Q: When does Static Damage occur?
A: ESD damage can occur to devices at anytime – even after they have been installed on circuit cards.
Damage can occur simply by placing a fingertip too close to a component inside an open computer! Everyone involved in the handling, installing, test, shipping and storing of electronic devices must take preventative measures against the threat of ESD. Grounding yourself with ESD wrist straps or ESD heel grounders is the first defense against static damage.
ESD damage can cause immediate or “catastrophic” failure of component, or could gradually degrade components and cause a “latent failure”. Latent failures are much harder to detect and can pass quality control tests in a factory. This maybe why your computer needs to have a motherboard replaced a year after purchase!
Starting Thursday, Transforming Technologies will answer questions concerning all things ESD: static causes, threats, ESD prevention, best practices and all things static in a feature we call ESD Q&A. If you have ESD questions that you would like to be answered, email firstname.lastname@example.org with Q&A in the subject line.