ESD Controls – Prevent, Dissipate, Improve!

by Andy on June 8, 2010

In the workplace, ESD can often be a dangerous and costly cause of device failures. So, let’s take action to correct this matter. According to SiliconFarEast.com, a semiconductor manufacturing reference, there are three major categories of ESD controls: (1) prevention of static charge build-up, (2) safe dissipation of any charge build-up, and (3) improvements in the awareness of ESD-sensitive products.

Although the first two categories are similar, some charge build-up can be avoided altogether by using the proper materials. For instance, ionizers will neutralize newly generate charges and will therefore prevent charge build-up. Also, avoid equipment with moving parts that can also generate new charges.

On a similar note, safe dissipation is important when it comes to controlling ESD. Because not all charge build-up can be prevented, it needs somewhere to go without being damaging to the static sensitive device. Accordingly, a proper grounding system should be in effect within a factory environment, allowing charges to flow to the ground. In addition, properly grounded garments (such as the wrist strap to the left) add protection.

Thirdly, improvements can always be made to assist in the control of ESD. Training and retraining of ESD precautions is of utmost importance, especially to individuals working on the production line. Afterwards, a standard ESD audit of the manufacturing line is necessary to maintain ESD compliance. Also, ESD-sensitive items need to be identified, along with their respective levels of sensitivity.

Save yourself time, money, and stress by taking these simple ESD control measures. Remember… Prevent, Dissipate, Improve!

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