Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Elements of an Effective ESD Control Program – Part 2: ESD Training

Written and researched by guest blogger, Eric Puszczewicz, Marketing Manager, Transforming Technologies

The three main parts of an effective ESD Control Program are an ESD Prevention Program, an ESD Training Program, and an Audit Program. In Part 1 of "Elements of an Effective ESD Control Program," we looked at ESD prevention programs. Let's move on and focus on the importance of ESD training.

The second part of an effective ESD Control Program is ESD Training. ESD training leads to the success of an organization's ESD Control Program through educating the best practices for ESD prevention. A dedicated ESD training program shows a sustained company-wide commitment that ESD prevention is a valuable and on-going effort. There are three aspects to ESD training: initial training, recurring training, and evaluation.

The initial ESD training should cover the fundamentals of ESD and define the type and frequency of training for all employees. An initial training program should cover electrostatic discharge, how to identify insulators and conductors, how to identify how much static is necessary to damage equipment, and it should emphasize the costs of such ESD damage. Hands-on training includes how to properly use and wear ESD items, such as a wrist strap or heel grounder, and what precautions to use in non-protected ESD areas. ESD training of personnel can take many forms: In-house training, instructor-led ESD classes, computer-based training, or off-site workshop training.

Recurring ESD training is a vital aspect of an ESD Control Program because it reinforces the information taught in the initial ESD training, but also offers a chance to incorporate program updates and changes. Recurring training also gives employees the opportunity to provide feedback on procedures, which is valuable when evaluating the current ESD Control Program. Guidelines for recurring testing may vary based on the organization, but periodic training is a must for the success of any ESD Control Program.

According to the "Standards of ESD Training Plan" required by ANSI/ESD S20.20, an evaluation should be incorporated into all ESD training programs. This evaluation, which could take the form of a written test, computer-based test, or a Q&A with an ESD instructor, ensures that the employee understands and has retained the information taught in the ESD training sessions. The organization should establish pass/fail guidelines for ESD certification/re-certification and procedures for recording this training in employee records.

An effective, systematic, and sustainable ESD training certification and re-certification system is key for all successful ESD Control Programs. It cannot be stressed enough how essential ESD control is for successful electronic manufacturing.

Check back with The Q Source Resource soon for Part 3 of this feature article, when we'll conclude our discussion of an ESD Control Program with a look at ESD Audit Programs.

Special thanks to our guest blogger, Eric Puszczewicz from Transforming Technologies' Static Care blog.

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