When it comes to the protection of static sensitive components from ESD, there is a level of consistency that is needed to ensure their safe transportation from the production area to their destination. Whether it is from one area in the company to another area or as part of the manufacturing process and essentially shipping off the component to the next company to use or implement packaging, it is critical for the components to be properly protected in avoidance of ESD and physical damage and contamination. In this article, we will give you our top 5 tips for packing static sensitive components safely.
Selecting the right ESD packaging depends on several factors, which is why it’s important to assess the items or components before you decide which packing, storing, or handling solutions to use. While ESD packaging, such as foam cushioning and rigid containers, can be a great option, some components are more fragile than others and, therefore, different packaging may be required.
In the same way, you would conduct an EPA assessment to optimise the performance of your ESD Protected Area, be sure to undertake an assessment of items that are due to be transported before determining which packaging to use. By doing so, you can identify which type of packaging is most suitable for offering the best level of protection and, therefore, reduce the risk of items succumbing to damage or being destroyed while they are being transported.
Packaging, handling, and transportation should never be an afterthought when it comes to ESD-sensitive items. Instead, you’ll need to take a strategic approach to packing, moving, and/or shipping items that can be damaged if exposed to electrostatic charges.
Firstly, you’ll want to ensure that your packing area is situated within an established ESD Protected Area or extend your existing EPA to provide additional room for packing and handling. This will prevent items being exposed to ESD throughout the packaging process.
A well-equipped ESD packing area, with equipment such as an ESD packing bench and an ESD anti slip mat, will also boost efficiency and enable staff to operate safely and swiftly.
When you’re transporting ESD-sensitive items, it isn’t only static discharge you need to be concerned about. Typically, items that are sensitive to ESD, such as printed circuit boards, are also vulnerable to physical damage that can occur during the shipping or transportation process. Due to this, it’s important to choose packaging that is capable of withstanding the journey and will protect the contents from damage.
Conductive component boxes, often used as PCB packaging boxes, can be used to transport multiple items, for example, and provide protection against both static discharge and physical damage. With a latch integrated into the contours of the box, our range of conductive component boxes are also easy to pack into larger containers or a Euro pallet.
Similarly, item-specific packaging solutions, like SMD component reels, use conductive fibreboard containers to keep the component reels in optimal condition while being transported, while conductive stacking euro boxes keep delicate and static sensitive components safe and secure while in transit or in the plant. When combined with additional packaging protection in the form of rigid containers, you can be confident that items will arrive safely and without unnecessary loss.
For many companies, Corstat products are a first-choice option when it comes to packaging and shipping. From customisable transit packs and layer pads to fibreboard divider sets and ESD stacking boxes, you’ll find that our range of Corstat packaging supplies provide you with extensive packing and shipping options.
While rigid boxes, like conductive Euro containers, are ideal for shipping, placing items directly into larger, firm boxes could mean that they succumb to physical damage while being transported. This can be avoided by using conductive foam or anti static foam to cushion the items.
Whether you’re looking for dissipative or conductive packing foam, our extensive range makes it easy to find the perfect packing foam for your ESD-sensitive items. To ensure ultimate protection, why not opt to have foam cushioning cut, stamped, layered, or profiled to meet your exact requirements? Custom anti static foam can be used in conjunction with a wide range of ESD packaging to maximise the level of physical and ESD protection, which will reduce the risk of damage and keep your components in as-new condition while they’re being transported.
Many ESD-sensitive items can also be damaged if they’re exposed to moisture, so you’ll need to consider this when you’re selecting the type of packaging you’re going to use to transport or ship moisture sensitive components. Containers, pallets, and parcels can be exposed to a variety of conditions depending on the shipping route they’re taking but choosing ESD packaging with a built-in moisture barrier will help to keep them safe.
Standard Cobalt Humidity Indicator Cards and Cobalt Dichloride Free Humidity Indicator Cards can be used to confirm whether items have been exposed to excess moisture or humidity levels during shipping or transportation. Similarly, a desiccant clay bag can absorb excess moisture and prevent humidity levels damaging components. By confirming that shipped items have been properly protected, you can maintain the quality and functionality of your products and reduce the risk of items being damaged en route.
As well as using ESD packaging, such as ESD bags, foam, trays, boxes, and containers, don’t forget to secure boxes, containers, and pallets before they leave your EPA. A conductive hook and loop strap, conductive strapping, and/or ESD protection film will keep shipments secure and offer added protection against static discharge.
Keeping items protected from static discharge during shipping is as important as maintaining an EPA on-site, so don’t overlook the importance of selecting the right ESD bags, boxes, and containers. For assistance or advice, our experienced team is happy to help. Contact Bondline now on 01793 511000 or email us at email@example.com.
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