Ingress Protection: What do the numbers actually mean?

  • By David Croft
  • October 20, 2016
  • General

These days, Ingress Protection (IP) ratings are on devices everywhere – from your smartphone to heavy-duty, top-of-the-line coding machinery. But what benefit does an IP rating actually offer you? In this two-part series, we will explore the basics and the real-life, practical benefits that IP rated-machines can offer.

In Part One of this series, we look specifically at IP ratings: what they are, what they mean, and how they differ. In Part Two, we look more specifically at how those figures can affect the world of coding and marking equipment, and the things production managers need to consider before buying dust- and water-resistant machines.

IP Ratings: 101

Ingress Protection (IP) ratings play an important role in coding and marking equipment, because they give the user an indication of a product’s resistance or protection level for external elements like dust and water.

Rather than subjective terms (such as “waterproof”), the numbers provide an objective expression of protection effectiveness. With standardized labeling, which we will show in more detail further on.

IP Ratings: Solids

The first digit of an IP rating indicates the level of protection that the enclosure provides against solid foreign objects. Dust, dirt, foodstuffs or whatever else in between – the higher the level, the more assured you can feel that your technology is protected.

A further breakdown of the protection levels can be seen below in Figure 1.

IP Ratings: Liquids

The second digit refers to the protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against harmful ingress of liquids. On a beverage production line in particular, spillages can happen, and you want to sure that no wayward spills will cause further problems with the machine.

IP Ratings: How is it shown?

The IP rating of a product is generally referred to in a product flyer or brochure. It can be referred to in one of two ways: Certificated to IPXX or Manufactured to IPXX.

The Certificated to IP rating means that the product has been independently tested and verified by a recognized testing house, such as BSI (UK) or TUV (Germany).

In comparison, the Manufactured to IP rating has been declared by the manufacturer, but not independently verified.

This about wraps up Part One. Be sure to keep an eye on the Domino blog for Part Two of this series. Did you like this post? Let us know in the comments below.

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