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The Benefits of ESD-Safe Turntables -Take One for a Spin


Remember the lazy Susan? Once a staple on every dining room table where with a spin of a wooden disc your salt and pepper shakers suddenly appeared in front of you. The same idea works for an ESD-safe turntable, however Read more

Industry Council Wants Universal Understanding of Electrical Overstress


 Electrical Overstress (EOS) In August 2016, the Industry Council on ESD Target Levels released a new white paper on Electrical Overstress (EOS). The Council gathered information via a survey sent to more than 90 companies asking them about the importance of Read more

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

The Benefits of ESD-Safe Turntables -Take One for a Spin

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

Remember the lazy Susan?

imagesOnce a staple on every dining room table where with a spin of a wooden disc your salt and pepper shakers suddenly appeared in front of you. The same idea works for an ESD-safe turntable, however this disc does much more than turn.

Just like the revolving server, the turntable rotates to make working on large products and assemblies easier. With an ESD-safe turntable you avoid lifting heavy objects and–potential back injuries. With just a turn of the wheel you can access your next work area with ease—no lifting, lugging or jostling into place. And of course, the turntable eliminates electrostatic build-up.

The devices can be used on grounded or ungrounded surfaces, however on ungrounded surfaces the turntable must be grounded. The sizes range from 12” to 20” and come in different shapes depending on your application and preference.

esd-turntable

ESD-Safe Turntable – Not for use with food. Great for heavy objects.

The ESD-safe turntable can be an invaluable tool in the electronics industry and has become a staple in its own right at many workstations. See a choice of ESD-safe turntables at All-Spec including these brands – Protektive Pak, Fancort, Sovella and Desco.

Summary –

  • Keeps heavy objects grounded and shielded from static
  • Eliminates heavy lifting or transport
  • Protects workers, products and components
  • Useful all kinds of heavy assembly, rework or maintenance jobs
  • Removes charges on contact with grounded ESD surfaces

 

 

SEE HOW IT WORKS – Protektive Pak ESD Turntable


Industry Council Wants Universal Understanding of Electrical Overstress

Posted on by Barb N. in ESD News, Industry News Leave a comment

 Electrical Overstress (EOS)

In August 2016, the Industry Council on ESD Target Levels released a new white paper on Electrical Overstress (EOS). The Council gathered information via a survey sent to more than 90 companies asking them about the importance of EOS to their business and their methods for addressing EOS issues. One of their first steps—create a universal definition of EOS –

EOS – an electrical device suffers an electrical overstress event when a maximum limit for either the voltage across, the current through, or power dissipated in the device is exceeded and causes immediate damage or malfunction, or latent damage resulting in an unpredictable reduction of its lifetime.

In general, they found that ESD damage was often confused with EOS damage and those responsible for identifying failures were many times either inconsistent or incorrect in their findings. The Council also created multiple goals after gaining insight from the survey and laid out plans for the future.

Industry Council goals –

  • unified agreement eosReduce EOS occurrences
  • Create a unified global understanding of what constitutes EOS
  • Understand how EOS damage signatures can result from a wide variety of root causes
  • Address possible preventable failures showing EOS damage
  • Explain the non-correlation between EOS return rates and component ESD target levels
  • Standardize EOS reporting to reduce mislabeling damage as EOS
  • Continue to dispel the notion that EOS can be avoided by making devices more ESD robust (ref. JEDEC publications JEP155 [1] and JEP157)

 

The white paper contains very detailed explanations and diagrams to help EOS data reporters improve. (IC suppliers, i.e., customers, applications engineers and system builders). One of their most significant findings concerned Absolute Maximum Rating (AMR) and the actual meaning of maximum limit. (see definition of EOS) and the different methods a manufacturer uses to determine a device’s AMR values.

Industry Council on ESD survey resultsThe survey concluded –

  • Some suppliers do not include ESD limits as part of their AMR because testing to establish the ESD limits often does not have the similar statistical data required for setting more traditional items such as voltage.
  • Some suppliers do place ESD limits in their AMR definition believing this is part of the overall agreement that must be met between supplier and customer.
  • Other suppliers placed ESD limits in AMR sections because it was the only place that made sense to them.

 

The Council asks manufacturers to go back to suppliers to verify the AMR information published before the release of their EOS white paper.

 The white paper concluded –

  1. EOS has never been fully understood or accurately and thoroughly explained or interpreted.
  2. Meeting ESD levels beyond the specification targets does not mean a reduced rate of EOS returns. Overwhelming data from the Industry Council supports this assertion.
  3. Industry-wide surveys indicate a) EOS is the most common attribute of reported returns, b) most respondents indicated they use “damage signature” to determine EOS.
  4. EOS almost always represents permanent damage.
  5. Most common cause for EOS – 1) misapplication, 2) violations to absolute maximum ratings, 3) exposure to electrical stress events during assembly and in the field that violate the AMR
  6. Establishing a universal definition of EOS should foster better communication in the industry when addressing EOS problems
  7. Absolute maximum rating requires a more in-depth definition informing customers that exceeding the AMR value has risks and can lead to irrecoverable device damage. Also, an EOS event occurs if any AMR is exceeded for any period of time.
  8. AMR specifications must include constraints for excursions in system operation and environmental conditions needing to be accommodated by system design to allow safe operation and handling of semiconductor components.
  9. Electrical and environmental conditions for intended AMR values must be documented in datasheets.
  10. In unique systems requirements, the AMR values must be provided by semiconductor component suppliers according to electrical and environmental conditions given by system manufacturers.

The Industry Council hopes to foster understanding of EOS, the root cause determination for resolving EOS issues and implementation of methods for EOS mitigation.

 

 


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.


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