You’ve been tasked to find the best IP65 rated Panel PC. Your first question might be – what does IP65 mean?
The quick answer is that IP65 is an international standard that indicates that an electrical enclosure is dust tight and watertight against light pressure water spray. Keep reading to learn more about the standard and the use cases for an IP65 computer.
The International electrical Commission (IEC) defines the IP Code or Ingress Protection Code as standard IEC 60529. It classifies the degree of protection for electrical equipment provided by an enclosure against dust and other foreign bodies, accidental contact, and water. In the European Union, the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization publishes it as EN 60529.
The first digit in an IP rating indicates a given enclosure’s level of protection against solid objects. This can include everything from fingers to small particles of dust or other airborne contaminants. In the case of IP65 rated enclosures, 6 is the highest rating against solid object ingress. That means that the product is “dust-tight” – see chart below.
The second number in an IP rating represents the resistance of the enclosure to liquids. The number 5 in an IP65 enclosure indicates it is protected from light pressure water jets and other liquids sprayed or splashed, from any angle. For reference, the IP rating for liquids extends up to the number 9. An IP69 rated enclosure protects its internal components from liquids even when immersed beyond 1m or sprayed with close-range powerful water jets.
With the rise of industry 4.0 and factory automation, computer hardware is needed outside of climate controlled office spaces and into more extreme environments. More businesses are using applications that require systems to be installed in places like factory floors or even outdoors.
As an example, an IP65 rated Panel PC will frequently be deployed in a food manufacturing plant. Not only will an IP65 rated panel PC keep internal components safe from airborne oil or seasoning particulates, it will offer protection against water and other products used during cleaning.
There are important distinctions to be aware of when it comes to IP ratings. In some instances only part of an electrical enclosure may be rated against ingress. Many panel PCs, for instance, carry an IP rating on the front bezel only. Proper installation ensures protection from dust and liquid which is often sufficient for many applications. Fully IP rated systems on the other hand can be exposed to the elements from any angle.
IP65 is not waterproof – it is water resistant. You cannot submerge products that carry an IP65 rating and maintain their protections. Sometimes manufacturers will claim their device is water resistant but they have not performed the IEC testing to the standard. You should make sure that your device has been tested to the IEC 60529 international standard if this requirement is important to you.
Something that is weatherproof means that it is able to withstand exposure to inclement weather without damage or loss of function. IP65 just addresses the ability to withstand dust and some water exposure. IP65 ratings don’t take into account lightning, hail, sunlight, wind, or other weather concerns. If resistance to all elements is necessary for your application, we recommend additional layers of protection for your computer, which may include a NEMA rated enclosure.
Now that you have a clear understanding of what IP ratings mean, check out our blog on the best HMI solution and be sure to explore our selection of Panel PCs, with options for capacitive or resistive HMIs, IP65 rated bezels, and sunlight readable displays.
If you are looking for an IP rated solution, be sure to fully account for your environmental protection needs. Deploying a system with a less stringent rating could result in ingress of particulate or liquid that may cause your computers to fail. Too high a rating could mean that you are over engineering and possibly spending more than you need to. If you want to discuss the dust, water, or other ingress concerns in your environment, contact our technical sales team for help finding the solution that works for you.
We originally posted this blog on July 28, 2022. We updated it for content on June 14, 2023.
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