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Doing electronics on an office carpet (non ESD)

treez

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Hi,
My friend is doing electronics with no esd mats on the desks or floor or anything. Its an an office with a (non esd) office carpet.
He's handling FETs and ICs and DCDC modules.

Do you confirm that this is a bad idea?...bad enough to call time on it, since the prototypes are for customer demo's and may fail in front of customer due to esd weakened components?
 

KlausST

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Hi,

If I remember right you already asked similar questions ....

As long as the ESD voltage affects all device pins equally, there is no ESD problem.
You get ESD problems as soon as ESD hits a single pin of a device.

But generally it's no good idea to use a non ESD protected carpet in an electronics company.
If there is no other way one should at least use all other possible ESD protections.

* Carrying the parts in an electrically conductive box
* wearing an earthed wrist band
* using an ESD protected desk and tools
* give the ESD voltage enough time to discharge
....

Klaus
 
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BradtheRad

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Although he's not following the safest procedure...
Sooner or later any electronic device is liable to static charge exposure, when you think about it.

There's no comfortable way to critique coworkers (regardless whether it's part of your job description). Chances are someone previously tried to introduce anti-static safeguards. Maybe procedures were followed for a while.

Rather than try to get attention, it would be tactful for you to ask a few coworkers 'Did boss ever have static mats in this office?' Gather preliminary information. By taking a low profile approach you might achieve (directly or indirectly) the start of a program to implement anti-ESD practices.
 

c_mitra

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My friend is doing electronics with no esd mats on the desks or floor or anything. Its an an office with a (non esd) office carpet.
Carpets look glamorous- but electronics business is glamorous too!

But carpets are really mess. If a component falls on the carpet, it is gone for ever.

I would have preferred simple PVC sheets- that can be mopped and sweeped. Carpets are designed to hide muck! Lazy people love carpets.

For ESD, you are the person who matter: your habits and work style. No, not good to put the blame on the carpet.

But then all carpets are not born equal. The nylon made long fiber (the most glamorous of all) carpets are the worst.

But if you have decent humidity, you should be safe on all floors.
 
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d123

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Hi,

While not making 12kW converters, and fwiw but so you have a comparison, when in UK in two different houses with carpeted floors, and a cat, and wearing man-made fibre static-producing jumpers, I had no ESD issues with any components or circuits made, and inevitably one or two things fell on floor. Everything was done sitting at a wooden table on top of a 2-inch thick block of wood about 25 x 25 inches square. Components stored in tupperware tubs of assorted shapes and sizes from takeaways, some in paper bags, some in anti-static bags they came in, some not and some parts with pins shorted together in bits of polystyrene, some not. An utterly unprofessional set-up, perils of the hobbyist..., but I had no damaged parts by doing this. CMOS ICs, delicate (imo) CMOS OAs, bjts, fets, regulators, ADCs, etc. Probably just lucky.


You could do a last/pre-presentation to client 'make sure all is well' test before packaging securely, maybe, to avoid unpleasant or embarrassing situations?
 

treez

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Thanks, ive previosuly worked in production firms where electronics would pass production test.....but ESD damaged components would fail in the field...usually within 3 days of the equipment running....i can see that in hobbyst situation, you may not run the same components for long enough to precipitate the ESD failure.
For eg all hand modified boards, we always used to soak test them for some 24 hours or preferably 3 days......a good few, something like 5% or so, would blow up somewhere in that first 24 hours....this seems to be the nature of esd damage...it doesnt manifest itself immediately...but the component is weakeaned and blows up somewhere within the first 72 hours of useage.

The Soak rigs also precipitate the ESD fails if they regularly turn on and off.

Would you agree, that the typical ESD fail is not an immediate blow up......but as discussed......the component is critically weakened... then works "normally" for some 24 hours...then blows up.

Many hobbyists will have esd weakaned components i feel, but will simply not run them for long enough to ever see the damage manifest itself.

Having seen this, time and again, i would say that having an electronics lab in an office with a non-ESD safe carpet, and no esd mats or straps etc being used, is a disaster...and the best thing to do would be to close down....would you agree with this?
 
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KlausST

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Hi,

ESD fails may be immedialtely but they may fail even after months.

ESD fails do not necessarily cause a "no function" fail.
With an OPAMP maybe the isolation barrier is weakened .. causing increased signal input current (looking like increased input bias current).
In many applications this increased current does not harm function, so it never may be recognized...but in another application the same increased current may immedialtely cause a complete fail of function.

With low end applications and/or hobbyists appications I´d say there is a good chance that ESD damaged work, but no one recognizes this.


Klaus
 

treez

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Thanks, i think all would agree that doing electronics practical in an office with a non-ESD office carpet is just basically a joke.
Unless pretty much the entire carpet where people could walk could be covered over with ESD matting, then the whole idea is just a non-starter, would'nt you agree?

The point being that an non esd office carpet is "ESD generative"...and the whole idea is just flogging a dead horse.
 

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i think all would agree that doing electronics practical in an office with a non-ESD office carpet is just basically a joke.
I beg to differ.

Hopefully the office is climate controlled. Maintaining the humidity level at a decent level is part of the system. You should run a proper humidifier ALL the time and maintain the RH level around 70% or better.

With a high humidity level all the time, you will notice that the static problem has virtually disappeared. Except perhaps for the occasional highly charged fellow who enters the office and immediately goes to work.

You get meters that show both RH and Temp and they are quite good. You should get a few of them (perhaps in front of every work bench)- no, I do not work for any such company.
 

treez

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Thanks, but we cant control the humidity level in the office.
 

d123

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Hi treez,

You make a good point about permanent use and sporadic use related to esd failure.

To be honest, only you can know whether to - and for which reasons/experiences - desist from a venture or whether to continue; I don't think anyone else can offer a meaningful yes/no answer if they haven't been present to fully understand the situation or if you're just letting a moment in time get to you, as they can all of us at times.
 
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