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Advanced Techniques to Determine Electrostatic Risks in Electronics Factories
Keywords: ESD, Process, Monitoring
Designing a factory electrostatic discharge (ESD) control program requires an understanding of all the processes where unprotected ESD susceptible items are handled either manually or by machine. The standard, ANSI/ESD S20.20- ESD Association Standard for the Development of an Electrostatic Discharge Control Program for Protection of Electrical and Electronic Parts, Assemblies and Equipment (Excluding Electrically Initiated Explosive Devices) provides a basis with which to establish a state of the art handling procedure for control of electrostatics throughout a manufacturing process. Human handling aspects with regard to ESD are generally understood and control procedures where people are involved are fairly well implemented. Personnel grounding systems and monitors are installed in order to make sure that personnel do not accumulate and transfer electrostatic charge that could damage sensitive parts during handling or assembly operations. Being able to determine and quantify electrostatic fields within process equipment has been limited until recently. To qualify a factory to ANSI/ESD S20.20, control over Human Body Model (HBM), Machine Model (MM) and Charged Device Model (CDM) types of discharges must be in place and evident. Electrostatic charge is developed in processes such as pick-and-place, manual part insertion, wiring installation, hardware installation, connector assembly and other electro-mechanical operations. Determining the level of static charge generation and accumulation provides part of the necessary data for determining the electrostatic risk to parts within a process. Other peripheral measurements such as resistance between machine elements, resistance to ground of equipment and personnel and electrical fields from process essential insulators, allow the prediction of electrostatic risks for the equipment and process in question.
David E. Swenson, President
Affinity Static Control Consulting, LLC
Round Rock, TX

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