0502cope

Keeping Static Under Control

Like other companies doing business in the technology sector, the ESD-control industry has suffered a significant downturn over the past year. Sales reported by most of the major players in the ESD market have been off by double-digit numbers or, in some instances, practically nonexistent. With bloated inventories of parts and products, manufacturers are not fabricating and assembling new electronic products and systems. When assembly operations are curtailed, the need for ESD products such as wrist straps, heel grounders, ionizers, and floor mats declines dramatically.

Commenting on the state of the industry, David Swenson, senior specialist at 3M Electronic Handling & Protection Division had this to say: “The significant factor affecting the ESD-control industry in 2001 was related to excess semiconductor inventory. If shipments are not being made, the need for protective packaging is reduced. If layoffs are occurring in assembly plants, there is less demand for wrist straps and static-control footwear.”

One light that continues to brighten the landscape for the ESD industry is ANSI/ESD S20.20, Protection of Electrical and Electronic Parts, Assemblies and Equipment. The standard provides guidelines in setting up and maintaining an ESD control program.

According to Steve Halperin, president of Prostat, “S20.20 is the single most important document to be produced for and by the industry in the past 20 years. International industry and military agencies have begun to adopt S20.20, and all indications point to requiring their suppliers to do the same.”

With S20.20 gaining new adopters in the months ahead, ESD-control products and test-equipment sales should pick up accordingly, although not by leaps and bounds. As predicted by Mr. Swenson, “Hardware and capital investment items are expected to return more slowly than ESD packaging.”

The ESD industry has not been resting on its laurels, as evidenced by the number of products introduced over the past months. Our 16th annual ESD Product Showcase profiles a number of these products including mats, boxes, survey kits, ionizers, flooring, monitors, and jackets.

Return to EE Home Page

Published by EE-Evaluation Engineering
All contents © 2002 Nelson Publishing Inc.
No reprint, distribution, or reuse in any medium is permitted
without the express written consent of the publisher.

May 2002

Sponsored Recommendations

Design AI / ML Applications the Easy Way

March 29, 2024
The AI engineering team provides an overview and project examples of the complete reference solutions based on RA MCUs that are designed for easy integration of AI/ML technology...

Ultra-low Power 48 MHz MCU with Renesas RISC-V CPU Core

March 29, 2024
The industrys first general purpose 32-bit RISC-V MCUs are built with an internally developed CPU core and let embedded system designers develop a wide range of power-conscious...

Asset Management Recognition Demo AI / ML Kit

March 29, 2024
See how to use the scalable Renesas AI Kits to evaluate and test the application examples and develop your own solutions using Reality AI Tools or other available ecosystem and...

RISC-V Unleashes Your Imagination

March 29, 2024
Learn how the R9A02G021 general-purpose MCU with a RISC-V CPU core is designed to address a broad spectrum of energy-efficient, mixed-signal applications.

Comments

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Electronic Design, create an account today!