Product Qualification Test & Compliance Verfication Test

Dear ESDA Experts / working committee,
Greetings of the day from India
Your guidance will be of great assistance to me for the reason that; As a Third party Compliance Test Auditor (with all the required Testing Instruments per ESDA guidelines and ESD Control requirements)
I keep doing both Product qualification test and Compliance Verification test at our customers sites, because in most cases they will not have the Product qualification test reports due to various reasons that ;

  1. Might be, because the facility was old and they have not cared for it until their customers demanded for ESD certification of the items they have been using for their process.
  2. Mighty be, because of a newly setup facility through non ESD contractors who just setup the facility without any ESD knowledge and when the customer ask for the test report call ESD related people who can support them.
  3. Might be, at times many users would just keep investing and using the ESD items ( Purchased from Casual Traders without any knowledge on the Products they sell) casually as a formality, but will wake up when some ESD professionals come in contact with them .
    Thus, now May I request the ESDA experts / working committee to elaborate the following three points to clear myself and , understand whether my following understandings are correct or not ?
    “1. Now as per the ANSI/ESD S.20.20.2021, under Product Qualification Test data is required to ensure that the ESD items selected by the company or the user meets the requirements per table 2,3& 4 per the above standard. Also the location details will be recorded. It can be at annual average minimum Rh maintained at the facility/ location with clarification on qualification of Footwear and Floor if Footwear and , Floor are a part of the personnel grounding.
  4. Further, it states that organizations which go for direct Compliance verification without the prior Product qualification test report can use the compliance verification to meet the Product equalization requirement. This record shall cover for minimum one year and reflect a time frame immediately before using as a product qualification record. These records shall reflect test results that meet the compliance verification test limits identified in table 2,3 & 4 of S.20.20.2021.
  5. Next it states that he compliance verification records for Product qualification does not apply if
    Footwear and Floor if Footwear / Floor are a part of the personnel grounding. “
    What I understand is that;
  6. If the facility is totally new the user should have the Product qualification test report from any of the following before going for regular compliance verification internally or by third party.
    a) from the Supplier ( product specification review)
    b) from an independent lab
    c) from Internal evaluation
  7. If the facility is old ( already existing ) and the user do not have the supporting Product qualification test report on record then the user can go for both the Product qualification and compliance verification test report at once at the existing facility or site from any of the following
    a) from the Supplier
    b) from an independent lab
    c) from Internal evaluation
    in that case this record shall be valid for one year and for the subsequent years this Product qualification report shall remain valid but only the compliance verification test shall continue as before at regular frequency
    Are my understandings okay. Please clarify.
    Look forward to your detailed clarification with my sincere thanks in advance.

Let me try to simplify the product qualification requirements and see if I answer your questions. First, once the site has adopted ANSI/ESD S20.20, the following are the requirements for any new ESD control items that are purchased. The product qualification can be from the following,

  • The supplier (but they must include a test report, not just a specification sheet)
  • An independent lab (again, there must be a test report)
  • Internal lab (with a test report)

The test reports must contain the environmental conditions that the ESD control items were tested, the preconditioning time and the results. If the testing is done at 23C and 12%Rh the ESD control items can be used everywhere without restrictions.

If there are ESD control items in the process before the adoption of ANSI/ESD S20.20, then compliance verification data can be used for product qualification. In this case, the ESD control items can only be used on the site that the compliance verification data was collected.

There are a few exceptions. ESD protective packaging that leaves the site must have qualification data at the specified environmental conditions. Once the ESD protective packaging leaves the site, it goes into an uncontrolled environment.

For flooring/footwear system, a body voltage test must be conducted. (Typically called a walking test). Compliance verification data does not exist for body voltage. This test must be done at the lowest humidity level that the site will experience. This may require testing until the lowest time of the year.

One additional allowance is to test ESD control items at the lowest humidity level at the site. The limitations are that the ESD control item can only be used at that site and the data cannot be used for other sites. It also does not apply to any ESD control items that leave the site such as packaging.

Lastly, once an ESD control item has qualification data, it does not need to be requalified on the adoption of a new version of the standard.

I hope this answers your questions. If not, please feel free to post additional questions.

Mr.John K,
Thank you for your kind and elaborative reply. In fact I was very confident that you would definitely reply ( I had gone through your 2018 article in the IN Compliance Magazine on S.20.20 Product Qualification of ESD control products and also Desco Europe’s article in their Blog on Product Qualification of ESD control products per IEC61340-5-1-2016 ) but was really disappointed for the past two weeks as there was no reply. Of late, I am too glad to see your clarification today and thank you for the same.

Here in India (especially Northern India) what I have observed is that very few select companies have gone in for S.20.20. Facility certification with a proper S.20.20. ESD control program. But, by and large many Small / Medium / Large scale Pvt industries , MNCs and Govt sectors do use the ESD control products but not keen or aware on the importance of an S.20.20. Facility certification. (mainly due to the procedural formalities and cost involvement) though it is recommended to many. I have hardly seen any customer who is using the ESD material with supporting Product Qualification test reports available with them (either from their suppliers or their own internal even). Casually they would be using and, when some visit of their customer is likely to be at their place, they would wake up and call people like us for an Audit Test to ensure that they would redress the facility before their customers visit them. . Fundamental blunder is that; in many places they would be blindly using the ESD materials without any ground connection to the ESD facility. Thus, I am working as an Individual third party to create basic ESD awareness and Audit test to those who are interested.

Thus, I keep going to such customers on call basis; at times to old setup and at times to new setup. Since no data would be available with most of them, what I would do is that, at the ambient environmental condition at the site (EPA)( normally at around 23-26 degree celicius temperature and humidity around 30-45% I do both the Product qualification and Compliance verification tests per S.20.20. ( now currently I am following S.20.20.-2021 with TR 53-01-22 since July 1st 2022 , though the provision is there for earlier version till June 2023) on what all ESD items they would be using at their entire EPA facility and give them a detailed report with recommendation to set right the shortfalls and to use the required necessary ESD instruments & equipment to better their application and make use of their investment in a right way in the interest of their Final Product’s reliability and the reputation of their organization, from the possible losses due to static control ignorance. Some customer, take it seriously and call for subsequent checkup too ,and some end up with only one audit.

Well, it is good you have clarified everything very clearly in line with my understandings and I would go with your guidance mentioned therein. Most valid point noted from your reply is that;
“One additional allowance is to test ESD control items at the lowest humidity level at the site. The limitations are that the ESD control item can only be used at that site and the data cannot be used for other sites. It also does not apply to any ESD control items that leave the site such as packaging” True, and this fact I need to emphasize to all the customers.

Thank you again, for sharing your precious time and I would love to keep in touch with you on this platform regularly.

Good Day John
i am still try ing to learn all this, what is considered product here, is it anything that comes in contact with ESDS “with in the 12” rule or is it hardware that is used to protect the ESDS.

Hello Matt,

In this case, product qualification, is meant for ESD control items such as worksurfaces, floors, packaging materials or any other ESD control items.
The 12 in rule is for insulators and there needs to be a plan to address them.

Thank you
next question, i have not found anything on frequency of testing on garments such as class 1 type

thank you

Frequency of testing for compliance verification is left to the user. The user must define the frequency of test based on risk and environment. Companies have different frequencies that comply with ANSI/ESD S20.20.