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The Importance of FOD Prevention

Tue, Dec 07, 2021 at 9:00AM

The Importance of FOD Prevention

Last month we covered the importance to ESD Control.  Now, we will take a look at FOD prevention as it relates to the production area, and ways to prevent it.

What is FOD?

FOD stands for foreign object debris or damage.  Any foreign item found on or near electronic products that do not belong is considered FOD.  FOD can damage sensitive electronic components and be detrimental to the production area.

FOD in Manufacturing

Manufacturing products for the aerospace and defense industries are accompanied by strict requirements of product integrity, and to guarantee the safety and trustworthiness for the processes used in product development.

Everyday there is an occurrence of FOD violation that goes undetected.  On a circuit card assembly, an embedded conductive foreign object such as a strand of metal braid from a coax cable can cause total failure of the customer’s product when installed.  Other examples of FOD can include wire and lead clippings, hair, dust, non-ESD safe objects, and broken pieces of parts.

If not caught in time, FOD can cost a company up to millions of dollars in damages.  For example, a tooling left in an airplane engine after repairs can cause the aircraft to malfunction during take-off.

How to Prevent FOD?

Find and eliminate potential hazards and causes of FOD, through good housekeeping, and using the 6S method- sorting, sweeping, standardizing, simplifying, self-discipline, and safety. Ways to eliminate FOD include the following:

  • Tool Control= mark tools, inspect regularly, inspect tool serviceability, and report lost items.
  • Hardware and Consumables Control= use correct hardware for the job and use approved tote trays.
  • Parts Protection / Handling= all unmated lines must be protected (caps/plugs) and use parts protective devices.
  • Housekeeping= clean-as-you-go method, clean as required during the job, and be in control of your work.

In conclusion, FOD prevention is worth everyone’s effort in terms of safety, quality, cost savings, customer satisfaction, and future business.

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