Innovation honoured in Fraunhofer IPA 'Clean' awards

The winners presented their technologies to the forum at the parts2clean exhibition in Stuttgart

The CLEAN awards winners honoured in Stuttgart. Picture credit Fraunhofer IPA

Fraunhofer IPA has awarded this year's cleanliness technology prize 'CLEAN' to an innovative particle-cleaning system with an integrated photodynamic process for disinfecting cleanroom clothing, and a cleanliness measuring system that uses vacuum-induced desorption to detect film-based contamination on surfaces.

This year's judges were Dr Udo Gommel, Fraunhofer IPA, Dipl.-Phys. Thomas Wollstein, VDI e.V., Dr Lothar Gail, GMP Reinraumtechnik, Dr Gerhard Kminek, European Space Agency and Prof. Arnold Brunner, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.

The first prize went to dastex Reinraumzubehör for its technology which disinfects cleanroom clothing by means of light.

The system is particularly useful in manufacturing and research areas where biological contamination plays a major role. The judges thought the concept of using light to induce a fabric dye to produce oxygen at the point of use, i.e. in the immediate vicinity of micro-organisms, was highly promising.

Cleanroom clothing specialist dastex collaborated closely with the dye manufacturer M. Dohmen, the equipment manufacturer Ortner Reinraumtechnik and researchers from the Technical University of Graz and RCPE Graz to develop a ready-to-use product capable of withstanding the rough conditions of everyday industry.

Contamination control expert, Prof. Arnold Brunner from Lucerne University said: 'The co-operation has implemented a sustainable technology to create an innovative clothing system suitable for industrial use, which is capable of controlling germs on the surface of textiles'.

The second prize went to VACOM Vakuum Komponenten & Messtechnik GmbH for VIDAM – a new in-house cleanliness measuring system.

In many industries, knowledge of component cleanliness is essential to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of cleaning processes. VIDAM detects film-based contamination on the entire surface of components. The spectral measuring technique not only clearly identifies contamination on surfaces but also classifies its cause.

VIDAM supplies absolute, quantitative measurement which enables manufacturing and cleaning processes to be optimised to guarantee adequate component cleanliness.

Dr Lothar Gail, judge and author of the VDI book Reinraumtechnik, said: 'The measurement of airborne particles by means of scattered light has significantly contributed towards the advance of modern cleanroom technology. Up until now, there have been no comparable standards for film-based contaminants, a form of contamination which is highly relevant in this field of industry. The stricter the cleanliness requirements, the higher the number of possible disruptive interactions exist due to contamination. The VIDAM process can therefore be considered as an important step that covers a broad spectrum of contamination control requirements, from troubleshooting right through to the inspection of incoming materials.'

Fraunhofer IPA is Europe’s largest application-oriented research organisation and while in the past the award has focused on the DACH region, it now addresses the entire European cleanliness technology market.

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