Cleanroom Technology Applications Spreading Beyond Electronics Industry
Till the beginning of the decade, the electronics industry was at the forefront of cleanroom consumables usage. However, applications of cleanroom technology are rapidly expanding into other markets as well, such as at healthcare facilities, research laboratories, medical device manufacturing units, biotechnology centres, and F&B processing companies. Additionally, transformations in the semiconductor industry, viz. a move to 300 mm wafers resulted in smaller amounts of consumable products, leading the electronics industry to account for a relatively smaller share in the cleanroom consumables market. Newer niche markets that make use of clean rooms such as biotechnology, and food and beverages, will continue to post significant gains for the global cleanroom consumables market, albeit from relatively small bases. The accelerating commercialisation of new biotech products, combined with the expanse of research area, will add to the market opportunities for critical environment products. The F&B industry also holds the open up more lucrative opportunities in the aseptic packaging application area. The market for cleanroom consumables thus has a promising growth outlook for the foreseeable future.
Demand from Healthcare Segment Ramps up as Number of Hospitalisations and Surgical Procedures Heighten
The growing number of surgeries and rising hospital admissions are anticipated to fuel the demand for cleanroom consumables during the forecast period. For instance, as per the American Hospital Association (AHA), around 36.5 million hospital admissions took place in the US in 2019. Moreover, as per the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) data, the duration of hospital stay is quite high for countries like Japan, with high geriatric population. The country has recorded an average hospital stay of ~16 days per patient. Hospitalisations for longer time naturally bolsters the consumption of cleanroom consumables, boosting the market growth. Moreover, an increasing number of invasive, as well as non-invasive surgical procedures worldwide are accelerating the sales of cleanroom consumables in the global market. The 2017 data by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) indicated ~17.2 million invasive surgical procedures recorded in 2014 in the US alone.
Gloves Remain Bestselling Cleanroom Consumable; Reusable Garments Follow
Most clean rooms spend an estimated 40-50% of their consumables budget on gloves. Gloves are typically consumed at large scales in fast-growing industries such as pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, medical devices, and biotechnology. With safety being the most critical factor in all these segments, the need for cleanroom consumables like gloves is seemingly never-ending. Moreover, with growing significance of safety, and personal hygiene worldwide, especially amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, gloves will continue to sell out at the highest rate, and with the highest volume recorded in the market. Medical-grade gloves are witnessing greater preference with the growing need to prevent hospital acquired infections (HAIs), and other frequently seen health conditions.
On the other hand, reusable and disposable garments are equal in revenue terms but not in unit sales as more disposable garments are purchased. The main influencing factors to decide between the disposable and the reusable are the number of changes of garb required by each operator per day, the requirements to give the right level of containment, and the number of occasional visitors into the controlled area. Consumption of cleanroom apparel (coveralls, frocks, pants, bouffants, face masks, shoe covers, and hoods), a key contributor to the overall consumables demand, will account for an accelerating demand in the near future. Pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, and biotechnology industries are expected to remain the rapid growth application areas. Greater growth opportunities will be seen in other product categories such as cleaning products (wipes, swabs, cleanroom mops, wringers, and cleaning chemicals).
Demand Spike amid COVID-19 Pandemic Exposed Fragility of Global Supply Systems
Unpredictability of situations like the global COVID-19 pandemic compel industries to transform at 3600. While the global healthcare industry has been experiencing massive pressure during the pandemic, the key industry stakeholders, including regulators, researchers, and manufacturers have come together to develop an effective, reliable diagnosis, treatment, and vaccination regimen. Cleanroom technologies and services have been playing a critical role in ensuring that the quality, and safety remain uncompromised.
While facing the potentiality of a high risk of infection, other hand unprecedented hospitalization brought global healthcare infrastructure under immense pressure. An unparalleled demand for personal protective equipment (PPE), medical oxygen concentrators, medical ventilators, and other critical medical supplies have been hit tremendously as operations in Asian supply powerhouses, i.e., China, and India were temporarily standstill during abruptly declared lockdowns. The costs of consumables that form such a significant part of the operational costs of the clean room are increasing. This price hike is not only at the raw material level but also delivery, energy, and packaging costs are all spiraling well beyond inflation. This makes it economically imperative to conduct periodic reviews of the consumables used in clean rooms.
Developed Regions Lead their Way in Global Cleanroom Consumables Market
North America is anticipated to dominate the global cleanroom consumables market during the forecast period. Novel product launches in recent years have given the early entry advantage to the region against other regional markets. Europe also continues to witness significant demand for cleanroom consumables. Many European universities are involved in research and development of cleanroom technology, and cleanroom consumables. The region has 50+ conferences, exhibitions, and a number of publications around the cleanroom technology so far.
Some of the key companies active in the global cleanroom consumables market include DuPont, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc., Berkshire Corporation, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Contec Inc., Micronclean, Ansell Ltd., VWR International LLC, Texwipe, MAPA Professionnel, Cantel Medical, and Valutek Inc.