Electrostatic discharge (ESD) can be extremely costly in an electronics manufacturing facility. ESD is the sudden flow of electricity between two electrically charged objects caused by contact, an electrical short, or dielectric breakdown. A build-up of static electricity can be caused by tribocharging or by electrostatic induction.
So, why is it so important to eliminate ESD? Well, many electronic components are highly sensitive to ESD shocks and can often be damaged beyond the point of repair when exposed to even low levels of ESD. Sometimes the level of charge can be so low that we don't even realise it is present until it is too late. This means that products need to be protected against ESD before, during and after manufacture to prevent damage, reduce costs and ensure quality.
The article below by Vermason explores how this can be damaging to a manufacturing facility and ways in which to combat the negative effects, focussing specifically on flooring solutions.
It is important to note that in order to fully combat ESD problems, you may need to implement a multi-level strategy integrating all aspects of protection, from flooring to packaging to ensure the best results and highest quality.
The generation of a static charge can pose quite a problem for environments that contain sensitive equipment or components that are vulnerable to static damage, such as electronic manufacturing, repair facilities or medical facilities including computer rooms and clean rooms.
Controlling the damage and costs caused by ESD is usually the main concern that drives a company to implement a static control programme. The costs involved with static damage not only include the immediate cost of the damaged component but the contributing cost of diagnostic and repair labour that is needed to replace or fix the component. In most cases, the labour involved will far exceed the component cost. If the damaged component performs enough to pass Quality Control (QC), it is called a soft failure as opposed to a hard failure when it does not pass the QC