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Significance of the ESD Standard For Electronic Assembly

Change and development are necessary in life. Even in the electronics industry, there has been constant evolvement, innovation, and development. This industry is continually experiencing growth and development. While technology and device circuitry density are becoming more complex, electronics manufacturing depends more on out-sourcing.

Today it is more complex to minimize ESD losses. Users need a way to evaluate and make comparisons between competing brands and ESD protection strategies. The ESD means electrostatic discharge . This standard is important in the electronics assembly industry. It is crucial for electronics manufacturing, assembly, repair, or any other aspects that involve electronic circuits and components to adhere to the ESD standard.

What is the ESD Standard?

The ESD Standard was set up in order to ensure organization within concerned industries could protect their electronic products and components form ESD. ESD means electrostatic discharge. It is a great issue which could cause damage to an electronic component. If proper care isn’t taken, ESD can destroy an electronic component completely.

Therefore, the ESD standard helps to ensure ESD doesn’t build up in the first place. For instance, in Germany and some European countries, the standard DIN EN 61340-5-1 is important. The ESD standard guarantees consistency of ESDS items and as well as the consistency of ESD control products. This standard is a means of making comparison among ESD control products.

Furthermore, this standard minimizes conflicts that arise between ESD control products suppliers and users. It develops, integrates, audits, and approves ESD control programs. The U.S makes the integration of this standard voluntary.  ESD regulations should be prioritized in cleanrooms.

What causes electrostatic discharge in electronics products?

ESD Protection at pcb soldering
ESD Protection at pcb soldering

Electrostatic discharge occurs when there is an abrupt electricity flow between two objects that are electrically charged. There are several causes of ESD. ESD can result from contact of the two objects by dielectric breakdown. ESD causes damage in electronic circuitry. Electricity flow can cause a hole to burn in an integrated circuit. The area which surrounds the hole would as well possess discernible heat damage.

Even if this occurrence didn’t result in a hole, an ESD will disrupt the operation of the equipment. However, internal components will wear down over time due to the frequent occurrences. Lack of ESD protection will cause electronic components to easily break down. The rate at which electronic components break down will be faster. Therefore, this will interfere with operations and as such, minimize quality and enhance costs.

What is ANSI ESD S20 20 Standard?

Electrostatic discharge poses costly and dangerous risks to electronic products. Not only does it pose a great damage to electronics, it also causes damage in pharmaceutical, medical, and other important industries. To meet the increasing demand for sound ESD control programs, the ESD.EOS Association Inc set up a third-party certification program. The ANSI ESD S20.20. is a standard set up by EOS/ESD Association, Inc.

This standard was established through ISO9000 Certification Bodies. The ANSI ESD S20.20.offers technical and administrative provisions designed for some particular requirements or applications. Also, this standard offers a great basis for the control process and integration of the standard.

Furthermore, the ANSI/ESD S20.20 standard makes it possible to guide all aspects of building the ESD control programme. Also, it is ideal to be supported by the management for the area impacted by the ESD control process.

Who Develops the ESD Standards?

The development and integration of standards is usually a cooperative effort by individuals and organizations impacted by these standards. There are several major ESD standards development organizations.

Military standards

The U.S military is in charge of the developing certain specifications and standards that involve ESD control. However, the military agencies in the U.S are now depending on commercially developed standards. For instance, the ESD Association converted MIL-STD 1686 into a commercial standard known as the ANSI ESD S20.20.

ESD Association

For the past years, the ESD Association has taken center stage at the development of ESD standards. The ESD Association sees to the development of test methods and ESD standards. Also, the ESD Association  represents the United States on other programs.

Furthermore, there are several technical reports and standard documents in the ESD Association. These standards oversee the areas of test methodology for ESD control  products evaluation and electrostatic sensitivity. Furthermore, the ESD Association published some advisories which contain some pices of information. The advisory documents may be altered in the future.

What is the IEC 61000 4 2?


The IEC 61000-4-2 standard defines ESD protection, by integrating two  testing methodologies. The contact discharge methodology discharges an ESD pulse from the ESD test gun that is in contact with the device under test. This methodology is highly preferred. The second methodology which the IEC 61000 4 2 makes room for is an air discharge. This methodology is ideal for scenarios in which it is impossible to maintain contact discharge testing.

The air discharge test involves bringing the ESD test gun close to the device under test until there is a discharge. These standards must be defined in such a way that each level is equivalent. Therefore, a Level 4 contact discharge of 8 kV is the same as an air discharge of 15 kV.

The IEC 61000 4 2 is an ESD immunity compliance standard for electronics that need to get the UL, CE Mark, and other certification. Electrostatic discharge ESD occurs everywhere. It occurs between high density electronic components in electronics products like television and mobile phones. It is impossible to predict ESD. Therefore, it is important to take some measures that prevent malfunction or damage of a device when ESD occurs.

The IEC 6100 4 2 is the most popular standard for evaluating robustness and approving commercial electronics. This standard is an effective EMC test standard needed to attain a CE marking. With IEC 6100 4 2, electronic producers can sell their products in Europe.

What is the Importance of ESD Protection in Electronic Products?

Like it was earlier explained, ESD can cause significant damage to electronic equipment and as such, this could lead to a catastrophic failure in the field. In the electronics manufacturing industry, minor mistakes or errors can be detrimental to the functionality of electronic components and devices. ESD damage is one of the most common causes of product losses.

Electrostatic discharge (ESD) occurs when built-up charge releases between objects, thereby, resulting in the flow of electricity between these objects. ESD of charged objects caused by humans statically charged objects can cause damage to different semiconductor parts which include CMOS IC chips, MOSFETs, and diodes.

In most cases, 60 to 90 percent of damages caused by ESD doesn’t cause complete failure. However, this damage can be difficult to detect. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to minimize and regulate ESD during circuit board assembly.

ESD protection is crucial in any electronic products as it helps to prevent any damage. Any electronic component or product is vulnerable to damage due to exposure to ESD. Also, ESD protection is crucial in preventing the formation of static charge in electronic products. The main purpose of creating the ESD standards is to minimize the risk of damage to devices that are sensitive to ESD.

Furthermore, this protection is ideal for minimizing failure in electronic device and as well as enhancing the performance and reliability of delicate electronic components or products. Adhering to the ESD standards is crucial for industries that produce delicate electronic equipment. Therefore, the ESD standard is great measure to prevent and also address all ESD related problems.

Electronic companies need to adhere to all the procedures of ESD standards. Also, these standards should be integrated in the appropriate way.

How to Control ESD

There are some preventive and precautionary measures that can minimize ESD for electronic assembly. These measures include:

  • Make use of anti-static equipment and tools to prevent electrical charge conduction. Also, do not work on electronic device when there is electrical storm as this can increase the risk of ESD.
  • Circuit board rework or component repair should be carried out in an ESD safe environment.
  • Use ESD-safe tables or workstation to enable the dispersion of static electricity. Electrically conductive carbon fibers are used in manufacturing these mats. Therefore, ESD becomes inactive on the mat.
  • Wear a grounded wrist strap to minimize any risk of ESD incident. Ensure you wear this wrist strap correctly as it will protect any charge generated by the body.
  • ESD air ionizers can be used by engineers as they get rid of static charge from the air.
  • Employees may need to put on anti-static clothing to shield sensitive components and ESD shock.
  • Avoid using jewelry and some static accessories in the workstation.


The ESD standard for electronic assembly has helped in preventing some damages to electronic products. There are a wide range of standards set up to ensure safety and protection while using electronic products. Some of these standards are the IES 6100 4 2, ansi ESD s20 20 and the ISO 10605. Electronic manufacturers and assemblers should endeavor to adhere to these standards to ensure safety and reliability of electronic products.




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