Electrostatic discharge (ESD) is a common problem in the electronics manufacturing industry and can cause significant damage to static sensitive electronic components. To prevent such damage, it’s important to implement ESD control measures such as regular testing and monitoring of ESD control equipment. In this article, we’ll introduce you to our ESD testing equipment products and explain how they can help you maintain optimal ESD protection in your workplace.
Having the right combination of ESD testing equipment on site will enable workers to test the functionality of critical ESD protection devices, such as ESD wrist straps, ESD footwear, ESD bench matting, etc. With regular testing or continuous monitoring, potential faults with ESD control equipment can be identified quickly, before unnecessary electrostatic discharge damage occurs.
To select the best ESD testing instruments for your electrostatic protected area (EPA), take a look at some of the most popular options from our range of ESD testing equipment now:
ESD wrist straps are routinely used in EPAs, which is why it’s important to have sufficient testing apparatus available. A Portable ESD Wrist Strap Tester can be moved to where staff are working to provide real-time functionality testing, for example.
Alternatively, a fixed ESD Wrist Strap Test Station checks the continuity of the wearers’ wrist strap and cord and can be situated in a location that every employee passes before entering the EPA. As a result, testing becomes a routine part of preparing to enter your EPA and, therefore, reduces the risk of accidental static discharge.
For continuous ESD wrist strap monitoring, an Earth 4 Sure Monitor can be fitted to a workbench and constantly connects the wearer to Earth, thus offering an extra layer of reassurance.
In addition to using a wrist strap tester to ensure the functionality of ESD wrist straps, having access to a Wrist Strap Tester Calibration Unit allows you to undertake on-site calibration to verify the accuracy and operating parameters of your ESD testing instruments.
ESD shoes and ESD heel straps are commonly used forms of ESD protection, but they should be tested frequently to ensure they are providing the right level of ESD protection. To streamline the testing process and maximise efficiency, Bondline offers combined footwear and wrist strap testers.
With a single Footwear/Wrist Strap Test Station, for example, staff can test both types of ESD protection and achieve ESD compliance. Similarly, a Dual Footwear and Wrist Strap Tester allows both types of ESD protection to be tested but maximises efficiency by featuring two foot plates.
Resistivity refers to the level of resistance an item has to an electrical current. As ESD protection equipment should offer a minimum level of resistivity, you can check the functionality of your ESD equipment by using a surface resistivity meter. When testing ESD surfaces such as anti-static matting, the surface resistance should meet 10^(8) ohms to ensure compliance to the ESD working standards.
Commonly used for testing ESD workbenches and work surfaces, our Surface Resistivity Meter indicates resistance to ‘half a decade’ through the static dissipative range. Whether you are testing point-to-point resistance or surface resistance, a Surface Resistivity Meter can detect surfaces from conductive, dissipative, and insulative surfaces.
Similar to our Surface Resistivity Meter, our Surface Resistivity Kit measures point-to-point resistance, resistance-to-ground and surface resistivity as well as providing enhanced functionality and testing options. Supplied with weights, conductive foam disks, test leads and a conductive euro box, the Surface Resistivity Kit offers the full testing package.
For even more testing options, Bondline’s Resistance Test Kit also offers point-to-point resistance, resistance to ground and surface resistivity testing, as well as measuring bonding points to ground. With the option of permanently switching to 10v only, the Resistance Test Kit is often a preferred testing instrument to use in very static sensitive areas.
Portable, flexible and easy-to-use, our Field Meter is a handheld device that accurately measures electrostatic fields. Also available as part of our Charge Plate Monitor Kit, you can broaden the scope of your ESD compliance checks by testing the functionality of ESD tools and gloves, as well as monitoring the efficiency of air ionisers.
A Field Meter is a simple yet highly effective ESD testing instrument which should be a critical element of your ESD testing equipment.
Testing devices typically measure and report the functionality or resistance of ESD protection equipment at the time it’s tested. If the equipment subsequently malfunctions, ESD-sensitive components could sustain permanent damage, despite testing being undertaken on a regular basis.
With constant monitoring, however, the functionality of ESD protective equipment is continuously checked. This enables workers to undertake their role without having to stop at regular intervals to test their ESD safety equipment. Read a recent blog of ours on Constant Monitoring.
For example, our Continuous Wrist Strap and Bench Monitor can be used to check that a worker’s wrist strap and workspace is properly grounded at all times, with an instant warning LED alarm in-built to alert users of a disconnect.
For extra functionality, our Constant Monitor can be fitted to the underside of a workbench and will notify the user if their wrist strap, bench mat or Earth becomes disconnected, as well as ensuring that the Earth-to-ground connection is functioning. With illumination and an audible alarm system, users are notified straight away if there is a disconnect, which prevents unnecessary electrostatic discharge.
Regular testing should be incorporated into your ESD Control Plan so that it is not overlooked. After all, failing to test the functionality of your ESD protective equipment could render it useless and may cause financial and operational loss to your business.
While every organisation sets its own testing regime, daily testing is not uncommon. In fact, workers are often required to test certain ESD equipment, such as wrist straps and footwear, every time they enter an EPA.
As well as integrating testing into your ESD Control Plan, be sure to train your team in how to use ESD testing equipment products so that they are comfortable and confident when it comes to verifying the functionality of their equipment.
The range of ESD testing equipment that’s right for your EPA will depend on the type of ESD protection equipment you use. With an extensive range of ESD testing instruments, however, Bondline can provide the right combination of testing equipment to enhance your ESD protocols. To find out more about our ESD testing equipment, talk to our team now on +44 (0)1793 511000 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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