ESD safe handling required?

I recieved an RCM3100 from a dealer in an non ESD safe packing and complained about that. Dealer answered that this device dont need ESD precautions.
I am really worried about that.
So are ESD precautions needed or not?

Thank you

Yes. All micro-electronic devices should be handled with ESD protection in mind. Even if the ports are protected, you can discharge to any point on the board.

My colleagues and I have had a lot of “back and forth” on the ESD issue over the years, and one study helped put the issue to rest for us.

Many people become lax on ESD because they rarely see failures. BUT…a study showed that when a component is zapped, it is often partially damaged even though it doesn’t fail immediately. The ESD current will blast a bit of the substrate or burn a small path through an insulating layer internal to a semiconductor.

Even though the device may not fail immediately, it is more susceptible to failure in the field…from a subsequent shock or due to the fact that the semiconductor operation is no longer within specification.

This delayed failure mode lures one into a false sense of security.

I have seen a couple of very vivid examples of ESD failure…one of which was a Microsoft mouse. I touched the plastic case after walking across carpet and generated an arc. The cursor on the screen instantly started jumping around and the mouse never worked properly again. It was sobering in that the mouse was from an arguably reliable company and the shock actually traveled across the non-conducting plastic surface to find its way to a delicate part buried in the case.

For further incentive, it is nearly impossible for a company to become ISO certified without having ESD protection guidelines in place. We tried to argue that our failure rate was so low as to negate the need for such procedures, but the auditor explained that ESD protection requirements are so ingrained in the industry that our plea would never be taken seriously.

If your vendor won’t comply or only pretends to comply, then you might need to move on. Designing products to work is hard enough without unnecessary risks; it requires dedication at every level.

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Hi Mike,
thank you, that is the answer I expected and that is exaxtly what I think too. Is there any document from DIGI that regulates the needed handling? I cannot find it. So it would be great to get it and also how DIG ships the modules to the customers.

You’ll have to contact an official Digi rabbit wrangler for that. My modules come from Digi-Key…sometimes in a fancy package which was obviously designed for the Rabbit module(s), and sometimes simply pressed into a bit of anti-static foam enclosed in anti-static plastic. I’m pretty sure when I only order one or two, they tend to repackage them. I can only assume that they use all due precaution.