Over a cup of coffee a few months back with Kevina O’Donoghue, our tutor on “Contamination Control”, the idea of starting up a Cleanroom Network was raised (nothing like caffeine to trigger the creative buds).
We spent the next few weeks talking to companies with Cleanrooms and to people who work in Cleanrooms, to see if there was any interest in getting together on a quarterly basis to discuss and share “all things relevant to Cleanrooms”. The response was fantastic and so we bravely booked a room for the 30th June in the Radisson hotel Athlone for 25 people. This was then changed to 35, then 40, then 46, then 55 and so much to our delight our first network meeting kicked off with 58 people in attendance, coming from Pharmaceutical and Medical device companies (both large and small), hospitals, test labs and cleanroom supply companies.
The audience was wide and varied but all had cleanrooms in common.
As it was our first meeting we had an agenda set to get the ball rolling so this included a presentation by Adrian Fuery, MD of Zimmer on the “Challenges faced during the initial set-up of a cleanroom”, followed by Johnny Curran from Cleanzone Technology who spoke about “Cleanroom classification and certification preparation”.
After lunch and some essential networking, Kevina spoke for an hour on “Audit findings and preventative action in relation to contamination control” and this sparked some very interesting discussions and many different points of view. For example “is a wedding ring considered a piece of jewellery in a cleanroom?” and “should false tan be allowed in a cleanroom environment?”. For a group that had only come together for the first time, the interaction and willingness to participate in discussions and share information was fantastic.
We spent the last hour chatting in groups, identifying the priority topics people wanted covered in the next and subsequent network meetings and much to my surprise, even managed to get nine willing volunteers to lead the discussions at our 2nd Cleanroom Network meeting on 17th September.
Overall it was a great day and a great success and proves there’s a lot to be said for drinking coffee!!!