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In sensitive electronics manufacturing, electronics components sub-assemblies and assemblies prevention of ESD (Electrostatic discharge) is based on an Electrostatic Protective Area (EPA). The EPA can be a small workstation or a large manufacturing area. The main principle of an EPA is that there are no highly-charging materials in the vicinity of ESD sensitive electronics, all conductive materials are grounded, workers are grounded, and charge build-up on ESD sensitive electronics is prevented. International standards are used to define a typical EPA and can be found for example from International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and its national branches in the form of national Technical committees.
ESD prevention within an EPA should involve ESD furniture and tools, appropriate ESD-safe packing material, the use of antistatic garments worn by assembly workers, conductive wrist straps and footwear to prevent high voltages from accumulating on workers' bodies, anti-static mats or conductive flooring materials to conduct harmful electric charges away from the work area, and humidity control. Humid conditions prevent electrostatic charge generation because the thin layer of moisture that accumulates on most surfaces serves to dissipate electric charges. Ion generators (ionizers) are sometimes used to inject ions into the ambient airstream.
Thus the creation of an EPA is an essential requirement for any company manufacturing or repairing electronics equipment.