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Question At what point are [control] systems not needed? For example, if a component has an ESD specification of +/-15KV Human Body Model, how sophisticated of a system is required? Are there different system levels or is it all or nothing? - Anonymous, Orem, UT
Answer Indeed there are different levels of sensitivity for ESD Sensitive (ESDS) devices. And therefore different levels of ESD control measures. For a HBM ESDS component classification of 3B (as used in your example question) your program would be designed to minimize potential differences to much less than 15 kV assuming there are no other more sensitive ESDS devices used in the manufacturing/assembly/repair operations with your class 3B device. Regardless, ESD control precautions should still be taken to ensure risk removal of a 15 kV potential discharge with your class 3B device (< or = 8 kV), but not as stringent as for a class 1B device. Also, you want to make sure that in processing your device, it doesn't undergo mechanical handling (non-human, i.e. robotic) or self charging (device sliding across a surface) or you will also have to classify the device under the Machine Model and or Charge Device Model, which may lead to more sensitive ESDS classification for your device. Recommended ESD control measures would be to ground all conductors including human operators. Handle the device or assembly on a grounded dissipative mat and use anti-static dissipative packaging to store/transport the device. Most important, check (survey) the work area for electric fields or charge generators and take adequate ESD control precautions to ensure electric fields do not exceed the ratings of your devices.
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