Category Archives: ESD Information

WEBINAR: Personnel Grounding Testing and Access Control to an ESD Protected Area

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Do you know if only trained personnel are entering the ESD Protected Area (EPA) unaccompanied? Have all employees tested their personnel grounding devices, such as Wrist Straps, ESD Footwear and ESD Garments, before entering the EPA? Access Control is a vital part of any ESD Control programme, it helps to ensure all the methods and procedures you have put in place to control ESD within the area are actually being carried out.

Join us as we look at this subject in more detail, we will be covering:

  • Testing requirements for entering an ESD Protected Area
  • Access control options
  • Data logging and program management
  • Q and A with our experts

WHEN: Thursday July 9, 2020 at 10am BST

Click HERE to register.

WEBINAR: Function and Requirements of ESD Smocks

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There is a common misconception that because a person is grounded via wrist strap or footwear their clothing is also grounded. However, most standard clothing is made from insulative materials and therefore will hold a charge, even if the persons skin is grounded. The ESD Smock is designed to create a faraday cage effect around the torso and arms of the operator, shielding charge from the operator’s clothing from ESD sensitive devices.

Join us as we look at this subject in more detail, we will be covering:

  • Types of Smocks
  • IEC 61340-4-9 Testing Requirements
  • Features of Desco Smocks
  • Q and A with our experts

WHEN: Thursday June 25, 2020 at 10am BST

Click HERE to register.

WEBINAR: Packaging and Storage of your ESD Sensitive Devices

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There are only 3 fundamental areas of ESD Control. One of them is to Shield ESD sensitive devices when they are stored or transported outside the EPA. It is a vital part of any ESD Control Programme. Nonetheless, with so many options on the market, it can be difficult to know where to begin.

Join us as we look at:

  • The basics
  • Requirements of the standard
  • Demo of different types of packaging
  • Different options
  • Testing
  • Q and A with our experts

WHEN: Thursday June 18, 2020 at 10am BST

Click HERE to register.

 

WEBINAR: Measuring Resistance in an ESD Protected Area

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With most compliance verification tests in IEC 61340-5-1 being based on Resistance, it is an important area of ESD Control to address. Join our next webinar as we not only talk through the requirements of the standard but also demonstrate various different testing methods using our Digital Surface Resistance Meter, these include:

  • Wrist Straps
  • Working Surfaces
  • Flooring
  • Seating
  • Static Control Garments

WHEN: Thursday June 11, 2020 at 10am BST

Click HERE to register.

WEBINAR: Understanding Footwear/Flooring Personnel Grounding

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With so many options for flooring and footwear, it’s no wonder that there are often questions surrounding the subject. Join us as we explore the different types of ESD flooring products available at Desco Europe, along with:

  • Industry Standards for Footwear/Flooring Systems
  • The Benefits of the Different Types of Flooring
  • How to Test ESD Flooring
  • Q and A with our experts

WHEN: Thursday June 4, 2020 at 10am BST

Click HERE to register.

Webinar: Wrist Straps and ESD Control

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Desco Europe manufactures a variety of wrist straps made from various materials. Knowing how these wrist straps work and differ from each other is vital for any ESD Control Plan.

This webinar will include the following about Wrist Straps:

  • How they work
  • Performance advantages
  • Testing and monitoring options
  • Q and A with our experts

WHEN: Thursday May 28, 2020 at 10am BST

Click HERE to register.

Webinar: Ionisation in Electronics Production

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A complete static control programme must deal with isolated conductors and insulating materials that cannot be grounded. This is where ionisation plays a key role.

This webinar will include the following:

  • Industry Requirements for Ionisation
  • Understanding Ionisation
  • Products and Applications
  • Q and A with our experts

WHEN: Thursday May 21, 2020 at 10am BST

Click HERE to register.

 

Webinar: Requirements for an ESD Work Surface

DescoEurope-Webinar_2020-05-14-BannerESD Work Surfaces are a key part of all ESD Control Plans. Any surface that an “exposed” ESD Susceptible Device is placed upon can be considered an ESD Work Surface. Yet, with a variety of different materials available for differing applications, how do you choose the right surface for you?

This webinar will include the following:

  • Industry Standards
  • Types and Functionality
  • Grounding
  • Testing Methods
  • Maintenance
  • Q and A with our experts

WHEN: Thursday May 14, 2020 at 10am BST

Click HERE to register.

Webinar: Selecting A Personnel Grounding Tester

DescoEurope-Webinar_2020-05-07-BannerThe testing of wrist straps, foot grounders, and other personnel grounding devices is a vital part of any ESD Control Plan. Yet, with a variety of testers available for differing applications, how do you know which personnel grounding tester is right for your application?

This webinar will include the following:

  • Importance of Periodic Touch Testers in ESD control programs
  • Preferred testers for different applications
  • Q and A with our experts

WHEN: Thursday May 7, 2020 at 10am BST

Click HERE to register.

Are your Ionisers working correctly?

The best way to keep electrostatic sensitive devices (ESDs) from damage is to ground all conductive objects and remove insulators from your ESD Protected Area (EPA). This is not always possible because some insulators are “process-essential” and are necessary to build or assemble the finished product. The only way to control charges on these necessary non-conductive items is the use of ionisation systems.
However, if an ioniser is out of balance, instead of neutralising charges, it will produce primarily positive or negative ions. This results in placing an electrostatic charge on items that are not grounded, potentially discharging and causing ESD damage to nearby sensitive items.
It is therefore essential to regularly clean ionisers and verify their functionality. Below we have put together a list of tasks that need to be performed with ionisers on a regular basis.

Maintenance
All ionization devices will require periodic maintenance for proper operation. Maintenance intervals for ionizers vary widely depending on the type of ionization equipment and use environment. Critical clean room uses will generally require more frequent attention. It is important to set-up a routine schedule for ionizer service. Routine service is typically required to meet quality audit requirements.” (User Guide CLC/TR 61340-5-2 clause 4.7.6.7 Maintenance and cleaning)
EIA-625, recommends checking ionisers every 6 months, but this may not be suitable for many programs particularly since an out-of-balance may exist for months before it is checked again. EN 61340-5-1 clause 5.2.4 Compliance Verification Plan  states: “Process monitoring (measurements) shall be conducted in accordance with a compliance verification plan that identifies the technical requirements to be verified, the measurement limits and the frequency at which those verifications shall occur.
Under normal conditions, an ioniser will attract dirt and dust (especially on the emitter points). To maintain optimum neutralisation efficiency and operation, cleaning should be performed on a regular basis.

1. Case
Wipe the case with a soft cloth and deionised water. Fully squeeze the wiping cloth or sponge to remove any excess liquid. If a stronger cleaning solution is required, dab a soft cloth with mixture of isopropyl alcohol and deionised water (70% IPA and 30% DI water).

2. Emitter Points
The emitter points should be cleaned using specific emitter point cleaners or a swab dampened with Isopropyl alcohol. Below are general instructions on how to clean emitter points. However, each unit is slightly different so always refer to the ioniser’s manual.

  • Turn the unit OFF and unplug the power cord.
  • Open the top screen by loosening the screw and swinging the grill to one side.
  • Clean the emitter points using an emitter point cleaner or a swab dampened with Isopropyl alcohol.
  • Re-attach the top screen.
  • Plug in the power cord and turn the unit ON.

Verify the performance of the ioniser by using a charged plate monitor or ionisation test kit (see below).

Cleaning of Emitter Points using SCS 9110-NO as an exampleCleaning of Emitter Points using SCS 9110-NO as an example

With normal handling, the emitter points should not require replacement during the life of the unit.

Verification
EN 61340-4-7 provides test methods and procedures for evaluating and selecting air ionisation equipment. It is recommended to measure the offset voltage and discharge times, clean the unit, including emitter points and air filters if present, offset the voltage to zero (if adjustable), and then repeat offset voltage and discharge time testing. Should the unit not meet offset voltage specifications or minimum established discharge time limits, further service is required. Manufacturers should provide details on service procedures and typical service intervals.
Most companies will assign a number or otherwise identify each ioniser and setup a Compliance Verification / Maintenance / Calibration schedule. If the ionisers all test good, the data can justify lengthening the calibration period. If ionisers require adjustment, the calibration period should be shortened.

Verification should be performed in accordance with EN 61340-4-7.
Below are general instructions on how to verify your ioniser’s offset voltage and discharge time. Always refer to the User Guide accompanying your charge plate monitor or ionisation test kit for proper operation and setup.

1. Testing Ioniser Offset Voltage:
The required limit per EN 61340-5-1 is less than ± 35 volts. Check your ioniser’s operating manual or consult with the ioniser manufacturer to determine what the offset voltage should be for your ioniser.

Charge Plate Monitor (CPM)

  • Position the ioniser and charge plate monitor as shown below.
  • Set the CPM to Decay/Offset mode.
  • Set the CPM to decay and offset voltage mode with a starting charge at either + or – 1 KV and a stopping charge at either + or -100 Volts.
  • Start the decay/offset test sequence on the CPM. This will take a few seconds.
  • Record the decay time, and offset voltage as displayed on the CPM.

Positioning your Charge Plate Monitor for Overhead and Benchtop Ionisers

Ionisation Test Kit

  • Zero the charge plate by touching it with a grounded object. This can either be the finger of a grounded person or some other item which is connected to electrical ground. In either case, zeroing the charge plate should make the display on the field meter read zero.
  • Hold the meter approximately one foot (30.5 cm) in front of the ioniser.
  • Monitor the display. The value displayed is the offset balance of the ioniser, which is the difference between the number of positive and negative ions being emitted.

Auditing ionisation equipment with the Digital Static Field Meter and Conductive PlateAuditing ionisation equipment with the Digital Static Field Meter and Conductive Plate

2. Testing Ioniser Discharge Time:
The required limit per EN 61340-5-1 is “(1 000 V to 100 V and –1 000 V to –100 V) < 20 s or user defined”. Please refer to the ioniser’s operating manual or consult with the ioniser manufacturer to determine what this discharge time should be.

Charge Plate Monitor (CPM)

  • Set the CPM to Decay/Offset mode.
  • Set the CPM to decay and offset voltage mode with a starting charge at either + or – 1 KV and a stopping charge at either + or -100 Volts.
  • Start the decay/offset test sequence on the CPM. This will take a few seconds.
  • Record the decay time, and offset voltage as displayed on the CPM.

Ionisation Test Kit

  • After charging the plate of the ionisation test kit, hold the field meter approximately one foot (30.5 cm) away from the ioniser.
  • Monitor the display of the meter to see how quickly the 1.1 kV charge is dissipated to 0.1 kV.
  • The speed at which this occurs (the discharge time) indicates how well the ioniser is operating.
  • Repeat this procedure for both a positively and a negatively charged plate.

Some ionisers offer adjustment options (e.g. trim pots) which allow modification of the offset voltage.
However, if your ioniser is out of balance (and cannot be adjusted) or if the discharge time is out of specification, the ioniser will require service/repair by an authorised company.

Conclusion
Ionisation is one of the best methods of removing charges from insulators and as a result plays an important role in controlling ESD.
Remember though: ionisers require periodic cleaning of emitter pins and verifying of the offset voltage and discharge time. Otherwise, instead of neutralising charges, the ioniser will primarily produce positive or negative ions. The ioniser will therefore place an electrostatic charge on items that are not grounded, potentially discharging and causing ESD damage to nearby sensitive items.

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