Evolution of the POD: A Decade
Inside the Box
Pete Makowenskyj, Director of Sales Engineering
In 2019, G-CON Manufacturing celebrated its 10 year anniversary and what an amazing 10 years it has been. G-CON has been at the forefront in industry, leading the way in prefabricated cleanroom solutions. Throughout this time, G-CON has been known for their POD technology which is an autonomous cleanroom technology. However, what some are not yet aware of is how far our technology has progressed over those 10 years.
G-CON’s roots are based in Texas. The generation 1 POD was engineered as a standalone cleanroom which could be docked onto a corridor. That original design was a 42’x18’ module that was built more or less like a product. And while everything is bigger in Texas, shipping an 18’ wide module to other parts of the country and around the world proved to be no easy task. Fast forward 10 years - we are multiple generations into our POD design and the way G-CON operates has changed significantly.
Evolution of the POD
The greatest difference in how G-CON PODs were designed and built 10 years ago vs today is that we are no longer just selling a product; we are creating solutions. The technology is more flexible, agile and robust due to continuous POD R&D, and while we still have many projects of smaller segregated cleanrooms, we have many other projects that require 4,000-5,000 sqft. of open cleanroom space. Utilizing a team of industry experts in both process and facility design, we are quickly able to assess the type of facility needed and tailor our solutions. In terms of development of the POD, we have made quite a few improvements. Some are:
- Enhancing our floorboard structure for rigidity and to allow for extreme weight loading of process/mechanical equipment;
- Generating robust methods to interlock PODs together to create a seamless clean space;
- Improving roof design to allow for easier access to the interstitial space and enhanced structural stability of the PODs;
- Developing and improving the MegaPOD design to allow for process equipment requiring high ceiling heights;
- Structurally evaluating the four corner posts of the POD to allow for a completely open design.
- Designing a skidded mechanical space, typically sitting on top of the PODs when ground floor space is at a premium.
Meeting Industry’s Needs
In the past 10 years, G-CON has listened to our clients in developing our PODs in a manner that addresses key client needs. Doing things in a different manner than the previous norm, we can control aspects of a project that cannot be controlled in the field. As such, we can build facilities faster and at a lower total cost of ownership than traditional construction methods. Additionally, we can manage schedules and cost accurately allowing for more effective usage of resources by all parties. Given the same, G-CON is being utilized in applications we did not even consider when our technology was developed. Whether it is building out 20,000 ft2 of clean space for a new facility or helping our partners treat a patient in under 18 months from the project kick off, we have made some enormous strides over the past 10 years. We are proud of what we have accomplished which can be summarized by saying, G-CON has simplified the entire design/build/validate process via our prefabricated cleanroom infrastructure line so pharmaceutical companies can focus on what really matters, the patient.