Workbenches For The Electronics Industry - What To Look For?
Electronics is an industry that thrives on order. Components must be organised, and electronics work has to follow a process to keep on track. The humble workbench is key to this, helping engineers tinker, repair, create and build all manner of things.
But how should one go about choosing the right workbench for the electronics industry? Is it possible to go wrong? In this mini-guide, we’ll discuss what to look for.
Any workbench you use has to have space for your tools, equipment and the electronic components or products you will work on. A cramped workbench is unsafe, and it can slow down your work, making you unproductive.
Generally speaking, it is a good idea to ‘size up’ if you have the space. You can always add things like shelves, drawers and cupboards afterwards, but you cannot add space to the top (unless you buy a bigger workbench).
Anti-static (ESD) coatings
Electrostatic discharge is when electricity flows between two objects when they come into contact. This is an unwanted reaction that can damage or destroy electronic components, so it needs to be managed properly.
Anti-static (ESD) safe workbenches have a special hard surface coating that does not allow the flow of electricity to take place. The coating is a static dissipative so you can safely work with electronic components and parts.
Normally, ESD safe workbenches are laminated if they have a coating. Laminated surfaces are extremely durable and suitable for anything but heavy machinery work. This is why they are favoured in the electronics industry.
An alternative to an ESD safe or ESD-rated workbench is a wooden workbench. Wood is considered safe to use in most ESD-sensitive areas because in most conditions it has a low propensity for triboelectric charge generation.
Electronics require an order to things and workshops have to have dedicated areas for components and tools. Your workbench may be where you tinker and work, but it can also store and hold your most frequently used things.
For example, you can have drawer units for tools underneath your workbench, or a cupboard for your files and schematics. You can also add upper shelves, lower shelves and support bars, as well as lighting and vices.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to workbenches for the electronics industry, but surface and size should always be a key consideration.