At ITL, it’s never been our philosophy to simply ‘keep up’ with changing manufacturing technology. And we weren’t voted Kent’s Best Manufacturing Business of the Year 2014 because we have a factory that is just ‘good enough’.
ITL Electro Static Discharge Upgrade Electrostatic Protective Area
Our customers choose ITL because they need a manufacturing partner that aims to proactively and continuously improve processes to ensure that they get top quality products time and time again.
That’s why we have launched a £10,000 investment programme to audit and, where necessary, improve Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) protection within our manufacturing facilities.
These improvements will further increase the reliability and shelf life of both components and finished products that are manufactured at ITL
What is Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)?
Electrostatic Discharge (also known as Triboelectric Discharge if you want to impress your friends) is the sudden transfer of electricity from one object to another.
The smallest amount that can be felt by a human (when you touch something and feel an electric shock) is around 2000 volts, but sensitive electronic components can be damaged by as little as 20 volts of static electricity.
ESD can cause latent problems that may not become apparent until the device is in the field - and when it comes to medical devices failure is not an option.
Improvements to ESD protection
Starting with one pilot work-cell, ITL have begun upgrading each work area within the manufacturing facility to become a designated controlled Electrostatic Protective Area (EPA).
This will involve:
A company-wide retraining programme
Consultation and independent auditing from Teknis, an experienced ESD training provider
Replacement antistatic jackets for all employees and installing more earthed wrist strap testers throughout the factory
Continuous review and consequent updates to assembly, testing and packaging procedures to systematically reduce handling of electronic components
Purchasing a new electrostatic field meter to test levels of ESD
Use of ESD protective coatings for floors throughout the factory
Further signage and barriers in EPA’s
Additional antistatic packaging for transportation of sensitive components throughout the manufacturing facility
With these protocols in place, ITL will take its ESD measures to the next level of protection- as befits a proactive company working to provide best industry practice to its customers.