FM Isn’t Always the Best Frequency

FM Not Just For Radio

Who doesn’t like FM when it comes to listening to the radio? In the world of music, FM stands for Frequency Modulation, a method of broadcasting electrical signals. In a short blog, it is difficult to fully explain FM, but there are online tutorials and videos that explain how Frequency Modulation works in relationship to the amplitude and phase remaining constant, while the frequency is changed because of the signal input.

In the world of Medical and Pharma Packaging and Processing, FM has a totally different meaning. Foreign Matter (FM) is the cause of contamination, poor yields, rejects, rework and the total recall of products once in the field. The FM can be particles in the form of lint, clothing, skin flakes, hair, and dust.  Another form of foreign matter particles are bits of plastic chips and slivers of angel hair which come from the plastic forming process, especially thermoforming.

The Life Sciences Industry as a whole spends huge sums of money to construct clean rooms that, by design, are supposed to keep foreign matter out of these processes. This assumes that the room is always operating at full efficiency, that humidity and temperature are being controlled, and that everything and everyone that enter the clean rooms are particle-free. That, of course, is not reality, especially if the clean room is not up to semiconductor level protocols, with strict adherence.


The Missing Equation

The missing part of this equation is ionization, whether passive or active, room type of systems or local ionization with source capturing abilities. Static electricity by nature not only attracts particles, but holds them securely to any plastic substrate. Plastics have been the widely used in the manufacturing of medical devices and their packaging is almost always some form of plastic that includes bags, pouches and molded trays. When you rub a balloon, you can pin it to the ceiling with static electricity.  When a plastic part of a package generates static by handling, it has the ability to violate the process of keeping the environment Foreign Matter (FM) free.

That reminds me of the bridge in a Steely Dan hit and the line in the song goes like this, “FM –no static at all”.

If you want to reduce foreign matter (FM) and the root cause, “static”, Static Clean can get you to no static at all. Contact our tech sales team today and find out how we can assist you meet your goals.