Which Particle Counter?

Climet offers a large variety of particle counters, each differentiated by flow rate, and other features.

With the initial release of ISO 14644-1 in 1999, and with the importance of 5 µm particles to routine monitoring in the Life Science industry, cubic meter sampling became a requirement for ISO Class 5 (GMP A) environments in both FDA and GMP regulated cleanrooms.

At 1 CFM (28.3 LPM), it takes 35.3 minutes to sample a cubic meter, which may be a significant demand on human resources. Climet pioneered higher flow rates in response to this problem, being the first to introduce instruments with 50 LPM,  then 75 LPM, and ultimately 100 LPM flow rates.

The first consideration one should make is - What is the optimal flow rate for my sample area?

Generally, in ISO Class 7-8 areas (PIC/S or GMP Grade C and D), routine monitoring will require a sample volume of at least 2 liters, and a minimum sample time of at least a 1 minute. Sequential routine monitoring in these areas with a 1 CFM particle counter will take 2.5 minutes, and a 50 LPM particle counter will take 1 minute. 

For ISO Class 5 or 6 areas (PIC/S or GMP Grade A and B), if 5 µm is a size of interest, AND if your risk assessment allows for sequential monitoring, then a high flow rate particle counter is generally recommended. In these areas, a 75 LPM particle counter will take 13.3 minutes to sample a cubic meter, and a 100 LPM particle counter will take 10 minutes to compete a full cubic meter sample.

In the Life Science industry, Grade A zones are generally routinely monitored continuously, and we would therefore recommend one of our CI-3100 models with a facility monitoring solution.

Higher flow rates are generally accompanied by a nominally higher price, which is usually more than offset by the reduction in labor expenses due to less time spent sampling. Therefore, a contributing factor for determining the appropriate flow rate may be the size of your production facility and number of sample points.

The next consideration is -  What type of data interface do I need?

Climet offers a variety of data interfaces from Serial Data, 4-20 mA, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi. Our portable particle counters also have a built-in printer. We would be happy to discuss your options, and to answer any further questions.  Please, contact us!