Just by moving, a person generates static electricity. In these circumstances, hand contact with a conductive material will cause a fast discharge of static from your body. This is what’s known as ESD = Electrostatic discharge. Static electricity is becoming a major problem in the electronic manufacturing industry. Typically, this goes unnoticed because our bodies do not feel electrostatic discharges under 3000 volts. Over 5000 volts, we may see ESD as a spark. A lot of standard components are sensitive to charges of 100 – 200 volts and extremely sensitive electronics may be damaged by a charge of only 30 volts. When manufacturing electronic equipment, it’s vital to measure your ESD control regularly and correctly.
Below are some essential tips for measuring all components of your ESD workstation.
- · When you measure your ESD control on your work surface, place your probes on the tabletop, spaced at least 25 cm apart and at least 5 cm from the top.
- · With tables and shelves, put one probe on your work surface and the other probe on the shelf. Your point-to-point resistance should be < 1x10⁹ Ω
- · For flooring, place one probe on the work surface and the other probe on the ESD floor. The point-to-point resistance should be < 1x10⁹ Ω
- · Test the common point ground by placing the probe on the tabletop and measure the system’s total resistance between the tabletop and the common point ground using a measuring lead.
- · Chair ESD, place one probe on the seat of the chair and the other probe on a metal plate under one of the chair’s wheels. Point-to-point resistance should be < 1x10⁹ Ω (with upcoming standard < 1x1010 Ω). For best results, ensure chair wheels have been cleaned with ESD detergent.