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EPA scheme

In sensitive electronics manufacturing, electronics components sub-assemblies and assemblies prevention of ESD (Electrostatic discharge) is based on an Electrostatic Protective Area (EPA). The EPA can be a small workstation or a large manufacturing area. The main principle of an EPA is that there are no highly-charging materials in the vicinity of ESD sensitive electronics, all conductive materials are grounded, workers are grounded, and charge build-up on ESD sensitive electronics is prevented. International standards are used to define a typical EPA and can be found for example from International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and its national branches in the form of national Technical committees.

ESD prevention within an EPA should involve ESD furniture and tools, appropriate ESD-safe packing material, the use of antistatic garments worn by assembly workers, conductive wrist straps and footwear to prevent high voltages from accumulating on workers' bodies, anti-static mats or conductive flooring materials to conduct harmful electric charges away from the work area, and humidity control. Humid conditions prevent electrostatic charge generation because the thin layer of moisture that accumulates on most surfaces serves to dissipate electric charges. Ion generators (ionizers) are sometimes used to inject ions into the ambient airstream.

Thus the creation of an EPA is an essential requirement for any company manufacturing or repairing electronics equipment.

EPA includes

  1. Yellow ESD label (EPA entering notification)
  2. Yellow ESD label (EPA whereabouts notification)
  3. Yellow ESD label (EPA leaving notification)
  4. Wrist straps and footwear tester
  5. Footwear tester plate
  6. Footwear and wrist straps testing protocol
  7. ESD linoleum
  8. Worktop grounding cable
  9. Shelves grounding cable
  10. Conductive wrist straps
  11. Antistatic mat
  12. Connecting plug for grounding cables
  13. ESD boxes
  14. SMD cabinet
  15. L-shape PCB holder
  16. Soldering station in ESD version
  17. ESD gloves
  18. Ionizer
  19. ESD tools
  20. ESD bags
  21. ESD laboratory chair
  22. ESD footwear
  23. ESD garments
  24. Conductive binders
  25. ESD waste bin
  26. Alliance series workbench
  27. Classic series workbench
  28. Movable table
  29. Shelvings
  30. Hygrometer
  31. Grounding panel
  32. Floor adhesive tape with ESD marks