To protect sensitive electronic devices and equipment
Until recently, the military has been the driving force behind the development of Electrostatic discharge (ESD) standards in the United States. MIL-STD-1686 was the ESD Program Standard for the Department of Defense until 1992 when, as part of the Military Standardization Reform Act, it was targeted for replacement with a commercial standard. S20.20 was created by the ESD Association (ESDA) and approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 1998. The U.S. government accepts both S20.20 and MIL-STD-1686. Industry giants such as IBM, Lucent and Lockheed Martin have all adopted or required their subcontractors to implement S20.20. There are three fundamental control principles included in this standard:
1. All conductors in the environment, including personnel, must be bonded or electrically grounded.
2. Ionization systems must be used to neutralize charges on necessary non-conductors in the environment.
3. ESDS items being transported outside an Electrostatic Protected Area must be enclosed in static protective materials.