12S U Rakshit is the production supervisor at a large electronic assembly factory. The safety standards that he maintains at this unit are comparable with some of the best in the world. Some of the most well known safety measures of the industry are as follows:

Anti-static garment, it reduces static charge related problems. Deposition of dust, bacteria, malfunctions of sensitive electronic micro-component, calibration and test result error. It also reduces static discharge accidents like spark generation near flammable objects.

Face mask is used to protect one from zinc poisoning.  The compound of zinc is used a flux in soldering process. FFP2 foldable type mask with EN149 is necessary in wafer plants. It has foam edged nose clip for perfect comfortable adjustment.

As submicron devices are more and more used in industrial workplace ESD or Electrostatic discharge become a major problem for quality control and proper functioning.

The market scenario for electronics looks very robust. As per industry predictions it's expected to expand at a CAGR of 24.4%. The demand for electronics hardware in India will grow at a staggering rate and is expected to touch $400 billion by 2020 (Source IBEF). Domestic electronics production accounts for around 45% of the total market demand. There is a growing niche market for environmentally friendlier/greener electronics. Green electronic assemblies can be sold under eco labels to third parties.

Rakshit has arrived early today since he along with the HR personnel, need to ensure the induction training completion for a fresh set of assembly worker recruits. The new recruits are given a theoretical induction on the assembly tasks and then introduced to safety and assembly process optimization. Before entering the workshop they all have to wear white lab coats over their attire.

3They now come to the eyewear section where they are each allocated safety glasses with the following standard-EN 166:2002. A combination of polyester/nylon filament with carbon fibre in the glove gives it excellent surface resistance and good static dissipative properties. The tip of the glove “is” additionally coated with PU for better grip.

Static Dissipating safety shoes and soft toe shoes are designed to dissipate [reduce] the amount of static electricity build up on your body.

This is an industry where hazards are multipronged. Some of the hazards include:

1)            Possibility of flying metal causing injury to the eyes.

2)            Overheating of the solder paste can cause lead fumes that affect the nervous system.

Good housekeeping of the workstation, excellent lighting and ventilation can make the workplace better and safer. The assembly seating ergonomics of individual personnel was an aspect that was widely debated with experts and arrived upon so as to reduce physical and psychological stress in work operations.

The usage of correct PPE [Personal protective equipment] is essential to ensure there is no damage to the assembled components. Rakshit has set himself a lofty target for productivity. Together with safety and best practices he has to ensure his team is achieving these productivity targets with ease and productivity is at optimum efficiency.

4Main work processes in the electronics assembly industry include:

a)  Semiconductor wafer fabrication- marks the beginning of every electronic product where circuits are etched onto wafers made of silicon.

b)  Integrated circuit assembly- the preparation and testing of the encapsulated integrated chip.

c)   Printed circuit board [PrCB] fabrication- the boards are usually made of a plastic resin compound which is heated, mixed with a filler material, laminated with meal, cleaned and etched, and subsequently shaved and drilled.

d)  Printed circuit board [PrCB] assembly- integration of various electronic components on the PrCB's which involves “stuffing” of components into the boards, cleaning, fluxing, soldering, trimming, and testing.

e)  Final product assembly- the assembled PrCB is then incorporated with various other components to form the final electronic product.

5Many industry players have come forward to establish Electronic Manufacturing Clusters [EMC] across the country. They include GMR, Telangana Government Corporation: near Hyderabad, Electronic Components Industries Association; near Delhi, MP State Electronics Development Corporation; at Bhopal and Jabbalpur and others. This is a very lucrative and profitable market where our nation is really sought after. It is therefore utmost important that every worker in this industry is provided with the best safety standards. Remember, a worker who feels the safest works the best.

An article series conceived and articulated by Giriraj Mall & Ramya Kandiyoor. For any query or suggestion mail to: su.rakshit@mallcom.in


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