Safety, security, along with the weatherproof factor are critical considerations before planning the manufacturing of any type of IoT device enclosure. IoT devices contain sophisticated electrical components that must be protected from heat, dust, water, moisture, and accidents. Small challenges can create hazardous situations in the case of IoT devices, making safety and the weatherproof factor a crucial decision-making factor for the end customer.
Depending on different use cases, the intent of safety needed also varies, and it is a crucial manufacturing decision for every IoT device company. This article explores everything you must know about your device enclosure that will make it strong and waterproof.
Ensuring minimal sealing for your IoT device
The most common and effective methodology used to prevent water and moisture from interfering with the IoT device is creating a seal. Although the purpose of a seal is to create a blockage for water, dirt, moisture, and other particles, more seals also mean more area for the particles to penetrate.
During the design phase, it is important to consider the minimum number of seals to increase the protection of PCBs and other electrical components.
There are different types of components used for sealing:
- Sheet gaskets
- Metallic gaskets
- EMI/RFI shielding gaskets
- Fishbone Gaskets
- Dynamic O-Rings
- Static O-Rings
O-Rings and gaskets are the two most used sealing methods. They are categorised as per different shapes, materials, use cases, and other classifications. The type is chosen based on the end use case and other requirements of the IoT device’s functionalities.
What is IP67 waterproof rating and its relevance for IoT device enclosures?
The IP rating system, or the ingress protection rating system, has been established by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The IP system is used internationally to rate the protection level of devices, as you must have heard about IP ratings in the case of smartphones.
It is equally important and popular in the case of IoT device enclosure types (for example, home automation devices), and it helps ascertain the level of safety in the case of solid object ingress and liquid ingress.
The IP67 waterproof rating and IP 68 can commonly be seen in most IoT device enclosures. Let’s understand the IP rating system and its details using these two examples:
- In the IP67 waterproof rating, the digit 6 signifies that the enclosure protects the device from even small dust and airborne particles
- In the IP67 waterproof rating, the digit 7 signifies the device is protected from water when immersed in up to 1 metre of water
The first digit in IP ratings signifies protection in the case of solid objects and particles. The second digit represents protection from liquids and water. The higher the number, the better the safety of the enclosure.
The difference between the IP67 waterproof rating and IP68 is that IP67 is good for immersion up to 1 metre, and IP68 is good for continuous immersion (more than 30 mins) below 1 metre also.
Manufacturing your IoT device enclosure as per the UL standards
The UL94 standard is the most widely used one. This standard checks the plastic material with fire performance to understand how the material would react to fires.
You would get to know how the material would react, the intensity of burning, the time it takes to stop burning, along with other factors.
Choosing a robust and rugged material for your IoT device enclosure
The material of your IoT device enclosure also plays a big role in its protection and safety. There are multiple material options that you can use to manufacture your enclosure, and you must consider these factors before selecting one:
- Corrosion resistance
- Heat resistance
- Chemical resistance
The intensity of all these factors will depend on the use case and the environment your IoT device will face.
IK rating for protection
The IK rating is one of the best international rating standards to ascertain the capability of IoT devices to withstand mechanical impacts.
The IK rating measures impact in joules and ranges from IK00 to IK10, where IK00 stands for no protection and IK10 stands for 20 joules of impact.
NEMA rating for enclosures
The NEMA rating is often compared to the IP rating since it measures the protection of enclosures from liquids and solid particles. However, the NEMA rating measures assess enclosures for other aspects, including:
- Ice formation
- Indoor/Outdoor use
- Corrosion resistance
- Oil and coolant seepage
How can Karkhana.io help you manufacture a safe and waterproof enclosure for your IoT device?
Factors such as strength, safety, waterproof level, and protection from dirt, solid particles, etc. play a huge role in the success of every IoT device. But making manufacturing decisions while taking care of all these factors at the same time is a big challenge for IoT companies and startups.
Companies and their manufacturing partners often lack support from manufacturing experts in choosing the right materials and IP rating. We at Karkhana.io have helped a number of of companies manufacture IoT device enclosures best suited to particular needs. Every device and its requirements are unique, and our inputs from designers, manufacturing experts and engineers help IoT companies make the right choices.
These inputs are just one aspect of Karkhana.io’s digital manufacturing platform. Along with this, you get access to instant quotations for different manufacturing processes, end-to-end project management, DFM feedback via our expert engineers, regular QC, audits of suppliers, logistics, cost optimisation, sharing project files within your organisation on the platform dashboard, viewing your CAD files, and more.
Let us help you reach the optimal outcome for all your manufacturing requirements. To get started, simply email Alay Shah on firstname.lastname@example.org with your requirements or fill out the form below.