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Question If a computer monitor needs to be at a workstation for testing, what measures could be done to avoid any ESD damage if the potential is there? - Anonymous, Alhambra, CA
Answer There are a few things you can do to minimize potential problems. First and utmost is to keep the monitor at a minimum distance of 12 inches from ESDS items. From ANSI/ESD-S20.20-1999: 6.2.3.2. Protected Areas Guidance A Protected Area may be a single workstation (fixed or portable), laboratory, room, building or any other area with pre-designated boundaries that contains materials and equipment designed to limit electrostatic potentials. Humidity control may be a key element in an ESD control program. Propensity for charge generation and accumulation increases with a reduction in humidity. All process essential insulators that have electrostatic fields that exceed 2,000 volts should be kept at a minimum distance of 12 inches from ESDS items. 2,000 volts is a measure of the electrostatic field at the point of measurement and is not necessarily directly related to the electrical potential of the item. The accurate measurement of electrostatic fields requires that the person making the measurement is familiar with the operation of the measuring equipment. Most hand held meters require that the reading be taken at a fixed distance from the object. Equipment manufacturers typically specify that the object being measured needs to have certain minimum dimensions. Objects smaller than the minimum dimensions may not provide an accurate reading. Additional guidance related to Protected Areas may be obtained in ESD ADV 2.0 Second would be to coat the monitor with a dissipative and antistatic material such as ReZtore™ Topical Antistatic,which keeps triboelectric charges well below 200 volts per EIA-625. If your devices are extremely sensitive and the above solutions do not keep the electrostatic fields within your ESD control plan parameters, you can use ionization to neutralize the monitor’s surface such as our Eliminator Bench Top Ionizer.
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