When working on ESD-sensitive projects, whether at home, in a repair shop, or even a large-scale manufacturing operation, having you and your work area fully grounded is a necessity.
There are many ways to get your workstation fully grounded, here is an example of the ideal layout for a single worker at a station, we’ll start from the ground up:
We have the ACL Conductive Floor Mat, made to work well with chairs. ACL’s homogeneous distribution of carbon black and proprietary polymers give the conductive vinyl chair mat a continuous and permanent path-to-ground. Electrical properties will not wear due to damage caused by chair casters, so the conductive circuit remains continuous while guarding against scratching and scuff marks.
These chair mats are laser cut specifically for desks and can be punched if one chooses to add a grounding snap.
Choosing the right chair is a matter of personal preference, and ergonomics are an important part of the chair selection process, which you can learn more about on our site.
But in this situation, we are focusing on the ESD properties of selecting the right chair. First we need to decide what height we need a chair at, desk height or bench height – it all depends on your personal set-up.
Your basic upholstery options will usually be fabric, vinyl, or polyurethane. Which upholstery you choose will depend on the environment you are working in, a cleanroom for example would exclude the use of fabric and would require vinyl or polyurethane depending on the class. Somewhere less stringent, like a repair center or personal work station would be a great place for fabric options.
One of the most important features of an ESD-safe chair is the drag chain. This chain is connected to the base of the chair and reaches the floor, creating a constant path-to-ground, providing an electrical bond between the chair and the grounded floor.
The last thing you should look for in an ESD-safe chair is the casters, most ESD-safe casters will come in carpet or hard floor options. Choose whichever works for you, but if you plan on using it conjunction with a floor mat hard floor casters would probably be the better option.
Production Automation carries a large variety of workbenches, most of which have an ESD laminate option. Your workbench can be fitted with either a grounding jack or constant monitor unit. The difference here are that grounding jacks are simple, you install it into the frame of the table and ground the unit, then wrist straps can be plugged into it, grounding the worker. Constant monitors are installed and function similarly, but will visually and audibly alert users if connection to ground is lost. Which option, or none, depends again on the work being done.
Another great option for ESD-safe workbenches are grounding mats. Grounding mats add another layer of ESD protection for your projects and offer conductive and dissipative options.
Choosing to use an ESD-safe floor mat, chair, workstation, and accessories means your workstation is a safe and functional space for handling sensitive products. Though, we must not forget that you, the worker, should also take measures to be ESD-safe.
Again starting from the ground up, foot straps and heel grounds ensure that any time your feet are touching the ground you are grounded, provided you wear them on both feet, choosing to only wear one foot grounder means you lose connection to ground every time you lift the foot with the grounder on.
Wrist Straps are the ubiquitous ESD accessory, they come in many materials and styles and can be connected to a grounded banana jack, constant monitor, or checked on a wrist strap tester via a grounding cord.
Adding all of the personal protection to your ESD protected workstation ensures that you are fully ESD compliant and ready to confidently work on any project, no matter how delicate or sensitive it may be. Of course, there are many, many other products that can be incorporated into a ESD-safe workspace, and Production Automation offers a large variety, which you can find our our website. From ESD office supplies, flooring, topical anti-stat, paint, cleaners, and other accessories, PAC makes it easy to find everything related to ESD.
Not sure what you need? Have more questions about creating, expanding, or improving an ESD workspace? We can help! Our knowledgeable staff can answer questions, and help you select the right products for your applications. Contact us at 888-903-0333, at [email protected], or through our Live Chat on our website at www.gotopac.com.