Cleanroom panel & coating repairs

Expensive rebuild, or QUICK REPAIR

Accidental damage to wall & ceiling clean room cladding panels does not always mean expensive replacement

Pharmaceutical facilities have to meet strict requirements regarding maintenance of cladding panels and doors in a cleanroom environment. But even the best maintained site can suffer cladding panel damage, caused by personnel working in a specific area or the constant moving and relocation of plant and machinery.

With the current unstable world economy, companies are constantly monitoring and reviewing their maintenance budgets. The availability of a quick and cost-effective back-up solution to damaged panels is critical in preventing costly downtime.

It is a problem that faced the Centocor Biological Project being built in Cork, Ireland. Construction damage had occurred throughout the facilities, both during the installation of the panels and the commissioning of the cleanrooms.

A decision was taken early on to repair all damaged cleanroom cladding in situ rather than replacing them to prevent delays to the overall contract building programme and to keep costs down. IPRS was able to offer a cost-effective alternative to replacing damaged panels without compromising quality, durability or cleanroom efficiency.

IPRS has carried out repairs and applied coating systems during construction stage of cleanroom facilities and even during live production in some of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical and technology facilities. The company carries out in situ repairs to all coated metal cleanroom ceiling and wall sandwich cladding panels and applies specialised coating systems to damaged areas to avoid creating a habitat that could support a spore outbreak because it cannot be not properly sanitised or sterilised.

Depending on the extent of the damage, IPRS can achieve approximately 20 – 30 panel repairs in one shift using a two-man crew. This equates to approximately a quarter of the cost of replacement, and at Centocor, programme handover dates were critical so at times there were four crews on site.

IPRS designs, supplies and installs special coating programmes specifically tailored to individual client’s requirements for controlled environments. Before any project commences, it is considered and planned in detail to ensure the appropriate method statements and risk assessments are in place.

Technical backup expertise is provided by the company’s specialist coatings suppliers, and independent coatings specialist consultants who can measure the environmental performance and efficiency requirements for coatings used in the cleanroom environment.

All IPRS technical staff are fully trained to assess each project, taking into account the following product criteria:

  • provision of VOC compliance.
  • prevention of odour while working under live production conditions through choice of solvent-based or water-based product.
  • provision of an easy-clean surface with high scratch resistance and that covers defects.
  • provision of good wash resistance with a long life expectancy and a product that can be cleaned with high pressure.
  • provision of chemical resistance against cleaners, disinfectants or sterilising agents based on the client’s cleaning methodology.
  • provision of an elastic product for good impact resistance.
  • provision of food-safe and pharmaceutical sector-approved products.
  • provision of products to prevent growth of fungi and bacteria.

The products that IPRS supplies and installs can range from low-VOC compliant solvent-based materials to isocyannate-free and water-based paints. The company also looks to conduct its operations in an environmentally sound manner, thus reducing its carbon footprint.


To achieve this, in the past year IPRS has invested and carried out extensive research with its suppliers Jotun Worldwide, Inter-national Paints, Akzo Nobel and PPG Industries, into new paint technologies such as water-bourne products, to enable it to offer an even more professional and environmentally-friendly service.

The company can even carry out repair work while the facility is in operation. For example, it was recently asked to help with the refurbishment of cleanroom panels during live production at the Gilead Sciences plant in Cork, Ireland.

In this case, damage had been caused during production. A decision was taken to repair all damaged cleanroom cladding in situ, thus preventing the closure of the cleanrooms and preventing a substantial cost for downtime and loss of production.

The quotation for Gilead Sciences was accompanied by an IPRS Safety Statement, a method statement and a risk assessment.

IPRS carried out repair works on both external facade panels and internal cleanroom panels at Gilead and was able to offer a cost-effective alternative to replacing damaged panels by using water-based products, specialised extraction and sterile equipment, without compromising quality, durability or cleanroom efficiency. The company also provides a follow-up service, including personal visits by the contracts manager to assess the completed works.

Cleanrooms consist of specialised materials, chemicals, equipment and protocols unique to each facility. As the front-line defence in protecting the customer’s investment, this requires:

  • all IPRS staff to be fully trained in the entry and exit procedures in a live environment.
  • all equipment used by IPRS personnel to be application-specific.
  • a well-designed cleaning methodology, a verification programme and a commitment to ensure that cleanroom maintenance demands are met.
  • the exclusion of any material, substance, particle, chemical or other undesirable substance that can taint, pollute, defile, make impure or unclean, or adversely affect the process or product.
  • the highest priority from IPRS staff when working in a live cleanroom environment.
  • Contamination can take many forms. For this reason, IPRS has a full-time research department working in conjunction with its suppliers to minimise the chances of contamination from its products being introduced into the cleanroom environment.

Damaged areas can support spore growth if not repaired

A full and more detailed copy of our site specific method statements and risk assessments are available on request.