Shock Alert -- Electrostatic Discharge Testing

Jul 8, 2013

Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) needs to be understood properly to prevent any harmful effects during the setup and running of your manufacturing process. EDT occurs when a sudden electric current flows between two objects, so it is very important to complete proper testing.


Touch­ing some­one or some­thing and receiv­ing a shock” can be quite shock­ing. Elec­tro­sta­t­ic Dis­charge (ESD) occurs when a sud­den elec­tric cur­rent flows between two objects. ESD can cause dam­age to elec­tri­cal devices, as well as poten­tial equip­ment fail­ure and net­work down­time, which can lead to sig­nif­i­cant pro­duc­tion loss­es. Every man­u­fac­tur­er must be aware of ESD dur­ing equip­ment design, and needs to estab­lish a pro­tec­tive area free of sta­t­ic to reduce the chance of ESD occur­ring. The tech­ni­cal require­ments of a design deter­mine which ESD test­ing stan­dards should be select­ed, and the oper­a­tor must under­stand the dif­fer­ences between device-lev­el and sys­tem-lev­el testing.

The most com­mon mod­el for ESD test­ing is the Human Body Mod­el (HBM) device-lev­el test. If a human dragged his feet across a car­pet, unaware of the charge he was cre­at­ing, and then touched an elec­tron­ic device, he would have cre­at­ed ESD. This mod­el sim­u­lates this type of elec­tron­ic dis­charge from a human, and deter­mines how sus­cep­ti­ble the par­tic­u­lar com­po­nent is to ESD damage. 

Machine-Mod­el (MM) device-lev­el test­ing involves indus­tri­al automa­tion man­u­fac­tur­ing sites. Machines that become elec­tri­cal­ly charged after being turned on and dis­charge into an elec­tron­ic com­po­nent after mak­ing con­tact were test­ed for an ESD event.

Charged-Device Mod­el (CDM) device-lev­el test­ing sim­u­lates fre­quent sit­u­a­tions in auto­mat­ed man­u­fac­tur­ing envi­ron­ments in which machines are turned on and left on for an indef­i­nite peri­od of time. This caus­es a buildup of elec­tric charges, and when a part comes in con­tact with an uncharged con­duc­tor, the dis­charge occurs. 

ESD Immu­ni­ty test­ing is a sys­tem-lev­el test that sim­u­lates the ESD of a human on an elec­tron­ic com­po­nent. An ESD gen­er­a­tor sends ESD puls­es to the equip­ment either by direct phys­i­cal con­tact or through the air.

EFT Immu­ni­ty sys­tem-lev­el test, also known as burst-immu­ni­ty, sim­u­lates sit­u­a­tions in typ­i­cal envi­ron­ments. It is per­formed on all pow­er, sig­nal, and earth wires. The burst con­sti­tutes a sequence of puls­es with­in a defined amount of time. 

Surge Immu­ni­ty, or light­ning test, is the most severe test in pow­er and time. It sim­u­lates direct light­ning strikes, induced cur­rents due to indi­rect light­ning strikes, or switch­ing pow­er systems.

Sev­er­al com­pa­nies have devel­oped equip­ment for use in ESD test­ing. Teseq offers five dif­fer­ent ESD sim­u­la­tors, ful­fill­ing all require­ments of the major ESD stan­dards. Each of the sim­u­la­tors is designed for use in Immu­ni­ty Test­ing, and have dif­fer­ent com­pli­ance and kV spec­i­fi­ca­tions. Trek designed test and audit equip­ment for spe­cif­ic ESD test­ing, like mate­r­i­al dis­si­pa­tion test­ing and sta­t­ic charge mon­i­tor­ing. HV Tech­nolo­gies offers the Mod­el ESD 3000, a ful­ly auto­mat­ed and pro­gram­ma­ble ESD simulator.

Regard­less of which tests are run or which equip­ment is used, oper­a­tors must per­form a final elec­tro­mag­net­ic inter­fer­ence test and a test of the pro­tec­tion circuit.

For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact Robots​.com online or at 8777626881.

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