IP rating system

By Matt Reinstetle

When your business is industrial automation, it’s a requirement to pick up the industry vernacular. Many machine parts come paired with codes, acronyms and shortened versions of long, technical phrases.

Understanding these codes can help engineers and production floor workers select the correct equipment for the task at hand. One of the codes commonly used when describing specific details about photoelectric sensors and rotary encoders is the IP rating system. Check out our breakdown of the IP rating system and what it means for industrial automation.

What is an IP Rating?

The IP Rating System, sometimes referred to as International Protection Rating or Ingress Protection Rating, is a code that classifies the degrees of protection provided against the intrusion of solid objects and liquids. Solid objects include hands, tools, wires, and dust.

The IP Rating System is typically formatted with the letters “IP” followed by two numbers put together, such as IP65. Below is a breakdown of what each number means when looking at the code.

First Digit: Protection against contact and penetration of solid objects.

0. No protection
1. Protection against solid objects more than 50 mm.
2. Protection against solid objects more than 12 mm.
3. Protection against solid objects more than 2.5 mm.
4. Protection against solid objects more than 1 mm.
5. Limited protection against dust.
6. Total protection against dust.

Second Digit: Protection against the penetration of liquids.

0. No protection
1. Protection against dripping water.
2. Protection against dripping water when tilted up to 15
3. Protection against spraying water.
4. Protection against splashing water.
5. Protection against water jets.
6. Protection against heavy seas.
7. Protection against the effects of immersion.
8. Protection against submersion.
9K. Protection against close-range high pressure, high-temperature spray downs. 

How Does This Affect Industrial Automation Products?

The IP Rating System is in place to provide a more detailed analysis of the capabilities of the products, other than using simplified terms, such as “waterproof” or “water resistant.” Depending on the cleanliness of your production floor, such as a dusty environment or areas with a lot of moisture, it’s good to have a measured level of protection. That way, you can count on your equipment working the way you expect it to work every time.

Here at TRI-TRONICS, we specialize in building photoelectric sensors, rotary encoders, and elevator security protection. Each TRI-TRONICS product is built with a rugged design, offering a wide variety of options to best fit your company’s needs.

To learn more about TRI-TRONICS products, and to find out which IP-rated product is best for your needs, give us a call at (800) 237-0946 or email us at info@ttco.com.