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The role of ESD management system and its importance

    The role of ESD management system is very important. Establishing a successful ESD management system is the key to reducing ESD damage of sensitive devices.

    Electrostatic discharge (ELECTROSTATIC DISCHARGE ESD) can cause serious damage to the manufacturing process and operation of microelectronic devices and electronic products containing these devices. The miniaturization of electronic devices, the high speed of the operating system and the use of factory automation technology make the ESD control system an important factor in the quality control and reliability guarantee of ESD sensitive devices.

     The establishment, implementation and management of a successful ESD system must consider all aspects systematically. It includes the entire process from product design to product acceptance by customers. And the system must be well managed and integrated into every link of the manufacturing process for ultimate success. In fact, a well-managed system is much more effective than hardware investment alone. The 12 key factors mentioned in this article form the basis of successful ESD management.

    The first four factors illustrate the importance of good organization and authorization for the early stages of system establishment and implementation, as well as the long-running and improvement stages. These factors include: documented execution plan, management authorization, stable project owner (PROCESS OWNER), and active leadership team.

    The next five factors explain the basic tools of the project leader: pragmatic principles, training system, audit system, testing laboratory, and effective external communication. The last three factors: system planning, human-oriented problem solving, and continuous improvement are important management principles that help the system operate effectively.

      The ESD project leader must understand 12 key factors and understand what they mean. When encountering products and production lines containing sensitive devices, these factors should be followed and practiced. Following these factors can lead to cost-effective and sustainable success.

   This article is a basic introduction to the 12 key factors. We emphasize them here in the hope that they can be remembered like the motto. Although some factors are only briefly introduced in this article, each of them is very important. For a comprehensive and detailed discussion of them, please refer to the book "ESD System Management".


1. Effective implementation plan

     The success of the ESD system depends on its implementation. Without an effective implementation plan, even the most perfect system will fail. Therefore, it is very important to establish an effective implementation plan. In addition, the plan must be written and strive to create a good environment for the establishment of the plan: such as establishing a self-directed team; a thorough understanding of all concepts at the beginning of the project. Make sure you understand the connotation of all 12 factors when implementing the plan. The details of the plan should also form a written implementation plan. At the same time, responsibilities, deadlines and progress should be clearly defined in the plan.

    After the plan is completed, the implementation and inspection of the plan are broken down into a series of small projects. In addition, the plan should have a schedule of the entire work, and ensure that suppliers, distributors, subcontractors and original equipment manufacturers (ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURERS) are included in the plan when the system is established. Because they are an extension of the entire system, they must be implemented in accordance with the system. In fact, when selecting these partners, their ESD procedures and packaging materials must first be validated.

There are 11 other factors to consider in the plan. As shown in this article, communicate with members of the ESD management team and investigate the production workshop. The specific details of the plan should be included in the corresponding categories, such as management committee, test room, procurement, automation equipment, etc. The person in charge should indicate for each detail, who will be responsible for each task of the project and when.

    By organizing and implementing the project in this way, the vision of the person in charge will be broadened, avoiding being entangled by details due to personal tendencies. Furthermore, priority levels can be set more effectively, tasks can be assigned to the right people, and time can be grasped according to the progress of employees in the plan.


2.Management authorization

   ESD control runs through the entire company and its suppliers and subcontractors. Therefore, it is important to seek management support at all levels, especially support from senior management. It can establish a collaboration mechanism to make the implementation of the plan fast and efficient. Otherwise, the implementation of the system will have insurmountable obstacles and may lead to eventual failure.

Therefore, we must first actively seek management authorization, and then periodically verify to see if the system can successfully run for a long time. Organizations in large factories may have as many as 200 or 300 managers at various functions and levels, while small factories may have only 2-3 managers. Regardless, managers at all levels who are authorized to manage employees and resolve ESD issues are an important part of a successful ESD system. Without the involvement of clear and strong committees and senior management, issues cannot be effectively resolved in the long term. As long as senior management has confidence in the system, even a small number of middle and low-level managers who previously resisted will turn to support the system.

    Once management authority is established, the company's ESD protection plan and problem solving method should be announced to all employees through slogans and the like. And let this promotion method be carried out annually through management means. An important thing that can explain the management authorization is the budget for implementing training, procurement, auditing and other projects, and the budget must include long-term financial support for the project leader.


3.Stable project leader

    A successful ESD system requires stability, which includes a stable, high-quality, professional leadership team. In the early days, the method of setting up full-time ESD personnel was criticized. Afterwards, it was also believed that ESD part-time work was sufficient in small companies. However, in larger companies, the ESD part-time method could not make ESD work effectively completed. Technical research, equipment purchase and selection, preparation of process manuals and operating guidelines, establishment of a training system, and realization of key factors all require full-time work.

   Difficulties in system implementation are often overlooked because few people understand ESD technology and the risks posed by ESD. The ESD leader must act as a consultant for all ESD engineering issues, while coordinating the plan. The implementation of an effective ESD management system requires at least two years of dedicated efforts by the ESD leader to obtain financial benefits.


4.Active leadership team

    An active ESD team can focus all efforts and solve problems more efficiently. The management team is a key factor, because a full-time project leader cannot implement and promote the progress of the system alone. Moreover, the system has a lot of work and the issues involved are multifaceted.

    A working team that can share information and get help from experts and management is an invaluable resource for project leaders. Such a team is an important part of communication and allows for a reasonable allocation of responsibilities.


5.Pragmatic principles

    ESD control requirements must be implemented and documented as these two points form the basis of the overall plan. All activities, procedures and supporting documents are based on these two requirements.

    As a matter of course, paying attention to training needs and producing easy-to-understand documents are also important aspects of pragmatic principles. The proper execution of program requirements depends on a thorough understanding of the requirements, so fully documenting them is fundamental. In addition, the requirements of the system must be pragmatic to enforce them.

Writing a manual can make requirements a text, and it can play a role in training and popularizing all employees. The information reflected in the manual should be an understandable statement of the ESD system. The training is based on this, and an audit form is prepared to ensure that it is implemented, and the work of employees can be carried out accordingly.

    Although the requirements of ESD are wide-ranging and comprehensive, they must be pragmatic in order to be easily followed; the requirements must be written in accordance with the reality so that people can not make mistakes; the procedures must be clearly explained and human factors must be given priority (see Factor X A) before it can be implemented.

Supportive operating guidelines are written for use in process inspections, audits, and plant maintenance activities. These documents should also be easy to understand and pragmatic.


6.Targeted training

    Obviously, training is also one of the key factors in successful ESD, and it is the first consideration at all stages. The training system should be based on measurable objectives, and the measurement of objectives comes from the audit system. The ESD project leader should identify and determine the specific needs of training. The results of the audit can clearly indicate when training is needed, who needs it, what is trained, and whether the training was successful.


7.Review of applied scientific methods

    Auditing is an indispensable force behind a healthy system, and it is the key to the stable operation of a successful system. It forces the system to operate as required. A strong committee also often establishes a continuous improvement mechanism through it. The four auditing techniques listed below can enable the ESD project leader to manage the system scientifically and economically:

I. ESD system audit

II. Internal Audit

III. Statistical procedures

IV. Self-inspection by employees

    The publication of the audit report will enable managers and engineers in each department to improve the work of the department. It provides the necessary tools for project leaders to efficiently manage and maintain the system. They can clarify the problem and then solve it later.

The selection of auditors and process inspectors is critical: they must be able to withstand the pressure of attention; they must find and report all nonconformities during the initial inspection. The goal of the audit is to provide management with useful information and take timely corrective action to protect sensitive devices from ESD damage.

Sampling techniques, audits, and process inspections are valuable tools in verifying compliance with the requirements of ESD control procedures. These procedures must be written into manuals and operating instructions for employees to follow the rules after training. The basic unit used for system inspection statistics is program non-conformance.

For an audit, the procedure is turned into a question and compiled into a checklist for use. In addition to the checklist, the audit system also includes an audit inspection team, an operating guide, a portable test box, and software for preparing documents and processing data. The collected data is printed into a trend chart or PARETO analysis form. Project leaders use these charts to indicate trends, specify and clarify problems, and report progress to management. In addition, audit reports are valuable training materials. The direct role of the audit system is continuous improvement.


8.ESD detection tools

     Adequate testing capacity is a vital tool for ESD project leaders. These detection capabilities enable the project leader to scientifically evaluate all aspects of the system and its operational effects through electrical measurements. For example, inspections are activities such as audits, equipment and sensitive component procurement inspections, definition of technical requirements and procedures, incoming inspection of control products, production problem resolution, training examples, component and system failure analysis, and pre-shipment inspection of products or systems An organic part of the process.

    Although some tests can be very complex, many of the tests recommended in this article are basic. This is consistent with the system's pragmatic philosophy. For example, by inspecting ESD control facilities, the standardization goals in the audit inspection process can be achieved. In fact, once this system is established, all pre-periodic inspections performed by the manufacturing process inspectors can be done with a wristband tester. This concept can significantly reduce system maintenance costs, facilitate implementation, make testing easier, and simplify training.

   What kind of testing facilities are equipped depends on the company's budget, the size of the factory and the testing goals. Various test equipment and three types of testing facilities should be established and available. The equipment and facilities include an on-site audit kit that fits into a toolbox, an inspection room including a portable inspection vehicle, and a failure model analysis (FMA) laboratory.


9. A communication system

    In a successful ESD control system, effective communication is an extremely important element and one of the most challenging factors. Project leaders often realize the importance of establishing a communication system only after underestimating difficulties and failures.

    A healthy communication system must be established at the beginning of the project, and it should be actively managed at all stages. Misunderstandings can affect the system. For example, once, a quality auditor asked why a certain requirement was changed three times in nine months. The fact is that the requirement was issued three years ago and it has never changed, except that the auditor himself mistakenly thought it was changing.


10.Comprehensive and systematic planning

    The different elements in the ESD control system constitute a comprehensive system, which ultimately determines the success of the entire system. It is important to recognize that each element is a part of the entire organism, not just the trees but the forest. Changing any part of the system will affect other elements. Similarly, the system must be changed to achieve the desired effect. Therefore, comprehensive and systematic planning becomes the other side of the system. The project leader should always understand and apply it in management.


11. Solve problems humanely


   The ability of employees to perform ESD control procedures is an important part of solving ESD problems. Every rule that affects employees in the system must take into account all reasonable requirements and benefits of employees, and should also think that personnel errors are inevitable. For example, if a facility is uncomfortable and not easy to use, employees will not be willing to perform it. In fact, if the requirements of employees are not taken into account, it may lead to the collapse of the entire system. Handling problems in a humane way and considering employee requirements is a key factor in the ESD system and a factor that tests every aspect of the system.


12.Continuous improvement


   The continuous improvement of the above eleven factors is the basis of a healthy ESD system. Effective implementation of these factors can create a system with low input and high output, and continuous improvement of these factors can maintain this effect. Many companies ignore the importance of this, and the operation of the control system only stays on enthusiasm, which ultimately leads to the system entering a state of waste and complete failure. As a consequence, all inputs were wasted and no quality improvement was recognized. Because no auditing system can detect this kind of defect, it is usually not easy to detect.



   On the contrary, the ultimate goal of the ESD control system is to satisfy customers through product and service improvements and cost reductions. Unlike having a fixed goal like winning a game, continuous improvement is a goal-by-goal process, with no end point.



As you move towards continuous improvement, it is important to determine the fixed goals that can be achieved. In the first five years, the first goal was to achieve zero deviations from the ESD control process. This measurable goal allows priority to be established, so that the project leader is responsible first for the most serious problems, not directly for the secondary problems, and so on. It also directly provides a way to evaluate and report results.



    However, the determination of zero damage in the system does not mean that the project is successful or has been completed. On the contrary, the report of zero deviation is only a milestone for the success of the project. There is always room for improvement in the project. Ignoring continuous improvement, the project will meet the status quo and move backward.



    There are always better and more economical technologies and new ESD control products to be evaluated, new solutions to be considered, better training skills to be implemented, and at the same time, the number of sensitive devices for ESD damage is increasing. It is crucial to keep the technology synchronized.