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Putting Your Components to the ESD Test


Testing ESD Sensitivity  Testing the sensitivity of components to ESD can be done in a couple of different ways. Either way, you’re determining what it takes to make a device fail when subjected to an electrostatic discharge (ESD). The two Read more

ESD--Smaller Parts, Bigger Problems


ESD Sparks Conversation It's no shock that smaller electronic parts have been causing bigger ESD (electrostatic dissipation) problems--serious problems that cause component damage and money. How much damage depends on the sensitivity or susceptibility of the device. Thankfully you can put controls Read more

Twelve Reasons to Consider a Mantis Stereo Microscope


Sleek and Ergonomical How many of you have ever seen or used an eyepiece-less microscope like Vision Engineering’s Mantis? Ever wonder about the name--Mantis? Take a good look. What’s the head remind you of? A praying _____.  That, however is Read more

Putting Your Components to the ESD Test

Posted on by Barb N. in ESD News, ESD Testing, Static Control Tips and Tricks Leave a comment

Testing ESD Sensitivity 

Testing the sensitivity of components to ESD can be done in a couple of different ways. Either way, you’re determining what it takes to make a device fail when subjected to an electrostatic discharge (ESD). The two primary models for ESD testing include Human Body Model (HBM) and Charged Device Model (CDM) testing.

The models can simulate events; though they can’t completely mimic the entire range of potential ESD events. These two tests, HBM and CDM however have proven to be successful at reproducing more than 99% of ESD field failure signatures. Through these tests industries can –

  • Create and quantify suitable on-chip protection
  • Make comparisons between devices
  • Form a classification system for ESD sensitivity to help ESD design and monitoring requirements of manufacturing and assembly settings
  • Access documented test procedures to substantiate reliable and repeatable results

Human Body Model (HBM) Testing

Kid with hair standing up ESD

Human Body Model (HBM) testing

It doesn’t take much to cause a discharge. Walk across the floor in your socks and you’ you add an electrostatic charge to your body. After doing so, if you were to touch your finger to a lead on a ESDS device or assembly, the body could discharge and possibly cause damage to the device.

The oldest and most common form of testing to classify ESD sensitivity–using an ESD simulator with a special output circuit called the Human Body Model (HBM). The device is placed in a test system and contact is made through a relay matrix and the device is zapped with ESDs.

The device is considered to have failed if it doesn’t meet the datasheet parameters using parametric and functional testing. Failures usually include junction damage, metal penetration, melting of metal layers, contact spiking and damaged gate oxides.

Charged Device Model (CDM) Testing

charged device model testing

Charged Device Model (CDM) testing

A charge can also come from an ESDS device and cause an ESD event. For instance, if a device slides down a feeder in an automated assembler, the device can become charged. If it were to touch the insertion head or another conductive device, a quick discharge may take place. This represents a Charged Device Model (CDM) event and is potentially more destructive than an HBM event. Damage can take place in as little as a nanosecond.

This type of event generally happens in automated-manufacturing environments where machines may always stay turned on and cause electronic integrated circuits (ICs) to become charged. If the part touches a grounded conductor, the built-up storage of energy discharges. CDM discharge depends mostly on the parasitic parameters of the discharge as well as the size and type of component package.

To test, the device is placed on a field plate with the leads pointing up; then the device is charged and discharged.

 

All-Spec EOS/ESD Audit Kit

All-Spec EOS/ESD Audit Kit

All-Spec carries a large selection of quality ESD testing and measurement equipment such as EOS/ESD audit kits, electrostatic field meters and static locators; surface resistivity meters; and ESD event, EMI field and RF signal detectors.

All-Spec also carries a comprehensive range of ESD-safe, static control grounding supplies and partners with industry leaders like  SCS, Desco, Simco-Ion and more to offer the best static control products on the market.

 


ESD–Smaller Parts, Bigger Problems

Posted on by Barb N. in ESD News, Static Control Tips and Tricks, Technical Articles Leave a comment

ESD Sparks Conversation

It’s no shock that smaller electronic parts have been causing bigger ESD (electrostatic dissipation) problems–serious problems that cause component damage and money. How much damage depends on the sensitivity or susceptibility of the device.

Thankfully you can put controls in place to significantly reduce ESD incidents. Preplanning, understanding causes and solutions, and wearing special fabrics and components will help.

Preplanning

  1. Design products and assemblies to be as protected as practical from ESD damage
  2. Decide how much of the environment needs to be controlled
  3. Identify the areas needing protection and ESD sensitive parts
  4. Define the electrostatic protected areas (EPAs)
  5. Define the areas where ESD sensitive parts (ESDs) will be handled
  6. Eliminate static generating processes to reduce electrostatic charge generation; keep processes and materials at the same electrostatic potential; provide appropriate ground paths to minimize charge generation and accumulation
  7. Use grounding, ionization, and conductive and dissipative static control materials to dissipate and neutralize
  8. Use grounding, ionization, and conductive and dissipative static control materials to dissipate and neutralize
  9. Protect products from ESD with proper grounding or shunting, static control packaging and material handling products

Areas needing ESD protection

Causes and effective solutions

ESD is a tiny version of lightning. As the current dissipates through an object, it’s seeking a low impedance path to ground to equalize potentials. In most cases, ESD currents will travel to ground via the metal chassis frame of a device. However, it’s well known that current will travel on every available path.

Table showing esd causes and solutions

Control the area

The first step is to ground all components of the workstation and the personnel (work surfaces, equipment, etc.) to the same electrical ground point, called the “common point ground” i.e., system or method for connecting two or more grounding conductors to the same electrical potential.

All-Spec carries all of the products listed below to help you control your environment and keep it safe from ESD.

ESD control materials

 


Twelve Reasons to Consider a Mantis Stereo Microscope

Posted on by Barb N. in Magnifiers and Microscopes, Product Reviews, Product Spotlight, Vendor News Leave a comment

Sleek and Ergonomical

Original_Mantis_stereo-viewer-microscope_507How many of you have ever seen or used an eyepiece-less microscope like Vision Engineering’s Mantis? Ever wonder about the name–Mantis? Take a good look. What’s the head remind you of? A praying _____.  That, however is about as far as the comparison goes.The Mantis series of microscopes offer some of the sleekest and most ergonomically-designed visual inspection capabilities and comfort ever imagined. That’s not to say a praying mantis isn’t just as fascinating to look at, however, how the Mantis looks is just a small part of the picture.

Operator Comfort = Time and Money Savings

Mantis-Compact-inspection-microscope-Boom-12-507px_507The Mantis stereoscopic microscope may look like one eyepiece, yet it’s actually eyepiece-less. The operator’s eyes never touch the scope; ports for eyepieces do not exist.  Before, workers were always leaning over their microscopes and experienced constant eye fatigue.

Now, when using the Mantis, operators function in an entirely different way – because they can now sit comfortably and look straight ahead at their work. The impact goes way beyond operator comfort to include improved worker efficiency and accuracy, as well as saving owners time and money.

Twelve reasons the Mantis will make your operators, inspection customers and you, happy.

Before

Operators
  1. Felt compelled to hunch over their scope to fit their eyes to the eyepieces
  2. Worried about not being able to wear their glasses
  3. Changed out eyepieces to fit different worker needs
  4. Encountered decreased hand-to-eye coordination when looking through lenses
  5. Experienced health-related absences due to poor body position and fatigue
  6. Missed having any ambient light available because of the need to keep eyes to the eyepieces—adding to eye strain.

After

Operators –
  1. Experienced less to no back strain; sitting up straight came naturally when viewing
  2. Swapped out places with other operators without having to switch eyepieces
  3. Noticed excellent hand-to-eye coordination; increased peripheral vision
  4. Inspected and detected solder faults with more accuracy and ease
  5. Appreciated the natural ambient light now available between their eyes and the screen
  6. Observed superb 3D images; more depth perception because the Mantis head can be moved around

All-Spec carries the entire line of Mantis stereo microscopes including the Mantis Compact, Mantis Elite and Mantis Elite Cam. Each series has been designed to address and solve your needs and those of your operators whether being used for inspections, performing manipulation tasks or documenting. See which one’s right for you.


Cleanrooms – Every Breath You Take, Every Move You Make

Posted on by Barb N. in Cleanroom, Product Spotlight Leave a comment

Keep Contamination at Bay

You may or may not have ever had to don cleanroom clothing. If you have, you understand the “musts” of putting the multiple layers of protection on yourself to keep contamination at bay. The more critical the application the more clothes you’ll need.

europlaz-technologies-ltd-injection-moulding-cleanroom 1There’s no bones about it; everything is dirty. And even when you think it’s clean, it’s not. That’s why there’s a huge demand for “special” cleanroom apparel for gowning.

Sounds fashionable doesn’t it…apparel, gowning? Nuh-uh, this is not “Project Runway.”

All joking aside, cleanroom gowning is essential to working in the world of electronic assembly and PCBs. Immediately, you are one of the worst sources of contamination at a whopping 80%. And, there are bazillions of other contaminants besides you — supply air, room surfaces, tools, production machinery and processes, equipment and don’t forget your next door neighbors.

Thank goodness most of the bazillions can be sterilized or disinfected – but you can’t. Enter the invaluable sterile cleanroom wardrobe offering endless ways to cover you up, over, around and if needed, upside down.

Just like your dog or cat, you shed skin and hair, constantly. With it come microbes and the more you move the more microbes you make. Also, if you cough, talk, smoke, exhale or use cosmetics, you’re broadcasting particles far and wide.

These particles seem determined to get into the cleanroom with you, even if you believe you’ve worn enough protective clothing and put it on correctly. From the fashionable bouffant cap and beard covers to the myriad of shoe cover types—high traction, heavy-coated propropylene, anti-skid, super track, hypalon soles, meltblown, spunbond—cleanroom product manufacturers have you covered.

You’re Covered

Need a coat or coveralls, aka, bunny suit? All-Spec carries 72 coats and 115 coveralls. Did you say gloves? Take your pick from latex, neoprene, cut resistant, nitrile, vinyl—gloves for extreme temperatures, light-weight, heavy-weight; and what about the cuff – beaded, rolled or straight?

Each glove has been carefully and meticulously designed to work in particular environments and with specific applications to help keep you from contaminating your work and work area such as during assembly and inspection.

Every one of the hundreds and hundreds of cleanroom clothing items have a reason for existing–to stop particles from escaping from you. And cleanroom clothing has an enormous impact on reducing contaminants.

It’s in the Air

Keep dirty air out cleanroomThink of cleanroom clothing as a barrier between you and cleanroom air. An enormous amount of time and money have been spent to clean the air space you’ll be entering and working in. Properly suiting up for electronic assembly environments can be critical and if not done right, costly and potentially unsafe.

Those rascally particles, although your cleanroom apparel works hard to filter them, will still get out wherever they can–through neck, wrist or ankle openings, pores, holes and tears in the fabric and through your face mask. Everything around you, including the gowning bench you sit on while dressing, works to lessen contamination.

Additionally, every fabric that goes into the construction of a piece of cleanroom clothing has been carefully designed and constructed to minimize contamination as well as adhere to gowning protocols. For each cleanroom garment listed, All-Spec provides the “Standards Met.” For example, this KleenGuard coverall is listed ANSI/ISEA 101-1996, so that you can determine whether the apparel meets requirements.

Some cleanroom garments can be washed, however, most will be disposed of after use. How and where they’re disposed is also important; and sometimes users change one piece of clothing several times in a day depending on the cleanroom requirements.

The goal is to keep the sterile cleanroom clothing sterile including through the gowning process. Also, the order in which you don each item of clothing, down to the most minute detail, must also be considered to produce the most efficient and effective result, that is, the least amount of contamination possible.

Remember, every breath you take, every move you make introduces the potential for contamination. So be sure to “police” your own efforts.


Choosing a Soldering System

Posted on by Barb N. in Soldering Tips and Tricks Leave a comment

The Drag Racer or the Grocery Getter?

When choosing a soldering system —

Going for the shiny, expensive one with amped up wattage may not be the best way to go. Take your time. Which one’s the best fit for the job? Consider –

  • How many tips will you need hot at the same time?
  • Will you need more than one hand-piece?
  • Will you need to be constantly plugging in and unplugging?
  • How inter-compatible are the tips with the hand tools?

Think of solder like flowing water —

pressure washer resizedPace’s subject-matter expert and technical support go-to guy Tony Jones explains how to choose the size of the tip you’ll be using on your workpiece.
Small Tip vs. Large Tip –
If you think of solder flowing like water out of a hose, consider what’s happening if you choose a tiny tip. Like a pressure washer, you’ll be doing the same to the flow of the solder if using a small tip.
With the transition to lead-free solder, your heat requirements have changed. Digitally-controlled soldering stations help you meet the right temperature for creating good solder flow. A rule of thumb – always use the lowest temperature and the largest tip when soldering.

Pace st 50Considering buying a new soldering system? Pace has a buy two get one free promotion going on through May 30, 2016. Choose from the ESD-Safe ST 50 w/ PS-90 Soldering Iron or the ESD-Safe ST 50 w/ TD-100 Soldering Iron.


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