Safe working areas for PCBs

Posted in Pcb Repair

It’s important that PCBs are repaired in a safe and carefully protected environment.  Preventing damage to sensitive components from spikes and static discharge is vital at all stages of the PCB repair process.  Areas must be designed and maintained to prevent ESD/EOS damage.

PCBs need to be handled in properly designated work areas. These designated work areas must be checked periodically to ensure their continued safety from ESD.

Areas of critical concern are:

Operation of ion blowers and ion air guns

Floor services causing static dissipation

Thorough grounding methods

Dissipation of static on work surfaces

In order to prevent issues with PCBs, it is essential to create designated work areas that are free from static generating materials.  These include plastic, styrofoam, vinyl or artificial fabrics. Work areas need to be kept clean and neat. It goes without saying that in PCB assembly areas no smoking or eating should take place.

When not being worked on, sensitive components and PCBs must be enclosed in shielded bags or boxes to prevent dust contamination.

When PC boards are assembled, the operator should be properly grounded by wearing a wrist strap connected to earth ground or wearing heel grounders with both feet on a suitable floor surface (static dissipative).

At all times, PC board assemblies need to be handled by the edges and the circuits or components must be not touched. Components should also be handled by the edges when possible. Don’t touch the component leads.

An easy point to miss is soaps and hand creams. Lotions containing silicone must not be used since they can cause epoxy adhesion issues. Greasley Electronics use lotions specifically formulated to prevent contamination of PC boards.

Finally, the stacking of PC boards and assemblies should be avoided to prevent physical damage to the delicate materials that make up PCBs.

Call us for a quote on 01530 835 823 or email info@greasley.co.uk.  Greasley Electronics specialise in PCB repair.

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