8,000 New Cleanrooms Per Year

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Source: The McIlvaine Company

Cleanrooms are utilized by semiconductor, pharmaceutical, flat panel display, aerospace, food and other manufacturers who need to protect products and/or workers from airborne contaminants. More than 94 million ft2 of cleanrooms are installed worldwide. More than 150,000 rooms ranging from less than 100 ft2 to over 300,000 ft2 are in use.

More than 8,000 new cleanrooms will be built this year. The largest 800 will account for more than 80 percent of the total new space. These larger projects are tracked in the McIlvaine Publication, World Cleanroom Projects, which is continually updated with the latest project details at: www.mcilvainecompany.com .

The largest projects are found in the fast growing flat panel display industry. This is where rooms of 300,000 ft2 are being constructed. The semiconductor industry also constructs large sized cleanrooms for chip production. One supplier of disk drives employees over 9000 people in a large cleanroom facility.

Many small modular cleanrooms are found in animal research, medical device, food, and many other manufacturing industries.

Cleanrooms are classed by cleanliness. An ultraclean Class 1 room used for semiconductor production will cost more than $700/ft2. So a typical wafer fabrication facility of 40,000 ft2 will invest $28 million for cleanroom hardware. The lowest class (100,000) requires an investment of only $85/ft2. So the average size of 700 ft2 requires only an investment of $60,000.

The U.S. still leads in the number of active projects, but the gap is narrowing. China is gaining ground and will likely overtake the U.S. in terms of number of projects shortly. It is becoming a center for disk drive manufacturing at the expense of Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia.

China with its huge demand for chips is rapidly building semiconductor plants to fill the demand locally. Even in the pharmaceutical sector dominated by the U.S., China is investing heavily in new facilities.

Japan has more new projects now underway than at anytime in the last ten years. Nevertheless, much of its electronics production has been lost to Taiwan and South Korea.

The number of Indian projects is accelerating at double-digit annual rates.

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