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What is ESD damage and how can you protect electronics against it?

What is ESD?

Short for electrostatic discharge, ESD is the sudden release of static electricity that occurs when two objects with different charges come into contact or close proximity with one another. For an ESD event to occur, it requires a build-up of electrostatic charge between one item that is positively charged and another that is negatively charged. ESD can occur in a variety of forms; one of the most common is through human contact with a static sensitive device.

 

How can ESD cause damage to electronic products?

Electrostatic discharge generates intense heat which can melt or vaporize tiny parts of the equipment’s internal components. In some cases, ESD damage can cause a component to fail immediately. Repeated ESD exposure can cause latent failures to occur which can manifest themselves over time, considerably reducing the overall reliability of the product. Many electronic devices are vulnerable to low voltage ESD events. For example, a hard drive is susceptible to just 10 volts.

 

What does the ESD protective symbol mean?

 

The ESD Protective Symbol 

 

The ESD protective symbol (shown above) is used to identify an item that has at least one ESD control property:

  • Low charging (formerly referred to as astatic or antistatic)
  • Resistance (conductive or static dissipative, which is able to remove electrostatic charges when grounded)
  • Discharge shielding (for example, static shielding bags provide a complete static safe environment for the safe storage and transportation of static sensitive devices)

What steps does TXO take to prevent ESD damage when handling telecoms equipment?

TXO take the risk of ESD very seriously when handling telecom equipment, as even the smallest amount of static could damage the components.

Our ESD prevention procedure, when handling telecommunications equipment, includes:

  • Wearing an anti-static wrist strap, ESD safety shoes and/or an ESD ankle strap (also known as an ESD strap or ground bracelet).
  • Using anti-static ESD matting on our workbench surfaces.
  • Having ESD floor tiles in areas where components need to be protected from the risk of anti-static charge.

These devices are used to safely ground a person handling sensitive electronic equipment. They act by preventing the build-up of static electricity, which can result in electrostatic damage.

 

How does TXO avoid ESD once products have shipped?

All products supplied by TXO are re-packed in new, unbranded ESD protective packaging to ensure that your order arrives in the best possible condition.

Telecom equipment will always be labelled appropriately to ensure that handlers are aware of the fragility of the contents. For added safety, appropriate impact absorbing materials will be used to provide protection to the products when in transit.

We are able to repackage to customer specification and label with customer part numbers, order numbers or other information as requested.

 

More information

For further details about how our telecom equipment is handled and shipped, don't hesitate to get in touch.

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