Controlling ESD in Electronics Manufacturing

Controlling ESD in Electronics Manufacturing

Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) are an ongoing challenge in the manufacturing of electronics. By focusing on the following basic principles of controlling electrostatic discharge (ESD), a control program becomes less complex.

Design ESD Resistant Products & Assemblies

Wherever and whenever possible, design products to be reasonably resistant to the effects of ESD by using less static sensitive devices or providing appropriate input protection on devices, boards, assemblies and equipment. See our selection static control products more on this.

Paradoxically, advancing technologies are using smaller more complex geometries that often end up being more not less susceptible to ESD. This makes it harder for engineers and designers to stay out front of potential problems.

Define Control Program Requirements

To understand and define control requirements for your specific environment, identify the most sensitive ESD or susceptible component(s) that you are using.
Know the Human-Body Model (HBM) and Charged-Device Model (CDM) sensitivity levels for all devices being handled in the cleanroom and manufacturing environment to understand and define control program requirements tailored to program-specific needs.

Delineate ESD Areas

An ESD-protected area is “a defined location with the necessary materials, tools, and equipment capable of controlling state electricity to a level that minimizes damage to ESD susceptible items.” These areas have, at a minimum, basic ESD control procedures, including bonding or common point grounding of conductive and dissipative materials, and personnel that protect people and products from ESD.

Reduce ESD Generation

ESD sensitivity is projected to increase. This will make minimizing ESD losses increasingly difficult unless ESD and accumulation are reduced using a “no charge – no discharge” approach.

This approach would begin by eliminating as many static-charge-generating processes and materials as possible, especially high-charging insulators, like common plastics, from the cleanroom environment as possible.

Then, it would be necessary to keep conductive/dissipative materials at the same electric field potential by using bonding or grounding equipment and personnel, while understanding that complete removal or charge generation is not achievable.

Seatia ESD Chair

Static Solutions Metal Expansion Plastic Encapsulated Wrist Strap WS-1037

Static Solutions Heel Grounder: Elastic Hook And Loop Enclosure SS-FG-7020

Heel Grounder HGBT-NHE318A

Safely Neutralize ESD Occurrences

It’s not possible to eliminate all occurrences of ESD. The safe dissipation of any occurrences through proper precautions is critical. Proper grounding and the use of conductive or dissipative materials help to control the magnitude of a discharge.

For example, personnel starting a shift may have a charge on their body that can be removed by attachment to a grounded wrist strap. Preventing damage to a charged device can be achieved by controlling the magnitude of the discharge current with static dissipative materials.

Prevent Discharges from Travelling

Finally, prevent occurrences of ESD from reaching susceptible parts and assemblies through the use of ESD-control packaging and material-handling products. These products can effectively shield products from charges and discharges and reduce damage from movement.

For expert advice and the best technology to protect your electronics, you can rely on Blue Thunder Technologies.