Electronic component storage is often becoming more and more important to businesses and individuals. Now, more than ever, electronic components are becoming items you interact with and depend on every day. And as the costs of electronic devices continue to rise, the amount of individual electronic components that you use, and store, will continue to rise also.
When looking at electronic component storage, several aspects need to be examined. Why is proper storage so important? What is proper storage for various types of electronic components? And how can you secure your storage?
Why Is Component Storage Important?
Put simply, proper storage of electronic components is important to maintain their value. As electronics become smaller, and devices use less and less energy to make them last longer, they become more sensitive. Storing electronic components makes little sense if the components themselves become worthless. So to ensure they continue to work properly, they must be stored properly. But what is “proper” for electronic component storage?
Proper Storage Techniques For Electronic Components
The kind of components being stored will be what dictates how to properly store the devices. First, you have to look at the physical qualities of each device. For the purposes of this article, several devices will be described. Electronic components for consumer devices fpga xilinx parts, such as smart-phone screens can present unique challenges. Screens for most modern smarts phones are actually comprised of several components fused together. These might include a printed circuit board, a backlight, an LED, LCD, or OLED display, an input digitizer, and a glass cover for the screen.
Each of these components has their own individual weaknesses that must be protected while in storage. First, any electronic device should be protected from moisture. Since water conducts electricity, it can cause electronic device to not work correctly.
Water also works as a vehicle for contaminants. It can carry small sediments deep inside components, then dry leaving the dirt or other contaminants inside the device. These contaminates may conduct electricity where they shouldn’t, or block the flow of it where it should be going.
Another danger is electronic shocks. Static electricity can build and passed between surfaces without you even being aware of. If one surface is a sensitive electronic component, the electricity may bypass or jump over safeguards built into that device, and enter parts that can easily be destroyed by too much electrical charge. Electronic shocks can be best protected against by using special plastic bags that are not conductive. These bags protect against electrical static discharge by refusing to allow electricity to pass from any surface in the environment to the component stored inside it.
The last major risk for all electronic components is temperature. High heat can damage electronic components by melting and deforming plastic that keeps specific parts where they need to be. Another risk is melting or deforming the solder that carries electrical signals to parts of the component.
Extreme cold can cause ambient moisture in the air to condense on the metal parts of electronic components. This can lead to many of the same issues with shorting out seen in the above section on moisture.
A danger unique to screens is pressure. Since they have glass screens and input digitizers built into them, they can be easily broken if too much pressure is applied. Pressure may be exerted by the components falling, or having too much weight stacked on them.Therefore, the best way to protect against this is to store these components in clearly marked packaging that will let anyone in the area know not to stack anything heavy on them. It will also be beneficial to ensure these electronic components are stored on a secure surface with ample soft foam padding and little chance of falling.
Other electronic components that may need to be stored are the printed circuit boards within electronic devices. These boards need to be protected against all of the above dangers, along with a few others. PCB often have relays, capacitors, regulators, and other pieces soldered onto the boards. Some of these may be plainly visible, others may appear only as tiny bumps.
However, a major risk with these components is snagging. When working with these components in an open area, wires, loose clothing, or anything else may easily become ‘caught’ on these parts and forcibly remove the part from the printed circuit board.
Therefore, these components should be stored in a hard container that prevents movement, and allows enough free space where these parts are to prevent them from being caught or snagged in any of the other storage materials.
Another kind of component that is commonly stored is something like a central processing unit. Often, in a computer, phone or other device, the central processing unit is the most densely pack components. This also means it is often the most expensive and the most sensitive. These components are extremely fragile, and must be handled with great care. This means they should be stored with even more care. One saving grace is that in smaller devices, these components are often permanently attached to one of the printed circuit boards. As long as the board is stored in line with the above directions, everything should remain safe.
However, on many modern computers, the central processing unit is actually removable. Some of these components interface with the rest of the electronic device through thousands of tiny metallic pins that stick out of the bottom. If just one of these pins becomes bent or broken, the entire component will likely be rendered useless. With these components the best option is widely regarded to be storing them in the original packaging they came with. Original packaging often includes a “bubble” of plastic that surrounds the entire component. This bubble is then placed into a larger box with foam and cardboard surrounding it.
Secure Electronic Component Storage
The final step of storage for electronic components is making sure the components are secure. This requires limiting physical access to the stored components. Limiting physical access will help ensure that the only people who can access the components are those whom you have properly trained to works safely around them.