6 solutions for maintaining cleanliness and safety whilst also controlling Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)Follow article
Ever feel like your fighting a losing battle? You’re in charge of improving and maintaining the ESD Control measures at your facility, but every time you try to make a change you feel like something is battling with your objective. Often, we find that safety and cleanliness conflicts with ESD Control measures, and of course safety should always come first, but sometimes you don’t have to choose between the two, check out just some of the solutions available.
1. Contactless Test Switch for Wrist Straps and ESD Footwear Testers
It is well known that the testing of wrist straps, foot grounders, ESD shoes and other personnel grounding devices is a vital part of any ESD Control Plan. However, there is one downside to the standardised test method, hundreds of people could be using the tester multiple times a day, all pressing the same button. There is a quick solution to this, implement the Desco Europe Contactless Test Switch (50756) with the SmartLog Pro®, Combo Tester X3 or Combo Tester X3 Plus. This system allows you to test ESD Footwear and/or Dual-Wire wrist straps without making any direct contact with the tester, check it out in action…
Contactless Test Switch in action
2. ESD Portable Safety Shield
Keep your operators safe at the workstation without compromising on ESD Control by bringing high charging insulative material into the EPA. The Plastek™ ESD Portable Safety Shield is an economical solution for creating a barrier between workstations whilst also maintaining good ESD control practices. The barrier:
- Separates workstations quickly and easily
- Is Portable
- Is cleanable with standard IPA Alcohol or water solutions
- Has flanged material on the bottom to allow panels to stand upright.
- Does not need tape or glue to keep it in place
- Has a static dissipative clear window with conductive Fluted Plastek border
- Overall Size 762 mm x 160 mm x 508 mm
Plastek™ ESD Portable Safety Shield
3. Dissipative Nitrile Gloves
Many companies require their employees to wear gloves for hygiene reasons, but often it is not considered if the gloves are suitable for use when handling ESD Sensitive Devices (ESDS). Many standard gloves are made from insulative and even high charging materials, so not only could the gloves themselves induce a charge onto your ESD Susceptible devices, but they will also cause anything that the operator is holding, not to be grounded. If a grounded operator holds a metal tool without a glove the tool is grounded, if they hold the same tool whilst wearing an insulative glove, the tool won’t be grounded and can cause a charge device model ESD Event.
The solution is the Desco Europe Dissipative Nitrile Glove which is not only designed to be worn when handling ESD susceptible items, they are made from 100% nitrile; manufactured to provide the lowest levels of particulates and extractable possible – many users use these gloves in class 100 cleanrooms. They are made with a dissipative (107 – 109) material to reduce charge generation and are bonded to ground when the operator is grounded correctly. The gloves will protect the operator’s hands from chemicals such as Acetic Acid, Ethylene Glycol, MEK, and Sodium Hydroxide. They contain no latex and are allergen-free.
Dissipative Nitrile Glove
4. Thermoplastic Wrist Straps
Provide an easy and quick to clean solution for your operators, they can be cleaned with a mild detergent or 10% isopropyl alcohol solution. The thermoplastic material has a zipper style latching mechanism so are easily adjusted to most wrist sizes. They are lightweight, low profile and safely make contact with human skin. Available in both Single Wire and Dual Wire models.
Dual Conductor Adjustable Thermoplastic Wrist Band
5. Continuous Monitoring
Most people are aware of the many benefits Continuous Monitoring provides, not only to managing ESD but also allowing companies to eliminate the need for periodic testing of their wrist straps. We know this means no more queuing at the wrist straps test station and no more having to log test results, but something that may not have been considered is the benefits from a hygiene point of view. If each operator has their own workbench with their own continuous monitor, you don’t have potentially hundreds of people touching the same tester multiple times a day.
6. Static Dissipative Face Mask
IEC 61340-5-1:2016 states “All non-essential insulators and items (plastics and paper), such as coffee cups, food wrappers and personal items shall be removed from the workstation or any operation where unprotected ESDS are handled”. Often face masks can be made from insulative, high charging materials, meaning they will not be grounded and will be generating a charge, even when in contact with a grounded operator. For many jobs it is difficult to keep your face over 30cm away from the ESDS, so the only alternative is to provide employees with face covering that is anti-static and/or static dissipative. The concept is much the same as the role of Static Control Garments.
Looking for a solution that isn’t listed? Get in contact, we might be able to find the right solution for your company.