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Monthly Archives: March 2019

  • From the Floor Up!

    During the 30 years I have been in the #ElectroStaticProtection industry, starting first in Research and Quality before moving through Product Management, Technical Sales Manager, Business Manager and currently Director of #TBAPS, I have been in many factories, distribution centres , repair facilities etc faced with the questions on compliance with #BSEN61340-5-1.

    Although points of detail differ, the same general rules apply to engineer an #ElectrostaticProtectionSystem that is not only fully compliant with #BSEN61340-5-1 but adds value to the operation by increasing #productivity, improving #quality #safety #customersatisfaction and increasing #profitability through reduced #scrap and #productreturns, and those rules start from the floor up.

    The #floor in any operation is often an area that is overlooked and taken for granted and yet it is the part of the building upon which everything else rests.

    #TBAPS have an excellent range of #flooringproducts and #coatings that will produce an excellent platform for a #productive , #safe #ESDcompliant operation that enhances company performance.

    On an untreated #concretefloor, new laid or existing, it is wise to treat it with a #floorsealer #hardener + #densifier. There are significant benefits to this as a first step, as such treatments prolong the life of the floor, by reducing the break up of the floor. This reduces #maintenancecosts, increases #safety by removing #slip and #triphazards (the most common cause of serious #accidents and #fatalities in the #workplace). Creating a long lasting flat floor increases productivity by providing a stable surface for #machinery + #racking as well as improving the surface for easy movement of goods or materials around the #factory or #warehouse.

    #TBAPS #FloorShield #sealers #hardeners + #densifiers are technologically superior products of this type, being based on #nanolithium rather than traditional #sodium based technology, #FloorShield products penetrate deeper into the floor and are more reactive thus they form stronger bonds with the #silicates in the #concrete.

    After treatment with #FloorShield #floorsealersand hardeners the floor is now ready for long and useful life in a variety of standard applications, however if the floor is to be used as part of an #ElectrostaticProtectedArea for #electronicassembly or in an #ATEX environment then the opportunity to establish a #conductive + #groundable floor should be taken.

    #TBAPS have a number of #conductivesolutions to do this, #FloorShield526+ is perfect for large areas. This #conductive #2packepoxyfloorpaint is a cost effective way of providing a high quality, hardwearing #antistatic #antislip floor covering.

    FloorShield Sealer, Hardener + Densifier

    FloorShield526+ Antistatic + Antislip 2 pack epoxy floor paint.

    #FloorShield526+ has a #surfaceresistance fully compliant with #BSEN61340 + #ATEX requirements, it can be used in isolation or as a groundable platform for #FloorShield series #antistaticflooring products. #FloorShield1533 #conductivefloortiles are an easy to install #antistaticfloorcovering that can quickly cover large or small areas. The 500x500x9mm #interlockingfloortiles provide a resilient, hard wearing , attractive #antistaticfloorsurface that increases operator comfort and productivity. Like #FloorShield526+ #FloorShield1533 #floortiles are suitable for #stackertruck traffic etc, unlike #FloorShield526+ they are a quick , easy and quality method of improving and old degraded and damaged floor and improving safety by removing trip hazards.

    #FloorShield1535series #antifatigue #conductivefloormatting improves productivity by reducing #operatorfatigue for staff that are predominantly stood up. The highly resilient surface and design features provide a cushioned surface that encourages regular changes of position to reduce joint and muscle stress in staff.

    FloorShield 1535 series conductive anti-fatigue interlocking floor runner

    FloorShield 1533 interlocking conductive floor tile.

    Now that a solid base for your operation and #ESPsystem has been established with the installation of an #antistaticfloorsystem that adds additional value with #antislip and #antifatigue properties, we can start to build an #ESPsystem from the floor up.

    Obviously, the first thing to consider after the floor are the work surfaces , this can be in the form of a #workbench for #electronicassembly#inspectionandtest etc or #racking for storage.

    The best option is the #modular #ECP1580series #antistaticworkbench below.

    ECP 1580 series antistatic bench with double drawer units, panel unit and overhead bars for lighting or ionisers.

    All #TBAPS benches are height adjustable and fully compliant with #HSE advice on working heights. #TBAPS benches are modular in nature providing significant flexibility to meet changing needs whilst maximising productivity. #Antistaticbenches can be provided with #electrostaticdissipativelaminate tops, #bondedrubber tops and #ECP534 #antistaticpowdercoating finishes for all metal work for a 100% #staticsafeworkbench.

    #TBAPS modular #antistaticbenches have the option of adding, #slidingstorage panels for #conductivepickingbins. Over the years visiting facilities involved in handling #staticsensitive #electronicdevices the stand out noticeable failure in over 80% of the #ESPsystems I have seen is mixing #conductivecontainers with standard containers.

    The explanation that is usually given for this error is that if isn't #staticsensitive it doesn't need to be stored in a #conductivecontainer, this is not true, the standard is quite clear absolutely everything should be packed in #staticsafecontainers .

    #TBAPS have an excellent range of #antistaticbins and other containers .

    ECP1100 series conductive and coloured static dissipative high capacity picking bins.

    #TBAPS #antistatic picking bins interstack and have flat base as well as being compatible with #louvredpanels making them ideal for use on #benches, #racks and #trolleys.

    #Electrical grounding is the next stage to consider in an #EPA and is frequently overlooked or not thought through, having a #conductivefloor in place that is fully groundable makes the problem of grounding easier.

    People are the biggest problem, basically because they move about. #Antistaticwriststraps and #coilygroundcords are probably the most commonly used means of grounding people. They have advantages in that it is very visible to all that they are being worn and a conscious effort has to be made to put them on, which is good for positive attitudes to #ESD prevention. That said they are restrictive, hence the desire for cordless wrist straps, incredibly these products are still out there despite it being obvious with a basic understanding of physics that they cannot work. The fact that such products still do the rounds simply demonstrates how much people actually dislike wearing #wriststraps - desire overcomes good sense.

    Having a good #conductivefloor helps to overcome this, allowing the use of #antistaticfootwear and #antistaticchairs. Going down this road allows operators more freedom and puts in additional paths to #earth in the event of failure of individual #writstraps, #heelstraps #chairs etc.

    ECP 1400 series grounding products

    ECP 1470 Anti Static Chair

    A #groundable floor has been established, we have provided work surfaces and grounded the people, but we still have to consider grounding #benches #trolleys #racks and #containers.

    A fully #groundable #antistatic floor makes grounding #antistaticbenches and #racks easy, if #conductivefeet or #castors are available ( as per #TBAPS products )and electrical continuity has been verified, then the #antistaticbench or whatever, simply rests on the floor.

    If this is not the case, then it is simply a matter of adding a bonding point to the bench or rack and connecting to the floor or earth via #ECP1440 series #groundcords.

    ECP 1135 rack with zinc louvred panel

    ECP 1130 bench rack coated with ECP 534 static dissipative powder coating with conductive feet.

    Bespoke racking unit with conductive trays and framework coated with ECP 538 static dissipative stoving enamel.

    Existing shelving can be an issue for establishing electrical continuity to ground, but retrofits are possible using a combination of ECP 1500 series #antistaticmatting, ECP 500 series #antistaticpaints and #ECP 700 series #conductivetapes to provide electrical continuity from shelf to floor.

    ECP 700 series conductive tapes

    ECP 1500 series conductive + static dissipative matting

    From an #ElectroStaticProtection perspective , it is clear that establishing a good groundable #conductive floor gives many advantages to an #ESPsystem. Building an #ESPsystem from the floor up makes it easy for the rest of the system to fall into place. Importantly, getting a good floor in place also adds value to the rest of the business with increased #productivity , superior #cleanliness and improved #safety helping the efficiency of the operation.

    #TBAPS has a great toolkit of #antistaticflooring options, plus everything that's needed to go on top of the floor along with other #anistaticproducts such as #conductivetools, #antistaticclothing #auditandtest +and #packaging.

    Whatever your #ElectroStaticProtection needs or problems #TBAPS has the knowledge , experience and solution.

     

     

  • My Apprenticeship Experience

       My Apprenticeship Experience

     

    In September last year I started my level 3 Business Administration NVQ. I had dropped out of a generally unsuccessful university experience and had no idea whatsoever what I wanted to do from that point. Fortunately, TBA PS were willing to take a risk. Most of the products that we sold were very new to me and so I was pushed in at the deep end by Mark Lineker and was told to help with the development of products whilst he consistently used the phrase "you can't sell what you don't know". He wasn't necessarily wrong. My first few phone calls were less than brilliant to say the least, but they allowed my product knowledge to grow (I had to find the silver lining or I don't think I would have lasted). When paired with the fierce tutelage of Ann Lister I began to gain confidence, which in turn led to further enquiries and even some sales.
    What I found most surprising about this apprenticeship was the level of responsibility I was given. Within the first 3 months I was put at the head of two projects featuring products I knew nothing about. As my father's catchphrase ,"you can't sell what you don't know", began to ring around my head it became clear that intensive research was needed. Phone calls were put on the back burner as I tried to wrap my head around the world of thermal and friction materials. Hours upon hours spent watching videos and researching applications to figure out these products eventually led to a rather nerve racking experience, a marketing presentation. Giving a presentation on a subject you know about to an audience with the same level of knowledge is hard enough, never mind only having a months learning on the subject and then delivering it to people who had more years experience than I had years on this earth. Fortunately, I have the Lineker genes and even in times of uncertainty I can look fairly certain. The presentation received the highest praise from the crowd, "that wasn't actually too bad". Tears of joy nearly streamed down my face.
    Reflecting on my time here at TBA PS it is obvious to those who know me how much I have grown, both in terms of knowledge and also in terms of my personality. I am grateful that I was given the opportunity to take on this role as it has allowed me to become a much more confident individual who has rediscovered his drive and determination, losing my apathy in the process. This experience reminds me of the time I was taken to my first swimming lesson, a stubborn 5 year old refusing to get into the water only to be thrown into the deep end by my very own mother, but I learned quickly and actually became quite good, enjoying my experience for the time I was there. Unfortunately I think that since that experience I have been unable to learn any other way but within this business it is exactly the type of learning everyone needs to be able to do. As a very small business individuals are expected to do tasks they have never done before to a high standard and you have to quickly adapt or you won't last long. Thankfully, thanks to some tough love from my mother I have been nothing but prepared for this.

     

     

    Niall Lineker

    Technical Sales Officer

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