An ESD safe workspace is only as good as its weakest link. Any vulnerability within an ESD sensitive environment could create a breach in an electrically conductive chain. Here are answers to frequent questions about creating effective and safe ESD workstations.
Do You Need a Table Top ESD Mat if Your Workstation Has ESD Laminate?
ESD work surfaces provide a permanent solution to portable ESD mats. Use of an ESD mat on an ESD work surface is not required, but ESD working surfaces should always be grounded to a common ground point, and never daisy chained. A number of factors lead to the degradation of ESD mats, including dragging heavy objects over the surface, abrasion or cuts, chemical cleaners, or direct heat caused by soldering or rework. Additionally, the most common precursor to ESD events is not faulty equipment, but instead operator error such as setting sensitive devices on non-ESD surfaces or failure to follow proper grounding procedure. ESD benches provide a permanent stand in for ESD work surfaces and reduce the likeliness of user-driven ESD events, such as hastily setting down an ESD device on a non-ESD workstation. Regardless, the soft properties of rubber ESD table mats provide a soft surface for electronic components that may be damaged by subtle or repeated impact on a work surface.