Custom machine suit suitable for clean work


Source: Fraunhofer IPA/Foto: Rainer Bez

Custom machine suit suitable for clean work

With 2ndSCIN®, a research team from Fraunhofer IPA has developed a protective enclosure for robots and other automation components that are to be used in a clean room.

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In order not to contaminate their environment, robots, for example, must meet a number of specific requirements for use in cleanrooms. Rigid enclosures or mini-environments are often used as a workaround. Since previous containment systems did not meet industry’s high cleanliness requirements, experts at Fraunhofer IPA analyzed the challenges and looked for a solution.

2ndSCIN® – Clean Sterile Automation

Hardware components such as robots, grippers and production systems are covered in a cleanroom-compatible, textile protective cover for use in clean production. The 2ndSCIN® suit uses materials suitable for cleanrooms. It is suitable in cleanrooms up to ISO class 1 according to DIN EN ISO 14644-1, depending upon the initial cleanliness of the automation component and the operating parameters selected. With the special textile combinations used, outgassing behavior also falls within the limits of chemical detectability, as demonstrated by thermal desorption gas chromatography mass spectrometry (TD-GC-MS). Ultimately, 2ndSCIN® improves particle emission behavior of the automation unit by a factor of about 1000.

Second skin made using CAD data

CAD data from dynamic automation components enable the machine suits to be implemented quickly and in a custom manner. Freedom of movement remains almost unrestricted, thanks to customization. Inspired by human skin, 2ndSCIN® consists of an air-permeable, flexible and multi-layered textile that creates a cleanliness barrier. The various textile layers are separated by spacers. They can use filter fan unit gauze to transport and remove moisture, substances and particles. The volume flow is designed in accordance with size and requirements. If necessary, the cleanliness technical skin can be equipped with sensor networks which, among other things, continuously collect data about particle contamination, chemical contamination, temperature and humidity. These data can be assessed using AI algorithms. They enable monitoring of purity-related behavior inside and outside the 2ndSCIN® system. A predictive maintenance strategy can also be determined from this product.

Diverse applications of 2ndSCIN®

Originally developed for the semiconductor industry, the system complies with “Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)” rules, thanks to optionally integrated H2O2 fumigation. It can also be used for sterile production, such as in food production and pharmaceuticals.

2ndSCIN® can be variably adapted to the individual needs and requirements of producers and machines. It can be installed within hours of being manufactured. The system upgrades existing automation components and systems for use in clean production environments. 2ndSCIN® meets those industrial requirements that have not been met by previous protective covers.


Miroslav Kopcok

Employee of the Equipment and Components Suitable for Cleanliness Group
Phone: +49 711 970-1548