Air ionization can be an important solution to dealing with electrostatic discharge (ESD) because of the damage that ESD can cause when air is not ionized in a working environment.
Problems that can occur include:
- Products, process tools, or components being damaged due to a direct ESD event.
- Surface contamination due to electrostatic attraction of particles (ESA).
- Latch-up of process equipment because of ESD and resulting in electromagnetic interference (EMI).
Some manufacturing processes use non-conductive materials and isolated conductors. These processes then generate and carry large charge potentials, which can negatively affect production of certain types of equipment. Ionizers prevent the accumulation of static charge on any object that cannot be grounded. This static charge needs to be removed quickly because it will likely cause an ESD event.
The main method to stop these ESD events is using wrist straps, ground straps, and conductive footwear to ground the user and equipment. However, in some cases, these methods are impractical and air ionization then becomes the best option.
All air ionization methods do the same thing: they move electrons between gas molecules. Without getting into too much scientific detail, ionizers can decrease tool repair costs and increase equipment uptime by 50%. They also protect ESD sensitive equipment, control particle contamination, and reduce process equipment lock-up. This is done by introducing ionized particles to neutralize the charges that are already built up.
See our article on how to choose the right ionizer or visit All-Spec’s website for our selection of all types of ionizers.
In order to fully understand the differences between the WES51 and the WESD51 (and their advantages and disadvantages), you first need to know some of the similarities they share.
The WES51 and the WESD51 are both soldering stations that include a power unit, a PES51 soldering pencil with an ETA solder tip, a PH50 stand, and a sponge. They are both designed for continuous production soldering and can display both Fahrenheit and Celsius readings. Their innovative heaters and sensor combinations allow for quick heat-up and fast temperature recovery. In addition, outside operators are prevented from adjusting the temperature to levels higher than necessary by wireless temperature lockout. This gives you complete control over the soldering process. Both are UL and cUL listed as well as ESD safe.
Although the WES51 and WESD51 have only a few differences, they are relevant enough to push some users to one or the other. The WES51 uses only analog adjustments for temperature settings, while the WESD51 uses digital temperature readout. With the digital LED display on the WESD51 you can read both the set temperature and the actual tip temperature. This allows the user to not only accurately set the temperature, but check the temperature of the soldering pencil at any time allowing for more precision and process control. The digital screen can also be more easily read than the dial setting on the analog WES51.
The Weller WES51 and the WESD51 are both available on All-Spec’s website!
Before you can understand ESD (electrostatic discharge), you first need to understand what static electricity is. Static electricity is the buildup of an electrical charge through an imbalance of electrons. This is most obvious when your hair stands up or when your clothes stick together right after pulling them out of the dryer. This happens because one item has a positive charge and the other item has a negative charge.
Technically speaking, an ESD event is defined as an event where there is a transfer of a charge between two bodies with different electrical potentials. The most notable ESD event is the occurrence of lightning (300,000,000 volts). However, the most common one you will physically experience is the shock you receive when you touch a metal doorknob after walking across a carpet on a cold dry day. Lightning is obviously an ESD event on a grand scale with huge transfers of electrons compared to the small discharge present when touching the doorknob.
If we don’t get injured when we are shocked by touching the doorknob, then why do we have precautions against ESD? ESD does do damage when it happens. Just like a lightning bolt can potentially kill a person, a small ESD event can potentially destroy an electric component. Small electronic components such as Service Mount Devices (SMDs) are very susceptible to ESD events. Whereas a person can only begin to feel an ESD event between 2,000 and 3,000 volts, a small component can be damaged or even be destroyed by just a few volts of discharge. By wearing grounding equipment and following ESD precautionary procedures, we reduce the risk of damaging these components.
For our selection of ESD products visit the All-Spec website or the Electrostatic Discharge Association website for more information.
Looking for more information about the basics of ESD?
Diopter dilemma? Read on for more information on selecting the proper magnifier for you.
A diopter is a unit of measurement describing the optical power of a lens or curved mirror. When shopping for magnifiers, consider this: The diopter is equal to the reciprocal of the focal length measured in meters. For example a 5 diopter lens brings light rays to focus at 1/5 meter. Each diopter increases the size of the viewed object by 25% when the object is at its full focal length from the lens. Remember that as the lenses become stronger and magnification increases, viewing areas and focal length decrease.
An “x” usually follows the magnification number. This “x” is used to express power or the size of the object in relationship to its actual size.
How to select the magnifier for you:
- Decide how much magnification you need. In doing so, remember that if you increase the magnification, the focal length and the viewing area will be smaller.
- Determine which diopter you need.
- Make sure you check the focal length and the diameter of the lens in accordance with your task
All-Spec Industries provides all kinds of magnifiers to fit your needs.
All-Spec is excited to announce that our Summer 2007 catalog is now available for viewing. If you currently are not on our mailing list to receive your complimentary issue, please sign up here for free. We have added many new brand names as well as new products. Check them out below!