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11 Steps to Establishing an ESD Control Plan

1. Define what you are trying to protect.

What is the Human-Body Model (HBM) withstand voltage of the most sensitive item? A prerequisite of ESD control is the accurate and consistent identification of ESD susceptible items. Some companies assume that all electronic components are ESD susceptible. However, others write their ESD control plan based on the device and item susceptibility or withstand voltage of the most sensitive components used in the facility.  A general rule is treat any device or component that is received in ESD packaging as an ESD susceptible item.

2. Become familiar with the industry standards for ESD control.

A complimentary .pdf of ANSI/ESD S20.20-2014 can be downloaded from the ESD Association web site at www.ESDA.org. Also consider purchasing the ESDA’s ESD Handbook ESD TR20.20-2008.

3. Select a grounding / equipotential bonding system.

The 3rd-wire AC electrical equipment ground is the preferred, recommended ground reference.

4. Determine the method of ground for operators (Personnel Grounding).

The two options for grounding an operator are a wrist strap or foot grounders.  Wrist straps must be worn if the operator is seated. If foot grounders are used, an ESD flooring system must be used.  In some cases both wrist strap and foot grounders will be used. The 3rd-wire AC electrical equipment ground is the preferred, recommended ground reference.

5. Establish & Identify EPA(s) – ESD Protected Area(s).

ESD Control Plans must evolve to keep pace with costs, device sensitivities, and the way devices are manufactured. Define the departments and areas to be considered part of the ESD Protected Area.  Consider if customers and/or subcontractors should be included. Implement access control devices, signs, and aisle marking tape to identify and control access to the ESD Protected Area(s).

6. Select ESD control items to be used in the EPA based on your manufacturing process.

Elements that should be considered include: worksurfaces, flooring, seating, ionization, shelving, mobile equipment (carts), and garments.

7. Develop Packaging (Materials Handling & Storage) Plan.

When moving ESD susceptible devices outside an ESD protected area, it is necessary for the product to be packaged in an enclosed ESD Shielding Packaging.

8.  Use proper markings for ESD susceptible items, system or packaging.

From ANSI/ESD S20.20-2014 section 8.5: “the Organization, in developing the ESD Control Program Plan, shall consider the need for marking.”

9. Implement a Compliance Verification Plan.

From ANSI/ESD S20.20-2014 section 7.4: “A Compliance Verification Plan shall be established to ensure the Organization’s fulfillment of the technical requ.rements of the ESD Control Program Plan”.

10. Develop Training Plan.

From ANSI/ESD S20.20-2014 section 7.2: “Initial and recurrent ESD awareness and prevention training shall be provided to all personnel who handle or otherwise come into contact with any ESDS items.”

11.  Make the ESD Control Plan part of your internal quality system requirements.

A written ESD Control Plan provides the “rules and regulations”, the technical requirements for your ESD Control Program. This should be a controlled document, approved by upper management initially and over time when revisions are made. The written plan should include following:

  • Qualified Products List (QPL)A list of EPA ESD control items is used in the ESD control Plan
  • Compliance Verification Plan- Includes periodic checking of EPA ESD control items, and calibration of test equipment per manufacturer and industry recommendations.
  • Training Plan- An ESD Program is only as good as the use of the products by personnel. When personnel understand the concepts of ESD, the importance to the company of the ESD control program, and the proper use of ESD products, they will implement a better ESD control program improving quality, productivity, and reliability.