Over the last year I have been discussing IP rated products with people in various positions in the manufacturing world and I have encountered some false assumptions about IP67 protection. I want to quickly go over what an IP67 test actually is and then go into the assumptions I’ve seen.
IP67 Testing Requirements:
1) Dust-tight and complete protection against contact.
2) Protected from the effects of being completely immersed in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes at a constant temperature.
Assumption #1 – My product has an IP67 rating, if I use it, I have IP67 protection.
Actually if a product has an IP67 rating on it’s datasheet, its IP67 capable, not protected. If you have to connect to or open something on the product, these are points of failure. If the device requires a connector, the connector and subsequent o-ring all need to be seated properly to actually give you an IP67 rating. This usually involves reaching a specific torque rating on the connector or some type of clasp/lock.
Assumption #2 – I have a lot of fluids in my manufacturing process, IP67 is not good enough.
Most people have had bad experiences in the past with IP67 devices and heavy fluid presence. Most of the time, Assumption #1 plays a lot into these experiences. When your products are properly IP67 sealed, you can definitely have moderate contact with fluids or immersion. Now application to application, it of course needs to be reviewed, but it’s worth investigating because higher protection ratings have higher dollar amounts attached to them.