January 5th, 2024

The Importance of ESD Control


When working in manufacturing, it is crucial to know and practice important safety rules to ensure products meet high-quality standards. One safety measure that is often overlooked is the importance of electrostatic discharge (ESD) control. This article takes a deep dive into ESD and how it can impact your product and company as a whole.

What does ESD mean?

ESD is the sudden flow of electricity between two electrically charged objects that contain different charges and numbers of electrons. The transfer of electrons creates a large electromagnetic field buildup, resulting in ESD. Some examples of ESD we may experience include:

  • Experiencing a shock when touching the doorknob

  • Static in the hair after brushing while dry

  • Rubbing a balloon against a sweater

ESD can and will cause parts to fail and cause many defects.  Components and hardware used in electronics manufacturing are prone to being damaged from ESD exposure. Parts can become damaged due to ESD when:

  • Exposure to non-grounded areas that stop the flow of electricity

  • A conductive path is formed from insulating layers, and causes internal damage of a component

  • Not wearing the proper grounding gear near sensitive electronic parts

In addition, product failure due to ESD can be costly.  Just imagine the amount of time wasted repairing damaged components, or continuously scrapping parts and replacing them.

Ways to Prevent ESD

With proper training and awareness, ESD occurrence can be avoided.  Listed are some best practice tips when it comes to ESD prevention:

  • Have the designated area for making products ESD proof (table mats, floor mats, etc.)

  • Wear ESD smocks to prevent the flow of electricity from your clothing to the product

  • Wear ESD wrist and heel straps

  • Use ESD packaging when storing products away

  • Clean ESD mats with a cleaner made for ESD material

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