Best Practices for ESD Protection

Standards for electrostatic discharge protection vary from company to company, but most businesses follow standards outlined by the ESDA, or the Electrostatic Discharge Association. Their standards represent the most comprehensive and updated protections in the industry. There is a huge variety of ESD products available, so when you consider creating best practices, keep ESDA standards in mind.
Standard Categories for ESD Control

Today, most standards fall into three categories: program requirements, product requirements, and standardized test methods.

  • Program requirements cover the standards a company should have in place to ensure ESD control procedure is followed by the entire workforce.
  • Product requirements cover the standards of the specific product and packaging used in controlled environments. This also includes ESD flooring, ESD footwear, and grounding protocol
  • Test method standards include the specific testing done on parts and equipment to ensure the items are working properly and functionally, as well as what tests need to be done after an ESD mishap occurs.

There are four types of classifications of document within each category. Those are Standard, Standard Test Method, Standard Practice, and Technical Report.

  • Standard is the precise statement of a set of requirements by material, product, or process.
  • Standard test method is the procedure to identify, measure, and evaluate one or more qualities within the material.
  • Standard practice is the procedure for performing one or more operations.
  • Technical report is the collection of all data and test results acquired from the above information of the product, system, or process.

The ESDA represents the U.S. in standards for ESD control, whereas International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) represents Europe. Both associations rely on similar specifics in standards. Industries base their standards on these models.

Internationally, the IEC and ESD Association work closely together to test and develop new and ongoing methods as technology is created and adjusted. This alignment helps keep companies from having differing or duplicated structures and standards in place.

As digital work evolves and becomes more complex, so do ESD standards. Depending on the industry, these practices can be ever changing within the electronics community. Standardizing and implementing best practices is an important aspect of any sensitive environment.

Knowing your company’s ESD standards means knowing the best workplace products for your field. ESD control programs save money by increasing throughput and decreasing scrap, which can mean an ROI of up to 3000% annually. Properly implemented ESD control initiatives generally pay for themselves within the first year.

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