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How Bittele Manages ESD During PCB Production

At Bittele Electronics we take the quality of your projects very seriously. Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) protection is an important part of maintaining our high quality of work. To eliminate any ESD safety concerns we not only use ESD Personal Protective Equipment but also protect our work areas, storage areas, and even the facility itself. Furthermore, we regularly check our equipment to make sure that all the grounding components are working correctly.

What is Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)

Electrostatic discharge can be explained by examining Ohms Law: V=IR. When an ESD occurs there is a flow of electricity between two points. This can be interpreted as I(Current) being greater than zero. Rearranging the formula for current gives us I=V/R. V(Voltage) can be expressed as the difference in voltage between two electrically charged points(V=|V2-V1)|. Whereas the R(Resistance) is something that needs to be overcome by the voltage to create a flow of electricity, also knowns as current. The higher the resistance the higher the difference in voltage must also be to create a current.

Thus by keeping the charges balanced between two points(V1 and V2), we can reduce the flow of electricity to near zero. One way of doing this is to ground both of the points to zero electrical potential.

Two common requirements to create an ESD safe working environment are to:
  1. Not allowing the buildup of static charges.
  2. Safely dissipating any charges that may have built up.
Bittele meets these requirements by doing the following:
  1. Our production facility floor is protected from ESD. This is done by coating the ground with Primary, Epoxy, and an ESD Conductive material that is then grounded every one thousand square feet.
  2. All personnel are required to wear their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) while on the production floor. This consists of ESD shoes, gloves, and wrist bands which are used to ground the user. This equipment must be tested every morning and the results logged by each person.
  3. The work tables and storage bins and racks are grounded and ESD protected as well.
  4. During electronic assembly is when the circuit boards are most at risk to ESD. Thus all machines used in our production facility have built-in ESD protection and are grounded as well.
After the boards are assembled and ready for shipment, they will be packaged in ESD protective foam, ESD bags, or a combination of the two to ensure that no EDS damage occurs during shipment.

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