Franklin Feller
General Manager of Valtria Engineering
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Clean Rooms Essential for Pharmaceutical Quality, Purity

Fri, 12/07/2018 - 12:46

Q: How is Valtria Engineering contributing to the healthcare sector?
A: Valtria Engineering designs clean rooms and air purifying systems for hospitals, dermatological and cosmetics companies, food producers, automotive companies and pharmaceuticals, among many others. However, reception of these products varies widely by sector. Dermatological and cosmetics companies are sometimes reluctant to invest in this technology, which can sometimes result in the contamination of their products from fungi and other particles. Many hospitals have also proven reluctant to incorporate this technology. The sector that invests the most in clean air is the pharmaceutical industry, which is why 80-90 percent of our sales are oriented to this market. Strong regulations concerning pharmaceuticals production enforced by COFEPRIS have led companies to invest in the highest safety standards to ensure all products meet established quality and purity requirements.
Q: What are the main concerns of a pharmaceutical company when installing a clean room?
A: The key concerns include maintaining stable temperatures, relative humidity conditions and a differential pressure between rooms. All pharmaceutical plants must monitor these conditions according to local regulations, including NOM-059 that specifies the need for a system to continuously monitor differential pressure between rooms to avoid contamination from one room to the other. Plant compressors also require continuous maintenance to avoid cross contamination. Valtria Engineering keeps close track of equipment maintenance. If filters are not changed regularly, for example, the system’s efficiency diminishes.  
Q: What new products is Valtria Engineering introducing to the pharmaceutical sector?
A: Valtria Engineering imports and integrates different components for the construction of its clean rooms. Every room is tailored to the client’s needs, addressing concerns of temperature and humidity, among others. We are developing a system that refrigerates more efficiently using equipment from Europe that employ compressors that generate less friction. Frictionless equipment generates less heat and can be used at much higher speeds of up to 40,000rpm, while normal compressors operate at a range of 2,000-4,000rpm. This reduces electricity use by 30 to 40 percent, which is a significant savings considering the high amount of energy compressors require.
Q: What are the main benefits of using clean rooms at hospitals and clinics?
A: Introducing laminar air flow to purify the air that enters high-risk hospital rooms helps to reduce the number of infections, especially in high-risk areas such as surgery rooms during heart and eye procedures. Some networks, such as Hospital Angeles and Hospital ABC, have already incorporated these technologies at some facilities.
Q: What are the entry barriers preventing wider acceptance of this technology in the hospital sector?
A: High costs to install laminar air flow equipment has made hospitals reluctant to install this technology despite the benefits they can bring to patients. Other countries have been much more welcoming of this technology but Mexico might need additional incentives to introduce it, such as policy changes. Not all hospitals need this type of equipment, however, only those that perform high-risk operations.
Q: What are Valtria Engineering’s growth expectations for 2019?
A: Valtria Engineering is growing significantly in the pharmaceutical sector. The company is present in Argentina, Spain, Switzerland and Finland. In Mexico, we have offices in Mexico City and Guadalajara and hold approximately 5-10 percent of the market for clean rooms. We have aggressive growth plans for the near future, having recently started a project with PISA Farmacéutica, one of the largest medication manufacturers in the country. In 2019, we expect to double or triple our market participation in the pharmaceutical sector and to develop our presence in other sectors as well.