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Key elements in an ESD Program

Principles of electrostatic safe handling

There are two simple principles we can use to protect ESD sensitive components from ESD damage:

  • Only handle sensitive components in an ESD Protected Area (EPA) under protected and controlled conditions
  • Protect sensitive devices outside the EPA using ESD protective packaging

What is an EPA?

An EPA is an area that is maintained safe for handling static sensitive components by keeping electrostatic fields and voltages to an insignificantly low level. An EPA should have well defined boundaries so that it is clear where the safe area is entered and left.

Insulating materials are strong ESD sources and so they are excluded from the EPA where possible. Where this is not possible special measures such as ionisers are used to neutralise electrostatic charges.

All non-insulating and conductive objects are grounded, so that electrostatic charge cannot build up on these. Most importantly, all personnel (people are conductive objects!) are grounded so that they do not charge to high voltages. There are two ways in which people are grounded:

  • Using a grounded wrist strap (this is the preferred method)
  • Using conductive footwear (conductive or dissipative shoes, or heel & toe straps on both feet) in conjunction with a grounded conductive floor.

Three key elements of an effective ESD program

An effective ESD program requires three main parts:

  • The ESD Program. This is a document that specifies the equipment used, and procedures followed in order to ensure electrostatic safe handling.
  • The Training program. This is required in order to make sure that everyone is aware of, and understands the ESD Program, use of equipment and correct procedures.
  • The Audit program. This is required in order to make sure that equipment remains functional, and that the ESD Program procedures are correctly followed.

If any of these is absent, it is likely that the ESD prevention measures will eventually fail. This is why the 61340-5-1:2007 stndard requires an ESD Control Program Plan, ESD Training Plan and Compliance Verification Plan be written.


Terms and conditons

Terms and conditions of use of the ESD Guide

Reality of ESD Seminar

A great introduction to ESD for all personnel.

Achieving a highly effective ESD program

"From nil knowledge to budding expert in two days" as one delegate put it! An excellent seminar for anyone who is implementing or maintaining an ESD Program.

Site ESD Healthcheck

When you want an independent opinion on the state of your facility, or want to make improvements. Our expert spends a day with you on your site and sends you a comprehensive report.

How we can help

Just a few of the ways we can help you get the best from your ESD program.

Where to get standards

Where you can get the 61340-5-1 and other standards.