Electrolube‘s state-of-the-art testing and development laboratory facilities are now in a league of their own, thanks to the addition of new ESD safe working areas and an investment in a new customer-dedicated testing environment. When offering its laboratory services to customers, Electrolube has always followed rigorous ESD mitigation procedures when handling customers’ PCBs and electronic assemblies. Additionally, when conducting tests on their own products, the test conditions imposed by Electrolube extend beyond usual in-service environmental conditions. Electrolube’s in-house testing protocols are rigorous and market leading, ensuring customers can have full assurance of how reliably products perform in the harshest of environments.
Now, in a bid to further strengthen its competitive edge, the company has decided to upgrade its customer product testing facilities and outfit its dedicated conformal coating room with even more advanced ESD features to create an Electrostatic Discharge Protected Area (EPA). These enhancements are designed to mirror the care that Electrolube’s customers take in the handling of their own products, and are being carried out by Electrolube in line with the company’s guiding principle of ‘doing what the customer does’. The main function of an EPA is to ensure that there are no materials that may become highly electrostatically charged in the vicinity of ESD sensitive electronics. Consequently, the use of ESD safe footwear is mandatory for Electrolube laboratory staff and disposable footstraps are available for visitors.
Prior to entering the coating room, staff and authorised visitors are required to be tested to ensure they are able to maintain a sufficient level of grounding whilst in the EPA. ESD-safe, grounded flooring has been laid throughout the coating room to prevent electrostatic charge accumulations, and all machines have been permanently grounded, with the further provision of grounded wrist-strap points for laboratory personnel. All lab coats now contain conductive filaments and all packaging that may be required to convey electronic boards or assemblies into and out of the laboratory is now ESD safe by default. As a final measure, air conditioning has been installed in the EPA to maintain optimum ESD-safe levels of temperature and humidity.
Ron Jakeman, managing director of Electrolube commented: “Our customers expect high standards of care from us when we are handling their products, which are often expensive prototypes. While we have always ensured a high level of ESD protection within our facilities, we felt there was still room for further improvement. We have now created what we believe sets a new industry standard of care, as well as providing a dedicated environment in which our customers can work, confident that the ESD measures we have taken match as closely as possible to those they deploy in their own facilities.”