For electronics manufacturers, an ESD event may cause damage to the product, rendering it useless or dramatically reducing the performance life.
Electronic component handlers, manufacturers and distributors need to be aware of and apply effective ESD controls when handling, manufacturing, marking, packaging and labeling these sensitive devices. The product realization process must be robust if it is to prevent a static event and product damage throughout the product realization chain.
The first step is external control of inbound product at the supplier. An organization needs to be vigilant in determining the nature of their supplier’s ESD program. Evidence of the program’s reliability should be readily available. The next step is to assess all areas in the organization’s internal product realization chain, where product is or may become vulnerable to an ESD event. These must be clearly identified and properly controlled. It should be noted that one complaint from a field failure could have a devastating effect on the company’s ability to maintain operations, jeopardizing future success. ESD can impact:
- Production yields
- Manufacturing costs
- Product reliability
An independent, third party assessment can help organizations not only identify areas of weakness, but help to prevent ESD occurrences. ESD audits are typically 1 day and occur annually. They are easily integrated with any current QMS certification assessment and can be performed simultaneously, prior or subsequent to this assessment. There are a number of benefits of implementing the ESD program and having it certified by a third party registrar. A key benefit is reduced risk of damage to an ESD sensitive device. An ESD program will help reduce product failure and improve product reliability. Improved ROI is the result of reduced work-in-progress from test failures and reduced warranty liabilities from field failures.