Advantages of Industrial IP67 Ethernet Switches Housing
There is an immense difference between enterprise and industrial networking equipment—durability. Industrial networking equipment can handle the environmental hazards of fields such as agriculture, manufacturing, and healthcare. It has to be able to withstand intensive environmental conditions which, depending on the industry, may include liquid submersion, dust, and heavy vibrations.
Design Engineers need to ensure they install equipment that suits the environment and has the appropriate IP rating. Before you install any device into your industrial network, you need to understand IP ratings.
What is an IP Rating Certification?
To help consumers understand the quality of electronic products, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) created a standard for devices. The IEC’s standard lets users know how resistant a device is to liquids and other raw materials. The device’s International Protection (IP) Code denotes each level—an IP Code gives consumers a quick glance at the level of protection a device’s housing provides. An example of a common IP Code is IP67, as it’s common among smartphones and smartwatches. However, those in the industrial market have known the importance of IP ratings for many years. For those who want to gain a better understanding, we will use the IP Code IP67 to breakdown the rating system. This overview demonstrates the advantages of IP67 industrial Ethernet switch housing.
IP67 breaks down to:
IP – International Protection
6 – Solid Protection
7 – Liquid Protection*
*Waterproof enclosures usually reside in the IP65-IP67 range.
The numbers six and seven in IP67 signify the scales of different protection levels. The first numeral refers to particle protection, which ranges from zero to six. The second numeral refers to liquid ingress protection and goes from one to nine. The first number’s level has to do with an enclosure’s ability to protect the device’s internal mechanisms from liquids, materials, and contact.
Levels of Protection
On the scale of protection, the higher the first number, the greater the level of protection from ingress. The following numerical list reflects what each number means in terms of protection:
1. It offers no protection from ingress or contact from other objects.
2. It protects from large surface contact. Prevents contact from deliberate ingress.
3. It prevents digits, such as fingers and similar objects, from causing damage.
4. It can defend against objects such as tools and thick wires.
5. It offers protection from thin wires and small screws.
6. It provides partial protection from small dust particles that can harm devices.
7. It extends more comprehensive protection for harmful dust.
Design Engineers use the second numeral to determine the level of protection from freshwater in certain situations. The following numerical list reflects what each number means in terms of protection:
1. It offers the lowest level of protection from water, such as vertical dripping water.
2. It protects against dripping water streams that are not hitting the device directly.
3. It protects from freshwater sprayed directly on the device.
4. It can defend the device’s internals against water sprayed from all directions.
5. It offers protection from a low-pressure water source projected from a nozzle with a diameter of 6.3mm coming from any direction.
6. It provides protection from strong jet streams of water from a nozzle with a diameter of 12.5mm from any direction.
7. It will protect a device if it becomes immersed in water at a depth of three meters for up to 30 minutes.
8. It protects the device if it becomes immersed in water deeper than one meter for up to 30 minutes. Each manufacturer will notate the exact depth a particular device can remain protected while submerged underwater.
There are two other levels of water protection that reference the water pressure and temperature. Enclosures that can handle elevated pressures from any direction will receive a 6K designation. A 9K designation, however, refers to enclosures that can protect the internals from high pressures and temperatures up to 80°C.
Additional IP Code
C – Protection against accessing an enclosure with a tool.
D – Protection against accessing wires.
F – Enclosure is oil resistant.
H – Protection from high voltage devices.
M – Refers to the device’s rotation during the water test.
S – Refers to the device remaining stationary during the water test.
W – Denotes protection from water conditions.
Water-Resistant vs. Waterproof Enclosures
It is imperative that those designing industrial networks do not misunderstand the differences between water-resistant and waterproof. Not properly understanding the difference or purchasing the correct equipment, can have unforeseen inefficiencies in timelines and resources. IP61- IP65 is water-resistant, as these levels only protect against minor interactions with water. Water-resistant does not protect the device if it becomes submerged in water. IP66-IP69 is water-proof. This means the housing can protect a device’s vital components if it becomes submerged in freshwater at a depth of at least one meter (about three feet). If manufacturers design a device to maintain integrity if submerged, then the device should maintain its integrity in similar situations in the work environment.
The levels of dust ingress protection are more direct and understandable than the levels of water protection. The subsequent rating comes from testing the device in water. While devices may provide protection from other liquids, users should not assume that devices include proper protection. If industrial devices will encounter other liquids in the work environment, network designers should check with the manufacturer for the protection level the enclosures provide.
Industrial housing units come equipped with an extra level of protection for vibrations. A housing option may include either mechanical or electronic vibration switches. These industrial switches provide consistent monitoring of the vibration level to prevent the catastrophic failure of equipment. Protection from excessive vibrations, dust, and water ingress provides network designers with the knowledge to install the most optimal equipment for a particular industry.
You should consider the IP rating for every aspect of your industrial network whether you are considering media converts, industrial wireless routers, or industrial Ethernet switches. Each part of your network needs to function appropriately to keep machinery and operations running effectively. As such, you want to invest in the best equipment to create a network that will decrease downtime and increase productivity.