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    What are IP ratings? Distinguishing Level of Protection

    ingress protection IP rating waterproof rugged pc


    What is IP ratings? Distinguishing Level of Protection

    Ensuring the robustness of a system is crucial for its optimal operation for the rugged edge system. Among the environmental threats, water is a significant challenge that numerous applications must guard against. Nevertheless, varying levels of feasibility exist in effectively excluding these elements to maintain a system's functionality within its designated environment, often achieved through protective enclosures or chassis. 
    To identify a system as protected, it must pass a rating test that assesses its capability to endure these conditions without damage. This evaluation is called the Ingress Protection Rating, commonly known as the IP rating. 
    Established by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the IP rating serves as a standardized system that offers a clear and concise ranking for distinguishing a system's capacity to resist solid and liquid substances infiltration. Unlike vague terms such as "waterproof" or "dustproof," this standard provides more precise details. 
    The naming of the IP rating system is quite simple. Each rating starts with "IP" (signifying ingress protection) followed by two numerical values. These numbers indicate how much the system is protected from solid matter or liquids. The first number denotes the level of safeguarding against perilous components like electrical conductors or moving parts and the intrusion of solid objects, such as dust, a person's hand, or small items. This number ranges from X/0 to 6, where X/0 means no protection and 6 is the highest level of complete dust resistance. Similarly, the second number denotes the degree of protection an enclosure offers against potentially harmful liquids like water. This numeric scale ranges from X/0 to 9K, with 9K representing the ability to withstand high-pressure, high-temperature jet sprays.


    Degree of IP ratings 

    In the age of Industry 4.0, many applications are now being deployed in more challenging global climates. As these systems find their way into foreign environments that are typically less accommodating to electrical setups, providing adequate protection is imperative—dust, debris, and water demand effective exclusion. In various sectors ranging from food processing to pharmaceuticals and medical industries, resilient systems actively pursue IP ratings to safeguard against these elements.  

    While the requirements for ingress protection vary across applications, the IP65 rating is one of the most common in enclosures and chassis designs. An IP65 rating, indicated by '65', effectively bars entry to dust and debris while resisting the intrusion of low-pressure water projected by a nozzle. Although an IP65-rated computer may work for many environments, some scenarios require even more stringent (or less) ratings to ensure appropriate safeguarding. For instance, achieving an IP69K rating in highly sanitary industries might be imperative to guarantee comprehensive protection and safety against external factors. The level of protection indeed varies depending on the environment. 

    Common IP rated rugged systems 

    IP-rated industrial panel PCs are widely used and frequently have an IP65 rating. These panel PCs are extensively deployed across rugged settings, requiring diverse protection to ensure safe and uninterrupted system functionality. A panel PC has 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. The panel 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 only be true in some areas, and the entire system needs to be safe from potential ingress. 
    Embedded computers can also perform IP ratings that defend against dust, debris, and water compared to those without. These systems combine a chassis design that furnishes additional protection, mitigating the risk of damage and operational impairment. Like industrial panel PCs, the construction and rating of embedded computers vary based on the demands of the rugged edge environment. 
    Understanding the necessary concerns that a system must be protected from is critical. Always check the overall IP rating of systems as it will help indicate how much protection it has against dust and water. 

    C&T’s line of IP Rated Industrial and Embedded PCs 

    C&T offers IP-rated panel PCs and embedded computers that meet various IP-rating criteria. Each system is precisely built to suit specific applications while incorporating the necessary protection measures.

    VIO 200 Series Panel PC and Monitor

    C&T’s VIO Series Modular Panel PC and Monitors are patented package products designed explicitly for railway signal and control airport management, digital signage, smart agriculture, factory automation, and kiosk and retail applications. With an IP65-rated front panel, the VIO series ensures comprehensive safeguarding against dust and low-pressure water jets. The VIO series also uses MDM Modular Technology, which provides maximum flexibility, scalability, and simple installation and maintenance to eliminate downtime. 

     WCO series waterproof embedded computer

    The WCO Series Waterproof Computers include 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 streams from any direction. Furthermore, an IP67-rated enclosure can withstand total immersion in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes, allowing the device to circumvent flooding conditions and provide complete protection to electrical components within the unit. The WCO applies to agriculture, food processing, water treatment, mining, and pharmaceutical manufacturing industries.  

     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 is incredibly slim at 74mm thickness, which does not compromise its enclosure strength. The WIO Series is a powerful tool for reaping Industry 4.0 efficiencies in mining, agriculture, and livestock management.  
    ip66 ip69k sio stainless steel touchscreen computer

    The stainless-steel SIO Series is an IP66- or IP69K-rated series, providing water protection against powerful waterjets from any direction. The IP69K version offers superior resistance to close-range high-pressure, high-temperature washdowns. Moreover, the SIO Series features native touchscreen turn controls on/off, allowing the device to remain powered throughout intense washdowns. This design enables the SIO to maintain automation, monitoring, and critical control functions. The SIO’s remarkable suitability to hygienic environments represents the ideal solution for food and beverage processing, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and cleanroom settings.

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