Static electricity is a major cause of fires and explosions in many industries. In the disc drive, microelectronics, and semiconductor industries, static electricity can cause immediate or latent failure of the product. A build-up of static electricity in filling or packaging operations causes production delays. Therefore, it is imperative to control static electricity in cleanrooms and controlled environments.
Controlling static electricity and electrostatic discharge should be a multi-faceted approach. Each individual parameter supports the total ESD program. The most common components in a complete ESD control program are: personnel, personnel apparel, shoes and grounding straps, ionizers, temperature and humidity control, flooring, work surfaces, and packaging. It is impossible for any one of the above components to individually control static electricity.
People working in cleanrooms or controlled environments as well as production materials and automated machinery in the cleanroom or controlled environment are the major generators of particle and static electricity that will compromise the integrity of the product and the process. Therefore, the types of cleanroom and static control garments and the training of personnel to control movement of materials and machinery in the cleanroom or controlled environment in-and-around ESD sensitive devices, flammable materials, etc. must be carefully evaluated and monitored.