Packaging changes for better electrostatic discharge protection

Posted by Jan on 21 March 2017
Tags: manufacturing

Most of the products we manufacture are small electronics subassemblies, which we have been packaging in these pink antistatic bags that are probably familiar to everyone who has worked with electronics:

These bags are supposed to help prevent charge buildup and therefore help prevent the sensitive components inside from getting damaged just from the bags being shuffled around. But, if you charge yourself up and then grab the bag, you can still zap the electronics inside through the bag.

This year, we began transitioning our packaging to metalized shielding bags, like this:

These bags have the charge buildup prevention of the pink bags but also have a metal layer that prevent the spark from getting from your finger to the electronics parts in the bag. Most bags I have seen have some plastic coating outside the metal layer so that you don’t have zero resistance along the surface of the bag, but I have heard of people shorting things out by powering them up while sitting on some types of metallic bags.

Did a static discharge into a USB port cause this power supply to go up in smoke?

I once got a huge static shock when I plugged a flash drive into my USB port, and right after that, a bunch of sparks and smoke came out of my computer’s power supply. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t a coincidence, but I still can’t be sure it was a case of electrostatic discharge (ESD) destroying my computer. And usually, ESD damage is much more subtle and basically impossible for us to confirm. So, changing the packaging is one of those things where it will be very difficult to tell if it’s really doing anything. But we go through a lot of effort to inspect and test each item we make so that we can be confident it worked when we made it, so this packaging change should give us still more confidence that the part is in good condition when you receive it. It will take a while before all of our products get changed over, so don’t be shocked if your order arrives with a mix of packaging types.

0 comments

Post a comment

Using your Pololu account allows you to customize your avatar and manage your comments; you can also post anonymously.

New Products

Motoron M2S24v16 Dual High-Power Motor Controller Shield Kit for Arduino
Motoron M2S18v18 Dual High-Power Motor Controller Shield for Arduino (No Connectors)
Free Circuit Cellar magazine April 2022
Free Circuit Cellar magazine December 2021
Motoron M3H256 Triple Motor Controller for Raspberry Pi (Connectors Soldered)
DRV8874 Single Brushed DC Motor Driver Carrier
9V Step-Up Voltage Regulator U3V40F9
Stepper Motor: Bipolar, 200 Steps/Rev, 20×42mm, 4.3V, 0.8 A/Phase
Motoron M2H18v18 Dual High-Power Motor Controller for Raspberry Pi (No Connectors or Standoffs)
Free Circuit Cellar magazine January 2022
Log In
Pololu Robotics & Electronics
Shopping cart
(702) 262-6648
Same-day shipping, worldwide
Menu
Shop Blog Forum Support
My account Comments or questions? About Pololu Contact Ordering information Distributors