Electro-static discharge. It can wreak havoc with your sensitive electronics and electronic parts and components. ESD packaging, therefore, is a necessity for any type of static-sensitive products or parts. This includes power modules, circuit boards and anything else that might be damaged by static electricity.
Perhaps, you remember those elementary school days when a mischievous classmate would scuffle their shoes along a stretch of carpet and then reach out and shock an unsuspecting victim, transferring this build-up of static electricity in the form of a painful shock.
What is Static Electricity
In general terms, static electricity is an electric charge produced by friction. In the case of the aforementioned evil classmate, the friction of rubbing shoes on carpeting generates this electrical charge. While many people simply think about static electricity when they touch something and receive a harsh shock, static electricity can be more than just a nuisance, it can be quite dangerous.
For instance, consider the gas station. You might have noticed that gas stations post a notice regarding static electricity at each pump. These postings suggest that in order to spark a fire, you must touch metal on the surface of your car. This helps to dissipate the static electricity and makes it less likely that you will create a spark, generated by the contact between the static electricity on your body and the gasoline vapors around the pump.
With electronic products, static electricity can deliver what is essentially a little bolt of lightning to circuits, rendering them unusable. Of course, as a producer of electronics or electronic components and parts, you are already well aware of the dangers regarding static electricity and the need for quality ESD packaging.
There are several important terms regarding static electricity that can be important to know. Let’s begin with the concept of resistivity, which measures the resisting power of a material in regards to the flow of electric current. Individual packaging materials each have specific electrical resistivity. The goal with ESD packaging is to ensure that the positive charge from one object, or person, doesn’t damage any electronic components of your product.
Anti-static is a term that applies to any materials that prevent the building up of static electricity. For instance, static dissipative materials are those that will not generate a charge and also can ground a charge so if exposed to a “static” charge, the product will be protected. Conductive materials are those which have low electrical resistance, and an electric charge basically passes over the packaging surface and move on, transferring the charge somewhere else.
Types of ESD Packaging
There are several types of ESD packaging that you might need. For instance, you might need ESD trays to move delicate parts from one part of your facility to another. You might complete packaging created out of static-sensitive materials or perhaps anti-static foam or cushioning materials. Some companies also might need pouches created from static-sensitive materials.
At Indepak, while we don’t create ESD bags, we can create just about any type of rigid ESD packaging that you might need. This includes business-to-business tote trays, ESD foam, custom trays for packaging and much more. We work with a variety of materials, from dissipative to conductive, to ensure that your delicate electronics are safe and secure.
As we create ESD packaging, we pay attention to many factors. This includes gaining a thorough knowledge of your product and its ESD sensitivity. We also consider the product’s distribution environment, providing quality packaging that can keeps humidity and moisture from damaging a product, and ensuring that the packaging can handle varying temperatures. While many of the materials we use are capable of keeping moisture at bay, we also do sometimes recommend adding a desiccant to further protect your product.
While protecting your static-sensitive product is our focus, sustainability is another factor we consider during the design process. Your ESD packaging can be quite sustainable, and just about every material we use at Indepak is recyclable. We also consider factors such as weight, strength, cost-containment and presentation, creating ESD packaging that is not only protective, but also attractive and at a price that fits within your budget.
Since 1967, we’ve been an industry leading in the design and production of all types of custom thermoform packaging, and serving the electronics industry has been one of our main areas of concentration. Ready to get started? Contact Indepak today and we can discuss your ESD packaging needs.