Operators and production support workers working in Murata’s production work in clean rooms that resemble laboratories. You cannot find cleaner work than Murata’s production! But why does the work have to be so clean, and what do the cleanliness requirements require from work uniforms, for example?
Safety-critical products require special manufacturing conditions
The sensors manufactured at Murata end up in a wide range of applications that improve people’s quality of life. Our sensors are widely used in such applications as pacemakers, car safety systems and increasingly also in autonomous driving applications.
Because our products are utilized in safety-critical applications, the quality requirements set for the production are also high. And the high-quality functioning of the production requires special manufacturing conditions. A clean room ensures that the tiny, high-precision MEMS sensors we manufacture have the best possible protection against, for example, dirt and dust that would damage the products if they came into contact with them.
Clean rooms, as the name implies, are particularly clean rooms with a greater air pressure than the areas around the clean room. Clean rooms control the formation of particles in the air and their access to the clean room. The Finnish unit of Murata has four classes of clean rooms in use: ISO 4, ISO 5, ISO 6 and ISO 8, with ISO 4 being the cleanest.
Work uniforms and operation of workers in a clean room
Did you know that the biggest source of particles in a clean room is the people who work there? This is why the minimization of particles places certain requirements for work uniforms as well, and therefore people wear special protective equipment in clean rooms.
Workers protect their face and hair with e.g. face masks, goggles and hair caps. The work uniform also includes a clean room coverall that protects the entire body, as well as special clean room shoes that are buttoned onto the leg of the coverall. Finally, the hands are protected with nitrile gloves before going in the clean room. In this way, the number of particles released by people in production can be minimized. The picture shows a typical clean room work uniform.
The number of particles is also minimized by other means. For example, make-up and pencils are not allowed in clean rooms, and no cardboard may be taken there. When working in a clean room, moving calmly is also important, as it is one more way to reduce the particles generated in the room. Workers are also not allowed to take personal belongings, such as their own mobile phones, to the clean room area, as particles spread by them would also pose a risk to the products.
Thus, it is difficult to imagine a workplace cleaner than a clean room. These special conditions produce those high-quality sensors that keep cars on the road and hearts pumping.
Niko Kuusisto, operator competence instructor