Product Qualification is an Essential Part of any ESD Control Plan

Product qualification is necessary to become certified to ANSI/ESD S20.20. The 2014 revision only required certified organizations to have and show an auditor the manufacturer’s data sheet for product qualification. Or the qualification testing could be conducted by the organization itself. Beginning in June of 2023, or when organizations choose to adopt the 2021 revision of S20.20, the requirement will be to have the product’s actual test report data available (manufacture, third party, or self-qualified). This is particularly important for organizations that are S20.20 certified or seeking certification.

Qualification Reports for Desco product are available HERE

A product qualification plan shall be established to ensure the ESD control items selected by the Organization meet the requirements identified in Tables 2, 3, and 4 of this standard. This includes the use of the test methods and test limits identified in these tables. Product qualification shall occur during the initial selection of the ESD control item and before initial use. It may use any of the following qualification methods:

(1) product specification review,

(2) independent laboratory evaluation, or

(3) internal laboratory evaluation.

Independent of the organization’s qualification method, qualification records shall include the test method used, the test results obtained from that method, and the test limits. Also, the qualification data shall include the environmental conditioning used during the testing as defined within the test method. The product qualification plan shall also include the location of the qualification records.  Organizations with facilities where the annual minimum relative humidity (RH) is above the environmental conditioning levels identified within the product qualification test method for each ESD control item can use this minimum value to qualify each item used within that facility. However, any ESD control items that leave these facilities (for example, packaging) shall be qualified using environmental test requirements within the product qualification test methods identified in Tables 2, 3, and 4 of this standard.  

Organizations that can verify the use of ESD control items before adopting this standard to certify their ESD control program can use compliance verification records to meet product qualification requirements. These records shall cover a minimum of one year and reflect a timeframe immediately before using as product qualification records. These records shall reflect test results that meet the compliance verification test limits identified in Tables 2, 3, and 4 of this standard.  

The use of compliance verification records for product qualification does not apply when the organization selects a footwear/flooring system as the personnel grounding method. When a flooring/footwear system is selected, it shall be qualified using the environmental test conditioning specified in the test methods identified in Table 2 or by the lowest RH at the facility as described above. Product qualification shall be completed for each footwear and flooring type combination used by the Organization.

from ANSI/ESD S20.20-2021 Section 7.4 Product Qualification Plan

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