Monthly Archives: April 2019

  • Best Tools for ESD Event Detection

    We’ve harped on it time and time again: Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) prevention is so important! Electronic build-up that is undetectable to humans still has the capability to damage or even destroy your electrical equipment.

    If not properly maintained, ESD damage can really set you back in terms of production cost and time. In fact, the ESD Association estimates that the cost of losses due to ESD ranges between half a billion dollars to $5 billion each year. This is because ESD damage can be tricky to detect. Some devices stop working altogether (known as catastrophic failure) while others experience partial damage over time that cause an overall drop in efficiency (known as a latent defect).

    If there were a way to save yourself cost and labor in the long run, would you do it? Of course you would! The good news is that there are ways to save cost and labor when it comes to ESD prevention, and it starts with detection. Here are three of our most recommended products for detecting, measuring and monitoring ESD events so you can ensure that the ESD control program you have in place is working:

    1. SCS CTM082 Pro ESD Event Indicator

    The SCS CTM082 both detects and counts ESD events for control program troubleshooting and improvement. The four-digit display counts the number of ESD events that have occurred at or above the alarm threshold and resets every time the power is turned off. Get as close as you can to the suspected source of the ESD event and use the indicator to detect and measure its relative strength. When the strength of an event exceeds the set threshold, the LED will turn red. Shop the SCS CTM082 here.

      2. SCS CTM048-21 ESD Events Sensor Meter

    This user-friendly and portable meter serves as a measuring instrument for most ESD signals and measures the magnitude of ESD events. It can also estimate the magnitude for CDM, HBM and MM models. The device’s touch screen allows users to easily navigate through the features and the speaker and headphone alarm outputs allow you to use it in a noisy place. The microsSD card within the device can log data and then be exported to an Excel sheet for quick analysis. Buy the SCS CTM048-21 here.

    3. SCS 770063 EM Aware Monitor, Field & Ionization, Ethernet Output

    The SCS 770063 is compatible with the SCS Static Management Program (SMP) and through it, collects data including ESD event count, changes in the static voltage field and ionizer performance. Because of this, it is able to identify problematic environments and qualify tools for handling ESD-sensitive devices. This monitor, as well as all the products listed, meets the requirements of S20.20, which states that continuous monitoring should be considered or even mandated. The data collected by device allows you to see overall trends and improve the efficiency and quality of your ESD control.  Shop the SCS 770063 here.

    As always, if you have questions about any of the products listed, be sure to contact us and we'd be happy to help!

  • How To Protect Your Electronic Components From Moisture

    Think back to the times you spent hours working on a school
    project or typing a term paper before it was due. The hard work and meticulous
    planning was worth the perfected final result. Now imagine it being the due
    date and right before you submit it you close out of the document without
    saving any of the work or drop the 3D model you crafted on the floor, smashing
    it to pieces. You can probably imagine that feeling of devastation you would
    have felt when you realized the project you spent so long on is now suddenly

    Why waste hours of your life working on your electronic
    components if you’re going to expose them to moisture and meet the same fate as
    that school project? If you’re storing your electronics in damp, dark or humid
    environments, you just might end up with a final result that is just as useless.
    There are ways to avoid this, though, and there are products that you can buy
    that will ensure your components stay in top condition.

    Here are a few of our recommendations:

    1. Moisture Barrier Bags

    Moisture barrier bags are comprised of multiple layers of plastic and aluminum that are designed to keep out moisture. They are one of the most effective packing solutions for sensitive components and protect against humidity, moisture, oxygen, grease or other airborne contaminants that could cause damage. The bags feature a vacuum seal that also protect against damage due to other events such as ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) and EMI (Electromagnetic Interference). Check out the moisture barrier bags that GoKimco offers here.

    2. Humidity Indicator Cards

    Humidity Indicator Cards, or HIC’s, are cards that indicate humidity levels inside sealed packaging. They contain a moisture-sensitive chemical that will change color if a great enough humidity level is detected. The SCS 6HIC200 6-Spot Humidity Cards respond to various levels of humidity with a visible color change from blue to pink. Each can contains 200 cards, which is a great value for your purchase. Pair these with your moisture barrier bags to provide the best protection for moisture sensitive items.

    3. Desiccant Packs

    Desiccant packs are used alongside humidity indicator cards and placed inside moisture barrier bags to absorb moisture.  Packs come in many different sizes and in addition to absorbing moisture, can also absorb gas, vapor or odor. The porous pouch allows moisture to seep through and be absorbed by the desiccant inside. The Desco 13844 Desiccant Packs are reusable and can be reactivated by oven drying. Even when saturated by moisture, the desiccant pack remains dry. Together, the moisture barrier bags, humidity indicator cards and desiccant packs make up what’s known as a “dry package”.

    4.Conformal Coating

    Conformal coating is a protective chemical that can protect sensitive electronics from moist environments and electrical shorts by creating a barrier of insulation. Although not designed to be a total sealant, conformal coatings will also allow moisture trapped in PCBs to escape. There are different ways to apply a conformal coating including dipping, spraying and brushing. The ACL 8690 Acrylic Conformal Coating Spray is applied by spraying and has an operating temperature of -75 degrees F to 270 degrees F, so check it out.

    Those are our most recommended products for moisture control for your sensitive electronic components so you can rest assured knowing that your best work will be preserved and protected against any sort of environment. Have questions? Contact us here.

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