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Why Worry About Electrostatic Discharge ( ESD ) when working on a Printed Circuit Board?

static-container-labelFor some, the prevention of Electrostatic Discharge, or ESD, is simply an item on a checklist that you mark through when doing a job, just to keep the boss off your back. However, ESD is a serious issue and can cause catastrophic damage to a project. If you are unconvinced about the ramifications of ESD, read on.

What Is ESD?

Electrostatic Discharge is a sudden, unexpected flow of electrical currents between two points. ESD can cause a short, damage to electrical components, and even damage to you and other members of your team. ESD can cause a catastrophic problem on a project, causing you to replace expensive components or even scrap the job and start all over. In addition to the monetary expense that can occur, there is also a measure of stress and even personal ramifications when ESD halts a project.

How You Can Prevent ESD

There are several steps you can take to prevent ESD.
    • First, don't let yourself become complacent. ESD is a serious concern and should be treated as such.
    • Next, take the proper steps to prevent ESD. These steps are different for each job, but proper grounding of your work area, your body and project components is imperative.
    • Cool, dry areas are also a concern, so be especially cautious when working in these places.
    • Do not stand on carpeted surfaces, and keep your work components off of fabric, carpet and similar surfaces.
    • Wearing sturdy shoes with a rubber sole with ESD foot or heel grounders can also help prevent ESD. You should also remain aware of your surroundings; there are two symbols that you can look for to assist you.
    • The use of ESD SAFE equipment will help you ensure that you avoid ESD issues when working on a project.
    • You should also keep an eye out for ESD Sensitive labels; these labels indicate that an item is highly susceptible to ESD, so you should exercise extreme caution.
    • Make sure to store circuit boards in an ESD safe container or a static shielding bag.
    • In addition to the precautions taken above, it is recommended that the controls are setup to maintain and monitor you ESD Safe working environment.  A few tips for doing this is to setup ESD monitoring devices and ionizers that will maintain safe areas.

How We Can Help

If you have questions about anything related to ESD, Kimco has the answers you need. Browse around the remainder of our website for information on products that monitor, control or prevent electro static discharge (ESD).  If you prefer, you can also contact our team of professional customer service representatives for assistance with your needs by calling (800) 521-9197.
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