Have you ever wondered if your electronics manufacturing or handling process requires the use of Ionisation? Or perhaps you have considered how to handle insulators within your EPA. In this post, we reveal:
Apparently, THREE really is a magic number!
You will have heard us say that one of the key principles of ESD Control is to ground all conductors, including people. By grounding conductors, you are removing the electrostatic charges from them, limiting their capability of causing Electrostatic Discharge (ESD). Well, not all materials are conductive, therefore not all materials are groundable. Some, like plastic, glass, or cardboard, are insulative and therefore you cannot remove their electrostatic charge to ground. You might presume this is where Ionisation comes in, Ionisers are designed to neutralise static charges, but they are only required if at first insulators cannot be:
And there we have it… 3 reasons for Ionisation.
There are three main types of Ionisers, all of which will neutralise static voltages on insulators, but each have slightly different applications.
Designed to sit on the work bench, or be hung from an arm, directed where needed. Bench top ionisers tend to be compact, lightweight, portable and include one fan. They are designed to neutralise a smaller area than the overhead. Perhaps more suitable for smaller assemblies, or to be used inside machinery.
Overhead ionisers come with either 2 or 3 fans; more fans equal a larger coverage area for neutralising. They are hung above the work area or workbench, so they don’t use valuable workspace and the airflow doesn’t tend to get obstructed. Some come with lights to illuminate the work area. They would be recommended for larger assemblies.
Sometimes known as Compressed Air Point-of use Ionisers or Ion Guns, these ionisers are designed not only to neutralise charges from an ESD standpoint but are also designed to eliminate visual defects and prevent contamination such as dust. The strong forced air blows away the debris and because it has neutralised the surface, the dust is not attracted back by any static.
The best way to keep electrostatic sensitive devices (ESDs) from damage is to ground all conductive objects and remove insulators. This is not always possible because some insulators are “process-essential” and are necessary to build or assemble the finished product. The only way to control charges on these necessary non-conductive items is the use of ionisation systems. Applications include:
For more information and to select the right ioniser for your application, check out our Ioniser Selection Guide and our video Why Use Ionisers…