You may consider IP-rated systems when looking for "waterproof" solutions. A typical IP rating found on the market is the IP67 rating. To ensure you match the right solution with your application needs, breaking down the meaning of IP67 ratings is essential. In this blog, we will define IP Ratings with a specific focus on IP67, what is meant by IP67, and some examples of applications of IP67-rated products.
What Does IP67 Mean?
Suppose you are looking to purchase computers and would like to place them in areas or situations requiring frequent wash-downs or high levels of exposure or proximity to water elements. In that case, you may need enclosures with IP67 ratings. IP67-Rated enclosures provide a high level of protection as they resist aggressive weather due to their high water and dust ingress protection ability.
The first digit of IP67 (6) ensures that products have the highest protection against solid ingresses, such as windblown dirt and other airborne solid materials that may not be visible to the naked eye. Combined with their high-level water-ingress protection indicated by the second digit (7), IP67-rated enclosures can withstand water hoses, jet sprays, and momentary water immersion. Rest assured, IP67-rated enclosures are guaranteed to function in indoor, outdoor, wet, and demanding industrial and commercial settings. In addition, due to their high water-ingress rating, IP67-rated enclosures can sustain up to depths of 150mm to 1000mm of water for 30 minutes maximum.
Why Are IP67 Ratings Important?When deploying computers in an environment with constant exposure to dust and water, an IP67-rated computer can instill confidence to perform computing at this environment without failure. In addition, an IP67-rated enclosure can assist in mitigating risks of instances of accidents which can lead to unnecessary costs and lead time on repair costs or replacements through carefully vetting an enclosure’s capabilities.
If you intend to apply products within settings exposed to elements of water and jets, such as frequent washdowns in indoor environments or near bodies of moisture and unpredictable weather conditions or high humidity in outdoor settings, you would probably search for enclosures that have been rated IP67 for peace of mind.
Are IP67-Rated Enclosures Waterproof?Products with an IP67 Rating can be guaranteed waterproof due to their high levels of solid and water ingress. As a result, IP67-rated products provide more protection than IP65 and IP66-Rated products, commonly referred to as ‘water-resistant’ than ‘waterproof.’ Because of this, IP67 and higher IP-rated products are sought after for a wide variety of challenging industrial applications.
Where Are IP67-Rated Enclosures Used?
In Industry 4.0 and the continuation of automation in processes and operations, computer hardware must maintain functions where they are deployed and would require proof that they can withstand demanding environments. Typical settings where one would need IP67-rated products for high levels of water resistance in addition to high-level dust resistance include:
- Business applications such as car-wash automated counters, kiosks;
- Security applications such as outdoor surveillance cameras;
- Agricultural applications, such as equipment for automation of agricultural technologies, e.g., irrigation systems;
- Factory/Building automation applications in harsh factory conditions where there may be many foreign particles such as dust, oil, and food particles and require water resistance due to washdowns;
- Pharmaceutical and medical applications, such as medical devices with attached panel PCs and monitors;
- Laboratory settings that require consistent cleaning and exposure to cleaning chemicals.
An IP Rating, also known as Ingress Protection Rating, is an international standard that was developed by the International Electrical Commission (IEC 60529), used to classify the rate of protection of electronic product enclosures against foreign bodies such as dust, water and intrusion of objects, including accidental contact with foreign bodies.
IP Ratings consist of the letters' IP', followed by two digits that indicate the classified protection level. The first digit following 'IP' refers to the level of protection an object has against solid foreign objects such as dust and fingers, to protect the hazardous parts of the electrical component, such as electrical semiconductors. This rating is rated from level zero to six (0-6), where zero (0) means it is not protected, and six (6) is the highest level of rating against the ingress of dust. Dust and solids are measured by particle sizes ranging from 50mm, 12.5mm, 2.5mm, and 1.0mm particles and can be compared to wind-blown dust, light fibers, and other air-borne solid objects. Level 6, the highest level of solid-ingress protection, is also known as "dust-tight".
The second digit of an IP Rating refers to the internal electronic component's protection rate against water ingress. They range from light water sprays to more powerful and larger volumes of water, even submersion in liquid. Protection against water ingress can vary from zero to nine (0-9). The lowest level of water ingress protection indicates that the electrical component is protected from light water jet sprays from any direction. IP-Ratings waterproof tests are conducted in controlled environments with a 12.5mm or 6.3 mm nozzle. The water pressure is then altered and applied to certify various levels of water tightness.
Although the IP Rating dictates the protection against dust and water ingress, making it more predictable in outdoor/indoor settings and applications, it is not guaranteed protection against UV Rays. Additional UV protection is needed for electrical enclosures in areas that are visible to sunlight.
What are NEMA Enclosures?
Like IEP, NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) is another organization that created standards for ingress ratings. NEMA ratings are the North American version of IP ratings. NEMA also rates industrial enclosures based on their ability to protect users from internal electronics and internal electronics from the external environment. Although comparable, they are not identical as the testing conditions vary. NEMA also includes ratings for additional protection against corrosion and atmospheric gases. NEMA ratings also have distinctions between protection against hazardous and non-hazardous environments.
IP67 Fanless PC vs NEMA Enclosure
NEMA enclosures tend to be more prominent and used in industrial settings within harsher environments. Protecting an industrial computer without an IP rating within a NEMA enclosure is possible. However, they tend to be more costly and take up space which may not be suitable for some industrial applications. For some applications involving a compact-sized rugged computer, a high IP-rated enclosure such as IP67 would make for a more straightforward solution.
Premio's IP67-Rated Computing Solutions
Premio's IP-Rated enclosures will do the job if your application needs protection from factory-floor washdowns, dust or rain, or other airborne foreign materials. In addition, our products have undergone rigorous testing at our in-house labs, ensuring they can maintain high connectivity and functioning across various environmental stressors such as extreme temperatures, weather conditions, shock and vibration resistance, and wide voltage input.
WCO-3400 Series IP67 Fanless Computer
With a tightly sealed enclosure, the WCO-3400 Series of IP67-Rated, customizable I/O compact computers is Premio's range of waterproof fanless embedded systems designed for reliable dust and water resistance in a wide range of challenging industrial environments for mission-critical applications.
WCO-3400 Key Features:
- IP65/IP67 Waterproof
- Robust M12 type I/O connection
- High quality, durability and compact construction.
- Rugged design for harsh environment.
- Fanless configuration.
- Wide range operating temperature.
- Easy installation and user-friendly development.
Find out more about WCO-3400 Series.