Considerations For Choosing ESD Test Equipment
For a startup company, a small business or even for a larger manufacturer, prototype developer or contract manufacturing company, having the right tools to get the job done is important.
When developing electronics or using electronics in a particular device or component, being able to complete tests in-house can save you time and money. If you need to test for electrostatic discharge (ESD), you will need to have the correct ESD test equipment.
Electrostatic discharge or “shock” occurs when two different objects with different electrical potentials are momentarily connected through an electric current flow. This sudden current flow causes equipment failure and, without testing, it would continually result in a range of devices from mobile phones to vehicles to have electronic system failures.
The Human Body Model
Any electronic device or any object containing electronics, including vehicles or even aerospace applications, must be able to pass the Human Body Model or HBM device test.
Using the ESD test equipment, it is designed to complete an HBM test will create the same electrical discharge that a human would when touching the device. This is critical to prevent device failure if the person walks across the room and touches a stereo or television set.
Other industries may use additional types of tests which will need different testing parameters. These can include the Charged Device Model or CDM test and/or the MM or Machine Model test.
Similar to the HBM test, the ESD test equipment can also determine ESD immunity. This is done through testing the system rather than the specific device-level test. This will also include what is known as an air gap test. While the first test for the system involves direct contact, the air gap simulates the discharge from the human body at a distance from the system.
There are additional tests as well, including an EFT (electrical fast transient) immunity test. This is a test that is completed on wires, including power and signal wires in a system.