• What is Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)?

  • Why should your company care about ESD?

  • And what can you do to prevent ESD?

  • Show your customers that ESD Control is an integral part of your high-quality product commitment!

ESD damage not only directly affects the quality & reliability of your products, but also can impact your company’s reputation and bottom line!  Thus, we are here to help you to inspect your facility, to determine your exact needs & requirements, and to recommend the appropriate ESD control materials & procedures for your successful ESD Control Program implementation.    

Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) is ever present around us!  It is the transfer of electrical charge between two bodies at different potentials, either through direct contact or through an induced electrical field.  Each time we walk across the carpet, we may generate kilovolts of static electricity.  The quick change in static voltage and burst of current produce a powerful electromagnetic field which can destroy semiconductor components & circuit assemblies and result in malfunction of electronic equipment…..While this discharge results in a harmless shock to the human bodies, it is detrimental to sensitive electronics!  A malfunction in the components or boards may occur immediately or the equipment may perform for weeks, months, or even years before an unpredictable and premature breakdown will cause a field failure. 

With devices becoming more sensitive to ESD nowadays, i.e. components are developed with higher density (extra memory bits per unit volume) and are becoming faster (MHz, GHz, THz, etc.).  These upgrades in technology do not come without a “technological price”.  By enhancing the products' performance to meet the users' demands and requirements, one drawback is the reduction in the ESD sensitivity voltage levels.  For instance, you may find that a serial port IC has an ESD withstand voltage of 15KV!  By the same token, an FPGA on the same circuit board has an ESD withstand voltage of only 75 volts!!!  Knowing that operators can easily generate up to (and exceed) 10KV, the $750 FPGA can be partially destroyed by an operator who is simply not following proper ESD control guidelines.  As ESD can occur anywhere from the receiving stage of your operations, to testing, manufacturing, shipping, and field handling of circuit boards & components, it is essential that companies implement ESD Control programs to minimize the risk of ESD damage.

Here are the benefits of your company’s investment in an ESD Control Program:

· Reduced scrap, rework, and inventory

· Higher production yields

· Increased product quality & reliability

· Lower operating expenses

· Less field failures and warranty problems

· Enhanced customer satisfaction

· Larger company’s profits

Any organization, from semiconductor clean rooms and commercial & industrial applications to military satellites and defense systems, that manufactures electronic assemblies which are susceptible to damage by Electrostatic Discharge (ESD), or any facility, that in any way handles ESD sensitive devices or assemblies, is required to have an ESD Control Program. 

The ESD audit is based on the ESD Control Program that has been designed & approved by your company management, and implemented at all operating levels, and it is an essential part of an excellent ESD Control Program.  It validates all ESD control procedures & products, provides a continuous reminder to your staff members of their responsibilities, and presents your organization with the necessary feedback for any corrective action. 

The ESD inspection will be performed under the direction of our Lead ESD Auditor/Trainer, who is an ESD Program Manager certified by the ESD Association and an expert ESDC (Electrostatic Discharge Control) Consultant, certified by iNARTE (International Association of Radio, Telecommunications and Electromagnetics), and also a Professional Licensed Electrical Engineer, as well as a skilled IPC-certified ESDC Instructor, with multiple years of experience and knowledge in ESD and technical excellence in training, know-how, and job performance.  In addition, he is a member of The Industry Council on ESD Target Levels, an independent body of ESD experts with the mission to review the ESD robustness requirements of modern IC products for allowing safe handling and mounting in ESD-protected areas.  Our highly qualified "ESD Control" consulting staff,  with over 60 years of combined design skills and practice, have successfully developed a multitude of products for different industries, including military, defense, avionic, aerospace, commercial, industrial, medical, and automotive.  Their extensive electronics & electrical engineering background has provided them with valuable insights and much profound, in-depth, comprehensive understanding of the ESD subject, enabling our organization to better serve you by effectively assisting you with your specific ESD control needs & requirements.  

 

Our ESD control service is of an instructive, consultative style – the approach is of dialogue & principle-based emphasis (versus the traditional procedural-based method).  The ESD audit is enhanced, as it is not simply performed based on the typical, industry standard ESD inspection process.   We not only thoroughly examine, assess, and validate all facets of your ESD Control Program to ensure that they comply with the applicable EOS/ESD industry recognized best practices & policies and conform with your company's defined procedures, specifications, and requirements, but also educate your associates about ESD during the audit, by encouraging them in their learning and involving them in the ESD review process, in order to improve their knowledge and understanding about the subject of ESD, and to help them to develop a greater appreciation for ESD control, as well as to remind them of their responsibilities.  We will conduct well-documented analysis of your ESD environment and ensure an unbiased report, providing your management with the necessary feedback for any corrective action.

During the audit, we verify all aspects of the program to ensure that they comply with your company specified best practices & policies.  We record and report all discrepancies related to your ESD Control Program, which may consist of control methods, technical requirements, materials, and equipment such as grounding/bonding systems, protective materials, protective packaging, marking, handling, humidity control, ionization & monitoring methods, personal grounding, protected areas, and sensitivity testing, etc., as well as the administrative requirements, including the ESD training plan and the ESD compliance verification plan.  

Upon audit completion, we will compile our evaluation report and recommend the appropriate corrective suggestions.  Our ultimate objective is to effectively help you to continually improve, manage, and sustain a well-ordered, disciplined, and successful ESD Control Program! 

Each organization's audit procedures are distinctive to his own individual control program, but certain characteristics will be fundamental of every program.  We believe that the key areas for inspection & evaluation are the work area integrity, the condition of the floors & workbenches, the test schedule for ESD control products, and the operator conformance to the correct procedures.

Some companies may have a Quality Engineer or an ESD Coordinator in house to conduct their own ESD inspections/audits.  However, are these individuals equipped with the thorough knowledge and the extensive experience which the Skolnik ESD Control (ESDC) staff possesses (each of our ESDC member has over 20 years of experience in electronics) to be able to explain what is wrong and how to rectify it once a problem is located?  For example, the Quality Engineer might not utilize the equipment properly, as he/she does not understand the importance of the test equipment physical placement.  Also, they may not have the electronics background and education, as well as the many lessons learned that our ESDC team members have gained, as we continually assist numerous companies throughout the industry.  Moreover, there are costs associated with employing in-house personnel to perform these internal ESD surveys, i.e. the cost of the special equipment and its calibration cost, and the personnel training cost on the equipment operation, etc.

Additionally, many managers do not understand ESD.  Perhaps they do not have the figures to show them the actual costs resulted from ESD damages, either because failure analysis is not required or is simply too expensive to perform.  On the other hand, what they do know is the cost for ESD control/prevention.  It is a set cost which they can evaluate/compare, and they can save money by employing the expert to assist with the ESD inspection & training.  Simply remember that ESD damage not only directly affects the quality & reliability of your products, but can also impact your company’s reputation and profit!

The advantages to applying Skolnik Technical’s ESDC service is that we will bring our expertise and the necessary calibrated equipment to you, and not only will we effectively & efficiently perform the inspection but also during the process, we will enthusiastically educate your staff about ESD control and help them to develop an enhanced appreciation for it!    How can Skolnik Technical save money for your company?  Let the “ESDC Pros” from our organization show you how!

The past several years, we have been actively and continually supporting Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) with their ESD Control Program by performing ESD evaluation of the different sites of the Lab itself, and providing ESD control training to their staff, as well as conducting ESD audits of many SNL suppliers/vendors and a multitude of private companies across the nation.   

As commented by our various customers, Skolnik Technical’s audits are of exceptionally high quality.  The critical guidance and coaching, which we establish & integrate into our conventional ESD inspection process, that is provided to your staff not only have been very well received by our customers, but also have been proven to be very beneficial for the continual improvement, management, and maintenance of a well-organized and efficient ESD Control Program for our customers!  Please feel free to contact us should you require an ESD Auditor.   Thank you very much.

In addition to our ESD training, audit and assessment services, as a value-added resource, we can also assist your electrical engineering team with their circuit design reviews by thoroughly examining, analyzing, and evaluating their electronic schematics for testability and manufacturability with ESD control consideration, to ensure not only the correct operation but also optimum performance, as well as the high quality & reliability of your product.

REFERENCES:

  • ANSI/ESD S20.20-2007, Electrostatic Discharge Control Program, ESD Association

  • EIA/JEDEC-625, Requirements for Handling Electrostatic-Discharge-Sensitive (ESDS) Devices, Electronics Industries Association

  • MIL-HDBK-263B, ESD Control Handbook for Protection of Electrical and Electronic Parts, Assemblies, and Equipment

To enable us to efficiently & effectively assist your organization with your ESD audit / assessment requirements, when contacting us, kindly provide us with the following details.  Thank you in advance for your kind assistance.

  • Location(s) of facility / facilities

  • Type(s) of facility / facilities, i.e. engineering, test, and/or manufacturing

  • Size(s) of facility / facilities, i.e. square footage, number of associates, etc.

  • Type(s) of products

  • Size(s) of ESD control area(s)

  • Number of associates who work in the ESD control area(s)

  • Existence & availability of facility's ESD Control Program procedures & policies and its status, i.e. current or outdated

  • The ESD sensitivity class level(s) of the electronics and/or energetic materials from a human safety perspective, as well as from a reliability standpoint

  • ESD audit schedule requirement

                                              

Why is there no reference to relative humidity

(RH) in the current ANSI/ESD S20.20-2007

specification?

Click here to learn more about this condition.

                                                   

Skolnik Technical is also an active member of the ESD Association.