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Pharmaceutical production issues caused by high humidity.

Humidity may not seem like an obvious cause of problems within cleanroom and pharmaceutical facilities. The truth is, poor humidity control is something that could result in production being non-compliant. Many materials and processes are greatly influenced by the relative humidity level, when areas go outside the specified parameters they often result in production processes being less efficient, less predictable, and more prone to producing products that don’t meet specification. 


The common problems

of poor humidity control during production and storage of pharmaceutical products 

  1. Formation of condensed moisture on the surfaces of production equipment (cooling tunnels) and at production facilities

  2. Clumping and sticking together of hygroscopic products during pneumatic transportation

  3. Moisture regain

  4. Adhesion of tablets to each other during coating (which increases volume of waste)

  5. Changes in electrical conductivity

  6. Product drying issues leading to low productivity

  7. Loss of active components (drying at high temperatures)

  8. Development of mildew and bacteria on products, at production and storage facilities

  9. Adhesion of the packaging material to the product

  10. Failures of electronic and electrical systems

  11. Quicker deterioration of bearing constructions of buildings

  12. Poor test equipment accuracy

  13. Increased energy consumption

  14. Corrosion

  15. Reduced refrigeration plant efficiency

  16. Ice build up on DX coils

The advantages

of using desiccant dehumidifiers for humidity control within pharmaceutical environments

  1. High drying efficiency, low energy-consumption level

  2. Efficient, consistent operation at low temperatures

  3. Ease of installation

  4. Compact size and low weight

  5. Possibility to fully automate the process of humidity control

  6. Corrosion-resistant construction (stainless steel, aluminium zinc)

  7. Compliance with all acting directives and quality standards of the EU

Using desiccant dehumidification systems within production and storage facilities will ensure the recommended relative humidity and the necessary airflow conditions are maintained. 

Increased production through accelerated product drying, can also be achieved throughout the production processes.

For example, by controlling the humidity level below 2.2 g/kg (below 20% RH at 18.0°Cdb) during production, coating of tablets or the drying of granulated products, the drying time can be reduced by up to 50%.

The benefits
of installing our desiccant dehumidification systems in your pharmaceutical facility

  • Reduces the volume of production waste. By lowering the moisture content of the air, rather than heating unnecessarily, materials sensitive to high temperatures can be dried to the necessary moisture content, without deterioration and damage; as a result, there are no losses of volatile substances and active ingredients.
  • Prevents products from sticking onto conveyors.
  • Solves problems at pre-packing and packaging.
  • Increased hygiene by the prevention of mould and mildew formation.
  • Reduces idle time, caused by stops in the equipment operation.
  • Maximises the lifespan of finished products.
  • Saves energy.
  • Increases productivity, reduces maintenance costs.
  • Creates the necessary microclimate at production and storage facilities.


The importance of achieving stable humidity control within clean rooms

Within cleanroom facilities, humidity control is a critical yet often overlooked element of the clean room design process. Many processes, and materials are highly sensitive to fluctuations in relative humidity, that can lead to a range of problems. Ensuring both the correct temperature and humidity are maintained at all times throughout the year, is vital for continued validation of the facility and the processes being undertaken.

The problems

of uncontrolled humidity within cleanrooms

Humidity control is a vital component of many cleanroom facilities, Loss of specified room parameters often lead to costly downtime for operators and in many cases render products and test results invalid. 

The risks from low relative humidity
  • Potential component damage due to static discharge.
  • Damage to materials sensitive to low relative humidity
The risks from high relative humidity.
  • Electronic failures through moisture damage.
  • Hygroscopic materials to degrade, and powdered products sticking and clumping.
  • Condensation forming on equipment with cooling circuits
  • Equipment downtime, for example Pneumatic conveyor lines clogging due to high relative humidity in lines. The increase in line pressure above atmospheric results in a higher line relative humidity, example - the doubling of pressure results in a doubling of the relative humidity.

The solution to achieving stable relative humidity within cleanrooms

We can provide a range of solutions that can support any environment or process. The traditional centralised system approach can be provided in the form of bespoke climate control air handling systems. Alternatively we can provide support for the decentralised cleanroom design approach that has been developed to provide enhanced system redundancy whilst at reduced capital investment level, specifically when compared to a traditional HVAC system with or without N+1 capabilities. 

Regardless of your requirements, the Dryair team will work with you to find your optimal humidity control solution...

Contact one of our team today to find your cleanroom humidity control solution...