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Innovative Downflow Booth Design

22 November 2013


Howorth Air Technology recently supplied four downflow booths to a global pharmaceutical company. Teams from both Howorth and the client worked closely throughout the project to ensure the unique and specific requirements were met, and superior quality of manufacture and containment levels maintained.

Howorth’s containment equipment is known for its bespoke, innovative design. Each of the four booths supplied had a different design classification, making it suited to handling a specific pharmaceutical product. One of the booths features the Howorth 5D containment shield or screen, which gives an additional level of containment and operator protection without the need for a glovebox isolator. A key advantage of the 5D shield is its ergonomic advantage for the operator over a restrictive fixed height glovebox, as found in an isolator booth. A booth with one of these screens can provide virtually the same levels of containment as an isolator, but the operator can walk around the whole booth and move freely, whereas an isolator has fixed dimensions and is designed around one particular product process, with no flexibility to change processes or product lines. Howorth’s 5D shield is a cost effective and manageable way of dispensing, and perfectly suited the client’s requirements.

Downflow booth with high containment screenThe facility and the booths have been future-proofed by the incorporation of high containment screen tracks into the fabrication of each of the three booths that currently do not have a 5D shield, so a shield can be retrofitted should the booths have a change of purpose.

The client wanted the booths to offer maximum flexibility of process and comfort for the operator. To facilitate this, Howorth installed drum lifters, capable of lifting 50kg drums, into each booth. Movement of the drums is assisted, allowing operators to manoeuvre the drums easily into position, with the controls integrated neatly into the booth control panel.

The installation is also highly energy efficient: Howorth incorporated Passive Infra Red (PIR) sensors within the operating area, auto-running the booth when personnel are detected. To save energy, the system automatically shuts down after a set period of time of not detecting anyone working in the booth.

Installation of downflow boothHoworth worked alongside all other contractors and building works, supervising a team of engineers installing the booths. To keep the project moving, the working day had to be very flexible, with the project manager changing tasks and moving from room to room as different areas were shut down and others made available.