Industrial marking equipment is used in some of the most challenging environments in the manufacturing sector. Issues like excessive heat, freezing temperatures, plentiful dust, and high humidity plague production plants of all industries, but especially wire/cable extrusion facilities, chemical-manufacturing factories, and lumber mills. These factors can lead to several uptime hindrances, including hardware failures and unreadable printed codes.
To prevent these issues from affecting code quality, many of today’s top industrial printer brands build their equipment with IP-ranked enclosures. Short for “ingress protection,” IP rankings demonstrate how well an electrical enclosure can resist the intrusion of both airborne particles and moisture/water streams. Following standards published by the London-based International Electrotechnical Commission, IP ratings consist of two digits (e.g. IP54 or IP65). The first digit denotes how well the enclosure is protected against solid particles, while the second digit denotes how well the enclosure is protected against moisture and various liquids.
When looking at IP ratings, higher numbers signal greater protection. Below, we take a closer look at what each individual number means when analyzing ingress protections in coding and marking equipment.
In every IP ranking, the first number shows how well a machine’s enclosure can resist the intrusion of solid objects. Solid ingress protection ratings range from 0 to 6. As the ranking level rises, it signifies the enclosure can resist increasingly finer particles.
Each solid particle IP ranking is described in the table below.
|IP Ranking||Ingress Protection Description|
|IP0||The enclosure does not protect against solid particles.|
|IP1||The enclosure protects against the ingress of solid objects larger than 50 mm (2 inches). This includes accidental touches of the hand.|
|IP2||The enclosure protects against the ingress of solid objects larger than 12.5 mm (0.49 inches). This includes fingers and similarly sized objects.|
|IP3||The enclosure protects against the ingress of solid objects larger than 2.5 mm (0.098 inches). This includes smaller tools, thick wires, and cables.|
|IP4||The enclosure protects against the ingress of solid objects larger than 1 mm (0.039 inches). This includes nails, screws, wires, and larger insects.|
|IP5||The enclosure protects against the ingress of dust. Although ingress isn’t 100% prevented, the protection is capable enough to prevent hardware damage and code failure.|
|IP6||The enclosure is 100% dust-tight, preventing the possibility of any particle intrusion.|
Next to the solid particle ingress rating digit is a second number that represents protection against water and humidity. This liquid protection rating is more expansive compared to the sold particle rating, as the grades range from 0 to 9.
Each liquid protection IP ranking is detailed in the table below.
|IP Ranking||Ingress Protection Description|
|IP0||The enclosure does not protect against water or humidity.|
|IP1||The enclosure protects against the ingress of vertically falling drops of water. This protection is afforded exclusively against drops that fall directly on top of the enclosure.|
|IP2||The enclosure protects against the ingress of vertically falling drops of water, including those falling at any tilted angle up to 15°.|
|IP3||The enclosure protects against low-pressure sprays of water at angles up to 60°.|
|IP4||The enclosure protects against low-pressure splashes of water at all angles and directions.|
|IP5||The enclosure protects against low-pressure jets of water at all angles and directions. There is also limited protection against ingress.|
|IP6||The enclosure protects against high-pressure jets of water at all angles and directions. There is also limited protection against ingress.|
|IP7||The enclosure protects against the ingress of water during a temporary immersion that follows manufacturer-specified conditions of time and pressure.|
|IP8||The enclosure protects against the ingress of water during a continuous immersion. The conditions are set by the manufacturer, with the specified understanding that the immersion is more extreme than IP7.|
|IP9||The enclosure provides complete protection against the ingress of water, including instances of full immersion and jets from highly pressurized, high-temperature sources.|
Ensuring adequate ingress protection in coding and marking equipment enables companies to maximize their uptime, regardless of harsh environmental factors. However, given how many printing solutions are available on the market today, it can be difficult to find a marking system that fits a company’s exact needs. For that reason, C&M Digest is dedicated to profiling the latest and greatest printer models available today.
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