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If your company has an ESD Control Program per ANSI/ESD S20.20 in place, you need to define ESD protective packaging for ESD sensitive items (ESDs).The Organization shall prepare an ESD Control Program Plan that addresses each of the requirements of the Program. Those requirements include:
But where do you start? Don’t panic – we’re here to help and we’ll be following the guidelines set-out in the ESD Standard.
Definition and Purpose of ESD Protective PackagingESD Protective Packaging covers any materials coming into direct contact with ESD sensitive devices during handling, shipping and storage. You don’t need to worry about secondary or exterior packaging unless it’s used for ESD protection purposes.“Packaging for ESD sensitive items is commonly derived by modifying existing packaging to prevent the packaging itself from causing static damage. The packaging generally retains physical and environmental protective qualities. ESD protective packaging has been modified further to prevent other sources of static electricity from damaging a packaged item.“ [ANSI/ESD S541 Foreword]
The fundamentals of ESD control include grounding all conductors in the EPA. ESD packaging will have special material composition to lower the resistance so that when grounded, electrostatic charges will be removed to ground thus protecting your ESD sensitive devices inside.“Transportation of electrostatic sensitive devices requires packaging that provides protection from electrostatic hazards in the transportation or storage system. In the case of an EPA designed with continuous grounding of all conductors and dissipative items (including personnel), packaging may not be necessary.” [ANSI/ESD S541 clause 6. Packaging Application Requirements]
Packaging is to be determined for all material movements inside and outside of the ESD Protected Area (EPA). Best practice is to define the required packaging or material handling item on the product’s bill of materials. Remember: the ESD packaging is just as important as a component part.
Customer contract packaging can take precedence, but otherwise “the organization shall define ESD protective packaging requirements, both inside and outside the EPA per ANSI/ESD S541 or in accordance with the contract, purchase order, drawing or other documentation necessary to meet customer requirements.” [ANSI/ESD S20.20 clause 8.4 Packaging]
Choosing your ESD Protective PackagingNumerous factors need to be taken into consideration when choosing your ESD protective packaging including the “environment and device sensitivity.” [ANSI/ESD S541 Annex A.1 Environment and Device Sensitivity]It is best recommended to follow these 6 steps:
In addition to these guidelines, there may be additional factors that should be considered, e.g.:
Final thoughts on ESD Protective PackagingNow that you have an understanding of the factors to consider when choosing your ESD Protective Packaging, you’re ready to implement the above guidelines. ESD packaging comes in all sorts of shapes and forms so bear in mind to not just look at bags when deciding what type of packaging to choose.Also, remember that ESD packaging should be marked.