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Suresh Babu

By introducing appropriate matting solutions at the correct locations, pharma facilities can significantly decrease the quantum of dirt entering their premises and reduce the load on the housekeeping team, says Suresh Babu, Technical Manager, 3M India CSD.

The pharma facility is governed by a higher standard of housekeeping, compared to any other industry like OEM, commercial or retail facilities. Avoiding any type of contaminants and restricting dirt from entering the pharma facility is one of the topmost requirements of the pharma facility management team.

Entrance matting

For pharma facilities, we recommend the best quality entrance matting system that traps dirt/dust from entering the premises. 3M’s Nomad™ Three-Way matting system is the best-suited entrance matting for any pharma facility to scrub and trap upto 98% of dirt and contaminants entering the facility.

Battling fatigue

Pharma industry employees working in manufacturing, processing, labs, filling/packaging line etc. often face fatigue and pain due to long working hours on hard floors, which may affect and reduce their productivity and concentration. We recommend Anti-Fatigue mats to improve productivity and provide comfort to personnel facing such fatigue. They are scientifically proven to reduce fatigue up to 66%.

Cleanroom matting

Cleanroom facilities in pharma manufacturing units need to follow ISO standards. These range from class A, B, C or D or 1 to 9. Each class has a limitation on particulate matter (PM), along with other parameters. Efficient matting plays a vital role in controlling PM. Apart from the 3M three-way matting system, we recommend additional Clean-Walk unframed Mats. These mats have a multi-sheeted adhesive system that removes dirt and contaminants from shoe soles, wheels, and other passing objects on contact. A thin adhesive-coated sheet is securely topped by 30 or 60 removable adhesive polyethylene sheets that lock directly in place until discarded. This system provides optimum dust control for cleanroom applications.

Make sure sticky mats do not leave or transfer their adhesive to the bottom of footwear; this will cause a cascading effect.

Other considerations

Apart from the above requirements, one must also consider the fire rating of the product as per EN or BIS standards for facilities, slip resistance certificates as per standards, service life, cleaning SOPs, service and expert support from the supplier, LEED credits points. In addition, it is recommended that the matting must be free from hazardous heavy metals as per REACH guidelines; controlling VOC emissions is critical for indoor air quality. Some products also provide antimicrobial performance as per ASTM G21 norm etc.

Apart from entrances, matting should also be considered for areas such as washrooms, hand wash areas, canteen, etc. to reduce cross-contamination.

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