3M - Effective Management Of An ESD Environment In Production

Our thanks to 3M for allowing us to reprint the following article.
by Vladimir Kraz, Credence Technologies

Monitoring ESD Events As They Occur Is Critical To Ensure Quality

The traditional approach to ESD safety is concentrated mostly on individual components of a process, but not on the end result that they are supposed to achieve. ESDconscious companies spend millions of dollars on ESDprotective measures such as static-dissipative floors, ionizers, special garments, grounding, wrist-straps, personnel training, etc. The assumption is that, if all these measures are implemented, there will no longer be an ESD problem. But, as we know all too well, this is not exactly the case. Regardless of the level of ESD protection implemented, ESD problems still persist.

How would a diligent ESD specialist in a production facility verify that his environment is ESD-safe? Many companies use their yield for such verification. However, this approach is expensive, offers no real-time information, and cannot pinpoint specific problems in the process. As such, it does not lead to proper and timely corrective measures.

So how do you effectively manage your ESD environment? How do you verify that your ESD environment is truly safe? How do you assure that your components are not exposed to ESD? How do you prove to your customers that the components and assemblies that you provide to them have not been exposed to damaging ESD?...

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