Using IP69K Devices in Food Manufacture

Some of the UK's largest food manufacturers are already using our waterproof stainless panel computers in their manufacturing processes.
Often used in environments where complete washdowns are necessary, coupled with vast temperature fluctuations and humidity levels, it is essential for food manufacturers, factory owners and system integrators to install terminals and devices which are of sufficient standard to operate under these conditions.

By installing devices with an IP69K rating, system integrators are able to trust that the terminals and other devices are capable of withstanding these harsh food manufacturing environments. Below we explain what the IP69K rating is, and why IP69K rated panel PCs, operator terminals and workstations are ideal for use in the manufacture of food and beverage products.

IP69K Devices in Food Manufacturing Factories

Why do food manufacturers use IP69K computers?
Food and beverage manufacturers need to maintain a clean and hygienic production and manufacturing environment. Many food production processes utilise operator terminals, workstations or panel PCs as part of the manufacturing infrastructure.

These devices needs to be cleaned regularly and as such need to withstand dust and ingress and stand up to the rigours of sanitization. Utilising operator terminals, workstations or panel PCs with an IP69K rating ensures they are suitable for applications where high pressure and high temperature wash-down is used to clean the device.
How are products tested to ensure they meet the IP69K rating?
The internationally recognised Ingress Protection (IP) rating system relates to defined protection against external environmental factors such as liquids and solids.

The Ingress protection ratings comprise the letters 'IP', followed by two numbers, which are used to define the level of protection a device has against specific elements and the device's ability to resist dust and liquids that could otherwise penetrate it.

According to the IEC 60529 rating system, first numerical digit of IP69K rating refers to the ability of a device to resist the ingress of particulate matter such as general dust. With both steam and high pressure water being commonly used in the sanitisation of devices in the food and beverage manufacturing process, the final two characters of the IP69K rating refer to a device's ability to resist high temperature steam and high pressure water ingress at close proximity.

The IP69K testing process is very demanding, with specific tests being undertaken to ascertain if a device meets an IP69K rating:
  • A spray nozzle is fed with 80°C water at between 80–100 bar (~1160-1450) and a flow rate of 14–16 L/min
  • The nozzle is positioned at 10–15 cm from the tested device at angles of 0°, 30°, 60° and 90° for at least 30 seconds at each angle
  • The test device sits on a turntable that rotates once every 12 seconds or 5 revolutions per minute

Ultimately, food manufacturers can help to ensure food safety and device reliability by adopting the use of devices with an IP69K rating within their manufacturing process.
Ingress Protection (IP) Rating System
1st digit defines the protection against solids:
0 - No protection against contact and ingress of objects
1 - Protection against solid objects > 50mm in diameter
2 - Protection against solid objects > 12mm in diameter
3 - Protection against solid objects > 2.5mm in diameter
4 - Protection against solid objects > 1.0mm in diameter
5 - Dust protected - ingress of dust is not entirely prevented, but can’t enter in sufficient quantity to inhibit the satisfactory operation of the device
6 - Dust tight - No ingress of dust; complete protection (dust tight)
2nd digit defines the protection against liquids

0 - No protection
1 - Protected against vertically falling drips if water when mounted in an upright position
2 - Protected against vertically dripping water when the device is tilted at an angle of 15° from its normal position
3 - Protected against water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from vertical
4 - Protected against water splashing against the device from any direction
5 - Protected against water projected by a nozzle/jets from any direction (Tested with water volume of 12.5 litres per minute and water pressure of 20 kPa at distance of 3m)
6 - Protected against water projected in powerful jets (Tested with water volume of 100 litres per minute and water pressure of 100 kPa at distance of 3m)
7 - Protected against short term immersion (Tested with the lowest point of the device at 1m below the surface of the water, or the highest point at 150 mm below the surface, whichever is the deeper)
8 - Protected against submersion (Tested under manufacturers conditions)
9K - Protected against close range high pressure, high temperature spray downs (Tested with water volume of 14–16 litres per min and pressure: 8–10 MPa at 0.10–0.15 m with a water temp of 80 °C
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