What is IP69k for a protection class?
IP69k simply explained: The highest standard against dirt and moisture
Components within industry, especially with regard to the functionality of industrial PCs (IPC), must withstand a wide range of stresses. For example, not only do certain industries require compliance with high standards, but the longevity of the thing itself must also be ensured. In the course of this, norms and standards are continuously being developed, which the interested reader probably knows as the so-called "protection class". IP69k is also such a protection class, which due to its design is important in industries such as the pharmaceutical and food industries as well as in mechanical engineering.
IP69k: What exactly is behind this abbreviation?
There are regular work areas where it is unavoidable that dust, dirt or moisture can get onto work equipment. Corresponding requirements must be met to ensure the performance of industrial PCs, for example. One instrument for labeling products accordingly are so-called protection classes such as IP69k. They quantify the degree of protection that comes with it - in terms of the housing and the ability to effectively protect against damaging elements such as liquid, respectively. The protection class can therefore be used to determine whether the electronics behind it can actually be protected in the context of the application.
Definition IP69k: Particularly where high pressure conditions prevail or temperatures act, special protection is necessary. IP69k is defined on the basis of the DIN 40050-9 standard valid in Germany. IP stands for "International Protection" and specifies limit values that must be complied with by correspondingly certified products. Each letter has a specific meaning. 6 stands for "dust-tight", 9 denotes "protection against ingress of water during high-pressure/steam cleaning" and K accordingly for "protection against high temperatures (hot water)".
IP69k in the context of industrial PCs: Why all the effort?
Unlike classic personal computers (PCs), whose construction is rather fragile or not particularly robust, industrial computers (ICs) are designed for special loads. We are talking here, among other things, about extreme environmental influences (temperature, pressure load, etc.), which are handled in such a way that they have no influence on the functionality of the industrial PC.
IP69k offers all-round protection against dirt and moisture as standard. It stands for the highest protection class for electrical equipment, allows the use of high-pressure cleaners and prevents the ingress of liquids, dust, steam or damage caused by contact with solid objects.
An overview of the main advantages and aspects of the IP69k protection class, which was introduced in 1993:
- Designed for high pressure jet cleaning and high temperatures
- Test conditions for certification: pressure of 100 bar, water flow of 15 l/min, temperature of 80 degrees Celsius, distance of the nozzle to the object of 10 cm.
- Reduced cleaning effort, as no special specifications need to be met thanks to IP69k
In short: IP69k ensures in the context of industrial PCs (IPC) that dust and moisture, shocks, vibrations or shocks, electro- or electromagnetic interference as well as extreme temperature fluctuations have no effect on the functionality of the system. We at proLogistik have therefore also focused precisely on this standard in the development of the new stainless steel IPC "pro-V-pad Steel IP69k".
Application areas of industrial PCs with IP69k certification
Harsh, difficult production environments are often found in areas such as the food sector or other segments where absolutely hygienic conditions are essential. Accordingly, a completely closed, watertight system is required - on the one hand to ensure function, and on the other hand for holistic cleaning and disinfection.
We would therefore like to briefly present areas of application in which the IP69k protection class is indispensable:
- Food Manufacturing
- Pharmaceutical production
- Clinical applications
- Processing industry in general, including beverage production
Important: IP69k is so relevant because splash pressure is often used in such areas. Without an appropriate level of protection, the components used here would potentially be at risk of damage - with subsequent production downtimes or restrictions due to sensor inaccuracy, for example. Since it is also easier to clean components such as industrial PCs, the investment in IP69k-certified products quickly pays for itself.