Charged plate monitor upgrades ESD programme

13th January 2015
Mick Elliott

Acal BFi has helped RS Components develop its latest electrostatic discharge control programme. To demonstrate its commitment to ESD control, RS maintains certification to ANSI/ESD S20.20, a standard developed by the ESD Association to satisfy the global need in the electronics industry for technically sound ESD control programmes.

For many years RS has been undertaking dynamic walking tests to qualify various flooring and footwear combinations used in its electrostatic discharge protected areas.These tests were time-consuming and the equipment used was cumbersome, consisting of an electrometer, mains supply, PicoScope and a laptop, together with a trolley to transport the equipment around the large warehouse.


When, as a result of the ESD S20.20:2014 revision, the walking test became a mandatory requirement, RS Components decided to upgrade its ESD auditing equipment and was looking for a compact, portable product with which to conduct ESD assessments more efficiently. Besides the walking test equipment, it was also seeking to replace an ageing CPM374 charged plate monitor.


Following lengthy investigations, RS Components consulted with Acal BFi who recommended the Model 158A from TREK.

Although it is primarily a charged plate monitor, the multi-functional equipment is equally effective at measuring voltages generated by flooring materials and footwear in combination with people. It features a user-friendly 7 inch screen that is activated through either touch-screen control or corresponding function keys. The compact design supports data collection and incorporates a data storage capability for post-monitoring analysis and evaluation. The real-time data is displayed in both graphical and numerical form which may also be transferred to a USB flash drive or other USB device.

Acal BFi has a long-standing relationship with TREK, having worked together on a pan-European basis for over 25-years. Acal BFi offer an extensive range of custom services and have the in-house expertise to act as a technical partner, helping customers to choose the right product for their application.

TREK products can be used in a multitude of applications, including electrophotography, piezoelectronics, semiconductor equipment, power amplification, mass spectrometry and metrology.

The ESD Co-ordinator at RS Components is delighted with the TREK Model 158A, which has proved to be reliable and easy to use, removing the need to carry multiple pieces of auditing equipment around the large electrostatic discharge protected areas. It is light and compact, enabling quick and accurate measurements to be carried out, and removes the need for manual recording of results.

Martyn Green, Quality Systems Manager at RS Components comments: “RS Components understands the importance of its position in the supply chain and takes all necessary precautions to protect sensitive electronic devices from risk of damage by electrostatic discharge. ESD auditing is part of our everyday routine and the TREK Model 158A provides a cost effective means of qualifying some fundamental ESD controls. The high level of service offered by Acal BFi has ensured that throughout the process we were confident of achieving a satisfactory conclusion.”


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