Industrial computers and monitors are usually placed and operated in harsh production environments. It means they must be able to withstand the impact of dust and water and reliably perform in challenging conditions. Some people call these units waterproof and dustproof, but there are special ratings showing the actual level of protection. Let’s take a look at the main standard used in the industrial world - an IP rating.
What is an IP rating and why you need to know
An IP (ingress protection) rating is a standard that measures levels of sealing effectiveness for electrical enclosures against factors such as water, dust and moisture. When selecting an industrial computer, the relevant specifications will usually list the level of IP rating for that particular device. Purchasing a computer compliant with an IP rating ensures reliable operation in demanding conditions where humidity, dust, air-borne particles and water or moisture are a factor. The range of IP ratings extends from IP65 through to IP69K which offers the maximum level of protection. The first digit relates to physical intrusion of solid objects and things such as dust and air-borne particles. Number 1 offers no protection through to number 6 which indicates total protection against dust ingress. The second number refers to the moisture level protection or ingress of liquids. Once again, number 1 offers no protection through to number 8 which protects against long periods of immersion in water. Additionally 69K will protect against close-range high pressure and high temperature spray downs.
First number (intrusion protection):
|0||No special protection|
|1||Protection against solid objects greater than 50 mm in diameter|
|2||Protection against solid objects greater than 12mm in diameter|
|3||Protection against solid objects greater than 2.5mm in diameter|
|4||Protection against solid objects greater than 1.0mm in diameter|
|5||Protected against dust that may harm equipment|
|6||Totally dust tight|
Second number (moisture protection):
|0||No special protection|
|1||Protection against condensation|
|2||Protection against water droplets deflected up to 15° from vertical|
|3||Protected against spray up to 60° from vertical|
|4||Protected against splashing water when the enclosure is tilted at any angle up to 15°|
|5||Water projected by a nozzle (6.3 mm) against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects|
|6||Water projected in powerful jets (12.5 mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects|
|7||Protection against temporary immersion (up to 1m of submersion for 30 minute duration)|
|8||The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions which shall be specified by the manufacturer. However, with certain types of equipment, it can mean that water can enter but only in such a manner that it produces no harmful effects. The test depth and/or duration is expected to be greater than the requirements for IPx7, and other environmental effects may be added, such as temperature cycling before immersion|
|9K||Protected against close-range high pressure, high temperature spray downs|
What IP ratings do industrial computers usually have
Industrial PCs offer a high level of protection against environmental factors and are much more heavy duty and more suitable for these environments that consumer-grade products. Many units available on the market are fully dustproof (as we already know from the chart above, this means they have the IP6X rating). When it comes to water protection, there are several variations. Let’s take a look at the most commonly available IP rated industrial computers:
- IP65 Computers: Dustproof, protected from splashes and low-pressure jets
- IP66 Computers: Dustproof, protected from strong water jets
- IP67 Computers: Dustproof, protected from temporary immersion in water 1 meter deep for 30 minutes
- IP68 Computers: Dustproof, protected from continuous immersion in water under more severe conditions than IP67
- IP69K Computers: Dustproof, protected from water during high pressure/steam cleaning (not submersible)
All of these PCs feature tough enclosures designed to protect the hardware in challenging environmental conditions. The IP65 computers are the standard for industrial applications, while the IP69K is the maximum level of protection currently available on the market.
What are the benefits of IP69K computers
The IP69K rated PCs feature a rugged enclosure with protection against dust, moisture, high-pressure water and steam and high temperature. Computers compliant with the IP69K rating are designed for applications and environments where equipment must be carefully sanitised. This is vital for industries such as the food processing industry where cleanliness and hygiene are critical. Computers with IP69K rating must be able to withstand severe high pressure and high-temperature wash-down procedures. These units are extremely durable and resistant to harsh environments.
How do industrial computers achieve the IP69K rating
To achieve the IP69K rating, industrial computers are rigorously tested. They are subjected to high-pressure water jets, high temperature and dust to ensure that the enclosure is completely airtight and that the PC and its components are protected from these factors. All necessary testing is carried out by a team of professional engineers under very strict conditions.
STX Technology’s Range of IP Rated Computers and Monitors
As mentioned earlier, there are several models available on the market offering a range of protection levels against environmental factors. To meet the customers’ demand, STX Technology offers a wide range of computers and monitors with high IP rated enclosures and connectors. These units are designed and manufactured by a team of experienced engineers and comply with an extensive list of checks and tests ensuring reliable operation in virtually any condition and environment.
The standard range of computers and monitors by STX Technology feature a sealed front panel equivalent to an IP66 rating.
The next level of protection offered by STX Technology is a fully sealed stainless steel enclosure. These products have IP67 / IP68 rated connectors in standard configuration and create a reliable and durable solution for production and outdoor environments:
Please contact the sales team for more information regarding IP68 and IP69K computers.
All industrial computers and monitors by STX Technology are built to order and have a wide list of configuration options. Based on your requirements, the STX Team can help you select the right model for your project, application and environment. Contact the STX Technology Team to find out more about IP rated computers and monitors for harsh environments.