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21 Dec 2017, 12:15

Keep ESD at bay with the new RS ESD Selection Guide

ESD, or Electrostatic discharge, is the hidden enemy of electronics manufacturers.

Put simply, when two items are at different levels of electrostatic charge, (one with positive and one with a negative charge), they will want to come into balance. If items are close enough, there will be a rapid transfer of electrostatic charge from one item to another, resulting either in what is termed in the industry as “catastrophic failure”, or “latent defects”. This article by the ESD Industry Association in the United States estimates that the annual financial impact on business sits somewhere between half and billion and €5 billion dollars per annum (source).

Working in close collaboration with Desco Industries, widely recognised as a global authority on ESD prevention, RS has produced a selection guide which not only explains the dangers of failing to manage ESD but also helps electronics manufacturers to select the products they will need to keep ESD at bay.









Setting the Scene – ESD explained

The guide starts out by explaining the basic concept of ESD, the risks, and more specifically the standards that products need to meet to be considered suitable for effectively managing ESD. Its introductory pages contain a handy table showing the specific levels of voltage ratings and corresponding ESD classes which will cause damage to different categories of specific ESD sensitive electronics devices.

After that, the guide goes on to illustrate the high level steps involved in setting up an ESD Control Plan and the requirement for an EPA (ESD Protected Area) something which is critical for electronics manufacturing businesses if they wish to prevent ESD and reduce the impact of the damage it can cause, and something which Desco has previously illustrated in previous DesignSpark articles.









Helping You Find the Right Products – Value Add Information

The guide then goes into some detail, categorising in a series of selection tables the exhaustive selection of product families RS offers to prevent ESD, displaying all the key product attributes and images – so that customers can easily choose the product they need, quickly. It helps customers even further by including introductory sections for each product family, with a list of key considerations and an explanation of the attributes shown in that specific family chapter.

Gavin Lillington, Senior Global Head of Tools and Consumables at RS, comments on why RS have created the new selection guide: “Firstly, we wanted to help our customers. We’d received feedback from our sales teams, so were aware that many electronics manufacturers didn’t really know the risks surrounding ESD. The guide is intended to give them the right level of technical detail to understand and manage the problem. We have a market leading ESD range, but wanted to ensure customers were given the right levels of information to select the right products.”

Also, we felt it was important to work with an industry expert – Desco has led the guide production all the way, providing high levels of technical content and data!”

Industry Leading Choice and Technical Data

As mentioned above, RS offers a comprehensive range of devices to manage ESD effectively and the guide includes information on all the major families customers can buy from, including: 

  • ESD Packaging, Storage and Stationery
  • ESD Testing and Monitoring Equipment
  • Ionisers
  • Personal Grounding and Clothing
  • ESD Matting
  • ESD Field Service
  • ESD Furniture
  • ESD Grounding Accessories, Brushes and Probes
  • ESD Treatments, Lotions and Dispensers
  • ESD Labels and Posters


The new selection guide adds to the rich technical attributes already available online on the RS website, and to a comprehensive selection of in-depth technical articles available on DesignSpark.

Innovative product and technology marketeer, enthusiastic writer and translator, and author of the ultimately underwhelming blog "Oneday711": technology, travel, sport. Particularly interested in the impact innovation has on our lives - good and bad.

21 Dec 2017, 12:15