The VIR-STAT air-ionizers are available in various configurations, with prices starting at $495.78. There are two bench top units that direct ionized air to the workspace directly in front of an assembler. One unit has an RS485 port for data collection, while the other does not. Overhead ionizing units are available for controlling larger areas.
In addition to protecting ESD-sensitive components, air ionization reduces “stiction” when handling extremely small insulative components. Stiction occurs when two surfaces with areas below the micrometer range come into close contact, such as a small part probe and the part being handled. The part sticks to the probe and will not release. Ionizing the air neutralizes the static charge and associated stiction.