The importance of static auditing

16 12 2011

Static auditing is a process which involves assessing a production facility’s overall electrical performance. The long-term aim of the process is to identify any faults in the system which could affect the electrical current or required performance of the machines they are connected to.

It is important that any threats to the performance of a machine are identified as quickly and as early as possible.

Any major issues can put a strain on other electrical currents and make the whole mechanism less efficient.

An auditor will check the system by looking primarily for static areas (where the electricity is at rest).

Static electricity usually caused when there is an imbalance between non-conductive insulators of electricity, becoming negatively or positively charged. Static control introduces a number of measures to help prevent this.

Removing or neutralising static electricity is a common method of static control, as well as ensuring the electrics are well grounded so this acts as buffer.

Static electricity discharge can be highly dangerous in industries dealing with flammable substances.

If a small electrical spark occurred here then this has the potential to ignite explosives mixtures.

Seeking professional advice to help you implement static control apparatus prevents the need to get someone in to regularly check the electrical conduction. This can save you money and time in the process, something which any business regardless of its size will appreciate.

Challenger Components have technical personnel who provide training following a pre-audit assessment of their system.  

Alternatively, they can help implement new devices to passively safeguard the work space from electrostatic discharge – protecting the instruments, and the employees from a potentially dangerous outcome.

For additional details on static auditing and its potential relevance to you, your products and potentially your business, visit www.challengercomponents.com

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Antistatic: Flooring, Mats, Chairs and Shoes

31 10 2011

Anybody working in the electronics manufacturing industry can easily become charged with static electricity, and it is important to control this in order to prevent it from transferring from one application to another which could damage them or cause them to work incorrectly. 

Antistatic flooring is typically used by workers who use electrical applications likely to be affected by discharged electricity. 

The static from the person involved is grounded in the mat due to its specific materials.

 

Chairs, Mats & Shoes

There can be some antistatic mats which not only act as static control; they also allow workers to stand comfortably for long periods of time.  These are termed ant-fatigue mats and can come with or without the static control features.

They are made with durable rubber, and ones created by 3M consist of a matrix of hollow cylinders that function like a spring when compressed.

There are also static-free chairs available on the market, which are designed to eliminate the problems caused by combining conductive materials.  These are manufactured with hooded static-free casters, and static-free fabric.

In addition to antistatic mats and antistatic chairs, there are also antistatic shoes available for workers working with static electricity.

ESD shoes are able to ground the electrostatic discharge from a person as long as they are worn on a semi-conductive floor.  The shoes discharge the static electricity stored in a human body through the floor in a more controlled way.

 

Challenger Components

Challenger Components have been supplying antistatic products to a range of customers and organisations for decades.

They work with established, respected manufacturers such as;

-Amphenol

-ebm-papst

-Nicomatic

For more information on all the antistatic products, as well as connectors, available, visit www.challengercomponents.com





Antistatic bags and axial fans – Two vital tools in the components manufacturing process

7 10 2011

Within the electronics manufacturing industry, the protection of complex and intricate components is one of the most important aspects of the whole process.

The use of both antistatic bags and axial fans is central to this process. So why are these products so important? How exactly do they work?

Antistatic Bags

An antistatic bag is an integral piece of equipment for any major electronics manufacturing company.

They are generally used for shipping electrical components which are prone to damage caused by things like electrostatic discharge.

That type of discharge is the sudden electric current that flows between two objects at different electrical potentials. It is dangerous as it could potentially cause damage to important electronic equipment.

The bags are usually plastic and will have distinctive colours to denote whether they are metallised film or polyethylene.

Due to the critical need for protection against mechanical and electrostatic damage, various layers of protection are employed within the bags.

Axial Fans

Axial fans consist of a rotating arrangement of blades which act on the air. Usually contained within a casing, the blades used force the air to move parallel to the shaft about which the blades rotate.

The name of this specific fan comes from its propensity to blow air along the fan, and they have many modern day applications.

Within the electronics industry specifically, they are used to for cooling certain items of equipment. This is a vital cog within the whole process of constructing and transporting electrical connectors for example.

The larger varieties of axial fans are seen in mechanisms such as wind tunnels. Smaller types can be used for all manner of electronics work.

Given the size of some wind tunnels, it gives you an idea of how large certain axial fans can actually be.

For additional details on both of the antistatic products mentioned above, as well as the benefits of static training, visit www.challengercomponents.com





Antistatic protection

8 08 2011

The purpose of an antistatic wrist strap is to keep a person safely grounded when they are working with sensitive electronic equipment.

It has the primary effect of preventing the build-up of static electricity on their body. The build-up of static electricity can eventually lead to electrostatic discharge (ESD), which can be very damaging for a number of electronic devices.

The strap is made up of a flexible band of fabric which has a number of intricate, conductive fibres incorporated into it. The strap itself will be bound with a stainless steel clasp and the fibres are generally made of carbon due to their propensity for helping to prevent the build-up of electrostatic discharge.

The straps can be used in conjunction with a specially designed antistatic mat which will be placed on the workbench.

There is an intricate and intelligent process to how you use a wrist strap while working. The strap is connected to the ground through a retractable cable which has the ability to absorb high voltage charges while ensuring the prevention of any potential shocks.

Wrist straps can connect Earth Bonding Points via either a 4mm plug or a 10mm press stud. When working with higher voltage, extra protection can be added to protect the user from excessive currents.

Ankle and heel straps can also be used to help protect users from currents and allow accumulated charge to seep away from the body.

These items work in an equally intricate way, dissipating electrical charge to specially implanted floor tiles to increase protection.

They are particularly good for anyone who needs to be mobile when working as it is preferable to avoid a grounding cable in this cable.

For full information on all the antistatic equipment available, visit www.challengercomponents.com





Antistatic bags – What are they and why do we need them

27 07 2011

An antistatic bag is a simple but vital piece of equipment for any major electronics manufacturing company.

They are generally used for shipping electrical components which are prone to damage caused by things like electrostatic discharge.

That type of discharge is the sudden electric current that flows between two objects at different electrical potentials. It is dangerous as it could potentially cause damage to important electronic equipment.

The bags themselves are plastic and will have distinctive colours to denote whether they are metallised film or polyethylene.

Due to the critical need for protection against mechanical and electrostatic damage, various layers of protection are employed within the bags.

 These extra layers can include a PET film bag, polyethylene bubble wrap and pink poly foam.

The bags are always slightly conductive. This creates the anti-static effect as it forms a protective cage around the item.

This protective cage is known as a faraday cage and the main hob it does is protect any localised charges being deposited onto the device while the bag is being handled in transit.

It is vital that the bags are only ever opened at static-free workstations; otherwise the hard work of keeping the device free form potential contaminants will have been wasted.

Other antistatic items that are used within the electronics industry include anti-static garments or clothing.

Similar to the way in which the antistatic bags work, they are designed to prevent any damage to electrical components and to prevent fires when working with potentially flammable liquids and gases.

Items such as these are essential in the successful transfer of electronic components around the globe. Without them, the industry would have to deal with numerous issues of potential contamination.

 

 





Alternative Energy Storage Market Expected to Grow

6 07 2011

The alternate energy storage market is expected to rise to 423 million dollars in 2016 worldwide, research reveals.

According to the latest Electronics.CA Publications report entitled ‘Electrical Power Storage Technologies for Alternative Energy Sources’, the global market for alternative energy storage is growing significantly.

The report suggests the global market could equal 325 million in 2011 and this could reach 423 million dollars in 2016 as it increases at a five year compound annual growth rate of 5.4 percent.

It explains the market can be broken down into four segments: batteries, capacitive energy storage, fuel cells, and flywheel energy storage.

  • Batteries

The batteries segment is estimate to be worth 256 million dollars in 2011 and this is expected to rise to 322 million dollars alone by 2016, with a five year compound annual growth rate of 4.7 percent.

  • Capacitive energy storage

This segment is estimated to be worth currently 30 million dollars, but is expected to grow at a five year compound annual growth rate to 40 million dollars by 2016.

  • Fuel cells

This segment is estimated at 25 million dollars, and is expected to grow at a rate of 12 percent to 44 million dollars by 2016.

  • Flywheel energy storage

The flywheel energy storage segment is estimated to be worth 14 million dollars at the moment and should rise at a rate of four percent to 17 million dollars in the next five years.

Alternative energy units

These can range quite significantly.  They can be small kilowatt units to giant developmental modules that can store megawatts of power.

It is expected the power storage systems in wind and solar applications, specifically the photovoltaic segments will cause the most growth over the next five years, as the world tries to increase the amount of environmentally friendly energy sources used.

Visit: http://www.challengercomponents.com for more information and to discuss your electronic component requirements in more detail.





Electronic Components Listed for Enhanced Capital Allowance

4 07 2011

The Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme is part of the Government’s programme to manage climate change.

Electronic components listed on the Energy Technology List (ETL) qualify for the allowance claim from the government, but until recently, EC motors were not on it, even though EC motors are significantly more efficient than induction motors.

Managers of the ETL ECA scheme predicted EC motors were niche and dying out, however hundreds of thousands of small EC and tens of thousands of large EC motors are now accepted as a solution to reduce Carbon emissions and energy.

The Energy Technology List (ETL) was first published 26th March 2001, to provide businesses with enhanced tax relief for investments in equipment that meet published energy saving criteria.

A new motor criterion of Permanent Magnet Motors (PMM) was created in December 2010 by the Carbon Trust.  These PMM that exceed the listed threshold and are above 0.75 kW are eligible for inclusion on the ETL.

Ebm-papst EC motors are the first PMMs to be listed on the ETL.

Ebm-papst EC motors are motors with a separate drive or motor with an integrated variable speed drive.

These EC motors are the easiest to select, install and use, while others require the cost of installing and commissioning additional drives before the motor will operate.

The ebm-papst EC motors are PMMs with integrated VSD and exceed the IE3 threshold even when taking into account the variable speed drive.  They, on their own, meet the iR4 threshold.

Electronic Component Suppliers

Challenger Components stocks ebm-papst products for their clients who require specific electronic components such as EC motors.

Challenger Components has 50 years experience in connectors, static control, and cooling solutions.  They also use well known manufacturers such as 3m Interconnect and Credence Technologies.

Visit: http://www.challengercomponents.com for more information and to discuss your electronic component requirements in more detail.

 








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