ESD (electrostatic discharge) guns, also known as ESD simulators, are handheld tools used to test the immunity of products to electrostatic discharge. ESD guns are often used in pre-compliance or compliance testing for ISO 10605, IEC 61000-4-2, Mil-Std-461G CS118, and other ESD test standards. These tests are a necessity for an item to receive a CE mark, and often come in three distinct forms: human-body, machine, and charged-device models. The human-body electrostatic test model creates the environment of a human body discharging static electricity, and then monitors how the device under test (DUT) responds. Machine model testing examines how the DUT responds to electrostatic discharge from another nearby machine, and the charged device model simulates situations that may happen in manufacturing environments.
Testing done with ESD guns is crucial to the safety and compliance of manufactured and machinery. Without a CE mark, items cannot be sold in the European Economic Area. And without an ESD gun, you can’t test to CE marking, or a variety of other key MIL-STD and ISO standards.