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A Blue color electric spark from a large manufacturing unit

Desco’s Work-Based Instructional Program: Nuts and Bolts of ESD

ESD or Electrostatic Discharge is a common phenomenon. But the hazards it may generate become life taking if not considered seriously. From simple households to large industries, everything’s prone to electrostatic discharge. Uncontrolled discharge harms reliability, productivity and safety in a work environment   Hence, an ESD control program is an essential step to implement safety and productivity.

A person pulling a door-knob experiencing static charge

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay 

ESD occurs when two charged devices come into contact with each other. Generating an awareness about the causes, effects and solutions are necessary to create an effective program to control ESD prone hazards. Static electricity is often generated while: 

  • walking across a carpet and pulling a doorknob
  • Working by sitting on a non-ESD safe desk or bench
  • Unwinding a regular tape
  • Naturally when there is lightning

If not taken seriously, discharge will lead to consequential effects from heat damage to health risks. Even a slight charge variation will damage the functioning of the entire unit limiting the productivity and increasing the expenditure. So, extra attention should be provided to prevent hazards and electronic damages.     

A person using a soldering device to work on a sensitive circuit board

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh from Pexels

Sensitive electronic devices and charged bodies are highly susceptible to ESD. If a human body requires 2000/3000 volts to feel the electric current, a static charge less than 100 volts may damage a sensitive device. Hence, It is crucial to monitor the operational capability of the devices and conductors using different device models to ensure safety and high-end performance.     

Fundamentals of Device Models

Different established device models are used to verify the performance, reliability, and device sensitivity of semiconductors used in the workplace. Two of the primary device models are:

1. Human Body Models



A cartoon image of an employee wearing an ESD safe jacket and head cap

 Image by Niran Kasri from Pixabay 

When an individual moves, energy gets accumulated in the body. In such cases, even slight contact with an electronic device may cause damage to the electronic product. A human body model, however, tracks the path of electric discharge from the fingertip of an individual to the sensitive devices.

2. Charged-Device Model

During the manufacturing stages, it is natural for electronic devices to come in contact with other charged bodies. So, a charged device model tests the susceptibility of electronic devices to ESD when it comes to contact with a charged worksurface or conductive material.

Developing a familiarity with device models help in identifying the nature of static electric flow in different stages of manufacturing. Desco’s implemented training and guidance on ESD helps to ignite an awareness to create a safe work environment through a control program.  

Blue, yellow, and white color coiled wires in a circuit board

Photo by Ralph (Ravi) Kayden on Unsplash

The control of ESD is impossible without knowing the nature and conductivity of static dissipative material. Choosing the materials according to the work environment is a requisite. Let's flip through some material types to implement a material-specific ESD control program.     

Material Types to Control ESD

The goal of an ESD safe material is preventing the external flow of charges.You can choose from a wide range of materials to prevent the unbound flow of static charge. Generally, materials are categorized according to their specific conductivity range. Here are the two crucial ESD material categories in an ESD control program. 

1. Conductors 

Conductors have low electric resistance and initiate a smooth flow of charges. Its quick and easy electric flow property makes it an ideal grounding material. Direct exposure to the human body and sensitive devices can cause heavy damages and life threats. Hence, insulators like plastic and wood are used to wrap the conductive material to eliminate the ESD threat without diminishing the conductivity of the material. 

Resistivity range- 10³ to 10⁶ ohm 

Image of neatly coiled copper wire

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay 

2. Static Dissipative Conductors    

Static dissipative materials are less conductive than ordinary conductors. They are mostly used to prevent electric discharge to and from the human body. The energy flows at a lower level to ensure the prevention of a possible discharge and device damages.

Resistivity range- 10⁶ and 10⁹ ohm   

Every industry needs a well-installed ESD safe work environment to safeguard employee safety, device functionality, and productivity. An ESD control program and efficient training can ensure general awareness and risk management to tackle ESD issues. Here are some basic guidelines to create an ESD safe work environment. 

How to Create an ESD Safe Control Program 

A man in orange ESD safe dress, head cap, and white gloves working inside a manufacturing unit

Image by Yerson Retamal from Pixabay 

1. Identify the nature of ESD prone area

Understanding the nature of the work area and thorough research of the available devices are necessary to implement an effective ESD safe control program. Let it be a sensitive workbench or a manufacturing unit; a proper understanding of the workplace is vital to enhance safety. 

2. Ensure personal safety through a channelized grounding system

Upgrade employee safety by using wearable personal grounding equipment. Wrist straps, foot grounders, and Desco Jackets are essential ESD safe equipment that help to ground your body to eliminate the scope of electrocution and sensitive product damages. 

Image of a person holding a white ESD safe head cap

Image by Hany Alashkar from Pixabay 

3. Create a grounded surface to store sensitive devices    

Grounded work surface or ESD safe packages are essential to ensure durability and operational efficiency of an electric component. Desco has an extensive collection of ESD safe covers and floor grounding mats that wrap your sensitive devices from unconditioned exposure. Some of them are

4. Keep the insulators 12 inches away from the sensitive devices

Placing the insulators 12 inches away from the ESD is recommended to prevent direct contact. ESD protective versions of regular insulative items should be used instead of ordinary insulators. Ionization and toxic-Antistat methods should be used to neutralize charges.    

5. Ensure Proper Packaging and Shipping

Proper packaging and shipping should be ensured while transporting ESD safe products. Desco's static controlled shield bags, ESD safe tapes, and labels are the ultimate solution for safe shipping and transportation. Some of the quality ESD safe shipping products are:  

A warehouse machine carrying safely packed  products for transportation

Image by Pashminu Mansukhani from Pixabay 

6. Compliance Verification

Compliance verification is a vital part of the ESD safe control program. Proper monitoring and equipment verification should be done to ensure measurement and operational capability. Any damage to a single piece of equipment could harm the entire control program. So, it is necessary to check the performance standard of the equipment before installation. 

Three people verifying the product quality inside a large manufacturing unit

Photo by ThisIsEngineering from Pexels

Some of the equipment used for compliance verification are:

Bottomline 

Desco's fundamentals and practicalities of the ESD control program are crucial to upgrade any workstation. Creating a static controlled work space is the primary requirement to ensure productivity, growth and balanced expenditure.  


Understanding the basics of ESD and training yourself in control program implementation helps to eliminate possible material damages and life taking hazards. Find the necessary Desco supplied ESD safe equipment and compliance verification devices from the extensive collections at Gokimco. Improve your workspace through advanced ESD safety programs.
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