Importance of ESD Protection in Electronics Manufacturing
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Static electricity is generated every time materials rub against each other. A simple movement, such as a technician walking to their workbench, is enough to generate static electricity that could melt or deteriorate a device’s delicate electronic components. To protect your production areas you first have to understand why ESD (electrical static discharge) is generated and then put in place an anti-static policy.
If you have ever felt an electric jolt when getting out of your car or taking clothes out of the tumble dryer then you have felt ESD. Charges of static electricity build up from all the materials rubbing together and then pass through your body when they’re able to escape. Large jolts of ESD can create a visible spark, with the most impressive being that of lightning.2
Static electricity is generated when the electrons on the surface of one object pass onto another, causing it to become positively charged. The additional electrons are then just waiting for the opportunity to escape through a conductive object that allows the passing of electricity. When this occurs it’s what is known as an ESD event.3
The heat from ESD is extremely hot, and if it occurs to an electrical device then it can cause immediate or delayed damage. A charge of a mere 30 volts is enough to damage the most sensitive electrical components, with most at risk from charges of 100-200 volts. A ‘latent defect’ is when the damage isn’t immediately noticeable but has dramatically shortened a device’s life and can cause it to malfunction without warning. Consequently, ESD poses a serious risk to not only when a device is manufactured but to the remainder of its lifespan.
In order to protect your manufacturing area against ESD you need to turn it into an anti static EPA (ESD Protected Area).4 The principle of an EPA is that all your workbenches, trolleys, storage bins and other industrial furniture is connected to the ground so that static electricity can be dissipated (dispersed) safely. Your personnel can also be equipped with conductive shoes and wrist straps to dissipate built up static electricity safely.
You can also improve the robustness of your EPA by investing in ESD resistant products such as workbenches, industrial trolleys and storage bins. ESD resistant industrial furniture features static-dissipative laminate worktops, which will send electrical charges to earthing points and through cables to the ground.
With ESD a constant and undetectable threat to electronics manufacturing, introducing an anti-static EPA, with ESD resistant workbenches and other ESD resistant industrial furniture, is crucial for preventing immediate or delayed damage to your products.
28/01/08 - (ESD, electrostatic discharge, anti static, conductive, dissipative, EPA)