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Question Can you explain what choices I have when creating an ESD Protected Area (EPA) per ANSI/ESD S20.20?

Key Points:

  • EPA must be clearly identified before entering, signs and/or aisle tape
  • User has many alternatives
  • Can choose to include EPA ESD Control Items from Table 3 of ANSI/ESD S20.20-2007
  • Once written into ESD control plan, the required limits are mandatory
  • Minimum EPA would be a Field Service Kit using Equipotential Bonding
    • Operator via Wrist Strap and Worksurface connected together; at same voltage level
  • Could write plan with 100 workbenches and provide 100 Field Service Kits
    • No ESD Flooring; would be 100 EPAs or 100 islands in the building
    • Would have to package ESD sensitive items enclosed in ESD shielding packaging to move ESDS from bench to bench
  • Most facilities use Equipment Ground (three wire AC outlets)
    • Using at least wrist straps and grounded ESD mats
    • Write in some, but not all EPA ESD Control Items from S20.20 Table 3
    • If ESD Floor, has option of personnel grounding via ESD footwear

ANSI/ESD S20.20-2007 section 8.3 states: ESD Protected Areas (EPAs) “Handling of ESDS parts, assemblies and equipment without ESD protective covering or packaging shall be performed in an EPA.” [ANSI/ESDS20.20
NOTE: An EPA can consist of a single workstation, entire room or building.
An EPA [ESD protected area] shall be established wherever ESDS [ESD Sensitive] products are handled. However, there are many different ways to establish ESD controls within an EPA. Table 3 lists some optional ESD control items which can be used to control static electricity. For those ESD control items that are selected for use in the ESD Control Program, the required limits and test methods for that item becomes mandatory.”

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