Seitec Electronik GmbH chose electrostatically dissipative rubber flooring for its new production hall

Germany (Elsteraue) | Industry & Life Science | noraplan® sentica ed

Seitec Elektronik: Secure ESD protection – with long-term warranty

Why Seitec Electronics GmbH has decided for the first time on rubber floors as an alternative to epoxy resin and PVC

Electrostatically dissipative, resilient, easy to clean – the requirements for floor coverings in electronics production are extremely high. To ensure the quality and reliability of electronic devices, their components must be protected against electrostatic discharge (ESD) during production and installation. Even discharges of as little as 100 V, which are not noticeable to a human being, can damage sensitive electronic components to such a degree that the final product will not function properly. Although Seitec Electronics GmbH had formerly always equipped its production facility with electrostatically dissipative PVC and epoxy resin flooring, for its new production hall the company chose rubber for the first time – and it is very satisfied with this decision.

Wanted: flooring for a new production facility

The company Seitec, founded in 1995, offers comprehensive solutions and integrated services in the modern electronics field, from product development to building automation, to light and infrared technologies. In state-of-the-art production facilities in Elsteraue/ Saxony-Anhalt, Seitec produces prototypes for customers from all over the world, as well as large product series. Positive developments in the business have necessitated several expansion projects over the years. The latest new production facility, which contains final quality inspection and packaging divisions in addition to a production line for the assembly of printed circuit boards, was opened at the end of 2016. “Rubber as a flooring material for a production hall was at first nowhere near being on our radar,” says Managing Director Lutz Fichtler. On the recommendation of a colleague from university, who has been using nora systems rubber flooring for many years, the graduate engineer decided to try out the Weinheim manufacturer’s flooring systems. The floor coverings he had previously used had left Fichtler not entirely satisfied. “With PVC floors, we have difficulty removing abrasions from fork lift wheels and spots from the pressure paste used to coat the unfinished circuit boards before soldering. And with the coated epoxy resin flooring installed in the warehouse, heavy pallets have left unsightly scratches.”

Ten-year warranty on consistent ESD values

When it comes to the most suitable flooring for EPAs (Electrostatic Protected Areas), managers are often not aware that there is an alternative to coated paving. Flooring systems made of rubber have a low tendency to charge due to their innate material properties and do not need to be provided with a dissipative seal. The advantage: conductivity is permanently retained. This is an enormous advantage over other flooring materials of which the coatings not only affect the reliability of their conductive properties, but also require regular replacement. The high and durable elasticity of nora® flooring optimizes control points, i.e. the points at which electrostatic charge is discharged into the ground. In the case of hard, non-homogeneous flooring materials, such conductivity is often not given. Because as the plasticisers they contain can volatilize over time, leaving the floor covering hard and inflexible. “With PVC floors, the required dissipation values no longer entirely match because of the coating,” Fichtler continued. To renew the coating, the production must be completely shut down during the renovation. “This is a very complex process and can only take place during the Christmas holidays.” The fact that nora systems gives a ten-year warranty on the electrostatic properties of its flooring has also convinced Seitec.

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ExtremeDurability

Because of their extremely dense surface, floor systems made of rubber are extremely resistant to wear and can be used in areas with high pressure loads (up to 6 N/mm²), such as those caused by fork lifts or the wheels of heavy equipment and machinery. “Our pallets, which we transport with fork lifts, can weigh as much as 700 kilograms. That means the flooring must be extremely wear-resistant,” Fichtler explained. Due to the elasticity of the homogeneous rubber material, nora flooring also withstands impacts, for example from falling tools, hose connectors, clamps, and other metal parts. Likewise, falling objects will not be damaged, or not so severely damaged, as they would by a fall onto hard floors.

Good ergonomics and acoustics

Not the least of their benefits is that, due to their high and durable elasticity, rubber floors also contribute to an ergonomic work environment for employees. Particularly for standing workstations, which are common in manufacturing halls, the substrate texture plays an important part in promoting longer fatigue-free working periods. Flooring systems made of rubber make walking and standing easier thanks to their durable elasticity, which spares backs and joints. Moreover, the support this flooring offers reduces the noise made when walking, which contributes to a quiet and pleasant working environment. Because the discreet tone-in-tone-granulation of the light gray noraplan® sentica ed fits well with both the new machines in the production hall and the modern furniture in the cafeterua, the flooring is also used there and underlines the contemporary ambiance of the new building perfectly.

Data and facts

Building New construction and extension of Seitec Electronics GmbH production buildings, Elsteraue
Architect K.O.P. Klinge Otto Planung GmbH, Leipzig
Installation Year 2016
Photographer Dirk Wilhelmy
Electrostatically dissipativ flooring system noraplan sentica ed at Seitec Elektronik GmbH
corridor with noraplan sentica floor covering
cafeteria with nora flooring at Seitec Elektronik GmbH
cafeteria floor made of nora rubber
Seitec Electronik GmbH chose electrostatically dissipative rubber flooring for its new production hall
floor systems made of rubber can be used also in areas with fork-lift-traffic
outdoor photograph of Seitec Elektronik GmbH

Products

noraplan® sentica ed

Electrostatically dissipative “ed” floorings for optimum ESD protection of electronic devices and equipment. Protect against electrical shock, resist most oils and greases.

More references

Still on best form after almost 30 years 

Germany (Ulm)
noraplan® sentica ed | Industry & Life Science

UMS, founded in 1996, is a German and French group of companies made up of Thales and Airbus Defense and Space, with production facilities in Ulm and Villebonne/France.

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