What is IP67? The Importance of Ruggedized Connectors in Harsh-Environment Applications

In harsh environmental applications, a robust enclosure is only one part of the equation. Without rugged and reliable interconnect devices, the internal system is vulnerable to systemic damage and eventual failure.

The explosive growth in automation and robotics applications has led to a critical convergence where vulnerable electronic systems are expected to operate (and survive) in very extreme conditions. This convergence has put delicate systems in places that are exposed to dust, moisture, vibration, and thermal shock. (Figure 1).

Figure 1: New application spaces present new environmental challenges to electronic systems.

What is IP67?

The electronics industry generally uses IEC-60529 as the standard for ingress protection. This standard uses a two-digit designator - the first digit represents protection against fine solids and tiny particles like dust and sand, ranging from 0, meaning no protection, to 6, meaning full protection.

The second digit represents protection against liquids, and ranges from 0 to 9. IP67 is the most prevalent designation, indicating full protection against solid particles and protection against liquids for at least 30 minutes when submerged in shallow (1 meter) water.(Figure 2).

Figure 2: An IP67 connector can block dust as well as maintain a waterproof seal when the enclosure is put in one meter of water for half an hour. (Credit NorComp)

Why IP67

The IEC standard laid out the ground rules for ingress protection, but it had many other benefits in terms of component and overall system design. In order to meet the IEC-60529 requirements manufacturers were induced to either revise existing components or develop new ones that met the standard. This led to the development of new materials, advances in hardware options, and a much better point to point connection mind set.

The end result is a new engineering landscape where design choices aren’t limited to just getting by with “OK” - ruggedized & reliable solutions for every application are available from many manufacturers.

Harsh-Environment Design Solutions

With advanced electronic systems finding themselves in a lot of dangerous places, ensuring total system's integrity is critical. Using ruggedized connectors will ensure that sensitive electronics are protected - not only on the design bench - but out in the real world.

No matter what the end application might be, you can find a ruggedized IP67 connector solution from NorComp. When it comes to designing connectors for harsh environments, we have a long history of offering both standard and customized solutions that address stringent design requirements.

NorComp offers several choices of environmentally-sealed waterproof connectors, compatible with standards like IEC-60529 and NEMA 250-1991.

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