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ESD Protection in the Electronic Assembly Process

As circuits get smaller and more compact, they have also become more susceptible to electrostatic discharge (ESD) and damage. According to the ESD Association, 25% of all electronics that are ‘damaged for unknown reasons’ can be attributed to ESD. Further, it is estimated that the cost of ESD damage to the electronics industry is $5 billion per year. This puts ESD protection front and center of your electronic assembly process. The consequences of ignorance or neglect can manifest as permanent circuitry damage or latent failure. This reduces the reliability of your electronics and will result in lost customer confidence and business. It also drives up your production costs.

How to Ensure Maximum  ESD Protection for Your Electronic Assemblies

ESD damage can be prevented in many ways. Our electronic assembly experts recommend 3 key levels of ESD protection for your electronic circuits.

  • Create ESD protection zones: Electrostatic Discharge Protected Areas (EPAs) safeguard your ESD-sensitive electronics from any items that are likely to produce electrostatic discharge. This is done by grounding conductive materials and workers in the electronic assembly unit or zone and other susceptible manufacturing areas. Some of the measures involved in creating EPAs include using conductive flooring materials that will direct electric charges away from the work zone and anti-static mats. Workers’ clothing must also have conductive filaments. Setting appropriate humidity levels in the work facility also reduces static.  Consult the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and International Electro technical Commission (IEC) for prescribed standards.
  • Built-in ESD protection for your circuits: ESD damage can occur at any stage of product development, and particularly during electronic assembly when the circuit boards have maximum exposure. In-built ESD protection reduces the risk of total circuit failure or latent damage. Since there are several types of transient circuit protection devices available, care must be taken to select one that matches your PCB parameters. For optimal protection, the suppressor must also be placed at the point of ESD penetration.
  • ESD-controlled circuit board storage and transportation: It is important to understand that ESD damage could occur during the storage and transportation of your electronic circuit boards. One of the most commonly-used solutions to store and transport electronic circuits is an ESD bag. Modeled on the principles of the Faraday cage, these anti-static bags are made using fine layers of metal to seal the contents from external charges. Tubes and totes with similar covering may also be used.

electronic assembly processAt Power Design Services, ESD protection is an integral part of our electronic design and assembly services. Our sprawling 8,000-square foot, ESD-controlled plant and veteran electronic assembly team has been instrumental in the development of many groundbreaking products such as Nasa’s Nano Satellites, and Freedom Innovation’s bionic knee. Several industries such as medical device manufacturing, aerospace, semiconductor testing and manufacturing equipment, telecommunications and industrial equipment, depend on our expertise for precise and reliable output. Right from PCB design layout review to ensure the viability of your designs to quality-controlled manufacture/assembly and efficient inventory management, we offer complete services to reduce your production time and cost.

We are conveniently located near San Jose Mineta International Airport for expedited deliveries nationwide. We deliver special requests within 24 hours. Local pick-up and delivery in Silicon Valley is also available if you need it.

Our ITAR and ISO-9000 Certifications offer you the assurance of the highest quality electronic assemblies and consistent service.

Ask us for a turnkey PCB assembly solution to shorten your time to market.  Our team will work closely with you to deliver high quality, ESD-protected electronic assemblies.

Request a quote for electronic assemblies with full ESD protection. Call Power Design Services at 408-437-1931 today.

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Green Circuits
1130 Ringwood Ct.
San Jose, CA 95112

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