New Factory episode: This week we’re putting the finishing touches on some prototypes before getting them fabricated. We talk track junctions, experiment with a solder-reservoir footprint technique for parts with locking tabs, discuss component packaging and DFM (design for manufacturability), and take a look at some custom component trays to overcome manufacturing constraints.
Nice chilled format for a video. I don’t think I’d bother with the track fine tuning to eliminate sharp bends for i2c tracks unless you are going to go the whole hog on designing for EMI/EMC compliance. Now this isn’t the ESD troll in me but have you done anything on ESD management in your manufacturing process? Be interesting to see your take on it, I know from professional experience that it is not trivial but it is an important factor. Doing it right when small is the easiest way to stay on track later. Cheers.
I completely agree I’ll let Michael know about this post for you and see what the factory team is planning to deal with ESD
(this is electrostatic discharge for those new and reading this, it’s almost identical to the shock that you get when charging yourself by the triboelectric effect rubbing a balloon on your hair then touching a doorknob, it’s also a brilliant way to destroy sensitive electronics unintentionally if not correctly protected against )
Once boards come out of the drying oven, we’ll depanel and test on a static dissipative mat (I think it’s actually Graham’s own personal mat that made it’s way into the Factory too - a piece of Core Electronics history!)
After testing, we bag into pink static-dissipative bags.
How does this process sound to you @Ingmar13364 - is there any low hanging fruit on what we could improve on?
Hey @Michael, perhaps we could started with “pink static-dissipative bags” are dissipative but won’t protect the product inside the bag from an external ESD event so you would use those in known safe ESD areas only. See What you need to know about static shielding bags - Antistat ESD Protection.
What about flooring, seating, clothing, bench tops, ESD straps. If you have concrete floors thats better than (heaven forbid) carpet.
You need to think of the big picture with ESD. Ground (electrical) is the most common thing between our machines, test equipment etc and that is why people focus on “being grounded”. It isn’t that ground magically saves you it just happens to be easy to get to! I’ve seen misguided folks on YT boast about having “grounded themselves to the electric fire” with their wrist strap whilst having some ESD sensitive widget sitting on a plastic coated work surface. Great they won’t damage the “electric fire” with an ESD event but the potential difference (PD) between the device they are working on and “ground” will still kill the electronics. So you need to think about the PD between you and the machine when you load reels of ESD sensitive parts, move placed boards into the reflow and remove the reflowed panels for testing, packaging etc.
Don’t use kmart plastic boxes to carry boards around in (unless they are in ESD shielded shiny bags). Make sure staff are not wearing awesome looking but super zappy fabrics, put on ESD labcoats if required. Wear straps to keep yourself at the same potential as the PNP when there, same at the test bench (on a dissipative mat), the packing area. Beware of plastic office chairs, some generate a hair raising amount of static.
Those are starters to think about. We get the Bondline folks to run classes for us, maybe chat to someone like that about doing a class or working out what your high risk practices / areas are.
I’m REALLY glad you are considering ESD, some big companies we won’t mention just ignore it and hope it doesn’t exist
Until we have the luxury of purchasing our own building along with a custom fit-out, we will just need to do the best we can
Yep that is the reality of small / medium business. You would have heard the ESD spiel back in your previous life Good on you and the team for your great advances so far.
Sure have Somewhere in the middle of the 12 year Air Force stint, I found myself at 77SQN Avionics Maintenance Facility (AVMF). There were various levels of ESD safety though the highest would have been the 8222 Electronic Warfare section. Footwear ESD, grounding on all mobile work stations and storage, static shielding bags, ESD compliant tools, training… which was fair enough given the replacement cost of parts could be in the hundreds of thousands.
Ever worked with Simon F? Avionics tech then supervisor? I work with him.
maaaaybe, there were a couple of Simon’s in the mix. The bottom photo on our about page has a few work colleagues (including a Simon R) from the '09 to '14 era I was on that side of town. The workshops were some of the best tech-experiences, though I had to seek out those opportunities. Besides the tech (like the new ECM Pods), I ended up on 2 international 4+ week trips and 3 domestic trips while there, which was fairly unheard of for life at the “workshops”.