space every time they enter it.”

Who are your clients?

Outside of pandemic trends, Lindlar normally works with injection moulders, pharmacies, medical device manufacturing, assembly and packaging firms, “to name a few,” he says.

For these sectors’ needs, Lindlar has seen a lot and has noticed a trend in some of the common custom cleanroom requirements that they ask for.

“The injection moulders typically need a way to drop in a mould drum or die,” he explains. “They either require a removable ceiling, a removable wall or a ceiling hatch to accommodate this process.”

These are Lindlar’s bread and butter, but his career highlights are a little bit further out of the norm. Out of the stratosphere actually.

Working with some of the space flight companies is a big ask for cleanroom companies, as they are often some of the more unique rooms. But Lindlar finds these projects fascinating. 

Like the injection moulding clients, these are often about fitting specific products and equipment into cleanrooms. This can be a logistical headache, and requires an understanding of not just cleanrooms, but the process.

The East is just a little more demanding on response times and project timelines

“I made one where they placed a cleanroom on a bridge that would be lifted into the air above a rocket,” Lindlar explains. “Then the floor of the bridge would open to allow people to repel into the rocket to clean it during the assembly process.”

“I’ve also been involved with one that was about 22’ tall with multiple levels that had entry at points to allow access to the rocket from the side,” he adds. “I’ve added roof cupolas with access hatches to increase heights in existing cleanroom to allow taller objects inside the room. 

“I have even done a dust control area for a company that was trying to mitigate the airborne particles in their manufacturing environment. The area was about 110’x150’ and 34’ tall. We encapsulated their dust collectors and presses up to the existing ceilings.”

Simplex’s Clear POLYSIM cleanroom curtains were recently used for a James Webb test launch. This a product favoured among the space-focused clients. “I can tell you that the POLYSIM is preferred amongst the space flight companies because of its ESD properties, Class A fire rating and non-outgassing nature,” Lindlar explains.

Generally, Lindlar’s clients come from all over the place. In recent times he is seeing more exploration from companies, trying to evaluate whether the cost will be worth it.

“What I tend to see is when a company is trying to expand into other avenues, they tend to need a cleanroom to be compliant with the new process. We see a lot of applications where customers are evaluating the expense of the room to validate taking on a new venture."


Covering the East Coast of the US, Lindlar has seen a lot of trends in the region. This is a very advanced area, with a lot of incubators and top players in their fields. “All clients want the attention to detail and to know they’re being taken care of. The East is just a little more demanding on response times and project timelines,” Lindlar says.

Speaking about his current projects, Lindlar is extremely positive. “Current projects are good,” he says. "We’ve been extremely busy, and the size of the projects continually is increasing.”

The projects are getting bigger and the company is growing, and for this area, this has been significant. The company announced at the end of 2023, that it was relocating to a new 155,000 sqft facility in Salt Lake City, Utah. “Since we’ve moved we are able to accommodate much bigger scale projects,” Lindlar enthuses.

The new headquarters comprises 95,000 sqft of dedicated manufacturing space

The new headquarters comprises 95,000 sqft of dedicated manufacturing space, 25,000 sqft for shipping, receiving and storage, and a further 35,000 sqft of office space.

Shane Kilfoil, President of Mission Critical Environments, covering both Subzero Engineering and Simplex product lines even said: “We've gone from starting in a garage, to now having a 155,000 sqft facility and seven different production lines. We've also tripled our workforce to help keep up with demand over the past 18 months.”

Lindlar is keen to keep this growth going. “We do a number of tradeshows annually,” he says. “Attendance is always the key to a good show! Getting to discuss customers’ applications with them and generating promising sales leads.”

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