Finder SpA has employed a range of ultra-modern technology in its new electronics manufacturing facility in Almese, Italy, including innovative electrostatic discharge (ESD) protective flooring.
The company’s electronics department covers 3,500m2, expanding the site’s total area to approximately 31,000m2—15,000 of which are dedicated exclusively to production. The new department will house the production of printed circuit boards, and the assembly of products that use them—such as timers, monitoring relays and energy-saving lighting control products, and it represents an important step in new product development. By using this pcb capability together with its own relays in existing, or easily adapted housings, Finder can address market demand by developing and launching a wealth of new products within a relatively short space of time.
Static dissipative flooring
Finder has adopted measures to protect components against electrostatic discharge (ESD), ensuring that any ESD voltage is limited to less than 100V. Certification has been obtained according to standard CEI EN 61340-5-1 through point-to-ground (PTG) testing—which measures the resistance between the floor and the ground node, as well as point-to-point (PTPq) testing—which measures the resistance between two points on the floor at a one metre distance from one another. The test results have also taken into account the level of ambient humidity, which is also controlled.
Finder has been able to create an Electrostatic Protected Area (EPA) due to an innovative flooring system with static dissipative* flooring. Discharge current levels that would otherwise be damaging to electronic components are therefore avoided through dissipation under ‘controlled’ conditions. This flooring system enables operators to move freely throughout the entire area using suitable anti-static equipment while visitors can access the departments without any special equipment, provided they walk along the dedicated routes, avoiding contact with any objects.
After checking the resistance of the person/shoe with respect to the reference ground plane (RGP), (ie. the floor), personnel are authorised to handle ESDS (electrostatic discharge sensitive) devices directly—without the necessity of a grounding wrist strap.
Surface Mount Technology
The surface mount technology equipment installed in the electronics department comprises ‘best in class’ machines, all selected for their specifications, performance, reliability and quality. The UK manufactured screen printers are super flexible and have a proven 6 Sigma performance, with a state-of-the-art visual inspection. These pcb printers feed into the US manufactured pick and place machines with dual-beam (2-module) platforms. The pick and place machines also have integrated cameras to provide visual inspection, which are in turn linked to high efficiency convection reflow ovens.
As well as the technology used in the flooring, the building designers incorporated many other special details. For example, the windows feature adjustable blinds integrated between the sealed double-glazing to simplify the daily cleaning of the facilities. In addition, white composite flooring with metal aggregates enhances the light quality at the workstations.