Products and services company Ecolab has opened a purpose-built manufacturing facility in the UK.
The company, headquartered in the USA, provides cleaning, sanitising, food safety and infection prevention products and services for the healthcare and other markets.
The new plant, at Baglan Energy Park, near Swansea, south Wales, is four times the size of the former production facility, bringing it to 50,000sq ft with a 16,000sq ft production area.
Susan Nestegard, Ecolab’s senior vice-president and chief technical officer, said the move was a major step in the company’s development.
The facility is part of Ecolab’s Centre of Excellence for Contamination Control ï¿½ Shield Medicare, which supplies specialist contamination control products to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, healthcare and medical device industries internationally.
It specialises in pharmaceutical and medical cleanrooms, whose needs are often very different from those of electronics cleanrooms.
Ms Nestegard said the site housed some of the most innovative technology in the industry, including state-of-the-art cleanrooms and laboratories.
This meant the company could carry out large-volume production and single-batch supply to major pharmaceutical companies, and could devote more resources to research and development.
The plant has five Grade B and C cleanrooms with laminar airflow at point of fill.
The cleanroom design incorporates new features aimed at minimising contamination risk from people traffic and airflow during the production process, including interlocking hatches, talk-through panels and intercom systems.
Ms Nestegard said even changing areas and preparation rooms had a high specification and used different coloured flooring to identify “clean” and “dirty” areas.
She said an additional risk-reduction measure was an innovative sprinkler-system design that made it easy to clean cleanroom ceilings, and crash-through fire doors that were fully sealed.