IP Ratings and The Differences Between Them

ingress protection IP rating waterproof rugged pc

What are IP ratings And What Are The Differences? 

When it comes to the rugged edge, protecting a system from harsh environments is key to keeping a system operating properly. Water is one of the most prolific elements that many applications must keep safe from. However, there are varying degrees of how much you can feasibly keep out to keep a system working in the proper environment when it is sealed with an enclosure or chassis.  

In order to properly mark a system as “protected”, they need to pass a rating test to ensure that they can withstand keeping it out without damaging said system. This rating test is named the Ingress Protection Rating, or IP rating.  

Developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), IP rating is a standard rating designed to provide a clear and concise ranking system to help distinguish just how much a system is able to withstand the intrusion of solid and liquid particles. Through this standard, it helps give better details than the vague term, ‘’waterproof’’, ‘’dust proof’’, etc.  

IP ratings are designed to follow a simple naming pattern. Every rating begins with IP (ingress protection) and is followed by 2 numbers. The 2 numbers represent the degree to which a system is protected against either a solid or a liquid. The first number represents the level of protection towards hazardous parts (such as electrical conductors or moving parts) and the intrusion of solid objects (dust, a person’s hand, or small sized objects). This number is rated from X/0-6, with X/0 meaning no protection and 6 being the highest, being complete dust tight. The same goes for the second number, signifying how much an enclosure can provide in protecting against potentially harmful liquids, like water. This time, the numbers range from X/0 to 9K, with 9K representing protection against high pressure, high-temperature jet sprays.  

Degree of IP ratings 

With the advent of Industry 4.0, many applications have begun seeing use in harsher climates around the world. As systems are being introduced in foreign environments that are usually not suited for electrical systems there must be a way to protect them. Dust, debris, and water are among the most frequent items that must be kept out. You will find many rugged systems seeking an IP rating in a variety of applications, ranging from food processing plants to pharmaceutical and medical industries.  

While every application will vary and need different ingress protection, an IP65 rating is one of the most popular ratings that can be found in many enclosures and chassis. A ‘65’ rating will effectively keep dust and debris out and prevents low pressure water projected by a nozzle from intruding into a system or enclosure. While an IP65 rated computer may work for many environments, some other applications may require even stricter (or maybe less) rating to ensure proper protection. For example, in the most hygienic industries, a rating of IP69K may be necessary to ensure full protection and safety from the outside elements. The degree of protection truly varies depending on the environment.  

Common IP rated rugged systems 

IP rated Industrial panel PCs are a common system that is widely used and can be found with an IP65 rating. Many panel PCs can be found scattered around in many rugged deployments, with a range of necessary protection needed to keep a system safe and operating. In a panel PC, there are two components, a front display panel and the PC behind the panel. It may be possible that only a certain part of the system needs to carry an IP rating. On most occasions, the panel itself is IP rated to protect from solids and liquids as this is the front facing, while the rear embedded, fanless PC is safely placed behind. However, this may not be true in other areas, and the entire system needs to be safe from potential ingress.  

Embedded computers also can take on IP ratings, An IP rated embedded PC will deliver far more protection against the dust, debris and water than ones without. These systems are also designed with a chassis to provide additional protection to prevent damage and loss of function. Like an industrial panel PC, they can be built and rated differently based upon what is necessary in a rugged edge environment.  

It’s always important to understand the necessary concerns that a system will need to be protected from. Always check the overall IP rating of systems as it will help indicate how much protection it has against the ingress of dust and water. 

Premio’s line of IP Rated Industrial and Embedded PCs 

Premio has a selection of IP rated panel PCs and embedded computers that meet a variety of IP rating requirements. Each system has been designed to fit specific applications based upon the necessary protection it can offer.

VIO 200 Series Panel PC and Monitor

Premio’s VIO Series Modular Panel PC and Monitors are patented package products designed specifically for railway signal and control, airport control, digital signage, smart agriculture, factory automation, and kiosk and retail. The VIO’s front panel is IP65-rated, providing full protection against penetration of dust and low-pressure water jets. The VIO series also utilizes MDM Modular Technology, which offers optimal flexibility and scalability, as well as easy installation and maintenance to eliminate downtime.  

 WCO series waterproof embedded computer

The WCO Series Waterproof Computers features an aluminum chassis with an airtight enclosure that is rust and corrosion resistant. The IP65-rated enclosure is dust-tight and can tolerate low-pressure water jets from any direction. Additionally, an IP67-rated enclosure can also withstand full immersion in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes, allowing the device to circumvent possible flooding conditions and provide full protection to electrical components within the unit. The WCO is applicable in industries including agriculture, food processing, water treatment, mining, and pharmaceutical manufacturing. 

 ip66 wio series waterproof touchscreen computer

The IP66-rated enclosure of the WIO Series withstands aggressive exposure to water and pollutants in environments where these conditions are commonplace. The enclosure of the WIO Series is dust tight and resistant to powerful water jets with a pressure of up to 100 kPa from any direction. Furthermore, the WIO Series are incredibly slim at 74mm thickness, which does not compromise its enclosure strength. The WIO Series serves as a powerful tool for reaping Industry 4.0 efficiencies in industries such as mining, agriculture, and livestock management.  

 ip66 ip69k sio stainless steel touchscreen computer

The stainless steel SIO Series are an IP66- or IP69K-rated series, both of which provide water protection against powerful waterjets from any direction. The IP69K version offers premium protection against close-range high-pressure, high temperature washdowns. Moreover, the SIO Series features native touchscreen enable/disable controls, allowing the device to remain powered throughout intense washdowns. This design enables the SIO to maintain automation, monitoring and critical control functions. Given the SIO’s remarkable suitability to hygienic environments, they represent the most ideal solution for food and beverage processing, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and cleanroom settings. 

To find which system is the right fit for your application, contact a member of our sales team today.